HAMSTERS & HEROIN: Not all junkies are purse-snatching grandmother-killing psychos. I'm keeping this blog to bear witness to that fact.


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I used to take heroin at every opportunity, for over 10 years, now I just take methadone which supposedly "stabilizes" me though I feel more destabilized than ever before despite having been relatively well behaved since late November/early December 2010... and VERY ANGRY about this when I let it get to me so I try not to.

I was told by a mental health nurse that my heroin addiction was "self medication" for a mood disorder that has recently become severe enough to cause psychotic episodes. As well as methadone I take antipsychotics daily. Despite my problems I consider myself a very sane person. My priority is to attain stability. I go to Narcotics Anonymous because I "want what they have" ~ Serenity.

My old blog used to say "candid confessions of a heroin and crack cocaine addict" how come that one comes up when I google "heroin blog" and not this one. THIS IS MY BLOG. I don't flatter myself that every reader knows everything about me and follows closely every single word every day which is why I repeat myself. Most of that is for your benefit not mine.

This is my own private diary, my journal. It is aimed at impressing no-one. It is kept for my own benefit to show where I have been and hopefully to put off somebody somewhere from ever getting into the awful mess I did and still cannot crawl out of. Despite no drugs. I still drink, I'm currently working on reducing my alcohol intake to zero.

If you have something to say you are welcome to comment. Frankness I can handle. Timewasters should try their own suggestions on themselves before wasting time thinking of ME.

PS After years of waxing and waning "mental" symptoms that made me think I had depression and possibly mild bipolar I now have found out I'm schizoaffective. My mood has been constantly "cycling" since December 2010. Mostly towards mania (an excited non-druggy "high"). For me, schizoaffective means bipolar with (sometimes severe)
mania and flashes of depression (occasionally severe) with bits of schizophrenia chucked on top. You could see it as bipolar manic-depression with sparkly knobs on ... I'm on antipsychotic pills but currently no mood stabilizer. I quite enjoy being a bit manic it gives the feelings of confidence and excitement people say they use cocaine for. But this is natural and it's free, so I don't see my "illness" as a downer. It does, however, make life exceedingly hard to engage with...

PPS The "elevated mood" is long gone. Now I'm depressed. Forget any ideas of "happiness" I have given up heroin and want OFF methadone as quick as humanly possible. I'm fed up of being a drug addict. Sick to death of it. I wanna be CLEAN!!!

Attack of the Furry Entertainers!

Attack of the Furry Entertainers!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Self-Deception and Excuses, Excuses...

OF ALL THE AILMENTS which with I've been "afflicted" ~ mental, physical, whatever, including OCD, depression and paranoid "episodes", the one whose "diagnostic criteria" I've "fulfilled" most fully and directly without question is OPIATE ADDICTION....

Click here for DSM (American doctors') diagnostic criteria for opiate addiction.

"unable to control intake despite numerous attempts to stop"... etc etc. There is no question, no matter from what angle you choose to view it, or what slant you put on it or what spin you put on my past that a heroin addict is what I am and a full-blown one at that. I don't go along with many I've heard in groups who declare they've been a lifelong addict even before they found drugs. That is not me. It took heroin, which is arguably the most potently addictive substance of all, to make me an addict. But I am an addict now ~ no question.

I have not troubled to research my condition too thoroughly because I know all about it from the inside. What reading I have done, however has left me with a few choice nuggets that stuck with me. One such pearl (mixed metaphors ahoy!) is that opiate addicts have an exaggerated concept and experience of suffering". This wording is typical of one viewing the condition from the outside, who is forgetting one basic fact ~ that all suffering is relative. It has as much to do with background and expectations as experience. Plus it is apt to bear in mind that opiate addiction, far from being a chase for some long-lost "ultimate high", has more to do with escaping pain and suffering than anything else. In this respect the heroin junkie has perhaps more in common with the outright alcoholic than addicts to other drugs which tend to be uppers like crystal meth, other sorts of speed, cocaine or crack that do provide some experience of "excitement"... empty as that might turn out to be in the end.

This is an aspect of life (I was going to say "addiction", but once you get far-gone addiction and life become interchangeable because addiction is your life... but I was discussing the following with my old friend Lee, who gave up heroin after a 30+ year habit and stayed stopped despite liver cancer (had a chunk of that chopped out), nasty interferon combination treatment for hepatitis C and the death of one of our closest friends who I called Lucky (she and he went back a long long way)... through all this he may of wavered, but he did not use. But when he WAS still using I described the experience of going out penniless it felt like I would never make the money. But I sat down and stayed resolutely there no matter how inclement the conditions and made my money. Then I hit the phone box (never had a mobile in those days), got the best dealer I could (there was always a shopping list of descending preference...) waiting there, often in the dark, the cold, the rain, feeling like he was never going to come. When he did I was still not happy. I'd wait what seemed an age for the bus back, stewing: "it had better not be small, or crap..." and the bus seemed to take a lifetime, stopping every hundred yards, to drive me the two miles or so home. All this time I was telling myself the experience was intolerable. Even the couple of hundred yards between bus stop and front door seemed too much and I'd half walk half run to get there. Keys already sorted for when I hit the door. In twist bang. I wasn't meant to slam the door but never had patience to do anything gracefully by this time. I'd barge into my friend's flat: this was a friend who I'd literally met, who'd picked me up off the street... I'd barge in already stripping off clothes to get body and needle together ss rapidly as possible. Shoving into the bathroom I'd answer queries about how I was how the day had gone in a yeah-yeah way, rapidly breaking fresh works from the packet, cursing the water for not filling it up quick enough, pouring on citric acid. The lighter flame was never fierce enough (but I hated cooking up with those alcohol swabs). I'd watch the dried-mud-looking gear alchemizing under water into mahogany-coloured solution, not happy, not relaxed but telling myself again how intolerable it was to have to wait. As far as I was concerned, it even took too long to draw up into the spike. And then damp, sweating and desperate I'd plug the needle in (at least that in those days didn't usually take very long)... blood rushes back: BINGO. Push in. Half a minute later I felt it: like life itself running into my veins. It was never a strong feeling, even when I took enough to overdose. Heroin just does not feel strong. But it did feel beautiful. And though I told myself the drug didn't work for me any more it reduced every evening to a haze of food, lost hours of television and falling asleep on the couch. I had long forgotten how to sleep like a normal person. And no matter how much heroin I had bought ~ unless it was several grams it was all too often gone by morning.

What was that rant about?... "Intolerable!" Even life's pettiest annoyances took on that description. Intolerable! The fairytale of The Princess and the Pea could have been written about a junkie.

It was only today that I realized, mental excrement passing through my brain and a plethora of reasons (focusing around the fact that it was cold) WHY it was a totally unreasonable idea that I should go without heroin today.

I'm afraid I did ring the dealer around 10am. By the time I'd walked the length of my road he was calling back to say he was there. So I did use and today should be totally tolerable. Except I've all this to say...

People have applauded my blog (sometimes) for being so "frank" and "honest". I do try to be these things. Yet I'm a full-blown junkie who's still using... I do try to be straightforward and truthful.

Yet it follows that if I fulfill every other diagnostic criterion of junkiehood then I must be deceiving myself in some way ~ if not in every way.

This much stands to reason: those who are deceived cannot know it.

... So what is my blind spot? I've no idea...

And there I had better leave it before I do start muddying the waters...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Flexing My Muscles

I THINK I MAY HAVE COME UP WITH a more positive way of viewing former abortive attempts at staying off heroin (not going cold turkey (though I did try that once) but by sticking to prescribed methadone). Rather than seeing these as failure (no matter how politely worded, that is how I saw it), perhaps what I have been doing is flexing muscles I have got used to not using. So each of these tries, you could say, is practice or even a dress-rehearsal for when I do it for real...

That's about all I can come up with positive-thinking wise.

Other than that I've been trying to distract myself by scrawling in a "reporter's notebook" and writing in a posher hardback notebook with "secret diary" squiggled in shorthand inside the cover... my one worry being that, with the battles I have to decypher my "outlines"... whatever I write in there may stay secret even from me!

