Parkinson's Disease and me

My blog about my experience with Parkinson's Disease

Balls to Parkinson’s

on May 1, 2015

I suppose my French is now fairly fluent but it’s also very grammatically unsound.  I do, however, have quite a good vocabulary and that, I am certain, is down to one of my French teachers, JJ, from half a century ago.  He was a small, elderly man with a pencil-thin moustache.  Sitting behind his large desk on a raised dais, wrapped in his black gown every Friday he would play the “horse shoe” game with us.  We had been given a long list of vocabulary to learn the previous week and each week the list in our vocabulary books grew longer.  We had to sit in pairs in a horse shoe shape.  One end was designated  the top of the horse shoe and the other end, the bottom.   We sat on the desks with our feet on the seats.  He would ask each pupil in turn a vocabulary question.  If answered correctly  they would stay where they were; if wrongly they would move to the bottom of the horse shoe.  Each week he meticulously recorded our finishing places on the horse shoe in preparation for the next game.  JJ was a keen tennis player (looking back now I suppose he may even have been young) and he kept a large box full of old tennis balls and an ancient racquet on the dais.  At the end of the lesson he would bat ball after ball aimed at hitting the two children with the misfortune to be sitting at the bottom when the bell went.  They would then have to race around picking them all up.  At the end of the term the old balls would be presented to the two at the top.  Shocking to us today perhaps, but I have to say we loved it and it was quite an incentive to learn the vocabulary!

For some very strange reason this tennis ball attack image came into my mind when I read this article in the Guardian:  “Hopes of vaccine for Parkinson’s sufferers” It must have been the thought of attacking the rogue protein.

This has been Parkinsons Awareness month so there has been increased news coverage and just 18 months post diagnosis I have been scared by a lot of what I have read but I also remain positive.   The Guardian article helped me keep positive as did this blog  I have just been fortunate enough to really enjoy a gruelling week with much walking with friends touring the south of France, Northern Italy, including Venice and finishing in Vienna.  Life goes on.


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