All posts by thehippy

The night Princess Diana died (Extract from Personal Use)

With the 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana rapidly approaching at the end of this month, there’s been a glut of coverage of her life and untimely demise in the media as they try to exploit what could be the last big opportunity to capitalise on her fame. 

Well, here I am, doing the same thing, because below is a brief extract from my book, ‘Personal Use’ about the night she died.

But unlike other accounts of that fateful night you may read, your friendly neighbourhood hippy spent the evening under the influence of some very strong blotter acid otherwise known as Lysergic Acid Diethylamide or LSD. 

If you enjoy this extract, I hope you’ll check out my book, ‘Personal Use’. 

  • the hippy

9th August 2017

*      *      *

Extract from Chapter 13, Random Stuff…

The fourth time I took LSD is also the last time I took acid. I remember the date clearly, it was Saturday, 30th August 1997. You’ll understand why that date stands out, shortly.

Mrs. Hippy and I hadn’t been living together that long and we had been out for the evening. We had a nice meal in a restaurant and had come home in a good mood, quite relaxed and chilled. A friend had given me a couple of blotters weeks before and I thought it would be a good night to try it.

Mrs. H had never had any psychedelics before and being the good (or bad) influence that I am, I suggested we sample it. Don’t blame Mrs. H, it was all my idea.

We took the blotters around 10pm and waited for the come-up. It was happy acid, a bit giggly and clean. We were both enjoying it, as we watched TV.

I had cable TV at the time, which meant we had a wide variety of channels to dip in and out of throughout the night. We were transfixed by an infomercial for Toaster Bags. They appeared to be the most ingenuous product ever produced. You could cook anything in these reusable miracles. The guy in the advert was reheating cooked pasta, making toasted sandwiches, all sorts of miraculous acts of kitchen wizardry. If I could have worked the telephone and read out my credit card number, I would have bought half a dozen. And it would have become my exclusive cooking method.

Eventually we ended up on CNN, when the news broke that Princess Diana was involved in a car crash in Paris that night. Shit.

Only a week before, I was at work, instructing freelance cameramen in France to try to get shots of Diana and Dodi Fayed together on holiday. This will come into play shortly, as you will see.

Now, Mrs H was a big fan of Princess Diana. As a young girl, Mrs. H was drawn into the coverage of Diana’s fairytale wedding and nightmare marriage to Prince Charles. She was very upset by the news.

I just wanted to know if she was dead, so I called my office and spoke to the overnight news editor. He was happy to hear from me and begged me to come in and help.

As fucking if! I was in no condition to be in a newsroom, I was on heavy drugs. I giggled and explained this to my friend. You can imagine how impressed he was with me. Oooops. No, no I can’t come in. Coming in would be BAD.

All I wanted to know was if she was alive or not, and as far as my friend knew, she was alive. He told me another friend and colleague of ours, who was a cameraman based in Paris, was already in the tunnel and filming. So I phoned him.

My friend in Paris was jazzed and full of adrenaline. This was a big story and he knew it. He thought I was at work, and I quickly explained my current situation. You know, on heavy drugs, tripping balls, blah blah blah. Just another Saturday night at my house.

I only had one question: Is she alive or dead? As far as he knew, she was still alive.

Finally, the news broke, and it was confirmed that Diana was dead. Mrs. H wailed and cried. She’d lost one of her childhood heroines. She was also on heavy drugs.

Now you can understand why I am so precise about the date. My last acid trip coincided with a event of historic proportions.

And then on CNN, Tom Cruise phoned in. He was talking about the paparazzi chasing him through the streets of Paris, and how dangerous it was. He said the press killed Diana.

Everyone was saying the press killed Diana. A week before, I was shouting down a phone line at someone to get pictures of her, no matter what.

I helped kill Diana, or so the television and my twisted drug-fuelled brain told me. I was part of the problem, along with anyone and everyone who ever worked in the media.

The narrative that the press killed Diana lasted longer than my LSD trip. There are people today who still say the press killed her, but I call bullshit on that.

