Archive for April, 2013


April 23, 2013 1 comment

1967 was a good year. It was the year that DRUGS were coming under real attack in the newspapers and the “Adult Generation” was being educated to ‘Take a stand against Drug Abusers.”

Newspaper columnists were busily wandering aimlessly among us and everyone with hair was a potential interview. What did they want to know about? Well, obvious really. I lost count of the times I was accosted on the streets of St Petersburg fla. and a reporter wanted to bail us up to talk about what it’s like “Being a Hippie.”

First question out of their mouths. “Do you abuse drugs?’  Did you notice that? Do you ABUSE drugs?

They would have got a much better answer if they had asked ‘Do you USE drugs?” But the editorial guidlines required the question to be asked in that way.

It was the year we began to develop our own slang. (Adopting a few from the beatnicks, and a few from earlier too.) Essentially though the language as we know it today really began to change.

There has always been slang, but 1966-68 were the years when language exploded. Many of the slang words we used then have become common usage, some have gone, and there have been additions, but generally speaking the generation of Baby Boomers were highly literate and creative.

How many of these are still in use? How many have evolved or been absorbed into common everyday life. At the time this was the lexicon of the DRUG USING GENERATION.  Many of the words used have also been adapted to take on new meanings as language evolves.mariuana leaf


ACAPULCO GOLD The original top grade, yellowish coloured marijuana.


ACID RAP talking  and letting the mind flow while on an acid trip. (LSD)

ACID HEAD A heavy LSD user


AIRPLANING sniffing hash or marijuana resin from the end of a joint. (As in Jefferson Airplane)


APPLE TURN-ONS marijuana mixed with food, (accumulative action of about 3 or 4


ARTILLERY- equipment for injecting drugs.

AWAY under influence of drugs.



BABY-SIT to guide a person through a drug experience.

BACK TRACK OR BACK UP to allow blood to come back into the syringe before injecting drugs.

BAD SCENE a situation likely to result in unpleasant drug experience or other types of trouble.

BAG a container of drugs. Also, “doing your own thing” as in “writing is my bag”

BAGMAN pusher.

BALE approximately 1 oz. marijuana.

BALLOONS  Small rubber balloons of heroin, or sometimes capsules are referred to as balloonsparaphenallia

BANG marijuana. Or to inject drugs.

BARBS barbiturates.

BC PILLS birth control pills.

BE AT FEET to walk or run. In a hurry.

BEND SOME LEATHER leave the scene, to takeoff.

BENNIES benzedrine.

BETHESDA GOLD type of brownish-yellow marijuana, not common now.

BERNICE cocaine.

BINDLE small quantity or packet of narcotics.


BLACK RUSSIAN dark colored, very potent hashish.

BLANK extremely low grade narcotics. Or fraudulent dope. “I’ve been blanked” is “I’ve been sold fake dope”

BLOW  marijuana or similar substances.

BLOW A BAG sniff glue.

BLOW A STICK smoke a marijuana cigarette

BLOW ONES MIND something really excites you or upsets you to the lunacy pitch: to break with personal reality..

BLUE morphine.


HEAVENS amytal (barbiturates.).

BLUE SAGE marijuana cigarette.

BLUE VELVET paregoirc and pyribenzamine, mixed and injected.

BOMBERS large marijuana cigarettes.

B O M B ID O , B O M B I T A OR BOMBITO amphetamines tor injection.

BOO marijuana.

BOOK the PDR (physician’s desk reference .

BOOST to shoplift. ‘

BOXED in jail.

BREAD money

BROCCOLI marijuana

BUZZ high emotional plateau reached during a trip. A good feeling.

BURNED receive phony or diluted drugs.

BUMMER a bad trip An unpleasant drug experience. Bad news.


BUSTED arrestedlsd book

BUTTONS sections of the peyote cactus (hallucinogen).



CACTUS mescaline (hallucinogen).

CAN loz. marijuana.

CANADIAN BLACK a variety of marijuana grown in Canada.

CANDY barbiturates. (Any variety. )

CANDY MAN. Dealer in variety of drugs, mostly pills

CAP a capsule of drugs.

CARTWHEELS amphetamine sulfate (round. white, double scored tablets. Sometimes called Whites.

CAT hip person. Nicked from the Beatniks of the 40’s and 50’s

CHIPPING taking small amounts ol drugs on an irregular basis.

CHOPPER motorcycle

CHRISTMAS TREES tuinal,secobarbital,and amobarbital,in red and blue capsules. (Known also as Reds and Blues for obvious reasons.)

CHAMP a drug user who won’t reveal his supplier even under pressure.

CHARLIE cocaine or heroin

CHICAGO GREEN a green colored poor type of marijuana

CHIPPIE a prostitute

CLEAR UP withdraw from drugs.

COASTING under drug influence.

COKE cocaine.

COLD TURKEY sudden withdrawal from drugs.


COOL to be in tune with the modern scene; to handle life situations in satisfactory manner.

COOK UP  prepare opium for smoking.

COPILOTS amphetamines.

COP to make a buy. Or to take a beating.

