It was late November and the cakes had been producing slowly, but steadily for several weeks now. The day was unusually pleasant for Scotland at this time of year - cool but not cold, bright sunlight and a clear sky. Time for the last outdoor trip of the year.
The venue - a large hill on the coast with a commanding view of the surrounding countryside. The ‘shrooms - rice-cake grown cubensis (PF Tek). 3 dry grams for me, 2 for A, who’s a bit smaller and lighter. No MAOI, and empty stomachs for both of us. Apart from the can of Irn Bru we used to wash the ‘shrooms down with, that is...
20 minutes of walking; a couple of scrambles and we were at the top. There were a few people up there before us, and a couple of people came and went while we were up there, but nobody bothered us. Perhaps the sight of two large people giggling at the sky gave them cause to think they’d be better off enjoying the beauty of nature somewhere else.
We were both ‘up’ fairly quickly. However, we both noticed that it seemed to come in ‘waves’ - it seemed as if we’d both get a few minutes thinking “Oh damn, they weren’t preserved properly/I didn’t take enough/I’m not in the mood/(insert your own reason for thinking a trip hasn’t kicked in yet)” then we’d get a blast from the ‘shrooms. Then a few minutes thinking “Oh damn, is that it?” then another pulse from the ‘shrooms. Then....
I’ve never seen a lightshow like it. I’ve seen Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, Yes and <deity> knows how many rock bands trying to impress their audience with pretty lights and colours. This would have blown all of them away. The sun took two hours to set, and as it did so, the lights came up. Street lights in the town below. Car headlights across a network of small winding back roads, with lots of hills and dips. Boats at sea. Planes overhead. Lighthouses strung out in a line all down the coast. Huge geometric patterns across the twilight purple sky.
It wouldn’t hold still. If we tried to make it, the ground shifted and rippled alarmingly. It spewed radio waves, rainbow streamers and neon spirograph patterns.
A moon bright enough to cast sharp shadows and a star-filled sky. Wonderful trip toys.
There was, however, one downside to this blast of cosmic splendour. We’d be standing, staring into the depths of space, a fractal tracery of light unfolding on the black velvet that covered the land before us...
...and this <expletive deleted> ice-cream van would switch on its jingle in the town below the hill. A scratchy, tinny rendition of “Whistle While You Work” was broadcast at ear-splitting volume. And high-frequency sound carries a long way. It cracked us up every time.
It took a little while to scrabble back down the mountain in the dark, but we had a good torch and most of our faculties back to useful states. Strangely, it was easy to concentrate hard enough to get down a fairly steep muddy slope intact, but when we got to the car and sat down, it only took a couple of minutes for the trip to ‘return’. I cranked the chair back, opened the sunroof and all the doors and listened to the evening sounds.
As before, I came back with sore cheek muscles from grinning madly when I wasn’t actually laughing. As before, no appetite on the trip, nor for some while after it. When I did decide to eat something, it seemed to have almost no flavour. No more tired than you’d expect from a three hour walk over rough paths. No nausea for either of us. A seems to be more susceptible to this than I seem to, although we’re not sure if it’s just the anticipation, mild nervousness and adrenalin rush that triggers it. It’s never been severe, and it’s never lasted very long. No great personal insights, just a damn fine way to spend a Saturday afternoon.