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Musical Shrooms

Another summer day.

Another summer day. Over a year since our first trip on home-grown ‘shrooms. We’ve learned a lot since then. The ‘shrooms have been pre-weighed (6 dry grams cubensis for me, 4 for A) and shredded, we have Irn Bru to wash them down with. *Big* mistake - don’t try to swill ‘shrooms down your neck with anything that fizzes! I spend a bad 30 seconds trying not to spray orange ‘shroom froth across the inside of the car windscreen.

We cross the little wooden bridge into the nature reserve. We’re only ten minutes in, and the body load is coming on strong. There’s a tiny toad on the path, less than 1 cm long. We pick him up and play with him as a family with a small child come down the track towards us. Fortunately, the effects are still coming on, so I can maintain coherence enough to show the small child the toad. He’s unimpressed. We release the toad into the pond and continue on. The effects are becoming more and more insistent, but we’re still too near the main path, and there are more people coming toward us. We need to be where people are not, so we just cut off the path and spend an awkward ten minutes tramping through bracken and heather and assorted scrub. We suddenly realise that we’re walking across a dried up marsh - the mud sucks wetly at our shoes. There’s a huge dead log next to the marsh and we sit down gratefully and look out over the marsh and the sea towards the city.

The second I sit down, the visuals, which have been clamouring for attention, smash through. Not much open-eye stuff apart from sparkles, but the closed-eye geometrics and colour bands are exceptionally detailed, vivid and fast. I discover I can vary the colour palette by how softly or tightly I close my eyes, and this keeps me pleasantly occupied for quite some time. Suddenly, a huge raincloud blots out the sun. This is not fair! We’ve had problems with the weather the last few times. So I concentrate on the raincloud and try to get it to shift. Then I hear a voice, which sounds for all the world like a teacher scolding an unruly pupil. It explains to me how the weather will do what the weather will do, and what I want or don't want to happen has got absolutely nothing to do with it. When I hear this, I relax and accept it. If we’re going to get wet, we’re going to get wet. So be it. However, after a few minutes, the cloud actually seems to take the hint and drifts off in a different direction. Despite ominous clouds on the horizon for the rest of the day, no more rainclouds come even close. Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.

The noise of the surf on the beach is constant and all around us. Not intrusive, and not unpleasant, but just there. It sounds like the bassline for some enormous techno music. Over and above this, I can hear something else musical. If you’ve ever heard someone playing scottish folk music on an accordion, then that’s the closest description I can give it. But it’s not an accordion, it’s almost like a synth-accordion, and it’s fast and intricate and it weaves in and out of the bassline. It’s no music I’ve ever heard, and it’s not coming from a radio or tape-player somewhere else on the beach.

For a while, we run into problems - we get settled somewhere and have to move again quite soon as more people come along. After a while, and a discussion on how best to take a pet praying mantis for a walk, we find a convenient hollow on a small hillside which allows us to slump in the long grass, and either look out across the bay at the sea and the city, or lean back and watch the clouds. More visuals choose this moment to kick in - I’m lying on my back with long grass waving over my face. The closed-eye strobe effects as the grass stems move across the sun are wonderful. We lie there in silence for quite a long time, which is unusual as A and I often talk about what’s going on, but this doesn’t seem to be the time for that. We’re just letting the whole thing wash over us, not trying to direct it, and being fully aware that the other person is having just as good a time as we are and probably doesn’t need distracting right now. The weather is perfect, the clouds are thick and fluffy and multi-layered and swift-moving, there’s this awesome natural music going on, and the visuals are well up to standard.

Then A puts the cap on the whole day. As if on cue, we both sit up and look at each other, and with exquisite timing and delivery he simply says:
“‘Shrooms in paradise, my arsehole!”

It is quite some time before I can control my laughter. The reference is to a truly execrable Level 5 trip report which reads like a travelogue and barely mentions ‘shrooms. This is about as close to paradise as Scotland ever gets. It would be a beautiful day even without the ‘shrooms, but we’re both really glad we brought them!

Shortly after, we head back to the car, as we’re both feeling quite straight. The wave phenomena catches us out again. As we get back to the car, we realise we’ve only been out 3 hours, and that we’re actually still quite well in there. Cars zipping past us on the road leave oddly tubular trails behind them, and the cloud patterns are still doing interesting things. These keep us occupied for another hour, until we realise that yes, we’re both completely down, but this cloud-watching is fun anyway.

Total trip time, almost exactly 4 hours. Mostly Level 2, although some of the peak visuals were probably pushing into Level 3 territory. No nausea, although A reported feeling nauseous/apprehensive in the car on the way out. Last time we tripped, he got 30 minutes in then was violently ill and he didn’t want that to happen again. He was fine once we’d actually eaten the ‘shrooms, and was sure that the nausea the previous time was because he’d not been feeling too great before we started. Shattering visuals, very relaxing, not too much body load, apart from the onset tremors.

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