COP OUT to withdraw; alibi or confess; to duck an issue.

CRANK another name for speed methedrine.

CRYSTAL methedrine for injection.

CRYING WEED marijuana.



DABBLE take small amounts of drugs on an irregular basis.

DAY-GLO PAINT paint with iridescent sheen used to paint bodies.

DEAL to push narcotics.

DECK small packet of drugs

DEXIES dexedrine (green heart-shaped amphetamine tablets.

DIME BAG ten dollar purchase of drugs.

DIRTY possessing drugs, liable to arrest if searched.

DOING YOUR OWN THING doing what you like to do, whether legal or otherwise.

DOLLIES dolophine tablets.

DOMINO to purchase drugs.

DMT dimethylytryptamine (an hallucinogen).

DOPER person who uses drugs regularly.

DOWNS or DOWNERS barbiturates.

DREAMER morphine.

DROP to take capsules or pills by month.

DROP A DIME turn in a friend for drug abuse by writing a letter to the authorities.

DROPPED arrested


DUMMY a purchase which did not contain narcotics.

DUST cocaine.

DYNAMITE high grade heroin.


ELECTRIC KOOL-AIDE punch with LSD added.


FACTORY equipment for injecting drugs.

FAG homosexual: cigarette: anyone you don’t like.

FALLOUT overdose.

FIT equipment for injecting drugs.

FLAKE cocaine.

FLASH thrill.

FLEA POWDER poor quality narcotics.

FLIP OUT OR “FLIP YOUR BIRD” to lose mental or emotional control following use of drugs, especially hallucinogens.

FLIM FLAM to “con” someone: to tell a tall story.

FLOATING under the influence of drugs.

FOOTBALLS oval shaped amphetamine sulfate tablets.

FREAK lose control. An odd person.

FREAKING OUT when you have run the gamut of every social and personal failure: and are now ready for status quo of awakened  insanity.

FRESH ANDSWEET out of  j a i l .

FUZZ police.


GAGE marijuana.

GEE HEAD paregoric user.

GRATIS. Free, or for nothing. Sometimes money.

GREASER certain type of dress: leather jackets, or patent leather shoes, slicked back

hair for boys, high teased hair for girls.

GETTING THE SMARTS trying to raise your low achievement records to a passing level

GETTING YOUR HEAD STRAIGHT trying to withdraw  from drugs: trying to clear up a personal problem.

GIMMICKS equipment for injecting drugs.

GIVE WINGS to inject someone in the vein with drugs or to teach a person to

inject him or herself.

GLASS GUN hypodermic syringe: Sometimes, an eye dropper.

GO APE to lose control; go crazy.

GO BANANAS to lose control or go nuts.

GOAT Pontiac GTO

GOING TO THE WHEEL. Heading out to see a dealer.

GOLD DUST cocaine.

GOODS narcotics

GOOFBALLS barbiturates.

GRASS marijuana.

GREENIES dexedrme tablets, green and heartshaped.

GROOVIN free form of high indulgence, enjoying sexual or drug freedom. (As in the Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Groovin’ on a sunny afternoon.’.

GROSSED OUT : being crude or vulgar for the purpose of making people laugh.

GUN Syringe, or hypodermic needle


H heroin

HAIR standing still in the nude, not moving a muscle in order to not be arrested. (Something like planking these days but the thought was that nudity was only illegal if you were actually moving!)

HAMILTON ten dollar bill.

HANG LOOSE stay relaxed.

HANG UP a personal problem.

HARD STUFF morphine, cocaine or heroin.

H ARPOON equipment for injecting drugs.

HARRY heroine.

HASH (HASHISH) resin gathered from flowers.

HAY marijuana.

HEARTS benzedrine or dexedrine, heart shaped tablets; bennies are orange, and dexies are green.

HEAD (POTHEAD, ACIDHEAD ETC.) one who is high as much of the time as possible on LSD. marijuana or hash.

HEAD SHOPS psychedelic shops.

HEAVENLY BLUES blue morning glory seeds.

HEAVY exceptional or unusual . Or not a problem to a person. “He aint heavy he’s my brother.”

HEAT police.

HEESH hashish.

HEMP marijuana.

HIT to purchase drugs, or to get bnsted- arrested.

HOCUS narcotic solution ready for injection.

HOLDING having drugs in one’s possession.

HOOKED addicted

HOPHEAD narcotic addict.

HOPPED UP under the influence of drugs.

HORRORS terrifying hallucinations and delusions.

HORSE heroin.

HOT wanted by the police.

HOT SHOT -a fatal dose.

HUSTLER a prostitute.

HYPE a narcotic addict.

ICE CREAM HABIT a small, irregular drug habit.

IT’S A GAS fun or something that is wonderful.

INWARD hallucinogen.

IN THE GROOVE feeling great, on top of the world.

JOB to inject drugs.

JIVE marijuana.

JOINT a marijuana cigarette.

JOLLY BEANS amphetamines.

JONES narcotic addict, drug habit.

JOY POP to inject small amounts of drugs irregularly.

JOY POWDER heroin.

