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> Home Made Tales, The journey
peter.howden
post 10th Jan 2021, 12:32pm
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Alternative farming;(2)

Due to the fact most of the land is under sea level, the Netherlands health and safety committee work tirelessly introducing more radical methods to protect wandering sheep, or lustful opportunist rams from drowning in canals, while leaping into neighbouring fields. On the wave of such success, they are able introduce rudimentary scuba diving training facility, varied for all animal’s needs, including the irksome rabbits. Holland can be a dangerous place for animals who are not aquatic. Rabbets dig holes…worms can’t swim. One said rabbit appear after making a wrong turn at Albuquerque…then disappeared down his own abyss?

Rabbits do look intimidating with rubber masks, suits, flippers, and all. It is extremely hard to working out what a rabbit is trying to tell the outside world, or what suggestions it’s making with such a screwed up contorted mouth struggling to avoid the snorkel. This action if repeated, often gives the bunny a hare lip.

Bunny sweat is by no means sweet, with it trickled up so much in rubber, making the buck’s intentions bounce all over the place giving out wrong signals, so steer clear when they do eventually undress. One good point though is there are no bugs on these rabbits, or indeed the need of a Doc (well maybe, a Shrink! for they are a bit loony if truth be known). There is always a silver lining for the children coming up for Easter, by gaining more chocolate on their bonbon rabbits.

Water skiing could be a plus for the deer population, wild and otherwise, an obvious choice for most have horns for protection along as warning to others. The major obstacle is the water highway code. Their reading skills are of a wanting… and the despicable goats keep eating the paper code. Because of their famed feistiness breed in the ‘Dear Green City’ of Scotland, four stout goats were introduced into the pastures of the Netherlands. Not a great success it must be said, because repeatedly they gave local goats headaches with their lightning notorious… ‘Glesga Kiss’. Pigs are at home anywhere and can be seen pig paddle across open water, apparently proving it’s a scientific fact how fat float. This also adds to super sizzling in the pan for Danish bacon.


The real problem is cows, for they are renowned of being with low intelligence, proving stupid cows do not achieve much, although the argument should be how humiliation causes this…and not their true ability. Animals from Amsterdam zoo have their own problems, though least of all the elephants who have always got their trunks ready yet unwilling to take stock of the situation. They might have great memories, however, don’t adapt to exams, or the need to be neat with test papers. They easily get the wind up them, and its essential giving tons of room to any elephant with reversed farting problems.

and the big brethren giraffes have a dilemma, not of drowning, but annoyance. Persons unknown keep tying boats and things to their necks sticking out from the water. Even a floating barber tried to use one as a sign for his trade. He must have been blind, as most barbers are, not to distinguish between stripes and patrons.
There are no zebra crossings on canals…neither sleeping policemen as they would simply drown, even if they could transfer their helmets into temporary diving bells?
-=-=-=
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peter.howden
post 10th Jan 2021, 08:25pm
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FRAUGHT

I’m not desperate… perhaps mixed up and pissed off , not knowing what to do, or where to turn. I’m a wee bit anxious about tomorrow… more so than the future, having just peeked in to see my wee darlings sleeping in the small room which is nothing else but a cupboard. They look so sweet and it is such a pity they will not stay that way but time marches on and won’t allow that. Once wanted a bigger house but this is just a dream, if not unreachable, unless I win the lottery and if it happened, then he would want his justified share. The truth is I’m now a single mum with two children who are my living heart, love them to bits, but time never visualized this is how it would turn out .

Marrying a childhood sweetheart who was everything a dream could wish for, however I didn’t hear the advice ‘be incredibly careful what you wish for, for it may come true’. I wanted to spend every minute of every day with my love, and for a short while it almost came true, though ignoring the ugly spaces, as it came obvious, he did not feel the same. His idea of family life did not marry mine, or most couples, as pretend happiness just drained away. I believe he wanted kids only so I would be tied to my apron and the kitchen sink.

Working for what you wanted, or needed, was always my way yet, my life’s partner did not really work, the lazy bastard; sorry I need to control myself, not for me but for my children. It is not fair on them. He floated from job to job, being idle most of the time. Lost jobs and blamed it on this or that, then lazed about smoking dope until I put my foot down. He still smoked the weed but not in the house. Bills started to mount up as he always was under the impression, I could sew up the gaps. That was my duty, that was my function, working at a good job as a seamstress for him, and his bloomin Irn-Bru fix. Do you know it became a bloody drug all of its own? Bottles and bottles of the blinking stuff till I hated the very whiff of it. .


