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squirmelia

Skyberries and Voidmelons or Voidberries and Skymelons


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squirmelia

Old year, new year

On the last day of the year, I wandered around London with my best friend, eating pizza, visiting bookshops and an exhibition on High Society: Mind altering drugs in history and culture. We stared into a dream machine and closed our eyes, heard mixed up words from Baudelaire, saw adverts for heroin-glycerin, watched fields of poppies moving in the breeze, and glanced at random drug related paraphernalia. I read out pages of resolutions I had written, and looked through guidebooks for Spain. He gave me a collection of old Ordnance Survey maps: Oxford, Brighton, and various places in the south west of England, which I started to read on the train.
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On the first day of the year, I awoke at 6am and my mum and I drove to the beach to see the sunrise. It was foggy and the sun was not to be seen, but I stood on the pebbles and stared at the waves anyway. We drank coffee from a flask and ate strawberries, while watching the land disappear in the mist. After that, we decided to follow the coast to Dungeness and there I wandered amongst the lighthouses, the power station, the multi-coloured lichen, the crumbling huts, the rubber-clad house, and the boats. Hastings was our next destination and we stared sadly at the burnt pier, and then wandered around the old town and were cheered up by seeing the Section 5 drummers. Sometime that afternoon, the sun came out and the sky became at least a little bit blue and the ocean began to shimmer. That was how 2011 started for me.
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That sounds like a beautiful, beautiful start for the new year.

What I liked about that exhibition was the books; lovely carefully-printed works telling doctors how beneficial opium was for certain cases of melancholia (though sometimes not) and how best to prepare poppies, or travellers' journals on the practice of the use of hashish that they had observed. I thought it very mean that the books were behind glass and one couldn't turn the pages.

That sounds like a wonderful start to the year, indeed the decade. Shame it's not entirely compatible with being out most of the night.

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