PS Please God don't let me turn into a cleaned-up junkie equivalent of the man illustrated... you meet people enough like him at NA...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Reality Check

YOU CAN ALL HATE ME NOW because I've used. I used heroin. I used it last night after I had posted. I was not feeling any good anyhow and now I'm weary of life.

I say that in response to a comment does it feel good or just plain bad?... Honestly..? It felt terrible. Early on yesterday afternoon my mind turned to schemes for robbilng the supermarket of smoked salmon, alcohol, Mach 3 razors and the other shoplifters' staples so frequently removed from my local "emporium" security have taken to sitting at a "workstation" as you enter, consisting of a bank of CCTV-screens across which they supposedly track "dodgy customers"... Oh I cannot be bothered. I was in the frame of mind where you just go kamikaze/suicidal/lose all self respect/however you wish to phrase it... And I really don't know what else to say because I'm so tired. And I wish to go in said shop to get all the stuff I'd run out of by yesterday evening. And to be able to shop respectably... And not be banned from my own local one... Man what a miserable day it was. Yurks yurks YUUUUUURKS!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Being Have...*

*~Rhymes with "brave"...
THE PHRASE WAS A FAMILY JOKE after one of our parents' friends said to their toddling child: "behave!" ~ and the reply came back, "but I am being have!"

OK so it was a brown Christmas. The day went past in a syrupy haze... but since then I did stick to my plan. Not that it's feeling any good.

I count myself lucky to have the NA big blue book, I think they call it their "basic text"... which is full of junkie advice and wisdom. One such pearl is, "we tried to stop because we were in such pain"... [but that was not reason enough]. My question: so what IS reason enough..?

O man this does not feel good. It doesn't feel right. Feels very wobbly. Can it last...?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Robo-Jamboree (et cetera...)

I CAUGHT MY ROBOS in chaos this morning. Not only have they chewed an entire issue of the Sun newspaper to squiggles in the past couple of days, creating bedding so deep it has combed their fur into frosted white colour matching the weather. But when I disturbed them today they quickly dropped all they were doing: the loud gnawing from the toilet tube ceased; the scratching and scrabbling from the outer corners stopped ~ and three tiny faces staring at me as if to say, "what do YOU want..?"

They ran out of hamster food over a month ago ~ by that I mean "hamster food in a glossy labelled packet"... meanwhile they've been living on breakfast cereals, granary bread and kitchen scraps, so they've hardly starved. Anyway they got really excited when I presented them with a courgette ("zucchini") top and what I call a "pumblechook" ~ that being the inner seed head of a red pepper with all the lovely crunchy bits pinging out... a pumblechook is only a red pepper's, however. You get a bumblechook from a green one; yellow's is a tumblechook and green with yellow flecks is a ker-mumblechook. And if you believe that you'll believe anything.

I did sleep last night and woke up very early indeed (well: 8am). Drank 4 cups of tea and methadone (I'm being so good). I'd like to say I'll be doing no heroin next week when a bit more money comes, but that really remains to be seen. Getting DSS money is linked so intimately with scoring (not spending the entire lot on drugs but a bit of it) that it's tended to confound past resolutions to take a break... but hey, as NA say: you can only do it one day at a time...

And on that note I'd better go. Tapping that out took ages because I'd squiggled it out in shorthand first and my net-time account's running low so I'm running against the clock which is highly stressful. I need to make sure this gets safely posted. OK have a cheery weekend y'all!

And I hope Xmas was nice to you...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Bitter Cold

IT IS THE MOST ABOMINABLY COLD WEATHER you can get without at least frost everywhere, if not snow... In fact by the ice-stick feel of my fingers Jack Frost may well be out and about tonight...

All I have done today is sleep till past 4pm (maybe a midmorning dose of methadone helped... not that it has any proper "sleeping pill" effect on me. But if I'm already a-drowse, or on the verge of sleep it does knock me off. All the effect it really has is to make me feel stone-cold normal. (Stone cold being an operative phrase as I feel chills far more on that than stoked up on gear...)

Anyway on waking I found myself glued (for want of anything better to watch) to Mary Poppins (the chimney & rooftop scenes) and The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe Or Narnia or whatever it's called (latest Hollywoodized version...) It's all a highly symbolic struggle between good and evil; that's what I got out of it. Anyway look I gotta go it is so very cold.... Laters...

PS RE Illustrations: top one is best I could get under Jack Frost (though it looks like the sort of storybook illustration I might have treasured had I had a childhood in rural Spain)... bottom is the beautiful, gorgeous, wondrous, etc Tara PT as mentioned in yesterday's dream

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Terrible Nightmares and Attempted Robbery ... but a tolerable day!

IT'S BEEN A TOLERABLE DAY SO FAR... possibly because I have done nothing at all except doze doze doze in bed, then switch on Channel 4 where Friends was on followed by a Girls Aloud concert (I think Girl Bands are OK; it's boybands I can't stand, with all that Christ-style arm-throwy-outing and "I'm o-so sincere because I want to get in your knickers" heart-grabbing. It makes me sick... Anyway what was I saying... yeah done nothing except that and had a drink. And another drink. And a shower. And forced myself out to the shop because I'm desperate for sugar (or else no tea! I tried sugarless tea and really tried to stick with it but nothing doing. Ever since I woke up on a trolley under a hospital striplight (heroin overdose) and spent TWO DAYS in there (which is well unusual for overdose; usually they just chuck you out... but that was my second ever IV hit, as I'm sure they noticed by the state of my arms, so I probably got special treatment. I remember trying to wash and realizing I was covered in coloured sensors from those whirlybleep machines we all know from ER and Casualty... Ever since that I've been resolutely addicted to sugary tea (when I do drink it: in my heavy-boozing phase I glugged nothing but intoxicating liquor and maybe the odd sip of water... Right anyway what was I spouting on about... O yeah I found myself out here. I'm posting this in my old internet caff. I think they were not at all pleased to see me as they remember me shambling in daily and nightly in the most dreadful conditions. This is also the place I lost 0.4g of heroin which was highly annoying as that costs £15!

I had a dreadful nightmare 2 nights ago. We were supposed to be in a holiday home. An extensive palace of a home this was... my brother, my Dad and me. But I had crackheads and junkies surrounding me... My brother went off to do things of his own... my Dad was not at all pleased that these undesirables had followed me in the house (I had "let them in" only in the most passive way. The dream ended with me trying to escape by bus (a huge red double-decker London bus pulled up in the lobby of this 5-star hotel-sized and styled house only I could not run to it fast enough to get on... All this time some hassle was going on that I was supposed to meet my dealer where I grew up (and where summers seemed to last a million years). It all ended with the house catching fire. My Dad was REALLY upset by then. And I couldn't get out because so many of these crackhead-junkies were pressing round me in my way... wonder what THAT symbolizes..?

I next had a dream that I was in the company of the socialite Tara Palmer Tomkinson and she was being my new best friend. I don't usually like "socialites" and those dreaded tv-ified "it girls"... Tamara Beckwith who could play Cruella De Ville with no makeover always spouting "I I I: me me me..."... as for Paris Hilton and her punani-flashing.. who can say anything?!? But Tara PT has a ditzy charm. I admire her for kicking a blazing coke habit and she pushes herself: e.g. singing on celebrity bootcamp reality tv... Yeah I like Tara PT I think she's OK... I think this one symbolizes the fact that a better life and better friends are possible... (Can't see myself ever mixing with real socialites though...)

Yesterday was a crap day. Compounded by the fact that I returned home to see a black man I didn't know knocking at our front door. Instinctively I walked on past, in case he was a bailiff as much as anything ... then I thought "how long am I going to have to hang around pretending not to live here?" and irritatedly approached my own door. The man put on a cheesy smile and did that knuckle-knock thing they call "touch". Usually I would only indulge in that tripe to say goodbye to a dealer... "Who are you looking for?" I enquire. "John the rastaman..." I've been there approaching a month yet I'm still yet to eyeball all my fellow tenants... I tried to get out of dodgy guy what room rastaman supposedly lived in; he vaguely told me downstairs at the back. I unlocked the door, feeling thankful to have set it on security lock (that is: not just banging it shut, but turning the handle upwards so about five bolts insert themselves the length of the frame. This way nobody can get in even if they do smash the laminated glass... I noticed he moved to follow me but I swiftly slammed the door behind me. At first there was no answer, then an annoyed-looking Spanish guy opened up, yelling "no I don't know him" (black guy was by now waving in the most pathetically OTT cheery way) "DO NOT LET HIM IN!" So I went upstairs and paced about thinking "I need to go out again. Why should I feel prisoner in my own home because some would-be thief has come to pick on the poorest and most vulnerable at Christmas. And that is how I'd clocked him. Possibly looking for a crackhouse but most probably out to rob someone. But of course when I returned downstairs four minutes later he'd vanished. I made sure the door was fully locked again.