My children’s father then found employment, that is a bloody sick joke in itself, collecting the empty glasses, putting them on the bar counter, in a busy pub. He handed in a few pounds and even bought the kids surprised presents, and this is when I had my surprise of a purse having been raided. The whore’s bitch… that is not right, for she was a gentle woman, even tried to warn me, but I just could not see, or be bothered to listen.

Things came to an unpleasant head once we owed thousands which we had no chance in hell paying back. His answer to this crisis, tap your dad. We argued with tempers blazing all that day and we finally agreed things had to adjust. My unforgivable regret was the children heard us, in fact the whole bloody street heard almost every single word . I believed him when he said he would work hard and change for the better…. so, what kind of bloody fool am I?

I had no clue, no clue art all, being distracted what was going on behind my back. He kept telling me he had paid this and that, there is this and that again, and all the time he was screwing up with that female who had four children to different fathers. The very f---in day I found out; the bastard buggered off, without a word, except to the kids telling them their mum had forced him out of the house. How could anybody with a conscious do that to hurt poor wee souls, but the worst of it was the children almost believed him and blamed me, I’m sure of it.

Do you know he even said I was having an affair, can you believe there could be such a lying toad, the miserable f---in bastard, oomph … sorry?

This was some horrible times ago where I went through twelve different moods in one day though when the children are about, I do my best not to ether put down their dad, for them to be normal, whatever the hell that is. He had a child with this woman, and it hurts me. The kids were thrilled to have a sister but that is the rub for me. Now that he is shacking up with her mother and she is on the social with five brats(sorry)and he works under the counter, he supposed to pay £5 a week for my children. Not each but for the two of them.

He has never given me or the children a brass farthing, has let the kids down time and time again and they have started to see how he cannot be depended on. He still has the f---in cheek to demand his rights. What can I do as my eldest does not want to see or be with him at all, and his son is wandering the same way……and this lousy bastard blames me?

Scrimped and saved and with the help of a few trusted friends, I’ve managed to keep our heads above water, but it is hard work denying myself… but not being able to have the kids keep up with their peers. It’s bloody difficult at times to keep my sanity. The sadness is…I want to have a baby; how ridiculous can one person be. Is it my hormones or something? Can I go through with it…and with whom. Am I being shallow?
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peter.howden
post 13th Jan 2021, 03:30pm
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OUR UNCLE DAVID(1/2)

This essential lockdown is moderately easy, mainly due to the close relationship with the wee delight, ‘She who must be obeyed’, and myself have mustered magic throughout the years, however, being collectively limited, unable to make physical contact, with family and close friends, or wag with a passerby… We are what we are…that is our prison. To elude creeping psyche tedium, we tend to induce the past, with throwaway hints from the radio playing a special record, or repetitive tv, asking who the artist is, what she, or he was in. Out of the blue often personal mixed emotion spotlight certain moments with special people we know or have known. No one is an island; however, one person frequently stands out…Uncle David,

Rebecca’s cherished Uncle was a plain straight man, with an uncomplicated theory of life, ‘to help someone when you can’, yet, who had a certain mischievous smile? He and Aunt Becky worked all their lives helping with time and money, everyone in their growing family of nieces and nephews and all their children. The real sadness, when they needed help, few came to call. Uncle David was a keen cyclist during weekends, heading for the hills at dawn, returning well after dark with 200 miles whisked past during that time. A quiet man who listened with a creative mind, wither a problem or a situation was to be solved. A biased gentleman though I would say who is not?

As a labourer for Glasgow District Council, gave him hands of magnificent strength because of long hard toil through all kinds of weather. Uncle David often decided to clean the windows, taking a chair around for the purpose to reach the top corners. This time he fell off, landing awkward on his knee, and after three operations later, forced to retire from work. Now like with all active men, this did not stop him for he found ways round what was to do and adapt. His previous cycling régime stood him in good stead, but the pain was so immense, he could not hide even with his inner strength. The last 15 months of his life he became housebound, and this was the time we became closer than before, where I learned so much from his early life and the army during the war. He never talked about the conflict before, even when indulging on a slight whisky refreshment.

Uncle David did volunteer the sheer instant terror of hand-to-hand combat, followed by ultimate boredom during long in-between. His friend was shot but unrecognizable to him in the aftermath. The bone coldness of digging in, the relief pleasure from a smile, grin or just a look from a fellow human being. He spoke of tragic incredible dreadful events, shamed to be there when deplorable treatment of Civilians who had nothing, took place, by both sides, sexual gratification, especially adolescent girls, and boys for a bar of chocolate. He tried to help prevent such loathsome conduct, not as a boast or even pride…He informed me so I would know.

