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> Home Made Tales, The journey
peter.howden
post 17th Nov 2017, 08:34am
Post #451

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Foretastes of a 60s adolescent

The camp;

It would be hypocritical to say I was ever a Christian, in the true sense of meaning, but… for quite a while I did mumble the words and I would say many did the same. Later, for a very short period skirting around the edges of religion trying to figure it out.

Part in parcel of my developing into some form of adolescence, was my involvement within the popular church youth movement, started in 1883 Sir William Alexander Smith at Free Church Mission Hall, North Woodside Road, Glasgow My introduction was through my brother in law ‘Easton’, shortly before he and my sister ‘Margaret’, emigrated to Canada. I was 7 years old, travelling from the Gorbals to Princess st Rutherglen, because Easton was an officer there. Both Life Boys/ Boys Brigade were run in an principal army discipline, collectively including a Christian ethos.

When my mother and I moved to Minard Rd, for a short while it was Shawlands Cross 57th brigade…then the 45th brigade based in14 Redwood Street, Shawlands. As constant companions in these ranks were Tub’s, Richard, and myself …the three ‘Amigos’. Now it is politically incorrect to give such a nickname as ‘Tub’s’ to anyone, but then, in every district school or gathering, there was nearly always a boy named so…not disrespectful but due to his frame.

The ‘Amigos’ looked forward to being at summer camp, wherever our brigade chosen site, once at Drummore, then twice White Sands Dunbar. My main memory of the small village of Drummore was, wellies filling up with water while collecting from the tap at the furthest corner of the field. White sands; a different kettle of fish, as my hormones where crashing about in all directions into unknown territory, and by then we were the senior boys…. we did some juvenile pranks all the same.

Being in the vanguard, preparing the home away from home for the main party, gave plenty of spare time. I came across a girl’s school summer camp, based inside a big barn some fields away. My hormones played funny games as I met, and instantly attracted to a girl named Alice, meeting with every day, then late evening. Rather an innocent holiday romance it may have been, but still reminisce our first real kiss. Alice was the daughter of the head teacher of the special school.

From all over the country, including England, around 7 companies of Boys Brigade camped in a large field, along the curved shoreline, protected by Barns Ness lighthouse just further ahead. It was tradition, on the first night, to let down tents of other companies. Around 1 am in the morning, as the swirling light piercing the dark aiding our progress but hiding our identities at the same time. Releasing the guy ropes of a couple of tents in each brigade, but leaving one company untouched. plus, we collapsed a few of our own officers’ tents, triggering quite a nosy kerfuffle as we duck into our tents. The conspicuous untarnished camp company shouldered the blame.

One middle of the night, a bet arose to be dressed in our pyjamas, walk a mile and a half into the centre of Dunbar, recouping a souvenir to record the deed. I actual thumbed a lift in a car going there, then back in a lorry…unbelievable these days. The girls school all had to have their hair treated for lice, including Alice, with horrible smelly lotion. This immediate treatment lasted one day.

I was hammering pegs surrounding a latrine, several days later, some distance from the camp, Graham Love, who was a spitting image of the young Cliff Richards, passed by mumbling comments about the hair affair…adding cruelly and sharply, “you will need to watch for scabs from your redheaded!”. In a whim of instant fury, a cold deliberate temper flared into action, as I swung, and tossed, the wooden mallet straight at him. Fortunately, the fleeing missile missed the intended mark, but just by a hair’s thread…making him stop dead, standing rigidly while turning white as a sheet at the same time, as I shouted “bastard!”

Not another single word was said, by either one of us…he kept a wide birth, but later I should have apologised…. but what can you say when you attempt to knock someone’s block off?

I have had to quell this instant anger, for almost all my life.
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peter.howden
post 19th Nov 2017, 09:46pm
Post #452

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My Chronicles 19/11/2017


It has been a problematic few odd weeks, with a couple of changes made except for ‘She who must be obeyed’ due to a reputed bug/virus from god knows where. Rebecca’s bad luck was being run down physical after an ankle operation, and extended hospital stay. Since homeward bound she has become ‘homebound’ due to instant needs for the bathroom. One day we think she is over the worse and ‘Wham…. back to the smallest room in the house.

Trying desperately to recover, a diet of continuous boiled cooled water, black tea, and a small bowl of Heinze chicken soup. If by tomorrow, after I have taken Aunt Becky to her doctor…I will phone for one such G.P. to come out and evaluate Rebecca’s situation…. It has been far too long going on. My woman has lost over a stone in weight, plus weak as a kitten. it is hard for me not to be frustrated and selfishly hope for a horizon… Pronto.