JUMP BACK JACK don’t lose your temper or your cool.

JUNK narcotics.

JUNKIE an addict.

KEY a kilo or 2.2lbs of drugs, usually heroin, coke, or dope.

KICK to abandon a drug habit; a thrill.

KIT morphine.

LA TURNAROUNDS amphetamines.

LAME a square person: a straight or an oddball person.

LAYOUT equipment, for injecting drugs.

LET IT ALL HANG OUT to be yourself, do your own thing.

LET’S ROAR to leave in a hurry.

LEAF  low grade low THC with no buds or flowers in it.

LEMONADE poor heroin.

LID approximately 1 oz. marijuana.

LIGHT UP A BAG to snifg glue or petrol etc

LINCOLN a five dollar bill.

LOCO WEED marijuana.

M morphine.

MACHINERY equipment for injecting drugs.

MAINLINE to inject drugs directly into the vein.

MAINTAIN to reach and regulate a level of fantasy or depersonalization in order to enjoy a constant “high.”

MAKE A MEET to purchase drugs.

MAKE THE SCENE to keep an appointment; being seen in public with someone with whom  you are openly intimate: enjoying an occasion.

MAN police; a pusher.

MANICURE high grade of marijuana, with no seeds or stems.

MARY JANE marijuana.

MELLOW YELLOW a state of bliss reached during an LSD trip

MESCO mescaline. a chemical taken from peyote cactus.

MESS to inject a narcotic incorrectly, causing either lumps on the arms or hepatitis

METH methamphetamine. liquid or crystalline form, usually injected for rapid results

METH HEADS chronic and heavy users of methedrine. Or methamphetamine.

MEZZ marijuana.

MICKEY FINN chloral hydrate. An unknown drug in a drink. (Ie:To Slip a Mickey.)MIKES micrograms of LSD or similar drugs.

MISS EMMA morphine.

MOD modern style: type of dress, as in Mods and Rockers.

MOJO narcotics. Also ‘personality’ as in “I work my mojo on her.”

MONKEY a drug habit where physical dependence is present.

MOTHER a pusher.

MULE one who delivers narcotics for a pusher.

MUSHROOMS psilocybin. an hallucinogen synthesized from mexican mushrooms.

NARCO narcotic addict; a narcotic agent.

NARK narcotic agent.

NEEDLE hypodermic syringe.

NICKLE BAG a five dollar purchase of drugs.

NIMBY nembutal. yellow pentobarbital capsules.

NITTY GRITTY the crux of the matter.

NOWHERE alcohol mixed with tranquilizers.

NUMBERS cocaine. ‘

NUMBERS heroin.

NUMBER 13 marijuana.

OD overdose of drugs.

OFF withdrawn from drugs.

ON THE NOD under the influence of drugs mainly heroin.

ONTHE STREET out of jail.

O R A N G I E S  or ORANGE WEDGES: Dexedrine in heart shaped tablets that break into two wedges.

OUT OF SIGHT something wonderful or great;

PACK a packet of heroin.

PAD (CRASH PAD. TEA PAD) apartment, or place to stay when using drugs.

PANAMA RED a fine grade of rust colored marijuana.

PANIC shortage of drugs on the market.

PAPER a prescription or packet of narcotics.

PEACHES benzedrine.

PEANUTS barbiturates.

PEELING OUT taking off or leaving the scene of a drug party or group.

PEPPIES amphetamines.

PHENNIES barbiturates.

PEYOTE mescaline.

PGORPO paregoric.

PIECE a container of drugs, holds 1 oz

PIG police.

PINKS seconal capsules.

PLANT a cache of narcotics.

PLASTIC a stereotype hippie.

PLASTIC HEAD a person who fakes taking drugs for social acceptance

POOGIE paregoric.

POP to inject drugs.

POPPYHEAD  opium user.

POT marijuana.

POUND five dollars

PSYCHING insane.

PURPLE HEARTS dexamyl. combination of dexedrine and amobarbital tablets or capsules.

PUTTING ONE ON. to make fun of or to kid someone.

QUARTER BAG about 1 oz. marijuana worth $25.

QUILL folded matchbox cover from which narcotics are sniffed.

RACK bed.

RACKED OUT asleep.

RAINBOWS tuinal, a blue and red barbiturate

SLAMMED* in jail.

SLEEPERS- barbiturates.

SKINPOP  to inject heroin under the skin rather than the vein.

SMACK heroin.

SMOKE wood-alcohol.

SNAKE pot head, marijuana user.

SNIPE marijuana cigaret butt.

SNIFF to sniff narcotics (usually heroin or cocaine) through the nose.

SNORT to sniff narcotics.

SNOW cocaine.

SPACEBOW having a drug experience.

SPEED methamphetamine, usually injected.

SPEEDBALL. Combines a stimulant and depressant (often cocaine mixed

with morphine or heroin).

SPEED FREAK one who is constantly high on amphetamines.

SPIKE needle for injecting drugs.

SPLIT to leave the scene.

SPOON a measure of drug to be injected, usually referring to about one gram of amphetamines.

