May 19, 2024
Why I decided to create Medway Monkey

Medway has a lot to offer, and most of it you will likely never have heard of.

For a long time I have believed the concept of Medwaymonkey could work for the benefit of everyone concerned. Around 5yrs ago, in my spare time, I built the first limited version of

I worked hard on it for a number of months, starting with finding some of the lesser known local activities and services and getting them posted on to the first site version. I had a lot to learn about web building with no experience or training, and inevitably made countless mistakes when creating the site.

The first very limited version of MedwayMonkey went on line about 5 years ago. It got thousands of visits and interest really quickly, and I was pleasantly surprised.

But my full time work took over and I did no more with it than to post it online and leave it, and so it fell into decline. I didn’t accept any adverts or other enquiries and I didn’t pursue the concept any further. I let the Website and the name expire, and it disappeared.

But I kept thinking about it over the years that followed. I really believed it was a concept that would work and benefit everyone.

Victory comes from finding opportunities in problems – Sun TZU

I injured my back 2 years ago, and in July 2023 that injury returned overnight with a vengeance, but with it came the opportunity to revisit the Medwaymonkey idea again.

For those of you with no back issues I’m sure you’ll be rolling your eyes at this point. But for those that have experienced the pain and debilitating challenges that a back injury brings, I know you will be nodding in sympathy.

The pain suddenly startled me awake from a deep sleep in the very early hours of a Sunday morning.

I thought I had been attacked in my sleep, the pain was so excruciating. I cried out in agony as I woke, and as the realisation set in that this was my back injury returning again I tried to move from my laying position, but I just couldn’t.

The room was in total darkness and there I was laying alone in bed almost paralysed from pain.

I was in a state of total panic. I couldn’t move, had no one to call out to as no one else was home, and couldn’t roll over to reach my phone to call for help.

After what seemed an eternity laying on my side I was able to begin to move just a little. Every inch I covered as I shuffled and struggled across the bed towards its edge was like a hot knife being plunged and twisted into my spine and legs.

Having achieved the first challenge, and now laying at the edge of the bed with some mobility having returned, I was gradually able to get myself to a seated position on the bed where I remained for quite some time to consider my circumstances and options.

Should I call my wife? If I did what could she do? She was helping with a family issue and her phone was likely turned off or on silent owing to her being in the hospital?

Calling an ambulance, something I have never done for myself before, seemed like the most sensible thing to do. But if I did how would they get in the house? I was in the loft room 2 floors up, so if they came right now I couldn’t get downstairs to let them in. They would have to break in.
I imagined my wife’s face coming home later that morning after a night in the hospital to find our lovely front door hanging from its hinges.

Sitting there in the dark, perched in agony on the edge of the bed completely stark naked it dawned on me I would also have to get dressed somehow. How on earth am I going to do that?

Then I realised I needed the toilet and quite badly. I will save you from the details of how I got around that issue other than to say a plastic drinks bottle may have been involved.

Suffice to say over the next hour that followed I was able empty my bladder, get partially dressed, and I even managed to get downstairs.

The morning subsequently consisted of my wife returning home to find me in agony in the living room, with an ambulance crew admiring our garden while I sucked back on gas and air.

The weeks that followed consisted of me sleeping downstairs on the sofa, with a lot more use of my now preferred ‘plastic drink bottle technique for bladder emptying’, for which I had developed an effective ‘roll over, point and shoot system’ along with a very good aim (although I admit not hitting the target on every occasion).

It also involved agonising trips to the hospital in my wifes little car and a sweat inducing fear of speed bumps and potholes.

An MRI scan led to a discectomy operation, and my being signed off work for several weeks (there’s always a positive).

The first weeks off work recovering from the spine operation consisted of constant daytime television and movies, and me slowly shuffling around the house feeling very sorry for myself (and a developing a fear of having to go the toilet).

Whilst bored one day, I found some old notes I had made about the original Medwaymonkey idea, and with time on my hands I made more notes. Notes became plans, and plans turned into research.
I found myself learning how to build a website again, and before I knew it, laying on my back on the sofa I started to build the site.

I was off on the Medwaymonkey journey once again.

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