Strange Tales from the Cookie Kitchen

“A drug is a substance which, if injected into a rabbit, produces a paper.”  Otto Loewi


After my LSD post several people asked me how I had got into that world.  I have psychoanalysed myself on many occasions; there is no single answer.

Not everyone who gets into the drug scene has suffered a trauma, but in my case I do think a part of my childhood may have put me onto the road to the sphere of mind altering substances.

Everyone has the potential for addiction, but some people are more predisposed to addiction than others.


I was living in the Azores, 1969.  My father was in the USAF and we were stationed on the island of Terceira.


I think I was nine or ten years old.  I was out biking around with a girlfriend, we were sharing her bike.  It was one of those chopper bicycles. It was my turn and I jumped onto it and went down a steep hill.  I have no memory of it.  I came to in the hospital, with someone putting a needle through my lip.  Funnily enough I can remember that, and one of my parents telling me to stay still, the doctor was going to sew my lip up.

I had fallen off of my bike, and as I lay unconscious,  the pedals kept turning and hitting me in my mouth.  They found a complete tooth, with root, in the street, one of six upper teeth that were badly damaged.  I had a hole in my lip you could put three fingers through.  I was so incredibly lucky though.  On the day that this happened, a plastic surgeon had flown onto the island, to visit with his family.  He came to the hospital and repaired my lip for me.

When I think of that now I cry, and wish I could thank him for fixing my face.  I still have a small lump and scarring on the inside of my lower lip.  I did not look in a mirror for many weeks. I would go on my hands and knees into the bathroom to avoid even passing one. It took eight years until my mouth had matured enough to finally have my teeth permanently fixed.  By then I was already smoking weed.



My parents’ marriage had been in difficulty for a while but as a kid I did not know that. Perhaps subconsciously.  One day, three or four month after my accident, Mum packed us up, my two siblings and myself, and we boarded an Iranian C130 to London Heathrow.   My Dad waving us off at the airport.  I did not know I would never see him again.  I remember the flight really well, I shared my Enid Blyton book with one of the military men on board, and he showed me his book, which I had to look at back to front, and with letters I did not recognise.


We went to live with my grandmother over the next few months, might have been nearly a year. I cannot remember clearly.   My father left the island and went back to California, where I do believe he hoped to take steps to repair the marriage. Daddy suffered from alcoholism, maybe partly due to his days when he was stationed in Korea.



We eventually moved into our own flat with Mum.  One morning, December 10, 1971 as we got up to go to school, Mum told us that Daddy had died suddenly, the day before.  Diabetic complications; but I now know that you can add a broken heart to that.  She then sent us off to school.  That was it.   Honestly, as I write this I have no idea how we ever began to process this.  I wonder if we ever did.  I did not recognize how desperately sad this was until many years later.

I neither accuse nor judge my parents.


I do feel that these two traumas in my formative years might have played a role in my going down the drugs and rock’n’roll path. And the death of my father affected all three of us kids.  No one talked about stuff like that in the seventies, you just didn’t.

My brother got into extreme sports before they were called extreme sports.  Bungee jumping using cave harnesses and elastic, cave diving and cliff jumping.  We talk daily.

My sister climbed out of her bedroom window and ran away and became a polygamist, a plural wife.  Passed away at 43 with breast cancer.

Just an average family.


I still love music of all kinds, and am at my happiest in the gym with the tunes up loud in my ears.  Perfume is my drug now.  Which is how I ended up here. And we have a bike shop.   A strange tale indeed.

I regret nothing.

CQ of APJ.






Filed under Perfume Reviews

37 responses to “Strange Tales from the Cookie Kitchen

  1. Love you, Val. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow!
    Thank you for being so honest.
    I didn’t read the LSD post so now I’m going to go there.


  3. matty

    Thank you for sharing your story

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Val – thank you for sharing that with us – and congratulations, you made it out the other side. I’ve studied the trauma and addiction theme for a while and found that in many cases an (early) life trauma can lead to drug misuse – but not always! Many of us took drugs cos our friends did and because it was fun. Some folks are risk-takers and love a high, the danger of it all; others are happy to stay within the lines. I’m all for a bit of excitement myself 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Of course it does not have to lead to drug misuse …. Fact is – as soon as I got into David Bowie and Pink Floyd and Roxy Music, followed up by the birth of punk in 1976 ……. I was headed down that path anyway. So we will never know. Most of my friends did not make it out the other side. That will come up in a future post, if people don’t get sick of me warbling on. Staying within what kind of lines? White ones? 😉 Huge hugs. xxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hear ya re. the music – from heavy rock to punk to banging techno – the whole drug thing went hand in hand didn’t it! Amplified it, so to speak. Would love to hear more of your stories – keep warbling please! …. you made me snort with your white line comment! haha! 🙂 xx


