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peter.howden Posted 15th Jul 2018, 07:50am
  My Chronicles 15/07//2018

Aunt Becky is innocently unaware what s taking place, wandering in a sort of inclusive bafflement most of the time, though, in the blink of an eye, unknown parts of her treasured memories momentary return, then whisked back into her secret reality. The truth of the matter is, when we go for a hurl in my old jalopy, as the ‘Tartan top twenty’ is playing (quite loudly) …. there is not only a spark of recall, but her face gives a hint of pleasure as she taps her feet, singing along to Kenneth McKellar and company.

Are we being selfish wanting her back as we remember, I think so…however, because we know she is safe, being taken care of, in the specialised Residential home for Dementia, much more than we could provide, there is a source of appreciation and contentment. In our minds we see Becky and Uncle David (a fine man) in their prime, although they were retired helping as best they could…the entire extended family.

Saltcoats holds lots of family reminiscences, for both ‘She who must be obeyed’ and I, as our kids were growing up on holidays, almost always with Nancy (the voice) on toe. Even now, on our visits to the well-worn seaside town, we see her almost every corner…but alas …it’s an allusion, or another wee granny rambling around. When by chance, looking up old diaries, glancing at old photos, to recall once again, just how chaotic sometimes it could be, with limited space and monies… The plain fact is…. it clears my mind, removing the cobwebs blocking fond memories locked in the inner hidden awareness. We were lucky having Salty (Chess Alcohol partner) both in Stevenson and Sandylands

My frequent excursions down to the Scottish ‘Bard’s town Ayr (former Royal Burgh), may appear, to the untrained eye, just an excuse to sip a few refreshments alone with a china. Perhaps there is some merit in this trail of thought however I would insist it is really a necessity. Grated rarely Jim Hendry and I do not venture far from Witherspoons… but we have a perfect logic why we persist using such a tavern…it is a place where we can talk absolute bollocks, with immunity, as most of the clientele are practicing the same skill…where we have conquered the masters elevation

It is a mixture of saying and listening to the most ridiculous things will result in constant laughter and genuine enjoyment. For me personally, the combination of traveling with the train taking the strain, and the easy company of Jim, is a safety valve…keeping my mind from going stale other times its beyond ludicrous. Ayr like Saltcoats and so many Scottish seaside towns and villages are struggling to keep a resemblance of an independent high street shopping area. The march of time takes no prisoners.

Last Thursday, while in the E.V.H office, I was involved interviewing capable applicants for the vacant director’s post within Calvay Housing. This will be my last so-called duty, as I am retiring from the committee of Calvay, once this important position is filled. After the business of the day had been concluded, I was taken by surprise, for E.V.H presented a beautiful long service trophy, and a magic bottle of single malt.

Uncommonly; I was speechless… I would like to gratefully thank the E.V.H organization, for such a considerate gesture… for me… the mere attention associated with giving such an honour, is an award equal to the now treasured mementos…now this did blow my mind.
peter.howden Posted 9th Jul 2018, 07:41pm
  Foretastes of a 60s adolescent


Today parents and teachers are concerned about the adverse influence of the instant internet and the obsessional use of mobile phone by almost all the inhabitants of the world, perhaps except for over 70s club. You can tell the age of a person by how they use, or abuse the modern miracle, almost everyone twiddles with the knobs and buttons playing games or waiting for a disposable Email…. more sedate people just say ‘Hallo?’. However, in the golden generation, 40/50s, parentages and educators held the many cinemas and films as a curse of morality, waylaying of the youth away from decency and reality.

As a sprouting boy (though never sprouted much), the post-war generation held a different point of view, no matter how often Harold Macmillan, with jorries in his mouth, proclaiming; “You will see a state of prosperity such as we have never had in my lifetime ... "Indeed, let us be frank about it - most of our people have never had it so good”, nearly every city was dull and drab.

