About

A quick word about what you will find here, especially if you are a first time user. The main page is always taken up with the current post. Each of the menu buttons will take you through to a different category of post. There are over 250 short stories, and tall tales, reviews, pseudo philosophy and jokes. here. Click the background image to return home. Feel free to browse. There is a search button, but it’s only any good if you aleady what you re searching for.

Now, “Sitting comfortably?” Is, as I am sure many of you will have worked out already, not only a rather arcane way of initiating storytelling, but also an ironic reference to living life with Parkinson’s and its associated challenges. Unavoidably, Parkinson’s Disease will rear its ugly head from time to time. Not that I wish to dwell on it,  in fact “Sitting comfortably?” is often my refuge from the daily grind it presents. Hence ‘Avoiding the Subject’. This is not the site for you if you are looking for the latest findings, experimental drug cocktails, surgical techniques; nor Parkinson’s diets, coping strategies or Top Ten ways to protect yourself from ‘The Shaking Palsy’

… If I knew that …

Now, I am no author, as will soon become apparent and I have no literary pretentions. What follows is a series of comments about the world we live in, the way we live our lives, and our relationships seen from my rather warped perspective. Mostly – I would like to think – humorous, sometimes happy, occasionally sad but always human.

The majority started life as E Mails, and so I thank those of you ( you know who you are) through whose correspondence  I have been given seeds of ideas, topics, subjects which I have then been able to bat backwards  and forwards in order to find some sort of shape.

Some names have beeen changed – to protect the innocent … and guilty! but the vast majority of what is recounted here is true and faithfully described. (Give or take a bit of embroidery here and there)

Please note, not all posts are suitable for young children or those of a nervous disposition.

For those of you interested in this kind of thing; in my former life I was the Head of the Art and Design department of a West London Secondary School for 16 years (That is with time off for good behaviour) A major component of our curriculum for over ten years was regular collaboration with practising Artists and Designers as an entitlement for our students of all ages.  I was also Secondary representative on the National Society for Education in Art and Design’s Teacher Education Board. Prior to that I was Head of Art and Design at a school in Berkshire for two years and teacher of Art and Design in Middlesex for four.

I trained at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, where I studied Fine Art, specialising in Printmaking, in particular. I did my post graduate Art Teacher’s Certificate at Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, and my MA at the Institute of Education, University of London.

I am a Black Belt (1st Dan) Tae Kwon Do (retired) and hold certificates for swimming 50 metres and Cycling Proficiency. (1970 and ’71 respectively)

I live in West London or Middlesex (It depends on who wants to know) with my wife, two children and Ford Focus.

What people are saying about ‘Sitting Comfortably?’

* ‘Andy Daly is as determined to not talk about Parkinson’s as he is preoccupied with controlling it in his blog, Sitting Comfortably. The combination of rock band videos, movie …references, and shocking experiences of his illness make for an artsy, touching, and often hilarious chronicle of his personal journey.

A true writing talent, Daly crafts witty, light-hearted posts that will interest any reader—with or without Parkinson’s.’

* ‘Fantastic I love the way you write.’

* ‘Very cool.’

* ‘Brilliant!’

* ‘Love to read your reflections, keep them comin’

* ‘Great posting – sent chills down my spine.’

* ‘A marvellous review.’

* ‘haven’t laughed so much in ages’

* ‘Absolutely LOVE the detail. Thanks for the “art education”, of which I am sadly undereducated! ‘

* ‘I love this. My God we’ve all been there.’

* ‘Aw, this was a really quality post. In theory I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real effort to make a good article’

* ‘Brilliant idea! Loved the ‘Dopey Cow’!

* ‘Very funny! haven’t laughed so much in along time (might need to get out more).’

* ‘Brilliant blog!’

* ‘Yeah thanks for that story about the Three Dancers!’

*  ‘Good stuff. Spot on about the smell at speedway. It never leaves you’

* ‘Woah – excellent words man – you say you’re no author but that post summed up my introduction to the shale sport beautifully.’

* ‘Thanks for the recommendation ….. We both laughed and cried our way through this slice of reality.’

* ‘Brilliant piece of writing, well done and thank you’

* ‘Hey Andy – Thanks for tipping me off about your great review. I saw Iggy play at Reading a few years back…’

* ‘Just brilliant!’

* ‘Andy, brilliant words about speedway.’

* ‘Andy’s excellent blog’

* ‘great stuff!’

*’ ‘Siting Comfortably? Avoiding the Subject: Reflections on life without Parkinson’s Disease.’  Andy Daly’s Excellent blog – Well worth a read.’

* ‘I thought your post on speedway was fantastic… I enjoyed reading through some of your more recent posts as well… I also loved the comparison of bike racing commentators. Toby Moody and Julian Ryder are my favorites by far and deserve a bigger profile… There is so much sh!te on the old interweb doo dah, it’s always very refreshing to get a link to a genuinely interesting and entertaining site and I look forward to following your blog in the future.’

*’That’s a cracking blog post.’

*’Great review, and in fact one of the best I’ve ever read; funny, warm and dedicated’

*’Best thing I have ever read’

*’You almost made me miss my stop, had to barge myself off the train! A really lovely story.’

*’Brilliant as ever’

*’What an excellent read. Brings back memories and endorses why as instructors we teach (Taekwondo)’

*’THAT!…………is a fantastic piece………..loved it!’

6 thoughts on “About

  1. If you ever fancy coming up to Ennerdale let me know. I play rugby at the Arlecdon field in your pic and teach at a local school. I also have a fairly decent knowledge of the Ennerdale valley and I also get the beers in. What’s not to like?