SQUARE a non-addict; adults or straights.

STARDUST cocaine.

STASH a cache of narcotics.

STICK a large bud from a marijuana plant.

STOOLIE. An informer

STONED to be high on drugs.

SOUL essential quality; inner feelings and thoughts

STP also-known as DOM, a synthetic  chemical related to mescaline and the amphetamines.

STRAIGHT OR STRAIGHT ARROW squares or ordinary people.

STRAIGHT UP  honest, a good person.

STRUNG-OUT to be addicted.

STUFF narcotics.

SUGAR powdered narcotics.


SURF type of dress, collegiate style.

SWEETIES preludin.

SYNCED in tune with the world.

TEA marijuana.

TELLING IT LIKE IT;  telling the truth ,the whole story.

TENNESSEE BLUE A type of marijuana not much found today

TEXAS TEA marijuana. Stolen from the old slang for OIL.

THC tetrahydro cannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana.

THOROUGHBRED a high-type hustler who sells pure narcotics. Also, top grade dope.

THREADS clothes.

TOOIES tuinal.

TOOLIN AROUND bumming around, doing nothing in particular.

TOSSED searched for possession of drugs.

TRACKS needle marks, scars along veins after many injections.

TRAVEL AGENT pusher of LSD, STP, etc.

TRIP (TRIPPING.) being high on hallucinogens, particularly LSD.


TRUCK DRIVERS amphetamines.

TURKEY a capsule purported to be narcotic but filled with a non-narcotic substance.

TURN A TRICK to steal; to become a pusher. To charge for sex.

TURNED OFF (TUNED -OUT).- withdraw from society.

TURNED ON. under influence of drugs or alcohol.


UNCLE federal narcotic agent

UPTIGHT tense, nervous, worried.

UPWARD marijuana.

VET Corvette.

VIBRATIONS feeling emotional experience, ie good or bad vibrations.

VISUAL reoccurrences or flashes of a scene, experienced by LSD users even when not on a “trip “

VOYAGER person u nder influence of LSD

WAKE UPS amphetamines.


WASTE to get rid of ; to kill.

WASTED under the influence of drugs.

WEED marijuana.

WEED HEAD marijuana user.

WEEKEND HABIT a small, irregular drug habit.


WHISKERS federal narcotic agent

WHITES amphetamine sulfate tablets

WHITE STUFF morphine.

WIRED to be addicted.

WORKS  drug equipment or parphenallia.

XANADU LSD experience; to plateau.

YELLOW JACKETS  Nembutal.  (The euthanasia drug) These days used only by vets for pet euthanasia.

YEN SLEEP abnormal, tossing; a sleep experienced during withdrawal

ZILCH a nowhere situation- a square , also, nothing.


Well, there you are, a lexicon from 1967-1969. Some of the words have changed, or evolved in current usage, some have gone from the language. But if you are a writer, writing about the times, this is a helpful.list. Always happy to hear from any old hippies who might have additions to the list.

Categories: an eclection


If you’ve been following this blog you’ve probably read my humorous rant on writing. Well, I got one of those emails telling me how I can generate thousands of articles and flood the internet with ORIGINAL pieces guaranteed to make me squillions of bucks.

Intrigued by the idea of stealing and posting other people’s work under my own name by the thousands I just had to try it. (Well, you do don’t you?)

I only did a single spin. I took my I Hate Writers satire and put it once through spinbot, an online free article spinner.  The result was so hilarious I just had to post it! It made me feel so… ETHNIC!

Most of these article spinners promise unique articles that will pass any copyscape test. I haven’t tried it of course, I’m still laughing at the result!

Anyway, I won’t keep you waiting.  Here’s the result of a ‘spun for fun’ article. (At least it was my own!)GRAHAM FOR BOOK


Graham Whittaker

I loathe authors. They get together in aggregations. Pumping personalities. Prissing and trimming. Like meat heads. They read resoundingly from vainglorious, gaudy original copies while whatever remains of the aggregation grins and nods.

Holding their horses to be grandiose and bombastic. Then again spilling out their angst in wonderful claptrap. I detest essayists! They talk over dead individuals. Considering “what they connoted by that”.

And they drivel and trim and priss. Attempting to find importance in the futile. Typically their particular. Alternately perhaps Satre or Ayn Rand. Dammit I scorn scholars!

Shakespear. On the other hand Shakspeare…or even Shakespeare (hinging on your claims) was a hack. He gave ’em what they solicited. Violence

Sex’n’drugs’n’rock’n’roll. Magnificence be! An agent! A performing artist! A hack! I despise authors! AND their linguistically immaculate, politically right sop! SSSuffering sssyntax Batman! Chas Dickens was a hack . He bashed it out on deadlines. Serials in obscene broadsheets. Monarch Vic wouldn’t miss a scene so they state. Fans might stop him in the road and yell “What happens afterward Chas?”

“Buggered in the event that I know”. He’d state in the present Victorian vernacular. “I haven’t kept in touch with it yet!” Now that is a hack! I HATE scholars!

