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Gledwood's Drug Confessions: A Heroin Addict's Blog
Sunday, 10 December 2006

Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: Every Day
Topic: Daily Doings

FIVE O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING and I am butchering myself. Heroin-cocaine mixture ("speedball/snowball"); blunt needles, veins that have had enough. I sit there with blood running down my arms and legs. After 20 minutes of trying everywhere, finally get the "hit" into vein below my little finger...

    ...It misses (or the vein collapses). I got an acid burn up my arm (big white lumps like huge mosquito bites from the "acidifier", equivalent to double-strength lemon juice)...

    Then I went to sleep. Ho-hum...

    That was last night, it is Sunday night now.

    It is a miserable evening,; chilly, raining. Three hours ago I rang someone for "gear". I know this person always takes ages, especially on Sundays, so I called him well ahead of time. But two hours later, he's not answering my "where the hell are you?" calls, so I ring someone else. Then the first one rings back saying come out to the end of my street. Sure enough he's there. Barely have I had the chance to draw breath since arriving back in my own house than my phone rings again. Now it's guy number two... I don't want to deal with this. Trouble is these two individuals know one another too well and are very petty-minded and jealous.

    Strange to say, but I feel I have to put these passing thoughts in writing for the sake of posterity, because if I don't, and then I do get clean, the past will become a blur... (Never underestimate the power of memory to play tricks! Memories, if we're not careful, become treasuries of all those things we think we should remember...) I don't want to lose the past any more than I want to live there.  And that, I think, is quite enough on that subject for today!


Posted by gledwood at 7:01 PM GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 12 December 2006 11:08 PM GMT

Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: Fogey...
Topic: Generation Next

Generation Next

London: one of the world’s great cities. Correction: the greatest city in the world. Throws a better party than New York, has superior shopping to Los Angeles, nicer parks than Paris (but no Bois du Bouloigne!) London was the first city in the world to pass the 10,000,000 population mark, which it did in the early 20th Century. The world’s first megacity. I love living here. And yet, I find myself spending 99.99% of the time, in a single square mile or so of my own familiar “Manor”.

    Riding the tube was such a novelty yesterday. I haven’t been on it for months. The Northern Line, which used to have worse trains than anything I saw in Morocco or India, now has funky red white and blue brand new trains. When I first came here a decade ago, the Northern Line trains still had wooden floors, 1950s blue-and-green chequered seats… a throwback from the days into the 1980s when the London Underground still had wooden escalators and smoking carriages (imagine that now!!)

    Anyhow, my point is that just being able to remember these things makes me feel ancient.

    I remember the days when colour television was still enough of a novelty for some people to turn the colour saturation to the max (to get every penny’s worth of value from the telly, I suppose. The televisions all had teak-effect cabinets (some even came in a kind of cupboard so when the telly was off, one could shut the screen away) — and in real terms they cost enormous sums.

    What made me laugh was a group of 12-13 year old kids talking on the radio about how their grandparents don’t understand how so much music fits into an MP3 box the size of a matchbox… “Yeah, in their days they had to put records on record players and they were really huge,” the children explained.

    What a hardship that must have been!  Plus you had to turn the disc over half way through!

    First time I saw a VCR rewinding and fast-forwarding through that evening’s television I remember thinking… WOW!   

    Well, we do live in the future these days… were the old days always so good? Of course they weren’t. But like I say, just being able to recall the era before computers became a fixture in most British homes does make me feel very ancient indeed…!

    One question: when do we get to hover down to the shops in luminous green pods? (Just like in Dan Dare!)

Posted by gledwood at 2:41 PM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 10 December 2006 3:26 PM GMT
Friday, 8 December 2006

Mood:  surprised
Now Playing: Nothing much...
Topic: Daily Doings

Okay it is 02:33 hrs I'm very tired; have not been sleeping well. Went to bed at 8(pm), up again by midnight. I actually bought my own tobacco yesterday. It has been rainy for days so few dogends survive at the bus-stop. (It doesn't matter so much that they're soggy, I can dry them out on tinfoil on the hotplate.) Strangely, of 12½g bought 24 hours ago I've still got baccy left.

    Some of the ads popping up round my site look really good. I wonder whether one of these posh rehabs would ever consider sponsoring me to sample their services...

    I've managed to add two good links to the resources I'm gathering up. Lord Rothschild's Dependency xyz etc. Worth clicking on for the more serious researcher.

