VISIT THE HIPPY'S NEW SITE: Spend some time chilling out with the hippy...He used to be "the most shroomtastic stoner on the internet!" until the UK banned fresh magic mushrooms. He's still "the biggest internet celebrity you've never heard of!" He'll make you laugh, he'll make you think...he'll make you wish you were a hippy too!

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Damn, it's chilly today! I wasn't expecting it after the recent warm weather. You can't expect anything in London weather-wise, I've lived here long enough to know that.

Today was all about queuing; queuing for buses, queuing in the post office, the bank, everywhere.

Queues are nature's way of telling you your poor and don't count for much. Don't blame me, I didn't invent them. If you are poor, you will know exactly what I mean, if you are rich, it might be something you've heard about from your servants.

The airport is an excellent example of this rich/poor divide. If you are like me, flying anything other than tourist class is rare. I've blagged the odd upgrade to business, and even flown that way for work on a couple of occasions, but for the most part, you'll find me in the back, in cattle class.

It's bad enough having to spend several hours with your knees pressed against your chest in the six and half inches of space allotted to an economy passenger, but consider the check-in. Even before 9/11, the check-in process for a long-haul flight was no fun. It was long and tedious. But oh, just glance to the end of the check-in desks and you'll see one position that never has a queue: business and first class.

If you have one of these golden tickets, you can stride right up to the desk, check in as much as you like, then make your way to the "fast track" immigration channel, straight through to departures. Then, you're just a hop, skip and a jump from the business/first class lounge, where free food, booze and blowjobs await. Ok, maybe not the bj's, but how should I know, I've only been in a lounge twice.

And then there's the pre-boarding, whenever you want, a huge seat, a pre-flight glass of champagne, better food and even more blowjobs. Some airlines used to have special drop-off points and check-ins, closer to the gates, but the fear of terrorists put an end to that. Good thing too, Bin Laden is suppose to be rich, Saudi oil rich, so I imagine he would fly first it could very well have used this special facility to board a plane at Heathrow.

Us po' folk gots ta shuffle 'round in crowds, push our way to de seats, get knocked in da noggin by other people's bags. Loadsa fun.

So it shouldn't surprise me that I spent the day standing in long lines with other poor people. The post office was the worst and my only business there was actually postal-related. I had to airmail a Mother's Day card to my mom - where she is, it's Mother's Day on Sunday 9th May, so I've cut it pretty tight.

The first time I visited the post office, the queue was so long, I didn't even bother joining it. Instead I returned after a couple of other errands and waited about 20 mins, just to purchase one stamp. There's a documentary on C4 tonight about the Royal Mail that looks interesting, with undercover filming of how absolutely crap it is. I was thinking of watching it, but I already know how bad they are, I don't need reminding.

My other major errand today was zipping up to Camden to pick up my free shrooms. You didn't really think I would get through a blog-post without mentioning them, did you?

As promised, I was given 100grams of fresh, mexican p.cubes, gratis. Cool and groovy! Plus, I was given 4 tabs of something that was described as "ephedra replacement pills". I know what ephedra is and I don't really like it. All I could get out of the guy on the stall is that they are "mad" and made of some extract of orange peel. They were given to me loose, so no packaging to give me any clues. I'm not really sure what they are. I don't know if/when I will take them, unless I can get more info. Anyone with a guess is welcome to email!

Stay warm, stay dry, and stay home!

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

I've been watching the fighting in Falluja live on tv since last night, compelling stuff. There's a US Pool crew with the marines that have positions around the city beaming pictures out on a low-res videophone.

Last night, I watched live as an AC-130 gunship pounded "insurgent" positions. It was grainy, green, night-scope shots, but was extremely compelling. Today, this afternoon, I watched 2 attack helicopters targeting "enemy sniper positions". The live camera, again videophone quality, was perched over the shoulder of a marine sniper, equipped with a high velocity rifle and a long-range scope. Again, amazing to watch. Easy to watch as well and forget that those grainy pictures were showing you people getting killed, live on television. There was even product placement, right next to the US marine sniper, he had a can of "Sprite" soda, with the label facing the camera. It's crisp, clean and has no caffeine, nothing will quench your thirst better after a hard day of killing"!

Most impressive has been pool reporter, Karl Penhaul, who has been providing live narration for the pictures from Falluja. He's been calm, focussed and very knowledgeable, and he doesn't seem to be misrepresenting or mis-reporting the facts. Someone should snap him up for a proper reporting job! It can't be any fun living rough with the marines and essentially that's what being embedded with them means. It's not a camping trip, it will be hard going all the way!

The really bad news is one of my mushroom kits is no more. Kit number 2 had some sort of weird infection, moldy thing, which killed all the shrooms and turned bits of the surface green. I had to bin it; it’s gone, gone gone. Worse news is it looks like K3, which was in the same propagator as K2 might also have the same infection, the shrooms that were growing nicely, look like they are dying. I'm not 100% sure and I am hoping I am wrong, but that will be 2 kits out of three, which ain't good at all.

K1 is still growing the mutants. They look like their caps should be opening, but they are not - perhaps it's nature's way of stopping a bad gene from being passed on - when the caps open, they drop their spores. It's a mushroom version of shooting a load. There are lots of new shrooms coming up on this kit as well, so the longer I can leave it, the better the first flush will be, though it has been nearly 3 weeks!

I contacted the vendor that sold me the kits. He wasn't impressed; I get the feeling he likes a smooth life. Don't we all? He says the contamination happened here, but my feeling is they were fucked when I bought them. Anyway, he's offered me 100grams of free shrooms as compensation, so I will have to drop by the stall in Camden and collect them in the next couple of days.

Also, one of my friends from the EDIT forums has offered to send me a couple of free kits to replace these. He's been giving me advice on growing for a couple of months now and it turns out he grows commercially as well as preparing kits for sale. This is very, very cool of him and he says he will post me 2 kits next week. They will be different from my Mexicans, they will be Hawaiian p.cubes - which I have read are a bit stronger. I'm amazed at his generosity and am looking forward to growing something new.

In the last 2 days, I've been booked for 10 shifts, between the 2 companies I am working for, all between now and the end of June. I've got 2 in the next two weeks with one company, and another 8 with the other, on top of the two paying shifts I did last week, and another 3 next week - things are really taking off! This hippy needs to buy loads of things, so this additional cash is going to come in very handy!

That's all the news that’s fit to blog from my lair, what's the good word where you are?

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Don't say it, I know, I haven't written anything in a few days. Ok, five days, I put my hands up, I admit it and I have no good excuse except that I'm lazy.

I'm also keeping very odd hours, thanks to my two nightshifts. They went fairly well and I am pretty sure there will be ongoing work there for me. They seemed to really like me, actually. Yipppeee!

I've been in a time limbo since then, going to bed and waking up at odd times. Mrs Hippy is visiting family, so I am knocking about the house all own my own. I've shroomed, ordered a take-away and watched a crappy action movie on SKY. It hasn't exactly been party time.

What would that mean? Party time?? Hookers, coke, a live band perhaps; maybe tomorrow night.

Today has been dominated by death. No, don't worry, it’s no one close to me. The first death occurred just outside my brother's flat in south London. You won't read about it anywhere in the news, yardie shootings are so common in London that they don't get reported widely. I've searched, it's not appearing anywhere, yet.

It happened on the corner of his street, which is a known hangout for crack dealers when the weather turns warm, at about quarter after nine in the evening. My brother told me he heard the shots, then screaming, followed by cars speeding away. The police arrived and locked down the area and have been doing a methodical search.

