My way of living with multiple sclerosis, and a wheelchair, is to hold firmly to my mantra. And that is always to look forward and concentrate on the things I can do and get as much enjoyment out of that as is humanly possible.
But, just once in a while it can do some good to look back, not to mourn the present but to celebrate the major landmarks in your life. So here goes!
1953 Unbelievably, I have a childhood memory while just a few months old. My mum left me in my pram while she went into a shop. How times have changed.
1957 Aged 4, started in my first school. It was while at this school, aged about 8, I decided on a career in journalism.
1964 Aged 11, started in high school.
1968 Broke my ankle in two places in a cycling accident. In plaster for six weeks.
1969 Took examinations, got most but not all needed to be a reporter.
1970 Got my last necessary qualification and started work as a journalist.
1975 Met the young woman who would become my first wife. My football (soccer) team reached the prestigious FA Cup Final but lost.
1977 Married for the first time.
1985 Noticed a problem with my left leg, had various tests but no problem identified
1992 Moved from London to North Wales
1994 Joined the staff of a local newspaper group, becoming both sub-editor and Rural Affairs Editor.
1999 Named as ‘Wales Farming Journalist of the Year’ at the Royal Welsh Show.
2002 Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis but was able to continue working.
2006 November the day after my 54th birthday, my mobility had progressed to the state that I had to give up going out to work.
2007 Despite my disability, I managed to visit Canada and visited the Niagara Falls, and my first (and only) baseball game.
2008 Unhappy in my first marriage, I turned to playing an online game.
2009 While playing the game, I met and fell in love with the woman who would become my second wife.
2010 I met Lisa face to face for the first time. If there had been any doubt, it had now gone. We were hopelessly in love.
2011 What a year. Lisa and I were both divorced from our partners and we then married on a beach in Florida. Two weeks later I had to fly back to the UK alone as Lisa had to wait for her visa.
2012 Lisa got her visa on her birthday, Valentine’s Day and just five weeks later she arrived at Manchester Airport. A big kiss and “Welcome home” and we sped off.
2013 Our first two cruises together, first to the Norwegian Fjords and Arctic Circle and then around the western Mediterranean.
2014 Cruise bug well and truly caught, we went around Hawaii and stopped off in New York City on the way home.
2015 We booked a transatlantic crossing as soon as we got home. A couple of weeks later we decided that we wanted to leave the grey British skies behind us. So, I suggested that we move to Spain. In the end, we left our rented flat in October, sailed aross the atlkantic for eight days, holidayed in the United States for 9 days, flew back to the UK for two nights in hotels and then flew to Spain. And in between all that I started my own blog.
2016 The blog really took off this year and towards the end of May I was asked to write blogs for multiplesclerosisnewstoday.com, and I agreed.
Not a bad life really, despite having MS.