    Aaargh! There's a load of  kids on the radio from Jerusalem and Romala, slagging each other off re the Palestinian and Israeli situations. Honestly I can't believe how ignorant these 16 year old kids from both sides are. The Palestinians didn't even know there had been Jews and Israelites settled in the region for at least 3500 years. The Israelites had very little sympathy for the Palestinian situation (being boxed in behind walls). The Palestinians said some very inflammatory things to the Israelis; I won't go into any more detail because I'm getting wound up just writing about this. Ignorance on every side.

    What I found most troubling was that if these were the best-educated and most articulate 16 year olds the BBC World Service could find (they were articulate, if nothing else) then I don't hold out much hope for the region.

    (And to think: "Jerusalem" is meant to mean "Harbour of Peace" -!!)

Posted by gledwood at 4:08 PM GMT
Thursday, 7 December 2006

Mood:  don't ask
Now Playing: Preacher
Topic: Drugs FAQ


Start taking heroin, it'll do little for you at first. Except for the unfortunate likelihood you'll end up with your head down the loo, you may well wonder (as you puke your guts up) what all the fuss is about. Heroin - the ultimate high?

    Let me set one myth straight right there. Speaking as one who's tried everything going I can announce that heroin is not the ultimate high.

    Heroin kills pain, so the more pain you're in the more it kills. (It might also kill you - so if you must experiment, go easy.)

    One less well-publicized fact about heroin: it will only give you its full effects once it's got you hooked. Yep, there's a short-lived honeymoon phase when the drug is stealing your natural endorphins (the brain's feelgood chemicals) so you feel worse without it and without them. And yet every dose you do take fills you right up to the brim. 

    Then the law of diminishing returns kicks in. I barely noticed until it was too late, that everything it gave me with the one  hand it was theiving back with the other.

    I can't deny that heroin appeals to the susceptible with its inverse glamour. (It appealed to me as the one thing my druggie friends considered taboo. They said it was uncool: I just thought they were scared of it.)

    Somehow, though, grainy photographs of mashed-up rockstars and hollow-eyed models can't quite capture the daily growing misery that no amount of drugs can ever quite cover up - or the bleak reality of withdrawals at dawn. (No-one ever seems to be around to photograph them.)

    That's right - ten years on and your head is still down the toilet. Only now you're retching when the drugs aren't there!

    The end result of heroin (not counting lost veins, abscesses, overdoses and half your friends having died over the years) is nothing more exciting than an added bodily function, one that costs money to relieve. Imagine waking up in the early morning busting for a pee. You are forced to wait till well past nine o'clock when the man has troubled to get himself out of bed, taken his kids to school (maybe - drug dealers breed like cockroaches, they're always laden down with babies), had breakfast, made himself feel okay, bothered to make his way to your neck of the woods - ie add another hour at least and cross your legs because it's probably going to take longer than that. Once the dealers realize a junkie will wait as long as it takes because they need their dealers (in the short-term) more than the dealers need them. Then imagine you're charged TEN POUNDS sterling (€15; US$20; Aussie $25; Rs Indian 700 etc etc) well I mean a lot of money - it's all relative.

    Twelve hours later - tops - the entire situation repeats itself over again. So if you ain't got more money, you'd better think fast and smart and get moving...                     

    So your happiness goes into the hands of criminals. As does every spare penny you've got.

    Heroin? I don't recommend it.                                                                    

Posted by gledwood at 5:36 PM GMT
Updated: Thursday, 7 December 2006 5:40 PM GMT

Mood:  lyrical
Now Playing: Soppy Mood
Topic: Chinese Mouse


(Even wino crackhead heroin junkies love their pets.)


Best performed by children's choir to the tune of "Little Donkey" with triangle, castanets and swanee whistle accompaniment. 


Little Mousey... Little Mousey are you

keeping warm?

Little Mousey... Little Mousey shelters

from the storm.

Outside it is cold and wet.

Raining... Raining...

Haven't you got out of bed yet?

Lazy... Mousey!

Little Mousey... Little Mousey, I will

keep you safe.

Little Mousey... Little Mousey;

tiny but so brave!

Rambling and pinging time.

Naughty... Mousey...

He's escaped the Little Swine.

Naughty... Mousey...

Little Mousey... Little Mousey...

In your nest of fur.

Little Mouse, escape the kitten;

in her dream she'll purr.

Dream of catching Little Mousey.

So I'll reprimand her!

You are my entertainer.

Little... Mousey!

Pinging, velvet, covered in fur.

Little... Mousey.

Little Mousey... Little Mousey,

it is now the time...

To say goodnight and sleepy warmie...

Dreaming of my rhyme...