They won't catch the shooter, they rarely do and there were loads of witnesses. No one will talk and the perp is probably on his way out of the country already.

My brother had a friend visiting, his car was parked outside, close to where the body dropped. That meant he couldn't move it, for about 24 hours. Nice. He finally took a night bus home at 2am, because a mini-cab couldn't get near the scene.

This is modern London living, trapped inside your flat because of crime. Around here, you don't really want to be walking the streets after dark either. My area, and my brother's rate highly for crime, especially violent crime. If you are coming to see my after dark, you better be driving or in a cab, otherwise it's a long ten minute walk from the tube, through mugger's alley.

Don't you envy the hippy lifestyle? Bet you live in Hamstead or Highgate and get dropped off by your private driver every night; sweet for you.

The other death was a bit closer to home, I actually saw the corpse myself.

I heard one of my cats, the small, cute, sweet male cat, meowing strangely in the hallway. I went to investigate to find my little buddy sitting there, waiting to show me what was in his mouth; a big, dead black bird!

He was holding it with pride, he looked like he was grinning as he offered it to me. I suppose I should have been flattered that he wanted to share his kill with me, but to be honest it just grossed me out. I told him to take it outside to the garden and quite amazingly he did.

He spent another hour playing with it, my other cat went outside to join in the fun too. God only knows where it is now, as long as I don't find it inside, I really don't care! The joys of pet ownership, eh?

I took my first flush of magic mushrooms yesterday, from K3, a rather respectable 127grams - that's three strong, or four medium strength trips. K2 is still growing, but slowly and is nowhere near ready to harvest. K1 continues to grow weirdly, the mutant shrooms look like a head of cauliflower, that someone sanded down to be smooth. Only now, I have normal looking shrooms growing from the mutant. Go figure.

I reckon it will all contain psilocybin, so what the fuck, I will eat it all anyway, even the mutant ones! Perhaps another trip will be in order tomorrow, once I do everything I need to do for the day...

Not much else to report I'm afraid. I don't have any more work for about a week, though that could change at any time. I'm not sure when Mrs. Hippy is returning, though she might decide and tell me tonight. Once I know that, I'll have to get some decent food in the house for when she gets back. She won't want to live on really good chinese takeaway, even if I do!

So that's it from hippy heaven, time to draw back the curtains, dim the lights and see what's on tv tonight.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Did someone here ask for a hippy? Seek no further, 'cause here I am, signed, sealed, delivered, I'm yours...

As if you'd have me, what with my shroom growing obsession and my constant dope-smoking, not to mention my addiction to take-away meals. On the plus side, I'm neat and tidy and don't take up that much space, but I can't contribute much financially, at least not right now.

Too late, Mrs. Hippy's already got me, though she does let me out for barmitzvahs and funerals, so you could book me through my agent.

I'm talking crap, I don't have an agent. Should I get one? What exactly would they do for me, besides taking 10% of my (already limited) income?

I applied for another job today. I know, you are thinking, "hey hippy, didn't you just start two new jobs last week?" Yes, I did, but it can't hurt to keep looking, they say it's easier to find work when you have work. I'm just testing that theory. This one was to create and produce new tv formats for an up and coming satellite tv channel. I sent them an email, my CV, plus 2 programme ideas that I think have potential.

I know I'm dreaming, I'm too old, too experienced, and too expensive to have a chance, but you never know. It's a bit like approaching the hottest girl at a party or in a bar. More than likely she's going to turn you down flat when you hit on her. But what if you can convert that slim chance anyone has with any woman into her jumping into a taxi back to your place? It's your lucky day that’s what it is. Maybe it will be my lucky day soon.

I'm not really the luckiest person in the world, I haven't even won more than a tenner on the lottery, not that I play it often. I've had some luck career-wise, even lately I've had a touch. I must be due for something really good to happen to me, soon. Yeah, right.

After my 5 minute doctor appointment, which saw this hippy chilling out in the waiting room for over an hour, I zipped up to Camden on the bus to purchase some shrooms for the weekend. I went to my usual stall, spent £20 and got about 85grams - it should have been 80 but they were a little "manky" and he threw in some extra. I couldn't possibly do all that myself, it's nearly double my normal dose, but I think I might up it a bit this weekend.

I've got 2 choices, stick them in the fridge and hope they don't turn to mush or leave them out and let them go dry. The silly laws say that if I dry them out, they become class "A", as that would mean they have been prepared, or so they say. They're just sitting here now, so I better decide soon. I won't tell you what I do, either way!

My grow-kits are cooking along nicely, K2 & K3 are both densely covered with shrooms, though they are still growing slowly. K1 has about half-a-dozen coming up now, but no where near as advanced as the other two. I wouldn't want to speculate when any of them will be ready, they are not following the pattern I was expecting from my previous experience.

What's going to be cool about having so many fresh shrooms is that I will be able to be very generous to my like-minded friends. There's a couple I can think of who would enjoy a big heaping serving of them! Of course, your faithful hippy will be munching them frequently as well. There's nothing quite as good as a psilocybin high.

As I've said before, I've tried, used and abused nearly everything, with only a couple of exceptions. Nothing I've taken compares to a strong dose of shroomies. They're cheap, legal, strong, heavy and last a long time. I'd take shrooms over booze, coke, pills any day. Long live the shroom.

The next couple of days are busy for me, I don't know if I will have time to sit down and spill my drivel for a day or two. Small loss, I hear you mutter before clicking through to some hardcore porn, but fear not I'll probably be back on Friday, when I start my long, debauched weekend while Mrs H is away. Expect mayhem a-plenty. Ok, maybe I'll just watch a film or two and order a take-away, just don't call the cops on me!

Monday, April 19, 2004

Me again, who else were you expecting?

I was a good boy today, up early and out the door to get on with my many errands.

I did the following:

1) A big shop at the supermarket

2) The purchase of a 2nd new propagator

3) Purchased disposable contact lenses

4) Bought an aquarium thermometer for the 2nd propagator

5) Picked up some latex gloves at the chemist (for shroom picking)

6) Took my 2 cats to the vets for the annual jabs (w/Mrs Hippy)

7) Did the washing up

8) Cleaned, prepped and readied the new propagator, moved slowest growing kit into it

9) Had lunch (some nice ham, white stilton w/cranberries, olives, coleslaw, & pineapple chutney yummm)

10) Started downloading the Sopranos

11) Made this stupid list

I've also read the papers, but I haven't done my weekly check of the jobs. There was one I clipped last week that I am going to apply for, they are looking for someone with ideas for entertainment programmes. I could do that!

Before I forget, my younger brother finished my graphic, the northlondonhippy now has his own logo! I tried to post it here, but it doesn't seem to work. If you want to see it, click right here to go to my homepage.

I think it is really cool. He managed to work all the elements I asked for into it, the weed leaf, take-away menu, the remote control, though I didn't ask him to put a fat guy in a reclining chair with a bag over his head - that was his idea!

Taking the cats to the vet is always a hassle; they hate it. What they hate most of all are their cat-carriers, those small plastic boxes you need to stuff them into to make cats portable. Dogs are easier, you put the lead on them and they are happy to leap right in the car, not cats though. Especially not mine.

We have a boy and a girl. The boy just looks shit scared, but he doesn't put up much of a fight. The girl cat is a bit tougher, she pissed all over Mrs Hippy and the floor as we tried to get her in the box. She also scratches, bites and hisses, but only when provoked. I actually like the fact that she stands up for herself, but I could do without the pissing.

