Thursday, 31 January 2013

Moving On, Moving In

I SIGNED a tenancy agreement this afternoon. So I'm now proud owner of one set of keys and three entry swipes. AND A ONE-BEDROOM FLAT! OK, I don't own it, the council do. But providing I behave myself I get lifetime tenure ~ and can even leave the tenancy in my will.

Someone was really upset with me this afternoon but I can't remember who... No they weren't. I just felt like they were. My brains turned to mud, from all this stress of NOT KNOWING HOW I WAS GOING TO MOVE. I was wondering about like a zombie, until this tenancy agreement got signed and I thought GOCHA! YOU CAN'T BACK OUT NOW!!

I actually got a really good flat. It's about as perfectly located as can be. About 12 mins from the main shops... And yet the area is restful and calm, and certainly does not feel like an inner city. I get my southerly satellite-dish-friendly aspect. But I don't get a bath. A bath, you see can be fixed; but you can't turn the block round if you're north-facing and you can't teleport it from nowheresville to somewhere decent. I'm literally 5 mins' walk from where I lived when I moved to London in the first place. The locality is very bourgeois indeed, if you just trot over the hill, you get to the "trendy" type of area, full of cafés and organic food shops, and little boutiques selling funky housewares and the unremarkable building to the left is a recording studio, where you pass minor rock stars on the street and EastEnders characters are drinking in the local pub... (Not like where I live now.)

So I invested £20 ($31.71) on a trolley for trundling gigantic oldfashioned television sets and heavy boxes. Because when I do move, it will probably be next to impossible getting a parking space right outside the flats and I'd far rather trundle than heave (getting old).

Then I rang my present landlord's Henchman "would you be able to move me..?" and he said YES. So I don't have to trawl through the shop windows for a Man & Van ~ who I'll be terrified of driving off in possession of all my electricals, or personal don't-want-to-keep-them-but-have-to-because-they're-legally-important-type papers...

I had to pick what colour paint I wanted. You could indicate up to four colours, so I went for three (from a very small and far too muted (for my taste) selection. The most garish thing they had was "lemon yellow" so I put in for two pots of that, plus one in some type of sludge blue... and I can't even remember what the last one was... might have been green. I gave magnolia and white a very wide berth indeed. Ideally I'd like my living room in duck egg blue, y'know greeny blue.

The illustrated shade is just a tad too light and about two shades further towards blue than I'd want. Hang on... Hey this is it! Turquoise. I had a thing about turquoise as a kid. My brother did too. Whenever somebody complimented his beautiful baby blue eyes he'd say, "They're not blue; they're turquoise!"Yes that shade there is precisely what I want. Nice and intense. And just the wrong side of "good taste" for my liking. The other colour I like is powder blue...

Something like this... Well I've yet to get to my flat today, as the signing process, plus the transfer-claim for housing benefit took over two hours. Then Binky wants a sleeve of 200 Polish Marlboros for £45 ($71.38 (I bet that seems expensive to you Americans, but the cigarettes I smoke cost £5.79 ($9.18) for 20 (Players superkings)) (but I break them into three and roll them complete with mini-filters, so I get 60 smokes for that money, which last me two days. I'm intending to give up smoking... one day. I'm sure my Baby Chirper won't like my always having a fag on...

Righto I have to go. I'm going to trundle my spare TV and Freeview box up to the new house (get my money's worth out of the trolley), take gas and electricity readings with my cigarette lighter-cum-torch (it has an LED flashlight at the bottom). Then tomorrow morning I have to contact my utilities suppliers and ask them to set up my account...

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Moving House and Posh Accessories for the Shower and Binky in Hospital (again).

HELLO EVERYONE. I'm moving house! Tomorrow I sign a 12-month tenancy agreement on a one-bed council flat. It's in just about the nicest location I could ask for; not "inner city", yet close to everything. Providing all goes well and I'm not antisocial (never have been in the past) this will be transformed into a lifelong and permanent tenancy ~ I can even leave it to my next of kin. Far as I know, I get from tomorrow afternoon until next Monday to move all my stuff out of the old place and to get gas, electricity, etc turned on (I have no idea how to do this: at the present house the amenities were running anyhow).

Once they take the metal anti-squatter blinds off my windows, I'll have a much better idea of what's going on. Basically I'm moving into a completely unfurnished concrete box with no carpets, nothing. I'm not even sure the old tenants left the curtain rails up. So I'm in a flap about furniture: what to get from where and how. I did find a beautiful 3-seat beige sofa for £60 + £10 delivery but of course it's sold. The charity shop has another one just as big but nowhere near as nice and it's £10 MORE. I so hate second best I'd rather go elsewhere... if only I knew somewhere, ANYWHERE selling used furniture. Apart from food and essentials, I haven't really gone shopping in London EVER. I never had money for luxuries. (I never had a LIFE! (And then of course I ruined what life I had with Heroin)...)

Well I'm really excited to be moving and I so wish I could find a nice long sleep-on-able sofa like that one that has just been sold. Of course it's still there in the shop, staring me in the face. I can't bear to go in there and look at second best.

