Strange Tales from the Cookie Kitchen


“Gather your wits and hold on fast, your mind must learn to roam, just as the gypsy queen must do, you’re gonna hit the road.”  – The Acid Queen by The Who 1968/69

Lysergic acid diethylamide, more commonly known as LSD, was first synthesized November 16, 1938 by Albert Hoffman, the Swiss chemist.  However it was not until five years later that the psychedelic properties were found.

Just in time to celebrate its eightieth birthday, we find ourselves bang in the middle of a complete resurgence of interest in psychedelics.

LSD was distributed by the Swiss company Sandoz in the 1950s, given free to researchers.  The neurologists at the time were totally excited, testing the drug out for treating depression, anxiety and alcoholism.

And then the counter culture got hold of it and along with it came the bad trips, psychotic episodes, suicides and other scary stuff, killing all the excitement.  The scientific establishment proceeded to turn against psychedelics, pushing them underground.  But lately there has been a renaissance.  A new generation of scientists are returning to them, once again looking into what they can teach us, their effects on consciousness, addiction, depression and so much more.


Psychedelics do change your consciousness and we all dabble in one way or another.

Every culture uses some kind of fungus or plant to change consciousness: coffee, tea, chocolate, tobacco, marijuana.  In fact we can read in Michael Pollan’s ‘How to Change Your Mind’, that the only culture that does not traditionally use anything are the Inuits and that is because nothing psychoactive grows where they live.


We have dreams, and we forget them.

However hard we try to nag onto them, they fade. Psychedelics are different.  They open a door in your mind and it stays open, even if just ajar; it never shuts totally.  It is not possible to write about a psychedelic trip unless you have had one.  It is an internal experience and not one that can be participated in from the outside.  I can only try and recall a few seconds …



A first-time user really needs to have adequate supervision from someone experienced with the hallucinogenic/psychedelic of choice.  Leaving what you know as reality behind, for a number of hours, is best done with someone who knows the way.

I was accompanied by three amazing people on my first trip, one of them being the guy who would be my partner for the next ten crazy years, of some amazing highs and terrible lows.  We dropped the acid in the apartment and as it started to work, they took me outside into the city, over the bridges and into the parks.

Every colour magnified a thousand times, colours with no names, every movement, followed by its own shadow trail of the same movement; an eternal stroboscopic effect, forever being replaced by the next.  You could follow the flight of a bumblebee in slow motion forever. I did not know where to look.

The most fascinating thing to me was finding that time as I knew it, no longer applied. There is no time.  Five minutes may take five seconds, or five hours.  As we returned to the apartment several hours later, there is a particular hallucination that remains with me.

We sat down at the table to have tea and as I peered, because you do peer at the seemingly never-ending kaleidoscope of movement and colours, everything melted across the table, and slowly dripped down onto the floor.  The cups, the teapot, the sugar bowl…exactly like a Salvador Dali painting.  You know it is not real, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.  wild stuff.

val trip

Val trying to focus on a never-ending kaleidoscope

“Go ask Alice, I think she’ll know. When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead. And the white knight is talking backwards and the Red Queen’s off with her head. Remember what the dormouse said. Feed your head. – White Rabbit by The Jefferson Airplane  1965/66


One of the most exquisite trips I took was in The New Forest. A camping weekend.


Psychedelics taken out in nature are really quite beautiful.  It bears mentioning that you are of course, quite exhausted after about twelve hours of your brain being in overdrive, allowing you to see and take part in these intense experiences.  Like with any mind-altering substance, what goes up must come down.  It is not just hallucinations, the thoughts you have are affected too.  Things are most vivid at the highest point of the trip.

As four of us lay in our tent, we began talking to each other.  But we were all so high, we could not hear each others’ voices. The words instead were coming out of our mouths in sheets of vibrating colours.  We understood everything, including the secret of the universe – which we promptly forgot.  You come so close to grasping the meaning of everything and just when you have it, it goes.

“The golden void speaks to me, denying my reality, I lose my body, lose my mind, I blow like wind, I flow like wine, down that corridor of flame, will I fly so high again?”  – The Golden Void Pt 2 by Hawkwind

Tripping at the Stonehenge Free Festival,  sitting on the stones as the solstice sun came up, Hawkwind playing on the far-off stage, the music drifting across the fields.  The days before there no were wires around the stones and you could touch them.  Everyone so high, Druids standing amongst the stones.  It felt as though everyone was having the same thoughts and the same time, and maybe we were. Looking up into the blue sky, the white clouds, the rays of sunshine, a spinning psychedelic prism.  An uninterrupted stream of shapes and colours.


stone henge


“Some call it heavenly in its brilliance …….. Out here on the perimeter there are no stars, out here we is stoned – immaculate.  – The W.A.S.P Radio Texas by The Doors 1971


We were tripping on a hidden beach in the Dominican Republic.  People say you need to be careful with psychedelics because you can lose control. Although that can be true, it was never my experience. When necessary you can bring yourself down in an instant.

We were in the woods, made up mostly of coconut palms, intently studying the beautiful, almost chiselled, trunks.  You can feel the life and the breath in the vegetation, when in this state of mind.  It was very early in the morning.

Suddenly there was what seemed like a tremendous crashing sound as someone came running through the grove.  A Dominican farmer appeared before our very eyes, waving a machete around.  Trust me, we straightened up in a nano-second.  I don’t know who was more shocked, us, or him finding a bunch of white tourists hugging his trees.  He introduced himself, in Spanish, as Jesus, and promptly shot up a tree and cut down some coconuts for us.  We were saved.