Posted by gledwood at 3:52 PM GMT
Updated: Thursday, 7 December 2006 4:08 PM GMT
Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Mood:  cheeky
Now Playing: Statistician
Topic: Lists


  • 10 Deepest midwinter
  • 9   Continuing war in Iraq — and our Governments have the cheek to impose budget cuts at home!
  • 8   Antidepressants
  • 7   Taxes
  • 6   Bad books — publishers knock 'em out in their millions
  • 5   Crap television — 300 channels x 24 hours = not a lot
  • 4   Society's crumbling, the world's going to the dogs, what hope is left??
  • 3   Smoking — banned nearly everywhere, even in Scotland. Why?
  • 2   The internet — 'cause it's full of crud. ("Look who's talking!" I hear you cry.)
  • 1   The sheer strain and horror of existence. Cheer up: it's already happened.


  • 10 Not being on drugs. Huge step if you've done it, still one less thing to be depressed about if you were never on 'em.
  • 9   (Relative) peace throughout the land in our Western Democracies
  • 8   Great television — brightens dark evenings
  • 7   Brilliant books — just ignore most things published in the last 100 years...
  • 6   Winter Sun Holidays — for those lucky enough to afford them. There's no place like a tropical beach for perusing that book
  • 5   A nice cup of tea — solves a multitude of ills (can't you tell I'm British...)
  • 4   The internet — where brilliant minds can meet...
  • 3   Plumpie Mousie's blog. Enchanté!
  • 2   Pets — little bits of wildlife that love us and trust us and share our homes
  • 1   Being alive! Aren't we lucky to have made it this far??!

Posted by gledwood at 2:53 PM GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 6 December 2006 3:33 PM GMT
Tuesday, 5 December 2006
Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: Observantly
Topic: Generation Next

According to the BBC, 14% of American schoolkids admit to popping prescription opioid painkillers — just to get "high".

Plundering and purloining leftovers of siblings' and parents' prescription meds, they gather enough together for bimonthly "Pharming" Parties. Here, stimulants for behavioural disorders — ie Ritalin, the famous "baby speed" and, most alarmingly, OxyCodone-style pain medications are the buzz of the day in so-called Generation Y's meds-fuelled answer to the old-fashioned sleepover.

Those painkilling pills are members of the same chemical family as heroin, morphine and methadone. Underage kiddies popping this are riding the road to addiction before riding the road to college. No-one's stabbing grimy needles in their limbs. But they're developing a taste for the family of drugs where heroin is Big Daddy.

Prescription drugs aren't always easy to get hold of when you really want them. Doctors get tetchy once they start to suspect there's something amiss with this back-ache/migraine/other spurious condition that will not shift. Heroin, by contrast, doesn't demand cover-stories or excuses. All you need for heroin is money — a daily supply.

These painkillers are the habit of a lifetime. The kids start young these days.

But when will they be able to stop?

Posted by gledwood at 9:03 PM GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 5 December 2006 9:16 PM GMT

Mood:  lyrical
Now Playing: Responsible Adult
Topic: Chinese Mouse

HARVEY THE CHINESE HAMMY'S GROWING UP FAST. In hammy years he's already hit his teens. He has an adult coat all sand-coloured and the same bristly "mane" across the shoulderblades that tomcats and other male mammals get.

I've taught him a couple of tricks. He grabs my finger by the back legs and swings down like a bat. If nothing's worth dropping for he reverses back to sitting position without ever putting a foot wrong.

He climbs the flex of my mobile phone charger housemouse-style. I'm saving up to get him a proper mouse-cage with bars for climbing because I think that stuck in an old  fishtank — and not being into wheels — he must be bored.

He will still relax in the folds of my clothing, or even sleep there. He gets a good hour of supervised exercise each night. It is very closely monitored, though. Since last week's jailbreak I'm on full alert for all his escapological antics.

I love my Mousey — but when he tries to escape he is a bloody swine.

Posted by gledwood at 8:48 PM GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 5 December 2006 11:31 PM GMT
Monday, 4 December 2006
Monday Blues
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: the Monday Blues
Topic: Daily Doings

ANOTHER WEEK BEGINS. HOW DEPRESSING. "Teeshirts in December!" the paper was exclaiming last week. This has been the hottest autumn since records began around 1700. The December weather — 8°C instead of 7°C — is an entire one degree warmer than average. I did notice a nutter wearing shorts last week. But why? It was rainy and damp every day. I wake up freezing cold each morning. Darkness surrounds us — from practically 4pm till 7am In deepest midwinter — the solstice is about a fortnight's time — two-thirds of the day is dark. How people cope in latitudes even northerner than here where nighttime eats up even more of the day I really can't comprehend.