As for wee Aunt Becky, because of her many Great escapes, wandering around without a clue where or why. We are lucky because of her immediate neighbours who look out for her, phoning if there is a problem. However lately she has become aggressive if anyone interfered. And by the time I arrive…it’s not in her memory. On Friday her last bid to be a carefree wanderer ended with the police picking her latterly from the pavement and bringing her home.

The truth of the matter is…. she has slipped into a different world and soul due to her Alzheimer’s disease worsening. . It sounds bad news, but it is necessary for the safety of Becky herself. Rebecca and I will in time reduce the sadness, near guilty disposition we both endure now. In the future we will recall so many happy, slightly eccentric memories Becky brought to her…and our world.

One was quite a while ago as Aunt Becky and I were walking down Allander St in Possilpark one sunny day. For some reason or other a siren suddenly resounded from somewhere…Becky just stop dead and froze. She had a worried silent look on her face for some 5 to ten seconds until it stopped just as sudden as it began. We walked to the car and there she told me about the fears of the war and the tragedy she witnessed during the most horrible of times…. Becky recalling this shocked me too.

On a special occasion, while Becky, ‘She who must be obeyed’, and her pall Peggy, stayed at Salty’s citadel, (two caravans moulded together in cottage style). A week’s break enclosed by all the mod cons. One night, just around the bewitching hour, Rebecca heard a noise and investigated, only to find Becky, slightly bewildered by her surroundings, trying to open the door. As it was her lifetime wanting, she slept in the nude. Rebecca tried to persuade her nude Aunt not to leave the comfort of the place. Becky called out she needed a breath of fresh air, and anyway…no one will see me in the pitch-black darkness of the night.

Quickly managed the locks…the front door flew open, she took two steps, reaching just out the door…when…the security lights luminated the whole front door and stairways leading down to the path…also spotlighting Aunt Becky in the pink.
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peter.howden
post 21st Nov 2017, 08:57am
Post #453

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MIKE..

Mike stepped down from the locomotive after an exhausting journey, though one where he had no choice to make. There was other means of transport, but none would help him blend in unnoticed, except possible the coach, days on end in a packed bus, with no ventilation, sitting next to uncomfortable peoples, all perspiring an uneasy whiff, was not the way he wished to travel. Had fate not been forced on him, then maybe he could afford the luxury of travel he felt he deserved. He imagined he could escape the authorities… but he had no chance getting away from him… but Mike just had to try.

He had been skint before, but now…way, way down on your luck. Millions of his fellow countrymen, and women, had been just that for well over five years, regardless what the government said at the time. The European war had solved the good old Sam’s financial problems long after politicians stated all was well. Then the big crash hurting all walks of life, however, when push came to shove, it was mostly the already poor or downtrodden who suffered most during this time

Mike had fair better than most having seldom to bum his way around the railway lines of different states. It had never rubbed his conscious of cheating ordinary folk, for one thing was always sure, when a black market exists there is always a way to make a buck.

The problem was he could never capitalize on his good fortune and let it slip through his ever-grasping fingers. In other words; Mike was an idiot, or a real bum. Now he had found out just hard it was when not only did your suit look shabby, it was hard to distinguish the suit’s colour…it was just a guess. No one wanted to take a chance on any scam, no matter how good it sounded, from a geezer dressed like he was.

He knew one rule for true, can turn misfortune to your advantage, always use a weakness to become strength. However, this did not help him lumbering his tired body through the cold unforgiving back streets. A church bell rang loudly, giving pimple of an idea growing into a certainty. The chapel give to the poor, the priest is a servant to the community, so if he could stick him a line, then who knows what he could scrounge.

Entering the big chapel contemplating ‘His angle’, observing multitude of religious folk leaving the candle lit building. Walking up this isle, a young man dressed in black counting coins from several silver dishes, also catching Mike’s eye were candlestick holders, adorning the whole alter and surrounding passages. A cold dark thought entered his low brain, which at first, he instantly dismissed as balmy. However, after another few steps into the warmth of the building, he thought again and this time he refused to dismiss it. The evil seed was set.

Making every effort eluding the pastor’s attention, so he would be totally unaware he was not alone. With great caution, sliding slowly towards his quarry Mike heard the “Father” mutter to himself something about an orphanage and how proud he was of his congregation. Almost there, although he had not worked out exactly what he intended to do, he lifted his fist ready to pounce. Just then the cleric turned around, and instead of looking surprised, or frightened, gazed on Mike as if he was expecting him.

“Are you all right my son” the words quietly from padre’s lips. “Can I help my fellow man in his moment of darkness”? The man of the cloth next words came softly and sincerely. Mike was astonished, for one believing to have the patter for any situation, or murky deal, he was speechless.

The priest, without any further words, thrust a ten-dollar bill in Mike’s hand. This was the point when simplicity became complicated, and the road to hell was firmly cemented. Mike picked up the heavy candlestick closest, while the priest turned around for some unknown reason, struck a cowardly blow, giving not a thought of what had just taken place, until well after the fact, when deeds were then irreversible.