The cinema, for all ages was an escape…even for just a few hours. With the end of the hostilities just a decade before, rationing finally over, the people and the economy struggling to recover, watching every penny, also acute lack of accommodation existed, while in the cinema you could lose yourself in a crowd…in private

During the week, my brother John, allowed me to listen to Radio Luxembourg (208) on his fabulous crystal set, with Dan Dare, pilot of the future, Dick Barton, and Pete Murry’s top twenty…and an odd ball memory man.

Nevertheless, the visit to the A.B.C. minors on a Saturday morning was the cake of the week. The cinema was always jumping with kids, and weans of all ages, gripping tightly their pokes of sweets and innocent faces glowing thru unbridled eagerness…. bursting to see the next instalment of the coming live serial on the huge bright screen. This was their reality.

Afterwards outside the building, and right along each street nearby, you could tell the main feature that morning, by the actions of the fledgling audience either riding horses in their minds, while skelping their bums ardently, shooting anything in sight with appropriate noises provided from the sides of their mouths, Shooting arrows with whooshes, or the all-time favourite…. dummy sword fighting with anything at hand.

As I grew older things changed slightly, believing I was mature, though in truth still wet behind the ears and an enthusiastic Spotty ‘Alfred Newman’ of ‘Mad’ magazine, reading the American issue, from cover to cover on any dreary Sunday to survive with my marbles not bouncing off the walls. Sunday without tediousness was a novelty. In the north American continent,

Sunday was Thee Sabbath, the Lords day, but life and leisure were catered for. In some states, they worshiped in full swing, bawling forth their message, telling all who cared to listen, not to fornicated or drink the devils brew. Carrying on how they once did so…but now they were saved… I often wondered if they were boosting or complaining.

Roughly around that time, partaking some bike movies, including ‘Teenage Devil Dolls One-Way Ticket to Hell’, and the famous; ‘The Wild One’…which influenced me to be involved with the motor bike circle. For a bet I took, I experienced and a nerve-racking, back pillion ride on a Triumph TR5-Trophy, hitting 100 M.P.H streaking up Parliamentary Road.
The meeting place café was at the corner of Calder St and Pollokshaws Road, the name escapes me now… but the sight of around forty leather jerkin clad blokes, yet only three or so bikes outside parked in the street, will never leave me. Later I owned an old banged up Triumph, we were not quite ‘Marlon Brando’ studs, or even his weak sidekicks… but boy… we wanted to be so much!
peter.howden Posted 8th Jul 2018, 07:32pm

The building was dilapidated slum, neglected down to the ground; though at one unknown stage, converted into separate flats. The actual front door lay awkwardly on rusty hinges, a poor image for once built by a family living on the trade riches of tobacco. At the beginning of the 20th century, became the pride of good honest hard-working Glaswegian families, a city residence. The condemned unsafe building, ought to have been flattened, not tattered up to its last legs, as the absentee landlord squeezed every penny possible, with no humane feelings but an iron cast heart.

The clatty hallway gave a horrible clue as apprehensiveness followed everyone who may have knocked the grubby door on purpose or by accident. Step by step, each flat hastily turned into separate rooms, such squalor smell, so pungent at the door and one isolated chamber could only be described as a midden, lay a trollop, even she herself may have forgotten her Christian name. It was Kate or Cathy to some.

Everything touched was sticky almost jammy without the sweetness but instead a suffocated odour prevailed a fustiness of rotten mushrooms. No sign of cooking while a couple of empty MacDonald’s take ways lay in no order on couch… one perched up in a corner like a motionless pet. The staleness of smoking was not only caustic on the eyes but got right up the nose

Kate must have had a recognizable female form which had been hidden for years in dowdiness and neglect. Her children had long since flown the nest, while no one ever heard of a mention of her man except in times of real delirium, she scripted as “blooming bastard” over and over again. In moments of sanity her mind was frantic with half-baked ideas or languished in memories she alone was merely a toy

Her childhood recalls was her bony mother telling her when times get hard, she would go to the fruit market and pick up bashed fruit and vegetables from the gutter or rake through once the market stalls were closed. “You will never go wrang with a bowl of soup” her mother’s words rang in Kate’s sober brain more often than she cared to remember. She was too proud to demean herself.

