Nearly there!

personal-use-ebook-cover-final

Just a little update on my book. It will be on sale very soon and I expect it to be popping up  on Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple’s iBook Store and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Store, shortly.

While I wait for that, I have been giving away free, no obligation, digital copies in the ePub format to anybody that would like one.

Would you like one? I can send you the direct download link via email or Twitter DM. This is a limited time offer and the free digital download will be deleted once the book is available for retail sale.

Here’s the marketing blurb:

 

“Personal Use” chronicles the northlondonhippy’s 35-year love affair with mind altering substances. From tobacco and alcohol, to cannabis, cocaine and LSD, the northlondonhippy doesn’t hold back on his colourful drug history.

From the late 70s, through the 80s, 90s, 00s, and right up to to present day; and from America to eastern and western Europe, all the way to Africa and of course north London, the northlondonhippy takes you around the world with him. And the hippy got high everywhere he went.

The northlondonhippy is an anonymous blogger, online cannabis activist and recreational drug user, who has been writing about drugs and drug use, specifically his own, for over a decade. He has also worked in the media, for some of the world’s largest organisations, mainly as a journalist, for 30 years.

The hippy thinks drug law reform is long overdue. And he hopes the punitive drug laws that have ripped families and society apart for decades, will soon be coming to an end.

10% of all profits from this book will be donated to drug charities, annually.

Coming in September 2016, for Kindle, Nook and iBooks on the iPhone and iPad.

Setting out my stall

personal-use-ebook-cover-final

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have caught that I’ve been writing a book.

It’s true, although I am no longer writing it. It’s finished now and I will be self-publishing it next month as an eBook.

My book is entitled “Personal Use” and it chronicles in vivid detail, my 35 year history of recreational drug use.

It’s a drug mémoire, if you will.

I’ve been using drugs regularly and responsibly for nearly my entire adult life. I started with tobacco and alcohol as a child, moving on to cannabis and other substances as a young adult.

I am still a daily cannabis smoker and I continue to have an affinity for magic mushrooms. And along the way, I’ve dabbled with mescaline, LSD, cocaine, benzos, prescription opiates, MDMA, and ketamine, to name but a few.

Basically, I’ve taken a lot of drugs over many years and they have enriched my life in countless ways. My experiences with drugs have been overwhelmingly positive. That’s a view you don’t hear often, and one that deserves a much louder voice.

I would like to be that voice.

I’ve worked in the media for 30 years, mainly as a journalist for some of the world’s largest news organisations. I’ve never kept my drug use a secret and just about anyone who knows me in real life, knows I like drugs.

It’s cool, the media is awash with substances, so it has never been an issue.

One of society’s problems with drug use is that the media only ever cover the bad side of drugs and that’s not fair or accurate. Actually, it is more than a bit hypocritical, since many of the people I know, who cover the news, are as prolific as I am when it comes to getting high. I know, because I get high with them sometimes myself.

The majority of people who use drugs are like me, and they also use them responsibly, with no adverse effects on their lives. That’s the most common drug experience of all, and it is given precious little attention. That needs to change.

My hope and aim with this book is to let people know that there should be no stigma attached to drug use. And more importantly, that there should not be any criminal sanctions either.

Our outdated, silly and cruel drug laws are not fit for purpose. Criminalising people for altering their brain chemistry is wrong. Our drug laws cause more harm to society, families and individuals than the actual drugs every could.

My book starts in the late 1970s in America, and goes right up until present day, London, where I am now. I cross the globe more than once and take you with me to such diverse locations as Somalia and Bosnia, along with many others. And yes, I got high everywhere I went.

But it’s not just about taking drugs, it’s also about finding drugs too. An awful lot of time is spent looking for drugs, or waiting for someone to turn up with them. From my very first ever weed dealer, through indoor cannabis gardens in the 90s, right up to the darknet markets of today, I try to explain what it’s like to be a regular consumer of all the good substances that have been foolishly prohibited by law.

I’ve let a few people I know read the rough draft and they have found my book entertaining and informative, but then I would say that, wouldn’t I?

I’d like more people to read it, before it is published next month, so I will be making digital copies available, free of charge, to anyone who wants one. If you would like a copy, just ask. The answer will be ‘yes’.

And when it goes on sale, I will keep the price very low. In the interest of transparency, I’m aiming to make a pound (GB) a copy myself, but I don’t have the final retail price worked out yet. It will be cheap, and the only way I will make any real money is through volume.

I don’t expect to make any real money, my sales expectations are very low. My joke is that I am aiming to sell one million copies. I know I won’t, but that’s the goal.

It’s good to have goals.