I began to realize what a man he was as time, and small snippets of conversation began to show a map of him for anyone who wished to take the trouble and look. Uncle David never lost his sense of humour, He had a stutter that after a few drams magnified in a measurement of how tipsy he was, attempting to explain something. when Salty (David, brother-in-law) and I often stole time for a drink or two. We would ply questions to the main man so to gauging replying; ‘now, now…now, peter, now…now, honestly speaking, now honestly…peter…now…now honestly speaking! Once he finished the exploitation, there was a sly grin for producing a double resolve. Next…Uncle David’s revenge
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peter.howden
post 15th Jan 2021, 12:02pm
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OUR UNCLE DAVID(2/2)
Uncle David’s revenge


Time passed so swiftly as my visits to his abode increased because he became totally confined to his chair, or bed. Uncle David had short comings like all people do, but none loud enough to drown out being ‘truer than a die’. A brave man each morning for he realized exactly what was in store for him, yet always held his head high. He had a laugh starting with a sly schoolboy chortle, followed by a compulsory giggle as he really enjoyed his own joke or comment. A doctor in Stobhill hospital asked for his medical history which we gathered the information by talking to Aunt Becky.

Fractured his arm jumping from a horse cart when 11 years of age. cracked his jaw at 13 crashing d into a wall. Suffered some unknown disease, which he had to be isolated for. While in the war, was blown clear out from a train in France, unconscious for a week. Lost his hearing for quite a time when a hand grenade, thrown by the Germans, blew his mate’s head clear off. Fell off moving transport and lay unnoticed for 16 hours then given a couple of aspirins. After the war, at home laid in bed with the dreaded whatever…for four or five weeks. But still, Becky would insist he had not had a day’s illness in his life apart from that. What can you say?

His great inner joy was when Rebecca and Becky went out together, while I remained to keep him company. Aunt Becky told him not to smoke, but when they left, the first thing he asked for was a ciggy. Uncle David would invite me to bring a whisky bottle from his bedroom wardrobe, on returning he claimed it was not the correct one, but anyway we should have a glass. In his cupboard was about ½ a dozen semi- full bottles of the golden water of life. The whole affair was repeated time and again until I was indeed tipsy…if not fu. When the girls came home to witness the result of our evening, ‘She who must be obeyed’ was obviously not pleased. Uncle David sat smoking a cigarette being held in lips which had a furtive grin of retribution. Hardly time had passed when David was taken to Marie Currie hospice, Stobhill, super care, died peacefully.’

Aunt Becky’s title for me was ‘nephew in law!’, and Uncle David had requested his ashes taken to a chosen spot… close to Craigrownie Castle, Loch Long, where he cycled so often throughout his life. It was a beautiful day as Rebecca, Aunt Becky, Agnes the lady upstairs from Becky’s house, set off for the final adventure. Driving past some grand scenery to reach the destination, we opted for a suitable spot to wade in. With a few personal words from my dry lips, I scattered the ash, as I thought, but the wind and tide felt different. The result was…Uncle David in powder form, swimming past me, though leaving some wrapped around my exposed legs. Aunt Becky shouting he doesn’t want to let go…. I’m thinking… it was his way of telling me; I made an arse of it.

Time and tide wait for no man… the ashes moved wind wise out to sea…. and that is where Uncle David is today…. As in life, in death, he is the man.
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peter.howden
post 18th Jan 2021, 09:19pm
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Imminent Confrontation

Due to near constant monotony plus possible need of requiring milk for the breakfast tomorrow , Herbert decided there and then to combine the two, taking a short cut to the store. Although it was a bleeding mirky afternoon, his head was in the clouds and as monotonous as the weather. Before he knew it, discovered himself ambling midway down a very narrow passage, leaving practically no room to maneuver whatsoever. Herbert has a ruling while out, to walk on the left side of the thoroughfare allowing any stranger, abiding by the rules, to pass by at the other side in safety…without contact.
.
When it happened, he can’t recall, however saw this older man heading towards his person, apparently unaware of Herbert’s presence. In a action of good manners, Herbert moved to the other side to prevent being too close, but to his amazement, this old reprobate ahead moved the same side, as if copying him…or just not caring. So promptly, Herbert returned to the left, but again this clown followed in a mimic gesture …worse still was now closer Right then, terror arose, as this bloody fool awkwardly trudged towards him…the blaggard was not wearing a bloody nose and mouth mask.