Well it's Xmas day and I've no definite plans. Valium Marilyn invited me to her's this afternoon, so if she phones I will come and watch Discovery Channel on her cable TV. She tells me her son is going away...

Valium Marilyn was in tears yesterday saying no Christmas Spirit was left and blah blah. The staff of McDonalds were staring at her like she was a space alien just because she was a bit benzo'd (though to them she would most likely have seem half drunk...) Then I cheered her up and got her to do an impression of a shrieking gypsy pensioner we both know at the top of her voice. We got funny looks from everyone but hey it's Christmas...

The Queen's Christmas Message is on in 40 minutes ... after that there should hopefully be a half decent movie and I have to make Chinese stir fry. If Valium Mal does call she won't have bothered to make Christmas lunch: it will be Quality Street and Doritos with dips and temazepam ~ I know her.

Righty-ho: gotta go. If your day has not gone merrily then I hope it's at least gone tolerably and may 2009 bring what you've wanted most of all...

PS my top picture, by the Spanish artist Goya, illustrates the origin of the English word "nightmare"... yes it really does have something to do with wild horses riding out of the inky black!

Here's the Queen's Speech for any expats out there who'd like to view... or foreigners or Americans who've never heard HM's squeaky voice droning in the vaguest, most diplomatic "allude to everything; say nothing and don't rock the boat" message that comes out at 3pm sharp Xmas day by which time most are too sozzled or patriotic to switch channels...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Have a Good One and a Superior 2009!

TO THOSE OF YOU WHO CELEBRATE, here's wishing you a very merry Yuletide, Joyeux Noël, Fröhliche Weihnachten and Nadolig Llawen. (That last one's Welsh, which I did to GCSE at school...!!) I don't believe the actual festival of Christmas as celebrated now truly does commemorate the birth of our Lord and Saviour in a Christian way, but I respect that it does mean a lot to many people, hence the greetings.

I do believe in the testimony of Jesus Christ and that he is indeed our coming Saviour.

I just wish I had the wherewithal to put those beliefs into action!

Here's a festive quotation from the Bible (Revelation 19:11-16) If this catches you in the right frame of mind it might bring you out in shivers like it did me:

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no-one knows but he himself knows. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron sceptre." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has the name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

He who testifies to theses things says. "Yes, I am coming soon."
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen.

(Revelation 22:20, 21 ~ closing words of the Bible.)

In countdowns of "favourite Christmas song... Ever!" this one's constantly in the top three
precisely because it is NOT slushy... If you don't happen to know this one then clickonit it's absolute classic. Don't get dismayed by the term "fairytale" ... it's used ironically!

(And don't take advice from a roaring hypocrite like me!!)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Trying to Behave (Again)

YEAH I'M TRYING TO BEHAVE MYSELF AGAIN by taking just methadone... To be honest it hasn't been a smooth ride lately. All this is down to my rocking the boat. When you use heroin on top of a methadone script the methadone becomes partially ineffectual, so unless you time when you take it very carefully, you can end up feeling sick... On top of that sickness I think I really was ill last week.

It has all been very inconvenient indeed and I'm trying to distract myself with petty little things... the most recent being my "discovery" that I could write shorthand despite not having practised any for years. I never did classes either: just went through the book scrawling outlines ~ and THAT really took off when I had to burn off some nervous energy: I was giving up cigarette smoking and felt the need for something to do with my hands. On top of this I am someone who always has had a terrible proclivity towards doodling. Even when I've no pen and paper I find my fingers curling the shapes they would doodle if only I'd the accoutrements to write 'em down ... It has been this subconscious habit of mentally doodling outlines that kept them so fresh in my mind that when I recently came across a page of Gregg squiggles I was able to read them with an ease that really surprised me. I've done the "simplified" manual my Gran bought me years ago and now another family member has agreed to print off an advanced one in PDF I found online.

When I was younger and was more fascinated in cracking a secret code than steno-writing, I acquired a Victorian shorthand manual for about 50p from one of those fantastic secondhand bookshops you don't seem to see nowadays. This one was an entire house, rooms burgeoning with books of all dates, sizes, descriptions. The must of yellowing paper hung in the air. Downstairs by the door sat an old man chainsmoking and reading. In those days you could run a business that way. Though there were mirrors and faked up cameras upstairs if you'd half an ounce of nous you could very easily have shoplifted, but those days more people were honest... The "something for nothing" culture had not pervaded Britain's rotting core the way it has today... But now it has and all the old men have died and with them have gone those Aladdin's caves of all that was fascinating, antiquated and bizarre (mixed in with so much crap!). My Victorian manual for some long-defunct stenographic method gave about 20 pages of rants telling how only HIS system was the greatest discovery since mankind began etc etc I wish I still had it the language was hilarious. If you click (and pause and click again to see properly) on the little picture you'll see a display of just some of the steno-methods around in the 1890s... The only one I can read is Gregg's at the top... Anyway back to drugs:

Heroin is pharmacological superglue. It hijacks the brain at the most basic levels. Which is why kicking the habit has been so awesomely tricky for me. Once I found it and it found me and embedded its psyche in mine I was done for.

But ho-hum. Where there's life there's hope!

Gotta go and write some shorthand (or smoke a fag!)

PS I do laugh... On one of those innumerable on duty with the ambulance service docusoaps that litter our channels I saw a man yesterday who'd run into trouble injecting Jif lemon with his heroin "to get more of a buzz". At first some hilarity ensued when the ambulanceman misunderstood and thought he meant the lemon-scented kitchen cleaner (now called Cif) rather than bottled lemon juice. (The 2 products shared one name for years because both were marketed by Unilever...) I really do wonder what planet some of these junkies live on, where the properties of common lemon (but not somehow the citric acid or vitamin C, both of which are added to make brown heroin base soluble in water) could possibly potentiate diamorphine giving extra "buzz"... probably the same planet where ordinary table salt is turned into home made saline to reverse overdose. TABLE SALT HAS NO EFFECT WHATSOEVER on anyone who has overdosed and if you try injecting them with this you're wasting time they might die in. Incidentally this second myth comes from the common hospital practice of giving saline and other fluids via IV drip. It's NARCAN (NALOXONE), given usually by IV injection in stages that reverses overdose. Nothing else will! Though giving the kiss of life to someone who's stopped breathing might well help. For info about whether or what acid to add to what heroin click here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cured My Illness

I CURED MY ILLNESSS YESTERDAY by borrowing £20, going out and scoring off a different dealer. Miraculously all aches, pains, sweats, sneezes etc etc went away. I think I had indeed been under the weather anyway but a very mild state of withdrawal was compounding the issue. Compounded because it was Sunday, methadone running out. I loathe Sundays anyway... I was craving "B" all day... and so finally I got it.

I was going to try writing a post explaining the hows and wherefores of heroin because a lot of what it does seems to be counterintuitive to the ordinary person's way of viewing it. Even addicts of other drugs seem to exist in a different orbit to heroin. I remember a friend who had been in a rock band and made enough money to go nuts on cocaine for more than a year. He told me "you can't keep chasing that original high: it won't come back"... but that's not what heroin's about. It's not about excitement (that's what crack's for). Heroin blunts life's sharp edges, makes life feel manageable. The more you get into heroin the more you rely on it utterly to cope with the most basic functions of life like getting up in the morning, sleeping at night and even eating. When my habit was really bad I had great difficulty shovelling any food into my mouth unless I had a hit right beforehand (or was already stoked up enough to be stoned). The fact that I put on weight vastly during this period is testimony to how much of the heroin I was actually taking.

How on earth my eejut drugs worker, who knew all this (or should have known if only she'd asked because I was hardly keeping the extent of my habit a secret) thought I could possibly be ready for rehab when I had issues like these around the drug I have no idea. She was a famously crap worker anyhow...