A feature on BBC World Service's Outlook show tracked down this crazy family from the Norwegian isle of Spitsbergen, well inside the Arctic Circle. Dark for weeks on end at one pole of the year; light for weeks on end at the other. I mean, I call them crazy because you'd have to be mad to choose to live there. But these folks — man and wife and two teenage daughters — seemed remarkably sane, considering. Making jokes about all-night guitar-strumming in July. Also, I couldn't help noticing they all spoke better English than I do!! And Spitsbergen is about 1000 miles north of Scotland, hovering somewhere between Northern Greenland and the ice-sheets on top of Siberia on a latitude of about 80°. If I lived up there I'd hibernate from October to March.

But I don't know if I'll feel any less down come spring. "Come off the drugs!" I hear you cry.

And daily, the treadmill of addiction continues to turn.

"I went on them because I was depressed, " is my answer.

And that, you could say, is the most vicious circle of all.

"How are you ever going to give yourself a chance unless you do give up?" you reply.

Well... excuses, excuses: I could give more. I had some demoralizing experiences trying to stop. Despite the most admirable reasons, I was victim of my own bad planning, had a poor domestic situation to return to as well as teh mother of all Disfunctional Relationships — all unresolved.

In a great pickle of unhappiness I stumbled blindly on. (That is my "excuse".)

I cannot explain the inexplicable, dear Reader, though some mischievious megabyte-gobbling inner gremlin would love to rise to the challenge of trying.

"Moderation in all things," counselled Jesus Christ. Although I may come across as clement and mild-mannered to many, beneath the surface I'm probably the most immoderate person I have ever met. Bouncing through lfie from obsessoin to obsession with bleakness and despairing in-between. (The obsessive times can be fun, I must admit. Morning, noon and night I'm consumed by whatever project on and on... then I look back and wonder what the fuss was about.)

BTW a restaurant Up North called "Polonium" has been packed to the rafters since Russian spies, a sinister case of politics and poisoning and a trail of the 210 isotope between London and Moscow have put the nation's media (not to mention Geiger counters) in a tizz.

Well I did have a lovely Sunday lunch yesterday.

I'll leave you with a news story that made me laugh. "False passports let investigator into Britain"!! What a surprise. This from the nation that really does make headlines like : "Snow in winter shock!!"

Must go. There's yelling in the hallway. The Whore of Babylon has fallen out with another tart at the brothel. Now she's ranting and raving every detail for the entire house to hear.

Madhouse? I have been in the lunatic assylum and can confirm, it was a really together place compared to here.

Okay, okay her employment troubles all resolved. Just in case anyone cares, the WoB's booked herself a 16-hour shift on her back from 10am tomorrow till 2am! Drunk out of her brains she sobs, "I'm not going down hill any more..."

Posted by gledwood at 6:40 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 4 December 2006 7:11 PM GMT
To prescribe or not to prescribe?
Mood:  quizzical
Now Playing: Expert Witness
Topic: Drugs FAQ


IN THE UK, as in most Western lands, the standard treatment for heroin addiction is prescription of daily oral methadone.

Though many junkies do reduce their intake of illicit heroin and some feel stabalized enough on methadone to cut out heroin all together, most do go on using "on top" of their daily methadone doses.

Because the statistics say that the majority of crime is drug-related, an English police chief, reasoning that cutting down on drugs will cut down on crime, proposed that instead of methadone, addicts should be treated with the very drug they crave.

This old chestnut has been cropping up increasingly frequently of late. The Netherlands and Switzerland both do diamorphine treatment — apparently with great success.

The very idea of dishing out heroin to junkies flies so far in the face of the accepted War on Drugs "wisdom" that no Government has been willing to put anything more than a few very low-key experimental schemes into operation.

This most recent proposal, by the Northern England police chief Howard Roberts, provoked some colourful comments in last Monday's Daily Mirror's letters column.

"What next, giving robbers money so they don't rob or giving car theives cars so they don't steal cars?" demanded Sharon M Moore from Dunstable, Bedfordshire.

"I was disgusted to read of the suggestion to give free frugs to heroin addicts. I suffered asthma all of my life and I have to pay for my inhalers, without which I would need hospital treatment... Is this any way to treat a law-abiding citizen, while addicts may get their treatment free?" said D Kelly from Liverpool.

(Actually, heroin addicts pay the same prescription fees for methadone as everyone else.)

"Drug abuse is not an illness, it is self-inflicted," said Ken Bishop of Carterton, Oxfordshire.

(Smokers and drinkers also cause self-inflicted illness. Their rights to treatment aren't called into question...)

"Most people are under the misconception that drug addiction, like alcoholism, is self-inflicted. It isn't — it's a disease like any other and shuold be treated as such. That's why I support... Howard Roberts's suggestion that doctors should prescribe heroin to addicts. The examples of Holland and Switzerland prove it works. Crime has been cut and the number of users has fallen. The current system isn't working so at least we should give it a try." M Webb of Brighton, East Sussex.