And that's not all, once we got her out of the box at the vets office, she shit on the exam table, twice! The vet is used to this, and frankly so are we, but usually she saves the shit for the car journey. It's great in the winter, when it’s too cold to roll the windows down.

I love my cats though, they are both supremely cool. The boy, who is quite small for a full-grown cat loves to sleep in my lap and climbs on me when I am in bed as well. The girl is not a lap cat by any stretch, but will curl up next to you when she feels like it. I want to get another one, soon.

I would love a dog as well, but not where I live. I would want a house with a big garden so the dog would have a place to stretch its legs. There's a park near me, but that's a hassle and it's not really a very nice place to hang out, unless you want to score some crack. I haven't sunk that low yet.

Shroom kit number one, which will be known from now on as K1 has at least one decent pinhead coming up, and a few more that look like they are about to come. This is very good news as I thought there was a chance the kit might be a dud. All three are now fruiting, but they will not be ready for some days yet. That's cool, it means I won't have to do more than one at a time.

It's not that time consuming, harvesting them, you just put on your clean latex gloves, pinch them at the base and twist. Sounds like a bad hand-job I had once.

I now have two kits in one propagator and the slowest grower on its own in the new one. I think it might have been too crowded, so hopefully this will sort it all out and I will have plenty of fresh shroomies for weeks to come.

Saying that, I was planning a major shroom voyage at the weekend and I am not convinced, at the rate these guys have been growing, that they will be ready. I might have to swing down to Camden to purchase some fresh, ready grown. The good thing about this is I might be tempted to try a different strain. My home grown are Mexicans, but there are also Thais, Colombians, Ecuadorians, and Indian to name a few. Also, there are some hard to grow tropical varieties, Hawaiians or "blue meanies" which are very potent, but hard to find. You need a much lower dose with Hawaiians, so the additional cost is not such a big deal.

I'm thinking that come summer, when it is hot and humid, I could probably get my shrooms to grow in an unheated propagator. I could pick-up a Hawaiian growkit and give it a try. They cost about 25 quid, so it would more than pay for itself after the first flush. It's a thought.

Besides Camden market tomorrow, I have to try to see my doctor. It's to review a prescription I take for my stomach problem. The drug is on the expensive side, so my GP has to "review" it every six months. If I am up early enough and lucky, I should be able to get an on-the-day appointment with him, if not I will have to buy an over-the-counter drug until I can see him next week.

That's all the news from the lair of the hippy that's worth sharing. I still don't think anyone has read anything of this yet. That's ok, I don't really even read it myself!

Sunday, April 18, 2004

The northlondonhippy is a month old today, gosh that went quick.

I don't know if I have found my voice yet, but the hippy inside me is certainly lazing brightly. No, I didn't mean blazing, if I did, I would have typed the "b".

I skipped out on blogging yesterday, but it's not like I get paid for this. I spent yesterday shroomed to the eyeballs, doing nothing constructive or of particular merit. I simply was, I existed, I spent the day in a state of being.

I tended to my new shroom crop, they are not coming up as well as I had hoped. Today is day 10 and only 2 of the kits are showing any growth, and its uneven growth at that. Kit number one has yet to produce even a pinhead, though it looks and smells fine.

I think the problem may be that the propagator is too crowded and I am considering the purchase of another one, to see if that makes a difference. I think they are drinking up the water quite quickly as well. Something is not right, I just don't know what it is yet.

I might pop up to Camden early this week and pick up some fresh shrooms, I'm not convinced my home grown will be ready in time for next weekend. Mrs Hippy will be away for a few days and it would be a perfect opportunity for me to trip my sox off.

I spoke to my father very briefly on Friday, his surgery is definitely off. I don't think he is coping with the decision very well. He is due to start more chemotherapy tomorrow. The last time they tried it, it nearly killed him. He's in worse condition now, so I do not hold out any hope. This could be a bad week.

My younger brother suggested I put the words "untreated bladder cancer" into Google, but I have decided against that. I'd rather not know.

Sorry if I seem a bit lethargic today, but I've been very lazy and unmotivated since I woke up. I suppose a few spliffs and a Turkish takeaway could have something to do with that. I had some charcoal-grilled chicken wings, chips and some jajik and bread brought to my door, cheap and delicious! I love take-aways, almost as much as satellite tv!

It's going to be a busy week for me, with loads to do early in the week, then two long nightshifts towards the end, but that will be money in the bank before too long, so I can keep up my hippy ways!

So happy one-month birthday to the northlondonhippy, anyone wanna help me blow out my candle?

Friday, April 16, 2004

Hey ho, hey yo, I got no work you know, well today anyway. I've got three more days of paying work, in the first week of May, with more promised to follow soon after that! Yipppeeee!

The really big news from hippy-heaven is that I signed-off the dole yesterday. Well, technically next Tuesday is my last day as a job-seeker, but I handed in the paperwork on Thursday. My time on the dole was much shorter than I expected, perhaps it was the catalyst that kick-started everything else. I'm just glad I don't have to go there any more.

Things are certainly looking up for your favourite north london-based hippy! More good news, I've got pinheads on two of my three kits. It's taken longer than my last kit, by 2 days, but I am now seeing some serious growth. The third kit should be kicking out something before I go to bed tonight, or I will begin to be concerned that it is a dud. I'm just being impatient, but that's one of the things I do best.

In a few days, I should be a hippy, hip-deep in magic mushrooms. I think a little (how about big?) trip on Saturday is in order! It's cool to have a hobby.

I'll let you in on a little secret; I have a slight touch of manic-depression, I think. It is especially apparent when I discover something new, like my shroom growing. Once I decide I am going to do something new, I do a lot of research, I engross myself fully in the subject. I become obsessed really, it takes over most of my waking time and even a portion of my visits to dreamland. At the moment I am focussed on shrooms all the time, from the moment I wake up till my eyelids close for the night.

I've been like this for as long as I can remember, over a wide variety of subjects and pursuits. Music was one of them for a while, specifically recording my own.

In the early to mid-eighties, I took writing and recording music very seriously, as much as I could on a limited budget. I had a few guitars including a bass, a drum machine, a keyboard, microphones, digital effects, a mixer and a four-track tape deck. I ate, slept and breathed rock'n'roll. I even had an 18-month employment gap between jobs where I pretended I was a full-time musician. I did more than pretend, I wrote and recorded about 50 songs.

I don't really sing, I worked with two different singers in this period, but I played, produced and engineered everything myself. Considering the limitations on musical "talents" and abilities, combined with the technical limitations of kit, I produced some reasonable material. I stayed with it for while, quite a while, but eventually the need for an income and my own creative shortcomings were too much to ignore and I got a full time job. I continued to record a little after that, but as my obsession for working increased, the time and effort I put into my music decreased. My output became sporadic, with my late night recording sessions becoming fewer and further between. When I moved to London, I sold everything, even my guitars.

There's a special bond between a guitarist and his guitar, Jimi Hendrix called them his "Electric Ladies", and that's why his studio in NYC is called "Electric Lady Land." I still miss them and didn't realize how much until they were gone. Also, I discovered I could have gotten about double for them here in London, doh!

Flash forward to the year 2000 and the purchase of my present PC. As I maniacally researched them before buying this one, I stumbled upon the various recording software packages available. I was amazed at how powerful all these new toys and bits of code were and decided to try and recapture my musical spirit.

I bought a couple of guitars, a keyboard, an audio interface and some heavy duty recording software. It took me a while to get my head around it all, but I got to grips this new technology. My guitar playing was a little better than I expected, but my chops were no where near where they were when I was at my peak.