Stuffing every penny of the collection in his pockets and a bag he had found close by. Just as he was snatching the silver candlesticks there was a shriek from the base of the chapel. Mike did not have to think twice before he was on his toes. Wildly running past some old lady, who by now was in hysterics, he ran and ran into the murky of the night. Later the next day he was in a hovel of a place, whose coordinator would fence anything including his grand mother, he displays the chapel’s wares.

The fence was no angel, yet refused to touch the ill-gotten goods. He snorted “You were lucky not to have killed that priest, if the papers are anything to go by the whole county is after you”. The crook went on, “The laughable thing about it, the priest’s first words recovering consciousness was –I forgive the poor soul; God go with him”. Well I’ll tell you this boy, I don’t; now bugger off you bit of crap”. Mike could not understand his anger for after all, the fence was no catholic…but Jewish.

Mike did not argue, as the guy was big and mean, ducking being clobbered, Mike ran…left the booty. He certainly knew the snitch would tell the police, in hope of some gratuity from them or the church. So now everyone would know his identity and his haunts; so he had to travel as far away as possible if not further.

Concluding, maybe, just maybe… the priest forgave him, but his boss would not...as he is constantly in the head of Mike… as he wanders into a darker abyss.
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peter.howden
post 22nd Nov 2017, 08:39pm
Post #454

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JIM Threw Double 6

Jim stepped down from the train which transported him towards a wedding which he had been graciously invited too some time back. The carriage and the reserved seat were first class but the actual journey gave time to ponder if he made the right decision accepting, though once made and his word given…there was no choice but to turn up.

The shindig promised to be a huge affair between his former best friend, and the girl in Jim’s dreams as a walking angel. She was to be his soul mate, his dearest until the leaves tumbled wearily onto his grave…but fate interfered. Jim recalls the tragedy surrounding the heart-breaking circumstances, as he walked the grey concrete platform towards the gateway.

A few years ago when all were relatively young, with carefree thoughts looking over the horizon, for something better. . Jim saw her, just out of the corner of his eye, instantly smitten by this ‘Spirit of sweetness itself”. He had been bowled over before, though it usually took an aroma of perfume or a few beers to wet the appetites. She was a stunner, flowing with soft whispering words, as a gentle breeze glided over enticing ruby lips, so not to disturb other gods or a sleeping world.

Jim’s emotion erupted uncontrollably within, worshiping the graceful movements of a living goddess floating towards the main hall, her head straight and aloof. What tantalizing majestic elegance, charmed in her company, he knew she was the one, the only one to spend eternity.

The problem was; apart from the fact other people were there, ardently besotted, he lacked the courage to ask such a beautiful creature out on a date. He never revealed his overpowering passion for her or his inner secret feelings, so she never knew. Jim’s love stormed to overflowed, though silently. She must have spotted his puppyish mannerisms displayed but chose to take scant notice. He remained throughout the summer, having a one-way love affair, teasing only his inward ego.

All this was in Jim’s mind and there was more, for his best friend welded the cruellest blow of all. He did ask the girl out, to everyone’s amazement, she consented. This, in Jim’s heart, was the last straw, making it futile to continue his private affair.

The following day he left for foreign parts, somewhere beyond deep into the black country, without telling anyone or leaving any clue to his where about. He knew his adulation would stay with him forever, this mere fact, he decided to end his days with just memories and what may have been sweet “Affaire d'un coeur secret ".


Time had past drearily slow while the clocks hands played havoc with his mind. Months if not years past by but somehow his ex best mate managed to find his location; so hence the stag night and wedding invitation now he was on his way from the train station to meet his friend. His head full of nonsense until he heard the familiar voice of his mate, calling across the pub he had previously arranged in the letter of invitation. His pal of the past looked exceptionally happy good and almost before the first refreshment had touched his lips, Jim felt he had come home to an old and trusted friend.

The lad explained, to the assembly, although it was his stag evening and his very best pal was with him, he would only sup a beer or two, as his intended bride would be annoyed if he turned up at the alter slightly worse for wear. Jim could not remember anytime his friend ever being drunk, he was the more sensible amongst the twosome, in fact it was his mate, who took all the flack because of his sometimes rather over enthusiasm for the “Water of Life” and always helped Jim out of awkward situation.

Suddenly the doors of the establishment flew open in such a violent manner; it made all and sundry turn immediately in that direction. There stood Jim’s old dream, turning her head. Jim instantly thought this was his moment of true recognition, his passion would surely give him away. This must have been his fate. The following words will echo in his mind eternally.

