About My Blog

Welcome to my Blog! Peruse the neat little boxes below for my musings, opinions, ideas and ramblings. You can comment on any topics or subjects that may interest you or hit a nerve - but please engage, I'd love to hear from you!

Click the button below to 'Subscribe' to my blog and get automatically updated when I add anything new!

Recent Posts
latest Tweets
Twitter outputted an error:
Bad Authentication data..
Hola Jerez!

My wheelchair travel experience is probably not the best way to start, though were some rather funny anecdotes that are stories in themselves. Patience dear reader – it can wait and will fill up quite a bit of space in the days and weeks to come.

The only thing worth mentioning – and here’s a kindly shout-out to the relevant parties – is the Disabled Assistance service at Gatwick North. Enough said until I can write a whole page on it! Not the smoothest of experiences and could be improved.

Apart from hitting a 40C wall of heat upon arriving in Seville and a kidnap attempt by local taxi mafia (yet another hilarious story for a subsequent blog!), I did arrive in Jerez intact though a little worse for the wear as testified by the photos.

Anyhow, here I am. In Jerez at last, and since I was a tad sluggish this first morning, I managed to get lost in the old town. Luckily, we found a very helpful Tourism Office and managed to trundle back to the hotel in time for some respite from the gorgeous but extremely hot sun.

Phew! Bottles of water stashed in my side-bag, and overloaded with wheelchair charger, laptop and various sundries, we fully explored the town. Reccing means taking charger just in case the Powerchair battery runs out – testing, testing! I did a trial run with heavy bag on knees in sweltering sun, photos as proof, and all good – no need for charger for a half-day.

Jerez is truly a beautiful town – my kind of place – filled with dazzling light and vibrant colours. Turn a corner, and you encounter small, unexpected plazas filled with lime, acacia and jacaranda trees, tiny cafes and restaurants serving delicious tapas. Very disability-friendly apart from some bone-shaking cobbled sections.

The only issue around the ‘café culture’ of living and sitting outside to escape the heat is if you wish to work in the room, like me: in the hotel room, we found unfortunately no coffee-maker and surprisingly, no fridge. The check-list for any subsequent working trip is growing longer.

But that’s what I’m here for – to pave the way for others, test and trials so I can impart my knowledge and make things easier for others. A bold pioneer, I am!

Off for spa and massage to soothe away travel pains and loosen aching body for tomorrow’s flamenco session, so hasta la vista amigos!

Ps Must put in some serious thought into how I can finance an off-roader with long mileage range and better suspension. Crowdfunding?!

Please sign up to updates from my website. You can also follow my story via the Twitter hashtag #PowerchairWriter @leblackwood or on my new Facebook page. Many photos, blogs and videos in store!

P1000998resized P1010004resize P1010009resize P1010006resize P1010012resize P1010017resized P1010022resized P1010039resized P1010045resized P1010135resize P1010056resize P1010052resize

My recent Inscribe blog – jumping hurdles & telling it like it is

As an Inscribe Writer, I was asked to send a blog for the August edition. But what could I write about? Dilemma, dilemma – should it be about my recent literary exploits, the successes and developments? Or maybe something humorous?

Then it hit me, or rather rose like a swell from my gut – be brave, I told myself. Shout out, tell it as it is, attempt to be a voice and inspiration for others on this incredible platform and just hope for the best.

So it poured out. How life can be a total bitch but with hard work, determination, faith and a dose of humour, anything can be overcome. Also, how being surrounded and supported by GOOD people, anything is possible. Thank you to all those who believe in me, have bolstered my self-confidence and have treated me with some TLC and understanding.

I laid it on the line in this blog, something I have been doing for a while on my Facebook page but with mixed reactions. Some don’t like it when confronted with the exposure of their own narrow views; others applaud my ‘gobby’ comments.

What I have learned is that there will always be people who will want you to conform, be quiet, cow your head to the ‘norm’, pretend your limitations don’t exist to ‘fit in with the pack’ (or mainstream).

It takes courage to stand up and take flack for being honest, and I have enough for all those whose heads are bowed and cowed. It doesn’t matter if those people are the majority because as any minority, we have the right to exist, be ourselves and have our place in society.

If my blog can give courage or succour in any way, then I am happy.

