Monday, 21 January 2019

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THE DEVELOPMENT EDIT... is under way.

THE REWARDS... I'm getting there!

MEANWHILE.... I'm delighted to have been asked to read at Othersyde/the Engineer's House, Riverside CB5 8HN on Thursday 31 January at 19:00. If you are in or near Cambridge, do come and enjoy a glass of wine and a warm fire and listen to extracts from Parkinson's & the Tango Effect as well as a selection of other readings…


Tuesday, 27 November 2018

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REMINDER: A CELEBRATION - of reaching the 100% funding target AND A THANK YOU - to all who contributed so generously and who kept on believing in the book.

WHEN? SUNDAY 16 DECEMBER 10:30 a.m.until late


WHAT TO EXPECT? Coffee or a light lunch, tea and cake, mulled wine and a mince pie. Call in for half an hour or stay all day…


Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Katriona boleo

After a fairly frenetic nine months of crowd-funding, a quieter time when I've been trying to resume what passes for normal life, in particular working on the novel which has had to take a back seat as well as chasing up the few remaining permissions for Parkinson's & the Tango Effect. Meanwhile John has been busy with his camera and we're assembling a collection of wonderful photos for the book.


Friday, 5 October 2018

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Last weekend to London for a 50th anniversary of a first meeting, in Room C12 we think on the third floor of Colllege Hall on Malet Street, with the woman who was to become a lifelong friend. We spent this weekend wandering the streets and bookshops of Bloomsbury (not unlike the time we should have been in lectures and tutorials way back when) though sadly we never made it to Carablanca or the…


Tuesday, 25 September 2018

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It's official! Parkinson's & the Tango Effect is 100% funded! A very big and heartfelt THANK YOU to all pledgers and promisers (don't forget to chase up your successful bid from the Auction of Promises if you haven't done so yet), also to the tweeters and sharers and the hundreds of supporters who got behind the campaign in so many ways. Thanks in particular to most recent pledgers Dan Kieran, Alex…


Tuesday, 11 September 2018

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(for those who missed the latest email/facebook updates)

So... the Tango Prom was fairly spectacular, with some excellent traditional Argentinian tangos from singer Nahuel di Pierro and bandoneon players Matias Gonzalez and Lysandre Donoso accompanied by Cambridge-based orchestra the Britten SInfonia, with performances by dancers Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone. This was followed by an exploration…


Sunday, 2 September 2018

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I first encountered Spotlight, the very excellent charity for people with Young Onset Parkinson's, at Rooney's Boxing Gym back in April. The first half of the slogan on the front of my t-shirt (the back pictured above) 'ON THE ROPES' sums up pretty neatly how I'm feeling just now. Months of dedicated slog on my part writing articles, blog posts, updates and emails, speaking to a range of…


Wednesday, 22 August 2018

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Almost, but not quite. Hoping for a hike in funds to 85% last Sunday was just that, hoping, not unlike the magical thinking I was prone to way back in March when I imagined a mystery benefactor lurking like Magwitch among the gravestones. Of course I am immensely grateful to those who responded so positively to Parkinson's & the Tango Effect being Unbound's Project of the Week last week, but there…


Friday, 10 August 2018

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So it's official! 81% funded and trending on Unbound! Is this the home straight? I'd like to think so.

This week saw me present at the postponed PechaKucha Volume 15 'Fond Farewell' at Cambridge's Espresso Library: such a smart location and a very cool event - if somewhat intimidating! But the feedback from the 60-or-so-strong crowd was encouraging and you should be able to view my presentation…


Tuesday, 24 July 2018

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Blessed by the weather, the Grand Garden Spectacular Weekend was a spectacular success, and not just for the near-£2,000 injection of cash into the funds. For me it was a welcome chance to look away from the computer screen towards the human face of crowd-funding, a reminder of the kindness of strangers and the love and affection of friends. Too many to mention by name - some I didn…


Tuesday, 10 July 2018


With just 5 days to go until its live finale, the online Auction of Promises has produced a fantastically generous range of promises so far and over £700 in bids. I'm optimistic that with your support we will achieve our £2,000 target, which will make a big dent in the amount still  to raise for Parkinson's & the Tango Effect. 

My public profile has never been higher. Thanks again to the Cresset…


Friday, 15 June 2018

Mid-June, & not far off Midsummer, and I'm cheered (and intrigued) by the latest addition to the Auction of Promises: 'Five meters of home-made felt bunting in colours of your choice'. Cheered because otherwise progress is somewhere between very slow and stopped. 62% funded sounds very promising indeed - until you remember that it's been thereabouts for some weeks now. At times like these, it's hard…


Friday, 1 June 2018

Flaming june

More than an ironic aside on unseasonal weather, I discover that Flaming June is also a painting - a portrait of artist Frederic Leighton's muse, actor Dorothy Dene, wrapped in a frock which positively blazes passion, eyes closed in what looks like bliss. I'm wondering if she might have been a secret tango dancer. 

So, a fantastic achievement with funding so far - in the dark days of winter, I…


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

You will see them dancing above the water of rivers and ponds, not just in May but on any warm summer's day. Famous for their brief lives - some live as adults only for a few hours - they were one of the first winged insects, their fossils dating back over 300 million years, A vital food source for fish and other freshwater creatures, their presence is a marker of a clean, unpolluted environment.


Sunday, 29 April 2018

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Inspiration from the past: in conversation with John Ruskin

Having an April birthday, I tend to feel that this is 'my' month and last weekend's brief burst of summer saw us joining the hordes with the same idea for an afternoon in the deckchairs at The Orchard Tea Room. Sadly the weather doesn't last  although other anniversaries buoy the hopes. This Saturday Anglia Ruskin celebrated 25…


Wednesday, 11 April 2018

I couldn't really let World Parkinson's Day go by without a brief update. It's a day that's being marked and - well, celebrated? - yes, I think celebrated - across the world. For the third year, Florida's Tonya Walker has rolled out her #HeelsOnHeadUp social media campaign and I felt I had to contribute my photo (in tango shoes of course!) - you should be able to find it on twitter. There's also a…


Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Well that last stretch was a tough one! Heartfelt thanks to the most recent pledgers (and the movers & shakers: Andy, Francesca, Bob) who helped us inch our way over the halfway mark. I find myself thinking of the one marathon I completed, back in '84 - so almost exactly half my lifetime ago. Not the most encouraging comparison as I recall the second half began with a turn into the wind along the…


Monday, 12 March 2018

90 days in, I am aware that I ask a great deal of my friends. This from Parkinson's & the Tango Effect Chapter 10: 'Medicine': 

"As the last traces of summer warmth evaporated, I found myself embarrassed by my need – or was it neediness? I didn't know who or what to ask, or how or when. How late was too late? How much was greedy? How long before those closest to me felt the tug and chafe of me…


Thursday, 1 March 2018

I have been reading about the ‘mad’ March hare whose seasonal departure from its normal timidity into uncharacteristic spring frenzy – random vertical jumping and ‘boxing’ with rivals – has earned the creature its reputation. By association, the ‘Mad Hatter’s’ tea party (though Lewis Carroll never used the term) has perhaps cemented our view of the hare. Well, if the cap fits…

So, the good news…


Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Writing 2

First, a MASSIVE thank you to all supporters so far! - to the 130+ who've pledged their support financially and helped us to an encouraging 40% of the target, as well as the creative thinkers, those who've posted blogs and articles, John for the photos and the tireless ones like Jack who have persisted with shares and tweets and generally helped to keep this small boat afloat. Also to tango DJs local…

Getting there!

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Well it's 25 days since the launch and, thanks to all who've pledged their support so far, Parkinson's & the Tango Effect is well on the way to achieving its target. I've been surprised and delighted by the way readers have got behind the project, by the generosity of friends and the interest of strangers. This probably shouldn't come as a surprise: the media are currently noisy with exercise regimes…

In editorial development
Publication date: TBC
102% funded
223 backers