I’ve been keeping my act together for 66 years. Writing helps me realise that keeping your act together is not the best way to create a meaningful life.

From the Author’s archive. John Walter — back row centre.

I was born and brought up in the seaside town of Bude, Cornwall Uk.

In the picture above, (back row centre) I am 10 yrs old. The girl to the right on the row below me is the one I kissed as she climbed down from a table. She didn’t say a word. She gave me that questioning look and left me in the classroom to finish the flower arranging duty on my own.

The girl (centre front) sat on the desk in front of me for a while. I enjoyed secretly inserting a pencil into her ponytail then waiting…

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…

Good times for a teenage dancer in the 1960's

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I was 14 and could get into the local dance hall on a Saturday night. In a sleepy coastal town, we were treated to a wonderful mix of live and recorded music. Each week a covers band would turn up, and the highlight of their act would be playing a cover of the number 1 single from the previous week’s charts.

It was all about the dance, so I had no real interest in the song's words. The Spirit in the Sky was simply one of that wonderful batch of guitar-driven songs that had a singalong hook and a gritty…

Learn to look for the green shoots

Image by the author with help from Pixy

After surviving many episodes of burnout in my life, I have learned to look for the green shoots. Either I can nurture those green shoots within the stressful situation, or I have to step away.

Green shoots come in many different forms, and they can take a long time to nurture and see growth. It is easy to miss them, paper over the cracks, think they are weeds, and destroy them.

My story of becoming a writer spans the last eight years. The green shoots appeared. I papered over the cracks, changed jobs, moved house, ignored the green shoots, and…

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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