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Last 10 Posts [ In reverse order ]
peter.howden Posted Y'day, 09:59am
  CATERPILLAR ; The Ending

Between 61/62, Benn’ took on board, the complete American ideology, simply work hard and succeed in personal achievement, being well paid as an extra snip, over the time hired, however, sadly, he developed abscess swelling, a form of atopic dermatitis, due to the cooling oils running constantly drained in working machines within the plant. A job was allowed, as a clerk, in the massive office with endless row after row of desks (comparable to the office in the film ‘The apartment’ he had seen). Instead, Benn took a payoff. but wondered if he had chosen prudently.

He had enjoyed almost all facets, other than the 6 weeks strike, which he could not make head nor tail what caused the disruption. After the all clear, several seemingly unnecessary strikes took place, including one over an unofficial tea break. A multi-drill operator left his auto- system running, to scamper through three lines, for another tea from the trolley lady. He was chastised by the line supervisor, the Shop steward ordered ‘Tools Down’… and a walk out.

Yet, well hidden in Caterpillar doctrine, was a militia clause,aimed to control workers obedience.

Regrettably, in the plant, the shop stewards, not the union, dictated, their own unyielding principles…over harshly, now irritated the workforce, packed in a ‘V’ tapered labour hall, was seemingly a simple strategy where only a few hardy union men heard the actual grievance …and voted with a show of hands…starting many a Mexican strike wave throughout the early 60s

The aftermath was not a question of who was right, but both sides were in the wrong, to allow such a trivial case to deteriorate to far…depriving everyone. It was one of the best raw education young Benn experienced…for no matter what the play is about, or who wrote it, in the end, it depends how its dictated… and whose interpretation of the script is applied.

It would be speculating… if this was when young Benn decided to pleuch his own furrow, no matter where, or his involvement, would be slightly pretentious, however… where, or when he developed his kangaroo mind…is more than another event
-=-=-=-
peter.howden Posted 19th Oct 2019, 10:09am
  EVENT 39


CATERPILLAR….The start, almost


Mention the word, ‘Caterpillar’ and the reaction you will achieve, depends in what part of the world you happen to be, and in whose company, you are keeping. To most children caterpillars are the squiggle things, magnified in David Attenborough wonders of the world, though rarely noticed in life

For teenagers and swingers, a form of footwear much sought after, and in high cost bracket. To some tribes around the world, an essential means of protein, in our stiffly opinion, a stale diet. In China, the mere uttering of such a word, would set in motion a dish to eat, most likely raw…as an instant restaurant would appear in the street.

In the early 60’s, young Benn was employed as an apprentice tool investigator, in Caterpillar Tractors, at Tannochside plant, the largest single construction under one roof in Europe. It took ten minutes to reach the time clocks, and another five to your place of work, regardless what, or wrere it was.

The wages for any manual or semiskilled workers was far above any firm in Scotland at the time, including Rolls Royce and Hoover and the like. A scheme to slightly pay extra taxes per week, meant holiday pay at the Glasgow Fair, issued three weeks’ pay, without any reductions…and wow what a difference that made. Each person walked out the main gate on fair Friday as a mini millionaire. Unknown by Benn, a drawback was, any certificate earned and achieved, was not acceptable in British qualifications

The conditions for working were first class, health & Safety, plus the canteen was extremely cheap, hot food instantly ready as you strolled in the door, anywhere between 24 hours. The safety angle made it mandate, for everyone working or visiting, to wear protective glasses on the factory floor, plus wear Caterpillar, toe protecting shoes or boots. The factory joke for new guys was; “down lane 10, the guy with the glasses!”.

Surnames were abolished, first names only in the whole factory, as if to make it one class workforce… but never quite achieved, for it debating with boss’s, the tone was deeper…and with respect. The night shift was Benn’s preference with extra allowance for 4 nights, with gaffers being few and far between. As far as labour went, no breaking sweat, but the rewards could not be equaled by any other firm in Scotland at that time.

His duty was, ambling through all the productive lines, such as incredible lathes, massive multi drills, milling, sheet metal, all working constantly, even when shifts were exchanging. If a job halted because of tool fatigue, or unknown failure, Benn was supposed to be able to work out why, and redesign these said tools, having someone else test them, then returned to the said machine to continue production.

Benn was such a vital cog in the whole works, almost indispensable, yet… on one Monday shift, after an all weekend party in Clarkston, he fell fast asleep… right on the work’s loo… for four bum sore hours… no one noticed. The aftermath …were piled on his problems.


Final…The ending of such employment
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peter.howden Posted 16th Oct 2019, 03:06pm
  My Chronicles 16/10/2019…

Although both of us have been having slight problems with the dreaded ‘Cold,’ repeatedly revealingly its naughty bugs with a vengeance, ‘She who must be obeyed’, had the audacity, to diagnose herself, as having man-flu. I did warn her. If this was indeed true…she would be unquestionably locked away for her own protection, in fear of contamination. Also, many a brave man has fought against this awful affliction…without a murmur, or complaint…and finally…be cautious with such teasing…it could come true.

Yesterday, not fully recovered at all, I probably unwisely took the train to Ayr, but, traveling down to the seaside town is always full of adventure with changing countryside, in all weathers, what I might see, to whom I grab the chance to talk with., and my rendezvous with a auld China’, Jim Hendry. We are chalk & cheese, Jim, dog-toothed labour campaigner form time immortal…me, the wandering dolt…but the banter matches the best in the land.