One thing was true, this was she never stooped to prostitution for she was not a gal like that; even though she had kept her looks but only in her mind and not in the mirror. She did sleep with strangers she meets at the local country club but that was just for an extra swally. Now even the cattiest bloke demanded her to wash before he would entertain a fumble never mind sex Kate had no conception of time just awake with sweat and aches, searching her abode for a drop of something alcoholic. Blacked out periods she had no idea .

Religion was lost, apart from the occasional hand out…devoid of meaning with less appreciation, more annoyance for having to mumble three verses of “Jesus saves”. It was deemed as a furnished flat, because of a bed a wardrobe and drawers of some description and a thread bared rug and the side; for this the social paid blood money to the cockroach of a proprietor

The authorities were forced to open the dingy single den, complaints of rats lose in the crumpled construction. Kate’s door revealed an over-profusion of smells in darkened corners, even when they don’t exist. She lay slumped, oblivious in death as she was in life. A lone anxious voice says this should not happen again as the mawkit door is closed over. No one comes to the funeral

Within a heartbeat some other poor lost soul in accommodated in Kate’s old dodgy flat
peter.howden Posted 6th Jul 2018, 02:16pm
  Dear Diary; 06/07/2018;

‘As you sow, so shall you reap’ is a famous quotation or saying, however I must have accidently scattered inadvertently one or two seeds somewhere along the line. It can’t be said I have always played fair or did things in a dignified manner but if our home-grown garden strawberries have anything to do with it, perhaps in my case it should be ‘What you sow, so shall you reap’.

Wimbledon continues dominating our large and small screens, as the sun blazes down on the affluent audience, reputed to be sipping Roberson barley water, (Aye; with spirit) waiting for the ‘Crème de Crème’ in the manner of false fruits and cream deluxe…strawberries. There are rumours, you need a tidy mortgage just to purchase such a delight.

Many years ago, I was instructed by a Mr Swan, the best time to pick strawberries was midnight. The reason why was not explained to me or I have forgotten, but Mr Swan was the master…and I… grasshopper.

Last night at the stroke of twelve, I ventured out and in torchlight managed to scrounge some more precious Strawberry drupes from exhausted stalks.

Within our tiny allotment given for the growth of home spun delicious and juicy strawberries, almost depleted from the first harvest. In fact, then amazingly gave four yields…and spread so far as they did. It was down to pure will power… even in the mist of such excitement given by some nail-biting performances.

Now we can watch the outcome of this famous tournament, in relative comfort, knowing stocks will last if we are frugal. Our problem now is, if a British national racket reaches the final, for no matter how we do the maths… one solitary strawberry will be left

We will share the delights but how come so? Will we cut it in equality half …? or will we be more daring and passionate, by sucking it to and fro, through French kissing? If the latter is palatable… then how do, we keep the strawberry in cream?
peter.howden Posted 6th Jul 2018, 08:23am

The young lady’s name, to give her a label,
Was not petite, just plain Mabel?
Sturdy, robust and stable
Though for sensitive advice, was able;

Her younger brother was called Rodger,
Evil, surprisingly simple little codger,
Who, imagined he was a artful dodger,
Just one of life’s wee shifty forger:

They lived in a house of brick and stone,
Because of their age they didn’t live alone,
There was father and muter and Dobby Malone,
A strange ginger cat suffering kidney stone;

Rambling around the building; room to room,
Always alone while whistling a tune,
Guarding themselves with a big wooden spoon,
Through great halls up and Doon.

