Participant Voices

Read about CoolTan Arts’ participants’ experiences surrounding creativity, mental health and wellbeing.
CoolTan have developed many different blogs over the years to share ideas and artwork and showcase work from different projects.
We would love to have further contributions of writing, poetry, art or video, reviews or anything you would like to share!
If you would like to submit work to be published here, please email: elizabeth@cooltanarts.org.uk
Please explore below to find out more.

Peter’s Corner: Who do you think you are?

The question “Who are you?” is usually a challenge to someone considered to be an intruder, while “Who do you think you are?” is not usually a question but an angry criticism of someone who appears arrogant and overbearing.

However, who do you think you are? has now become a way of asking someone “What kind of ancestors do you imagine you have?”, and this is one way of identifying yourself as opposed to giving your name, age, place of birth and occupation if any.

I was interested to find that Gary Lineker has an ancestor in the early 19th century who was a legal … Read More »

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Peter’s Corner: Two Poems

To a man wearing a solid gold hat and solid gold socks.

Take off your hat of solid gold.
I really think it should be sold.
Take off your solid golden socks.
Wear normal hats and socks. Detox!
Then feed the hungry, sick or broke.
You might help 50,000 folk!

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Peter’s Corner: Cycle for CoolTan

London to Brighton 1985

I was, in fact, quite an athletic person in the field of running and cycling until becoming too overweight in 2011, and even at my present weight, have continued to do a long annual charity swim. Not a practical person maybe due to autism, I first completed the London to Brighton ride in 1985 on a very rusty old bike (as a person of only 14-14.5 stones, my weight until Sep 1999), and also remember cycling from London to Cambridge in 1988 using another very rusty bike that could not be oiled and only functioned in third gear. From 1990, however, I rode rather better bikes.

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Peter’s Corner: Mental health condition or not?

Mental health condition or not? by Peter Cox ( 67 with autism, anxiety, OCD, hoarding disorder, 6ft 2 but 23 stones otherwise OK ).

Precise measurements determine if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes type 2 or heart irregularities, but I have been wondering how the dividing line is drawn between someone who has a mental health condition and someone who hasn’t. At what point do you cease to be just an anxious person and have an anxiety disorder, cease to be just socially awkward with difficulty reading certain non-verbal signals or hidden implications behind what people say and become autistic, cease to be just in a low mood every morning or even all day and become clinically depressed? You may have an untidy, cluttered home that you seem unwilling or unable to clear up but at what stage do you actually have a hoarding disorder? Is that only when you can hardly open your front door or find your bed?

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