Definitely! Anyway shouldn’t we think about Alan Ginsberg eh? EH? Shouldn’t we think about HIM then? DUH! Ginsberg was a journalist! The Andy Warhol of the letters in order. He didn’t pitch anything besides GINSBERG.

I HATE WRITERS! Scholars are exceptional at petitioning concedes. And getting them. Hacks don’t need awards. Too occupied with working professionally! Morris West is a hack. Thomas Keneally. Kate Grenfell is a hack. And Bryce Courtenay. And Margaret Drabble. And Peter Corris. Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Hacks the whole gang! Mary Shelley was a hack! Wow she sat up in bunk ALL NIGHT to compose Frankenstein.

I scorn scholars! Twenty years to compose their main novel that pushes three duplicates. They put one book on the rack, and give to the relatives. And when they go out to supper they uproariously broadcast …”I’m an author!” DUH!! And bore you with concentrates. I scorn essayists!

Barbara Cartland, the undisputed monarch of hackery. The main thing she composed was her name on the spread at book signings. There she sat chaising on the longue, holding her pussy. (on her knee George… mind out of the canal please!) And a dazzling male aide sat adjacent to her duplicating down her chatter. 100 million books can’t be wrong. Notwithstanding THAT”S a hack!

Erle Stanley Gardner. Inimitable hack! Bah hoax! I loathe authors! And their valuable small inner selves. Authors never gave you a chance to sit and read a piece. They lean over your shoulder. And babble. Then again more terrible. They demand perusing it to you! As though their rambling on makes it more worthy! “Do you see what I’m attempting to state?” They snicker, altering you with a look that states cretin! In the event that they need to ask they’ve foundered. Strong. I detest journalists.

Yet a hack! A hack is a precious stone in the dungheap of writing. A hack only gets on with the work.

WRITERS decline to whore their craft by composing fillers for Women’s Weekly. Hacks manufacture by the score. WRITERS dream of mixed drink parties with the glitterati. To discuss themselves. Hacks tolerate the odd artistic luncheon.. and charge a charge for their squandered time. Request from a hack what s/he does a living and the wager is that they’ll state “wow I’m independently employed”

Hacks do whatever it takes not to allow being essayists. Hacks KNOW. Like specialists, or legal counselors. Never allow your main thing! You’ll be secured like flies over nectar! NEVER let an essayist comprehend your main thing! “Wow.. I”M a journalist too!” BLAH! RUN! Plan your getaway track and get the hellfire out of there quick!

I disdain scholars! Nod. You’ve had a giggle. We’ve all run into the valuable small petals at one time or another. Here’s a tip. Assuming that you need to be an author strive to be a hack. Compose. Just compose. Don’t crow, or priss or dress. Just compose. Join a gathering by all means. There are some ace/terrific assemblies.

Anyway when you get there figure out how to maintain a strategic distance from the essayists! They’ll ruin you! Head off to study the art. That is what it is, a specialty. An ability. It’s about correspondence, flying kites, thoughts.

And you’re setting off to compose an entire parcel of poo. Anyhow do it at any rate! It’s a fine, worthwhile diversion. Provided that you need to push, make a wages, be a hack. Compose welcome cards, association reports, love letters, updates, anything that pays a dollar. Hack away day and night, make notes, research, mind surf. Blaze the midnight oil. Get it down, get it out. Get it in an envelope or post it on the web, yet get it like a champ there regardless of how great or awful.

Just be a hack. State what you need to state at all number of statements. Assuming that you need to go encompassing the houses be a taxi driver. Additionally you’ll come around to being an author. And I abhor scholars!

Me? I’m a straight hack! A thirty five year hack! Verse, stories, business reports, board reports, minutes of gatherings, publicizing duplicate, chokes, fillers. And yes, even cherish letters for the scholarly incompetent. Hacks meet deadlines. They tout for work. They charge a charge, and give esteem for cash. Provided that you need a vocation done. Enlist a hack. Employ ME. And figure out how to disdain authors. Goodness and by the way provided that you need to study how to be a hack. I educate!




There are thousands of articles on saving money in hard times. Many of them tend to be time intensive, or require making charts, sticking post-it notes everywhere and in the end, they are sometimes more trouble than they are worth.

Saving money in hard times often requires discipline, which most of us don’t have enough of. So, I thought, there must be ways of saving money EASILY. (And then not thinking ‘well I’ve saved $20 this week, I’ll go celebrate with a nice bottle of wine.’)

Saving money has to have a reason. Reducing the credit card, paying off the mortgage a bit earlier, being able to finally move out of home and live independently, starting that business you always dreamed of without worrying about bankers.

The only thing you will need to cut your bills down and KEEP them down is a good money box that you’ll have to smash to get into!


If you are young and living on a low wage, or older and living on a fixed pension, saving money needn’t be a struggle. It is as easy as simply not spending it needlessly.

Here are the five EASIEST ways of saving money on everyday personal care.