How could a member of this area community behave so utterly tranquil about the possible tragedy caused by either, a pratt with no consideration to others, or an idiotic moron dunderheed. Such people should be arrested by the police as a danger to humanity he silently thought. Furtively, Herbert held a sterner view… people who act defiantly by not obeying the government’s rules of lockdown, deserve to be horse whipped… or taste the good old-fashioned birch. There is no excuse, no excuse can there be… no compassionate get out of responsibility clause…a good official hiding would work blasted wonders.

There are too many soft in the heed soapy people, falling over themselves making pansy excuses for this inconsiderate, potential virus carrying bandits, such as unable to breathe properly…or Asthma…or a blocked up bloody nose, if only Herbert had his way! As the unwanted person moved even closer, taking a step forward, as if coming out of a dreaded dream. The very next moment, Herbert realized he was inside the small local supermarket and the offensive bloke causing all the stress, was in fact coming from a wall mirror at the corner of the shop’s counter….and the inconsiderate moron without a mask…was him!

Herbert had forgotten to put on his mask…well he said…no harm done?
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peter.howden
post 20th Jan 2021, 08:48pm
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Eye-catching

Joe believed beauty depended on in what way we define beauty for ourselves, rather than how we see it in others. He had met some lovely people, quite a few stunners as well, however, few stopped his breath, or rang soundless decibels through his mind. Entering a club full of enjoying vibrations, Joe spotted a jaw drooping sensation of feminine curves, though the florescent lighting of the time, may have had some small manner in the deception. This type of lighting was fashionable with clubs throughout the period, and popular with male members because the luminous light heightens the dresses, skirts blouses, as girls wearing white of any form.

On this occasion the dancing Madonna was wearing a tight white outfit, with an obvious living bra. In contrast, the almost jet-black rhythmic hair floated effortlessly…sporadically dropping to the full length of the back. The only weird thing about this incredible vision on high heels, not one soul was near. Joe tried to look cool, failing miserably by tripping over a hidden step, crashed onto the dance floor in an undignified manner. Meanwhile, the floating dream seemed to be concerned as Joe faked vainly the tumble was part of his dancing steps. The club’s ceiling was lower than normal, intensifying the fluorescent illuminations.

The unrehearsed jolt slightly dazed Joe’s eyesight still saw something out of place, for looking every inch feminine, but the movements were not quite right as they danced together…his was how Joe met David. At this time, David’s sexuality was in question by him and almost everyone who met him. He was genuinely a fine person, experimenting with his sexuality, having no clue where, or how to place his feelings, his attire, or his body. He was no mother’s boy but adored his mum. Even in the light of the interval he looked gorgeous. It may sound curious, they hit it off as good friends, for quite a long while before Joe lost contact .

Dressing up was his experimentation, anxious to find his niche but failed, so shortly afterwards he reverted back to almost normal gear. He then arranged for an interview in a retail shop in Trongate, Joe reckons this was a happy period in his life. He tried his hand at window-dressing but proved to be crap at the art…lacking totally of all things… imagination. He left the store though Joe kept in touch, meeting at a pub in Hope Street called the 505, notorious for being gay. Going into such a bar took bottle, as the impression that gays are easy going is far from the truth. If someone took a shine to him, they drew daggers if Joe appeared on the scene, even worse when they mistakenly fancied Joe.

David was no longer the happy baby face, for the unwanted dark experiences had hardened him, which built a barrier between him and life. He had a lover who was a bum, pardon the pun but that is exactly what this low life was. In such a impressionable state, he encountered an old queen who used, and abused him as one of those tragic victim’s .

David had drastically aged the last time Joe saw him, cynical within a craggy disapproval manner. If he had dressed in a feminine custom once again, he would be an old hag with a boil on the nose, knitting and viewing Madame Guillotine at her worse. They arranged to meet up in the’ Crystal Bells’ at Glasgow Cross, but then again David did not turn up…or Joe did not recognize him. Just now and again Joe wonder’s where he is, and if David is all right…Joe hope’s so?
-=-=-=-=
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peter.howden
post 23rd Jan 2021, 08:50am
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My Chronicles 23/01/2021

Since my last entry it seems nothing has happened under the dim vial of this dragging lockdown …yet lots have unforeseen transpired, both physically pleasant and mentally fretting. We received a phone call on Thursday evening from Aunt Becky’s home, notifying a slight incident of Becky taking a tumble while attempting to sit down. It appears she fell on her rump, fortunately bodily unhurt. We have not physically seen Aunt Becky for some 14 weeks due to lockdowns occurring, though we indeed trust their judgment, at last I have a visit on Monday 1 of the afternoon clock…fingers crossed.