I wrong a few songs, but lacked any real direction with it. I found finding time to dedicate to it quite limited and when I did find the time, the hours flew by. In my halcyon days, I was able to put twelve, even fifteen hours into one session, but I was finding even three or four hours tricky. I couldn't recapture it. I don't really try to record any more.

I pull the guitar out of its case, it’s a Fender Telecaster, and goof around occasionally, but I doubt I will ever seriously play again. That makes me sad.

I've been manic in my pursuit of work in the last six months and the fruits of that mania are ripening now. I've been manic in my pursuit of sex in the past, possibly to the point of clinical addiction. I've taken drugs maniacally, done everything maniacally at one point or another. I'm better since I identified this character flaw in myself, but it is still easy to get lost in something.

My mania has helped make me be successful in my career. Television, especially news, exploits people's mental illnesses; a normal person can't do a month of 20-hour days in the field without some sort of collapse!

I've been manic about writing my hippy-blog and have managed to find the time to do it nearly every day for almost a month. Go me! I wish I could apply this mania to my real writing, my novel and my screenplays, but it seems to have a mind of its own.

Remember the flipside to being manic, is depression and I've spent plenty of time in that state as well, but that's best left for another day.

My younger brother sent me a link to test which answers the question: "are you a hippy?". I took the test and you can to by clicking here. Guess what, according to that test, your favourite northlondonhippy ain't really a hippy! I’m as shocked as you are!

You could try to do me for false advertising, but you'll have to find me first!

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Since September 11, 2001, we have lived in a climate of fear and after the Madrid attacks that fear has only increased. We are all now constantly on our guard, everyone we see is a potential terrorist and whenever we are in a crowded public place, we are at risk. So they say.

I've noticed an increase in people’s unease myself, especially on the tube in the last week or so. People are more aware of possibly unattended baggage and normally reserved Londoners are not hesitating in piping up with "whose bag is this" at the sight of a duffel bag sitting on the floor. This is not a bad thing.

The best one I witnessed was a young "chav" couple arguing with a elderly church-going black woman over some bags of supermarket shopping left on a tube train a couple of weeks ago. The elderly woman wanted to pull the emergency lever on the train, and tried to find a station manager on the platform of each stop to alert them to these potentially dangerous groceries. The chavs were not having any of this and prevented her from getting near the emergency lever. Like most stations, there was no tube staff at any of the stations, so that was not a concern to the chavs. Basically, the chavs saw several bags of free food and loo paper, nothing was going to stand between them and their swag, not possible terror or a civic minded Christian. A freebie is a freebie. I found it all enjoyable street theatre, well, tube theatre.

I've used the term "chav" in the above paragraph as it is the current word for a certain sub-culture dominant in British society today. Rather than try to illustrate or explain further, I would like to direct your attention an excellent and amusing link, which covers the topic far better than I could. It's called and it has been around for a few months. It's been featured in a couple of newspapers as well. I don't judge, I just observe and I hope you find it as funny as I have. If you don't, well, perhaps you are a chav yourself, if not, maybe you are just too PC.

It was only a matter of time before fear was translated into an industry. In the same way people started buying gas-masks in the wake of 9/11, it was only a matter of time before some company tried to package and market fear. That day is today, I caught this story on the BBC News website. The company, Survival Box has good some very cool kit for surviving a terrorist attack. They have small kits for the commuter, to save your ass if your are caught on the tube when the shit hits the fan, right up to an armageddon Xmas hamper, which contains food, water and supplies to keep two people alive for a fortnight. This firm has to have one of the cleverest marketing ideas to come out of this new climate of fear. Fast-food survival, it's like a doomsday happy-meal! If you want to make through to see what "hell on earth" looks like, these products are certainly for you, but what if you don't want to survive?

What if whatever attack comes is so bad that life itself is just not worth living? This is the possibility that is the most difficult to ponder, but let's go with a worst case scenario. The bad guys sail up the River Thames in a small boat with a medium sized nuclear device. This could happen, it is not that far-fetched. This boat makes it up as far as the Houses of Parliament and is detonated between Westminster and Lambeth bridges. In an instant most of central London is devastated, I am guessing a few square miles around the epicenter is completely flattened. Think of the damage in concentric circles radiating from this new, improved ground zero. Outside of the inner circle, where everything is dust, you would have amazing destruction, fires, people burned alive. A few miles after that, you would see half-destroyed buildings, more fires, people partially burned and blinded by the blast.

At 10-15 miles from the centre, where I am, where you might be, the shock waves and heat would still be felt, but to what effect, I can only speculate. I'm sure my windows would be gone, in my home and my car, car alarms would be going off as well, all of them. People would be flooding the streets, it would be a scene of total chaos. If I was unlucky enough to be gazing south when it exploded, I could very well be blinded myself, hearing loss would be possible. If I could find a battery-powered radio, what emergency information could they possibly give me that could be of any help? How would I be evacuated, and where would I be taken?

The electricity and running water would be off, any food in my fridge wouldn't last beyond twelve hours, maybe twenty-four? I wouldn't be able to contact any of my loved ones, not Mrs Hippy or my younger brother. I wouldn't know if they were alive or dead.

What if I was at one of my new jobs when the big one hit? If I were at the first one, I would be about as far away from the blast as I am at home, so I would survive. I would expect this facility would have a disaster plan, probably one formulated during the cold war and hopefully updated after events of the last few years. I would probably make it, but then what? Fuck knows, but it would not be fun.

And what about my other job? I think I honestly would prefer to be there if a nuke went off in central London. That's the location of that office as well, so my death would be quick and instantaneous. Wouldn't you choose the easy way out? I always will!

Everyone in a position of authority keeps saying that it is only a matter of time before London is a terrorist’s target, that it is only a matter of time. Thinking about it, considering what could happen is only normal. Facing fear and the unknown is a big part of life, but you can't let it rule you. You could step off a kerb and get hit by a bus tomorrow, or so they say, there's risk in everything you do. You could slip the shower and crack your skull open, anything can happen. Don't let it stop you from living your life.

Maybe I should just order the commuter pack from that website, it couldn't hurt to be just a little bit prepared.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

I've just taken 40-odd grams of fresh shrooms....weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Actually, they are just starting to come up, so I better type quickly, before my brain turns to mushroom mush.

I've done all my bullshit for the day, so I can just kick back, relax and let mother nature's favourite fungus do all the hard work.

There were lots of things I wanted to write about today, all proper essays and discourses on a wide variety of topics. That's all been pissed to hell now, it's far too late for anything that intellectual.

I'm off to the land of the pretty colours, where the mushroom god's in charge. Byeeeeeeeeeeee.

Monday, April 12, 2004

The hour of the hippy is here! Well, half-hour more likely.

Spent last night at one of my new jobs and it went better than the first night. I'm feeling much more optimistic about it now. If this keeps up, I might actually get a paycheck in May, provided both employers pay on time.

My three new shroom kits are cooking now, I reckon I will see pinheads (little baby shrooms) on Weds or Thurs of this week, will pick the first flush a few days after that. I'm going to be in the shrooms soon!

Spoke to both of my parents on Saturday. My dad didn't sound so great, he said he was having a bad day. The surprise was my mother jumping on the phone and me understanding 100% of what she said. It was a great effort for her and a few minutes of this was enough to tire her out, but it was the best she has sounded in over 2 years.

My father's doctor does not want to perform the surgery, my suspicions were correct. The doctor was creating the illusion of choice, thinking my father would elect not to have the procedure; he was wrong. The doc is still trying to persuade my dad that it is a bad idea, but my father seems fairly adamant that he wants it. He's a fighter and he sees this as his only option, other than a slow death.