Anyway life's sharp edges. They were just about all I could feel yesterday. And I had sweating bouts the like of which you would never believe. Before I got into heroin I never had problems with heavy sweats... the only exception being when I was certifiably ill with flu-type viruses. (I remember being confined to bed for a week with one bug... this was just at the time when my life was tipping down the turning point from some kind of even keel to the swirling lavatory bowl of drug addiction... I got hit by a virus of some kind and it slew me. I remember when I finally recovered enough to clamber out of bed at several days' end, the sheets swere covered in brown puddle-marks, as if someone had spilled bottle after bottle of white wine into them...

... heroin plugs into fear. It works at a "deeper" level than you'd credit unless you know an addict intimately. (why else would the habit be so exceptionally difficult to break..??) Sick or strange as this may sound, the state that heroin induces is the nearest thing most adults will ever experience to being held like a baby and gently rocked to oblivion. Just like an infant the addict comes to rely utterly on such attention. Being without heroin is a terrifying crisis situation comparable to those rare occasions (surely it's happened to us all) when, as a small child, we've inadvertently wandered off in the supermarket and lost contact with Mummy. The absolute panic is viscerally real.

Yes I know it sounds weird making these comparisons but I was musing this yesterday, trying to find something that might give ordinary people a tiny insight into the mindboggling power of this addiction. As I say it works at a deep primal level, replacing some of one's natural coping mechanisms with the glories of a foreign chemical. As soon as the chemical is withdrawn mind and body go into crisis, bereft. Suddenly there is nothing to hold on to. Without realizing it, heroin rather than any healthy sense of balance, has become the bedrock of all our stability in life. (Of course it's also the very thing making us unstable and that's the irony of drugs, heroin in particular. Your best friend is also your killer. Your soothing balm is your destroyer. When you take heroin it does not feel like a nasty substance. It doesn't even feel powerful. It feels soft and fluffy and mild. Its true effects are subtile and pervasive. In the beginning, heroin gave me effects that other people seem to get cocaine. Only the effects lasted longer than four hours from a single dose worth only a few pounds. Suddenly I had an amazing sense of confidence. There was nothing shaky, hyped=up or paranoid about the high. I felt unambushably serene... All my ills physical and mental were miraculously remedied... Suddenly life felt do-able. It's because of this all-encompassing way that heroin gets relied upon that heroin withdrawals are such an all-pervasive horror. Medical texts say silly things like "the patient should be reassured the withdrawal syndrome will not kill him and will pass within a few days" (in otherwords, Nursey: be patronizing and dismissive!) Trust me, if only the withdrawals could kill then suffering them would be a far more comforting process.

And there I think I might stop this splurge about drugs drugs drugs otherwise I might go on and on for ever...(!)

I hope YOUR weekend was a little more successful than mine. My only achievement this week has been finishing the shorthand manual I went back to (been working through it for years ~ wanted shorthand originally to be a journalist, but the fascination stayed with me even when I didn't need shorthand. The secret symbols in their cursive hooks and tangles fulfilled in me a need to doodle. I can just about take dictations at 80wpm though I need more practice to write outlines neatly at that speed. 60wpm I can do easily but then again I can type 60wpm without batting an eyelid (one word a second: I don't know whether that sounds fast or slow...)... anyway I'm going to have to go. And I bet I'm gonna wanna delete all this come tomorrow (if not just ten minutes' time)... it's all too much babble...

Sorry for that. Hope you're having a pleasant Yuletide of the Season's Greetings Ahoy Malarky!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I Hate Sundays

SO MANY WORDS AND NOTHING TO SAY... Was just reading over what I spewed yesterday. Blah blah blah!

I hate Sundays. Nothing ever is doing. Somebody gave me some sleeping pills so I took them (at night) and couldn't even get zonked out. I don't know why being tolerant to a totally unrelated family of drugs should affect the response in this way but it's what I hate most about being an addict. The feeling that I can take so much of any poison I'm practically immortal.

Also I feel ill all the time. Maybe I have a fever. I am sweating so bad. Sneezing etc etc. Neither methadone nor heroin seems to be helping me.

Got to go I have the Limpopo river running down my back... I really need a shower....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Writer's Block

THE NOVELIST IN ME IS THWARTED. I have a first-rate idea. (Honestly Jeffrey Archer and maybe even Dan Brown would kill for this idea.) But I didn't originally know where to go with it. I know the vague outline of the story and precisely where it goes and how it finishes. (It is based upon a real historical person.) I don't actually need to do that much research as the facts surrounding this person's life are so very sketchy (and even then in dispute) that I have pretty much a blank canvas upon which to build a book of my own.... Only the first chapter (which to my credit (as it never felt like it would get done) I did actually finish after a fashion really is like something written by a 13 year old with literacy problems (it almost degrades into shopping-list language in parts: talk about "1st draft taken to extremes"...) then I got stumped over how I was going to tell the story. Originally I wanted to narrate in the 3rd person but solely from the viewpoint of my main character. Now I'm thinking I'll need to rotate viewpoints among everyone surrounding this person to get the tale told right. This stuff is crucially important because you have to start as you mean to go on. A novel that broke the rule (ie was single viewpoint to half way through, then went into constant rotation would (unless you were really arty about it and had some specific reason why) probably get rejected on that fact alone. Because it's artistically unsatisfactory.... Then I kept telling myself I had to have the entire thing plotted out before I could really make a start. I have written novels before (unpublished, obviously otherwise I would hopefully not be a glorified gutter junkie living in emergency accommodation...) anyhow I'd forgotten what I did, which was actually to plan out between four and ten chapters in advance and write the book in small sections like that. I have to know what I'm trying to say so I can say it. I hate flying by the seat of my pants. Not that inpiration doesn't strike and I won't run with it. But I need to know what I'm supposed to be saying otherwise I just can't work. So what I do next is plan out each chapter blow-by-blow, shopping-list style. There is a certain way of slotting a page of novel-writing together in that you weave narrative with dialogue, description and introspection. Once you get used to doing this it comes as easily as writing a note to the milkman. I know I can do this... it just is not happening for me. One thing I used to tell myself, realizing I was afraid most of all of trying but failing was to "fail in style" ~ meaning take the risk, be extra-funky, don't hold back and if you fail you fail. But that unfortunate wording became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I'm trying to rephrase my maxim but again words won't fit (call myself a writer and cannot pick out the apt words ~ duhhhhr!). Something more like something ventured; everything gained would be a better one but it's still not spot on....

So that's me. That's where I'm "at". I got places to go and I'm itching to go there. So wish me bon voyage!...

hey do you remember this one? the music from FAME as sung by Irene Cara...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Accidental Spliff

IT COULD ONLY HAPPEN TO ME... but I got quite swirlingly stoned the other night without even realizing it until it had, well... happened...

It's all my fault for running out of tobacco and indulging in my bad habit, acquired in my days as a homeless or semi-homeless street addict, of picking up dog-ends from the bus-stop and re-rolling them into fresh cigs of my own.

So I was smoking away, distantly musing, "this is a bit 'herbal'" ~ but thinking no more of it until the stream of my thoughts seemed to break off and swirl round my brains in a constant circle...

Then I heard a voice saying random words... yet nobody else was in the room...

I spent a couple of hours feeling very merry, then thought, "I'm not doing that again".

I gave up cannabis many years ago (so long ago it was just before the current craze for superstrength grass kicked in: I always smoked hash back then...) I gave up because it played havoc with my memory and has, in the past, induced very severe paranoia complete with "voices" ("real" voices you actually hear, only nobody's physically speaking to you...)

... and got clean of all drugs for a while. Then somehow heroin crept in and the rest, as they say, is history...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rainy Days and Thursdays*

I FEEL LIKE THE WORDS OF THAT CARPENTERS TUNE: "nothing ever seems to fit... hanging around... nothing to do but frown"... The only divergence comes with rainy days. I find them quite inspiring sometimes.... But hey not today. Anyway it's not raining it's of intermediate Decemberish temperature, overcast and grey and a horrible day. I just realized I've spent the last several days on end procrastinating things I know I ought to do. But do not wish to get round to.