I have been thinking quite a lot about Uncle David, probably because Friday was his birthday…he would have been 99 years young. In 1989, I recall David being the first visitor, when I was taken to hospital, with a broken leg. Arriving there by ambulance, feeling sorry for myself. Uncle David entered the ward with these first words; “Well…that’s your job up in the air!”. When Rebecca first introduce me to the family, he took her aside and whispered, “watch out for him, he’s tricky? ”…possibly he was right.

After all this time in vital lockdown ‘She who must be obeyed’ and I, managed reasonably well keeping sane, although I have been gruff a few times which doesn’t last long. Once or twice, I must admit being cautious when Rebecca is cleaning those sharp knives…with a far away look in her eyes. We try to have a flexible routine, breaking up cores during the day attempting to avoid the dullest telly until evening. The lockdown has demonstrated how much our abilities have altered, slowing to a easier pace. Outside activities are limited to the garden, although in this weather practically nothing, other than short bursts cleaning up, plus walking to the post box with a fantasize letter…and back again.

A growing list of people we wish to see when this virus is put to bed. So, once again, we can mingle with the outside world. I don’t believe it is original, but we intend to hold a party with immediate family, to celebrate Christmas, birthdays, everything, and anything…however being a Glaswegian Scot…. I’ll watch the pennies. I have a wish to keep company with a gentleman in Ayr, just to shoot the breeze …and the magic humour we share. Also, for Rebecca and I to make a date with the wonderful couple from Fife way? Last but not least, the Two Tops…hope eternal.
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peter.howden
post 28th Jan 2021, 08:45pm
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HOBO GO WEST.

In my varied encounters over the years, ‘Hobo’ is not the correct definition for ill-fated no fixed abode, “down and outs”… Tramps would be equally in error. Society just do not know where to place them. They are there but the general public wish they weren’t, for in a group they blot the landscape, bring down the value of the district. Individually almost invisible, not unseen, more failed being remembered, unlike Chaplin’s creation…reality is brutal. However, the bona fide adventurous ‘Gentlemen of the road’, have become unique and sadly a dying breed. Am I being an over romantic fool? … maybe.

In the far past they roamed around the rugged Scottish countryside and villages, performing odd jobs here and there, but mainly relishing their sense of freedom. In September weekend 1962, Jim and I slept on the beach at Millport, overlooking ‘The Eileans’ . The main reason was to save money for more important things rather than paying dues of the George hotel. For me, it was the first meeting with a ‘Gentleman of the road’. Where he original came from, I don’t know nevertheless spoke with a polite Gaelic tone, having just fulfilled his annual visit, drifting to pastures new in warmer climates. His traveling clothes were well worn but elegantly cut, magnified by the shadows dancing from the drift-wood fire. From out of his rucksack came a large silver flask, he offered both of us several slugs of golden water of life. We gave it laldy speaking about Glasgow, while he reminisced different regions around the highlands, and some abroad, but, it was his delightful Craic, I remember best, In the morning he express regrets in all haste, as it was imperative catching the ferry to Largs, disappearing as he came, leaving me with an prized experience.

Since 2001, until recently visiting alone various cities and towns across hypnotic France, meeting all types of quirky cadgers under the hobo banner, but less than a dozen authentic ‘Gentlemen of the road’. The train journeys across the country were just sublime for taking every chance to practicing French with inspiring travellers, who opened up once they discovered I was not English…but Scottish.

With the midi canal running through Toulouse, many vagabonds owning hungry barking dogs, squat under the numerous bridges and as far as the locals are concerned, are a blight. Some may say it takes a chancer, to spot other chancers! After a couple of days in Bordeaux, luck was on my side to encounter two harvest travellers beneath the railway bridge over the Garonne river. We spent a magic night just trying to understand each other…encouraged by more than a slight refreshment.

While in Avignon, joined up with a retired railway worker, and a season laborers taking in the air. Once they learned I was Scottish, I was immediately invited to join their company…just to shoot the breeze. It turned out the retired gentleman was planning to join up with the drifter’s career, picking up work as they went. Smashing guys but the wine was a bit heavy.

