Fly has starring role

The Complete Deaths (of Shakespeare’s plays – all 76) by comedy theatre troupe Spymonkey performed at Chichester Minerva Theatre yesterday – highly recommended. Blood bath of the first act, prevalence of buzzing flies, apparently a flash of nudity plus star-crossed lover of a role with the RSC gave the production great pace and convulsed the audience in laughter. For those relying on somewhat sporadic audio description, it was still a great experience and a reminder of all those plays one never got round to reading/seeing. If you get the chance, definitely worth the ticket price!

Best wishes


Make-ahead Christmas treat: candied peel.

Watch me make them on YouTube

Delicious for gifts and better than the bland commercial version.

Seville oranges are much more flavoursome than usual dessert oranges.

This recipe also works for lemons, grapefruits etc.

The strips can be packed in cellophane bags at Christmas for gifts (dipping some in chocolate) or can be chopped and added to cakes and other baking.


Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Disability Dynamics ltd

Helping disabled people to work since 2000

Picture of Penny's Christmas cakes ready to go


Open sesame!

Really simple lunch of hummus, pitta bread and salad that takes minutes (once the dough’s made) – watch me make them on You Tube.

Add even more flavour to the sesame seed tahini in your hummus with: lots of coriander, caaramelised onions, chilli, smoked paprika or whatever takes your fancy.

I also add garlic, herbs and other flavours to the pita –and serve them cut in to fingers with the hummus, taramasalata (, guacamole and any other dips.

Once puffed up in the oven, you can also stuff the cooled pita with salads and other different fillings.

These breads also freeze well once cooled from the oven.

Recipes below


Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Disability Dynamics ltd

Helping disabled people to work since 2000

Government’s proposals to “halve the disability employment gap” raise more questions than answers.

There are only just a few more days to respond to the Government’s Green Paper which is all about supporting many more disabled people to work  My comments have just gone in and the core questions concerning me are:

  1. Is there sufficient long-term cross-Government political will, financial commitment and official capacity to make all of this a reality?
  2. Are disabled people themselves sufficiently embedded in the design, delivery, commissioning and governance of all this change?
  3. Have success and the risks of failure been measured more realistically?
  4. Has the high level of antipathy and mistrust been sufficiently calibrated?
  5. Should employment support force the reluctant rather than welcome the willing?
  6. Will employers’ attitudes be changed?
  7. Are successful employment support programmes described?
  8. Does local partnership delivery feature strongly?
  9. Is self-employment getting enough attention?
  10. Is the health sector ready, willing and able to contribute?
  11. Is the evidence, data, information and resources available to all?
  12. Is this strategy going in the right direction?

To every question, the answer is a resounding “No, not yet!”  While the minds that put all of this together are willing, the body of proposals and solutions are not.

You can see my thinking about each of these questions here  You might agree or not but tell the Government what you think of their proposals – deadline is 17 February 2017 to

Happy reading!

Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Disability Dynamics ltd

Helping disabled people to work since 2000

You Tube

Do you have problems with the information you get from your GP, hospital consultant, nurse or others in the NHS?

Please do take part in the current NHS survey for patients, carers and parents about how well (or not) they are doing in providing information in the way you need it. For example, some people are happy with written information but may need it in larger print, written in simpler English, on coloured paper etc. Others may need information in other formats such as e-mails that work with screen magnification or screen readers, in Braille and more.

Is the Standard working for you?

Has telling your GP the format you need meant that all parts of the NHS then also meet your needs?

Or are you having to tell every part of the NHS how to comply with the Standard?

You can probably tell that it is making me hugely cross that the Standard seems to have been brought in but without the management and systems to make it work.

The survey is at:

This is also available in a range of other formats including as a Word document, in audio and in Braille.

If you would like a copy of the survey posting to you as a hard copy or in an alternative format please contact

The survey closes on 10 March 2017.

Best wishes


What do you think about doing your business tax returns online?

Our friendly taxmen and women at HMRC are designing some clever IT for business tax and want to check how well it might suit everyone.

Could you share your knowledge and experiences with them?

HMRC are asking for volunteers who are:

  • business owners who have very limited or no IT ability or who use adaptive software to make IT accessible;
  • willing to work with HMRC to test new financial record keeping software;
  • willing to:
  • are interested in the possible independence , control and savings of doing their tax returns on-line if the system works for them (whether or not they are exempt from the digital tax obligations coming soon).

If you want to play a part in shaping tax returns for the future, please complete the survey or contact Chris by 22 February 2017.

Best wishes