28 September 2005

Make Room For the Mushrooms

(Images from July 2004...)


During the summer of last year I discovered that a strange loophole in the law was allowing various 'head' shops in Leeds (and elsewhere) to sell magic mushrooms 'legally'. And not just the magic mushrooms I had picked on the slopes of Kinderscout ten years earlier, and on the school sports field ten years before that, but obscure foreign magic mushrooms that I had read about in biographies of Burroughs and Ginsberg, in books like LSD & The American Dream, that I had dreamed of venturing deep into the Amazon to try for myself. Suddenly I needed to venture no further than Leeds which was a bit disappointing in terms of stamps on me passport but much more within the stunted reaches of my limited travel budget.

Over July and August I trecked deep into the heart of Leeds and tried small amounts of Mexican and Thai mushrooms. I had an enjoyable time on all of them but never the full blown psychadelic trip I had enjoyed so much as a youth and young(er) man. Finally, to mark my 35th birthday in mid August, I necked 20 grammes of a 'sort of' mushroom known variously as truffles and philosopher's stones, and travelled to cartoon pixieland for six hours where I giggled. It was very therapeutic.

That was the last time I tried mushrooms. Prior to that I had craved an excess of all my usual druggy escapes - specifically ecstasy and cocaine - imagining that I would find in them a refuge from if not a panacea for my sickness. After my six hour stint in cartoon pixieland (anybody who has read any Jim Woodring comics will have an idea of where I mean, although the bit I visited wasn't as twisted/dark as the bit Jim maps out), all such chemical cravings left me for a considerable time and I generally felt healthier in mind and more at ease.

Since then I have sworn off all drugs - except occasionally alcohol and anything prescribed - but still regard a trip into cartoon pixieland, should I choose or feel the need to make one, as an essentially healthy diversion (as long as it's only a very very occasional diversion) although I haven't chosen to do so or felt the need for long enough to do anything about it. I did hear something on radio 4 around easter suggesting that the mushroom loophole had been sewn up or plugged or whatever they do to such holes. Whether the sale of magic mushrooms is entirely and unambiguously illegal now or not, friends of mine have made use of a local 'dial a magic mushroom' service which delivers to your door (or wherever you happen to be when the mood takes you).



miss sam duffy said...

mushrooms are brilliant! I spent the summer of last year somewhere other than this planet with the help of the little fellas!! . are you still interested in doing a trade? i havent been able to contact you as my comp turned to shit and i lost stuff.

Dem said...

Yup - still very much up for a pic swap - will email you separately...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Man