Although the gorgeous full hair black hair, the goddess curves were unmistakeable, there was something strange if not foreboding. Jims best mate appeared to shrink in stature with an “O shit” look on his face. Like a whirling devilish; she marched straight towards his pal, no heed paid to anyone else, she grabbed his lapel, tugged merciless in pure temper. “I told you, no drinking especially with these cronies” she barked with rigid dispatch and a coarse vulgar tone not expected. Jim’s mate tried to deflect the situation by stating in a meek mannerism almost pathetic. “It’s a special occasion… I’ve only had one beer” he said, almost apologetic, “You remember Jim, the best man”. He stopped suddenly as if tired of talking.

She gazed straight into Jim’s eyes and without hesitation or need of a breath, she barked “yes but who the hell told you, you could invite the ‘Looser’. With that piercing remark, whirling her gorgon head, she returned to her victim, demanding to be escorted home. In a few seconds they were gone, while Jim’s reason for inspiration; shattered.

The best man’s pal said very little the next morning just before the ceremony. Only an excuse of pre-marital nerves and a half-hearted effort to say she was out of sorts. Jim could tell that his friend was well used to being in that position and he was willing to pay the price just to be with her. The wedding ritual went without a hitch though this did not prevent the bride growling once or twice, just to keep in practice or, so it seemed to those who saw.

As the couple sped their way out into the daylight, Jim thought; ‘Paradise lost’… not much… but his pal had got him out another awkward position. He returned to the train a happier man than he had been in many a year.
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peter.howden
post 24th Nov 2017, 11:02am
Post #455

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Family Ducks; The Great Escape.


In 1992, fraught in furious squall of waves 30-metre-high, a lone container ship, ‘Ever Laurel, packed to the guzzles, plunged through the tormented Pacific Ocean. Amongst the consignment of containers, one was holding captive a shipment brace of yellow ducks, red Beavers, green frogs, and blue turtles. Locked inside A Spartacus impossible dream, was brooding amongst the ducks, to break free from the drudgery of slavery. in unwanted captivity, to suffer any future shackled in people’s bathrooms, as amusing ornamental objects

Was it fate when rampant tempest loosened several containers from the overcrowded decks, unceremoniously hurling them into the salty abyss. The sheer force of the storm force containers to slide and collide with each other, cracking open the now brittle container. Incredibly Three long journeys, worthy of a Walt Disney film, formed a desperate struggle to break free from slavery

These ducks were made of yellow plastic which hampered being inconspicuous, therefore, to minimized capture they separated while 28,800 or so headed south to take their chances with Australia (once a penal colony) and the rest headed north to the Antarctic. Some experts may have called this full hardy, but the strategy certainly worked

This synthetic armada of so many plastic yellow ducks with a few beavers, turtles, and green frogs, made a dash for freedom when they broke free from a cargo ship in the pacific some 17 years ago. Since then the artificial flotilla of floating mariners, have braved, yet some would say fool-hardy, an 17,000 miles incredible journey to hopefully freedom. After perilous voyages many ducks have landed in various parts of America, South America, Hawaii, Russia, Alaska and the Artic, Japan and elsewhere. Rumours have emerged that some landed on Christmas Island have been unconfirmed

What happened to the red beavers, green frogs and blue Turtles brigade is unknown…but they will always be remembered with honour…lost at sea… With one solitary duck, nickname ‘Spinks’, floating with the ocean currents, reached the west coast of Scotland after 17years in the oceans

Unfortunately, sinister thoughts abroad as some eastern counties, and the good old U.S.A… believe sabotage was the reason and the ducks were on a clandestine mission …more info to follow
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peter.howden
post 27th Nov 2017, 10:39am
Post #456

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Family Ducks, they came from the Ocean.

To some, the following may seem tediously close to farfetched…however, with the know history of some world-wide powers, from the not so distant past…just maybe, closer to home than first though

Within certain universal government Departments, where the factual overseas strategies are secretly cautiously manufactured, by the exclusive few for their own ends, holding the real power over all they survey, declaring a terrible threat to world peace now existed, due to appalling sabotage on the high seas.

Other such administrations throughout world states, have declared urgent concern over alien spy networks within, furtively gathered by their own dedicated protection teams. Adding to these statements is anguish over using ‘Innocents ‘such as plastic yellow ducks for their own deplorable ends

The bright yellow rubber ducks (the information of their actual make up was kept secret for international diplomatic affairs) . The duckies were brooded in Hong Kong, reputed for the American peoples, though strangely all sides believe it was sabotage…for dissimilar individual reasons. Quivers in the many halls of power insist the C.I.A. recruited these ducks right from the beginning. They would rather believe such a ludicrous theory, than a simple tale of a miraculous chance of instant freedom. We Scots know all about historical freedom

It is whispered, the best kept secret ever was… thousand missiles carriers disguised, as ruddy ducks, was to infatuate both the Stalinist style countries, and the wearisome Middle East. The chairman and leading generals of various regimes national intelligence services, such as the dreaded K.G.B. believed as fact, hidden within the undisclosed cargo, consisted of pathfinding miniature armed nuclear computerized ducks, blazing out a deadly trail. Incredibly they also took into consideration, some ducks were masters of martial arts, even though the absence of limbs was in the plural.