I’ll be plastering info on Twitter and Reddit over the coming month, as I will need your help too. I need all the help I can get.  I’m useless on Facebook and don’t even have an account, but if you would like to share stuff there, you would be doing me a huge favour. Just let me know if anyone liked it!

As an anonymous and unknown writer, I know it will be an uphill battle to get people interested in my book. But I have faith in the strength of my product. I know that if you read the book’s “Forward”, you will be hooked and you will want to keep on reading. I’m kinda counting on that!

I am hoping to have the final, retail version, in the ePub format, before the end of this month. So if you get a free copy, you can be sure you will be getting the exact same version that will go up for sale.

So that’s it. I’ve set out my stall. And in about a month, there will be one product available on my virtual shelf.

I look forward to bringing you “Personal Use” and I hope everyone who reads it, enjoys it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.

Years ago, I had a tag line that I used on my website, that I hope will apply to my book as well:

“The northlondonhippy – he will make you laugh, he will make you think, and he will make you wish you were a hippy too!”

Let’s see if I can live up to my own hype.

 

the northlondonhippy

3rd August 2016

Your president is a violent thug

Check out this piece of shit:

Click here

No, not Donald Trump, but Rodrigo Duterte, the newly elected president of the Philippines.

This guy is a real piece of work. He’s rumoured to have his own death squads and he advocates killing drug dealers. You know, extra-judicially. He will even give you a medal if you do.

Is this what our world has become? Can the leader of a sovereign nation really advocate state sanctioned murder and not be widely condemned for it by, well everyone?

Apparently not.

The comedian, John Oliver, has labelled Duterte, “the Trump of the east”. Check out this gem, where Duterte, while attending a mass wedding, offers to de-flower the brides.

Click here

I don’t think he is joking. He’s quite a slime ball.

Duterte is a pig, he’s disgusting and an entire nation elected him. It boggles the mind.

Now, if I wanted to sink to his level of stupidity, I would call for his assassination. He is a dangerous criminal and he should be stopped, but by the rule of law, not through vigilantism. Duterte needs to be hauled up in front of the International Court of Justice, tried and imprisoned for his crimes.

But there is a larger issue here, on how we view drug users and drug dealers.

If you believe, like I do, that drug use is a basic human right, then drug users deserve your respect and help, to make sure that their drug use as safe as possible.

And drug dealing is just a business, it’s simply capitalism in practise. If there is a demand, the supply will always rise up to meet that demand. Drug dealers shouldn’t be murdered in the streets like dogs, but should be taxed and regulated, just like any other business.

If you want to remove the violence from drug dealing, then legalise recreational drugs. Do pharmaceutical manufacturers resort to violence to protect their territory? Of course not! It should be the same with recreational drugs.

This should be a cautionary tale for America, as it careens ever closer to electing another thug, piece of shit to the office of president. But it won’t.

I hope the Philippines can survive a Duterte presidency. And if you’re a drug dealer there, I’d invest in some body armour, because your president is fucking insane.

A quick post about Lord Sewel and the law

This might be cocaine. Or it could be salt
This might be cocaine. Or it could be salt

There seems to be a lot of anger and outrage online over Lord Sewel. He allegedly snorted cocaine with hookers and made some disparaging comments about our Prime Minister of pork, while wearing ladies clothing. We know this because of an undercover newspaper sting.

The newspaper in question, The Sun, is appalled that the police didn’t prosecute him. The Met’s reason was their was lack of evidence.

Roy Greenslade of The Guardian, quite unusually, agrees with The Sun. It’s Greenslade’s piece, which you can read RIGHT HERE, that inspired me to quickly post this.

We can all sit in judgement over Lord Sewel, as many of us have been doing since the allegations were published. He cheated on his wife, with prostitutes, while allegedly taking coke. The shock, the horror.

Here’s the thing, under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, you need to be in possession of said substance, for the police to charge you. There needs to be physical evidence, that can be tested in a lab,  for the police to be able to charge someone. The evidence needs to hold up in a court of law.  A photo of alleged drug use is not conclusive proof.

While the photos may depict Lord Sewel snorting something that is thought to be cocaine, the police have no way of confirming the composition of the substance from a photo. The police did search his property, but I am sure that if anything was there,  it was and cleared and cleaned very thoroughly before that search happened.

Someone could have sold Sewel powdered sugar. How could you tell the difference from a photo? You can’t. Without physical evidence, there would be no way to charge him.

It was the same with Nigella Lawson. She may have admitted to drug use, which is a perfectly legal thing to do, as long as you don’t have any drugs on your person. She didn’t.

Drugs are not illegal. What is illegal is the act of possession. You can’t make things illegal, only actions. Possession of a drug is the illegal act and you have to be in possession of drugs to be charged and prosecuted.