The only good point today came with a masterful rattatouille I knocked up. Secret ingredients: Chinese plum and sweet chili sauces. Use one part industrial Dolmio to three parts canned chopped tomatoes. Stir Parmesan in at last stage of cooking. Season with black pepper. It comes out amazing if I say so myself. Has a real oomph to it.

Anyway that's about it. I've gotta go...


Love this one. I love black voices like hers and Seal's. They evoke a kind of primal emotion white people just can't seem to muster... (dunno why.)

PS YOU CAN WATCH "LOUIS THEROUX: UNDER THE KNIFE" as featured in yesterday's post by clicking on the words in pink. Not sure BBC i-player works outside the UK but you can give it a try....

PPS WHY AM I ALWAYS LAST TO FIND OUT?... You can watch practically anything online on the TV networks' catchup services... e.g. for Desperate Housewives on Channel 4 click here.

*You know the 1st version of this post said "Tuesdays" not "Thursdays". Dur!

This is a classic...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Crazy in LA

I SAW AN AMAZING TV PROGRAMME ABOUT AMERICA LAST NIGHT. Louis Theroux (son of travel writer Paul) was trawling the LA market for the most lurid life-improvements he could find. And boy did he find them!

Image, the body beautiful. Plastic surgery. "If I see it" (if I see something askance with my body) "that's enough" (then I get it "fixed"). Said the receptionist at one top clinic (who got free "procedures" as a perk of the job).

Talking of "perky", her breasts had been "enhanced" to the point they appeared ready to break free and float just like helium balloons to the ceiling...

The worst character of all was the botoxic image consultant life coach who, for $2000 a day will tell you what changes she sees fit for you to make. The changes might be surgical or practical but every one is for your "happiness".

"Butt", breasts, eyebrows... All can be nipped and tucked to oblivion. This poor lost sheep of a woman with $2000 a day to spare was being shipped from pillar to plastic surgical post by her surgically enhanced mekon of a "guide". She must have spent $10,000 on that set of procedures alone.

I cringed the very most when Lost Sheep came to the subject of her boyfriend of 8 years. Life Coach was studiedly quiet as soon as he was mentioned and I knew what was coming. Lost Sheep Girl had "empowered" herself by dumping him. Life Coach gave her a big hug and dabbed at tears that weren't there. When men can't see the inner wonderfulness that is you "we have a four letter word, don't we? Next! Next!"

I wanted to throw a brick at the TV.

What I found most depressing of all was the knowledge that underneath these glossy smiley LA people were the same twisted knots of hatred, frustration and anxiety that curl within us all.

When will they invent plastic surgery on the brain, I wonder? So bad feelings can be isolated then permanently cut out.

Surely when it happens it will come first to LA!

PS Illustrated Jocelyn "Bride of" Wildenstein... rich surgery-obsessed American divorcee who exceeded even Michael Jackson's "perfectionist" extremes...

Click here to watch the show.

STOP PRESS: HERE'S SOME AMAZING CLOSE-UPS of an Australian mouse from near Brisbane...

This is a masterpiece

He has that rare type of voice... "primal"...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Locked Out, Dagger in Washing Machine... A Series of Mishaps...

I WAS INNOCENTLY WASHING CLOTHES last night when, a few minutes into the cycle, a gigantic clunking took hold and sustained itself inside my washing machine. So annoying was this, I was compelled to get up and peer inside... only to view nothing less than a bloody great dagger held fast and lodged inside the rubber seals of the door and methodically stabbing at and slowly shredding my clothes with each turn of the drum.

Dagger ~ shmagger. OK it was my missing Ikea kitchen knife. The one that left a gaping hole in my new knife block. But it's the nearest to a dagger that i possessed. And as much as anything the handiest one.

To say I was upset to catch it destroying my clothes in the washing machine is something of an understatement. I could not get the door open for love nor money. What if a small child had been in there? Or a puppy? Surely they have some system for prematurely opening machines mid-cycle?

In the end I turned it off. No luck with the door even after waiting the requisite three minutes. I finally did get it open ~ with a machine full of grey water, by turning the dial clockwise to the cycle's end, then waiting again. And finally I got my knife back ~ clothes seemingly relatively unharmed.

I shall be writing to Ikea about the bluntness of their chopping knives for this.

Then this morning I left home in a hurry. Door failed to close so I slammed it hard.

Got back and not a single key I found would open the lock.

Of course my in-house neighbours were nowhere to be found when I took to banging downstairs windows... etc. This is one of those double-glazing-type doors where the lock comes out at several points down the frame. Right at the bottom a lever was on display: bent through the frame and stuck. I got it inside. Kept banging at the door turned backwards (facing the street) with my backside. I'm gald I had the intuition to do this because eventually something went click. Key entered. Key turned. And hey presto! In I went!!

But very upset at the occasion...


Ignore this: the link is for my own use... old shorthand manuals at http://gregg.angelfishy.net

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Boiling to Death (in December)

I KNOW I SHOULDN'T BE COMPLAINING ABOUT BEING TOO HOT, not at this time of year, but honestly: some berk has put the central heating to such a furnace-like high, I frequently wake in the night thinking I've got childhood scarlet fever back. In the day I sweat so heavily it comes out in conkers.

Anyway I've a recipe here. Only really bad cooks will want to take advice from it. But here is how you do an elementary pasta dish.

The first thing to note is that the times given on cooking instructions for pasta tend, if anything, to be too long, so bear that in mind or else you'll risk overcooking your pasta to a floppy wet goo. Or a "paste", as the word originally means.

Basically bring a load of pasta to the boil. Measure out dry portions in bowls then you won't get sizes terminally wrong like so many seem to do...

Meanwhile, fry an onion (ideally in a wok), then fry mushrooms, anything else you wish to, sweetcorn from a tin. Add a can of chopped tomatoes. These you flash-fry (with the tomatoes) so hot you'd believe you were burning them. Sizzling away at them reduces the water-content. Delia Smith says that to make professional-style pasta sauces you need to simmer tomatoes on a low heat for hours on end to reduce them to a concentrated pulp. If you just oversizzle for a few minutes you'll begin to achieve this effect. Add herbs (esp. oregano that the police thought was cannabis last time they stopped me). When the pasta's done, drain then throw into the wok and stir all over. Ensure the seasoning's right (add pepper). Dole out half into a bowl. Add grated cheese + parmesan. Mix. Dole out more. Add cheese again. Mix. Ta-daa you're ready!

And if you really needed my instructions to achieve something like that I worry for you...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Weekend Unconsciousness... Slept a Lot and Wondrous Gnocchi

WELL THEY SAY THE 7TH DAY IS A DAY OF REST and that's what I did. I slept and slept and slept all day until the X-factor final was on at 7 o'clock (at night).

Then I hungrily got up, fried onions upon which I dumped chopped canned tomatoes with some pepper and oregano. The tomatoes sizzle down wonderfully in the wok. I'm so glad I got that: it's just as good for Italianesque as Chinese. (I always call my pasta-cooking "Italianesque" as it's probably more German than truly "Italian" in style.... anyway so I made a simple sauce. This ended up getting tossed over... freshly boiled-up gnocchi. Which are potato dumplings of the most extraordinary kind. I'd never tried 'em before. With tomato sauce and grated cheese on top they came out lovely.

Apart from that there's nothing to tell. I've nary a clue who's won the X-factor, though my favourite judge is Cheryl, a "Girl Aloud" who won her own popstardom through a similar such competition. (Question: why must all TV talent competitions feature Simon Cowell? Is he exec-producer-in-chief or something?)

Righty-ho: gotta go. Have a charming weekend, y'all!

Friday, December 12, 2008

What a Rotten Night

A REALLY HORRIBLE NIGHT last night. Woke up in heavy sweats several times. And cold. And over-hot. Opened the window to attemptedly soothe things. Relied on hot chocolate with added lemon to try and equalize temperatures a little more and found myself getting up to pee about 20,000 times in consequence.

It was -5C outside. I have double-glazing and heating that rarely seems to go off so perhaps that's what caused the odd hot-cold feelings...

This morning I felt little better. Soon found myself on the loo "executing" the stickiest, most disgusting diarrrhoea. (You really wanted to know that, I know. For further textural and perfumier-type details on the matter click here..!)