Until the early 1970s heroin prescribing was the first-line treatment for addiction in the UK. However over-prescribing and abuse of the system lead to an about-turn in policy and Britain has been a methadone state ever since.

As for addiction being an illness; drugtaking is not a sickness in itself in the beginning. But as addiction gradually takes over over time, the condition most definitely develops into an illness.

Can't people see that this condition begins as a self-inflicted "choice" — but turns into a state where drugs are used with no choice — they are used automatically at every available opportunity, without thinking about it.

That's what "habit" means.


Posted by gledwood at 6:37 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 4 December 2006 6:39 PM GMT
Sunday, 3 December 2006
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: Streets of London
Topic: Homeless

WHEN I WAS HOMELESS and sleeping in an abandoned bilding with holes in the roof and rats and pigeons for company I used to get so cold on winter nights that two pairs of jeans, two jumpers, a jacket and coat worn inside a sleeping bag with blanket thrown over would just about keep me tolerably warm.

   I was giong through one of my mad phases at the time. I thought living rough was the most "natural" form of existence.

    My "natural existence" was hardly lacking in excitement. Now this squat was enormous and though I'd known a number of the previous residents, I ended up with the entire place to myself.

    Apart from being cold enough, even in May, to keep my cyder cans refrigerator-cold, and dripping like Fingall's Cave whenever it rained, and apart from the fact this place was open for anyone to sneak in at all hours of the night and kill me in my bed (and as well as rats, the local cats and foxes seemed to have the run of the place) — apart from all this, THE BUILDING WAS HAUNTED.

    There were some spectacular apparitions. I had all kinds of frights. Some lit up the Great Hall (as I called it) as brightly as a 1500-watt bulb. Now that is one hell of a bright ghost!!...

Posted by gledwood at 6:53 PM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 3 December 2006 7:05 PM GMT
Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: Jailer
Topic: Chinese Mouse

HARVEY, THE CHINESE SWINE, made a jailbreak last night. The hour was 5am GMT — his nightly ramble time — when the swine made his jailbreak — rushing my sleeve to freedom. & gaah! — no sign of the rodent.

    Ten minutes passes. I have not to be frantic because this will frighten him off.

    Then his vole-like face emerges by a can of lighter gas under my bed. On first glimpse, believing he is tame,  I lunge at him and he pings away. He's so depressingly quick and agile I am despairing.

    Now I know what that dark "dorsal stripe" is for. It is a chipmunk-style go-faster stripe. And it works.

    And now I've frightened him, he's vanished well and truly. No sign of the escapee at all. I go out and get a cyder to calm my nerves.

    Off goes the normal light, on with fireglow bulbs. His fishtank is sideways on the floor, tempting him with food and water and his own bed.

    And suddenly, poppy-eyed and chipmunk-nimble, the swine reappears.

    The smell of his own bed is too much to resist & bang — I caught him.

    Ears down and pentinent He ckulks back to his nest, cussing to himself , "Drat — back to a life-sentance of four glass walls and a diet of glorified muesli."

Posted by gledwood at 6:40 PM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 3 December 2006 7:06 PM GMT
State of Flux
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: It Straight
Topic: Daily Doings

I'M IN A STATE OF FLUX. Intending to score /intending not to. Put on shoes. Took shoes off. Told self it was too late to call Person I had in mind. (It's1am Saturday.) Put shoes back on (I say "shoes", they're minging silver Nikes.)

    Went out in the rainy dark.

    About-turned again.

    The money is there but I can't afford to score. There are bills & debts I'm meant to pay.

    So I'm being real respectible, for now...

Posted by gledwood at 6:34 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 4 December 2006 7:18 PM GMT
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: Devil's Advocate
Topic: Daily Doings

Visited a girl's website yesterday; "true life of a high class callgirl". Gorgeous-looking site. And impossibly glamorous. All false lashes & diamond-studded lips. Makes my site look incredibly rustic and yokelly. Other photos revealed a headless man who'd just paid her to wet his own pants.

    Compare this with last night's BBC report on UN Peacemakers in Haiti exploiting the local prostitutes. I must confess some of the claims rang false (they are, after all, prostitutes who are getting paid to be "exploited").

    Being a hopeless junkie, I know a lot of prostitutes. None of these would call themselves exploited. Most work for themselves on the streets. One, who works the saunas, makes an absolute fortune.

    I tend to think the guys paying for it are the exploitees as much as anyone else. They are, after all, paying for something that's supposed to be free.