If the police could make arrests for being pictured taking drugs, then a lot of people posting to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram would be in a helluva lot of trouble. Do you think the police have the time to investigate every drug related photo posted to social media? And would that be enough proof to prosecute? Of course not!

Don’t get me wrong, if you post a photo of yourself online, taking drugs, you could still inspire a property search, so I wouldn’t recommend doing it. Though I’ve seen enough of of these sorts of photos online to know that any warning won’t matter. Lots of you out there in internetland, do it, every day.

All drugs should be decriminalised. What Lord Sewel or anyone else ingests, is a private concern and should be a health matter, rather than a criminal one.

Prosecuting drug use is a waste of time, money and resources, for the police, the courts and the media. The drugs laws do more harm than drugs ever could and you are more likely to have a worse outcome if you get in trouble with the law.

We can all feel morally superior to Lord Sewel, but it’s not a matter for law enforcement. The police have done the right thing by dropping this case. On the basis of the evidence and the law, it was the correct and only decision they could make.

Have you used your nose?

Here's my actual watch. And my hairy wrist is included for no extra charge
Here’s my actual watch. And my hairy wrist is included for no extra charge

Quick post, with a quick thought. Have you used your nose?

I’m talking about using your nose to tap something on your Apple Watch.

I have, more than once.

I was baking some (special) cookies today and using the watch as a timer. It’s very cool, because you can do it hands free, with the “hey Siri” voice command.

I was baking my cookies for 12 minutes, so they came out nice and crisp. While preparing the next batch for the oven, the timer went off, telling me to take the current batch out of the oven. My hands were gooey with dough, so I used the tip of my nose to dismiss the timer alert on my watch.

I’ve been wearing my Apple Sport Watch for around 6 weeks now and I like it a lot. Notice I didn’t say “loved”.

I love my iPhone, I love my iPad, I love my iMac. The watch doesn’t inspire that sort of awe for me.

I think it is beautifully crafted, fantastically designed and executed. It’s nearly everything I would want in a watch from Apple. And the rest is coming in the next OS in the autumn.

But I don’t love it, like I love the other devices. The interactions I have with it are very brief, as they are meant to be, but also very useful.

The watch has fit right into my life, but I wore a watch before. I’ve always worn a watch. If you don’t wear a watch now, then the utility of the Apple Watch may not be as apparent to you, but for me it is just an extension of what my previous Casio G-Shock did.

Utility is the word I keep coming back to when I talk about my watch. It’s all very useful and very cool, but it lacks the fun factor (for me anyway) of my other devices.

Yes, I know there are games for the watch, but they really don’t appeal to me, on something with such a small screen.

What I find useful are the alerts. I don’t miss texts any more, ever. And breaking news…it is so cool to receive a breaking news alert on your wrist, before you see it any place else.

I use the watch to remotely skip tracks on my music player. I’ve already mentioned the messaging. I’m looking forward to being able to reply to emails, a feature which is coming in the autumn. Yes, It should have been included in the first version, but it wasn’t.

I’ve used it for walking directions, I’ve used it to plot journeys on public transport and I’ve used it to summon an Uber. That’s actually cool as fuck and very futuristic.

So is Shazaming a song on the radio, in the car, while stopped at a red light.

I’ve taken phone calls as well, which is also surreal and I’ve seamlessly handed it off to my iPhone.

I definitely fiddle with my iPhone far less, and I really only grab it when I need something the watch can’t do.

Utility. A very attractive, comfortable to wear, device that provides me with utility.

Everyone who’s seen it, asks me the same question: Should I get one?

Tough question. If you’re reading this and thinking everything I’ve mentioned sounds cool, then yes, get one. But if you’re thinking £339 (around $400) for the cheapest model sounds like a lot of money for a watch, then it probably isn’t for you.

I’m glad I bought one, I would miss it if I didn’t have it and I will probably buy the next one, if it really has a Dick Tracy style videophone in it. But I love toys and gadgets and sometimes like to be an early adopter.

It’s Apple’s most personal device, and I think they are right. Everyone will have a different relationship with their Apple watch.

My original question remains….have you used your nose?

Test post, please ignore…

Or you can read it if you want. I’m just setting up my new website. Go me!

My old website was hacked into oblivion, so I am starting from scratch again.

My archive of over 750 original posts will be edited down and published as an eBook that you can buy. Don’t worry, it will be cheap. And if I sell a million of them, I can quit my real job and be a full time hippy. Yay!

In the mean time, here is a pretty picture of London. Don’t worry, I own the copyright. Everything at northlondonhippy.com is 100% original.

Dig it!

– the northlondonhippy

10th June 2015

 

royal 350 copy