A drunk, dangerous driver killed Diana. Or the security services, though personally, I don’t buy that because I am not a conspiracy theorist. The most obvious explanation is usually correct and that explanation is a drunk driver.

The next day, I began a run of a week of nightshifts and it was easily one of the worst weeks I’d ever had professionally. My colleagues who were tasked with covering the huge outpouring of grief were spat upon and abused by members of the public, for killing Diana. I don’t think I was ever busier, it really was relentless.

In my LSD hungover state, I felt guilty and I questioned whether journalism was the right career for me. Thankfully, the questioning and the hangover didn’t last long and things got back to normal after the funeral, a week later.

After one of my shifts, Mrs. H and I went to Kensington Palace early in the morning to see the massive floral tribute that had been left there in her memory. Before I saw the flowers, the smell hit me. It reminded me of walking into a funeral home, only more intense. The floral scent was overwhelming, as was the absolute sea of flowers spread throughout the gardens.

I haven’t had any LSD since that night, around 19 years ago. I definitely prefer psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. The high is far cleaner, purer and less artificial. LSD is too speedy for me, but never say never. If the right opportunity presented itself at the right time, I could be tempted to take it again.

And no, please don’t send me any. I try not to take head candy from strangers any more.  

*      *      *

The northlondonhippy is an anonymous author, online cannabis activist and recreational drug user, who has been writing about drugs and drug use for over a decade.  The hippy’s first book, ‘Personal Use’ details the hippy’s 35 years of recreational drug use while calling for urgent drug law reform. 

“Personal Use” is available as a digital download on all platforms, including Amazon’s Kindle, Apple’s iBooks and Barnes & Noble’s Nook. The paperback is available from all online retailers and book shops everywhere. 10% of all profits from this book will be donated to drug charities, annually. 

You can also find the northlondonhippy on Twitter: @nthlondonhippy

Thank you!

 

Just wanted to post a little update on my book, ‘Personal Use’, now that I’ve had some sales reports. You guys have bought loads of them, more than I ever expected. Thank you! You’ve surprised this old hippy, in a very good way.

And thanks for all the nice tweets, comments and reviews too!

When you write a book, or rather when I wrote a book, I genuinely had no idea how it would be received or perceived. It’s one thing when your friends tell you they like something you’ve written, you know they are biased in your favour. Or polite. Or both. But it is another thing entirely when complete strangers pay actual cash money to read it and then tell you they enjoyed it. It’s kind of blown my mind.

All this is new to me. My career in the media has always been way behind the scenes. I help make other people look good. how I’m perceived has never been an issue, until now.

I’m trying to draw confidence from the positive reception I’ve received. And I’m trying to believe in the book and myself more, which isn’t easy when I’ve spent most of my life undermining my own progress and success. Hey ho.

It’s amazing I’ve had any attention, considering my bumbling and cack-handed approach to promoting it. But if I really believe in what I am doing, I know that it will require a bit more commitment.

I’m ready to make that commitment, I’m ready to do more as the northlondonhippy, but I think I’ve gone about as far as I can go on my own. If I want to take things up to the next level, I am going to need some help. I need to find someone who is good at PR and promotion to work with me. The problem is, I don’t know anyone creative, hungry and up for the challenge of trying to get exposure for an anonymous author who is not comfortable with this sort of thing. Mission impossible, eh?

There’s a lot I am willing to do. I’ll participate in podcasts, do print interviews, radio interviews and I would consider public speaking too. How about a university speaking tour? That would be cool. I’m still in no rush to do anything on television, but that may change in the future. I know part of this is trying to infuse my message with some showbiz razzmatazz. Let’s see how that works out. I’m sure I could get some laughs, probably before I even uttered a single word.

Someone quite nicely described ‘Personal Use’ as a ‘future underground cult classic’, which is a very kind, flattering, over the top thing to say. But let’s pretend, just for a moment, that might be true. What should I be doing to make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity? What would you do? If you have an answer, any answer, please get in touch. I really do need all the help I can get.

