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To all those I've upset, hurt or wronged ......

From time to time, during these last couple of years, while I have been mostly tied to living in England, I’ve thought about finding a UK based charity to support but, despite all the undeniably wonderful work that many of those charities do, I couldn’t settle on one that felt right.

I always want to support charities helping people with issues close to my heart; charities dealing with people and things I can really relate to.

A few days ago, while the Ghislaine Maxwell court case was going on, I was reflecting with humility on the sort of unconsciously entitled man I behaved like in those days and I realised that I owe women – and especially, it seemed to me, women who, all these years later, are still suffering and being abused by men. My heart goes out to those women, and I want to help them and the children they are often protecting.

I’ve always loved women, but I now realise that for many years, throughout the sixties, the seventies, and the eighties, that love was tainted by an unconscious sense of male entitlement and the way it led me – and millions of other men - to act towards the women in our lives.

What’s done can’t be undone, but I can put my money where my heart is. So, from now on, as you might discover if you come to one of my gigs, I’ll be supporting Women’s refuges in Poole.


‘To all I have upset, hurt, or wronged in any way – I apologise, am truly sorry and I ask for no forgiveness.

To any I have helped, supported, or brought joy to – you’re welcome, it’s truly my pleasure, and I ask for no thanks.

To myself, I offer the possibility of grace and redemption.

I truly wish all of you a hopeful, positive and abundantly fruitful 2022.

Happy New Year.

Own it.

(Note to self – Accept your own offer!)’

When my friend Patrick posted this on Facebook it struck a chord in me and touched my heart - and I’m guessing that a lot of people who read it probably recognised his post as coming ‘straight from the heart’ and instantly made it their own.


As well as speaking in a way that I loved, the timing of Patrick’s post made it seem synchronistic to me. It arrived just in time to show me the way forward I was looking for just then and also how I might go about resolving a troubling question I’d been wrestling with. Let me tell you what happened:

Something had been bothering me in the early hours, and, for a few nights, I hadn’t been able to get off to sleep in the way I usually do. Not only that, but, although I was giving a lot of attention to my thoughts and imaginations and watching out for clues, what was bothering me remained a mystery.

I had no idea what was going on and, in the meantime, I couldn’t get to sleep.

When that has happened in the past, as it occasionally does, the restlessness often turns out to have been triggered by something I am doing in the daytime - so I looked there for clues, seeing if there was anything in those daytime activities that was bothering me.


Those of you who know me well, know that my main daytime activity, most days, for the last ten years, has been literally and metaphorically singing the praises of ‘Living in Presence’. One way or another, that’s what I spend most of my afternoons working on.

In the latest iteration of that ongoing project, and for the last year or so, my afternoons have been filled with preparing, editing and recording Awareness Exercises - introducing ‘ordinary people like you and me’, as I like to say, to a simple way of tuning into Aware Consciousness; Presence; Oneness.

In these last few weeks, as I come towards a completion of that project, I’ve been working on ‘point of contact’ stuff - user and media friendly introductions to the Exercises - trying out different ideas and angles and looking for snappy and relatable ways to capture people’s attention and interest them in doing the Awareness Exercises.

One of the ideas I’ve been playing with is about how, when you make a clear distinction between your Everyday mind and Presence - which is one of the things we practice in the exercises - each of those two very different ways of engaging with life comes into clear focus. You get to observe the workings of your mind, from the dispassionate and non-judgemental viewpoint of Aware Consciousness.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been playing with the idea of describing that phenomenon as, ‘breaking the chains that bind you to the future and the past’.


And that’s when everything fell into place, and I realised what had been bothering me. At least one of those ‘chains’ (one of many) was still intact – and binding me in a very painful way to something that happened in the past.

It is a ‘chain’, but, in my troubled head, it was more like a stream of highly personalised and emotionally charged memories, dragging me back to some of the worst things I’ve ever done – or at least, that’s the way it seemed to me as those troubled images filled my waking mind.

