• Visiting the Freuds’, Part I, Austria

    Visiting the Freuds’, Part I, Austria

    During the depths of my midlife crisis, a mate suggested I give psychoanalysis a try. Now this particular friend knows a lot about pretty much everything, and feeling I had nothing to lose, I took his advice.

  • Bucket List

    Bucket List

    When I first heard the term ‘bucket list’ I thought it was funny; a list of things you want to do before you sink the boot into the proverbial water conveyance. However nowadays I don’t find it funny anymore. In fact, I’ve started to hate it.

  • Sleeping Bag, Bulgaria

    Sleeping Bag, Bulgaria

    It was time to replace my sleeping bag. Out of the corner of my eye I saw it sitting on the lounge, bound up tight in its red stuff sack. I looked away. I felt like I was betraying a friend.

  • ‘Take away this ball and chain…’

    ‘Take away this ball and chain…’

    Mike Ness of Social Distortion wrote ‘Ball and Chain’ in 1987, and has described the song as a ‘hard luck story’. For Ness, his ‘ball and chain’ was addition; mine is living in the past.

  • Night Demons

    Night Demons

    When I’m sitting in the dark, alone at the helm, I often receive unwanted visitors. They come when I’m at my weakest. When I’m tired and cold and wishing I could sleep.

  • There’s only one way of life and that’s your own

    I have often felt that I don’t really fit in. Whether this is true or a neurosis I’m not sure. But I often just feel a little bit on the outer. Travelling as a single, middle-aged bloke is unusual, at least that’s what I’ve found on my world tour of New Zealand. Come to think…

  • Identity

    Identity

    ‘Can you tell me who I am?’ When I was young I couldn’t understand the question, but I was sure of the answer. Nowadays the question is clear but the answer is not.

  • Don’t Ask the Question if you Don’t Want the Answer

    ‘Don’t open ’til Doomsday, you might not like what you find inside.’ Have you ever heard the phrase ‘Don’t ask the question if you don’t want the answer’? It’s a bind isn’t it: you’re hoping for the answer you want, but know there’s a pretty good chance it might not be the answer you get.…

  • ‘Regret and remorse. Amends and atonement. That’s life, right?’

    So intones the gravelly voice of the sinister DJ that accompanies us through the 2015 horror road movie ‘Southbound‘ (Soapbox/Willowbrook Regent Films). The film is an interlocking montage of five stories involving travellers on a desolate, arid highway. The DJ voice-overs appear through the film, providing tough love and counsel, playing tunes and promising to…

  • Choose Your Own Adventure

    Choose Your Own Adventure

    When I was in primary school, me and my mates loved the Choose Your Own Adventure books. At the end of each chapter, you had to make a choice, and your story would head off in one of two different directions. Since my midlife crisis started, I have often found myself wondering ‘How the hell…