I "obtained" a current issue of Tatler magazine, a publication dedicating itself to "high society" people and happenings from the local Chinese takeaway of all places... (what on earth it was doing there I'll never know. I just cannot see Chinese immigrants having any interest in London "Society". But hey, it takes all types...)

I leafed through this with fascination mingled with repulsion. Even their idea of who's "it" wrankles me. They're so old school, obsessing about "hons" (ie children of the aristocracy), minor royalty and the horsier, sloanier end of the upper middle classes. I met a lot of this type at university and ended up with a complex. Not that I didn't feel "good" enough; just that the British social scale has only accentuated in me a feeling of never really belonging. People from lower down constantly assume that I'm somehow "posh" ~ but I'm so not. As for the higher echelons, my French classes were full of them and I never quite clicked with their horsey, sloaney outlook. Ho-hum.

What really did grab me in Tatler (apart from the house adverts) was the fine jewellery on display. The magazine is full of it. I love jewellery and would love to work with it. I loathe wearing it. Rings never fit, especially signet types with tops, which can look dodgy anyhow. I've never been tolerant of anything round my neck. I think men's jewellery can be dodgy at the best of times. The best stuff is for women. And this bling-bling's what I love to eye. Years ago, after I'd taken up making fluoro-beads/etc for wear in nightclubs, I was told I ought to do a proper course in jewellery design and I'm thinking that I should do it again.

Mother Hubbs came back from Australia with a one-off yellow and white gold opal and emerald ring. It's really funky. And designed specially around the specific shape of that fiery green opal. (Not like the bit of opal I used to keep at the back of a drawer in my school days. Hers is quite wondrous...

The nicest bits of bling from the magazine were from a photo-shoot where ultra-fine jewels were draped over glassware, cakes and other kitchen items. Being: a platinum, diamond, pearl, blue topaz and aquamarine necklace draped over a teapot (p74; December 2008) and a platinum, white diamond, yellow diamond, blue saphire and pink saphire with 30 or 40ct blue sapphire pendant on p72. All the stuff I like is priced the same: "POA"!

(Couldn't find anything quite as chunky as these in "images" but the illustration: platinum, white diamond and pink sapphire necklace with pendant drops shows the order of "bling" we're talking about...)

If you want to see more of what I'm talking about, Harrods do a good selection by all top names...

PS: HEY ~ do you like my new "main page" background colour? #66B5FF pale blue to #ffffff white... About time too! You might well state (that's what I say...) I've wanted pure white infinity for ages ~ it goes really well with many a picture's white background ~ but have been too emotionally constipated to go for it...

I'm not too into Kylie, but I like this one:~

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Indignantly Clean Furries

THE ROBOROVSKIS ARE MOST UPSET because I threw their old bed in the bin, the one they had painstakingly made themselves by nibbling up their luxury flooring (an old issue of The Sun newspaper). They had weed and pood all over it and it stank to the rafters...

I am wondering whether she has the so-called "fat gene" because Spherical's gone tubbier than ever, leaving Bashful and Itchy looking ever so tiny indeed beside her.

I accidentally picked up Bashful last night thinking she was the hand-trained Itchy. Trained she most certainly was not, for with one almighty spring she bunnyhopped into the dark, leaping about 100 feet in hamster measurements... landing on the floor where I caught her in a Trotter Tube (old toilet roll holder).

Yesterday I returned to my old address. It was eerily calm and the haunting odour of dog blankets had evapourated. Of course I had left an entire box full of bits and bobs: spices, garlic paste &c, &c, &c...

Then I spent ages spraying, sheening, wiping, clearing, bleaching, blanking, brushing, elbowgreasing the place into submission. And I have to say after all taht it does look passably normal.

The house was empty except for the last man downstairs who was under the same odd notice as me to "pick up keys to a new address" ~ only he refused to be hurried into the move. It seems they really are redeveloping my old house... even the cockroaches have moved out. (Came with me.)

Righty-ho: I'd better go. My fridge looks wonderful, covered with doodles of the most fantastical kind. After I realized that ikea waterbased marker would turn my fridge into a whiteboard. The strangestmost things have been scrawled up on it...

Righty-ho then! Bye for now!!

Tara PT isn't really equivalent to Paris Hilton. But she is a socialite "it-girl"
who got all over the media thanks to clever PR. She's the only socialite I've seen on telly who I actually liked. Also she had an 8g a day habit on cocaine. Until she went to rehab, her nose collapsed and finally she redeemed herself rather than die... Here she is performing on a charity version of one of those shows where poor would-be pop star kids are chewed up by the system and mercilessly spat out...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Och aye! Ye'll never be a stenographer, ye cannae write fast enough! PLUS: Intellectual Chinese Food

I'VE JUST BEEN READING the most fascinating site about shorthand.
The site-writer's biog tells how as a child he was fascinated by secret codes (I was too; invented one I could write nearly as fluently as ordinary writing). He says he learned shorthand from sheer fascination, rather than as a business tool. I found his writing interesting because I also learned shorthand (though I did have a practical reason: I always wanted to be a writer of some sort and knew that for journalists shorthand is essential. You're not allowed recording equipment in British courts. And for music journalists dictaphones are nearly useless in concerts and nightclubs where background noise makes anything you've recorded virtually incomprehensible.

I chose Gregg's, the American shorthand, which is barely used over here. In this country most budding journalists are taught Teeline these days, which is very easy to learn but to my mind simply not fast enough. Pitman's, the main alternative is exceedingly fast but really difficult to pick up. Also you need to use a pencil or special shorthand-nibbed fountain pen and lined paper is essential as the positioning of penstrokes on or through the line varies according to vowel sounds. I really couldn't be bothered with all that: I just wanted something I could scrawl with a pen on the blank paper I've always favoured and so I taught myself Gregg's system. I say "scrawl": strangely, Gregg's shorthand looks just as scrawly as my own longhand. And it's just as hard to read back unless you really put some discipline into jotting the outlines precisely.

I look back on my old straight (and yes geeky) self who taught myself shorthand. Fair enough it's not like conquering Everest but I've never met anyone else who learned shorthand from a book and can actually use it. I had all this determination and some sticktoitiveness and look what my life has come to!

I really have to write that bestselling novel then all my problems shall magically be solved.

O yes and remember to kick drugs first...

PS: if you're wondering what the squiggles mean, they begin:
Dear Mr Dean: It is essential that I have three copies of our mailing... blah blah blah blah.... Shorthand courses have never featured the most rivetting of dictations...

stop press the Chinese food bit has to come in a minute as I gotta run...

Sorry: had to dash up the rd where my dealer did me a massive block of "B" for £19. To be honest it was so big I was wondering whether it was real but it looks right, smells right...

My Mum bought me
some shopping from Waitrose (homeland of the foodie bourgeoisie) and Tesco (supposedly our best (though less posh than Waitrose, who do quail's eggs next to normal ones) though I shop at Sainsbury's). Now I have everything for a plush Chinese meal including straight-to-wok noodles, toasted sesame oil, proper nondisposable chopsticks (x about 18,000,000 with Chinese writing atop saying "Westerners are berks!" (well that's probably what these things say: who knows? One man got a permanent tat on his upper arm reading "Coca-Cola": it was all over the Sun newspaper... Rice crackers, plum sauce, blackbean sauce, szechuan sauce, chili sauce, a far better soy sauce than the last one I had (even though that had Chinese writing all over it (I'm a sucker for a bit of exotic calligraphy...) that went into my old mattress: remember? like very runny black diarrhoea)... and some other sauce. The upshot being that even though I had no other stir-fry ingredients apart from newborn noodles, parboiled diagonal-chopped carrots (so "authentic"!), some crushed unsalted cashews (must be careful not to eat entire lot direct from packet) and a bit of (non-spring) onion, plus a sprinkling from my half kilo bag of MSG (I'm such a devotee now), tiny bit of dark soy and that toasted sesame oil... it came out amazing! Even better than the local Chinese's efforts, I'd venture to say... That sesame oil certainly is something... Adds a liquid toastiness I had assumed the takeaway achieved by lightly burning everything at one stage... so you can imagine what resulted from my naive attempts to replicate that little effect...