As for this ridiculous bath situation, nothing is happening about that, for now. I'm trying to fix the problem myself, by investing in stuff that SHOULD keep me properly clean in the shower. Many months ago I ended up shopping with Valium Marilyn for a new flannel (washcloth if you prefer) and NOWHERE we looked had them. Well yesterday I furnished myself not only with washcloths but a giant sponge + professional back-scrubber. I'm determined to get a grip on this ridiculous, embarrassing issue of "self-care". I have a psychiatric condition known as CBS ~ childish bathing syndrome (or nonbathing syndrome). With this £3.50 ($5.53) investment in professional accoutrements, I SHOULD be able to get and keep my rotting body fresh.

I think the council were just being picky when they said I wasn't even allowed to PAY to get a bath in until my tenancy goes permanent. I looked into the costs nonetheless and the nearest bathroom shop to me sells baths from £70 with installation costing very little. I have to come back with precise dimensions. The standard bath lengths are 120cm, 140cm and 160cm. Got a feeling mine's gonna have to be 120. I don't MIND paying I just want that bath PUT IN.

I'm very excited to be moving. To be getting a place of my own. Finally. Where PETS ARE ALLOWED. So I can have my Baby Chirper without fear of eviction. 

Well I have to go soon. I'm exhausted because yesterday evening Binky had to go back into the mental hospital for the FIFTH TIME in 12 months. We rode there in a cab, 3 of us, including the support manager at the halfway house where Binky lives. She was very confused, talking about a very upsetting paranoid experience she keeps having. She had seen a psychiatrist that day, so it was arranged that she should present herself at the Emergency Clinic. At first the clinic were very accommodating: a ginger nurse fully au fait with the matter assured her she was being admitted with a 98% chance of going where she went last time, where she knows everyone.

Three hours passed and the evening shift appeared. When Binky eventually asked what was going on, the very surly African nurse who had control of the airlock-style door which we had to ask permission to be opened so we could go for cigarettes said through the plate glass (for there is no window, no hatch through which you can talk to the staff; they don't WANT to hear anything you have to say) "well you seem to have got a lot better than you were when you turned up here". On hearing which Binky flipped her lid. The new shift started saying they were waiting for assessment by the Home Treatment Team. Which they weren't, because the HTT had already stated that she needed to be admitted. But she still waited until well past 11:30 until the bed manager could come up with something.

I left at 9:15 on the pretext of shopping for takeaway. But I just couldn't handle the stress any more.

Talking of stress I don't know HOW I'm going to move into this new flat. My Mum is right in the middle of moving house herself. I rang my present landlord's henchman and asked whether he'd be willing to give me and my stuff a "lift" in his van and he said hopefully he could, that I should phone back tomorrow. It's up to his boss to say yes. They have no reason to help me... but hey, miracles do happen.

One last thing: DRUGS. HEROIN. I wanna keep the new place DRUG-FREE, which means no celebratory hit as soon as I'm all unpacked and free, leaning against my new front door. No drugs. Just the horrible methadone until the bitter end.

I think I'm going to be OK. Last week, it has to be said, I was feeling pretty horrible a lot of the time. For the last couple of days I've felt a lot better. I'm just really really tired and have to conserve my energy for house-moving. Wish me luck! ☺

This is the type of bird I want. A parrotlet is basically a posh lovebird...

I think the high-pitched voice is very amusing...


Monday, 28 January 2013

Random things + reply to Anonymous

DOES THE LAST POST SOUND COMPLETELY miserable? I don't know. Maybe I should take the nut-nut pills again. I just don't like them, mainly because they are ADDICTIVE. They make me "better" in that my moods are within narrower parameters and I am less paranoid. It does not make me any more motivated to do certain things that seem complex. But then again sometimes I do some of those things anyway. Other times they go undone for months... That's why I'm fretting over moving house. I know what I'm like. Stuff will end up lying around and nothing will be fitted, installed, unpacked, nothing.

Yes anonymous like I said in my answer I agree with you, it is terrible to take state handouts. An American I know who lives here told me, long before I had a fancy label I could blare out as an excuse for my unmannered laziness that in America I would be living under a bridge. Only reason I'm not living under one here (or in a squat) is because the local council were kind enough to house me. The only problem was, by that time I had gone pretty ferral and found adapting back to normal living quite difficult. At one point my life involved a lot of sitting about on pavements asking for money, and using drugs in public toilets and abandoned buildings. One time I overdosed in a shopping centre and only woke up with the attendant banging on the door saying they were closing for the night.

Of course it would be "more civilized" (ok, maybe not more civilized: but cheaper) to shoot junkies and mental patients by firing squad. I'm sure if they made it voluntary, loads would volunteer when feeling low. If you arranged it so the guns went off within 5 minutes of signing the papers, you'd have an excellent clear-up rate.

My friend Binky thinks my going to live in a flat is the worst thing that can possibly happen "as you'll only render it unfit for human inhabitation". Well I'd like the chance to try (not to render it that way, I mean to actually succeed in becoming a human being again). Sometimes I am not sure I actually am human. Maybe I'm an alien impostor. From a sub-intelligent species. Who knows.

