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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

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:

And here is the story written up for laymen like us,  in High Times magazine:


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


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:

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


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

Available now!

Nearly there!


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.

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 is 100% original.

Dig it!

– the northlondonhippy

10th June 2015


royal 350 copy