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Gledwood's Drug Confessions: A Heroin Addict's Blog
Tuesday, 9 January 2007
Draconian American Laws
Mood:  sharp
Now Playing: Born in the USA...
Topic: News Views

I KNEW THERE WAS SOMETHING I'd omitted from the piece you find below. Something obvious and simple that throws light on the issue. It came to me in a flash this afternoon. So blindingly obvious, I can't fathom why I left it out, but hey. The biggest difference between the darker side of British and American life can be summed up in one word:— GUNS.

The prevelence of these across the Pond seems to have given America a harder edge indeed...

I WAS READING IN IVY'S "Losing My Name" (listed to the right) about people being carted off to jail just for "trespassing" on McDonalds' property. Which puts me in mind of something I've felt like commenting on for some time: how draconian the American authorities' way of doing things seems to be compared to ours'.

Prison over here is a last resort option. Nobody goes to jail here unless it's for pretty serious wrongdoing, or they're convicted for the umpteenth time of some petty offence, such as shoplifting. In other words the court feels it's the only option.

I remember a documentary about some Americans trying to make it in the film business without much money. One was caught shoplifting food and did two weeks inside until someone stumped up something like $2000 to get him out. That would never happen over here. You only have to pay bail if the crime with which you're charged is extremely serious (e.g. drug trafficking) and there's considered a risk of your fleeing the country. Normal bail involves just signing out, adhering to certain conditions (possibly a curfew) and visiting the police station on a regular basis to sign the Bail Book, proving you're still around.

As for trespass, unless it's done on the railways or, perhaps, restricted access Government property, it isn't even a crime! One can sue for trespass in the civil courts, but a successful claim must prove that actual physical damage or financial loss was incurred...

You don't need any special cards to flash at police if you're stop-&-searched carrying needles. The police are most concerned that needles should have the proper lids on. Their main worry over here is not getting needlestuck! And should you overdose the police are unlikely to accompany you to or visit you at hospital. Unless, say, you were underage or some similar dodgy factor was involved.

There was recently a BBC documentary on American child prisoners. Most of those interviewed were in their late teens, but had been convicted at the ages of 14 and 15 of serious crimes (e.g. murder), tried as adults at the District Attourney's discretion and sentenced to life without parole. That could never happen here! A child is a child under English law, no question. The age of criminal responsibility kicks in at seven or thereabouts. And anyone who commits a crime, whatever their age after that, will be held responsible. But the court at which they're tried and the sentence will depend totally on their age.

Tthe death penalty was banned here in the 1950s. And the peculiarly American  ways your authorities have of doing it — electric chairs, (allegedly) agonizing lethal injection — would never be approved of over here, even if hanging were to be brought back.

I find it quite strange that two countries who consider themselves "cousins" if not "brother" nations can have such differing attitudes to something as fundamental as justice...

I can't put my finger on why the British should be so very much more tolerant. Perhaps, as the stereotype goes, we really are a more clement people. A trivial first offence (for example bog-standard marijuana possession) usually attracts a formal warning or caution. Whereas in America, "citations" seem to go flying out left right and centre. Though it's a popular catchphrase, often spouted by press-hungry politicians, us Brits never did quite get the idea of "zero tolerance"...

Hmmm... I don't feel like I'm being as analytical as I'd hoped. My point, to the American addicts reading this, is: you have my sincerest sympathy. Being a junkie is no walk in the park. And you seem to be having a far rougher ride than most of us...


Posted by gledwood at 11:53 PM GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 10 January 2007 7:00 PM GMT
Landlord Update
Mood:  loud
Now Playing: Poker? Or Chess? Which is the best allusion?
Topic: Daily Doings

I DID SET EYES ON MY LANDLORD at about 8:12am, 12 mins following the close of my "clear up or else" deadline. I was on my way to the corner shop for more alcohol supplies and I pretended not to see him. I got up extra early to put finishing touches to my suddenly amazingly sparse-looking room. I drank lots of cyder in doing so. By the time 8am dragged itself round I was roaring drunk and ready for a confrontation. None happened. Which is probably just as well, I s'pose. I was in such a mood with him I honestly didn't care about consequences. Sometimes, in moments of despair, I believe I just was not cut out to live in a civilized house with locking doors, windows and an intact roof like the rest of 21st century man. I'm only fit to live in freezing squalour on the streets, I tell myself. But that is probably depression talking, so best ignore it, eh?