Walking along L’aude waterway Carcassonne, I came across three drinking French imitations of ‘Rab C Nesbitt’, happy as bloody Larry, with thumbs up ‘Bothers across the water’ attitude. We had attempts to effectively communicate but failed mostly except for the word, “Écosse. There and then, by wild physical gestures, they asked me for take a swally, which I regrettably turned down. They called out after me, to ask if I was a Jacobite…. doffed my cap and smiled profusely.

I was not a ‘Gentleman of the road’ in any of these visits…for I had a safety net…half way through each trip, guaranteed four odd days my washing done, good food and slight refreshments and a place to do nothing other than enjoy the marvellous company of two grand friends and their family …before flying home.
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peter.howden
post 31st Jan 2021, 02:17pm
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The tales of Hector and ‘The Bruce’ ….‘Young Ones’ Hall
Hector and ‘the Bruce’ were not actual fans of Cliff Richard, though wishing to be in Betty’s good books, they were willing to say they were. The ‘oop-a-doop’ Betty, and her pal, worked as waitresses in the Brookland Café, corner of Minard Road and Frankfort St. Betty with a hourglass figure, bright red lips, high heels wiggle sending imaginations to the roof. Both waitresses were several years older and diehard Cliff fans. Hector and ‘The Bruce’ hung out with the crowd of youngsters frequenting the café. The gang congregate in the café most nights with one coke, struggle with hormones and the adventure of life.

One night, while discussing again where to go and being blank as usual, Betty Boop, suggested a club. as she had just witnessed the “The Young Ones” film. The gang agreed as someone suggested the scout hall just past Crossmyloof ice rink, almost under the railway bridge. A couple of days later in the café the organized plan started, gaining permission and authorization for Sunday nights usage of the hall. Pat, said her dad, a director of a famous Pram builders business, would give money to set it up. This was declined, too hastily Hector thought, for the group wished to do it all by themselves. They were left in no doubt about any alcohol abuse in the clubhouse, for the Scout master would have thrown them out.

Everything went exceptionally well, and within a fortnight, the first Sunday night club. Betty and her pal Helen came to the opening. To celebrate a game called musical chairs, as couples where split off, a record was placed on an old turntable. Lights out was the signal for communal winching. Change of record change of partner until someone was fed up or some serious stiffness was taking place. Both sexes were just at the starting point about relationship, all pretty innocent, even adolescent. Now this sounds sexist or even worse however, they were just fooling around, as most of the gang were buddies rather than sexual partners. A test pad for kissing skills, perhaps?

Hector spotted Betty out of the corner of his eye, sparking a burst of wanting excitement, as she sat on his knee. He didn’t know, but boy it was something else, and then the French kissing just jumped two of the three steps to heaven. Now, just after that moment, this is where something strange happened, as he ventured forward. Hector discover Betty was wearing an all-in-one Playtex girdle. The simple reason he knew it to be a foundation garment, was the numerous adverts at the time, acting like a fort repelling any siege.

After the record finished with a scratchy ending, the next young lady approached, proving a
tad disappointment. Now you may shudder how Hector’ held this event, or take it as degrading the young woman concerned, however, I believe Hector’ would refute this as out of hand. The gang and Betty all remained good friends for a couple of sessions, but as life itself, all moved on.

The moral of the story; a surprise comes with every woman, yet… one button does not start the elevator.
-=-=-=-=-
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peter.howden
post 2nd Feb 2021, 08:31am
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My Chronicles 02/02/2021

My close friend for 35 years, was a welcoming drifting humourist haze, enhancing a sunny morning…now unable to return. Over many years, he suffered from Parkinson Disease, which with his usual whimsy said, “I knew I had Parkinson disease…I kept interviewing people!”. Later the naughty Alzheimer illness took hold, added to his severe ailments, complicating his medical choices. Sadly, on Sunday evening, he died in a nursing care home.

Wee Dom (Dominic) walked into the Turkish baths in Pollockshaws in 1986, and my life. From then on, he was the real reason the original ‘Benghazi Mice’ was born. Dom’s stated, he wish to hire a ghost-writer for his memoirs in the W.A.Fs…being discharged because his seams of his tights where not straight? The ‘Benghazi Mice’…roughly 12 mixed walks of lives who were Saturday morning regulars of Pollockshaws Turkish Baths. As the attendant running the suite as a popular club, I was the common denominator, and our nights out fell into the class of legendary…or so. It was amazing how quickly disregarded their employed personas during such revelries.

