This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit

Disability Arts Online

> > > Richard Longstaff: Beyond Watford

I have largely kept my poetry to myself because of disabilities, but live in hope of finding a publisher that is disabled friendly. Nature offers me a escape from the pressures of this 'normal world' in which we live. I find comfort in the beauty of simple things all around. I also use my disability to find things that inspire me. I find the autistic mind sees things that others miss.

My brother builds a bicycle

14 May 2014


photo of the top part of an old-fashioned bicycle with curved handlebars

We were so poor that in the winter we would wait until my father ate a extra strong mint and then we would sit around his breath to keep warm. Okay, things weren't that bad but money was tight. Things had to last; shoes, clothing. You got a new toy on your birthday or at Christmas and very little in between. If you wanted a bicycle, well you wanted the earth. It wasn't a case of nip off to Halfords and spend a hundred quid. Then a few months later when the thing was knacked replace it....

Comments: 5

Witnessing dementia

8 May 2014


I would dread Saturday mornings as a child. It was our morning, my sister and I, to visit our grandparents, Fred and Mary. They lived in a small social housing bungalow not far from us and we had the pleasure of taking them shopping and making sure they were safe and well. Both had health issues. In fact with the wonderful rose-tinted thing we call 'hindsight' they both had dementia. Slowly the safety and comfort of the world they had known was slipping away. We called one...

Comments: 0