I was so tired at about midday that I fell asleep with Mousey running all over me at play. Of course I woke up about ten minutes later, checked my clothes and — gaah! — the swine has gone! Couldn't see him anywhere at first. Got his tank and tipped it sideways, hoping its nesty aroma would tempt him back in. But five minutes later there I saw him, pinging supersonically like a hyperactive vole. Man, this creature is seriously fast. Even when I'm knelt right next to him that's no guarantee of catching the little beggar. If you've ever kept a pet mouse, you'll know how dopey the petshop version is compared to his cousins in the wild. Fear and lightning reactions become tamed out of him. Well my Chinese Mousey is just as lightning fast as a wild housey mousey, if not faster. And certainly quieter. (Whoever came up with that expression as quiet as a mouse was either deaf or hadn't lived in a house teaming with them in the age of the modern carrier bag because house mice can be exceedingly noisy when the lights are off at night.) After one badly failed attempt I did snatch up the wayward rodent, whose ears went instantly down — all repentantly. I shoved him up my sleeve where he instantly calmed down and started washing himself and settled down to bed. He seems to think of it as home up there and relaxes. I blame the escape on my evil landlord. If he hadn't implied he'd be paying that visit at 8am, my sleep pattern wouldn't have been quite so desecrated to begin with.

Well that's about that about landlords and mice. Keep reading. There's some cringeworthy poetry below. And I'm not necessarily just referring to the William McGonnagal links...

Posted by gledwood at 10:34 PM GMT
Gledwood's Poetry Corner
Mood:  flirty
Now Playing: the Bard
Topic: Poetry

ONE OF THE WONDERS of a good clear-out is the stuff you find you never knew you had.  The following poetry I salvaged from my old Green poem collection... I don't know what to say about them, except these are three of the best ones (so just imagine what the worst are like!!) I've not written any poetry at all (to the best of my memory) in the last ten years. Oh yeah. Except that wonderful mousey song you'll find posted some time in December. Because I remember t'was the season for "Little Donkey"-type carols anyhow. Oh, and BTW; concerning these three:— that last one, the wanderer. How grim, eh!?! Hmm...

If anyone has a comment/comments I'd be interested to hear what people think of these. They don't seem to be quite as crappy as I remembered.

PS If you want a real laugh, go for a poke through the works of William Topaz McGonnagal. The Tay Bridge Disaster is one of his best known works. Click here for an entertaining read: The closing couplet is fantastic. My American friends might prefer to start with Jottings of New York: — a "Topaz" command performance.  Not, to my mind, as boringly Victorian as his Tay Bridge ejaculation, in it he murders one's sense of the sublime more practisedly & is altogether entertaininger. See what you think.

Anyhow, folks; here's me:—

Embankment by Night

A thousand lights are hanging in the Thames,

garlands strewn by swirl and tide

into a protoplasm of stars

echoing reticence of frosty night;

glitter so gladly and so bright.

I wish to touch their candied radience,

they lift me like a trip,

smiling, splashed, fantasticated suns

immune to miseries of wind and cold,

shards of celebration drawn from sleep,

the cosmos of a reverie reflected

in the blood of a town too jaded to dream.

                                          11 January 1997



What are words for?

Words make use of breathing:

consciousness of living:

they tell us we can hear.

Lips and faces.

What are faces for?

If not for telling who we are.

And how we feel

and how we are.

Words can lie; but eyes find flickered feeling.

Without eyes, faces have no meaning.

Then only words could tell the truth

or lie.

Do you see?

                                          7 January 1997 

The Wanderer

The evening wanderer moves

amongst the shadows of the night:

the world of people is passed

and dusk takes its own.

Day by daylight he moves,

a shadow among people;

a ruined church

in a thicket of lost graves.

Night by light the days

pass like speeding cars;

merge, drop by drop

in some forgotten pool...

Grey memories crowd

in sleepy groves, shades

of shadow-cities gather

gloating in the gloom, attentive.

The cold fingers of past

caress his throat,

tightening like strange dreams;

a whispering: "Remember me."

And when the wanderer rests,

his bed will be his grave.


Copyright © 2007 by Gledwood all rights reserved & all...

Posted by gledwood at 8:56 PM GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 9 January 2007 10:33 PM GMT
Not Homeless
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: still not playing.
Topic: Daily Doings

1. Re the bin-diving/etc, (see below) the word in question is "freegan".

2. I dunno why I call this guy Crackhead of the Century. Saddo of the Century would be more appropriate. He was still out begging change at 4am. Someone (whom he knows) ran off with the previous tenner he made. What can I say? Also (re some past happenings) he is either mentally retarded or a stirrer of "muck" par excellence—got me in real trouble one time.

3. I've not been chucked out. Yet.


PS If you want a laugh, click on this: & have a gorp at some "international fugitives" from justice. Elizabeth & Fritz Otte —what are they wanted for? Robbing a Sue Ryder shop??