As for the drug (singular) I did go back to it. I was trying to cure suicidal depression. The kind of thing where you sit around for hours staring into space, but then perk up and manage to act normal, until the act falters about half an hour in and ... back to staring blankly into walls. (Often I angle myself towards a television in this state, but I'm rarely actually watching it.) This is what happened at Binks's on Saturday. But yesterday I started feeling better. You see, it's all cyclical. That's why I say the firing squad should have little time for mind-changing: if you catch benefits scroungers at the lowest point of the cycle, you'll save the country millions.

My old counsellor once said you can measure the civilization of a people by how they treat their sick. Well that makes Britain very civilized... America a bit less so (what with no NHS).

Methadone is still a drug. I really want to get off that. And I want to get back what I lost: my attention span (still nowhere near as good as it once was); my edge. I was already OFF 'eroin (hadn't taken it in weeks (early 2011)) when I LOST these things. I lost them to mania of the psychotic variety, which tears your thoughts to shreds then whirls them up in the air in a cognitive cyclone. I lost all my money. (OK, the government's money.) Could barely keep it together to look after house keys. (OK, the local council's keys.) Of course the nut doctor told me I should have been in hospital... AFTER the event. My support worker who keeps asking whether I'm into a part time degree doesn't reckon I'm up to looking after a pet! The kind of pets I go for are ones that essentially look after themselves, apart from feeding and drinking. The sort you let out, then they return from their rambles to live perfectly happily in their own little world. A degree on the other hand requires all manner of attention that I have given to nothing for years. I tried Teach Yourself Japanese CDs yet again... but just don't seem to learn anything. When I try reading books I sometimes do get to the end, but with only a hazy idea of what went on between the covers. Fact is actually easier than fiction, for me. So this is the problem. When I give answers on the kinds of forms that assess one's day to day living, my answers sound terrible. I know someone who repeatedly told me to lie and exaggerate. The sad truth is, I didn't need to.

I never claimed to be stupid. I just looked around at "ordinary people" (including ordinary crackheads and junkies) and they seemed to have skills I appeared to have lost. Wasn't my idea to call myself schizo. That one came from a doctor and I had no idea. Yes I heard voices saying "schizophrenia" but I just thought they were having a go. Never actually thought it could be true. [Hearing voices doesn't necessarily mean schizophrenia: clairaudient psychics hear voices; normal bipolar mania can make you hear voices. Crack can make you hear voices. Only mine never made themselves fully manifest until more than a year AFTER I had given it up.] I suppose I should say to Anonymous-type people: as for "schizophrenia" with bipolar, if I were making it up... bloody hell I would pick something a little less complicated. FOUR lists of symptoms to "satisfy". I have met people who said they faked psychosis, but it's always psychosis of the paranoid variety, where a person has some fable in their head that they believe. Mine was more like my mind and attention being shattered into a thousand pieces, seeing through each jointly and severally, all at the same time. Plus extreme swings of high manic energy to complete devastation. Sometimes both moods at once. That's how it felt.

And why the hell do the bastards who run this country make it so difficult to get hand-guns, poisons etc? That Dignitas euthanasia clinic in Switzerland uses 10,000mg of neat barbiturate in orange juice. But why can't I just by 10,000mg sodium amytal from Boots and do it myself? You see, Anonymous you should get on to the government. Make suicide easier. Then you'll get your wish. (The quicker a person can top themself before the impulse fades, the higher a success rate you will have.) I don't actually want to kill myself any more. Last week, some of the time, I did. I don't exactly know why.

O yes and I've been window shopping for furniture. Found quite a nice sofa. 3 seats. Brown. For £62 (about $100). Brown goes really nice against blue walls and I'm painting mine blue.

Have I answered every point here? Please somebody, give me an idea for a post, and I'll post it. Much easier that way. Staring into a white infinity, nothing but my own dolorous thoughts on screen ... I just end up ranting in a faintly ratty way... OK that it I'm off bye.

Illustrated: yellow-capped pygmy parrot; council housing for lovebirds...

Saturday, 26 January 2013

New Flat ~ I just want to move in

I WENT TO SEE the new flat I was offered. It is permanent accommodation, though initially you sign up for a year, to see whether or not you're an antisocial troublemaker. I have been in "emergency accommodation" ~ where you can get moved from one end of the borough at 24 hours' notice (or even out of the borough) ~ for about ten years.

We got shown into a bare totally unfurnished place ~ no carpets, no cooker. It was very gloomy, with iron sheets over the windows that only let in pinpoints of light.

Of course there was no bath. The one  thing I said I really needed. The person before me must have been old or disabled, so they had a shower with a chair in it, that the man from the council said under no cirumstances would they change... except health grounds. So I have made an appointment with my GP. I can't believe I'm going to have to do this ~ spell out in detail some of the ridiculous problems I have had with "self care". But I have to. I ended up basically paying a friend to use his bath. Payment was made in the form of 3 litres of white cyder. The only way I have ever been able to keep and stay clean. I have lived without a bath for more than five years and am filthy dirty to prove it. I never feel clean after getting out of a shower. Even a silkwood-style shower just makes me red and sore ~ and still dirty. 

