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Gledwood's Drug Confessions: A Heroin Addict's Blog
Saturday, 16 December 2006
DESPAIRING, DARKNESS + AARGH!!!
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: Blueishly
Topic: Daily Doings

THIS INTERNET-COMPUTER MALARKEY is driving me cuckoo.

    Trying to post a hitcounter. Does anyone out there know precisely how + where I paste that “html” code?

    I nearly got there. But I don’t know what I’m putting where: my head is spinning…

    Maria Callas & Elizabeth Schwarzkopf are on the radio. When Maria Callas was young, & before her voice was wrecked she sounded sublime. There are so few operatic singers with truly amazing voices. Luciano Pavarotti is another. Andrea Botteli has something. Joan Sutherland…

    I’m not one of these classical music snobs. Like the rest of us, I know most of my music from television commercials and films.

    One thing I’d always told myself I’d love to do, if I can get clean, would be to find out what this amazing music was called, who was who, what’s what, etc.

    At present I can say I like Beethoven and Shostokovich. Just don’t ask me to name a great list of their pieces…!

    The greatest musical instrument, in my opinion, is the human voice. There are some amazing pieces for great choirs — I don’t know what a single one is called though!

    Oh well.

    I’d also like to learn how to cook (I mean properly cook.) A few years ago, just before I coincidentally got chucked out of the über-bourgeois shared house I’d lived in for years for my drug using, I met a lady on the street who offered to take me in.

    She was an intensely complex person. How she knew she could trust me with her house keys I’ll never understand because I had them for a month before I ever moved in. I ended up staying for over two years.

    There’s two sides to every relationship, and I do believe that ours was what they label a co-dependent one.That is, each party was relying on the other to an unhealthy extent.

    Then there was my time “on the streets” (or more accurately, in a squat, mostly alone).

    It was a giant building (not a house, a business premises), full of rats and pigeons and wildlife, not to mention certain “apparitions problem” — I kept seeing strange lights playing across the ceiling — and no way was this the lights of passing traffic. Once I saw a ghost and got scared witless.

    Now I’m housed in what they call “temporary accommodation”.

    Sadly, I seem no more capable of living in a single room than I am of leading an ordinary life.

    Reading back through my postings I often cringe at what I’ve put, yet I make myself keep it in here, to keep a representative record of my life.

    You want to know what cheered me up this evening? That was my dealer’s phone call, telling me a lovely bag of heroin was waiting for me at the end of my road.

    Some things never change…


Posted by gledwood at 11:10 PM GMT
Updated: Saturday, 16 December 2006 11:14 PM GMT
Continuing Sleep...
Mood:  down
Now Playing: Exhaustedly!
Topic: Daily Doings

HAVING STAYED OFF the “gear” as much as I could these past few days, I’ve been relying on methadone to keep me “sane”.

    I know my excessive sleep would be blamed on the heroin, if I complained to drugs workers or doctors about it. I now know this is not the case.

    No heroin and only the far weaker methadone and I’m still tired out and depressed and sleeping all day.

    Shouldn’t moan about this, I’ve had depressions for years. Winter has got me so bad this time around though.

    Christmas is looming. I’ve tried not to be gloomy about Christmas here, but to me and everyone like me, it’s a time of bleakness — no real fun. And the rest of the world feels like it’s stopped to boot.

    When I was working, years ago, I always used to get laid off for at least a week at Christmas. So in good times and in bad, Xmas was never really much of a time…

    As for New Year, I’ve never been one to choose that particular time to start imposing resolutions.

    Before my addiction came along I was always capable of sticking to any arrangement I chose to make with myself. I never needed New Year as an excuse to push me along.

    But I have to be honest, I’ve told myself I’m stopping heroin so many times only to let myself down, I’m very wary of making any resolutions at all nowadays, New Year or not…


Posted by gledwood at 6:42 PM GMT
Updated: Saturday, 16 December 2006 6:50 PM GMT
Thursday, 14 December 2006

Mood:  blue
Now Playing: Wearily...
Topic: Daily Doings

MY SLEEP CYCLE, as I’ve remarked, is all over the place. Some things never change and my sleep is one of them. Thanks to some cheese, having zzz’d all night, I dragged myself up, forced myself to do some necessary things only to end up lying down again and drowsing deeply throughout much of the afternoon. Then I did get up, only to feel weary and depressed.