Now the reason for this lengthily story
Is that father was standing to be a Tory,
Muter filled with pride and felt glory,
However, Mabel called it “Jackanory;

She stated as she blinked her eyes,
Those politicians do nothing but lies,
Rodger disagreed with those ties,
Raised glass of wine, “here’s mud,” he sighs
The cat Dobby Malone, been quiet through that,
Silently had been squatted on his mat,
Gave his opinion as he rose from where he sat,
Strolled over and pissed all over Father’s hat.
peter.howden Posted 4th Jul 2018, 07:01am
  My Chronicles 04/07/2018

Perhaps being somewhat presumptuous about luck, yet not a cat with nine lives, having done some daft things in my life, I reckon being a tad fluky. No matter how I try balancing a constant rational nature, or having an attitude nourished with good common sense in dealing with what life has to offer, there are times the sums do not add up. Conceivably it would be utterly monotonous to be happy all the time, missing the excitement created, and enhanced, where gloom disperses having reigned supreme earlier.

My own “Somewhere over the rainbow” emerges, or the nearest thing to it without wearing or clicking red shoes, not to mention meeting the ‘wicked witch of the east’ the tyrant of ‘Munchkin County’ of the Oz books. I know I’m mixing up books and film adaption, for “J Baum” series of stories had the ‘Nome king’ controlling supremo in villainy.

To be truthful, Oz is a bit heavy for me, being more inclined to a swift gander at “The Broons”; from 11 Glebe St; Auchentogle…along with ‘Oor Willie’ residing within Auchenshoogle (same place spelt different) from the Sunday Post. This newspaper each week travels further than any other rag, to the four corners of the world. Here is a piece of useless information… there was a real Glebe Street, old Glasgow with a saloon called “Broons Bar” at the corner.

This fictional ageless family; ‘Paw, Maw, Hen, Daphne, Joe, Maggie, Horace, the twins and the Bairn, along with good auld Granpaw. Their shenanigans with their ‘Jings’, ‘whit daft idiot’ and ‘Aye aff ye nae mair’; were the talk of the steamie and would be still, if such gossip halls, and conveniences, were not closed in the name of progress. Way of life marches on but some things stay within examples of family life regardless of hardship, your friends…your word…are all important.

There is no simple answer to life, for if there was, then we would all be Gods (Greek or otherwise) on Mount Olympus, rumoured to have responsibilities, however, we are far from this sort of deity. We accept our friends’ short comings because they are just as they are a pal or a china, as we Glaswegians may say.

There is something very soothing communicating with a friend, regardless of the distance or the time gap. For me, it has a magic power all of its own… the rudiment is simply; he, or she, or them…are long standing friends.

My constant welcoming lover, mother and companion is ‘She who must be obeyed’ who has given me so much pleasure possessing an uncanny knack of surprising me…nine times nine. Once, presenting me with gift wrapped apron acquired from tokens with purchases of ‘Lurpak’ butter. She certainly has the quote down to pat………’It’s not the gift, but the thought that counts’. In the near future, when I display this kitchen garment as visitors arrive, I will say I’m not hen pecked…I picked the colour myself.

The latest surprise was pure magic, taking more thought, being on my wish list for some time…. a miniature authentic statue of ‘The Thinker’(originally cast as the poet Dante; at the gates of hell). I don’t believe in the 9 circles in the long poem ‘Devine Comedy’… however… I like the thinking…. And the thinking of ‘She who must be obeyed’
peter.howden Posted 2nd Jul 2018, 05:33pm
  Funny Bits;

Hopping Pullover

We have to take a leap of faith to improve our exports of Scottish lamb and wool industries. In Australia they also have sheep and some of them suffer the same problems that ours do, including animal version of T.B. After many scientific studies seem to prove ten out of ten Kangaroo appear not to suffer from this far-reaching infectious disease. After significant clinical test, achieved with whiter coats, inhale consumption. Now for ordinary peoples to understand such complexity of those results…they give the inkling to be one jump ahead and it is the power of leaping which prevents the spread of this terrible transferable ailment.