I've beat this subject to death, I know that. Obviously it's heavy on my mind. This blog is becoming too much of me bleating on about going here, going there, doing this, doing that, my dad's dying, blah fucking blah fucking blah.

The hippy needs to refocus a bit, make this more interesting to the casual reader. Do I have any casual readers? I don't think I have any readers actually. Prove me wrong; get in touch!

Hey! One of the songs I mentioned a few weeks ago charted on Sunday, it was a hippy pick from one of my shrooming adventures a few weeks back. It's called "In the Shadows" by Rasmus, and it debuted at number three, not bad for a heavy pop band from Finland. You can check out my original comments about them here, in the hippy archive.

I'm planning another shroomin' time tomorrow, I still have some from my first kit. Bring on the music videos and twisted thoughts!

I'm still kind of tired from working last night, I only napped a few hours today. I'm aiming to get a proper night's sleep tonight. Don't worry, I'll be back tomorrow for more hippy fun!

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Hippy time!

Sorry I didn't make it online yesterday, but following my "work" on Thursday night, well, to put it in medical terms I was fucked, royally. I was awake all day on Thursday, from 9am and didn't get a wink of sleep, even though I tried.

So I went into my brand new job on the first night, barely able to keep my eyes open. It was not the most auspicious of starts. The woman who was training me was very nice though and that helped.

The rest of the people blanked me, I couldn't even raise a smile from any of them. I've worked in other places that were the same, unfriendly, it’s no big deal. I've got a pretty thick skin and I am in this one for the long haul, so it didn't really bother me.

The work itself seemed very simple actually, though knowing what to do, when, will take a bit of time. The pay is very good; one night there is worth more than an entire month on the dole. Hey ho!

I was drifting off to sleep on the tube Friday morning as I made the return journey home. I was lucky I didn't miss my stop or the 2 changes I had to make. Yes, two changes, but trust me, it’s a quick journey really.

I collapsed on the sofa almost as soon as I got home and slept there for about 3 hours before crawling into bed. I slept another 4 hours after that! I was tired.

I jumped out of bed on Friday afternoon, had a quick spliff and shower then got dressed and bopped up to Camden Market. Big mistake as it was bank holiday Friday and every suburban dunderhead was already there. You couldn't move for the stupid cunts, shuffling about, looking one way and walking in another. God, I hate them. But your faithful hippy was like an American football linebacker and I body-blocked my way up to the Wrong Shop, my favourite shroom stall. There's a permanent link to their website on my cool links page, or you could just click here. People I know who have ordered from the website have been happy with the service and I have been very happy with all my purchases from their stall.

I picked up my 3 new kits, again for £50. My first kit provided it's sixth and final flush yesterday, a respectable 25grams. I probably could have squeezed a seventh flush from it, but the yields have steadily gone down. It was conforming to the law of diminishing returns. Total from the first kit, 405grams in a little over a month. Cost for that kit, £20. The whole experience was great.

I've started the new kits. They are a snug fit in my propagator. I should be harvesting my first big flush a week from Tuesday; I can't wait. Anyone want to party?

After this big grow, I'm not going to do it again for a little while and when I do, I might look into the aquarium method, instead of the propagator, though I would continue using the prepared kits. It's just too easy, though I know doing it from scratch would be cheaper, it would take up a lot more time. Anyway, I will be set on the shroom front for the foreseeable, which can't be bad.

I went back to bed quite early last night, before midnight and was up again today at 8am. I finally made my long-delayed weekly trip to Sainsburys, as well as making the trip to south London to visit my younger brother.

I love London on a bank holiday weekend, its feels really empty. I drove everywhere today in the hippy's crapmobile, a dependable and cheap car given to me by a relative of Mrs. Hippy about 18 months ago. I call it the crapmobile, but I think I am being unfair. It's actually a great running car, always starts right up on half a turn of the key and I should be grateful that I own it. I am.

The run to south London was quick, I crossed the river at Blackfriars, I love the view from that bridge, of the London Eye, the Opera House, Big Ben and the HoP. Seeing it reminds me why I love living in London.

After a brief visit with my brother, I turned around and came back, again the traffic was very light. I'm in for the day, Mrs. Hippy is out for a couple of hours, so I thought I would spend some time catching up around the house. The washing up's piled in the kitchen, I still have Thursday night's ER from E4, I wanted to write this crap as well. And later I am calling my father. Dum, dum Dummmmmmmmmm.

I haven't spoken to him in about a week, my brother about the same. I put it out of my mind, maybe more than I should.

Anyway, that's it from me, might come back later and am considering a little shroomin' late tonight as well. My plan is to stay up late, really later tonight, then sleep as late as possible tomorrow, till at least 4pm. I'm back in to the same place I was on Thursday, tomorrow night and I want to be significantly better rested. I want to get the hang of it, so I can start getting paid for doing it regularly. Money will be my friend again!

Thursday, April 08, 2004

This is gonna be one quick hippy tonight, I'm due to arrive at my other new job in about 90 minutes. Yikes!

Iraq appears to be in total meltdown, name a city and there's a good chance its the scene of heavy fighting. The, gosh what are we calling them? A small group of insurgents? Terrorists? No, we don't use that word! Let's call them the bad guys.

The bad guys took 3 Japanese nationals and 7 or 8 south Koreans hostage today. Anyone non-Iraqi looking seems to be at risk, they even kidnapped some Jerusalem-based Arab aid-workers hostage. Its beyond serious there now, it seems like all out war. Wait, didn't Bush the lesser declare the war over a year ago?

Most of the world is pointing at America and Britain and saying, "I told you so". Me too, we were all right, invading Iraq was a really dumb idea. It still might sink Bush, so there could be one possible positive result out of the whole mess yet.

Condi Rice seemed ruffled today as she gave her testimony to the 9/11 commission. Good. She seems like a stone-cold bitch to me, I bet she could do with some of my shrooms. It might even loosen her up a bit, but something tells me she wouldn't be nearly open-minded enough to try them. Her loss.

That's it from me, a shower, shave and a spliff await. I haven't slept at all today, so tonight ought to be great fun. I'm yawning already.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

I've been up for about 18 hours now and I am fading fast. I forgot how draining it can be to work all night.

Well, I call it work, but all I really did was hang around and help where I could. I actually enjoyed it. The people were suprisingly nice and the work was undemanding. It was still a shock to the system.

The good news is they liked me enough to invite me back for some paid shifts, one supervised, the second one solo. I'm gonna be in da money soon!

I also heard from the other company, as well as doing Thursday night, I'm there on Sunday night as well - both of those are unpaid. After that, the training and solo shifts will be paid there too. I'm in even mo' money!

Now, here's the conundrum, one company pays less, has longer hours, but seems fun. The other pays more, has shorter hours, and could be as much fun. My cunning plan is to do both as long as I can. Eventually, my choice will be clear - they will make it for me simply through the way they treat me and what they can offer me as time goes by.

I know which one I would choose, if I had to make the choice today. Thankfully, I don't have to make a choice just yet, I can wait till I have a better feel for them. My best bet will be to keep them both sweet as long as possible.

This is probably going to be my shortest entry yet as I am seriously flagging and want to get some sleep. The real treat today is I have to collect Mrs. Hippy's car from the garage at some point. This involves waiting for them to telephone, then leaping up from my nap, getting dressed, walking ten minutes to a bus stop, then spending another 10-15 mins on that bus before arriving at the garage. I then have to make sure everything is ok with the car, because this visit is the result of an MOT and service over a week ago.