Of course if I have to I'll just move in without a bath and stay dirty for a year, because you're not allowed to add any fixtures or fittings in that first year. And pay for the bath myself. Another option is just to drag a new or old bath up there and place it so the plug hole alligns with the shower plug hole. I could fill it up using the shower and just let the water run out. It wouldn't be plumbed in or grouted on to the wall, so I wouldn't be breaking any contract.

Apart from that the place is perfect. The area is green and restful. Much nicer than any other part of this borough. Iceland (the supermarket) is only 10 minutes away, which is good. Because for the first few weeks I would be living with microwave only ~ no cooker or fridge. What I really need to get is curtains. Make it look like someone's living there. Otherwise you get squatters breaking in.

Usually, people moving into unfurnished permanent housing are eligable for a community care grant to pay for the new place to get fitted out. But I'm ineligable, because I was working before I got sick, so I paid too many national insurance stamps. I'm on contribution-based ESA, with no top-up (have never been on income support). Maybe I could get funding from some charity, but it won't come from the council. But if I'd been a sponger all my life, I would get this grant.

Apart from this the place is perfect. I don't want to live anywhere else. I just want to move the hell out of where I am now as soon as possible. The council and my support worker seem to be really dragging their feet. I want to sign something as soon as I can, so they cannot u-turn their way out. I wouldn't put it past them to show me somewhere I really like then say I can't have it and have to live in some horrorsville with no right of appeal. That's why I want to sign the contract asap ~ to pin them down.

O I've got to go. I can't think about this. It's stressing the shit out of me. I'm really glad to be moving. NOW I JUST WANT TO MOVE.

It's no problem living in unfurnished accommodation. No worse than living in a squat. (Which I did before.) But they're doing everything they can to stall the issue. I'm sorry I don't trust anyone. It all feels like mind-games. I JUST WANT TO MOVE THE FUCK IN they can sort out baths etc afterwards. Now I have to go, Binky is hammering away at my phone wanting to know where I am because I'm supposed to be bringing round frozen Chinese food + MSG. Not in the mood for it, but said I'd do it.

Sorry if this sounds misable, petty, ungrateful etc etc. (I haven't got time to sit editing this for hours to make it sound nice.) I've been in a crappy mood for days. That's why I'm on ESA to start with ~ bipolar mood swings, paranoia etc.

Hope you have a nice weekend.

Illustrated: this is what British council flats usually look like (not my block)

Monday, 21 January 2013

A Lazy Ice Heart full of Excuses

THE WORLD is icy cold and snowy and my heart feels cold as midwinter London. All the excitement (over nothing) of the past few weeks has gone and now I'm feeling gloomy and down. And tired, and achey. And I've been making up for lost sleep ~ snoozing round the clock, rather than spending a day and a half or so up, then going to bed and STILL not really wanting to sleep. I'm fed up of feeling like a road accident. Some days I went to bed feeling like I'd been dragged through a hedge backwards and was covered in scratches. No pleasant drowsiness at all. Just a feeling that I'd totally overdone it, and now I was ill. 

These days, when I have been felt "high", I have avoided moving around too much or pacing, because that makes me exhausted and the whole process worsens. You know a lot of people feel there is nothing wrong with me and, in a way, so do I. 

Looking back, apart from wanting to know the name of whatever it was that had been bugging me for years, the One Reason I every chased a diagnosis was that I was so fed up of having to deal with the consequences of SOMETHING, which was far in excess of ordinary drug-addiction (I'm the only person I know who ever let my benefits which could pay for drugs RUN OUT ~ not once, but twice ~ because I felt too depressed and unworthy to claim them)... My life in a mess. Bills not paid, debts not sorted out. Most other drug-addicts I know were like this to an extent. But in me, things reached an extreme. I don't know what it's called except DAMN LAZINESS. Then I find out Laziness is actually a symptom! And so I find I've got my "Excuse". Except that psychiatric labels excuse nothing. I still have to cope with life and I'm still not coping. I don't think that I will ever be OK.

All in all I can't wait till this is over ...

Friday, 18 January 2013

A Death in the House (and a New House and a Baby Chirper)

THE LANDLORD'S HENCHMAN phoned me yesterday asking could I knock on the room next to me to see whether the man answers ... and would I phone back with the result so I said I would ~ and no answer. I said "Why, is he OK?" and he said no. They think he's ill or something. So someone from the agency was going to come round and open the door just to see that he really IS all right.

This man is pretty old and very friendly. He gives the impression of not having a nasty bone in his body ~ yet somehow without that "gone-out," dodgy vibe some people have when they're so "nicey-nicey" they seem to have a screw loose. Perhaps one reason he always seems so cheerful is that every time we have met, either outside the house or in the hallway, in the few weeks since he moved in, he had obviously been drinking. I never have seen him sober. But he is so old and unsteady. You can always tell it's him coming in because the shufflings between front door opening and the scrabbling of his key against his door and that door actually opening seems to take a good five minutes every time. He is very unsteady on his feet, and I wouldn't be surprised if he had some type of Alzheimer's or alcoholic dementia.  He seems somehow to be able to attain the same level of drunkenness every hour of the morning or night ~ he's in a perpetual blur. So it wouldn't surprise me if some other factor were involved. I've seen alcohol dementia, and that ~ or just general old age ~ would seem better to account for his general un-together-ness than drink alone. As I say, you'd need to be putting a lot of drink away, on a constant basis, to be that doddery and compromised...