To hedge our bets and capture an initiative before it bounds away into the sunset, the Scottish Executive have passed an emergency bill named ‘Caledonia’ (Latin is used in all medical matters) to issue every single ewe in the land of our clan fathers ;Pogo sticks and teach the knack of using such high Technical instrument which would pass over the heads of us mere mortal.

The sheer running benefits are in three main ways. Firstly, the sheep springing around on pogo sticks will not be on the ground at any given time, stopping them from catching T.B, from these nasty little badgers that, if our researcher is correct, spread this terrible thing. Owing to Methodical investigation the fact came up that spitting is one main way in spreading this terrible sickness calamity; it can only be assumed those naughty elfin Badgers are going through the undergrowth not caring a spit where they spit.

Secondly; we will boost the quality of Scottish wool by many fold and maybe, just maybe, we will bounce into world markets and rank closely to cashmere or mohair. All the free range soaring through the natural air constantly, the flow ejecting from this effort would soften the wool to a high degree as time and nature progressed, the fleeces would turn almost golden. It may all be Greek to the layman but it is inevitable the grade of the pelts would come on by leaps and bounds. Also, as a sideline, all this exercise and balancing signify muscles of a larger per potion would mean superior growth in the limbs area and so a leg of lamb would leap on the plate and go further for the housewife.

In the third benefit is the expense in teaching these animals the skill needed to operate such strenuous manoeuvres would only have to be paid once. When the second generations watch their peers confidently pogo-ing, they being sheep, will follow like sheep but do not mistakenly believe that sheep have only sheep’s brains for other scientific test proved beyond any doubt, they have a far greater intelligence than first believed.

It must be pointed out though those particular tests three of the experts were reported to be in love with their subjects. This may put a cloud over their findings or maybe the trio felt that a sacrifice was necessary for the sake of science but feeling a bit of a goat when going public. We should not delve into other unproven actions just count our luck sheep it was not us.

The major drawback in all this bouncy activity is the plain old sheepdog. The very fact thousands of flying sheep will be springing all over the place, re-appearing out of the blue as far as the mutts eye view is concerned, this could cause havoc with a mutts mind. These dogs are used to lying down and awaiting sheep to stroll by before leaping into action but the mere fact the lambs are going to helix on them at such a rate , it can be visualized whole batches of brave pooches, will have mental breakdowns and this could prove costly.

The vet bills alone would vault out of control followed closely rest homes for these unfortunate eccentric mongrels where they could have forty winks without sight of sheep with a spring in their step.

Can I count on you, if not counting sheep, to sleep on this new brave idea.[/size][size="3"]
peter.howden Posted 30th Jun 2018, 01:36pm
  Our first family holiday

Very early this morning I watched a rag, tag, and bobtail of a family, gaily trekking towards Easterhouse railway station. Father humphing a large rucksack, plus several makeshift containers. The mother, (I presume) trundling a trolley, carrying large handbag, chalk a block with miscellaneous items peeking out. Four kids carrying various sizes of kit-bags according to age, while Grandpa brought up the rear…slowly. This smashing charming scene brought memories flooding, reminded me how our families behaved, heading for our first excursions, down by loch Lomond.

When our kids were really young, with Toni the oldest aged five, Nikki the youngest aged three, and Chris in the middle, we all packed up, aiming for Easterhouse railway station, holding a family ticket, bought the week previous, for return train journey to our railway end... Balloch. The one main difference from the family I saw today was…I was humphing rucksack but also trailing a large old-fashioned canvas army tent, tied tightly to the twisted frame of a battered old wheelie shopping trolley+ a big golfer’s umbrella.

Everyone excitingly clambered on the coach, managed seats all together, to enjoy the view of the countryside, as we headed for our very first summer adventure. Arriving at the picturesque village at the famous loch’s tail, the troupe made our way to the old road for Luss, began walking some few odd miles to reach our final destination, a small olden bridge over a burn, which I recalled camping many years previously.
Understandably, our youngsters tired quickly, so I ended up carrying most of the gear, but like true troupers they did carry on without moaning…much

This small haven strip where the burn’s fresh water ran into Loch Lomond belonged to ‘Scottish Heritage’, we were trespassing, but money was limited, and this quaint scene was ideal, so… we tumble down and set up camp, completely concealed and unseen from the roadside.