    A lot of the clichés are true — "tart with a heart" & all that.

    But having said all this, not one of these Working Girls seems to be happy beneath the façade. Whether that's to do with their job or the fact that they're all desperately hooked on drugs I couldn't say...

Posted by gledwood at 6:22 PM GMT
Friday, 1 December 2006
Mood:  special
Now Playing: exhaustedly
Topic: Daily Doings

Slept all day. I'm so exhausted. People yelling in next room have no sleep cycle. Washing up against wall at 4am.

    It's not as if I didn't sleep between 2am+10am.

    Was it something I took at 10am that knocked me out again? Why it should knock me out today especially I don't know. It's the same gear as yesterday.

    Ho-hum. I gotta go. A dog wants to see me about a man. But seriously I'm hungry + wanna go up the rd b4 the shops all start shutting.

    OK then. G

Posted by gledwood at 4:05 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 4 December 2006 7:15 PM GMT
Thursday, 30 November 2006

Mood:  hug me
Now Playing: ... Why should I now be playing anything?
Topic: Daily Doings

Valium Marilyn is lurking nearby; I hear her cries. Guesss what I found out about her? She is an old age pensioner and still on the drugs. She puts reading glasses on and takes false teeth off before smoking crack.

    When I'd stayed overnight I ha d such entertainment from Cockney Marilyn Monroe the other morning on the phone. "Oh please help me, ‘dear’ — I'm a poor old age pensioner and my money hasn't come through. I haven't got a penny!" (Sob, sob.)

    She threw in about three dozen "dears" in the space of ten minutes, winking at me conspiratorially every time.

    It's deep midwinter. Dark from not long after 4pm. All anyone wants to do is hibernate. No wonder the Chinese Mouse stays in bed round the clock. Roll on spring!

    Marilyn's nephew was in Australia last week. He sent back photos of a place called the Ice Bar in Sydney — literally it's carved out like an igloo. Every punter gets a free winter coat to put on at reception.

    I had never guessed Marilyn was a pensioner... She told me she was 47 years old only last week!!

    Bumped into another oldie who I'll call "Lucky" tonight. Had drink, smoke. Lucky showed me her old photos. Lucky is one of these people who has grown into her features; looks better in her 50s than she did as a kid. The only parallel I can dredge up is Joan Collins, who looked better in Dynasty than she ever did in her 20s. However, Lucky is no Joan Collins. Lucky is a true one-off.

    They're babbling on the radio about trains. Do you know what's embarrassing about Britain? Our only proper 180mph highspeed line is the one going to France!!

    Well I'm off now for more Jaffa Cakes. L8Rs, G.

Posted by gledwood at 11:10 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 4 December 2006 7:16 PM GMT
Wednesday, 29 November 2006
Ask me a question: I'll do my best to answer it...
Mood:  party time!
Now Playing: in the witness box.

You are welcome to post me any question about myself.

So long as it's not too personal I'll answer as frankly as I can. Please give a name and your country.

Where are you? How old are you? How did you get on drugs? — Mousie, France.

I'm mid 30s & I'm blogging from lovely old London Town. How did I get on drugs? A v. hard question to answer because things started with a bang but carried on more insidiously from there.

My 1st encounter with "illicit" substances came after I had finished school. A girl asked me if I'd ever tried cannabis. I said no but I saw nothing wrong with it. And so began a beautiful friendship... with drugs.

A week later at a "rave" party where everyone was on ecstasy I sampled LSD, unwittingly necking 4 doses at once (I didn't know how tiny an acid "trip" was).

Of course my brains got fried. I had a monumental bad trip from start to finish. (& incidentally, the guy who sold me the "trips" committed suicide 18 months later.)

So much for my introduction to drugs.

After that experience, I remember realizing that a fork had opened in the road before me. Maybe if I'd taken the "straight" route... who knows where I'd be now?

Only after years of depression etc etc etc had intervened (long story) did I get into the harder stuff.

I had used, not used, used sleeping pills to sleep. Etc, etc. But once the hard drugs came along and they "got" me, I used them morning, noon and night. And so things continued, pretty much to this day. I won't make any promises for the future, but I will say here, Who knows where life will take me? It's not over yet.


This blog is very new; I'm trying to get as much interaction going as possible. So go for it! Pop that probing query HERE!!! (It can be on any subject under the sun. Doesn't necessarily have to be about the old drugs either...)

Looking 4ward 2 hearing from you!

Please leave a name and what country you're from. Many thanks.






Posted by gledwood at 8:36 PM GMT
Updated: Thursday, 30 November 2006 5:25 PM GMT
Wednesday's Child
Mood:  chatty
Now Playing: Soccer
Topic: Football Nations

Wednesday's child is full of woe...