    I know the winter blues, when they fit the “syndrome” get labelled Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). That is, depression with massive over-sleeping and a craving for sweets and pasta etc is triggered by the (in my opinion massively) diminished hours of winter daylight.

    That said, I have noticed an added urge for Jaffa Cakes and Turkish lemon curd biscuits (the lemon curd is in the middle — yummy.

    Plus I have been spending hours and hours as unconscious as possible. “Hibernating,” I like to call it. Hmmm…

    As well as nasty old winter the killings of those young girls have got me down. As I implied earlier, I count myself lucky that in the roulette wheel of life chances, I was not born female. Because if I was, I can’t see that I would not be out on the midnight streets as those women were.

    A newspaper commentator called those “working girls” streetwise. Well of course they think they are.

    And to most “straight” people, no doubt they would seem that way. But as yet another article implied, drug addicts actually tend to be immature. (Streetwise and mature are not of course the same, but one thing does feed into the other.)

    Perhaps the Narcotics Anonymous theory is true and the age at which addiction grabs you is the emotional age at which you stay.

    That would put me in my 20s. But many of my acquaintances are stuck in their teens.

    Youngsters stuck in adult bodies. No wonder they live lives of such chaos…


Posted by gledwood at 11:46 PM GMT
The Sun
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: thoughtfully...
Topic: News Views

THE SUN NEWSPAPER, not always a bastion of open-minded thinking in times past, published a remarkable editorial this morning.

    Under the banner, "The Sun Says"... "Deadly Craving".

    The five women murdered were all prostitutes.

    But they can't be dismissed as tarts who asked for all that they got.

    ... All five were somebody's little girl.

    Addiction drove them to risk everything. They craved drugs more than life itself.

    The most poignant image... of this horrific saga was a terrified girl starting her night shift...

   "I know the risk but I need the money," she said.

    A few hours later, Paula Clennell, 24, was dead.

    If there is a lesson it can be summed up by her distraught Dad, Brian: "Don't do drugs."

    The press is full of sad tales of these girls who, as the cliché  says, "had everything going for them" until drugs stole it all away.

    I feel so sad reading these stories of girls not that much younger than me, how drugs came into their lives — and the resulting decline and fall.

    As a heroin addict I've got used to living an existence I can't expect the outside world to understand.

    So when something truly awful happens like this I'm suddenly confronted by realities that from day to day I've almost managed to forget.

    Because drug-taking (hard drugs, anyway) is about forgetting.

    And remembering feels sometimes almost too painful.

    What else can I say? My thoughts aren't so much with those girls' families as with the girls themselves.

    Because I know that, put in the same situation, I'd be dead also.

   


Posted by gledwood at 5:45 PM GMT
Updated: Thursday, 14 December 2006 11:51 PM GMT
Wednesday, 13 December 2006
Serial Killer
Mood:  surprised
Now Playing: Disgusted Observer
Topic: News Views

WE HAVE A SERIAL KILLER ON THE LOOSE. In Eastern England this man (it almost definitely is a male) has been picking up young prostitutes, none of whom has been seen alive again. Five bodies recovered over two months; two of these were found in a stream last weekend.

    What the BBC are calling “sex workers” and the tabloids label “vice girls” or “hookers”, let’s be clear, are heroin and/or crack addicts driven to the streets to fund their own (and frequently their parasitic boyfriends’)drug habits.

    Some heartbreaking stories appeared in the newspapers this morning. Young women, bright-eyed, their whole lives laid out full of opportunities ahead . Along come hard drugs and — wham!— all dreams are shattered. Life reduces to a treadmill, working, scoring, using, sleeping, working, scoring… and so on…

    Confronted by (probably paying) journalists, the girls say mostly what they know is expected. But some have admitted the uneasy truth: while their every intuition warns them: keep off the streets, the pull of drug-money becomes stronger even than the instinct to preserve life.

    Police say their warnings have been heeded. I really don’t think so. When sex workers know their clients have been all scared off, why bother coming out? Maybe the girls can make a bit of money talking to journalists if they find the right ones. Otherwise I’d suspect the majority are relying on their families (if they have families) to support them, or else are robbing the local high street… all the time waiting patiently for the situation to die down.

    What motivates a man to such depravity? The police have conceded he knows enough about forensic techniques to strip the corpses and dump them in a stream (where two were round very close together). The culprit is, apparently, “well organized” and (this is where it gets truly frightening) dangerous even as serial killers go…

    Experts, of course, disagree on the details.

