Being Down, Looking Up: The Adventures of an Itinerant Shoeshiner

This book is about an unusual journey. A few years ago Rob Walters decided to become a shoeshine boy. He stowed his shoeshine kit, a tent, and a few items of clothing in a trailer, connected the trailer to his push bike and set off from Oxford to visit the old shoe-making cities of middle England. Along the way he polished many shoes and gained a fascinating insight into his own country. More

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About Rob Walters

I always wanted to write, even as a kid, and now I do. I can transfer the desire to other projects and often do - but if there is nothing much on then I need to write.

In my past life in the technical world I was often puzzled by colleagues who hated writing in the way that some people hate maths.They were forced to write whereas the pen had to be wrested from my hand.

When my children were young I wrote for them. I clearly recall reading the second chapter of a book I started on the lives of a family of city foxes. I had almost finished reading a section in which most of the cubs were gassed in their earth when I looked up and was amazed to see tears streaming down the faces of my two daughters. The power of the written word?

My first full book was published in 1991, It followed many technical papers and articles and was followed by two newsletters which I edited, and mostly wrote, for the next ten years. Four more technical books appeared after which I abandoned the world of technology and began doing my own thing.

I travelled, became an Oxford city guide, and wrote a number of books and articles, some fiction, some non-fiction, some published, some not. See my bookshop on the web for all of my books and a shocking experience in an online pub.

Videos

TV coverage of the journey's beginning
Central News coverage of the Oxford send-off for Rob and his shoe shine bike and trailer.

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