This is often described as a comedy blog.
Sometimes it is. But I have always really seen it as an insight into seldom-reported sub-cultures with some quirkiness, eccentricity and WTF stirred in.
Yesterday Anna Smith, this blog’s occasional Canadian correspondent used the line “Strange things are happening”.
Yesterday, too, I was walking through my local outdoor shopping centre. It had started to drizzle and a woman whom I did not know, passing me by, said: “Rain! It’s up and down all the time, isn’t it? Up and down. Up and down.”
Afterwards, thinking about it, I figured out maybe she was referring to umbrellas not the rain itself. But she was not carrying an umbrella and neither was I.
Later, I had a visit from someone I used to work with at Granada TV in Manchester. I shall call her Mary from Manchester, though that is not her name and she was not born and does not live in Manchester. She is not in the comedy industry.
She was passing through London and had taken time off to visit a seed centre in North London. I thought perhaps she had been buying some geranium or petunia or marigold seeds but, no, she had been buying some cannabis seeds.
My disdain for the English legal system knows few bounds, but I was amazed to find out this was perfectly legal. And that, in the North of England, there is a major trunk road lined with emporia perfectly legally selling cannabis seeds.
Because, in the UK, it is perfectly legal to buy cannabis seeds even though it is illegal to grow cannabis plants from those same seeds.
I am an innocent in a weedy world.
Mary from Manchester showed me a copy of Soft Secrets, which bills itself as “The Cannabis Newspaper Since 1985”. It was full of relevant articles and advertisements. It was clearly a right-on paper read by right-on people.
So it came as a surprise that there was a Readers’ Wives page with photos of female wives and partners in various states of undress posing amid cannabis plants.
As Anna Smith, this blog’s occasional Canadian correspondent said yesterday: “Strange things are happening”.
Then the subject of budgerigars came up.
Mary from Manchester told me – and I can only pass this on in good faith – that, in the 1970s, the famed budgerigar food Trill (which is made up of a fine and presumably tasty-to-a-budgie variety of seeds) contained – amid the various seeds – cannabis seeds.
If you were of a curious and adventurous disposition, you could throw handfuls of the aforementioned budgerigar food into the borders of your back garden and, with luck, after a time, some cannabis plants would appear.
Mary from Manchester and I paid a visit to my local pet shop yesterday and picked up a packet of Trill to read the ingredients but, alas, the variety appears now not to contain cannabis seeds. It does, however, make me wonder if it affected my grandmother’s budgie who was named Uncle Mac and who chattered away the whole time with a glazed look in his eyes and who, when ill, was given neat whisky by my grandmother.
We lived and live in strange days.
We always have.