THEN I CAME BACK HOME today to find the front door open and a policeman in our hall. "Is everything all right?" I asked. The policeman gave me a steady look, and said no. It turns out the elderly Carribean man downstairs has DIED. I heard the policeman saying into his radio that this man was SEVENTY-SEVEN YEARS OLD. So why on earth somebody that feeble and confused and obviously in need of help was living on his own in a house like mine, I haven't a clue. I don't want to think about it, because it will only make me angry.

I had only been into his flat the once, and that was when he said his heating was broken down last week. The boiler was working for hot water, and was set to warm up the radiators. Yet his radiators were stone cold. It has been absolutely freezing the last few days with snow settled everywhere. And this old man was living alone and confused in an unheated flat. He said the landlord had refused to look at the boiler. He was so out of it, he couldn't tell when the radiators were switched on or off. And now he's dead. Great, isn't it?

Oh and I'm supposed to be moving out and into a permanent place of which I have absolutely no details ~ this is according to my Support Worker, who won't give me the new address. I want at least to be able to check out the new place from the outside before going on an official visit with a council housing bod. Then I get to say yes or no to this new home ~ depending whether it's wonderful or otherwise. You're allowed to pick and choose between a maximum three places (which are offered one at a time) before it they say "right, if you WANT council housing, you have to take the next offer, or drop off the list". ALL I want is separate living room and bedroom, a bath, and a south-facing aspect to put up a satellite dish ~ otherwise I won't be able to watch German television, which makes all the difference to quality of life. And ideally, if it's a flat (which it probably will be) I'd rather NOT be on the ground floor ~ for security. So I'm in a bit of depression and stress over this, knowing that if I do move I'll find myself in a place that's completely unfurnished ~ not even curtains. And will have to get washing machine, fridge, bed and furniture all myself. I know I should sound a bit more grateful ~ but I just want to know what I'm being grateful FOR. Some of these council places are notoriously bad. I just WANT TO KNOW THE ADDRESS. The promised letter has failed to come. If I don't hear anything by Monday then I'm calling my housing manager. The idea of moving is really stressing me. Yes of course I want to move. But moving itself is horrendous. So most of the time I'm dealing with this in my own characteristic way: by not thinking about it at all.

Does this sound really terrible? I'm not in a bad mood. I've actually been feeling rather good. I'm still, most of the time, higher than normal. It's just that when I'm like this, every feeling and emotion is more vivid, so I'm VERY easily plunged into a whirl of confusion. I just want to know what is happening. And then, perhaps, I can be whirled up in a better-informed kind of way..(!)

Hey you know the best thing about moving into proper accommodation? Pets are allowed! I am in talks about ordering a baby parrotlet online (they are very difficult to get hold of in this country)... but no commitments have been made yet...

So that's it ~ wow! A death in the house and me (hopefully) moving out with a Baby Chirper!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Breakfast at Iceland

I NEVER went to bed last night. I was too busy pottering about (can't even remember what I was doing now)... O yeah! I saw The Audrey Hepburn Story on True Movies 1, which inspired me to watch Breakfast at Tiffany's on DVD. The extra material was quite interesting. I have to say, if I had to go on a date with a dead film "goddess" I'd pick Audrey Hepburn... or maybe Marilyn Monroe; I don't know. I'm sure Audrey would have been more "real"... and she looked so pretty even in old age with her non-plastic-surgery UNICEF look...

Hey did you know when Katherine Hepburn died, Mrs Thatcher went and condoled a bemused Audrey at some Buckingham Palace shindig on the death of her "mother". I mean Audrey and Katherine... neither fitted the standard "starlet" role, and yet both so different...

Ukh, I nearly ran out of electricity yesterday. Thankfully I managed to top it up in the middle of the night: £15 ($24.14) so that should last me another week or two... (unless it gets really cold).