    To Radio 4, he is a charming man the street girls feel they can trust; to the Sun newspaper he’s inept and full of rage. He targets street girls because they’re the easiest women to get hold of and he’s angry, one expert theorizes, because he’s (sexually) inept and resent the (sexual) power such women wield over him.

    A supposed “fund” has been set up to cover these ladies’ living expenses: but to be blatantly frank I cannot conceive how on earth such a scheme could operate without being abused.

    Are they going to hand out £50 a day to anyone who says she’s a prostitute? If the girls say they need it, will they give them more?

   There are no answers to this nightmare situation. The sooner the monster(s) responsible are caught, the sooner (relative) peace and harmony can be restored…

 

Pete Doherty, notorious rocker fiancé of Kate Moss has been fined yet again for possession of crack cocaine and heroin.

    The judge or magistrate in the case went leniently because Mr Doherty is doing so well at his treatment programme.

    Doesn’t this judge read the newspapers? fumes Jane Moore, columnist in the Sun.

    Well excuse me, Ms Moore, but aren’t judges supposed to disregard hearsay (which, let’s face it, is what the papers are full of) and focus only on the facts presented in court. Isn’t that why justice is blind? If the tabloid press were granted the power over the law courts of the land they desire, imagine just how OTT the outcomes would be…

    For information, BTW, I hear Mr Doherty is fitted with a heroin-busting naltrexone implant. For about £3000, a private clinic will fit one of these internal patches that blockades the effects of heroin and all other opiates completely for up to three months.

    If Pete Doherty’s really fitted up with one of these, I’d point out that merely getting such a drastic device installed under one’s skin says more than a whole folder of “drugs progress reports” ever could…

    …Being in the public eye with a raging habit cannot be easy.

    So I say: hats off to Mr Doherty, for making the effort.

   


Posted by gledwood at 7:21 PM GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2006 7:28 PM GMT
Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Mood:  crushed out
Now Playing: Depressedly
Topic: Daily Doings

TUESDAY — what a blank day.

    I’VE SCRAPPED so many would-be versions of today.

    Yes, it’s a blank, blank day.

    Saw my drugs worker earlier. I’m trying to banish the needle from my life (if not the drugs (yet)).

    Don’t want to go into detail here but I will say I’m doing a lot better than I was, say three or four years ago.

    There was just now a programme from a radio series on, “Am I Normal?  This week’s topic was drinking.

    The British Government’s idea of binge drinking is exceeding eight units (men) or 6 units (women) in 24 hours.  

    Now that’s not most people’s idea of a binge.

    They used to say a “unit” (10 mls neat alcohol) represented a half pint (¼ litre) of lager or a single measure of spirits.

    The trouble is — who ever has just one half of beer or a single whiskey (unless they’re in a tearing hurry to get from the pub to somewhere else)?

    The typical pub wine glass holds nearly double what it did when the “unit” system was devised. Even the wine itself is stronger, up from an average 9% ABV to 11% or 12%.

    This “binge drinking” seems to be the in-thing for young adults and near-adults these days. I even heard that British-style drinking habits are catching on among the French youth.

    If that is the case, it’s a shame.

    Continentals have traditionally looked down on British and Irish tourists staggering about the streets of whatever resort, too drunk to remember even the name of their hotel. (I couldn’t really say the Brits in turn look up to the more sober locals because I don’t think they do. Probably most of the time they’re too blind drunk to take much notice!)

    That’s enough about booze…

    Tomorrow, I must remind myself, is a brand new day. I don’t have to do anything, I should remind myself of that. I can, if I remember to, take each day on its own merits.

    (I get into such a routine, you see, it’s sometimes hard to break out of it.)

    There… I did find something to say. (I wasn’t sure, when I started this, that I would.)

    I’m glad the day is over. I’m tired and I won’t say anything else here except goodnight. I might be in a better mood in the morning, who knows?...

   I don’t. I’m blank as today…


Posted by gledwood at 10:59 PM GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 12 December 2006 11:06 PM GMT
Monday, 11 December 2006
THE ROOT OF UNHAPPINESS
Mood:  spacey
Now Playing: The Rememberer
Topic: Drugs FAQ

YOU DON'T NEED TO BE ADDICTED TO DRUGS to know craving… think of food addicts, gamblers… (I don’t include alcohol; alcohol is a drug).

