Hi all,
Welcome to the North East Creative Forum!

I’m Alex Martin, Information and support manager for the North East.

We started the North East creative corner as a way for people affected by Parkinson’s in the region to socialise and to share their creative talents, such as poetry, stories, photography, artwork, creative knitting and so on.

As a member of the NECC, you’ll have access to a private section of the forum. However, you will also be a member of the wider forum community so you can make posts in other sections too if you want.

Unlike the rest of the forum though, the information shared in the North East Creative Forum is not open to the public as it is a private members forum. You should still follow the rules of the wider forum though and these are always displayed in the left hand menu.

So, please do take a look around and feel free to get posting!


I’m currently working in glass and ceramics, but trained and worked in 3D design/interior/furniture design. I taught for a number of years, fulltime, on general art & design FE courses also doing 2D which means that I like to answer a problem using appropriate techniques and materials. Sometimes this means I’m jack of all, master of none.
As I expect it has for you PD has changed my life - in some ways for the better– now I get to do creative things instead of helping others do it and I can spend all day doing it if I want-whoopee!
I do, however, miss the discussion, argument and contact with other creative minds that I had in art departments, and hope this forum may provide that
Could we go to exhibitions together? Go to talks? Go out drawing? Exhibit? Do you have useful contacts? do you have a website?
I put upon my partner enough already without making him sit in a field for 3 hours while I psint!
I am conscious that as things PD progress I may not be able to use clay and glass anymore – this frightens me a lot – but I’ll maybe develop my painting then or write poetry
i should also say i'm not big on forums or good at typing and i'd rather be doing something else so it maay mean i don't appear quickly

I've been scribbling bits of poetry for 3 or 4 years now and attending local council creative writing classes for about the same period of time. I'm also a member of a fairly informal writers' group that meets weekly. As has been said elsewhere, PD has been something of a mixed 'blessing' ! I certainly am not glad to have it, but I have to acknowledge the fact that I would not have met some exceptional people (many now close friends) if it had not been for my condition. And I might not have been so involved in writing - I started scribbling sfter I was diagnosed, but not because I was diagnosed, and have in fact written relatively little about PD. I get a buzz from seeing my words on the page, a bigger buzz if folk say they enjoy what I produce, so I'm basically a very selfish writer ! But it helps me cope day-to-day with PD, and that'll do me. . . I, too, am not a huge fan of forums, but would welcome being in contact with other local creative folk, not just writers, with a view to maybe meeting up over a bit of food or a drink sometime. This forum seems a good way to make that initial contact, so thanks for setting up the MECC, Alex M - hope it thrives. Cheers, Alif

Thanks AliF and Maker - it's great to see some posts up so soon and people talking about how our creative corner could be a springboard for real-life activities like get-togethers and visits to exhibitions. It would be great to hear if anyone else has any other ideas to add to this.

Alex, I'm Xerxes and was diagnosed in 2006. I started writing verse last year around this time and have been churning stuff out ever since. It started because someone asked me what PD was like to live with. Here is the reponse:-
Living with Parkinson's Disease

I'm often asked what it's like
Living with PD
When did I first notice it?
How does it affect me
In an effort to explain it
Let me go back to Two Thousand and Six
To the first time it manifested itself
By the faintest, the tiniest of tics

Even then, I had a certain fear
Deep down, a feeling, a premonition
That it might be something worrying
The start of some serious condition
But when I was referred to the specialist
He brought me to my knees
"I'm sorry to have to tell you this"
"You have early onset of Parkinson's Disease"

Since then things have progressed
A tremor has developed from that tic
I'm gradually losing my balance
Feel like I've had too much to drink
At first I would try to disguise it
Mask the shake; tuck my hand out of the way
But as the disease has developed
I've learned to ignore what people say

The support I've had has been tremendous
On the NHS, no stress on the purse
I've been referred to Conductive Therapy
Got a dedicated Parkinson's Nurse
I've got more pills than the chemist
Patches that stick on my leg or my arm
I don't know if they make any difference
But they certainly aren't doing any harm

So where will it all end, you enquire
How will you manage to cope
Will they find a cure in your lifetime
Well one always lives in hope
Trouble is they're not sure of the cause
Or what triggers the original condition
And until they discover that secret
It may always thwart their ambition

To be honest I don't think they will make it
Before I depart this mortal frame
But as I say I live in hope
And hope is the name of the game
Be positive and confident,
Stand tall and speak up loud
Cause if you don't they'll ignore you
You'll just get lost within the crowd

"Why me", you ask at the outset
What did I do to deserve it
But that's just a waste of energy
And I know I need to preserve it
"What's it like", you ask, well I'll tell you
And say this in all sincerity
Is the slowness of movement and the frustration
Brought on by my lack of dexterity

I know I'm not as bad as some
But then I'm worse than others
But really that's immaterial
It's the future by which I'm bothered
Will it progress, who knows
I'm no amateur clairvoyant
In the meantime I'll stay positive
Resolute and buoyant

So I'll carry on with all of my hobbies
Do those things I've always enjoyed
Like photography and wood turning
Won't get frustrated or annoyed
I've developed new ways to take photos
Adapted my style to turn a bowl
So the photos don't turn out fuzzy
And the finished bowl is quite good, on the whole!

Thanks for that poetic offering Xerses, I really enjoyed reading it and I'm sure others will too. You are obviously multi skilled and multi talented as a poet, a wood turner and photographer, very impressive!

I have the same hope for this creative forum as maker. To be creative it is important to have interaction with others of the same interest. Isolation is not beneficial to the creative process. PD has made difficult some of the processes in making art for me, but there is always a way around these difficulties. I enjoy my passion for the arts very much and will carry on to make art in one way or another.

Please forgive my inadequate use of this forum, this is very new for me. I have been very busy with putting on an open studio to raise some money for puk. I had some wonderfull friends who gave of their time and money to make the event a great success. Freinds are the key to getting through the hard times as well.
Someone may have mentioned boxes to you and you may be wondering what it is exactly. It is art work made in a small white box, expressing the hopes, fears,ambitions of people affected by pd. each box is the same on the out side but inside everyone will be different. The collection of boxes will produce a powerfull statement, about our situation. And will be exhibited next year in the spring. This venture is also only going forward because people have joined together to help make it happen. We are all hoping it will be helpfull, inspiring, informative and some times emotional, to every one how goes to see it.
Will keep you informed.