Meanwhile here we are today.  Microdosing LSD is the current thing to do; taking a “sub perceptual” amount, as a mental pick-me-up. Imperceptible, but making you more creative and clearer in your work. Very fashionable amongst the tech communities, including of course, Silicon Valley.

Eighty years.  What a long, strange trip it’s been.

“It gave me an inner joy, an open kindness, a gratefulness, open eyes and an internal sensitivity for the miracles of creation ….. I think that in human evolution it has never been as necessary to have this substance LSD.  It is just a tool to turn us into what we are supposed to be.  – Albert Hoffman.  Part of his 100th birthday speech.




Of course this could all be a figment of my crazy imagination.  Who knows?

–  By Val the Acid Queen of APJ




Filed under Stories

23 responses to “Strange Tales from the Cookie Kitchen

  1. Val! Great article! Brought back many memories of teenage life in 70’s San Francisco. My first trip was actually mescaline, and I went home and told my mother all about it! 🤦🏻‍♂️ Her answer was simply “That’s nice dear. You must be exhausted so go to bed and we’ll talk about it in the morning.” 😂 Good times! Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Herr FW! I went home after my first trip, and was later than I said I would be. As I walked in the door, (I think I was 17, maybe 18) my Mum asked me where I had been. Hahahahahaha. Infinity and beyond. And I was still having thins moving out of the corners of my eyes. I would love to repeat it! Yeah – mescaline is nice. xxx


  2. matty

    Great article, so descriptive.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Diana

    Hi, Val! I haven’t had no first-hand experience of an LSD-induced trip and despite countless tales of how my favourite musicians took it to spur their imagination I hadn’t known much about how it felt. Thanks for the insight! Does look tempting..

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well Diana! It is a serious 24 hour commitment, I must say. I find it so fascinating that people are micro-dosing now. Just to make things a little clearer, and yeah, to encourage creativity. I would love to try it. I absolutely believe it has its uses, much more than just getting high on it. So much to be explored. Mwah. xxxxx


  4. Fantastic post, Val. Unlike other drugs, psychedelics do fascinate me so it was great to get your first-hand reminiscences. I think that experiencing for yourself that time and solid objects are only a construct is pretty amazing. Was also interested to read that door always stays ajar. Life-altering as well as mind-altering.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Tara! Yes – my gosh – they are actually mind blowing, really. No way to possibly imagine what it does to you. What it does to time is very interesting, I think that is what gives you the quick view into, whatever it is that promptly disappears – time being of no relevance. Does that even make sense. as ever I am so happy to be doing this here on ABR. A ton of peace and love. xxxxxx


  5. Ooh, I enjoyed my vicarious trips with you! And you look cute as a button in that trilby hat. Loved the melting Dali effect and…well, everything, really. And having just attended a ‘Psychfest’ music festival with backdrops exactly like the image you use above, I suppose I have also been tripping in my own non-medical way. I do have a friend of my age locally who took lots of acid in his late teens, and developed anxiety and schizophrenia, and sadly was never fit to work again after that. I don’t know if there is a proven causal link, but that is the story we have been told. But as with every recreational drug – including alcohol, my own vice of choice! – it is safe if you don’t take it to excess. Or dodgy gear or whatever. I still would love to have walked in your shoes back then – it sounds mind blowing in a good way. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Vanessa! Some people are just on a permanent-trip – with no need to take any psychedelics. You could well be one of them! I dunno about acid causing anxiety and schizophrenia, but those traits are lurking in your blood, better not take acid. That is why it important to be with someone who knows. People have fried their brains on acid, yes. I have a couple of funny stories I may share next time – a few people have been asking me about bad or weird trips. Walk in my shoes at your own risk … hahahahaha. Lots of love. xxxxx


  6. Lady Jane Grey

    Apropos tripping : I went to see Nick Mason‘s Saucerful of Secrets last week. Mr. Mason is ex Pink Floyd, where he played with the magnificent Syd Barrett, who went tripping too often and one day couldn‘t come back anymore… But the music was still amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Shit. Where????? I am so jealous. Yeah – a bit too much steel breeze for Sid huh … 💋


      • Wa s the gig in Vienna? I wish I had known. I am sat here being annoyed. xxxxxx


        • Lady Jane Grey

          It was in the Stadthalle (but not the main venue) on Sept. 19. I was amazed by the complexity of the music – originally played in 1967(ish)…

          Liked by 1 person

          • Rachael! How cool to see you here. 🙂 Yeeeeees – there is so much more, too much to grasp. That might be what pushes some people into frying their brains. I dunno, I think if you take it once, and already unlock the door, chances are you’ll be just fine. It has been said that once is enough, and no other trip is quite like the first one. Thanks a lot for sharing your experience. Awesome. I hoped more xxxxpeople might …..


  7. Rachael

    I only had an acid trip once, when I was at art college but that that feeling of knowing there was so much more, that feeling of being totally at ease and complete has stayed with me as an ultimate goal. And ducking to get under a doorway which was very high….I never took it again in case it went the other way but it was amazing….

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Maya

    Loved your post! Looking forward to more. How you felt about time was interesting because once when I was a kid (single digits) the thought came to me that time wasn’t real, that everything was somehow always here now. I have no idea how or why that thought came to me but I still believe it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Maya – Thanks a lot for dropping in, I wondered if anyone would want to read this stuff to be honest. ( “I believe in coyotes and time as an abstract …..” I Believe – my favourite REM song.) Time is so one dimensional. at least it is when we grow out of childhood. Kids have no concept of time as we know it, at least that is my experience. Big hugs, Val xxxxx


  9. b.londeswunder

    so this really makes me want to take drugs now. Thanks mom.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Strange Tales from the Cookie Kitchen | A Bottled Rose

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