Passing the time of day playing all kinds of games, including hide and seek, statues, rounders, to almost exhaustion. I reckon Rebecca and I relished all of this just as much as the children…possible even more. The one duty for me being, each day going for the essentials, such as fresh fruit and the like, walking trip to the nearest shop, around 7 miles return, however occasionally I was in luck catching a bus back.

The burn had some deepish pools where we put our precious milk and bottled water (ginger bottles filled at home) which I refilled at the bus station. The year was 76, a belter of a heatwave which made camping a pleasure though keeping cool after a few days was an exertion. We devised ways to achieve this. During intervals from exploring the wonders of nature which surround us, the kids splashed away in the burn almost all day. Because we were isolated from anything, Rebecca in knickers and blouse or tee-shirt, which I found somewhat a distraction…an itch I could not scratch

For my cooling down period, i would take a beer out of the brook, purchased at the shop the day before. In my mind this treat was requisite for survival out in the wilderness. Along the deeper part of the running burn, picking wild brambles while wadding was a luxury both ways. Also, small fish would peck away at the hairs on my leg…strange mysterious sensation.

Chris and I had something in common on the last few days…homosexual horse flies…they attacked us both viciously… but not the girls at all…. isn’t nature a mystery.
peter.howden Posted 29th Jun 2018, 10:18am

During one of the many times, at a close summers evening, while strolling between the Sand-dunes of crisp Saltcoats and Stevenson, happy as Larry, my concentration was disturbed by what now is a familiar sound of deliberate pecking noise trying to gain my attention. Sure enough, there stood my mentor as I swung my head to face inwardly towards the broken shore.

Exhibiting himself magnificently, with a full moon beaming majestically on his plumages inspiring an illusion of grace he justifiably deserved. “Hallo”, for he could talk though apparently only I could hear… and if truth be told, I alone could actually see him. Strangely, he would appear when I was sauntering in Saltcoats, after a few refreshments at local hostels, making my way, homeward bound along the stretch of seashore. He had previously explained all this by the fact he took his breaks around Saltcoats, and who was I to doubt him?

“Salut?”, straining in case I did not hear him, and I replied “Hi”, adding how I was just back from my holidays. Peewee dignifiedly stated, he also foreign lands, visiting Paris. Knowing through past conversations. How Peewee, well before the Auld Alliances in 1295; the magical protective bird of Glasgow, had flown to the French capital, then Orleans, as a sort of Ambassador of the humble Glaswegian. Now the very strange fact was; I too had just returned from a memorable visit to this quixotic city. Now… is this mere coincidence or something spookier.

I sat down on the dune, easing my aching legs as age was catching up fast, however… my mentor, and friend, confident, and sometimes companion, had not aged since first we meet. This was due to his unexplainable powers. Taking out Uncle David’s cherish flask, I took a sip or two, just to take the chill out of the air.

Peewee, being in a sombre mood, decided it was right to carry on talking; “Birds, particularly Pigeons, have no idea how lucky they are in this day and age. During and after ‘Ragman Roll’ birds landed of the food table of lords and Kings, more than they do now”. Being fair game only for the elite, Fattened geese, pheasants and swans, anything that flew, walked, or crawled or wriggled, ran the gauntlet to survive…the poor endured existence!”

Peewee continued after checking his beak, “taken for granted… deemed ‘Beautiful Turkey Farms’ down Norfolk way (weird birds these turkey things, but then again, if you were locked up, in windowless digs, then chopped to pieces around 26 weeks old; you would act rather strangely).

The lowly Chicken production lines are horrifyingly against their nature, but apart from an “Odd ball or two” we free birds have it relatively easier than the middle ages. Pigeons were used to carry secret and important messages…. what did the gain for their tireless endeavours? Hooked on a cooking roost!”