Well I've just been on a minor shopping spree. I bought so much food in Iceland that I ran out of money. I was having a real Glodemer Party fillin' that basket with Chinese chicken in blackbean sauce and chicken fried rice £3 ($4.83); "cooked meat deal beef 'committed to giving you the best deal on Beef trimmings' 450g £1.75 ($2.82); 4 white part-baked baguettes £1 ($1.61) ;
Iceland Taste of the Orient beef in ginger and spring onion with egg fried rice (in squishy packets) and I hope it tastes nicer than their frozen version which is like festering dogfood that's been left sweltering in the back of a car in high summer for three days ~ probably tastes like Old Mother Crack Pot's cooking £3 ($4.83); Iceland cheese coleslaw 300g 75p ($1.21) oh and some very yummy ready-cooked roast chicken thighs 4 for £2 ($3.22)... by the way, to any of you Americans, does this sound too expensive to you? I've heard a lot of price tags in American shops would be the same as here, only in dollars, obviously, not pounds ~ giving the American consumer a saving of 38%. Then I went into the charity shop where the lady asked me to mind the till while she dashed to the loo (she must trust me). I got some Judge Jules mix CD called Clubbed, something called React 10 (which I hope is dance music, but I honestly have no idea. As I told Lavatory Lady, I'm so old now I haven't a clue what's what. Then she said "If you're old what about me~?!" £3.50 the pair ($5.63 (that sounds expensive for second hand CDs)) Oh and I found a classic work of modern literature: Shirley Conran's Lace in hardback for £2 ($3.22 ~ it all sounds very expensive in US dollars). Lace is the book about the poor little rich girl, who, in seeking out her roots ends up confronting her possible parents with the line: "Which one of you bitches is my mother? Which one of you bastards is my father?" Oooo great high-fallutin literature!

Well I can't remember the point of this... o yeah because I'm tired and hungry. Might not make it back in to post whatever other rubbish I end up doing today so here's a Red King parrot ~ as used to frequent Bimbimbie's gardens only she says she's not seen any this year. The parrots and cockatoos do a constant flap-around the countryside, cleverly alighting on the right tree at the right time ~ when fruit is in season. Clever birdies...

I bet Bimbimbie will go white and nearly fall over to hear me say this, but I would quite like a king red as a pet. After having seen a documentary on traditional tribes along the Amazon where one family had a pet parrot perching on a stick outside their hut ~ and it obviously didn't want to fly away ~ my views on keeping intelligent birds in captivity has changed. Intelligent being the operative word. I wouldn't want any of those tiny finches who go nuts whenever you get near their cage... And as for cages they are, in my opinion, something for birdies to eat, sleep and shyte in ~ not to be locked up in when you're home. That's most unfair. You wouldn't keep your itchy tabby in a cage, so why the parrot... know what I mean..?

Look at this kitty ~ she looks like a Furry Owl (and I bet she is a she ~ hasn't she got such a feminine spirit, you can feel it...)


Monday, 14 January 2013

Clean Drugs Test

IT SNOWED in London today, but the ground was too warm and wet for anything to settle... Kids at the local school were going nuts though.

I ended up at the methadone clinic doing some anti-drugs meeting, which I didn't really feel up to, as I had been feeling too uptight and anxious (over nothing) and the only way to get out of that anxiety is to move or pace around, which makes me hyper and higher. The room was full enough to make me slightly paranoid. When the drug-talk got too boring I just stared at the swirly psychedelic faces in their blue floor. My worker seemed extremely surprised when I gave in a 100% drug-free (apart from methadone) test. See, I can do it.

I have been in a "funny mood" since about December 4. Some days I feel high. Other days less so. But luckily I haven't truly come down below "normal" for any length of time. I'd rather feel turbulent and (intermittently) very easily upset than all boring and "normal" any day... and who wants to be "normal" anyhow..?

Binky is supposed to be coming out of the mental hospital tomorrow. The patients are nowhere near as disturbed as last time. On Friday she introduced me to Manic Girl again, but I was actually higher and more manic than Manic Girl herself, who was still impounded in this nuthouse, despite being stone-cold normal (as far as I could see). Sometimes they like to keep people in for over-cautiously long times. But then if they stop the medication they're back in high mania within days. I've met a couple of random people over the years, both of whom had just been discharged from mental hospitals for extreme mania and both of whom were so obviously manic they were giving out energy like  electric fires radiate heat. Whether this was psychiatric staff who don't give a toss, or medication noncomplicance, I have no idea.

Anyway I have to go. So much for being off drugs; I actually have LESS money than usual. No idea what I spend it on... who knows, but it ain't chemical ~ hence that clean Screen.

Anyway I have to go: Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is on. ******* airheads ~ and yet so addictive...

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Silly American Drugs Films

I don't exactly approve of animal drug experiments but...
This is an American propoganda film about their brilliant military, showing a cat tripping on some psychedelic agent (probably acid).

Oh, and while we're at it, for anyone who's interested, here's the full cut of that famously ridiculous (1938) American anti-marijuana propoganda film...


Saturday, 12 January 2013

The Most Beautiful Birds in the World

feathery friday on saturday
Who can name the most beautiful birds in the world?
Well here are five good candidates...
a white mute swan and an Australian black swan

this is a Scottish golden eagle

these are sun conures, some of the brightest parrots in the world

favourite British garden birds

not sure of the specific species, but isn't it wonderful...
I think this is a green amazon...
wishing y'all
a very chirpy weekend!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Delirious Happiness

O HELLO THERE. I'm running out of computer time so I have to say this quickly. I am feeling so deliriously happy I can't stop smiling radiantly at the most random times eg at the methadone chemists. I was a bit paranoid that they'd think I was high on some drugs. But no drug I know of makes you that happy, except maybe ecstasy, and I don't take that any more. I don't take any drugs at all now, by the way, except methadone.

