I have Parkinson’s

This was the diagnosis, delivered a couple of days ago via a Zoom consultation with a neurologist. After a few minutes of conversation and me waving my hands and walking in front of the camera, he looked at me and said rather flatly, “You have Parkinson’s”. I also need an MRI to absolutely confirm no other issues, but he was confident in his diagnosis. My immediate reaction was shock, followed half a second later by an overwhelming relief.

It has been coming on for a while

I have had a tremor for some time now. I remember chairing my last AGM at Southern Voices some three years ago, shaking as I poured out a glass of water. I went to my GP in October last year to get it checked, noting at that time I was having issues shaving and cleaning my teeth (right hand). I was told it was Essential Tremor and not to be concerned. But since lockdown things have been slowing down faster. My handwriting is terrible and I find typing difficult, impacting how long I can sit in one position. Of course, all this has been affecting my work, which has affected me.

So I went to the GP again last week, and very quickly met with the neurologist.


The excellent Parkinson’s website notes that relief is one of the reactions to a diagnosis. The impact on my work has been concerning me for a while and at least I now have a reason for it. It was also time I reacted to comments from my beloved Rebecca and other family members to ‘get it sorted and go and see the doctor’. So I did!

One of the ways to slow down Parkinson’s is exercise. Although I found the daily commute to London very tiring, it always involved lots of walking and cycling. At the start of lockdown, Livi was home and we went on lots of long walks. But her Uni exams took over and the walks got fewer – and she has now moved out. It almost seems as the exercise went down, the symptoms started to manifest themselves more.

Action plan

Three actions from the neurologist are medication, exercise and inform the DVLA. These are now in hand. Longer term I had been wanting to spend more time with Rebecca, as she in turn slows down (my diagnosis I feel was more of a shock to her than me). So right now, I will be working through options with my incredibly supportive colleagues at the Institute.

I will update this when I have more news.

And one last thing…

The few people I have told so far have reacted with a mixture of shock and sadness, with ‘sorry’ being the main word. For me I do feel relief. Things could be so much worse. I am the same today as I was before the diagnosis. I still have many years left to do the things on Rebecca’s and my (slightly shorter) bucket list. So, no need to use the sorry word for the moment!



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Fly me to the moon

This is to let you know about our latest concert by Southern Voices, the Winchester-based chamber choir, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing with a concert in St John’s Church in Alresford, “Fly Me To The Moon”.

The music we’ll be singing celebrates all the magic, mystery and romance of the moon: the source of inspiration for composers throughout the ages and across the world.  The audience will be treated to a dazzling array of musical styles from the 17th century to the 21st century, from Brahms to Richard Rogers, via Van Morrison to Whitacre. And the evening wouldn’t be complete without uplifting arrangements of popular standards “Moon River”, ‘Moondance”, “Blue Moon” and of course the title song “Fly me to the Moon”.

What’s more, you will be able to catch Rebecca and Livi playing wine glasses in Eric Esenvalds piece ‘Stars’.

A concert not to be missed!

Online tickets will available via www.ticketsource.co.uk/southern-voices — booking fees apply.

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New York and 25th Anniversary

Four days in Manhattan and a slow trip home.

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Happy Christmas – 2017

Catching up with some older pictures…

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Banqueting with the Company

Nice to be back in the Mansion House, but this with all the trimmings. An evening out with the Worshipful Company of Chartered Accountants, somewhat different to previous ICAEW events there (for me). Good to meet with the Lord Mayor, previous chair of Audit and Assurance Faculty (these faculties lead to good things!).

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Milly graduates!

Congratulations to Milly for graduating in July – brilliant result! Great/surreal to be back in Bristol Cathedral (having spent seven years of my life there). Also good to speak to the Chancellor to hear from him what is possible (coming from humble beginnings to running the NHS). Prosecco in the tent, lunch in the Avon Gorge Hotel and dinner in the Florist – great day.

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JS Bach St John Passion – Southern Voices concert 23 March

Southern Voices is returning to the nave of Winchester Cathedral this month to perform this choral masterpiece with renowned period orchestra Florilegium. This promises to be an exciting and authentic performance with a smaller chamber choir and a superb orchestra. The concert is on Friday 23 March at 7.30.

Directed as usual by Katherine Dienes-Williams, the soloists consist of

  • Mark Wilde (Evangelist)
  • Jamie W Hall (Christus)
  • Ruth Provost (soprano)
  • Tom Lliburn (countertenor)
  • Joel Williams (tenor)
  • Thomas Humphreys (bass)

Tickets £12.50 to £29 (£1 for children 18 and under) are available via the Cathedral Box Office (01962 857275 – booking fees apply).

Hope to see you there!

JS Bach St Matthew Passion March 2018

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Southern Voices’ March concert – Hear my prayer

Southern Voices will be performing its next concert on 18 March – this time celebrating the work of two organists of the Chapel Royal, Henry Purcell and Christopher Tye.

This promises to be sublime early music in the fantastic acoustic of St Cross Church in Winchester. There will be a number of pieces from each composer reflecting the choice of the concert title (as well as the season). Highlights from Henry Purcell (1659 – 1695) include I Was Glad, Hear my prayer and Remember not, Lord, our offences. Altogether a century earlier, we will be performing amongst other pieces of his, Christopher Tye’s (c1505 – 1573) Euge bone mass.

As usual, the concert will be conducted by Musical Director Katherine Dienes-Williams, with chamber organ accompaniment from Richard McVeigh. The concert starts at 7.30, with tickets priced at £16 (full) and £14 (concessions). Tickets can be purchased from the Cathedral Box Office.

Looking forward to seeing you there!



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A Baroque Christmas with Southern Voices

Come and join Southern Voices as we sing a Baroque Christmas in St Cross on 17 December!

This year our theme is baroque music with some fantastic carols and composers, ranging from Praetorius and Scheidt through to Bouzignac to Sweelink, via Rutter and Allain (those two not quite so baroque). And as usual, some more secular fare with Winter Wonderland and 12 days of Christmas (the latter hopefully not b-roke).

As ever, the concert will be directed by Katherine Dienes-Williams with Paul Provost at the organ.

Tickets: £16 (Concessions £14; children 17 and under, £5). and are available online and from the Winchester Cathedral Box Office (01962 857275).


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