Shampoo, that necessity which, like soap has a markup to the manufacturers of up to 5000 times the cost of the ingredients. In fact, the packaging costs many hundreds of times more than the stuff inside the bottle. Well, you know that stuff that comes in the big bottles and is punted as “salon” quality or ‘professional’ quality? No matter what the hard sell hairdressers tell you and no matter what price you pay, whether it be $8 or $50 for a 500 ml bottle you don’t have to stint yourself on your favorite brand if that’s what you want. (Personally I still buy the cheapest there is, and being a bloke over 65 I still have a good head of hair, and I wear it long, so cheap has never done me any damage, so long as my good lady trims the ends regularly for me.)

The secret of saving heaps on shampoo is that almost everyone uses far too much of the stuff! You really don’t need to. The average person uses double the amount you really need to use for clean, healthy, glowing hair. So the answer is simple. Take an empty bottle of your favorite brand, fill it halfway with WATER and then top the bottle up with shampoo from a new bottle. Then add the same amount of water to the other bottle and you have TWO bottles of your shampoo of choice. If it’s a $50 bottle you’ve just saved yourself $25. If it’s a cheap brand at say $8 a bottle you’ve still saved yourself $4.

Soap. Whether you use the good stuff, or just the cheap product, save the slivers you have left, and drop them into a jar half filled with water to which you can add a couple of drops of glycerin or eucalyptus or tea tree oil. When the jar is full, give it a good shake, transfer it to a pump bottle and there you have a very nice soft soap. If you want a nice smooth mix, you can use a blender to whip it up.

How much do you spend on make-up remover? Probably a heap, and it’s not cheap. Here’s a cheap, (almost free) make-up remover that will leave your skin feeling smooth and silky and add more pennies to that unbreakable money box. Mix a tablespoon of petroleum jelly or baby oil with two drops of eucalyptus or tea tree oil, OR a few drops of concentrated lemon juice. You’ll have enough make-up remover to last a month , and a lovely smooth skin.

Perfume. That most individual and expensive of all. (Blokes, you can use this with your aftershave too, and given that most men tend to splash the stuff on and stink up the entire nightclub, you might like this money saving method too!)

Perfume tends to evaporate quickly and trips to the ladies room to ‘freshen up’ can be annoying. But whether you use White Diamonds or the heady aroma of something cheaper you can make it last TWICE AS LONG . Just mix a drop of perfume with a tiny dab of petroleum jelly and rub it into the skin. It turns your perfume into a slow release without diminishing it, so you can double the life of a bottle of your most expensive (or cheap) perfume.

Watch that money box fill, and you didn’t need lots of discipline. You’ve already saved at least 50%, so if you would normally have spent $100 on all the above, you’ve cut that cost to $50. And it didn’t hurt a bit did it? Time to settle into a nice relaxing bath with lots of bubbles and bath oil. Those teensy weensy little bottles of bath oil that cost you between $4 and $20? Nah! Forget it. Here’s the recipe. While you are running the bath just add three tablespoons of ordinary cheap vegetable oil, or olive oil, (you can use baby oil if you want.) If you want it full of suds just add two or three teaspoons of shampoo and watch the bubbles rise. Don’t use those ‘special’ shampoos’. No anti- dandruff stuff for example, they don’t work very well.


April 13, 2013 3 comments

I’ve had it… Up to there and then some! And I’m going to name names. Since when were charity op shops, (now renamed Thrift shops) suddenly extravagant outlets for ‘Collectors Items” and “Retro Clothing’” Collectors Items no one wants and retro clothing no one wants to wear to boot!.

Poor people have even stopped going to them, they can’t buy a decent pair of old boots, or a warm coat without them being price at double the price you’d pay at Target or Big W.


Yesterday, Lifeline, that huge warehouse style building in my home town, busy with middle class shoppers browsing the (mostly) overpriced goodies. Having just come from a quick squizz around Target and bought a couple of plain white T-shirts for $3 each I thought I might look for a couple more just for lounging around in. And there they were, the exact same t-shirts, all nicely wrapped at “Three for $10”. When I asked about buying just one, the forty something lady with the $100 hairdo and fancy stick on fingernails said ‘ They’re three for $10. If you only want one they’re $5 each.”

And what was this in the furniture department? Lots and lots of not very nice 50’s furniture, made of ply and veneer that needed a complete makeover. Much of it labeled ‘retro 50’s’ and priced at $160 for a bedside table and $250 for a Vietnamese replica bookcase made to look like a Victorian job that I could buy brand new at the Vast Interior for $199.

Oh, Ok, the books, I thought. I read a lot. Masses, What a surprise to find grotty old hardbacks sans dustjackets, with silverfish munching their way through them for the “collectors’ price of $95! When I mentioned at the desk that their books were astronomically priced, the lady said, ‘there are lots of collectors books up there you know. The lady who prices them checks them on the internet before she prices them.” Yeah!

“So how about the soft covers then?” I asked, $8 for a book priced at $12 brand new is a bit rich isn’t it? Especially when it was obviously donated by a book exchange who no longer had any use for it, as it said inside that it had come from the BelleVue Book Exchange, and was priced at $4 crossed out and replaced with a penciled in $8. Underneath the book exchange stamp that said “No Return No Exchange”


Of to St Vinnies. That most famous of all Op Shops run by the St Vincent de Paul Society. Four ladies were ‘sorting’ a large donation that had obviously come in during the last two days or so.

