Let’s break the culture of silent collusion

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I drink to relax. I can stop anytime, I’m not an alcoholic, she’s not an alcoholic, I drink to be sociable, I drink too much, I drink alone, I drink to feel connected, I drink to feel something, I drink to feel nothing.

From The Beginning There Was Alcohol

An uncle used it to take his own life. The ultimate way to stop feeling the pain of being alive. Leaving everyone else to feel the pain for you. No one ever spoke of it—many lives left with hairline cracks and no access to healing them.

I swallowed a myth with every pint of beer that this…


A poem

Image by Prawny from Pixabay

I inhabit a comfortable space
I am safe

From the window of my centrally heated life
I peer out

There is a child running free in the dunes
Exploring rockpools

I look across the in-between
I want to venture out, but I can’t find the door

How do I inhabit the in-between?

The child shouts and waves and cartwheels in the sand
I sip my comfortable coffee and smile
I start to make a plan

How can I escape this place?
So familiar
Do I desire freedom?
How will I get back to safety if it's not to my liking?


followed by a roller coaster ride that still continues

Photo by Marco Trinidad from Pexels

Intimacy is a big thing. Something we are programmed to seek out from birth. It is human instinct to seek connection and closeness with others. It begins with our mother as we seek physical intimacy for survival. Physical intimacy also has a role in the survival of the species.

Often the concept of intimacy is collapsed down into this single idea—physical intimacy or touch. It is, in fact, a much broader idea.

You could break intimacy down into four parts:

  1. Physical
  2. Emotional
  3. Mental
  4. Spiritual

Troubles arise where we collapse these all together.

I have had a rocky journey with intimacy…


On 23 November 1963, I became conscious of electronic music from behind the sofa. I am still hooked.

Keith Emerson gigging with a Moog
Keith Emerson gigging with a Moog
Surka, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I was 9, and it was the first showing of Doctor Who with the iconic theme tune that can still instil fear into my bones. Here are some of the highlights of the intervening fifty-eight years. I have listened to electronic music live and on record, played it on hardware, and now fiddle about with software at home. I have lived through the period of the first recordings to a world where most pop music is electronic-based, and even vocals are primarily electronically manipulated.

This journey map is not just for music geeks. I will keep history and hardware to…


I was 15 and somehow managed to convince my dad to take me.

Image by yang maggie from Pixabay

My first ever live gig I found in Melody Maker. For some reason, I was in London with my father. We were staying in an Aunties house in Epsom. My dad knew I was bonkers about music and said, “why don’t you find a concert for us to go to on Saturday night.”

I scoured the Melody Maker for something nearby. Genesis was the only name of a band that seemed familiar in all the adverts. I read a review of Trespass, which sounded ok. We booked tickets and ventured forth.

We both felt a little out of place. I…


Be ready for the new world we will inhabit

Image by phoenixsierra0 from Pixabay

Everything has changed. Phrases like “New Normal” are tossed about like waste plastic on the ocean surface. Will you be like an albatross that carries on feeding the same way it always has done, only to meet an early death with a belly full of rubbish? Will you ride along whichever wave your politicians champion? Will your “new normal” be whatever fits in with the new world order created by the same politicians that stumbled blindly into this global disaster.

If ever there was a time and an opportunity to create your future, it is now.

With something as massive…


1970 — When girls will be boys and boys will be girls

Image by Marek Studzinski from Pixabay

At 15 yrs old, this song by the Kinks wheedled its way into my psyche. I didn’t really understand anything about sexuality and gender at the time. It was 1970, and homosexual acts had only just been decriminalised for those over 21 and only in private.

  • 1965 — In the House of Lords, Lord Arran proposed the decriminalisation of male homosexual acts (lesbian acts had never been illegal). A UK opinion poll finds that 93% of respondents see homosexuality as a form of illness requiring medical treatment.[43]

The song describes a night in a Soho club where a young man…


I keep going back to this film and its gorgeous theme tune for a sobbing fix.

Image by Author and Pixabay

I was doing a course in writing film music when my tutor directed me to this film. Ennio Morricone became, for me, the gold standard of film composers. This film and music is the only one that I watch repeatedly. Just viewing the prologue moves me to tears.

Such simplicity. A balcony overlooking the sea. A net curtain wafting gently in the breeze. A string orchestra with piano developing a simple theme.

The story is set in Italy in the early days of…


A creative approach to success and productivity

Image by the author with help from PEXELS

I am not making ridiculous claims in my title. I will detail below a creative approach to working with any obstacle or block life throws at you. I will give an example from my own life, where I have applied this approach.

The only thing I ask of you is that you find a way of being open to working with metaphor.

As a quick practice in this, look at the title picture. Ask yourself some questions.

  • When have I ever hit a wall in my life?
  • Did I give up and walk away?
  • Did I smash it down, climb…

John Walter 📣

My daughter took her own life. Life changed forever. Counsellor in training. Writing about my experience. Listening to yours. https://johnwaltercounsellor.com/

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