Posted by gledwood at 12:28 PM GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 9 January 2007 12:50 PM GMT
Freakin' Clean: Clean Freak
Mood:  crushed out
Now Playing: Que Sera Sera
Topic: Daily Doings

HI PEOPLE. I got myself in a tailspin earlier. I wish I hadn't spent so much of my life being depressed sometimes; it means I can launch right back into all the old negative thoughts with a fingersnap's notice. The guy I named Crackhead of the Century went "yeah, right," under his breath when I said I hadn't got 50p to spare earlier on and I had to seriously keep my hands to myself.

What I did to cure it all was eat my "junkie sausages & bakedbeans" (the recipe's given in "topics" list under Junkie Cookery if you want a laugh. My twist on sausages & beans (for those impatient with the cooking) is you brown the outside then chop 'em up & upend them, searing the resulting little sections. Goes all lovely & crunchie. Yummmm.) & then I slept for a couple of hours. And now I feel a lot better.

As I say I've made a huge effort lately not to be living like a glorified down-&-out (albeit with my own little roof over my head). My clothes are clean. I have on Puma trakkie bottoms the same colour blue as my blog background — a beautifully clean and laundered cobalt blue. I have on a black hoodie, that is also (fairly) freshly washed (well, a week ago and that's good for me, believe!) My trainers (sneakers) are scummy though. Silver Nikes I've overworn but I've another pair I'm saving up for when these really disintegrate. (I barely ever buy clothes but people have been incredibly generous with me. I'm nowadays wearing pretty much the kind of stuff I'd choose if I had the choice... I have some very generous friends (one in particular, Mr Dodger, has a habit of bin-diving. There's a word for this when you live on stuff others have chucked out... but it escapes me. When the expression does come back to me I'll post it. It's been on the radio & in all the papers. The newest, most ecosound way of living.)

Okay, I've a hit waiting for me then I'm going to reorganize the last of my stuff. After that, que sera sera, as Doris Day trilled. Whatever will be will be...

... The future's not ours to see ...

... Que sera ...

... sera!!

& now to quote Bazil Brush:—


Posted by gledwood at 1:14 AM GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 9 January 2007 1:38 AM GMT
Monday, 8 January 2007
Eviction Threat
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: with the Hoover
Topic: Daily Doings

THIS TIME TOMORROW I could be homeless. "Could be" is the operative expression; it's my landlord's threat. He says I must tidy up my room by 8am tomorrow and unusually for him (he does nothing in an organized fashion usually) the threat is put in writing in a one-sentence letter. Yes, that makes it more legally serious, I know.

I don't get on with my landord. I am recovering from severe problems with depression and just not coping. [I just read this back: I mean I'm recovering from the not coping+depression. Not I was depressed & I'm still not coping. Okay?] As I've hinted before I literally gave up on life a while ago— almost completely. I ended up in a room full of clutter (it had all gone in my friends' shed during the months I was homeless and the years I spent with Nutnut but it had to come back to me eventually. And I was in no right mind really to deal with it when it did.) And the problem just exacerbated. Eventually I did clear the room ship-shape so most of that old clutter's long gone.

The council have me down as "vulnerable". I'd not have been housed otherwise. But when "vulnerable" shows its true "vulnerable" colours, the same council that demanded vulnerability as a box-ticking manoevre don't want to deal with its untidy actuality.

I've an Everest mound of washing in the middle of the floor. A load of books is next to it. The pile has toppled. The bin also I knocked over during my yesterday's efforts at cleaning. So he looks at this and doesn't see my effort, he only sees my mess.

It's going to take me an hour or so to get my room all ship-shape for his inspection.

And then, tomorrow morning, I hopefully won't be homeless.

Posted by gledwood at 5:13 PM GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 9 January 2007 1:53 AM GMT
Friends' Blogs & Links
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Mellow Yellow
Topic: Daily Doings

RIGHTY-HO FOLKS; I've just spent ages tinkering with that huge list of links you see to your right. A huge, yet in many ways barely started list of links. Because I'm planning to develop a comprehensive library of the absolute best links for druggie addiction and related topics. Which will take quite some time. BTW if anyone knows a good drugs info website not there, would you please be so kind as to tell me? Also one question: what's the American national antidrugs info society (there must be at least one) called? Or is it the one I've already got up there: the Thingie for a DrugFree America? or the National Institute of Drug Abuse? Isn't there any other one? Ours is called Frank (The National Drugs Helpline). Now I have googled this without the success I'd hoped for, but I'm looking for national equivalents to this accross the English-speaking world.

So if you know a link (or just the name of a famous drug help agency or drug info network, Comments please! And don't worry about stating the obvious. If I've not listed it, I don't know it.

Re the blogs I've resorted and categorized. Yes I know a few of yous might laugh at being called "normal"...! But you are normal compared to me.