Anyway having woken up at 1am, as you do (I hadn't bothered going to bed the night before, so I slept a healthy 8 hours ~ 5pm-1am) and having watched lots of Michael Jackson videos and musicals very loudly I finally phoned Binky at 4am. She doesn't mind. She's an insomniac anyway. I can't remember precisely why I phoned her but I desperately felt I needed to know whether the mental unit she was on had any baths. When I'm in that state I tend to be very talkative indeed, with my mind constantly changing the subject. And I did moot the idea of breaking over the fence and coming to see her in the dead of night. But I was terrified of getting arrested and ending up in the nuthouse myself. So I didn't.

Erm, and that's about it. Have a very cheery day everyone.

O wow ~ look at this:

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Funniest Birds in the World!

This is really beautiful

This is really funny

This is really bizarre (and aren't parrots bizarre, doncha think?...?)

This is really cute

This is really entertaining

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

An Average Day (Sorry I cannot think up a more fascinating title than that...)

MY UNSUPPORTIVE SUPPORT WORKER called at the end of office hours to tell me he's closing my case. See I knew he saw me as a lazy timewaster. I did point out there's a whole sheaf of unresolved poll tax bills from my old house (where they kept altering their bills, then wrote them all off, then billed me again) but in fairness, if I did even mention these bills I certainly never pressed the point. I don't think about council tax or bills of any kind. Hence my failure to mention them, even though he asked me what assistance I needed.  I haven't paid the gas bill in 6 months since I  moved in. But they've altered it from estimated to actual billing, thereby cutting it to a third. All I owe in 6 months is £21 ($33.66).

I haven't seen Binky in a few days. She said something that really annoyed me the other day, also I can't face visiting a mental unit, even though it is easy to get to. The patients are nowhere near as disturbed as last time. Because I was a bit "up there" (on a hyper) last week, she introduced me to the one manic patient on the ward and we had a ridiculous conversation about what a brilliant illness it was. Or indeed not an illness. I'm not sure what I think about that now.

At least two people (neither of whom were mental patients) have mooted the idea that methadone could be poisoning my mind, hence my mood swings. More and more I'm starting to think they're right. My biggest reason against taking methadone daily always was that I suspected it could damage my brain. For years I just couldn't bear to stick to a methadone script because I felt so suicidally depressed on it. A profound state of misery where I just sat around doing nothing all day and could barely be bothered to follow a television programme. (Maybe methadone is a government plot, to get junkies so depressed they kill themselves.) I don't know what to do except get off that crap as fast as I can.

Sorry I know I sound like a stuck record. But it IS my new year's resolution to get OFF METHADONE (wahey!!)  I don't know what else to say. O cripes I'm running out of time NIGHT NIGHT!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Entertaining Animals

this is from the American news

I nicked this one off Beverly's blog
to me this garrulous Indian ringneck parrakeet looks like a blue slimline comical hallucinatory pigeon ...

... very funny ...

Apparently these bizarre birdies live all over London... (though I've never seen one)...


Monday, 7 January 2013

First Light of Dawn

MY LANDLORD came and tamed our Rampant Bush, then his handyman came in and polished all my cookertops and kitchen surfaces. With an explosion of magazines, papers and carrier bags on every available surface, the hanchman asked how I ever sat down. I told him the mess was my attempt at tidying (well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it).

With all the mess cleaned up and the lake mopped up (caused by a dodgy fuse that made the fridge go off nearly all weekend causing a mini Lake Baikal to accumulate under the washing machine) and a new light in the bathroom, which I nearly brought the ceiling down trying to change, the place is looking wonderful.

My sleep has been seriously all over the place. My appetite is down. My moods are swirling. I've been feeling very anxious and a bit hyped up. I've been trying to keep a journal of my feelings but they're so all over the place, just writing about them makes me very supset again. I'm not "depressed", but three things happened in the past week that upset me greatly and this is what triggered all that heart-stopping anxiety that has been killing me so un-softly.

I realized that one person, who I thought I could trust, doesn't understand my viewpoint at all and doesn't really respect my feelings, probably never has, and wants me to take a course of action that is dangerously irresponsible. I got a message saying DO NOT TRUST HIM. And though I doubt the Messanger's motives, I sadly realized this message was accurate. I've received frightening messages before, and they also turned out to be true.

My feelings around Binky are confused, too. I say I'm confused; she's seriously confused. Binky has a lot of health problems, her body is collapsing. O, and to add insult to injury, we both have common colds. But because she's more fragile than me, she has a chest infection on top.

I just deleted a load of stuff on my mixed feelings on her torrential emotional torments. But it's not fair to write like that behind my friend's back. And as I say, my feelings are so swirled up, it's hard to say what I really think. Anything I put now I may disagree with in half an hour's time.

My family think I should make new friends who are sane and clean; but frankly, who would have me? I feel so comfortable around psychiatric patients because they seem to accept me for who I am. The junkies certainly don't (and the ones who did are all dead). The old "Nutter Club" that I used to find so supportive (before it was axed) was actually a Dual Diagnosis group for addicts with severe mental health problems. It was the one support group where I felt I could speak freely.

