The Heroin Agony Aunt / Letters to the Editor

Come gather 'round my pretty punks...

Memoires of a Heroinhead has a new page!

It is here and is essentially a select collection from the private emails I've received over the past two years asking for advice on issues around drug use and  addiction. In their own way these correspondences are as interesting as anything else on the site, and as with everything posted here they translate into an enormous amount of time  invested - my own, as well as that of the readers and senders. These mails, and the effort that goes into then, touches on an important yet unsung part of Memoires: that even if  posts are often few and far between, the site is just as active as ever behind-the-scenes (mails and comment replies taking up ten times the volume of word space than do the posts themselves). That being the case, I've decided to bring some of this unseen material to light.

For the moment I've concentrated on the advice mails, but I've huge amounts of interesting stuff in my mailbox and so will also be running a Letters to the Editor section on the same page. These Letters will be mails sent in which posed simple questions which made me think and as a result either made me expand upon,  clarify or revise my thinking on certain relevent subjects which make up the heart of what Memoires is about. Often that is not drug addiction, but politics, poverty, literature, child abuse, philosophy, etc. My real agenda is to expand Memoires so as in years to come it will sit as a huge body of my work and give answers to much more than I ever intended.

This is for the future.


Here, once again,  is that new content:  Aunt Agony

Keep your eyes peeled on the sidebar for future page updates, and yes, readers can email me their problems or questions, although please keep in mind that only very select correspondences will be posted on Memoires and they will have everything to do with my replies, and  nohing to do with the questions (no matter how well put or genius they may be).

Hope you All enjoy...

My Love and Respect as Ever, Shane. X


John said...

Great stuff; I'm always interested in the thoughts and questions of others; we all have things in common here, even if it's only that we follow your words and listen to your thoughts and experiences. I find an awful lot of your work and experience has touched me and made me think of my own life and opinions from a new perspective. Seeing the thoughts and questions of others can only be a good thing, hopefully challenging how I think about things,

Is this a kind of better version of slag!? There seems a cross pollination of ideas. Thanks for the link to me on the Bubblegum sidebar; it means something to me, maybe my life and thoughts are not entirely in vain!

John x

All This Trouble said...

Oh me. I haven't visited in ages.

"If he keeps up his whingeing and threats not to marry you, fuck him off, telling him that he'd never have been able to satisfy you anyway... not after fucking for England coked out your mind, and taking three Irishmen and a chimpanzee in the park! That'll freak him out."

'Dear Aunt Agony... Boyfriend Won't Forgive me for 2 lines of coke'

Dear Abby, WATCH OUT! Things are about to get serious across the big water!

Etelvina Mermeo said...

in some way i was worry about you, cause your disappearance...

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

hiya John... nice to see you back!

No, this has nothing to do with 'Slag!' (as you see these mails have been happening over the course of 2 years and are real).

Slag was going to be a place where people visited just to experience the humiliation of being abused... it would have been a kind of therapy for them... leaving a place seething because you've just been treated like shit. That idea came about through a few different reasons and if anything was a little play on an infamous Soho bar called 'The Coach & Horses' where was reputed to reside "the rudest landlord in the world". His name was Norman 'you're BARRED' Balon, and he would go around the bar, insulting people and chucking them out for any reason he chose. Once some 'lady' or other came in. She was dressed immaculately, talking like Oxford and smelling of Debenhams."If you'll be so terribly kind and fetch me a long, cool Gin and Tonic, please," she asked the young barman, plonking her handbag up on the bar. The barman pulled her a drink and took her money. But before she had even chance to have a sip Norman had whipped it away and was right up in her face. "FUCK OFF MADAM, YOU'RE BARRED!!!" he screamed, showering her in specks of spit. She thought it was a joke... until her handbag hit the back wall and she was called all the whores under the sun with Norman coming around from behind the bar to physically eject her. She made a quick exit all of her own... probably bemused to this day just why she was treated in such a manner.

So that was Norman. He became so notorious people ended up going there just to watch him, and hopefully get barred themselves... even the regulars!!! And they all kinda secretly liked the humiliation of it. Men of literature, intellectuals, ex-army chiefs... swaying red-faced and drunk at his bar, being insulted and dressed down in public before being kicked out into the street... their unfinished drink never very far behind. Walking home drenched and humiliated but buzzing and excited.