    Simple old unhappiness… I remember years of it. That utter bleak despair, lost in the dark… But the more common experience of misery (more persistent and long-lasting, one that doesn’t call for help) is being just about okay. Showing the world you do cope — just.

    All the time craving something nameless, something more.

    Usually we satisfy this craving in “healthy” ways: chocolate biscuits, our favourite television programmes, sex…

    We all know of Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit. We know the legend of Pandora’s Box. WE see wizened old junkies on our TV screens saying heroin and crack are “The Devil’s Drugs”. Life’s experiences (usually) stretch to guessing what they might be speaking of.

    Crack takes you up — way up high. Unlike smoking a cigarette or spliff, the entire dose is taken in a single breath, so the effect is compounded. Just like an injection, all the coke hits the brain in seconds, all at once. For five minutes or so you can float in euphoria before falling. Then you’re left with two options: take more crack or take something else to make you forget it. (“Forgetting” crack, takes potent stuff.)

    Crack cocaine hooks nobody at their first smoke. That’s a media myth. And it’s dangerous because it puts vulnerable people at risk. If that’s not true, they reason, what is? Suddenly, unsupervised in the Devil’s Playground, every game seems worth a whirl. “Indulge! You’ll be fine!” temptation urges.

    In my “formative years” I was exceedingly impressionable. Vulnerable to all life chucked at me (it threw quite a lot). And once I left home it seemed to throw it all at once. I count myself lucky that heroin and coke were not among the plethora of chemicals that came whooshing in my direction once I was left to fend them off alone.

    I shudder to think what might have become of me had I acquired a source of hard drugs at a young age. I doubt I’d be around to speak to you now.

    All youngsters experience pain when growing up; mine grew into agonies and I would never go through them again. (At times I was such a wreck I couldn’t even look the assistants in the eye when paying for things in shops. I “blanked” most people automatically, not to be rude but because I was too shy to broach a conversation (even with folks I knew). It is to their great credit that the friends I did make back then saw in me “something” worth knowing. Still, I don’t believe they knew the real me for the most part. I was defeated by depression, I was only half alive. That’s why I count myself lucky. If heroin had got me then I can’t see I could ever have survived it.

    For the most part cannabis smoke swirled around me, as well as so-called “candies” — the dance drugs ecstasy and LSD and speed… I knew people hooked on “toking spliff” — from waking to putting their head down at night they put cannabis ciggies to their lips, and (unlike President Clinton) they inhaled very deeply indeed. Cannabis never suited me enough to become a constant companion.

    As for the so-called Dance Drugs, some of those chemicals + my unhappy mind =’d reactions (esp. to LSD) severe enough to put off onlookers from ever dabbling with “trips” for the rest of their lives.

    Well, now it’s the heroin that’s got me. The other drugs I take have become subsidiary to my main habit, my so-called Drug of Choice. Heroin does things to you no antidrugs poster could ever explain. I cannot recall, for example, the last time I woke first thing with a bright, free spirit, thinking, “What am I doing today?”

    My days have decayed. Money = money to score. No money = methadone misery. Do what you have to… daylight passes… back to bed.

    Life on this stuff turns black and white.

    You either have your gear and you’re happy — or you don’t and life is misery. But between black and white and shades of grey, life’s myriad colours, somehow, have all gone.

 

Perhaps you’re wondering why I feel the need to say these things.

    For one thing among many, I can’t recall anywhere I’ve come across an accurate account of drug addiction from the inside. Writers tend to fictionalize their experiences, or else pen autobiography, often years after the fact. By this time, finer details have escaped them. Memory, as I said yesterday, is an expert Trickster.

    Forgetfulness is vast as the Seven Seas…


Posted by gledwood at 3:49 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 11 December 2006 4:06 PM GMT
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
 

BODILY FUNCTIONS

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

LITTLE MOUSEY

(Even wino crackhead heroin junkies love their pets.)

"LITTLE MOUSEY"

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

LITTLE MOUSEY

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...

                                      "Aaah!"


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

TEN THINGS TO BE DEPRESSED ABOUT

  • 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.

TEN THINGS TO CHEER UP ABOUT

  • 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! http://plumpiemousie.blogspot.com
  • 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
GENERATION NEXT'S GROWING HABIT
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

TO PRESCRIBE OR NOT TO PRESCRIBE? SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT GIVE HEROIN TO HEROIN ADDICTS?

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
Homeless
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
HIGH SECURITY PRISONER ESCAPES!
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

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