Basically the new categories go • Druggie and using (like me (ie Chipper)) • Druggie past; trying to stop or successfully stopped • Normal people's blog-journals • News-oriented blogs (Power&Control) ... & lastly • Wonderblogs; these are ones that aim to bring a little magic into your life. Not personal diaries so much as ideas resources, plumpiemousian dreams, ginger cats' purrings, etc...

The blogs listed are the ones I'm reading. I hope you have fun with them too.



Posted by gledwood at 2:13 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 8 January 2007 2:31 PM GMT
Blogspot... more
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: the tantrum has passed...
Topic: Daily Doings

THANKS FOR THE BLOGSPOT REPLIES. Hope I wasn't too offputting with my ranting. Sometimes I spend quite a long time pondering what I'm going to say... only for said comment to have to go unposted... that does drive me up the wall!!!

Sunday, 7 January 2007 - 11:48 PM GMT

Name: "Ruth"
Home Page:
Believe me it's a right pain BEING a blogspot blogger; there have been sooooo many problems.

Take care


Yep, I think you said it all, Ruth!

When I'd decided to do this blog (bear in mind I'm someone who's very lazy, but when I do make up my mind to do something nothing gets in my way, does that make any sense?) so I thought, Who's best known - ie who will best promote my blog? Ah! Google! (How naïve was I then??!) So I googled, 'google blog' and got to blogspot. Went through fairly lengthy registry process. Even put in a short blog entry.

Then when I try to log back in... can't do it.

They repeatedly asked for a username I hadn't given.

Eventually (and this was at long last, maybe an hour later during which time I'd smoked about 12 cigarettes and hit the ceiling) a help page told me my username was the email address I'd given.

To cut a long story short, google blogspot let me open THREE blogs using the SAME username and password (totally not knowing; it's their fault not mine). NONE of these blogs would subsequently log in. Oh I tell a lie. I ONCE got into ONE of them. And most annoyingly of all this was using up the treasured domain names I really wanted, because once I'd attempted blog one with one name obviously blog 2 had to be called something different.

That's what put me off blogspot right from the beginning. So I "know your pain", folks!

Posted by gledwood at 10:44 AM GMT
Updated: Monday, 8 January 2007 10:56 AM GMT
Sunday, 7 January 2007
Annoying Blogs that Won't Take My Comments (does anyone agree with this?)
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: I'm not playing. I'm throwing a tantrum.
Topic: Daily Doings

IT HAS JUST TAKEN ME LITERALLY 20 MINUTES to leave a simple comment on a "no anonymous comments" blogspot blog. 

Some of you google blogspot bloggers need to bear in mind by not allowing anonymous comments you're closing your blog off to the entire outside world EXCEPT people who blog with your service provider... I know loads of people on blogspot who accept (a) google (b) other (c) anonymous. Will it really hurt you to allow this?

If someone leaves an objectionable comment on mine I can easily delete it. If I get left loads of them, I can moderate before they are published. You have these options too.

I've attempted to open so many google/blogspot accounts they mess up my passwords and identities all the time (I write them down so I know who's at fault).

Look I'm not trying to have a personal go at anyone. And I'm not even just talking to one or two people. This has happened to me loads of times. It is really frustrating. Trust!

Come on. Sort it out. I beg you!

Comments/remarks/opinions/info, please!

Posted by gledwood at 7:28 PM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 7 January 2007 8:33 PM GMT
A Yummy Dinner
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: ... you name the tune...
Topic: Daily Doings
YEAH, MAN a yummy dinner. And enough free B to put in my bum (intramuscularly) to give a pleasing dizziness to the end of a drab weekend. Bon appetit, well and truly.

Posted by gledwood at 6:39 PM GMT
Quarter to three, Sunday...
Mood:  lazy
Now Playing: nothing much...
Topic: Daily Doings

IT'S ABOUT A QUARTER TO THREE and just about time I should be getting to my friend's house for Sunday lunch. (Yes, I get Sunday lunch every week free — with all trimmings. How cool is that? Sometimes I even get a free taste of heroin to give bon appetit. (Can't count on that, though, grrr.))

I don't think I mentioned this, but during the very most intense phase of my addiction I relied on heroin to eat, sleep and get up. Obviously I had to get out of bed without it some days, in order to get it. But I certainly could not sleep without it. And I found it really difficult to eat without having a hit just before. One afternoon I remember banging up next to the fridge and tearing into cold roast chicken right as the B-buzz hit me. The result of this "drugs eating disorder" was I became a bit overweight (testimony to how much heroin I was taking). Also I was living with Mad Bird. The food was free. She was crazed. And I needed all the consolation I could get...