Such communist administrations akin to the Kremlin also alleged, when the disguised cargo ship reached a pre-planned latitude, the commando ducks were processed when and where this aquatic force would arrive at their intended destinations, then deliberately swept overboard in an arranged storm. Once homed in to various landing beaches, the task forces propelling apparatus would disintegrate in the salt water.

The invading spy ducks would nest, sit motionless, in artificial brooding nests, until any suspicion of thousands of bright yellow ducks landing on a beach had been dispelled. All fluently taught how to quack in the language/dialogue of the country they had just arrived in, so nothing was left to chance. The mere fact that lots of them were bi lingo billed anyway helped the processes.

Back in the good old U.S A. dark talks threatening the whole operation over the colour of the bills. It was said the Americas insisted their operative’s bills should be green as this was the tinge of their beaks… and anyway, red is communist. Experts diplomatically explained how thousands of tub ducks with green bills would certainly give the game away and red was traditional in such a market. Red bills were passed.

The big problem was explaining the complexes ideas to the first man of America…a master Bill Clinton, as we all have learnt, to our cost, his attention scope was limited unless it was a cigar tube container. On one of his flashed briefs he decided it was time for a shower simply because of the subject matter, though the ‘610 Office Ministry of State Security’ claimed …it was bugging him of Nixon’s successful visit to China.

The historic floating tale to follow

P.S….All good Glaswegians know there is only one great China…the fabulous Francie (Ricki Fulton) of Francie and Josie legends
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peter.howden
post 28th Nov 2017, 11:47am
Post #457

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Family Ducks, The conclusion

The saga reveals how, after the thunderous storms frayed and snapped the ropes of two containers holding the enslaved plastic waterfowl, skidding into the raging sea, breaking up as they hit the water. What immerge, as does so many times when danger threaten a species, a leader emerged, believed to be a ‘Spartacus’ Drake and a raft of followers. They all wanted to loss the fetters of slavery, making a desperate a bid for freedom

A dense mist formed as the main floating sub mariners decided to flow south, into warmer climates, but unfortunately, a few unaware of the intentions of the core flock, drifted accidently in the opposite direction…veered towards magnetic north. What happed to the Beavers, Frogs and turtles was unknown as they did not escape the bondage of the sinking container until later. How many survivors, if there was any, was at that catastrophic time…unknown.

Reaching, then leaving, the Gulf to Alaska passing Kodiak isle, which by coincidence the B.B.C were filming, the flock took such a time to pass, posing on their best sides into the perceived camera, but not watching where they were going. Subpolar Gyre (counter-clockwise ocean) took them deeper in the arctic circle, finding themselves trapped in ice. It must have been a beautiful sight all that ice with yellow spot decease and, so they stayed, quarantined.

Numbers began reducing the flock drastically, for tide and weather took its fearsome toll. Ice seeped in at their rears, leaving the poor bills pointing upward to the stars as if to miming old John Wayne masterpiece” to hell you will” before submerging into the dark deep.

Tasteless jokes around the world started to spread, the red beavers beavering off, green frogs crocking it, and blue turtles were in the soup. However contrary to general belief, quite a few of the three-species survived…reaching Cornwall some 15 years later

Many nations are taking great interest scientifically of the roaming drifting ducks, heading north and south, as it gives the boffins invaluable knowledge of the oceans currents

There is news just in, from the experts on both sides of the water, possibility the missing ducks, beavers, frogs, and turtles…. are in fact not missing. It is claimed they found the lost ‘Infula of Atlantis’. It has been worked out the free current fowl have located the Pluto’s Atlantis, then began acting as ambassadors with peace negotiations.

It has always been believed, now known facts from historic animal skin records (recently discovered) the massive watered Island survived the treating grumpy ‘Deities’ with a massive globe protecting the submerged land and its inhabitants. Sea grass provides the air needed for survival

I have one secret as to the single duck, after 15-year-old trip to land on the West of Scotland…I don’t wish to boast…but I have thee ‘Raymond’…. not in the cold bathroom…but a place of honour…
-=-=-=-=
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peter.howden
post 3rd Dec 2017, 03:26pm
Post #458

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More Tales from a tailor Shop


There are quite a few different techniques in the rather shady selling game, which I have demonstrated and applied through a certain period of life, although the unique craft in the Barrowland eluded me…but you never know. In my experience, no matter how helpful or sincere the salesman, or lady appears, the one common denominator rules all…they want your money…and as much as they can claw.