The car hasn't been right since then and if they are to be believed (and I have no reason not), what they are fixing is a brand-new problem that wasn't there when they did the annual service. Mrs. Hippy has a very strong attachment to her car, this car, so there's a lot of responsibility resting on this hippy's head.

The things we do for love, eh?

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

I was awake at about 10am this morning, went to bed around 1:30am - that's eight and half-hours of sleep, which should be enough, but it wasn't. I kept waking up every hour or so, and never really slept deeply. My subconscious must be on overtime.

I rarely remember my dreams, chalk that up to my voracious weed consumption, but I can recall a tiny bit of one dream from last night. I was talking to my mother. She was bed-ridden in the dream, but speaking perfectly, like she used to before the stroke. I asked why her speech improved so much and she said she had really been practicing it. That's all I can recover from the dream now.

Ok, so my parents are very much on my mind, that's no surprise. My father and younger brother were not in the dream and I don't know if I asked my mother where my dad was. Maybe I assumed he was dead already. I'm sure there was a lot more to the dream, but it's gone now.

I also think I am more apprehensive about returning to work than I am admitting, especially over the location I am visiting tonight. Their product, their program is not one that I watch or even respect. I think their offices will be a serious grind, the shift is long as well, over 13 hours. I don't have a clue about their editorial slant, it's a lot closer to the Daily Mail than The Guardian. I hate the Mail.

Am I giving away too much? Probably, but then I always have. Maybe I just don't think I have anything to hide. I'm not ashamed of anything I've said on here. I'm not perfect, I about as far from perfect as you can get actually.

I'm just going to show up there tonight and do my best, try and learn as much as I can, really fit in. I will have some useful input into the production, I will contribute something tonight, no matter how small. I'll learn their system, I figure out how to find and use their resources, who to tell what to, what it all costs, where it all gets logged. Maybe I'll even find out where to get food there at three in the morning. I don't even know if the building has a 24-hour canteen, but somehow I doubt it.

Anxiety and apprehension aren't new to me, commuting to work isn't either. The place, the people and the program, that's what I have to face that's new tonight. How bad can it be? If I let my imagination run rampant, I bet I could paint a picture of sheer awfulness and terror, but I won't. Let's look on the bright side tonight instead.

The weird weather we have been having in London provided an interesting benefit on Monday, a real treat. We've had very odd weather of late, perfectly clear, sunny, warmish days, with a sudden change to intense, stormy, rainy, windy and dark, with decent-sized hail stones, lightening and thunder, then back to sunny. Yesterday afternoon, we had one of these quick turnovers in the weather, and as the rain subsided, the world outside took on a strange yellow hazy sheen. My first thought was that the sunlight was being filtered through heavily polluted clouds, causing this odd colouring. I was wrong.

I looked out the window to discover the most perfect rainbow stretching across the north London sky, each of it's seven colours, distinctive and bright. I stared at it, in awe for a short while, before cooking up a wicked prawn stir-fry.

Life's really not that bad, it only seems that way sometimes.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Back again. I've done some updating to my homepage, cleaned up the hippy FAQ a bit and added a whole new page with some of my favourite links. Every link's a winner.

I'm thinking of adding another page, with a a night (or day) of shrooming with the hippy! Yes, that's right, why not spread the fun around? I'll have to consider this one a bit more; perhaps I haven't thought it through. Maybe it's a bad idea.

This is going to be a brief entry, I just wanted to call attention to my crap web-page skills. All of this is still pretty new to me. I should be grateful to GeoCities for hosting my site and providing the page building software for free, but I can see that I will outgrow fairly soon. As a beginner, I got my site up originally in less than an hour, so they do deserve credit for that. I guess at some point, if I am really take all this seriously, I am going to have to spend some money on proper hosting and design.

My younger brother is quite an accomplished web designer and I will ask him to re-do it for me at some point soon. He's into it far deeper and at a more advanced level than I ever could be. The time will come.

That's all for now, I'm going to groove back over to the sofa, spark up a spliff and see what's on tv. It's Monday night, what else should I be doing?
Just had an interesting online chat with a guy from the Shroom shop, another website selling fresh magic mushrooms and grow kits. They seem like a big operation and supply a lot of the retailers around the country. They have an online chat room, which I visited to ask some questions. The guy I spoke to was very helpful and had a couple of useful tips for a budding amateur shroom grower like myself.

My first grow kit has gone very well so far, I've had about 380grams from it after about a month. The kit itself only cost twenty-quid. Many places charge £25, some even go as high as thirty. This hippy likes a bargain and it's a cost-effective way of producing my favourite fungus.

These days, I put the FUN in FUNgus!

I'm already planning another grow, this time I think I will purchase 3 kits. I know of one place that will sell me three of them for £50, there could be others as well. I would like to buy from the same people that sold me my current kit, since it has been so easy and fruitful.

Here's some hippy math: If I spend £50 on three kits, and they yield as well as my first one, I will end up with about 1.2 kilos of fresh shrooms. Party time! That works out to 4p per grams. To put this in perspective, the average deal for Mexican p.cubes is 12 quid for 30grams, or 40p a gram. I can grow them for 10% of the retail cost, which is pretty sweet!

So the future is looking pretty bright on the old shroom front. I can trip at will!

I submitted a short screenplay to a production company today. They were advertising on one of the media websites I check regularly for work. I wrote it last year, it’s a media satire about sex, drugs and excess. Whatever made me think of that?

The production company said in their advert they were looking for original short scripts to produce, they plan on making five of them, on 35mm film. Classy. I approach all of these things with a bit of skepticism, but I figured it's worth a shot. The script has been sitting on my hard drive for a while, doing nothing anyway, so why not?

I've let a few people read it, they seemed to like it, though friends and family aren't exactly going to tell you something you've worked on is a piece of shit. We'll see what happens, anything is possible.

Tomorrow night is my first shadow shift at one of my new prospective employers. I'm not nervous, yet and I expect it will be fine. I've thought about the interview last week a bit more; the people I spoke to were not really prepared or expecting to meet me. I was dumped on them by their boss, who had something better to do.

They hadn't read my CV, didn't know who referred me, nothing. I think arranging one shadow shift was their response to not knowing what to do with me. That's cool, I just need to go in and be a sponge and soak up as much info as I can. I don't know how they will leave it at the end of the night, but I will try to fix another appearance by yours truly in their newsroom.

My week is a bit fucked because of this nightshift on Tuesday night, then another on Thursday. What am I supposed to do with the day in-between?

I guess it depends upon how tired I am, I could always have a nap, then wake up to make Mrs. Hippy's dinner. Or I could try to stay up all day, but that might be a disaster in the making. It would be cool to spend the day on shrooms, but then that's true everyday. I'll take it as it comes, roll with the flow, decide on the day.

I couldn't let today's entry finish without mentioning the sex scandal currently embracing one of the UK's "supercouples".

First of all, where there's smoke, there's fire, always. The News of the World broke the story on Sunday, they wouldn't have printed it if they weren't very confident that it was true.

If you follow them in the papers, and it's hard not to, you'll know they don't actually spend much time together. This revelation shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

And the press here in the UK loves this sort of thing, especially when it's a family man like DB. I bet his Missus is really pissed off with him!

Even today, it was in many of the papers, this one's gonna run a while. Is it wrong to take pleasure in the problems of the rich and famous? Of course not! Don't be silly! That's what they exist for!

If you are going to be a public figure, you need to expect it. If you choose to live your life under scrutiny, you need to expect that anything naughty you do is going to be found out. If you don't want it found out, don't do it.