Thursday's child has far to go...

Don't even know what day I was born on. I did ask what time. And got two totally different answers from mum and dad. My Dad said somethng about an important football match clashing with my birth "fixture" so I'd tend to take his word more seriously. (Soccer) football is about as "important" here in the UK as anything gets.

You could even say it's Britain's national religion, because far more people watch the World Cup, say, than ever go to church. The local pub was literally overflowing on the final France v Italy. Amusing national rivalries came out at this time. Eg.: Every goal Italy put in got massive roars of approval.

We Brits still haven't got over our military spats with France: the 1066 Battle of Hastings (which we lost) or the 1815 Battle of Waterloo (which we won).

I was talking about this (Britain's national relationships with other nations) to an old lady I know in the Post Office queue the other week. She wasn't having any of it. Wouldn't admit that national prejudices exist at all, when we all know they do. Football matches are a prime time obviously for them to come out.

France, our nearest neighbour, we've always had a love-hate relationship with. Despite our being on the same side in two World Wars, despite our love of French wines (esp. Champagne) & cheeses & the fact that most posh restaurants still feature a mostly French menu. Despite the fact that we all (try to) learn French as our first (& usually only) foreign language & that being au fait with French expressions is considered a sign of good education. Despite the fact that France is the number one location for second homes, there still persists this lingering resentment/jealousy/rivalry. After all we are nations of roughly equal size. (60,000,000 population each.) Except they have about five times more land to live on, a more bearable climate, the glamourous Mediterranean coast as well as Alpine skiing. Plus++ one of their départements (county shires) is a Caribbean isleThe French definitely grabbed the finest plot of land in Europe. I mean, what more could you ask for?

I won't get into London-Paris comparisons. Except to say London is very much the superior town... Anyway...

I used to think national characteristics didn't exist; but they do. A nation, after all, is merely a vastly extended family and all families have their own particular habits, views and ways of life. That's not to say that individuals should be judged on nationality. I hate hearing people say, Those Germans/Spanish/Dutch/whatever, they're all the same. Because of course they're not. What I'm saying is we all hold on to group as well as individual identities.

I always find the American view of the Brits amusing — the one that believes we're all so formal and uptight and conventional, when actually,  I have v often found the exact reverse to be true. The British have just always liked to do things in our own understated way.

Compare football English crowds with foreigners... even then we're understated. For sheer ebullient exotic uninhibited maniacal excitement we cannot match the South Americans. ...And to think Pele, #1 footballer in the World in the 1960s, reduced to small newspaper ads touting erection failure assistance. What can I say?

How I got from Wednesday to Viagra, who knows? Mousey slept up my sleeve last night only to wake me at 4am with his incessant ferretting up and down my arm. When I offered him the freedom of the Great Outside, he peered suspiciously out from my cuff, sniffed the air, turned on his tail and pinged back to the warmth and safety of my elbow nest.

It is endearing seeing him treat me as "home". He runs away from my hand when I attempt to pick him out. No thanks. I'm fine here.  And he is so tiny!

In his proper home (an aquarium) he sleeps in an empty Jaffas Cakes box. The morning after I gave him this luxury hamster bedroom (bathroom ensuite, there's loads of poos on the floor) I cannot help but notice the humungous holes the little beast has chewed in the floor. Yes I know they're called "rodents" because they're nibblers by nature — but honestly! Not even 24 hrs and there's holes in it already. Right in the middle of it, mind. Not the side. So what he got hold of to get his teeth into I cannot fathom.

Imagine the translation in human terms: "— Oh, what a lovely place. I think I'll live here. Oh yes indeedy. And this lovely big shaded chamber shall be my bedroom..."

(An hour passes.)

."..Oh dear. Ooh. Ooer. Oh dearie me. I'm so bored. What on earth am I going to do? Oh I know — I'll chew a bloody great hole in the floor!"       

— See what I mean?

When we had wild mice, one chewed a footprint-sized dent in my cupboard. What he imagined he was doing I'd truly love to know. And he didn't have the excuse of being bored in captivity. Anyway I'm off now. It's 4:30 pm and dark already.

As the Looney Tunes used to say, That's All Folks!

Gleddie xx

PS We used to know a lady called Luna. I told my friend her surname was Tickand he believed me!

Posted by gledwood at 3:36 PM GMT
Updated: Thursday, 30 November 2006 5:47 PM GMT
Harvey Hamster
Mood:  energetic
Now Playing: Chinese Whispers
Topic: Chinese Mouse

"Hi, my name is Harvey the Naughty Chinese Harvest Hamster. If my owner was bright enough to scan + add my mugshot, it would be right here↓→."