Having sold almost everything from A to Z, the basics are always the same, the buyer is just a mark until success, then onto the next punter. Within City Cash Tailors, Time was money, waste time with peoples who just came out of the rain, was counter-productive. If a punter was messing around, I would suggestions to try the new ‘P&M’ stores, just at the bottom of King St, which they would discover was Paddy’s Market

In most such establishments of that era, it was a crime, worse than murder, to allow a customer who had not purchased items, out the door without passing him, or her, over to another salesperson. In those retail outlets, special floorwalkers were employed to monitor such behaviour, catching the customer before they left. The aftermath was severe reprimand by the offending sales-person. You may wonder why the workforce stayed in such conditions and the answer is simple…. they paid the best money if you reached the holy grail, in the top salesmen club, but staying there was incredibly hard.

My dubious reputation was being the last ‘window grifter’, soliciting, or illegal touting for trade in tailoring shops. All the multipoles had outlawed the stint, but City Cash Tailors did so on Thursdays, when commerce was very slow…receiving not thirty pieces of silver, but double the commission from the sale…regardless who indeed actually ended the transaction….money for old rope.

Strolling up and down outside, glancing into the window pretending he is a shopper, but on the lookout for a susceptible punter, preferably single, or at push two fellows, but never ever a couple. It is a human trait, if someone sees another person gawking intently into a shop window, the passer bye slows down, just to see what is interesting the observer. At this precise moment, the disguised salesman, pulls out from his breast pocket, a shortened ‘Rollup’ known as ‘Dout’, (a smallish cigarette previously smoked but defused) asking for a light. Most of the Glasgow public, like everywhere else, smoked in one form or another

The now stationary passer- bye, concerned he might burn the guy’s nose, politely offers a cigarette from his packet or cigarette case. This takes valuable time, giving the skill grifter the golden chance to open chitchat dialog. all the while, the undercover salesman makes comments how inexpensive this suit is how well its cut and he is going to buy it with his next week’s wage, or at least put a hefty deposit on the immaculate displayed suit …. the customer is impressed, enters the shop, not seeing the con man, nip the cigarette, preparing himself for the next passer-by…like a spider to the fly

Did I not have a conscious? making money my only concern… well yes and no. Somewhere along the line, during a bitterly cold spell, an old man, frozen to the marrow, clutching a 20 Provident check, wishing a suit and a heavy wintertime coat. He was going to his brother’s funeral, however even in such a shop of ‘City Cash Tailors’ class, this was nigh impossible. Fitting the elderly gent with one of the better suit in stock, complete with a reasonable coat, I switch tickets from the sales railing…and that was that

Was this under some misguided principle touching my heart…or just being fed up with just being there, which happened quite a few times, in various dissimilar occupation. I was hoping it was the former, but probably it was the latter…for some years later… I was persuaded, with money, into working weekends for Lenard’s brother Gerald Duman (who called me a blaggard) …lasting some 8/9 years.
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peter.howden
post 4th Dec 2017, 06:27am
Post #459

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First Leg …A Ne’erday tale

Once upon a time, in a strange land not so far away…a wooden leg decided he wished to marry another wooden leg. He had not wooed his heart of grain, though he had often hopped around with one coppice or another with a twinge within him. While leaning on a fence he declared, this would be his day to find a bride. This was not simply to start another branch of the family, or even to add to the family tree, small bush though it is, it was for a steady partner to rely upon in mutual support.

Having once had a close shave with a plain plank, which only stained and chiselled his grain, it was going nowhere no matter how he tried. He did, in distant pass, meet a leg, but she kicked with the left foot…it just could not be, even bee wax could not help. It was not he was a bigot, it was just he needed a right leg, to have any chance of moving on in life, his wished a leg opposite to him.

It was taking so long, he could not stand it but thee dawn came, as all dawns do, and just a leap away was the leg to die for…. just hoping around aimlessly, though with a whiff of French polish coming from her lower pours. Dreams of his own little splinters just raptures along with twigs because, was growing, palpating inside his knobby being… the wane for a wean.