Posted by gledwood at 2:49 PM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 7 January 2007 8:36 PM GMT
... then shall the lame man leap like a hart...
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: Quotations

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

and the ears of the deaf unstoped;

then shall the lame man leap like a hart,

and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy.

For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,

and streams in the desert;

the burning sand shall become a pool,

and the thirsty ground springs of water;

the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,

the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

Isaiah 35:5-7

Posted by gledwood at 12:34 AM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 7 January 2007 3:09 PM GMT
Saturday, 6 January 2007
The Meaning of Craving
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: Drugs

The Meaning of Craving

THIS IS WHAT I WISH some of the smug people who work in the drugs services would understand when us junkies talk of “craving”. The tale I’m about to tell you illustrates the consequences of “craving” well enough. Don’t read on if you’re weak of stomach.

   It was a dull Friday night. I had no money. I had no drugs. (I’d had my methadone, but as I’ve said, that doesn’t take away the urge to use 100% by any means.)

   So I started a game I’m sure many people play; “hunt the dregs of drugs”.

   This game involves closely examining all crack pipes, heroin spoons, whiskey bottles etc for any useable dregs of intoxicants. I was going through my top drawer (which isn’t so much full of underwear as tinopeners, playing cards, corkscrews, dead cockroaches, old photographs, mangled cassette tapes, paperclips… a bit of everything. At the back I found what would have appeared to the unwitting to be two enormous scabs of dried blood. (They were. But the blood was congealed around old heroin filters.)

   In case you’re wondering how they got there, let me explain. When you inject drugs into a vein, you obviously load up a syringe, you need to stick the needle into where you hope the vein may be (after several years it does become guesswork) pulling back on the syringe all the time, so that when you do hit the vein, blood flows back into the syringe. This is how you know you’re “in”. (However, when the veins are tired, battered, old and collapsing, it’s quite easy to get blood into the syringe, enough to clot up your hit, however for various reasons the vein may misbehave, leaving you with a congealing (and potentially lost) hit of drugs). To get the drugs back you need to re-cook up your own blood (gross, I know) with citric acid to break down the scabs that have formed. And try again.

   As I say, this is where craving can lead. Not every addict is lead to do every disgusting thing. But all of us are lead to do some of them... So anyway, I find my scabby filters. Pop them in a spoon. Add citric and loads of water. Cook up, crushing and stirring all the while. A smell of crackling pork hits my nose. Lovely. (No I’m being sarcastic. I hate pork.) Knowing from experience how to just about judge the strength of a dubious injection, I taste it. Yes, I taste heroin. Unmistakeable. And this has been scabbed up in my blood at the back of a dirty drawer for maybe two months or more. Okay…

   I stick the needle in. Sod’s law means I get the hit on the outside of my elbow (I’ve used veins literally everywhere except my groin and neck. I had a hit next to my right nipple the other night.) The hit goes straight in. I wasn’t expecting to feel very much, but I do feel something. A slight and gratifying sense of warmth. No more special really than jumping into a slightly hotter than lukewarm bath, but it’s easy to be circumspect about it now.

   About five minutes later I felt an odd coldness in my right arm (I’d injected in the left, so this made no sense to me). The coldness spread all over me, with weakness, dizziness, nausea. In fact all the symptoms of a pretty bad “viral” flu-type episode came on in about ten minutes, including a stonking migraine-type headache.

   In short I’d given myself what we call here a “dirty hit”. Americans call it “cotton fever”. I was so sick all night I had no energy left from puking. Next morning I could barely walk. I won’t go on, but I really did feel bad by anyone’s standards. Dehydrated, yet not able to drink… all that.

   Anyway walk I did to my friend’s house where (thanks to my good timing more than anything else) they were just scoring and gave me a nice clean hit.

   My point being? Yes I was responsible. Yes I knew (as much as anyone does) what I was doing. But… that is what craving lead me to.

Posted by gledwood at 11:19 PM GMT
Updated: Saturday, 6 January 2007 11:26 PM GMT
Ibogaine and Genes
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: I Want to Break Free...
Topic: Drugs Treatments

Have a look at this, folks. A gene is found (in rodents) that affects the likelihood of opiate relapse...

This New Scientist article puts me in mind of the African plant substance ibogaine, which has always been better known as a psychedelic. It's apparently not the pleasantest drugs trip you can go on (loads of nausea and vomiting)... and yet the plant has one fascinating power... it seems to be able to defeat drug addiction of all kinds. I.e. even people on huge methadone doses can, supposedly, undergo ibogaine treatment and the ibogaine not only blockades opiate craving for four years (with no need to readminister the ibogaine during that time) it also eliminates almost entirely withdrawals even from methadone (which are the worst). And it also works against crack! There's an American ibogaine clinic in my links to the right...