That's true of me as well, as I sit and post my life away on the net, I'm opening myself up to whatever might follow. Chances are this blog will languish in obscurity forever, but there is the slightest chance that it could get noticed. I accepted when I became the northlondonhippy that I'm opening myself up in all sorts of ways. Anyone can read this, anyone can email me, or contact me on yahoo messenger. I'm available for communication. I'm sure at some point I'll receive an email, telling me I'm a cunt, or god, or something in-between. I'm as prepared as I can be.

I'm the northlondonhippy, I'm shroomin' and groovin' so you don't have to!

Sunday, April 04, 2004

It was thirteen years ago today I moved to London. It wasn't always north London, though I've lived here for about 7 years now. I've lived all over town, west, south, central, even east. London has been my home for a long time now. Hey ho.

I didn't plan on staying in London this long, I didn't plan anything really. The opportunity presented itself, on a silver platter. The company I worked for at the time paid for the whole thing. It was really easy to do.

Maybe too easy, as I didn't consider the implications of my decision, especially thirteen years later. There's something eerily anti-symmetrical about it being thirteen years.

When I arrived, I had a job and a network of friends through my younger brother, who'd been here five years at that point. I stepped off the plane to ready-made life.

I've settled in London, I've made it my home, but what did I leave behind?

I didn't have much of a life in the states. I had no real roots there. My life centered on work, or university, and the people who were around that day. It was easy, really easy to transport myself to another country and live the same sort of life.

Leaving my parents was the hardest.

Yes, I've been back to visit and I've stayed in touch with on the telephone, but its the not same as being there, really being there. They grown old, sick, lived their lives without me really being a part of any of it. I've fooled myself in a million different ways, but the cold hard fact remains; I'm not there.

I'm trying to regain a footing in the world of the employed, I live a decent, quiet life, I stay out of other people's way. I don't see why my middle-aged adolescence ever has to end.

There's things I'm very thankful for, my life really isn't that bad.

I've still got my younger brother, who's always been there for me. I've got a few old friends around too.

I've got a roof over my head, a warm place to sleep and I don't go hungry. I've got a couple of great cats, you need to have pets. All of this is down to Mrs. Hippy.

I am very lucky to have her. We've been together for a long time now, more than half of my time spent living in London has been with her. If it weren’t for Mrs. Hippy, I wouldn't live in north London, wouldn't have this roof over my head, wouldn't have these two cats. It's all down to her, really.

We put up with each other, support each other. If she wasn't around, I doubt I would be sitting here now, typing these words. She's given my life stability I never imagined possible.

So I thought more about my brand, it won't be long before your buying. It's about magic mushrooms, chilling out with a spliff, making a living and listening to the coolest urban r'n'b.

I've spent the day thinking about where I stand in the marketplace. Am I well positioned? What's my market share? I need to refine my brand.

I just need to raise the hippy profile, you know its a brand you can trust.

Are you buying what I'm selling? Sure I'll take your credit card, but there's a discount if you're paying cash!

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Greetings from hippy heaven, where everthing is groovy and mellow. As if.

Spent the day monged on shrooms, no surprise there. As a little experiment I left some out of the fridge and they dried out. It's a much different experience taking them dry, the effects seem to take longer to kick in, there is no big whoosh, it kind of creeps up on you. It's not nearly as overwhelming. I'm still tripping a bit now, actually.

And I'm easily distracted at the moment, right now I am pissing about on the EDIT forums. I'm on there alot as its a good place to get advice and things about all drugs, especially shrooms. EDIT stands for "Everyone Does It" and they have an excellent online headshop which you should visit for all your drug needs. The hippy shops with them, so you know its good.

Today as I watched tv, I realised that it's all about your brand. Everyone seems to have one, or be one. No one is buying my brand.

Britney is a brand name, you know what you're getting when you buy Britney. She's just like McDonalds or Coke, only with the chance of a blow-job thrown in. The next time I am flying somewhere (and may that day be a long time coming), I'll let the stewardess know I've seen Britney's "Toxic" video. I'm a short, fat, balding guy, I've got my ticket, where's my blowjob?

So my brand ain't selling, what's new about that? I'm not really marketing it anywhere. Do you see anything for sale on this page, besides my soul?

My younger brother was the lucky recipient of a telephone call from our mother today. He didn't want to tell me about it, bless him, because he knew I was off my face on shrooms. The main news, after the usual guilt about neither one of us being there, is that my father has decided to have the surgery.

Yes, that's right, if you are keeping score at home, the hippy's father is going for the surgical option. Holy fucking hell!

My mother said that if he doesn't have the surgery, he will die. He's going to die anyway. This is all fucked.

She told my brother that if we want to see our father again alive, we better come quickly. She is very angry that we haven't come, very angry. This is turning into the northlondonmyfathersdyingofcancerandIamashit blog.

My father had driven to the chemist, which is why my mother had the chance to phone my brother. She doesn't usually phone me, my brother has always been closer to her, the same way I was always closer to my father. She said my father would phone my brother later as well. How lucky is my brother?

It's only going to get worse, the real poison will come when other people try to get in touch. My three older half siblings could phone at any time. Don't worry, I'm not buying their brand. They didn't buy mine when they had the chance, so they can all fuck off now.

My parents are not accepting that my brother and I are not jumping on a plane, they are not even accepting their own approaching deaths. My father seems to think that anything is better than death. He is not going to be in the best way if he survives this surgery, but he would rather cling to this life at any cost, than face death.

Not me, when my time comes, I'm ready to not exist. The universe did perfectly fine without me, it will continue to trundle along when I'm gone. I don't really believe in god (except my mushroom god) or an afterlife. I can accept that one day I won't be here. That's cool with me.

I've spent enough time depressed, contemplating death and nothingness to know that this is all there is, there ain't nothing else. I'm just trying to have a bit of fun while I can.

Go on, would you buy my brand? How about if I threw in a BJ from Britney?

Friday, April 02, 2004

It's Friday evening, I'm still full from my lunch with my brother. If you didn't check out the restaurant's website, you can still see it here. I had a full rack of baby back ribs, with fries, coleslaw and a coke, all for a tenner. It's a bargain because a full rack of ribs at this place is huge, it looks like half a pig on your plate. If you go and you would like to receive a free quizzical or confused look, tell them the hippy sent you.

It was good to see my brother, we had a decent visit. He's been reading this blog a little and was a bit (I don't want to say "upset" so how about) perturbed about something I said in a previous entry. Specifically that I quoted him as saying my father hasn't been that nice to me in the last few years, or words to that effect. Yes, he said it and more importantly, yes it is true. It's not meant to justify anything, it is just a statement of cold fact. I'm not using it as an excuse for not visiting.

I have enough valid excuses of my own, thanks.

When I returned from lunch, my cleaning lady who is becoming a plumber was still here, just finishing off. I've asked her for a price to put in an outside water tap to make it easier to water the garden. That will especially come in handy if I decide to try growing cannabis outside this summer. The temptation is certainly there, it could save me a lot of money if it worked as well.

I downloaded and watched episode four of "Wonderfalls", which becomes more and more surreal with each installment. I like surreal, a lot. It's a very clever show, if it is ever broadcast where you live, check it out. Or just download it, just like the hippy.

I am planning another shrooming adventure on Saturday. I spoke to my old friend and he is still considering joining me, but won't know if he can until lunchtime on the day. As much fun as it would be to hang out with him and shroom, there's a part of me that really enjoys my solitary trips.

There's something almost mystical about the experience, though that shouldn't come as a surprise as they have a history of being used for just such a purpose. For me, it's like the mushroom god himself comes to visit me, to show me things. He shows you the secret world that lives behind the real world.

