Recently fourteen people were hospitalized and one died. Was it a massacre? No, it was a dance party. Why do we hear this so often now? ‘Recreational drugs’ to blame, drugs meant to make them happy. Suppose when recreational drugs for us were a bottle of fizzy pear champagne, or a sickly sweet sherry it was different, you didn’t drink too many of either, or the results were not pretty!
When did it become so important to be so wasted by drugs before you danced? I could dance right now after a strong coffee if the music was right. That, from someone the wrong side of 70! with a dodgy knee and a slight case of heart failure. But I would do it.
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In the early 70’s I could dance all night and still walk home in the dawn, deal with getting children breakfast , do the housework and work a couple of shifts at the hotel, no problem.
Yet now you need designer drugs to have fun, seems like the fun is not a patch on the enjoyment we had.
I have a whole host of wonderful memories of great parties, the best were in a small village in Wiltshire. We had landed there with a mix of other young couples from all over the world, some worked for the government and had well paid jobs. We all had small children, and arranged our social life well we had good babysitters, so the parties went on every weekend. They were in the local hall after a dance, or at a nearby house. Mostly we could walk or stagger to them. Yet we all worked hard and cared for our children without any problems. We supported the school, did the cub scout runs, and lived a normal life.
The music was fabulous, Fleetwood Mac, The Doors, Creedence, Simon and Garfunkle, and the dancing kept us active all night. There was smoke in the air, and there might have been some people who smoked more than tobacco. But I was totally happy, totally innocent; and only needed a drink or two to have a wonderful time. I never ‘did drugs’. I just enjoyed some rather weird and whacky drinks. That was the only experimentation we did.
There was a drink called ‘Merrydown’ a mixture of cider and wine I think , believe me that did disgusting things to the stomach. There was ‘Clandew’ which might have contained whisky. So for 13 years until I was 43, we were on the party circuit.
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The most amazing one was held in a cave beneath a cliff. The architect host had built his house into a cliff, the house was beautiful, with a totally round bedroom, and a waterfall in the bathroom. It was a ‘Pirate’s’ party. We camped in flimsy tents, on the ‘roof’ a grassy meadow high above the house. The party was just mind blowing with a full sized wooden ship built along the side of the pool, curry bubbling away in huge cauldrons and at the the ‘after party’ breakfast we met the band who had played. Yet amongst all this, all we did was to drink some wine, we didn’t need anything to make us high, we were high on life!
So when I see the scene of a dance party, ambulances lined up, paramedics working on bodies lifeless from drugs; I despair of how young lives are being wasted. I recall the music, the laughter and the good times, and wish for them it was just that simple. Somewhere along the way they have been mislead, money grabbing promoters, and drug pushers are controlling our children’s lives. How sad it is not like it was for us?
I don’t pretend to be on high moral ground, and understand that for different reasons we can all fall by the wayside, pain or distress can make us all vulnerable, but for young lives to be affected like this, just think it is so wrong.
Did you ever dabble with drugs?