The northlondonhippy is an anonymous author, online cannabis activist and recreational drug user, who has been writing about drugs and drug use for over a decade.  The hippy recently published his first book, ‘Personal Use’ which details the hippy’s 35 years of recreational drug use while calling for urgent drug law reform. 10% of all profits from this book will be donated to drug charities, annually. You can also find the northlondonhippy on Twitter: @nthlondonhippy

The personal risk of “Personal Use”

I might have mentioned that I was interviewed on LBC the other day, by none other than James O’Brien. It was a unique experience for me. I’ve never been the northlondonhippy outside of my home before. I’ve never been interviewed for anything other than a job.  So lots of firsts.

It hit home when I arrived in reception at LBC and I had to give my name. The only name LBC had for me is ‘the northlondonhippy’. Guess what I had to say out loud?

Yup.

I prefaced it by telling the guy at reception that “…what I am about to say is going to sound ridiculous, but my name is the northlondonhippy. They’re expecting me.”

When he phoned upstairs, they said someone would come to collect me shortly. Thankfully, they didn’t tell the receptionist to phone security immediately.

My time slot was pushed back slightly, so I got to relax just outside the studio and listen to the programme while I waited.

Mr. O’Brien trailed my interview in a very complimentary way. It was suddenly, very, very real. I was about to be on national radio, talking about my book, Personal Use.

We discussed filming the interview for possible online use, and even talked about me wearing a disguise. They also gave me the option of turning the cameras off, which is what I opted for in the end. So there are no photos or video of my appearance.

Even though my schtick is to call for urgent drug law reform, I’ve framed a lot of it through my own recreational drug use. As that shit is all still foolishly and pointlessly illegal, it’s prudent, for the time being, that I conceal my identity. There may come a point in the future, where that changes and everyone says, “so what”? But for now, there is a personal risk because I wrote “Personal Use”.

Did you see what I did there? I even put it in the title of this post.

So they brought me into the studio a few minutes before I was live on-air and I got to meet Mr. O’Brien. He is as nice and as charming as he seems on the radio and TV. I’ve worked in the media myself for a long time, and his sort of charisma and likeabiity is genuine. And it is also very rare.

All the LBC staff that I met were really nice, friendly and helpful. It meant I was relaxed and comfortable when it was show time.

I put on the headphones and before I knew it, James was asking me questions. And he expected me to answer them coherently and in complete sentences. I did the best I could.

I planned on disguising my voice, but I don’t think I did a great job. I probably sounded more like me that I had hoped. The headphones threw me off a bit, as did being so far out of my comfort zone. I don’t think I could have walked and chewed gum at the same time at that point.

I prepped up on a couple of cannabis and drug law reform topics, thinking I would be able to use them during my conversation with James. I even posted some information to back up my claims, RIGHT HERE.

I didn’t get to touch on either subject. It all went really fast, my 10 minutes in the studio flew by so quickly, that it was all over before I knew it.

I didn’t expect James to spend so much time talking about my book. I know that talking about my book is a good thing, and that’s how author interviews are supposed to go. I guess I don’t really see myself as an author. A writer, sure, but being an author is different. I’ve used the word “author” in promotional material, but I don’t think I’d ever really referred to myself that way in the first person or in my head. Does that make sense?

Maybe I really am an author now.

I was prepared to talk about the wider issues around cannabis and drug law reform. I was ready to explain the difference between Sativas and Indicas and I was going to touch slightly on strains too. And I wanted to try to put the word “skunk” to bed, as it is used incorrectly by the newspapers. I hate inaccuracy. I had material prepared, that I didn’t get to use.

I could easily do a 30 minute interview about cannabis and drug law reform. I didn’t expect to do 10 minutes about my book. Ooooops, my bad.

I’m not complaining. It’s one thing to have people you know tell you what you’ve written is good. But it’s entirely different when you’re being praised so highly, by a very well respected stranger. I really didn’t expect that either. Can you tell I have extremely low expectations? It’s an excellent way to avoid bitter disappointment.