Ordinary, everyday things, like my blue carpet or the trees in my garden reveal their secret lives when you take a decent dose of magic mushrooms. And all this, I decided during a particularly pleasant trip recently, is due to the mushroom god visiting me.

No, I am not ready for the funny farm, the mushroom god is not real, not even to me. I haven’t completely lost it, yet.

It's just a concept I came up with while my brain was fried on psilocybin. It made me laugh a lot. It still does.

I composed and sang a little song to the mushroom god once. I will try to recall it now. It's to the tune of "O Christmas Tree"

O mushroom god
O mushroom god
The pretty things you show me

The bright colours, so vivid
I just love when you visit

O mushroom god
O mushroom god
Thank you for the gifts you give me

Look, I was on drugs, alright?

The grow-kit in its propagator is like my shrine to the mushroom god; the shroomies that grow are his children. He allows his children to willingly give their lives as I eat them, so I may be closer to the mushroom god.

It’s almost like a hippy retelling of the Easter story. I actually have my own, different version of Easter, but I’ll save my stories of Jesus and the Easterbunny for another day. Ok, just a taste: They drive around together in the carrot mobile solving crimes and on Easter Sunday they come down your chimney and leave you chocolate. Damn, I was going to save this for next week. It would make a great animated cartoon, do you think I should pitch it to ITV?

Back again. Mrs. hippy knows about this now. I decided to tell her about me being the northlondonhippy today, or rather I showed her. She read it all. Her main comment; it seems very honest.

That's cool because I am aiming for honest.

My father telephoned tonight, right in the middle of Eastenders, I took the call.

He started out by telling me there's good news and bad news. I hate it when people say this, because the good news usually isn't that good, but the bad news is almost always very bad.

The good news was that my mother took ten steps with a zimmer frame today. This achievement can not be underestimated. She has not walked at all since she had her stroke, but her resolve to walk has not faltered. I was very happy to hear this, its the first real progress she has made in a very long time. It's a step (well ten) in the right direction.

Now the bad news, my father heard back from his oncologist about the surgery. The doctor is willing to go ahead with the surgery to remove my father's cancerous bladder if my father wishes, but with some serious caveats. He says my father has a fairly poor chance of surviving the operation because of the state of his general health. The doctor also said he can't guarantee that he would be able to remove all of the cancer, so it could easily come back. But the kicker is that my father would be incapacitated for at least six months while he recovered; if he recovered.

The alternative is to do nothing and wait for the cancer to spread, with no approximate time-frame on how long it will take to kill him. My guess is not long at all.

My father is giving both options serious consideration. He sees both as completely negative, which I suppose is true as neither really gives him much chance of survival. The question seems to be whether or not he wants to risk instant death or a slow painful one. I don't know which one I would choose, if it were me.

I didn't mince my words, I said to him I thought it was more a question of how he wished to spend whatever time he has left. He said what he always says, that his main concern is my mother.

He also told me he woke up a few days ago and couldn't move or get out of bed. This is really bad as well, but he was up and about today. He thinks it was virus of some sort which caused this, but that didn't make sense to me. I think it's possible that a tumour might have been pressing on a nerve, but I'm not a doctor, what do I know?

I stayed surprisingly calm during the conversation and thankfully at no time was visiting mentioned. I'm not off the hook yet though, I am certain the pressure on me will increase as my father's condition worsens.

After speaking to my father, I telephoned my younger brother to give him the latest. As we spoke, it became clear to me that there is no real choice. The doctor is creating the illusion of choice for my father by giving him the two options. The surgical route is just not realistic, there are too many factors that make it a bad idea. The doctor must want my father to reach this conclusion on his own, but this doctor doesn't know my father.

I would say there is a fifty- percent chance that my father will elect to have the surgery. He's not someone to take anything lying down and that includes death. He might think that any chance of fighting it is better than no chance at all. I don't know if I would agree with that, but then there's not much my father and I agree on.

My brother reminded me how shitty my father has been to me in the last couple years, especially over my work situation. My brother and I realized a while ago that our mother was the buffer between our father and us. She would talk to us on the telephone far more than he would. Once she had the stroke and communication became so difficult, that buffer disappeared. I'm sure that's a factor in the deterioration of my relationship with my dad.

None of these things makes the guilt I am feeling go away. Nor does it make me feel any less helpless. There's nothing I can do for either of my parents, that's not an easy thing to accept, but accept it I must.

I'm meeting my brother in town for lunch tomorrow at one of our favourite restaurants. It's going on my plastic, which my brother tells me is called "yuppy food stamps" in the states. It's a term used for when people run out of cash for the month and they use a credit card to buy food. I've run out of cash, full stop, but at least I'm having a decent meal anyway!

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Good morning, I'm up early again. It's gray and wet and cold here in north london and I have to walk up to the job centre soon to give them my autograph. I've already read the papers, which were quite dull, though they all have something to say about yesterday's incident in Falluja, Iraq. You can read about it in my favourite newspaper.

What the fuck did they expect? They are occupying a country that didn't invite them! Maybe George Washington and his men didn't drag the dead British soldiers through the streets and mutilate their bodies, but they did kill 'em! I bet they've all seen "Blackhawk Down" in Iraq, I remember reading it was popular in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban. It's a primer on how to handle the American soldiers.

I was in Somalia when the US troops arrived, I can remember how scared the local population was at first. When I got there, everyone on the street was armed to the teeth, and the "technicals", the battlewagon-pick-up trucks with machine guns mounted on the bonnets were on constant patrol.

Then the US Marines arrived and everyone was shitting themselves that they would have their AK's confiscated, but that didn't happen. The troops didn't get involved with the armed militias at that point, they were there to protect shipments of food aid as they were dispatched across the country. At least, at first anyway. After a while they had to involve themselves in the local politics, that was their undoing.

I wasn't in Somalia that long, about 2 weeks. In that time, things were relatively tense but non-violent. I never felt safe the entire time I was there. We rented a house with armed guards, but no running water. I don't think anyone had running water, actually. Dope was cheap and plentiful, and we brought in our own booze. I was stoned and/or drunk for my entire stay. So was everyone else, it was the only way to deal with the lack of sleep and constant tension.

Iraq has to be worse, much worse since the Americans aren't just involved in the local politics, they are the local politics! I can't recall the exact number of journalists killed in Iraq, but I believe in the last year its in the double figures, and even more non-military contractors have died, and over 500 soldiers. Oh and no-one knows exactly how many thousands of Iraqis. No wonder they are slaughtering anyone western-looking!

I went to bed quite early for me last night, before midnight. I didn't sleep well though, my hiatal hernia was acting up.

Due to my previously mentioned premature birth, I was born with one of these, along with premature-myopia (very bad eyesight). I keep the hiatal hernia in check with medication, I take a pill everyday. What I eat doesn't have much effect on it, though sometimes, raw onions can set it off. Beer can trigger it too.

The time of day I eat can have a significant effect and I've noticed it getting worse in the last week or so. If I have dinner late, and have not fully digested my food before I go to bed, I feel a terrible burning in my chest and I wake up coughing and gagging in the middle of the night. It happened three times last night and I am feeling very tired and worn out today. Thankfully I don't have much to do today; after signing on, I am going to pick up a few things at my local high street. Then I have some shroom-related business to take care of when I get home. I also need to ring my friend to see if he is still up for shrooming this weekend. If not, I will take a little solo psychedelic voyage.

Maybe I will come back later and share more of my hippy thoughts. What I'd really like to be doing is crawling back into bed!

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