For a couple of hours, I was a prisoner; tied to a time in the nineteen seventies when – as it gradually became clearer to me – the person I was then caused not just one or two, but three very special and intimate relationships – all of which I have since described as wonderful relationships with wonderful women, to end very badly. That was me! I did that stuff! I treated those undeserving women very badly, and I’ve never really owned it.

It took a while for me to surface from that mental chaos and to make any sort of sense of what was, first and foremost, a confused, distorted and painful flood of shameful images and ideas, mixed in, as they were, with scary remembrances of things I didn’t want to deal with – the remnants of a cover-up and wanting to keep those things hidden to protect myself were still running through my head – and that internal battle fought on through the early hours until the fighting finally eased to a stop and with a gradual settling and realisation, an acceptance came, that my conscience – my heart - was telling me to step up and find a way to come clean and to own some of the most shameful and disgraceful things I did in my life – including the grossly unfair, cruel and uncalled-for ways that I treated some of my closest female friends, back in the day.

Before I went to sleep that night, I had made the decision that, although I didn’t know how, I would do just that.

Then, the following afternoon, I saw Patrick’s post – and understood what I had to do.


Beautiful Jacky, beautiful Carol, beautiful Lyn,

- the last thing I’d want to do is turn up like a bad penny and cause some sort of disturbance in what I hope are the wonderful lives you are living today, fifty years on from when we were so close to each other – but I do want to acknowledge and to apologise for all the squirmy, selfish, cruel and inconsiderate ways I behaved when our relationships were coming to an end.

For all the terrible ways that I upset, hurt, or wronged you – even though we had been the most intimate of friends – I apologise, am truly sorry and I ask for no forgiveness.

‘All those best intentions, well

you can see they didn’t work out.

They started out with love

but ended hurting too.’

If you ever want to get back in touch, I’d love to hear from you. I remember the good times we had and all the fine, brave things we did together.

With all my love and best wishes,



There are certain very ugly things I’ve done in life; things I can’t undo and that stick with me, circling around and waiting for some sort of resolution or redemption.

Thinking about the ways my relationships with Jacky, Carol and Lyn degenerated and brought out the worst in me, brought me face-to-face again with the man I was in those days.

I’ve been reflecting on gender politics and how, for 30 years - throughout the whole of the sixties, the seventies, and the eighties - I was no better, and sometimes worse, than the next man, when it came to man/woman relationships.

I might not have been anything special, and the things I did are never likely to come to the attention of the tabloid press, but the sad truth of the matter is that my own relationships with women were never on a fair and equal, loving basis in those days.

Not only that but, I wasn’t even aware that I was assuming a male position of dominance, privilege, and entitlement when I was with a woman.

I did spend a huge amount of time thinking about casual sexual relationships, but, for all that time, I just took it for granted that that was what it meant to be ‘young, free and single.’

It never once crossed my mind in all those years, what it must have been like to be a woman in a world where it was perfectly normal for men like me to ‘choose a woman you like the look of, pick them up and have a good time. Basically, take what you want until you’ve had enough, then leave them, forget about them, and do it all again’. It really was a cattle market – and the ‘cattle’ were women! So, what does that make us men?

Now, finally, all these years later, with the ‘Me Too’ movement - women, standing shoulder to shoulder - some of the terrible ways that women were treated in those days, and some awful examples of the worst excesses of male entitlement, including the subjugation and abuse of young women that happened, are coming to light - and some of the most abusive men are finally being called to account for what they did to women.

You might think it’s ‘too little, too late’, for a lot of the women who lived through those times, but I prefer to think that it’s ‘better late than never’.

When it comes to my own behaviour in those days, one of the few things I can do now is hold my hand up and admit, ‘I was one of those men.’

And to all the women I ever knew back in the day, all I can honestly say is,

‘To all I have upset, hurt, or wronged in any way – I apologise, am truly sorry and I ask for no forgiveness.

To any I have helped, supported, or brought joy to – you’re welcome, it’s truly my pleasure, and I ask for no thanks.

To myself, I offer the possibility of grace and redemption.

I truly wish all of you a hopeful, positive and abundantly fruitful life,

free from oppression, subjugation and any other form of abuse.’



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