Okay I've let the mouse speak. I've always been one for pets of the rodent variety from syrian hamsters (the big tubby ones) to "fancy" mice, Campbell's Condensed Russians to Winter White Dwarves (the last two are practically the same).

Harvey is still a baby. He was sold to me as a girl and I'm glad I double-checked their facts just for my own information. Girl hammies have 2 holes close together; boy hammies have 2 pink dots further apart. Eventually as they mature they develop unfeasably large testicles à la Buster Gonad from Viz magazine. (A hamster's testes are as big or bigger than his head!!)

Being a baby he still sleeps a lot of the time. I have to say that from the minute I bought him he is the tamest pet I've ever had. While his cagemate pinged violently from corner to corner, Harvey just at still on my hand, peering goodnaturedly at the action. (Hamsters, mice & rats are extremely shortsighted, hence the old expression mouse sight, meaning "myopic".

Because they dislike direct light (even lamplight), I put fireglow bulbs in mine. Little rodents can't see by this so to him it's near pitch darkness when the room is lit a peaceful red. His ears prick up to the max and he pings to & fro up my arms to shoulders and down again — 5am being peak time for him. By daylight he is tucked up in bed and practically unrouseable.

As I say, a Chinese hamster is nothing like a tubby Syrian hammy. For one thing, he's about a quarter of the size and a tenth of the weight (if that). He does look to all intents and purposes like a mouse with a 2cm twiddly tail & black stripe down his back. His fur is "ticked" all over (ie. black-grey-brown) and a far richer colour than the ordinary house mouse's dull coat. His tummy is white with black undercoat. With his big poppy eyes he looks more like a European woodmouse than anything else. And as the websites say, he does hug my finger with all fours, just like an English harvest mouse. (hence the nickname).

Harvey is called a hammy not a mouse because he does occasionally use cheek pouches. But they're never enormously packed to overflowing like the golden hamsters' of my childhood. Plus (another oddness) — he will not run the wheel. Even when I hooked it over the side of a chair three feet up so he's nowhere to go but round the wheel, he spent most of the 20 mins peering down at the fallbreaking pillows I'd arranged below, wondering if a grand leap to freedom was worth the risk. When I did persuade him to tread the wheel, with coaxing: "come on, come on!" he did it so gingerly and unenthusiastically I eventually let him down. Never in my life have I met another hamster who hated wheels!

Well that's enough about Harvey. He's currently drinking from a Coke bottle lid because his waterbottle's broken, so I'm going out to get a new one now.



Posted by gledwood at 3:02 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 4 December 2006 7:13 PM GMT
Tuesday, 28 November 2006
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Mood:  crushed out
Now Playing: ...
Topic: Between a Rock...

BETWEEN A ROCK and a hard place...

When I haven't got it I think of little else... When it's there I find myself wanting more.

Remember that song from a few years back: The Drugs Don't Work? It's a feeling I know too well.

When I talk of wanting more I don't mean more drugs. I know there isn't a drug in the world that's going to answer my craving ——. A craving for what?

I'm rarely lost for words, but I can't name what I most desire. Maybe we're all like that. Maybe I've just pushed myself further than most in certain respects. And maybe most people don't even know they want this nameless wordless thing. Who knows?

Now I admit it here. — I can be exceptionally lazy. I'm an all-or-nothing kind of person. When I do set out to do something I get such a bee in my bonnet it obsesses me night and day. E.g. You should see how many Confessions I have scrawled in my notebook and not posted!

At times past in the most intense period of my addiction I was so intent on using-scoring-raising money to score I thought of little else. I stopped daydreaming. I stopped planning anything except when I was going to go out and start raising money.The future meant nothing to me. My life reduced to the 24-hour cycle of day-in day-out using. I was living with someone who was extremely challenging to be with. I blocked this person out; I blocked out most of life in the process.

My addiction was all-consuming. You could say it nearly consumed me.

Nowadays I try to cultivate interests. To read good books. (Wordsworth do a fantstic range of £1.99 Classics — my current read is Anna Karenina alternating with Lord of the Rings.) I love poetry. I love animals. I love my pet Chinese Mouse. (He's actually a cricitulus griseus Chinese hamster but he looks just like a little fieldmouse. His name is Harvey: Harvey the Chinese Harvest Mouse. He sleeps up my sleeve sometimes and doesn't want to come out. He is washing his ears by my elbow as I speak...

Must go now. I want some Jaffa Cakes. L8Rs, Gleds .

Posted by gledwood at 11:18 PM GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 28 November 2006 11:21 PM GMT

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