To read about the relapse gene in rats click:

By the way; poor rats:— did they put them on methadone afterwards?

Posted by gledwood at 10:39 PM GMT
Updated: Saturday, 6 January 2007 10:48 PM GMT

Oh come on, is no-one online? It's just before 1am GMT, which makes it around 5pm EST; 2pm PST; 2am CET; 3am South African time; 6:30am Indian... come on! Is no-one awake! Write me a comment NOW! Please. I'm bored. Do you know what I'm gonna wanna delete this in the morning...

Did you see my Dear Deidre reply below? How cool is that? I've found a new blog by Chipper: click his link to the right... I have a lot of things to say to Mr Chipper. Playing With Fire... Yes indeedy! Do you know how it feels to get burnt yet? Just be careful,   p l e a s e . . .

Sometimes I suspect people are too taken in by internet impressions. You must bear in mind when reading my blog that I write how I talk (pretty much). But I don't talk how I look. Most of you would probably not want to sit next to me on a bus, for example. I may give the impression, by being articulate, of being more capable than I am... capable is not the right word. OK, let me rephrase. I may give the impression of being someone who copes far better than he actually does. Do you want to hear the nitty-gritty of my life? I'll post you some gory details then... well take last night as a good example. A grown man in my house. Someone I know and for all the water under the bridge and for all his faults who I do actually respect. Was, as I said, howling like a wolf at four o'clock in the morning. And his girlfriend was begging him and I mean imploring, pleading with him not to sell her phone. This guy was acting like someone with all the IQ of a blushing-bum babboon. Which may be intelligent as the kingdom of animals goes, but ain't a patch on your average human. I have really lived in some degraded conditions (certainly of my own making, and that's the point. I don't need to "blame" anyone for these things). Homeless. Self-starving. Semi-psychotic. (At times I was psychotic, but these times have been mercifully brief.) Dirty. Sad. Pitiable and yet not wanting pity. Oh what else can I say? Just don't look to me and assume I'm taking drugs and making it somehow work for me, because that just ain't true...

Posted by gledwood at 12:57 AM GMT
Updated: Saturday, 6 January 2007 1:18 AM GMT
Friday, 5 January 2007
Chinese Mousiness
Mood:  cheeky
Now Playing: with the Beijing Opera
Topic: Chinese Mouse

Okay, skip this posting if you're not into hamsters... 

Chinese Hammy Photo Gallery Links.

So you can understand why I call my pet "Mousey" when he's a hammy...

And to see what he looks like—

Click the following links herebelow... — I'm putting this one at top because Benji looks just like my Mousey.  Note the platypus-tail. That's his gonads under there. — the original and best Wikipedia description. The hammy illustrated, though is a "white spotted," whereas mine comes in normal natural colour. To see a rather unflattering snap of what he actually looks like (when stressed) click below. My hammy's on the left. — my Mousey's pictured on the left. — a gallery of gleddymousey pixx, including one newborn... — a whole gaggle of dwarf hammies, Chinese included... — another comparison; a gledwood one and a white... — "a Chinese hamster is sometimes called a Mouster"... — the (UK) Midlands Hamster Club has some really good online info for glorified-rat-with-pouches-o-files... — a photo of a Mummy with really cute babies. The accompanying text is particularly perceptive for anyone thinking of buying a pet or wanting tips on handling. These animals are very easy to keep but you need to know e.g. they're extremely shortsighted, they orient themselves by sound, whisker-impressions and smell, etc etc just some things that seem very obvious when you know the animals but may take some getting acquainted with... 

OK this is my last hammy link but one:—

                                                                            ******* — this Q&As page for all rodent-lovers is pretty much here for my own reference...

Of the hamster types available as pets I've had loads of Syrians (mostly as a kid) though about ten years ago I had my famous golden hamster Hammy (named after his hamsterness). He was much loved. My Aussie friends (who come from a country where hamsters are banned to prevent the influx of nonindigenous vermin) said he looked like a cartoon character! Hammy lived to the glorious (for a hamster) age of 3½. Four people came to his funeral (let's face it, that's more than many humans get) and sang All Things Bright and Beautiful. The hymn wasn't my idea (I love my pets but I'm not THAT soppy) but it was a beautiful song. A couple of years ago I had a Campbells and a Siberian winter white living together. Unfortunately the winter white died (of old age, I suspect; I bought them from a dodgy shop) and the Campbells, who was a tiny baby when I got him, was still grooming his dead housemate's fur, which was heartbreaking... Anyway my Campbells Condensed eventually ran to the wheel in the sky and now I have the Chinese Mouse who is the tamest pet rodent I've ever had bar none. If I pick him out of his nest (he has FIVE nests, lazy swine!) sleeping, cup my hand round him so just his head's poking out, he v often continues to doze, he likes to be stroked on his furry forehead... then eventually he wakes with a start, realizes he's not in bed and decides to go for a ramble. When he's determined to move there's no stopping this animal, but most of the time, I have to say (just as Wikipedia put it ) he does display an endearing gentleness of character. Remember I mentioned a disappointing attempted photo session because I just could not capture his true likeness... well the picture of Benji (click does sum up some of the Chinese hammy warmth of personality.