  2. Hi Andy:

    Patrick from Massachusetts USA here. Emailing you today for 4 reasons:

    1) Let you know we’ve added your “Sitting Comfortably” blog to our blogroll: http://bit.ly/bloglist-theracycle

    2) Introduce you to The Theracycle Blog — a new online source of information and inspiration for people with Parkinson’s Disease and other movement disorders.

    3) Invite you to visit & contribute to the Theracycle Blog: http://blog.theracycle.com. We’d welcome a guest blog post from you.

    4) Inform you of of grant we received from the U.S. Government to develop a new, low-cost home exercise bike for PD patients: http://blog.theracycle.com/?p=23

    Learn more about how Theracycle exercise helps improve the conditions of people with Parkinson’s: http://www.theracycle.com/why/cycling-parkinson-disease.aspx

    Hope to hear from you!

    Thanks,
    –Patrick

    Patrick Rafter for The Exercycle Company (USA)
    Makers of The Theracycle – Motorized Exercise Bike for people with Movement Disorders
    Web: http://www.theracycle.com
    Blog: http://blog.theracycle.com
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/theracycle
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Theracycle/135329623169869
    E: pr@exercycle.com
    M: 617-901-2697

  3. Hi Andy,

    Healthline editors recently published the final list of their favorite Parkinson’s blogs and your blog made the list. You can find the complete list at: http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/best-parkinsons-blogs (in no particular order). We encourage you to share your status as one of the best blogs on the web with your friends, family, & followers.

    We also created a set of badges you can easily embed on your site & anywhere else you see fit:

    http://www.healthline.com/health/parkinsons-badges

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Congrats & continue the great work!

    Warm Regards,
    Tracy

  4. Hi Andy – what a wonderful blog! I will hold you responsible for happy procrastination this evening. I was wondering if you would be willing to post a link on your site to a recently-developed exercise program for people with Parkinson’s: . Last year, I was able to participate in one program that has given its participants their life and dignity back: GZSobol’s Parkinson’s Network courses. Gary, the director of the Network, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2008, and his health had declined to the point where he had trouble managing even the simplest of daily activities, a traumatic loss for someone who had been an ultra-marathoner. He was determined to take back his life, and in conjunction with a team of specialists, he designed the program that was to become the Foundations course: a carefully-crafted set of exercises to develop strength, mobility, cognition, vocal power, and balance in those suffering from Parkinson’s. While the program was designed for Parkinson’s patients, it is also valuable for those wanting to retain their mental sharpness, strength, balance, and flexibility as they age. Gary Sobol’s program has been endorsed by the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s and has recently been featured on CBS.

    Unlike other more general exercise programs, the Foundations course is designed to address the specific challenges faced by those with Parkinson’s and other movement disorders:

    – It is a set of multi-planar exercises that work all the muscles and improve communication between the brain and the muscle fibers.
    – Its exercises help patients with their ADL skills, since each exercise is designed to target a particular challenge (breaking a fall, putting on clothing, driving, overcoming facial rigidity and loss of vocal power, to name only a few).
    – Since the exercises can be done at different skill levels, it allows participants of all abilities and conditions to participate in the same course.
    – Its varied exercises increase cardio endurance, muscle strength, and flexibility, all key elements in keeping people with Parkinson’s as independent as possible.
    – Due to its multi-level nature, participants can learn from and support each other.

    Participants in the course consistently praise the remarkable results of this program, not only in giving its participants back physical abilities they thought they had lost, but providing them with the support and comradery of others on the same journey.

    I am attaching links to Gary Sobol’s website, as well as links to media coverage of the program. If you would like to speak to a neurologist who is an enthusiastic champion of the program, I am also listing his name and number below. Would you be willing to do a short phone or Skype meeting with me to talk more about this program?

    Sincerely,
    Lauryn S. Mayer
    Phone: 724-914-0594
    Email: lmayer@washjeff.edu

  5. Hi Andy! I Promise this is worth your while, just bear with me for a sec

    My name is Sara Kim, and I do social media and public outreach for Tom House, PhD, and the National Pitching Association. Tom is a former major league pitcher and is now a world renowned throwing coach, currently training football stars Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, along with over 20 major league starting pitchers and countless college and amateur athletes. He is also the closest thing I have to a father, and is very dear to me. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s almost 10 years ago, and has recently begun a new venture that has less to do with baseball or football and more to do with Parkinson’s Disease. (you two also seem to have the same sense of humor lol)

    Anyways, Tom has created a protocol, workout, lifestyle program that uses neurofeedback combined with exercise for those affected by Parkinson’s disease, as he currently is now. Based on his own personal success with this experience he has decided to roll it out to the public.

    This protocol works in conjunction with a mobile app and a product called FocusBand, a wearable device that measures brain frequency. With this device the user is able to actually quantify and measure the activity within his brain during exercise. This allows the user to “train” the brain and, for Parkinson’s patients, the expectation is that is will maximize the use of whatever dopamine in left in the brain prolong the effects of oral dopamine, giving Parkinson’s sufferers more “on time.”

    Although this has the potential to be a huge medical breakthrough, clinical trials are not reasonable nor feasible at this stage. To overcome this, we coined the process “crowd trialing,” which is basically the collection of data through beta testers of our product – users get the product and protocol and begin to use the program, and we collect live data from their devices. Once we have the data, we can provide the program to larger groups of Parkinson’s patients.

    The program has been named Just Do Something Every Day. We’re going forward with an Indiegogo campaign, and it launches on this Tuesday, May 23rd. If you believe there would be interest for a story on the program and/or the concept of crowd trialing, please let me know. I’ll be happy to set up an interview with Tom.

    We really think that this could help a lot of people, as this has already helped Tom. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope to hear from you soon.

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