I’ve had a chance to listen back to the interview, once. I can hear every mistake I make, every long pause. I know there are no second chances, but if I could do it again, I could do it so much better.

I don’t think I bombed, I didn’t die on my ass, but I didn’t nail it either. When I do something, I like to do it well. And if I can’t do something well, I don’t bother doing it. I think I could do radio well one day, and if I ever get the chance to be interviewed again, I know I will do better.

Towards the end of the interview, Andrew Castle came into the studio, to prepare for his programme, which followed Mr. O’Brien’s. James makes a joke, and you can just about hear me say that “I recognise Mr. Castle”. I don’t think he even glanced in my direction, but if he did, he didn’t recognise me. Many, many years ago, I did some freelance shifts in the same place he was presenting. I was quite lowly there, and just passing through, so I am not surprised I didn’t make an impression. But for the briefest moment, I thought there might be an awkward flash of recognition. I’m happy to say, that it didn’t happen. Phew!

This might have been my 15 minutes and it really only ended up being ten. You can judge for yourselves how it went, as I’ve posted the full interview below. Happy listening!

Oh and you should check out my book, “Personal Use”. James O’Brien digs it, you will too.

 

The northlondonhippy to appear live on LBC with James O’Brien today

The northlondonhippy on LBC with James O’Brien

Hey, hey. I’ve been invited to appear live with James O’Brien to discuss my book, ‘Personal Use’.  I’ll be on-air Friday 13th January 2017 at 12:30pm.

While I am on the radio, it is likely that the false link between Cannabis and Psychosis will come up. The UK seems to be the only country on earth, where this is an issue. Much of the research has been published in The Lancet, Britain’s best known medical journal. That includes a careful deconstruction of the research, from Dr. Carl Hart and Dr. Charles Ksir.

People are so desperate to demonise weed, that they will misrepresent facts.

To sum it up, while there is a correlation between cannabis use and psychosis, there is no causal link. What that means is that people with psychosis may be more likely to use cannabis, but there is nothing to suggest that cannabis is the cause of any psychosis. It is bad science and bad journalism that perpetuate this myth.

Here are some links:

The original article published by The Lancet: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301925555_Correlation_still_does_not_imply_causation

And here is the story written up for laymen like us,  in High Times magazine: http://hightimes.com/culture/scientists-call-out-bad-data-linking-weed-to-psychosis/

 

The other thing that is likely to come up is prison overcrowding & drug law reform, so I just wanted to post this graphic:

Let’s release all non-violent drug offenders & ease the prison overcrowding crisis

I hope to call on the government to immediately release all non-violent drug offenders from prison. It is the right & compassionate thing to do.

Thanks for reading this, and for listening.

 

The hippy’s ‘ultra last minute’ gift guide

TIFU:

I forgot to get someone I care about a Christmas gift.

But what if it is Christmas Eve, what can I do?

Don’t worry, this hippy has you covered with a ‘no stress’ solution!

You can send them a copy of my book, “Personal Use”, electronically. Other eBooks are available, but I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend my own.

Here’s how to send my book via the iBooks Store:

Click on this link on an iOS device:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/personal-use/id1158069130?mt=11

It will open up the product page:

Then click on the share sheet  icon on the top right of the screen:

That will bring up the share sheet at the bottom of your screen:

And on the bottom left, is the Gift icon.

Tap on it, fill out the email with the address of the person you want to send the book to and Apple will do the rest.

The recipient will receive an email with a link to redeem their gift. When they click it, the book will be downloaded to their device. And you will receive an email confirming your gift has been received.

For Amazon’s Kindle, they already have a guide to sending ebooks as a gift. It’s HERE.

CLICK HERE for the book listing on Amazon UK

Or Amazon USA RIGHT HERE

Here’s to a stress free Christmas! Happy Holidays everyone!

Available now!

Personal Use – Now available!

Available now!
Available now!

The northlondonhippy is very pleased to announce that his new book, “Personal Use”,  is now available to download.

“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.

Click here to buy a digital copy right now

image-34

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.