The only hammies I've never owned are Roborovski dwarves. Have a click on this: they are tiny! And you can keep hoardes of 'em together! Which is so entertaining. Especially when you have one running the wheel one way and then another gets on, determined to go for a spin in the opposite direction...!

Posted by gledwood at 7:48 PM GMT
Updated: Saturday, 30 November 2013 7:09 PM GMT
The Day After the Crazy Night Before...
Mood:  spacey
Now Playing: Still Exhaustedly, I'm afraid...
Topic: Daily Doings

Wow! Check out the reply I got from The Sun's agony aunt "Dear Deidre" below. I emailed in asking for any good or unusual links she might have for my website, so the reply you see is what she wrote (unedited) below. I've always wanted to include some very basic info on the drugs from an unbiased source so the cyber-leaflet she sent me (it came attached as a Word document) seems as good as any. I want to emphasize I've pasted it up here exactly as it came for public information.

I still didn't sleep too brilliantly last night. There was madness in our house in the form of the prostitute's boyfriend going so deranged on crack he was howling at one point like a wild animal. All the money had obviously gone and she was imploring him to be "allowed" to keep her mobile phone... else that, too, would have gone up in smoke.

There's not much more I can say about crack. I've been into the madness also. It's not pretty. It's not special. It's just a morass, a mess, a living hell.

On a lighter note, I've wanted to post a picture of my Chinese hammy and haven't been able to do it; but I've found one. If you click on: you'll see my Little Mousey in white. The beady eyes show beautifully in that photo...

I'll leave it here. Take care folks. — Gleds.

Posted by gledwood at 4:02 PM GMT
Updated: Friday, 5 January 2007 10:54 PM GMT
Dear Deidre on Google
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: Drugs FAQ

STOP PRESS! (11 January 2007)

I couldn't resist pasting this in here: my Dear Deidre Google listing!!

Gledwood's Drug Confessions: A Heroin Addict's Blog

Posted by gledwood at 12:57 AM GMT. Updated: Saturday, 6 January 2007 1:18 ... Hi, Gledwood -- yes, it certainly is amazing that Dear Deidre wrote to you! ... - 37k - 9 Jan 2007 - Cached - Similar pages
[ More results from ]

Posted by gledwood at 1:02 AM GMT
Updated: Thursday, 11 January 2007 3:22 PM GMT
Dear Deidre Replies to Me!
Mood:  hug me
Topic: Drugs FAQ

Hi, thanks for your email and for telling me about your efforts with your blog.

I am sorry to hear that you are addicted to heroin and I hope you are getting the right kind of help to come off it.  I am attaching my leaflet about drug worries, which where you can get advice and information on stopping.  It also explains my perspective on this.

I do hope, though, that things work out all right for you.

All the best


sun newspaper personal advice service                        deidre sanders




If you are worried about drugs, whether it's your own use of them or someone else's, I'm glad you've got in touch. 

Some drugs are much more dangerous than others but the ones I’m talking about here all have one danger in common.  They are all illegal, unless taken on a doctor's prescription, so using them brings the risk of getting in trouble.  If you’re caught with just a tiny amount of some of these drugs on your person – simple “possession” – you may get away as far as the police are concerned with just a verbal warning or official caution. But most schools and many colleges and companies have a zero-tolerance policy, so you could be thrown out for possession of just a small quantity of a drug not in itself very dangerous health-wise, and that could have a seriously bad, lasting effect on your education and prospects.  This is a good argument for steering clear of all such drugs.

If you are caught in possession of any larger quantity of a drug than a single dose, then you could be suspected of possession with intent to supply. Passing drugs to your friends, even free of charge, is regarded as supplying, and can get you into far more serious trouble. And there are some serious reasons for such drugs being against the law.

 Even drugs which aren't reckoned medically to cause serious side-effects can be more disturbing the younger you are when you start using them, because your brain chemistry and personality are less settled, more easily knocked off balance.  Since you have so much else going on in your life during your teenage years and are going through so many personality developments and relationship changes anyway, it makes sense to leave drugs out of the picture at least until you are clearer where your life is heading, what you really want and how you’re going to get there.