Being a natural, quick firing comedian owning a mental nest bursting out with one-liners, while possessing a contagious laugh….Dom had a magical mixture. As an incredibly young lad, he was an innocent bell boy working in the Central Hotel. A special moment was, being chosen to presenting Prince’s Margaret with a bouquet. Another extraordinary memory was Laurel and Hardy, and Dom delivering a letter to their hotel door. For this he received a fortune in those days, a pound note. As he grew older, he became a smart winger for many amateur leagues teams, even sought after to turn professional by Stirling Albion…however his father forbad it. Dom never held a grudge for this, any other thing throughout his life.

At one of the ‘Do’s’ for the ‘Benghazi Mice’, a professional comedian was hired for a half an hour stunt. Later on, Dom stood up, cracked jokes for some 20 minutes…he was head and shoulders better than the engaged comedian.

With Parkinson’s Disease taking a nasty hold…is other quip was…”great for foreplay” …he was a funny and lovely man…
-=-=-=-=-=-=
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peter.howden
post 4th Feb 2021, 07:34pm
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PEE WEE

Pee Wee is thee pigeon for Glesga, possessing amazing stature, not a pair of cowboy boots of the same name rooted in the American west folklore. He’s no stool pigeon, though he does give advice, certainly not related to the old silver screen Walter Pigeon, nor any kind of sucker, but a very extra unique pigeon. Being able to discuss with any bird is a boon, but above all, he can converse to the chosen spokesperson of Glesga, in the shape of ‘The Lord Provost’. This dates back to the final dark ages, where all magic was possible, and most plausible. The mere suggestion the present lord provost would take advice from a bird, will not raise many eyebrows however…how a pigeon could comprehend political dealings may stretch the art of belief.

Pee-Wee’s saga spells way back, to times when hours did not pass without counting the grains of sand . The moon was a minor idol, gazed on by worried eyes, all lips frantically praying the almighty Sun would deem returning the precious light of life. The Pine tree was the root, and guide, between the worlds known and witnessed. Mystery and magic persisted in infancy, where and when anything could happen, and often did, to the utter amazement of the young populous.
These facts places Pee-Wee entirely beyond the ordinary pigeon in Glasgow’s famous George Square. He was, has, and always been since memory remembered, ‘Thee’ number one guardian of all protocol within the boundaries of Glasgow now Greater than before...

Pee Wee is not merely magical, yet has boundless magic about him and around him, beyond any human imagination. This enables my feathered friend, to do things out of reach of the entire worldwide birds. His life span knows no bounds, his memory of the past is razor sharp, while down through history, each Lord Provost would not only rely on him but depended on him utterly. From John Stewart, through the reformation and its aftermath, so appointing the Lord Provosts, to this very day. . Where he came from is in the unwritten scrolls of legends of Pee-Wee. The only hint is, the preliminary Lord Provost had a nodding acquaintance at first, but because of “the incident”… became a total admirer

Pee-Wee has, and always had, at his disposal, the means to keep all other birds in check regardless of their rank or size. From swifts to the bully magpies, Pee Wee’s call was law, obeyed even by his mischief cousins, the street pigeons, for under their feathers they respected Pee Wee, for in more than one occasion needed his protection.

Magpies, like all bullies always picked fights with street pigeons, as easy meat but think twice, or even more, about tackling a wizard of a pigeon as Pee Wee. Once defied, then scuttled, they didn’t dare. In short Pee Wee is the super birdie in the skies. His patrol of George Square is recent as the Grand City Chambers was only built in 1888. His loyalty to Glasgow is undying timelessly true. .

There is one other privilege person who has Pee-Wee’s trust… and valued communication. While walking along the sand dunes between Saltcoats and Stevenson., just after visiting the local pubs in Saltcoats. Having an apt to stop for a breather, perhaps pampering myself with a slug or two of the ‘Water of life’ from Uncle David’s silver flask. Out of nowhere Pee-Wee appears, as this is the location, he prefers to indulge, when taking a holiday.
More tales may come.
-=-=-=
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peter.howden
post 7th Feb 2021, 08:29pm
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Mary and Trevor

Mary and Trevor met up by accident simply because their train connections had been altered. They would admit themselves being quite marginally over teenage years, as they sat patiently on the station bench, however, partial glances caused deep inexperienced passions to rise from within them equally. The hustle and bustle clatter of the railway station rendered it almost impossible to talk, yet through it all they exchanged their cards business-people have a habit in acting. It was not long before they phoned each other regularly, although neither would admit who phoned first after their initial meeting. Mary, a successful salesperson for her father’s company, while Trevor being a well sought-after private mediator of problems between rival companies. The fundamental question… when, and where the twain would meet .