This is my biggest problem: I don't feel I have the support of anyone who really understands me. I do have the support of my family and they try to understand me. I don't know how successful they are. A need that was uppermost when I was younger has started to resurface; a need to be Understood. Perhaps behind this is my own need to understand myself. With so many conflicting emotions and moods in strange admixtures, it's hard to say what I feel about anything.

I feel in need of some kind of support, but I'm not getting it. I do have an official Support Worker but I get the impression that, like so many others down the years, he thinks my problem is that I just don't give a shit and just need to pull myself together. Well I used to think that, too. Whatever I said, that is what I actually thought in my heart. Then I tried to pull myself together and found I couldn't do it. And I don't know why.

My family, the only people in this crazy world who I do trust implicitly, seem to expect that once I'm finally ffree of all drugs, and this of course includes methadone, then my turbulence should resolve.

Well if it does, I don't expect anything to happen straight away. Various NA members have told me that the first year Clean is a real challenge. Moods and emotions no longer blanketed by opiates burning brighter than ever before. The rehab I emailed some months ago with brief details of my situation and meds emailed back saying the methadone might actually be acting as a mood stabilizer (though it doesn't feel like it is). So that, without it, unless they up my psyche meds I'm likely to be more unstable than ever before.

So I don't know what to make of any of this. Anyway I'm not scared of getting clean. I've spent about 30% of my life addicted to heroin. Which means that 70% of that journey was travelled without chemical dependency. Contrary to stereotype, I never got hooked on my drug of choice until 28 years of age. So I have vast experience of living and surviving without needless crutch of opiates and there is no doubt in my mind that I can survive again. I don't expect it to be easy; but I don't expect it to be too difficult, either.

Before Heroin I was a much more complicated person than I am now, with a poor sense of self-identity. But I have matured despite my drug habit (which some addiction experts say never happens). People who knew me back then say I'm so much more comfortable in my own skin. Even my old drug worker from about three years ago seemed astonished at the change in my demeanour. Perhaps she's seeing the swtich from constant low-grade depression to constant low-grade hypomania... But perhaps not. I think it's something more. Despite everything I feel more at home with my Self ~~ turmoil and confusion aside I'm far happier now than I was even two years ago.

They say the longest journey begins with that first step... I just hope that finally I'm stepping in the right direction...


I love this video...


Friday, 4 January 2013

Meet the Parrotlet

DESCRIBED as "a big bird in a little birdie's body", parrotlets (pronounced "parolet") are so new to the pet trade their full lifespan is not even known! The same size and price as a budgie: in the UK they sell for around £35 ($56.89) though in the USA they regularly fetch prices up to $280 (£172.78). The blue ones are particularly charming...

MY SUPPORT WORKER came round yesterday. I didn't feel he was amazingly helpful. he kept asking my plans for 2013; but I have no concrete plans, only hopes: I hope to get better. Last year he gave me a prospectus for Birkbeck College, which offers a double-honours degree part-time in German and Japanese. But my attention-span is all over the place: sometimes fine but sometimes like that morning I couldn't remember what I'd thought and what I'd actually said, so I had no idea whether I was repeating myself! My head was babbling so. I got more and more agitated as the day wore on. So I have decided to sort out my chi ~ you know, my energy balance. I know of a long-established and very reputable Chinese medicine centre in Niel's Yard, Covent Garden so I'm going there.

I would imagine Chinese therapies could do a lot to improve one's powers of focus. That's if mine really do need improving: I mean, aren't the genuises of academia famously scatterbrained?

I tried calming myself with television but the programming was atrocious. All I remember was a photo-shoot on old Dallas featuring an old-age pensioner lingerie model with massive bazookas arguing with Clayton and Miss Ellie over a murder. I was wishing for in-depth documentaries on chirpy parrots on some channel somewhere, but of course no luck. I tried and tried to think on higher things like feathery chirping parrotlets and not negative ones, but without parrots to look at, I was fighting a losing battle.

I went out and got terrible stomach-ache diarrhoea, so I bumbled back again, where my bad spirits magically evaporated. I went to bed at seven where finally I got my wish: as I lay down my weary head a wondrous dream enveloped me of lovebirds, parrotlets and lorikeets all chirping cheerily away...! How amazing!


Aren't these cute!
The parrotlet is the little blue one.


Tuesday, 1 January 2013

No More Obsessing

WELL I'M trying to give up the self-obsession for New Year as well as the heroin. I got lumbered with a mental label that upsets me, so I decided to try and find out what that label meant. Which took a long time [as I had very poor reading comprehension just after getting diagnosed]. I only read 2 books on madness from cover to cover but I did leaf through a lot more information on paper and on line. All this has done is make me more self-centred and confused than ever before.

My family think I am overly fascinated by my own mentality and I asked Binky and she thinks the same. But Binky confuses the issue a lot by calling me "mad". Just because I know I have various symptoms from time to time doesn't mean I think I'm crazy.

So all in all this has become a vicious circle in a hall of mirrors and I'm sick to death of staring at my own neurotic reflection.

Anyway that's all I have to say Happy New Year everyone.