“Oh my Peter would love that! “ Said one, putting aside a rather nice looking Xbox. The others agreed, pulling out their own ‘perks’ and putting price labels on hand knitted bobble hats and baby’s bibs. A lovely old bakelite lamp with a tall flute caught my eye. Asking the price, I was told. “Oh that’s already sold dear..”

Why bother to argue.

Down the road to the huge Endeavor Foundation shop. Hugely busy and at last, a shop where the variety was massive, the prices fair and there were actually poor people shopping for their little bits and pieces. My heart warmed.


A pretty Dutch, or German girl was smiling at the counter, chatting with all and sundry as she served them.

Garda, my partner filled up bags of cast off wool and sewing bits she uses to cross stitch, and wandered up to the counter laden with some nice paperbacks I could never afford to keep up with, all at the very reasonable price of $2 each.

I asked the young lady if she came across any old newspapers, from the 20’s 30’s 40’s or 50’s, any old magazines or illustrated books. I don’t care about the condition, I scan and preserve them digitally. Unlike the Lifeline, and St Vincent’s stores where I was treated like some kind of idiot, this lovely girl not only offered to keep the for me and give me a call, but said she had a friend who had lots and she would photograph them for me. Ah the spirit of charity at last. Well done Endeavor Foundation, and Yah Boo Suck to the OP/THRIFT shops that no longer provide for the poor to buy their cheap bits and pieces and clothing.

There was one other organization that came out in a good light too. The good old SALVOS. Beautifully laid out shop with the same old style volunteer staff, and prices that even we poor people can afford. But sad to say that even the Salvos are jumping on the ’boutique’ ‘retro’ ‘vintage’ bandwagon.


Not in my town, but in the cities, and it is in the cities where the real poor live. What little money the poor have to spend, let them spend it on cheap, donated goods, given with open hearts and open hands by the community. Otherwise, the community will soon stop giving to these organizations. It’s cheaper to buy at garage sales.

Sure, they may do a great job (they say) distributing food and cash to the poor, but how about those poor who just want to fend for themselves without feeling they have to beg on their knees for a handout.?

Named.. and I hope SHAMED!



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Shanghai and Beijing are no more “China” than New York is America, or London is England, or Rome and Paris are Italy and France. In the past decade, China has become one of the most accessible countries to travel in, in the world. Trains that travel at 450km/h, luxury coaches traversing China from one city to another, with sleeping berths, video movies, and very VERY companionable fellow travelers. What’s more, travel in China is cheap, hotels are equally cheap, and, while not yet universal, there are sufficient English speakers in China to make your stay a delight.

And that’s before you get to the shopping! Let’s go to Xiamen., a glorious subtropical seaside paradise on the southeast coast, just a stone’s throw from Taiwan.

Xiamen, is a city in the famous Fujian Province, where tea is a legendary experience.

Tea drinking in is a vital part of the daily life and it is no surprise that the Fujian tea Dà Hóng Páo, a premium variety of Wuyyi Oolong could set you back a cool $20,000 for just 25 grams. Of course, if you are in Xiamen during one of the many festivals and trade fairs you can sample some of the most exquisite teas on the planet without having to sell your house and mortgage your children.tea 6

Our second ‘adopted’ daughter got married last year and we were privileged to be seated at the VIP table in the huge dining room at the TEMPLE NANPUTO xiamen temple 1in Xiamen, and experience a Buddhist wedding.

Tea, of course plays a major part in the festivities. The new bride must make tea for the groom’s immediate family in return for a hong bao or red packet, a gift that contains money. Tea and tea leaves are vital parts of prayer,being offered up to Buddha and to deceased relatives.

Xiamen is actually an island, the name translating to ‘gateway to China’. It is subtropical, close to Taiwan, with many of the inhabitants of Taiwanese origin. If you are visiting Shanghai or Hong Kong, a mere RMB 400 ($65 USD) will get you a one and a half hour flight to Xiamen, a visit you will never forget.

Ann and Abs decided on a traditional Buddhist wedding, and of course the obvious place was the magnificent Temple of Nanputo. The original temple is over 1000 years old, but has largely been rebuilt. It is nevertheless quite beautiful and attracts millions of visitors each year. One thing to remember though that it is not just a tourist attraction but an active place of worship.

Xiamen is easy to get to from Shanghai, Beijing or Hong Kong. Over the past decade, hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent to make travel within China easy, and extraordinarily cheap. .While flying is the quickest way, and very cheap, if you have the time you can travel by luxury coach, fast train, or take if you prefer, a slow boat, you can travel by sea and enjoy the special treatment you would expect from a three star hotel, at a fraction of the cost.

The city itself is easily accessible by taxi and public transport too, and it it well worth taking a trip around the island and taking in the view.

