This is me...
There's quite a lot about me, and this site's history, here already, but it's spread over several pages. So, for new readers, I'm Ron, and this is my Realm (come to think of it, that makes it sound like a porn site!).
I picked the title Ron's Realm because I'm crap at thinking up titles, and at the time (June 2004), there was only one other Ron's Realm out there - a realtor in the US - so I'd be easy to find in Google. Now, of course, they're everywhere. I'm still easy to find, though.
I have ME, I've had it for 22 years, and I'm getting a bit fed up with it. Still, it's not going to go away, so there's no point bitching about it. I have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, too, though I've never smoked - it stems from getting measles and whooping cough more or less simultaneously when I was a toddler, which trashed my lungs - get your kids vaccinated, folks!
In 1983, I was struck by lightning, which damaged my central nervous system and fried most of my joints to a greater or lesser degree. Just to make sure I didn't get bored, in 1985 I developed ME (with that wonderful thing hindsight, I'm pretty sure I can track my ME back to the mid seventies - what I know for sure is that 1985 was when it wiped me out). There's a more detailed biog here. At the time of writing (September 5 2007), I'm deep in a three-year-old period of relapse which is showing no signs of letting up, and I'm mostly housebound.
Earlier this year, I took up birdwatching and photography, activities which, I hoped, would fit in with my limited physical abilities, and it's worked out pretty well, except for the horrible summer weather that stopped me getting out as much as I'd have liked to.
This website was originally started as an overflow space for the Ron's Realm column I wrote for the ME Association's magazine, until they published a "correction" of something I wrote which was nothing less than a bare-faced lie. You can find the whole sorry saga here. At that point I decided that the best course was to stop writing for them and expand my website, so that I could write what I liked, when I liked, without fear of dishonest censorship.
In January 2006, I switched hosting services, gave the website a makeover and added the first page in my blog. I widened the focus of what I wrote from issues concerning those with ME, and computers (though the free email computer advice service that ran from my very first magazine column is still in operation). ME issues still get featured, of course, as do computers, as and when anything I think might be useful to others comes my way - the most recent being the new NICE guidelines on ME. These changes brought about an immediate 10-fold increase in the hit rate - this has now grown to over 20-fold (the numbers:- about 200 per month prior to Jan 06, to way over 5,000 now) - and while the bulk of my visitors are from the UK, I have a small, but growing, international following, all of which makes it all worthwhile. And no, I don't make money from this website, as some people think - it actually costs money, though not a lot.
Steve Bell, the political cartoonist at The Guardian, was good enough to allow me to use the cartoon on my Blog page - it depicts a situation everyone with ME will be all too familiar with...
So, there you are, a brief taste of what I, and my website, are about. If you have any comments or suggestions, do email me.