          For every high, there has to be a low, no up without a down.  Regular use of any mood-altering drug - including alcohol, of course - eats into your energy levels, makes you feel you can't be bothered, tends to be destructive of relationships.  This is dangerous at any age and is certainly a good reason to make sure you get help if you feel drawn towards regularly blotting out the world.  There has to be a reason for this, probably to do with unhappy times in the past, perhaps even when you were a small child.  The sooner you sort out what bad feelings lurk around inside you, the sooner you will find that you don't actually need drugs to have a good time. Just as with alcohol, it is always dangerous to take any drugs and drive.

Having said all that, however, it is important to realise that some drugs are more dangerous than others, though all illegally obtained drugs may - without your knowing - have been mixed with something far more dangerous or be at a lethal strength.

What drugs are commonly available on the street?.

Solvents are found in products like glue and lighter fuel.   The effects are similar to being drunk (including the hangover). Risks include suffocation and choking to death, and long-term misuse can result in lasting brain damage.

Amphetamines (also called Speed or Uppers) give a sense of energy and confidence, but anxiety and irritability soon take over.  High doses can give you panic attacks.  Regular users tend to take increasing doses which undermine health.

Cannabis or marijuana (also called Dope, Blow, Grass, and so on), makes people feel more relaxed and talkative. It's not normally addictive, but users can come to rely on it as a way of feeling more relaxed socially.  Modern extra-strong forms of cannabis are more habit-forming and damaging.  It can trigger serious mental health problems such as schizophrenia in teenagers and is linked with depression, anxiety and risk of suicide. Cannabis is usually smoked with tobacco too, with all its associated health risks.

Ecstasy is mainly known as E though it has many other nicknames.  If it's taken in a hot atmosphere without enough water or soft drinks being available, at a rave for example, it can cause heatstroke. It is particularly dangerous for anyone who suffers from epileptic fits or any kind of heart condition. Ecstasy can make people very friendly towards each other or give them a feeling of extra energy.  Once the effect wears off, though, it can leave them feeling low, and regular use can have serious long-term effects. I have heard from many who found it leads to serious lasting depression.

Cocaine or coke as it's often known, is a powerful stimulant but effects tend to peak quickly and lessen rapidly.  The drug then has to be taken more often to maintain the high and this leads to dependence.  Over the longer term, it can cause sickness, sleeplessness, and weight loss.  Sniffing cocaine can also damage the membranes inside the nose.

Crack is cocaine which has been treated with chemicals so that it can be smoked, and it’s more dangerous.  The initial high is followed by unpleasant after-effects, which not only encourage compulsive use but can also lead to dependence.

LSD, also known as acid, is very powerful. You need take only a minute quantity - by mouth - for a trip lasting several hours. Hallucinations are usually vivid. It’s not addictive but trips can lead to depression, dizziness and panic.  These are more likely if the user is anxious or in unfamiliar surroundings, and are more likely to cause long-term disturbance in the young or vulnerable.

Heroin (or Smack, Junk, or H) is sometimes sniffed like cocaine, sometimes smoked, sometimes injected.  It creates a feeling of total relaxation and comfort but, once physical dependence has established itself, this pleasure is replaced simply by the relief of getting hold of the drug because withdrawal is so distressing.  Mis-users need more and more just to get the same effect.  Abuse is linked with crime, risk of HIV, self-neglect – in fact a thoroughly miserable way of life.

You can get more information and advice about all these drugs in confidence from FRANK (the national drugs helpline) on 0800 77 66 00, The Parents Drug Test on their website ( is a useful quiz guide to most commonly used drugs, their appearance, popular street names and how to identify signs of drug-taking.

I hope you’ve found this useful. If I can be of further help, or you’d like my booklist on related subjects, please e-mail, or write, enclosing a stamped self-addressed envelope if possible to: Deidre Sanders, FREEPOST, THE SUN, London E98 lAX.


© Deidre Sanders


While I make every effort to ensure the advice and information I provide is accurate and up to date, my service cannot be a substitute for consulting your own doctor, solicitor or a face-to-

face counsellor when needed.  I cannot be held responsible or liable for claims arising out of our correspondence, nor if I have been misled about the facts and circumstances.

5 January 2007

Posted by gledwood at 12:53 AM GMT
Updated: Friday, 5 January 2007 1:01 AM GMT
Thursday, 4 January 2007
Mood:  silly
Now Playing: Chung Peng Chow's Magic Cow Orchestra... and if you believe that you'll believe anything!
Topic: Daily Doings
Hi folks, it's night time. I am very tired bc I can't get a sleep pattern of any sense together. Did I have anything pertinent to say?? Whatver it was it's gone. If I knew where... do you know what, I don't know that I'm not too tired to bother fishing it back... Oh night-night...

Posted by gledwood at 11:30 PM GMT

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