Drunk in the sunshine of hope, acorns a busting all winds to the world, one major block he failed to notice.
He was a honeysuckles structure; his would-be partner was a birch. He was overwrought with a limp, hopped into the sunset, alone for ever, his stand by fence had been knocked down, making way for a joiner’s shop
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angel
post 5th Dec 2017, 02:29am
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Such a sad tale ! sad.gif sad.gif ..... smile.gif


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donate to your local food bank .
Pat.
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peter.howden
post 5th Dec 2017, 11:27am
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WANNER

With a pair of uncontrollable shaking hands belonging to the small dismal statue of a man who hesitatingly move forward towards the grubby handle in preparation to open a door. There was no need in him guessing what was behind its shabby appearance…for he has witnessed the secret so many times… in such a short period of time. He may know what the door conceals from view, but has little or no concept how long it’s precious cargo has been hidden

In front of the door, held on with a couple of rusty screws inserted in the ill painted woodwork of the frame…a mirror of sorts. The dirty edges are discoloured completely around the rim as if rust marks and foreign specks roam around the actual plate reflection freely of the glass. Even being near it has to take great concentrations as to what this mirror can hold in images… as it is past its sell by date in true replication. Better days have come and gone for in background of the tedious wee man, is dirt or clamour all over what dimly passes an inhabitable chamber.

The walls original wallpaper no longer exists intact, in its place are just strips mingled in with holes and some kind of yellowish paste. A calendar showing dates around nineteen hundred and something, displaying a naff picture of a car, a scatty dressed a girl, in all our yesterday’s style, is dog-eared and tatty. A couple of old hooks for picture frames hang on.

Mould of different calibres meets the partition and the so-called table and sideboard was previous whipped over on the last Coronation day. The place in simple terms is a dump but the man does not see it so.

In his mind, he pleads lonely and this is why he is heading for the door. He stops for a moment and appears to argue with himself. Seconds later, his hand is on the well-worn knob precariously suspended downward. The door creeks open to reveal the ultimate prize just sitting there on the dusty shelf…around eyelevel. The treasure itself is his holy grail and salvation all rolled into one.

Six cans of Carlsberg special…. once known in Glasgow as limb icebreakers (leg openers). The very first sip is putrid to his lips but once swallowed he is the slave to the liquid master. His eyes resembling two pee holes in the snow… gloat over the remaining haul. The hands do not shake anymore as he gently takes out his booty and places them on the manky table.

He has no idea what day it is though when his giro day arrives, he is always waiting for the mail carrier that gives him the influence and readies to attend the prodigious country club. Run by men of the same calibre and for sozzled loonies with no hope (well-oiled fellows) for communal drunkenness. So what can to drink first. Is it possible he spans them out for the whole day…for it has been done before…. not often his muddled mind reasons

Moments later he has swallowed not only the first can but almost finished the second. His destination is to be blootered, (fu) and he is an expert. Ten minutes later not a sound, other than creaks from a moaning abode, can be heard coming from the grim depraved room…lying where he landed is the crumpled body of one manky body that used to be human.

For him he will never be free…of the alcohol quicksand.
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peter.howden
post 6th Dec 2017, 07:34pm
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Surprise [size="3"][/size]

Today I witness something caring, loaded with human kindness almost beyond any measurement, yet it was the cruellest blow all the same. The almost marvel happened in the busy Pollokshaws Rd, heading for Queens park renowned ducks and swans ponds the papers rats are abundant there, but everybody knows ducks don’t eat rats

Om the curb of the pavement, a senior man was attempting to cross the busy congested road, when this hoody approached him, with a swaggering manner, many would classify as a juvenile delinquent , judged by some older people as a teddy boy. The type who would carry a flick- knife, or a cosh to alarm some poor old bugger or worse still, intent to rob.

The senior chap was at first slightly cautious, but the hoody smiled from cheek to cheek, reassuring the older chap, then with gentle care held the squire’s arm, until when the traffic died down, guided the older gentleman safely across the busy highway.

Without waiting to be thanked…he disappeared into the oncoming crowd.
The cruellest stroke was…………………….I was the perceived elderly man
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peter.howden
post 7th Dec 2017, 11:57am
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THE BLUE BABY BATH; Part one

There will be certain things, throughout your life and within your grasp or possibly ownership; you take for granted without thinking. The importance as they thread through your life, may slip or be is missed while your family travel another road. Their worth need not be much in financial status or indeed appreciated in any real sense, however prove invaluable to you and your loved ones. This is the case with our baby bath.

I can recall exactly when I first laid eyes on this rather oversized blue plastic baby bath. The miners were on strike in 1972, which in turn proved to be the famous, or infamous, with power restricted three-day week through the winter, including Christmas. We were living in a single end, situated in Toryglen Street, the very heart of Oatlands district of Glasgow. It was cosy enough with its bed recess and everything literally within arm’s reach, but the one drawback was the coal fire as its only source of heat. The restrictions meant the electricity only being on at certain times, and lack of coal-nuts which meant forgetting the coal man. I struck an idea.

Along the old Rutherglen road, there was red sandstone buildings all boarded up ready for demolition when the council may have the opportunity to rebuild. At one-time they had been upmarket respectable homes, with kitchen, bathroom, front room and most important; the indoor cellar for coal. They had been abandoned for some considerable time.