  5. Jillie

    I am so sad for that little girl but happy for the wonderful woman she turned out to be despite – or perhaps because of – those early experiences and loss.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Jillie! We are all so many people rolled into one though aren’t we? I was not sad at the time. Of course it shaped me, and despite everything my parents, and my stepfather gave me a solid foundation. Which allowed me to survive the earthquakes. Some of them were really heavy. I do have a severe anxiety disorder though – hahahahahaha. Cannot imagine why! So nice to see you, thanks. Lots of love, Val xxxxx


  6. Lady Jane Grey

    Material for a book (or two)…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. It’s such a privilege to be able to post these stories, Val. Your openness and lack of judgement are something to take note of.
    We all have our ways of coping with the bad stuff.
    Thank goodness you came out the other side and are able to tell the tale – literally.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Tena

    A story filled with shocking strength and love. Amazing.
    (Offers a hug and some Rubj extrait )


  9. What an amazing and heartwarming tale. Such events are bound to shape us, and the old adage really is true that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

    On a side note, as I think you know already, I was nearly born in the Azores. My dad had two teaching post offers on the table; one there, one in Belfast. He chose Belfast. But if I had been born in the Azores, being of an age, we might have met at primary school…who knows? It was not to be, but am so glad we met in our 50s at least!

    Liked by 1 person

    • What didn’t kill me left me with panic attacks. Oh my gosh, can you imagine having met in the Azores? The would have been pretty wild. Unlikely though as I doubt you would have been in the US school, but there again …. Oh yaaaaas. I feel like I have know you forever anyway. And so grateful for our friendship, and keeping me sane. xxxxxxx


  10. I was saddened while reading about your family and your past. However, you are who you have become because of your past and the choices you have made for yourself. My story is somewhat different, far from ideal, and here I am in a similar place. Happiest is the gym with the tunes turned up, and loving the joy of fragrance (and dogs). Thank you for being open and sharing your story. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Kathleen! Don´t be sad. Everyone has a story to tell, and it was not my intention for one to be sad. Although I dunno if everyone has a polygamist in the family! “Far from ideal” probably describes a lot of us in this perfume world, you know? Gym and music? High five Ms K! Big love, Val xxxxx


  11. Wow! So much in that post.
    I can hear you saying the whole piece in your voice. Makes it even better.
    Portia xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my gosh, Portia!! I am sooooo happy to see you here. I am with Tara, and writing, because of you. Don’t bother trying to process anything, you’ll drop dead before you make any headway. So much love, your own personal CQ. xxxxxxxxxxx


  12. Sandra

    Wow Val. I am at a loss for words. I love having you in my life. Sending you hugs. Sandra xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hey Val amazing story. Thanks so much for sharing. I wish I lived a bit closer to drop in for a cuppa and a chat – Love you loads. xxxx Tina G

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Tina! That would be lovely, and much safer than coffee. Hahahaha. We are so lucky to have The technology to chat and have virtual tea – and I‘m thankful for that. We would never have met otherwise. Love you back. ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Amy

    Thank you for sharing these parts of your life, Val. It’s amazing how much they didn’t know about how to help children with injury and illness back in the day. I lost an eye when I was four, among other mishaps and misadventures, and the piece that continues to haunt me is the ten nights alone in a giant open ward with kids who were seriously ill and injuried. No thought at the time of parents or a parent staying with their children. My granny was a nurse and so went with me into surgeries, which I remember with gratitude and comfort. Your writing made me think of this, so thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Amy. ☺️ Oh gosh, that is so desperately sad. No, you are right, it just was not thought of in those days. And it does leave a scar. Ten days is just unthinkable, as is losing an eye. You must have been terrified, whether you realized it or not. Thank goodness for the comfort of your grandmother. Yeah – sometimes something triggers childhood memories , and it is so cool you took the time to comment. We live with what we have, it makes us what we are (do we have a choice?) but it’s interesting to see what got us here, at least for me. Perhaps time to shed a few tears for the child that we were once. Big hugs. Val xxxx


  15. Ingeborg

    Thank you for sharing your story, Val! Like others have said, good that you have moved on, and have become who you are today. And you do seem fearless to me!

    My stepmother has performed a lot of reconstructive surgery through the years, so I think I can, in part, understand your feelings about the lip, and what luck that you had a specialist attend to it from the start.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ingeborg! I wonder if it was more than luck? To this day I feel someone was watching out for that little girl, and in turn her parents. I know how I felt just when my son broke is leg ….. I am not fearless, far from it. I just try and do stuff anyway. I invented the concept of a panic attack. Hahahaha. I’ll write about it if we get that far.
      What a wonderful vocation your stepmother has:had. Reconstructive surgery is amazing. Lots of love, Val. Xxxxxx


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  17. What a story Val! Thank you for writing this. These experiences and feelings have shaped you and you are wonderful, lady !! xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey anicasunny 🙂 So nice of you to say so and to take the time to read. It is a challenging series to write but I am loving doing it. We are all shaped by our experiences, but writing about them allows you/ me to see them in another light. Especially as the adult looking back on the child. xxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

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