At the outset I conceived this site as a way of sharing “wheelchair walks” in and around around my home town of Woking, Surrey, as well as my experiences as a wheelchair user of local cultural and leisure destinations. I hope they give you ideas for places to visit if you live in my part of the world and have mobility problems (or you know someone who has).
The site has expanded to include other articles which I hope you find interesting and useful.
I strongly believe in taking a positive outlook on life and not to “waste the moment”. Under Smile please! you’ll find a couple of short articles I wrote for local publications, which encourage readers to make efforts to notice and enjoy the world around them, and to notice and acknowledge other people.
There’s an article explaining the cause of my mobility problems: Tranverse Myelitis. It’s a rather rare condition which affects the spinal cord; in my case it caused permanent damage to the nerves linking my brain to parts of my body from the waist downwards. (To read the article click HERE.)
I suffered a further setback in 2010: after being diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, I had a radical prostatectomy (surgical removal of the prostate). Fortunately I’ve been completely clear of the disease since.
This site also includes some articles written during the latter part of my career in writing, PR and marketing communications, and other articles relating to my hobbies: music, reading and enjoying the beautiful countryside around our home in Woking, Surrey, UK.
I worked in marketing and employee communications from the mid-1970s until retiring for health reasons in 2013. Over the years – and for various employers – I managed and personally worked on a wide variety of communications activities, including press relations, newsletters (for customers and employees), brochures, specification sheets, adverts and exhibitions.
My speciality was writing press releases and articles for the business, technical and trade press; it was in these areas I had my greatest successes. I wrote many hundreds of press releases which resulted in many thousands of articles in a wide variety of magazines and newspapers. I also wrote hundreds of feature articles for trade and technical publications – I estimate over 1500 during my career.
From the beginning of 2013 I worked from home, running my own business (Wordsmart Ltd): this was ideal because walking was progressively becoming more difficult, especially at the end of the decade.
Marketing communications and press relations in the industrial sector requires mobility – you need to make frequent site visits for meetings with clients and their customers for planning and research. After the use of my legs deteriorated to the point I had to stop driving, it was clear I would be unable to serve clients satisfactorily – and even to attract them. After the loss of my major client and without any regular work from other clients, my business became unsustainable and I closed it in February 2013.
Prior to that time I had been doing publicity, writing and PR work freely for my local church and for charities in my spare time for many years. From 2013 this charitable work became (nearly) a full-time occupation. Notably I help St Andrew’s, the parish church for Goldsworth Park in Woking (www.goldsworthpark.org.uk) and I am publicity officer (and a Trustee) of a Christian charity, Engage Woking Schools (www.engageworking.org). I help other charities and organisations (either secular or faithful) on speicifc projects.
I also wrote articles regularly (and freely) for a local newspaper in Woking and for a community newsletter distributed to homes on Goldsworth Park. My aims in the articles are either to make people feel good about life and the local area, and to inspire them to go out and do things!
Navigating this site
Posts are arranged in categories, accessed by clicking the picture tabs at the top of the page. Parts are still a legacy of its use as a showcase of my writing for the trade press: I hope to change it eventually.
Smile please! – make efforts to notice and enjoy the world around you, and notice and acknowledge other people!
Accessible Places – places I’ve visited as a disabled person in the Woking area. In “Wheelchair Walks” I describe routes which enable me to get close to nature, have a good and reasonably level surface without obstructions, and are of a manageable distance. They’re also suitable as “walks with buggies”. In “Pleasing Places”, I describe cultural and leisure destinations, from museums to picnic places.
Writing, Editorial & PR Services – a hang-over from when I used this site as to showcase the work I offered as Wordmart Ltd.
Heating, Plumbing & HVAC – I wrote regularly on these subjects during the latter part of my PR career. Here are a few articles.
Musical Matters – for anything about music. In time I’ll tell you about my own recording exploits and (I hope) republish articles I’ve written about music over the years.
This & That – anything which doesn’t fit into any of the above categories.
About Me brings you back here.
Thanks for looking!
Revised August 2015