There are plenty of star rated hotels too, but remember one thing. If you travel anywhere in China during their public holidays, especially their National Days and Spring Festival you may find it more difficult to find a place to stay. The Chinese have taken to travel in a big way, and with ultra fast transport, cheap and reliable, you would be well advised to avoid those particular holidays.

If you visit Xiamen, be sure to buy plenty of tea. You won’t find better tea anywhere in the world, and compared to the price you would pay in the west, if you are a tea drinker you will be in for a very special treat.

Many overseas Chinese call Xiamen home, and many have returned to live there having spent many years abroad, so English is widely spoken.

The wedding?

With over 200 guests, the night was a stunning success, and we made many more friends. With the exception of one Filipino lady we were the only ’round eyes’, and we were greeted with many hugs and handshakes. Who would have thought that fifteen years ago, in a small, poor village we would meet the little girl who would become our ‘adopted’ daughter and give us so much pleasure.

For anyone thinking of marrying in the near future, the Buddhist temple at Nanputo would make a remarkable venue.

Just a note on the dress, the ceremony and the shoes. Ann made her own wedding dress, and the red shoes cost just RMB 80 ($12 US.) The dress, just RMB 200 ($32 USD) and the entire wedding party RMB 4000 including the dress and shoes.. In total $650 USD.ann looking lovely

In a later blog I will tell the story of our two ‘adopted’ daughters, Michelle, and Ann. And may YOUR God go with you.

Food was amazing and vegetarian.



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I don’t feel old. I guess I’m not really. When I was small, nine, ten, eleven we had no television, no phone, computers and mobile phones were still sci fi. We had books, and I read voraciously. Words were a source of power and fascination. I saved for a year until my tenth birthday and mum put half towards a shiny new black and yellow Phillips Fiesta bicycle with three speed modern Sturmey Archer gears. The country roads around our little town wound through hamlets and villages.near withernsea In summer I would pedal out of town, taking in the fields and the woods, and the farms, stopping now and again to feast on blackberries, or to pick mushrooms, or to explore the hawthorn hedges. If you peeked into the thorny hedges, there would be blackbirds sitting on their eggs with a wary eye, or with fledglings to be fed. They had insatiable appetites. You couldn’t touch them otherwise the mother bird would abandon her chicks. In winter I would pedal out into the cold crisp snow, knowing that by the time I had gone too far, with hands and feet blue with cold, and darkness falling at 4pm, I would have to turn back and pedal the miles up hills and down, with the winding country roadOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA freezing over. My eyes glued to the lighthouse flashing it’s friendly sweep every three seconds across the town. Often, in mid winter, by the time I arrived home the town was deserted. It felt as if you were the only being left on earth and the world had frozen over. But the lighthouse was a constant. After warming hands and feet at the cast iron kitchen stove, crying from the pains of blood warming through the extremities, mum would have a bowl of soup and fresh bread. The soup made from potatoes gathered from the cliffs, and kale left in the fields after the harvest. Always mum would give me a little sack to take with me on those lonely but not lonely journeys into the country. The war was over by ten years, but still there were no supermarkets, little money and scarce food. We fossicked for what we could. Later, tucked warm in bed, with a torch under the blankets, I would read Treasure Island, or Black Beauty, or an illustrated encyclopeadia. Always there were books. And then, I would curl up and watch the lighthouse sweep it’s welcoming light around my bedroom, lighting up and seeming to move the nursery rhyme figures on the wallpaper. Time is a tricky, and often mean creature. I know this was not yesterday. But it feels like it. Our bodies age, but our minds stay fixed in time.


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April 9, 2013 2 comments

cakeproud mummichelle wedding 2

The snake was delicious.It would have been discourteous not to at least try it, being the highlight of the wedding dinner. Also the most expensive. The secret at a Chinese wedding is to eat slowly. There is no letup on the gastronomic delights. The moment one plate is empty, another miraculously appears on the table already groaning with soups, fish, pork, buns, noodles, chicken’s feet, duck tongues and wine and beer and more wine and beer and more wine and beer. And Coke and Pepsi for the fainthearted. At 6pm we entered the foyer of the hotel where our “adopted” daughter Michelle, and Jason,wedding dress her husband to be, greeted every one of more than 300 guests. At 10pm the food and wine still flowed, Michelle had changed dresses three times, and only the party animals were still going strong. The dancing and party games would continue for several more hours. So long as people were eating, the food kept coming. At 11pm I had to leave. Michelle appeared at my shoulder to offer me my cigar, and to light it for me as tradition dictated. She was tired, but the adrenaline had kept her going now for over 48 hours. She had attended individually to every guest, no matter what their whim or whimsy. For this one day she was everyones personal servant. How different it is from our Western weddings where the bride is pampered and preened without having to lift a finger. I’m so proud of her. Later I will tell you a little about the traditions, but it’s so different to the western way that the entire process can take as much as one year to complete. It was a fabulous, marvelous, wonderful, slightly teary night. Now I wait for Anne (Guo Ya Na) to marry, and my Chinese family, extended through mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, in-laws, grandparents and ancestors will have joined hands and hearts. East and West at last harmoniously melded together in a single family. In peace.greeting guests