Because I'm wishing to move further from the takeaway and nearer "authenticity" (I use the word advisedly). And I'm not willing to stir-fry dogs, crows, slugs, wasp grubs or anything else of the non-halal variety consumed in China, I'm thining of switching to Malaysian cooking because they're mostly Muslims and I won't even eat pork, let alone anything 6-legged (lobsters have six yuk-spines and they're considered a delicacy even by stupid English people). The best foreign restaurant meals I've ever had were all Malaysian. To me it was a mix of the best of Indian, Chinese and Thai without spicy extremes or yucky sweet-&-sour (I never got the point of that one). Malaysian salads are the best in the world. Anyway I have to go now I've a bag of stir-fry ingredients calling my name.

Cheerio then!

Their new single. This is a masterpiece. The art director's use of a limited palette is rather effective. And I like the way this video moves, like a glossy magazine brought to life... What a catchy tune too!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Mother Hubbard In Hospital

MY V. GOOD FRIEND MOTHER HUBBS has just returned from a trip Down Under a couple of days ago. All went wrong in the last week. Weather was stifling in Melbourne anyhow but she got extremely hot and sweaty. Then terrible bellyache broke in... turned out it was pancreatitis which is really nasty and an inflamed gall bladder. If she'd not got to hospital in a 150-mile ambulance-dash (they were near Melbourne; not in it!) the Aussie doctors say her pancreas would have ruptured and she could have died. MH is not one to make a fuss about health issues (or pain; unless she's in agony). When she did say she was ill in the night her partner just wanted to roll over and leave it till morning. But she insisted and we're all glad she did. Now she's in hospital over here and awaiting an operation. We all hope she will be all right...

And what a horrible end to a holiday, but! (As they might say down in Victoria...)

(That is not her in the picture: I'm reliant on stock images...!)

I told her about my moving and my Mum and Ikea and she said I'm glowing... (cool!!)

My only problem in the new place is the continuing invasion of cockroaches. My Mum says they are a metropolis-wide problem in London. Out of town, where she is, infestations are barely heard of. But here, nearly all professional kitchens have chronic low-level infestation. And rented accommodation is rife with it.

Having already used an entire can of Raid Crawling Insect Spray (33% Extra Free: 0.2% pyrethrum; 0.2% permethrin) it sends the poor things into jigs and jitters and unless you get them full-on drowned in spray death takes over an hour to "embrace" them... I used the entire thing in a week. And that was being sparing. So today for a bargainacious £1.29 I got a 400g 0.5% permethrin powder to dust right along all skirting and cupboard tops/etc: already half done with half my place and a new red Raid spray, writing in French and Arabic. I checked the active chemicals and they were different and at far lower concentrations. So I was just about to put it back on the shelf in despair, thinking "this is health and safety gone mad: now the product's even weaker" when I realized it was the West African version where they have mega-bugs. And sure enough I got it home and it knocks 'em dead within 10 seconds. Amazing!


The late Pandable's looky-likey's Pet of the Day in The London Paper...

Have you got Sky TV? If so watch Ben: Diary of a Heroin Addict tonight at 10pm. It gets a really good write up in the London paper (have a clickonit and read...)

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Negative Post

I HELD BACK FROM POSTING THIS. BUT IT'S WRITTEN (2 DAYS AGO on the back of an envelope)... so here goes.

But just to make it a bit more cheerful
, here's the first 11th of the BBC's 1992 documentary on the Queen: Elizabeth R.

click here to see the rest...

"Too Much Too Soon"

I'VE ALWAYS SAID (perhaps more to myself than to the world) that what I want when I do ever get a "normal" life together (which could only ever be post-drugs) is to be rich ~ preferably super-rich and live in grand style. Then I realized what I actually want is a place of my own with proper locking doors (unlike my last house but one), separate rooms (unlike my last place which only had separate loo), cooker and fridge-freezer, own (definitely preferably unshared so you don't have to worry about washed garms disappearing) washing machine and preferably bare, uncarpeted floors. Oh: and not ground floor (security).

And all this just fell into my lap!

I will never get a mortgage. The only way I will ever acquire property is by buying it outright ~ and to do that I really will have to write an international bestseller.

But I've always known deep down that possession, being as they say 9/10 of the law, is everything: to put it another way ~ having the use of something is little different from actually owning it.

So now I have possession of my dream home (credit-crunch dream). (Bigger than the 1-bed flats in Ontario Tower I used to rave about...) (have a clickonthat and see what a wonderful building (full concierge service) that is...) and I wonder: is this really for real? Will it last? With all this beautiful fresh bedlinen and matching pots, pans, coffee table and all manner of accoutrements, this feels at last like a proper home. And it's in the place that I love.

I'm terrified it will all get taken away from me, that I'll end up back in one stinking room with no Hoover for the foul carpets. I can't help fearing this is a game and my paranoia's coming back: a big mindgame where every move's bound to goil me into check. And threat is everywhere. Change will only make worse.

I thank God for all the good that has happened. I just want it to be real. When I lost my mind I couldn't tell what was real or a lie. I don't want to lose my mind again; or my home...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Depressed All The Time

I DON'T WANT TO SOUND TOO NEGATIVE or especially ungrateful. Because I am certainly not the latter. I think it is amazing that finally I get to move into a pukka flat. With ~~S P A C E~~. I have been dutifully brushing and cleaning the floors and trying to be domesticated. Also I'm tossing things in the bin as I go instead of letting them fester on the floor and only clearing up once a fortnight. And washing up with every used plate. And I have loads of plates now. All matching. Woo.

No: it's just I realized that pleased and glad as I am I still feel this depression inside me all the time. And can't sleep properly because I feel so negative.

Also this move feels too good to be true and I'm wondering what the catch is. I've still yet to sign anything at the council housing office (the landlords took it on themselves to transfer me and I signed their papers only... I'm wondering how long this is going to last. I want it to last until something better comes along and not something worse. I keep expecting them to play a trick on me, like saying "so! you packed up and moved out. Sorry that place is too good for you, especially with your massive arrears (long story). We're transferring you back to your old place where you never really liked the area and couldn't even find an internet cafe that worked properly for you... hahaHAAR!!!


Black Wonderful Life Remix - The most popular videos are a click away

the universe is V A S T !

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Like a Log

ALL THAT HASSLE AND WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT: a bus runs from as close to my old road as a bus can get right to the end, a few houses away from my new one. All that five-minute traipsing and changing bus was in vain!

Last night I returned to the old dump to remove the last of my papers and socks. (Little bits of stuff and rubbish everywhere.)

I fully cleaned and excavated. (As fully as I could do by a 40watt equivalent energy bulb and with one Cillit Bang spray and two sponges.)

A downside of cooking in one's bedroom was that when I had cause to move out I used the bed as a packing area. The mattress has now taken an entire leaking bottle of soy sauce. It looks like I've diarrhoea'd it and stinks. (Of soy sauce, thankfully ~ not diarrhoea.)

O man! The effort of trundling the last of my stuff at 1am last night right along my own road and up... missed the one night bus that would have got me directly there by a "so near yet so far" 30 seconds (impossible, of course, to run). So had to wait on a deserted highroad with humungous suitcase and outsize tartan washing bag bursting with odd socks and trailing scarves along the pavement...

Still I found myself leaving a few books and sundry things. These are piled by the door with a note to the landlords promising to return by midday today to remove them and "finish cleaning". (As if that job will ever be finished in there!!)

Of course I get back (after half an hour nervously smoking with said trailing possessions by the main road). Cannot sleep and so have endless chocolate milkshake and Turkish pide with jajeek (cacik) dip. Which is my way of saying tsatsiki: the yoghurt-garlic-mint-&-cucumber dip I can never pronounce.

When I finally did get to sleep I slept like a fallen tree. For hours. And hours. And hours. Right round the clock. Long past midday. (Well my landlord could phone me if those books are such a problem.) To 6pm. And woke up feeling like the second day of a skiing holiday ~ ie acheing all over.

I did Sainsbury's tonight (far better choice of stuffed pasta than Tescos). Am looking forward to dinner of Basics Mushroom Tortelloni (£1.59 for 600g) and broccoli sprinkled with Sage Derby gratings: yumm!


This tune, as featured in this year's Xmas campaign for posh nosh supermarket Waitrose.