Peewee, in a castaway manner mentioned he influenced the ‘Hoi Polloi’ in Luteria (Roman name for Paris of today) when the valiant Vercingetorix freed the Celts from bondage to Caesar. Sort of true historic; “Asterix the Gaul”, which all the French, appear mad about this wee cartoon character. I reckon Peewee himself came over to Glasgow via the Celtic search for new lands, always maintaining we are all brothers beneath these feathers. This is what I think in more sober times though right then I was just enjoying the krack.

Peewee told me of previous visits and had watched how it had grown through the ages. It is all spruce and span now with pumped water to clean the streets at different times throughout the districts of Paris, allowing the bird population to have fresh clean running water at any given time of the day. It is not only birds the Parisians care and tends for. Even the mice have miniature carpets, almost in every street gutter so the numerous rodents can wipe their paws before entering a household looking for cheese; obviously.

In his opinion….the claimed unity between countries, ruled by Kings, despots within the gentry, inside what is now considered ‘Europe? same as today, as the middle ages, every man for his self-importance …nothing to do with the best for the country…or its people

Peewee prepared to continue
peter.howden Posted 25th Jun 2018, 07:53pm
  A paying lodger

Hammie desperately looking for somewhere to lodge for the next two weeks. His present landlady unpredictable fashion conscious Jewish woman, abruptly was to remodel her entire house due to some member of a guild, boasting of her son, the doctor, paying for comprehensive renovation works in her already gorgeous home. Not to be outstepped, Hammie’s charming proprietor instantly retorted she was having the sheik ornamentalist(decorator) free range to embellish her home.

Hammie’s desperation came two-fold, his secure lodgings was comfortable both in rent and accommodation, plus his precious frivolous widowed landlady was generously kind, forgiving if he was late with the rent. The cuddly female informed Hammie, she had already walked through with the now appointed interior decorator, who artfully advised his labour would only take 10 days to complete…guaranteed

Glancing through her discarded ‘Herald’ newspaper, Hammie came across one tiny advert for an ornate suite overlooking the spacious natural garden. The suite contained up to date washing facilities, with plenty running water, plus heating at the touch of a button. You must come in person to see if you suit the rest of the clientele, was the instructions on the newspaper’s page. ‘Understandable’ thought Hammie considering the area where the dwelling was situated.

The main attraction for him, was a key for its own entrance, making his comings and goings private. The only snag was the cost…also it was two weeks in advance. Working out his finances, he realized there were few pennies left. On the plus side, he could pay the large rent up front, then when the two weeks were up, say he must move to another employment out of town… or some excuse to leave in a hurry.

Hammie managed to store most of his collection of belongings in a friend’s father’s garage (unknown to pater), then head for the very posh district, as fast as his wee legs, and the subway, could take him… before it was snatched away by a student or something.

Arriving eager at the massive doorway of the address, he wiped his shoes at the back of each leg, then pulled the big brass doorbell handle, it sounded like a military tune of sorts until the massive door opened by a lovely middle-aged lady. He stepped in gingerly and near stood to attention. The lady mentioned she was undoubtably please with me and laid out the rules of the house.

She shyly asked for the advanced payment, plus key money, and the Yale for his apartment. Her mood seemed to change rather quickly as she instructed him to go through a certain door, down the stairs and third on the left…then herself departed out of sight…. never to be seen again

Hammie found himself in a dingy cellar, the third room on the left was a converted coal-bunker. The view to the garden was a poky wee window, next to a sink with only an ice-cold water tap….in the dead of winter. The running water was down all sides walls, and the instant heat switch was a slot-coin one bar fire. Because of the lack of funds, Hammie was stuck there running out of the readies.

Reduced to eating cold pie each day…using in a public convenience (a cludgie) for hot water…. he experienced an emptiness no words to reach of explain…right in the midst of posh metropolitan.
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