Slag really came from that, and also from certain things I've seen around the internet (especially in forums and chat networks, etc). I just didn't finally feel Slag was a project of its own. It could be a n integral part of something else but it wasn't big enough to hold such a space itself, and more importantly, I didn't feel it was the thing I should invest my time in to that extent.

We'll speak soon John... all my best, Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Etelvina...people have died worrying about me! But I'm still here... just sometimes you have to look elsewhere. I'm not hard to track down if you're that concerned. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

John, here's an article on Norman 'You're barred' Balon:

Coach & Horses (Soho)
Norman 'you're barred' Balon

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Oh, and a few of his milder insults...

The (printable) sayings of Norman Balon

John said...

Hiya Shane,

I've not been about a lot recently - things have kinda gone bang, and I'm currently a homeless, penniless fugitive (until next Friday, when I'll be a pretty skint home-renting fugitive!)...

Slag as a concept seems a bit thin, and hugely hugely niche - you've made the right call moving on; could be a fun way for people to interact over on BubbleGum though, between posts and stories?

I liked the article on Norman - great stuff. I've been in that pub a fair few times without having any idea of it's fame!

I'll be back to myself soon I hope, I'll finish the email I have waiting for you, and I'll keep browsing...

Stay lucky.


JoeM said...

I remember Norman Balon/Coach and Horses from Jeffrey Bernard's articles. If you/anybody haven't read Jeffrey Bernard you really should track him down. Perfect little autobiographical/philosophical squibs, beautifully written.

His Low Life column in The Spectator was described as "a suicide note in weekly instalments".

Button_Knit said...

shane will you be posting more letters or is that it? i keep checking for updates but theres no more :(

Sarcastic Bastard said...

What a great idea! I'm rushing over to the new site now.

You know I love you. Hope all is well, brother.


Sarcastic Bastard said...

What a great idea! I'm rushing over to the new site now.

You know I love you. Hope all is well, brother.


Gledwood said...

yeah i could have done with some advice about nits and scabies back in the day. kept catching the latter off the local crusties, my GP was appalled!

benzyl benzoate got rid of 'em like a treat but be careful where you apply it, it can burn like crazy ha ha!

i never caught body lice off 'em because i lived in a house with free washing machine where i laundered my clothes every other day ~ so no chance of THAT happening..!!

i did catch headlice off of this beautiful hat i found on the street. it was amazing but sadly infested with ant-sized nasties that crawled all over my pillow first thing in the morning. my doctor was horrified by those ones too...

apparently dying your hair: you know the full-on jet black to platinum blond style ammonia/peroxide kit ~ that completely blitzes nits and lice of all varieties...

just thought i would share the benefit of this entertainment with you Shane

Thea D said...

Dear Shane,

Very longtime reader here, who has finally summonned the courage to register/comment here.

I thank you with all my heart for your straight talk, your unique & heartbreakingly lovely writing, and compassion. My best to you -- and all of us here

Thea (sry for typos, typing thru tears like a wuss. More later if that's OK?

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Thea D and WELCOME! X

Thanks for your time reading and commenting, and of course, you can say more whenever you like...

All My Thoughts & Wishes, Shane. X

Anonymous said...

HI Shane!
It's me, Vanessa from Portugal. I don't know if you still remember me but I used to have a blog and comment here from time to time. Anyway, it's been a while since we last talked so I here I am. I'm sorry for dissapearing all of a sudden.
I'm going to read your blog again to see how have you been. I'm glad to find you here, still writting about your past and present and I hope you don't forget to dream about the future. :)

anyway, best of luck, and see you soon (probably on your next blog entry!) :)

kiss kiss

( - just found a old comment of mine, I'm the 17th comment ;) B. Zombie!)

Anonymous said...


in case you still don't know who I am: I sent you this track by email heheh!


Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Welcome back Vanessa... and of course I remember You!!! I just don't have time to leave a nice reply and so am putting it off until tomorrow. But of course I haven't forgot you... I remember everyone (unfortunately). I'll post a much nicer message tomorrow asking about your studies and life and dreams... until then, I hope all's well, Love & Thoughts, Shane. X

Anonymous said...

Oh don't worry about it ;)
everything is good. I'm in college now! :D I'm studying Journalism at Coimbra! You and your wife should come here and visit! It's a historical city! I don't know about your wife but I'm pretty sure you would love it! ( here: )

it's called the city of students and during the year is full of activities from and for students (college)! At Queima das fitas and Latada, all of us (students) are dressed with the "traje", ( )...everybody at night, in black, with long capes! It's so magical! :) and it's a tradition here! and we all get together to sing Fado ( - before Queima das Fitas Festival)! I'm sure you two would love it!

anyway, everything is going alright. I still live with my parents at the weekends and during the week i'm studying away from home at Coimbra!

How are you my friend? how have you been? I hope everything is stable! What's new? :)

Sorry about any misspeling but I'm on the run, for my second driving lesson! heheheh so excited!

kiss kiss,

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Vanessa... er, my wife... well the less said about that the better. We separated and I've promised not to discuss that publicly and I will keep my word. We're still friends, and still see each other, but I lit a bad cigar and it all went "Bang!" So I'm alone here now... just me and a ruindown computer and three flies. It's not bad... I get to write and be able to wriote of things I never could before. Words can really hurt and I felt so restricted back then.. wondering what sentence would cause a fight.

Wasn't you off to study in Lisbon last mails we sent? I thought you was at a university there? Maybe I'm wrong. Anyhow, Coimbra sounds wonderful too... and the Unversity was established in 1290! OMG, that's older than Jesus!!! lol

I'm fine thank you... doing well and writing heaps. My heroin use is pretty much the same as ever, only these last weeks I've been forced almost clean because of my pride. It's a long story and not very interesting. Junkie games being played by everyone and I just got tired of it. But nothing really changes there. Many interesting things have happened around the writing... well, many promising things which >I either screwed up myself or they didn't go as planned. But it's still encouraging that there are opportunities to fuck up... many don't even get that close. I'm really not sure where it will end, but I think in a good place... I'm convinced of that. So I persevere and spend most my free time either writing, jotting down ideas or answering my mails and comments. I watch one film per evening, but I honestly can't remember when the last time was that I watched an entire movie without falling asleep through it. Maybe it was Dog Day Afternoon (Al Pacino)... a really wonderful film, and an even greater actor!

I think that's all my news for now??? Er... oh... I'm back up to eating 250gms of chocolate a day. That's two and a half family bars (or 6 Mars Bars)! I'm gonna get fat, Vanessa... and then who'll want me? Haha..

Love and Thoughts, Shane.


Anonymous said...

well, I hope I could eat as many chocolate as you hahah! I can't get fat (and don't worry, I'm not bulimic ou anorexic...I'm just keeping things as health as possibly 'cause college life has done some damage hahahah - for example: Thursday in Coimbra, every-fucking-Thursday is the day that every student gets out to party at night so there's a lot of alcohol envolved hahahah )

here: - fado de Coimbra ;)

I'm sad that you and your wife are not together anymore, but hey, don't give up on your life and please don't look at heroin as a safe place, as a place to hide from your problems. Be strong, stay out of trouble and face life as we're all supost to face it: chin up and move on! :D
Keep doing what you're doing! You have so many things to write...keep doing it, it's a wonderfull and cheap therapy hahahah! Really!!
I miss writing... I really do. awyway, be strong and if you need someone to talk to, I can give you my email (I have a new one...I don't know if we exchanged emails with my new email address), no problem! OR just write, write all your doubts, your dreams, ...anything. I'm sure you have here a lot of people who listen to you and will give you some wisdom heheheh some peace of mind! ;)

oh and yes, I was supposed to be in lisbon but I got placed in Coimbra (thank god hahahah! I'm actually really pleased with the city! :) it has everything I love the most: peace, history, beautiful landscapes, fresh air, intellectual people, hahahaha and a lot of fools too! xD but I like it!

(sorry about any mispelling words... )

be strong shane, kiss kiss

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