One person replied to me directly and here are some of the comments that left tears in my eyes:

“I am sat here with tears streaming down my face and heaving as I write to you. Your blog resonated with me immensely! You have just written my story! You have no idea how much your piece has helped me today.  Last Friday, I had a flaming row with an older relative. He made me feel absolutely worthless. I have a lump in my chest since then which threatened to choke me. Reading “Small World – Big Aspirations” however, has loosened that lump. Perhaps reading it a few more times will help get rid of the lump completely…thank you ever so much for your absolutely inspiring and medicinal piece. You have given me a dose of energy to help push me forward.”

You can read the blog here – feel free to share and comments most welcome. Let’s make this go viral and touch as many failing hearts as possible!

Lynne E Blackwood’s blog for Inscribe programme:

“Small World, Big Aspirations” peepaltreepress.com/blog/inscribe/small-world-big-aspirations

My foray into journalism captures stories of diversity activists

In 2013 I was very lucky to receive a bursary from Disability Arts Online to attend the Personal to Universal Symposium in Salisbury and learn interview journalism techniques. This culminated in conducting interviews of two panel members and writing up the articles for publication.

I was fortunate to interview Hassan Mahamdallie, at the time Senior Diversity Strategy Officer at Arts Council England and instigator of the Creative Case for Diversity, and Jo Verrent, who continues her tireless work in promoting disabled creatives through the Unlimited programme.

I listened to their panel talks, researched and drew up a list of questions. I played at being a ‘real’ journalist and I had a blast. Both interviews went well over the 20 minutes allocated time, and both Hassan and Jo said they had never had such an excellent and enjoyable time being interviewed.

I feel quite proud of those articles, even though I haven’t done much ‘journalism’ since. But the best aspect is having hooked up with two amazing activists who imbued me with strength and hope at a time when self-confidence was lacking.

We are still in contact and follow each other’s activities. That’s the best legacy – belonging to a community and learning from others.”


Hassan_Mahamdallie.JPG800x954.734721289

Profile of Hassan Mahamdallie

An article for Creative Case for Diversity website

creativecase.org.uk/Skinheads-Class-Warrior-and-Dickens

Twitter @hmahamdallie


Blurred double exposure portrait of Jo Verrent taken against a reflection in a window. Two side-on shots of the artists' face are shown against the backdrop of a brick building.

Self-portrait (c) Jo Verrent

Profile of Jo Verrent

An article for Disability Arts Online

 disabilityartsonline.org.uk/jo-verrent-food-for-thought

Twitter @joverrent

First Steps into the Big Wide World (or the Unknown?)

So here I am.

First post on new website – all in all, a first on all accounts. Finally a “Window to the World” without leaving my reclining sofa. A means of regular communication even if I am unable to venture further afield and participate like most ‘normal’ people. I will endeavour to post regularly, though, be not afraid if I ‘disappear’ from time to time.

This first blog coincides with another first –I have recently returned from a writing retreat.

Not the kind where several people share a house/small hotel, eat, drink and write together. I am unable to keep up with group social commitments such as established eating hours and ‘mucking in’ to prepare food, so I found a wonderful place in the sun, surrounded by gardens and with a view onto the Mediterranean.

I forgot to mention the food and drink at all hours, essential to fuelling the body in order to be creative and productive. I cracked the final chapters of my novel under the best conditions possible and perfect for my specific needs.

Of course, lying on a sunbed in my bikini, propped up with cushions whilst writing does have it’s attractions! Who needs to be disabled to want this kind of surroundings? Equally attractive was the Thalasso centre next door, where I booked a day of medically approved treatments for a pittance!

Am I rambling? Apologies, dear readers, but I have not been able to go away for over two years and despite an arduous journey, was over the moon at the possibility of combining intensive writing in optimum conditions with improving my health. Photos will be available soon, all ye envious people! I am back with a vengeance and renewed energy, not forgetting the wads of writing underarm.

Back to the essentials – website!

Thank you Arts Council for believing in me and supporting this past year’s endeavours, trials and tribulations included.

I am now ready to move into a second phase of consolidation and the website will contain pieces of work, photos and a special disability-related page called CRYPTIVITY, where I will be talking about what it’s like to be a disabled creative and hopefully showcasing some wonderful artists along with hints and links.

Short and sweet for the time being but don’t forget to click the Follow button to receive regular updates.