With hammer and wall chisel, along with a trusty rubber torch in hand, I went in search of coal. Hacking through walls and old closes successfully, though covered in coal dust. Each individual coal bunker had various amounts of coal, and dust, which had to be separated by sieving. It was certainly desperate efforts…also desperate times. The result was, we toasted ourselves in warmth with my gains from the grey side of the law. One day I entered this unusual home with many a thing left as if the family had left in a hurry. Sitting lonely in the corner was the big baby’s bath. I was about to leave when I thought about the coal dust plastered on to every part of my skin whether covered or bare. I lumbered it home.

What a glorious stupendous bath I had that night, right in front of a roaring fire by my sort of ill-gotten gains, and how essential it was to become within days of taking possession. It was close to Christmas and we borrowed from next door a pair of ladders so to hang decorations. Not realizing at the time, along with the steps came unwanted visitors. I awoke to feel itchy and scratching in such a frenzy it forced me to look under our covers to find wee beasties crawling all over ‘She who must be obeyed’, Toni our baby’s cot and the whole bed including me.

I cannot call myself brave however the panic I moved into certainly did not help the situation as Rebecca arose, still blearily eyed from sleep and these little perishing bugs, dropping by the handful onto the floor; slight exaggeration though you are bound to imagine the frightening picture, for those beasties were immune to screaming. We managed to have the bug squad out almost instantly, loaded with equipment to skoosh stuff everywhere where there was a hole to skoosh into.

From then on, all three of us used this plastic tub as a truly close friend and essential piece of equipment for every night there after for goodness knows how long. It certainly rid me of coal dust blues, or is that black.
Second episode to follow

-=-=-=-=-=-=
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peter.howden
post 10th Dec 2017, 03:59pm
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Anecdotes from the auld Steamie …

Situated in Scotland and within one of the grand metropolis of this lovely diverse country In a certain purposely built Victorian construction housed a well-run public amenity such as Swimming, hot baths, the good old Steamie and a very well used Turkish baths. There was several important peoples, along with more than a few celebrities, a scattering of worldwide famous individuals, even a sprinkling of global movie actors, who choose this establishment above others.

However, the real stars of the crowds were the ordinary people who came in all shapes and sizes but most important, apart from the steam bathing, they came to give and receive a good time. one such regular was Mr Jim Kerr senior, a typical wee Glasgow man, having had seen tough times and better times, but always ready with a joke or some interesting story. His son was singer Jim Kerr of the incredible ‘Simple Minds’ when engagements allowed, the now world-famous band patronized the suite.

In 1988/89…. the trappings of wealth were immense, but the boys always appeared, down to earth, nearly normal, apart from the overbearing pretentious manager who tagged along with them most times they appear. Jim himself, gave out autographs with a whiff of amazement of people genuinely wanting them, as if he had not used to stardom. Ben gunn could not claim any real friendship with the talented lead singer/songsmith, however he can do so of Jim Kerr Senior, as he was a regular while he was not “on tour” with the group.

Kerr senior had been a hard working “Brickie” before he retired, and it was not difficult to see where his son had inherited his common sense and stability. One-day Ben Gunn was in the family home of the Kerr’s while his proud father showed off his gold discs and trophies from all over the world. The mother was working part-time in Gregg’s on this day, while Jim Senior’s related his recollections when his eldest son became famous for his first gigantic global successful tour, with the news of a present for both him and his mum.

They would be driven in a private limo down to London, then take the Oriental Express to Istanbul, where they would be ferried to the QE 11, cruising off to America. They would spend two weeks inside Disneyland in the luxury hotel centre there... finally, to be a flight home on Concorde.

Jim Senior was as proud and proud could be, but warned his wife Mary would turn down this magnificent package, and he was right.

The young Jim explained the very same idea to his mum who listened quietly until the last turned it down flat, without explanation. The singer was obviously amazed and stunned, asking why not, along with the verbal support from his father. It’s the ship, like the Titanic… it will sink or could sink. At this Jim senior lost his usual easy-going manner, retorted with “you silly woman, it’s a floating city., you will not feel a single roll of the sea since they have all the latest technology. Unmoved the mother stuck to her guns and repeated her concerns and added “No”.

By this time the Jim elder lost it, having been offered a out of this world fantastic four in one holiday… he uttered these parting words. “Do you know the problem with you? You have a Bridgeton mentality!”, storming out the room, leaving his son and mum dumbfounded.

Next morning, Mary caught her husband in their large well-groomed back garden, as he pottered around which was his want. Her words softly spoken with gentle care, telling him how sorry she was and apologized, adding she had no idea that he wanted or needed a break or a holiday.

In all innocence she then went on to suggest…. why don’t they phone up ‘David Urquhart’s Travels?’.
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