This didn’t help the innate lovers restraints while apart, so, when they did manage their brief get-togetherness, it fashioned into temptations sensual explosions of two full pressured locomotives detonating way over the moon. Then in exhaustion, the peaceful solace aftermath in each other’s arms before returning to a hectic very separate timetable. Setting up home together, was now the obvious choice for true love running smoothly, but also in using precious times allocated by their separate timetables of essential.

Trevor struck on the idea of leaving each other secret notes for when the other coming home after work. Written headline capital letter name, if the sleeper wished an amorous hello awaking….small scribbles if they were too tired to be aroused. Right from the start, it was a obvious boon both in mating and timetable. Alas…as time progressed the neat notes changed from always capital names …to more habitually small scribbles. In a little matter of time, the female of the partnership ultimately left an correspondence with one phrase emphasized in large capitals …’DO NOT DISTURB EVER AGAIN’ .

Their schedules never met again… The moral being… there’s more to moulding a nest than meets the eye…or any other private part?
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peter.howden
post 10th Feb 2021, 09:38am
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The expedition


With a margin of trepidation Stanley takes a step into uncertainty, a dark trek accomplished before, although his age was against these sorts of sinister trials. Ahead lay traces of furtive movements, frolicking in between the layers of obscurity, he was unable to fathom with such blurry eyes. Perhaps, Stanley thought whatever lay beyond in the heat of the night, was indeed way far outside human anticipation. With a parched throat, he had no choice, this journey had to be made …wherever he was prodding, he had nudged before, yet…an unawareness loomed in each eerie vibration eeking out from the punctured gloom.

Carefully as possible he slipped out of the first access, then faltered, unable to grasp where the next safe step could be taken into the darkness. Out of nowhere, a creepy sound vibrated throughout the denseness, making it difficult to find the source. There! a dim light flickered, from over there…but there couldn’t be…or there shouldn’t be? Somewhat on the alert, gawking in clammy apprehension, all around his person as if to feel his way…moved slowly forward again.

Several cagey steps onward, Stanley became more secure believing he knew exactly where he was. Unfortunately, he then stumble over an unknown thing on the floor, simultaneously, hearing a explainable thumping from way down below…he froze. How long he stood there was way beyond his comprehension, in a time warp abyss .

The original necessity of his initial quest overtook the imaginations within his now confused mind, force Stanley to go…where no man had gone before. Almost at the speed of light he passed over the landing…entered the access ahead in desperation…and finally …managed his midnight glorified, life as we know it Jim… An out of the world sensational pee….
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peter.howden
post 11th Feb 2021, 08:19pm
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My Chronicles 11/02/2021

Thee blue plates


In our home lives quite an assortment of crockery , both odd pieces of earthenware and porcelain China, but mostly unadorned white tableware, however varied usage throughout the gathering years has taken its toll, leaving pieces missing from a whole dining set. We have, to us, some special pieces mixed in with plain whites… two cups, saucers, tea, and dinner plates. Tunstall Staffordshire, "Sunday Morning” ware; cast away gifts in 92, from Dom and Janet. Then two Churchill, ‘Blue Willow’ Chinese pattern dinner plates, purchased from Paddy’s market, all used regularly, then washed, dried with care.

As for the ‘Blue Willow’, it reminds me how a set was in the kitchen, to grace the table of 8 Gorbals St . My brother taught me the legend of the famous Porcelain… “Tso Ling was the father of a beautiful girl, Kwang-se, who was the promised bride of an old but wealthy merchant. The girl, however, fell in love with Chang, her father's clerk. The lovers eloped across the sea to the cottage on the island”. All above tableware are very special ,top of the crockery are… three straightforward dark blue earthenware table plates. They have been part of the table service since way back, when all the family called to have tea. Toni and Fergus, Chris and Nicky, and the young grandchildren.

From the time when Toni died 2011, Fergus, Chris and later Kirsti, Nikki and Simon, Lauren, Andrew, and Emma, all met up on every Saturday, for Rebecca’s home-made scones, tea and other beverages, continuous talking, and magic craic around the old kitchen table, right through until the serious lockdown last 23 March. Some months ago… I thought one of these treasured plates had been lost of broken, however thankfully it was just my memory had forgotten where I’d put it.

For me, these simple plain dark blue plates are irreplaceable…my fingers crossed, they will be used properly for the family…once again…soon.
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peter.howden
post 15th Feb 2021, 11:10am
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lost password...but seem to be back on track [size="5"][/size]
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