One thing is obvious, I cant handle the refreshments like we both did at one time. If I have even one over the top, I’m sleepy, even droopy going home. The 2 ½ journey by train and bus is no fun…but an unwanted arduous tribulation. Nothing worse than a pissed old man…so even with Jim being an auld Scottish traditionalist (buying round for round) …visits are 3 beers from now on.

Luck this year has been my driving to Alloa, several times, to meet a charming young lady, her partner and the voluntary art projects, plus community housing. The views are spectacular, transformations with all conditions, even in one journey. It blows my mind. However, apart from spot on company, I have alterative reasons, Alloa’s first class butcher and their wide range of products.

Aunt Becky’s new home is surround by a profusion of waterways and magnificent country visions, although it will be next week before we venture into unknown territory, armed with Scottish music blaring out the old jalopy
.
Tonight, is the night Rebecca and I have a Anniversary dinner with two delightful people… bloody magic
peter.howden Posted 13th Oct 2019, 03:28pm
 
The facts;

In 1968, the population of a Greater Metropolis of this narrative, was 1,209,143, each individual had a tale. Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to read is true, only the names, and locations, have been changed to protect the main character… one chancer.

" Just the facts, ma'am "

Due to his occupation at the time, the chancer used a shortcut between two community boundaries, a sizeable strip of land, known locally as the ‘Moles Mire’. Hidden from public view from the main road, existed an oasis of trees, and bushes, in this desolate terrain, giving temporary secret campsites for ‘Shelta’ talking gypsies.

The main character, an amiable soul while passing the travellers site, stopping to conversed as best he could. The nomads were extremely gracious, totally squashing their ill-gotten mischievous reputation. At the furthest end of the mire, stood an auld sawdust pub. One very hot day, making his way to the other side, the chancer almost passing the tavern, dropped in for a slight refreshment.

Approaching the bar, observing the place was nigh empty, except one individual at the counter. Being of a free will affable nature, the character, using Scottish banter, engage with the stranger. Within a short time, the repartee was like a house on fire, with the stranger explaining he had just been demobbed from the S.A.S. Heading for the manky loo, the listener found the tale hard to swallow, yet, he was going to leave...so why cause problems.

Returning to the company to say bye, suddenly the stranger’s face changed into apparent anger, then produced a real firearm, and in a terrifying manner, poked the barrel of the gun into the chancer’s ribs, pushing him out the pub’s door.

Not another word was spoken, however, fear of his intentions, the chacner’s sweat turn cold. The pistol forcefully moved both of them into the isolated shortcut territory. What fate had instore was unknown…but undoubtedly grim, being threated beyond belief…not to turn his head.


Suddenly a shout, almost audible, came out from the abyss…then again, but, much…much louder, as the chancer’s name rang through the air. This gave him courage to turn around …then to see the gun offender fleeing from the scene, and a welcoming gypsy friend running down towards him…was this fate…who knows…but it was unquestionably…real keech time.
peter.howden Posted 6th Oct 2019, 10:16am
  My Chronicles 06/10/2019…

Rebecca and I, are so grateful, for all the smashing cards, Phone-calls we received…thank you all


Rebecca and I, decided quite a while ago, having our 50th celebration with our family, Chris, Kirstie, Nikki, Simon, Fergus, Lauren, Josh, Andrew and partner…last, but not least Emma, in a Greek, Italian restaurant. The evening was an intimate affair, parallel to Saturday’s kitchen table, but with no dishes to do. The family surprised we two, with tickets to a ‘rare tear’, on 25th November at Musselburgh racecourse, plus fish & chips supplied, then off to a fancy hotel (complete with hot tub) for two days, to revive… or regain breath. We received other personal gifts, which we will cherish

‘She who must be obeyed’, and I, have another date, with special company, on the 16th of October, for a slap-up meal. During October/ November, we will plan, with several very close friends, when and where the opportunities arrives, for both parties. Early next spring, our intentions are to visit the wider family members who live down south, and Jersey.

Today Rebecca is flat-out in bed, suffering with a long linger flue/cold symptoms, but also a shivering fever. We both had indications of heavy colds over the last week or so, but nothing would prevent missing the big event.

Monday, when leaving her brand-new home, walking Aunt Becky to the car, stopping at the one and only step in the courtyard. Slowly Becky moved, somehow lost balance, seemingly in slow motion, turning away her body, to land on her bum, then flat out. Lucky for us, security cameras are all around. Two members of staff rushed to her aid, checking if any injuries had occurred, especially her head…gratefully no. Aunt Becky’s only complaint was her arse was freezing.

I checked each day, she is O.K. Today is her flue jag. From now on, I will make sure, we have an escort…to and from the car.
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peter.howden Posted 2nd Oct 2019, 10:22am
  PEEWEE’S LAST PARIS;

This encounter with Peewee was no different from previous meetings, although unexpected, this was early October, chilly winds kept the locals of Saltcoats wisely indoors. On the other hand, I left the warmth of a delightful inn, as a challenge against nature’s impatience, wobbling along the shore, before taking a respite in the shelter of the dunes. Removing Uncle David’s silver flask from my inner pocket, a few generous sips past my lips before becoming aware of my feather-friend’s company.

As you may be aware, Pee-Wee has more than a tint of magic about him, vital while protecting the ‘Lord Provost of Glasgow’, and all previous Provosts, since the dark unwritten scrolls of the mysterious middle ages. Firstly, