In the holiday spirit

Xmas 2005-89 by Jack, flickr
Xmas 2005-89 by Jack, flickr

There’s lots to dull and dampen the soul of someone living with PD – as there is for many others in the world. It’s especially acute at this time of year. Time to take a break. Share some joy. Here are some of my favourite holiday tunes through the years. Hope you enjoy. Peace to all.

From one of my favourite Christmas CDs We Three Kings (1990), this trio of sisters from New Jersey preform their version of the Hallelujah Chorus. The video quality isn’t the greatest but their harmonies are!

for more on the roches – click  here

From a small label in Toronto, the album Count Your Blessings,  featured five Canadian female artists live in concert in November 1983. This song,  What is this fragrance? , features Mary Margaret O’Hara.


Perhaps a bit contrived at first, once they start singing, their voices are so pure – classic. Recorded just a short month before Bing’s death in 1977.


Speaking of classics, this chestnut has been done by so many duos but I keep gravitating back to the original (or arguably the original – another version with Dinah Shore and Buddy Clark was apparently released on the same day in 1949). I also like the 1957 playful version by Sammy Davis Jr. and Carmen McRae here.


In 1991, The Chieftains released The Bells of Dublin – a nice collection of Celtic tunes with a number of popular artists including Elvis Costello, Rickie Lee Jones,Marianne Faithful amongst others. This is one featuring Jackson Browne.


I’ve always loved John Prine songs but he’s the last person I think of when I think of Christmas material. Yet this song from 1973 is different.”Wait a while, eternity” – what a picture it paints!


A darker picture from Tom Waits on this version of Silent Night recorded in December 1978.


And finally, here’s one from Joni Mitchell from her 1971 LP Blue. It too is from a darker place but so evocative “They’re putting’ up reindeer, singing songs of joy and peace…I wish I had river I could skate away on…”

Postscript: I began this little foray into holiday spirit with a call for a shot of love and joy and realised I kind of ended on a bittersweet note. Let me correct that with this tune from Canadian folk artist Roy Forbes (formerly known as Bim). He has three different versions of this on his website, and there’s no video on the net for any of these, but here’s a streamed copy of the original from 1979. Sweet 🙂 Enjoy the holidays.

All good things, rk.

Roy Forbes, Mincemeat Tart




























i’ve seen the future and it’s murder

The Fortune Teller by xXxPaint-it-blackxXx, deviantart

I am not clairvoyant. I have not consulted with, nor have I in any way tendered or secured the services of a fortune teller or soothsayer.  I am not hallucinating in some apocalyptic, drug-induced delusion.

I have seen the future – it’s not the lively cinematic version served up in Back to the Future, the fanciful and technological marvel of The Jetson’s, nor the darker Metropolis or Blade Runner for that matter. Nor is it the one recounted by Leonard Cohen in his song The Future (from whence today’s blog draws its title). But I have seen the future, and it is murder.

A few weeks ago, while prodding around leaves in my back yard, I had my first PD fall (and wrote about it here in case you missed it). A few days later, my chest and neck pain persevered and I consented to go for x-rays. I was fortunate to discover I had not broken ribs – just bruising and some soft tissue wounds.

That being said, the pain was pretty intense. I couldn’t reach out, bend over, stretch, sit/stand. I could walk but a few steps. Even laughing hurt!  I was forced to cut back on most, if not all, my regular activities around the house as well as my exercise and fitness regime (such as it is). For the first week, I did little more than sleep, sit, and read. In the second week, I began to have some relief, albeit minimal and my activity level remained stuck at zero. Now, in my third week, I’m finally feeling like I’m beginning to heal. The pain is still very much there but it has moderated and I am attempting  to resume some of my normal activities.

Now, before this blog descends into a session of self-pity and woe-is-me (one reader actually once did describe my blog as being “a bit whiney”), or even a sanctimonious lecture on safety while working in the yard, let me get to the point. While I was down and out of it those first two weeks, more than once the thought crossed my mind that this might be my future. I had, after 15+ years with PD, my first of what will likely be many falls ahead and this body of mine isn’t exactly becoming more resistant to punishment or abuse. Is this what I had to look forward to?

Being inactive – physically and socially – even in a short two or three weeks – starts to feel debilitating.  Besides wondering how long it would be until I could resume some of my normal activities, I couldn’t help but project what this might look like further down the road. When the day comes when I am not able to be as active as I might like, how will I  respond to that?

Notwithstanding these concerns, I suppose it’s the old adage of “live while you can” or “make the most out of it”  that has to spur us on. Parkinson’s will. inevitably, and in all likelihood, have its way with our bodies. If not, certainly age will catch up to us.Yet my latest foray has given me a glimpse into the road ahead. I’ve seen the future, and it’s murder!


Interested in more articles about Living with Parkinson’s? Click here

Interested in more about Murder? Click here



15 Love

Screenshot 2015-11-23 21.01.40
Google Image search for Robert Kendrick


Usually, once a week or so, I like to do a Goggle News search for Parkinson’s Disease. I don’t really know what criteria is used to determine what “hits” will be selected for inclusion in these “top stories” though I’m sure that there are many web developers out there who know the secret and would be wiling to share it with me at their web development seminar for just $239!

It even confounded me when, this past spring, my Modelling Frailty  piece was published in the Globe and Mail and hung around on this list for a few weeks!

What I like is the fact that stories come from all around the world and reflect different cultures or linguistic oddities (though sadly, I’m limited to those of English-origin). Often, the same story will appear from several different press or media and on occasion, the content or presentation will be varied enough to be of interest.

As a whole, the “top stories” list give the reader a decent barometer of what’s making the popular news with respect to Parkinson’s. As someone who blogs about living with PD, this is a valuable currency for me.

Sometimes, though, you find gold.

Recently, this headline caught my attention:

Errant tennis serve toss may be symptom of parkinsonism or Parkinson’s disease  (The Independent 21/11/15)

I was flabbergasted! I re-read it. ” Errant……..that means  like way off..or lousy….lousy serve toss…yeh, same thing…lousy serve…may be symptom of..PD! Lousy tennis serve symptom of PD!”. That’s it!! That explains why I never played tennis very well! All those years of game-set-match with me on the losing end! I have to track down my partners and foes from days of yore and explain my sub-par performance! The ball is back in my court and I’m going to serve up a proverbial ace!

First, I thought, I’d best read the article.

So I did.

Sometimes you find gold. Sometimes it’s called Fool’s Gold.

Turns out the article tells the story of a woman who, at the age of 54, and after a 30+ year career as a tennis instructor, began to lose her touch for the serve. What once the strongest piece of her game arsenal, suddenly had disappeared. You can imagine how devastating this could be. Turns out, she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and the article goes on to document her struggles to deal with it (you can read her full story here if you are interested). I certainly can empathize with her  situation but, alas, it crushed any hopes of restoring the lustre to my tarnished tennis reputation.

On other occasions, you find a real oddity from an entirely different court. Here’s one from a couple of months ago. I held onto it for a few weeks thinking how might I work that into a blog? I finally concluded that it was not possible. The piece was just too far out there. And then, today, I realized, this blog is where it fit. Right here…I’d toss it in right here! I may be giving it more exposure than it warrants, but I’ll keep it short.

The headline reads:

Man in wheelchair performs solo sex act blames Parkinson’s disease (STV News; 5/10/15)

Now, that just about says it all. You might be interested in knowing more about this unfortunate soul but heed the judge’s words when he said “the evidence against you was overwhelming and there really was no defence to this case…in my view the only appropriate sentence is one of imprisonment.” Tough times to have PD and be seated  in a public place. If you really want to know more, you can read it here but know that reader discretion is advised. In fact, I’d advise you to just move along. Get back in the game. Back on your side of the court.Get ready for my wicked serve! Here it comes…

Love 30!



A word from our legal department: all images appearing above are legitimate and true representations of images generated by a Google Image search for “Robert Kendrick”. Any similarities to Robert Kendrick the blogger and/or Robert Kendrick the tennis pro, are made entirely at the reader’s personal discretion.The author assumes no responsibility, in whole or in part, for any misjudgements made, in whole or in part. Basically, he assumes no responsiility for anything. And certainly not for posing as some kind of legitimate legal advisor to said author – no misrepresentation, of representation, is herein, represented.