Here's the Waitrose ad (1 min)
I love this ad. I think it's really well done. Enchanting...

Here's Enya's official (rarely seen) promo video for the track. The Ireland here looks almost identical to rural Wales. Wales tends not to have churches though, it has some rather Eastern-looking "chapels"...

But what is meant to be going on at 0:54 secs: through the car window (woman reading paper "Kuwait is free" but something very little and easily palmed is passed through.) Is this my dirty mind, or was that meant to be a drugs deal?

Here are shots from the Hubble Space Telescope set to the same tune:~

Monday, December 01, 2008

Sleep Wrapped In Rainbows

I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS. Mum and Brian came yesterday and not only moved everything (all I've to do is return tonight to pick up scraps of this and that and clean the old place up then ~ ta-daa! all done and gone!! I can't believe it!¬

~They took me to Ikea and bought me literally a cartload and more of housewares. Slate grey plates, mugs, bowls (the funky style: without brims)... an amazing clothes airer/dryer that can do at least three washloads at a time (see it here).

I'm not smoking in bed any more because they bought me a new double quilt with pillows and two sets of the most amazing covers... as I say, the most beautiful one is in blue, green, red orange and purple strips... it's like sleeping wrapped in rainbows.

And my own washing machine works. So well in fact that I've already put through five washloads. (Turning into a right little housewife. I'll declare myself lesbian next..(!)

And I'm tapping this at the old internet cafe. The same one I used to sit at for hours in the good old days when I actually had facilities to keep up internet friendships instead of getting constantly logged out just as I'm about to say something as seems to have happened ever since I went to the last place. And couldn't find anywhere with half decent broadband. Or a proper accounts system. Or fair charging.

I'm back! I'm back home. It's all good. Pray God all goes well and I get to stay at this new place as long as I please...

SEE WHETHER YOU agree with Mother Hubbard, who says I have terrible bad taste and have a look at the two styles of quilt covers I got.

This was my favourite (though my stripes went longways not sideways)
This one looks more "bedlike" and homely (in the Brit sense of cosy and nice) when it's on.

... You might need to "enlarge" in order to see the colours from the stripes...
... OK, OK it's more "multicolour" than "rainbow"... yeah...
... & I agree with Brian now, the main one is indeed even labelled "purple/multicolour". When he said it was purple earlier I affected not to know what he meant. The original purple one I went for yesterday was such an intense swathe of purpleness, Brian said it looked royal. I said it looked like Cadbury's chocolate wrappers. My Mum just tried not to laugh...

Because Mumzy bought me a new one, I now have two double quilts, my beddy-byes is currently sporting both designs... like an enormous rainbow-stripey nest...

...Baby Itchy has Christened it aready by doing droppings on my pillow...

Hey I've just realized I'm 36 years old and relying on my parents still to sort me out. Take heed kids! This is what heroin does to you!!



ON A GREGORIAN CHANTS "TIP" here's one I really liked from 1991

... featuring footage of Arnold Schwarzennegger in the movie The Running Man...

I love the psychedelic interiors. Remind me of my new pad... (if only!)


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Moving In

I SPENT ALL DAY YESTERDAY fussing about how to move in to this new place. Did three runs there and back with hamsters etc on the bus. The whole thing feels so impossible what with televisions etc. I could barely cope with an empty hammy-filled aquarium what with 2 buses and endless traipsing from stops to houses at each end. Last night I slept like a log in my new bed with the radiators blasting ... couldn't force myself to move till past two in the afternoon, which is seriously late for me. I'm often up by 6 or 7am.

This morning, over a cup of tea and methadone I reluctantly looked inside myself and found some inner strength. The type of moral "fibre" and mettle I hate grasping hold of and harnessing. But I had to.

Because I don't even have bus fare till Monday, I'd decided the best way of emptying the old premises in the mean time would be by doing endless mini journeys. I reckoned 18 or 24 would do it, which I divided into 6-8 per day over three days. I've only done one today. Then I felt exhausted and rang my Mum on my last tiny bit of call credit. (Yes of course in an emergency I'm out of practically EVERYTHING.) Thank God she was there. They're coming tomorrow to move me properly by car! Hurrah!!!

PS: As you can see illustrated ~ my gracious drawing room and entrance hall...

And in celebration this is my favourite "song"

Top one for sound, bottom for visuals...

Cygnus X: Orange Theme (Bervoets and De Goiej Mix)

If it's dance music it has to be really tranced-out, really uplifting or really hard...

If you've ever wondered why people drop the "mindblowing" drug LSD, it's because you can walk down the park and all is glittering with fractals like this...

(Push Remix)

On a more "festive" theme, here's an American ad for Walmart (which I have heard of) featuring some "famous" lad called Jesse (who I've not heard of). Have you?




Heroin Shortage: News

If you are looking for the British Heroin Drought post, click here; the latest word is in the comments.

Christiane F

"Wir, Kinder vom Bahnhoff Zoo" by "Christiane F", memoir of a teenage heroin addict and prostitute, was a massive bestseller in Europe and is now a set text in German schools. Bahnhoff Zoo was, until recently, Berlin's central railway station. A kind of equivalent (in more ways than one) to London's King's Cross... Of course my local library doesn't have it. So I'm going to have to order it through a bookshop and plough through the text in German. I asked my druggieworker Maple Syrup, who is Italiana how she learned English and she said reading books is the best way. CHRISTIANE F: TRAILER You can watch the entire 120-min movie in 12 parts at my Random blog. Every section EXCEPT part one is subtitled in English (sorry: but if you skip past you still get the gist) ~ to watch it all click HERE.

To See Gledwood's Entire Blog...

DID you find my blog via a Google or other search? Are you stuck on a post dated some time ago? Do you want to read Gledwood Volume 2 right from "the top" ~ ie from today?
If so click here and you'll get to the most recent post immediately!

Drugs Videos

Most of these come from my Random blog, which is an electronic scrapbook of stuff I thought I might like to view at some time or other. For those who want to view stuff on drugs I've collected the very best links here. Unless otherwise stated these are full-length features, usually an hour or more.

If you have a slow connexion and are unused to viewing multiscreen films on Youtube here's what to do: click the first one and play on mute, stopping and starting as it does. Then, when it's done, click on Repeat Play and you get the full entertainment without interruption. While you watch screen one, do the same to screens 2, 3 and so on. So as each bit finishes, the next part's ready and waiting.

Mexican Black Tar Heroin: "Dark End"

Khun Sa, whose name meant Prince Prosperous, had been, before his death in the mid 2000s, the world's biggest dealer in China White Heroin: "Lord of the Golden Triangle"

In-depth portrait of the Afghan heroin trade at its very height. Includes heroin-lab bust. "Afghanistan's Fateful Harvest"

Classic miniseries whose title became a catchphrase for the misery of life in East Asian prison. Nicole Kidman plays a privileged middle-class girl set up to mule heroin through Thai customs with the inevitable consequences. This is so long it had to be posted in two parts. "Bangkok Hilton 1" (first 2 hours or so); "Bangkok Hilton 2" (last couple of hours).

Short film: from tapwater-clear H4 in the USA to murky black Afghan brown in Norway: "Heroin Addicts Speak"

Before his untimely death this guy kept a video diary. Here's the hour-long highlights as broadcast on BBC TV: "Ben: Diary of a Heroin Addict". Thanks to Noah for the original link.

Some of the most entertaining scenes from Britain's top soap (as much for the poor research as anything else). Not even Phil Mitchell would go from nought to multi-hundred pound binges this fast: "Phil Mitchell on Crack" (just over 5 minutes).

Scientist lady shows us how to cook up gear: "How Much Citric?" Lucky cow: her brown is 70% purity! Oddly we never see her actually do her hit... maybe she got camera shy...

And lastly:

German documentary following a life from teenage addiction to untimely death before the age of 30. The decline in this girl's appearance is truly shocking. "Süchtig: Protokoll einer Hilflosigkeit". Sorry no subtitles; this is here for anyone learning German who's after practice material a little more gripping than Lindenstraße!

Nosey Quiz! Have you ever heard voices when you weren't high on drugs?

Manic Magic

Manic Magic

Gledwood Volume 2: A Heroin Addict's Blog

Copyright 2011 by Gledwood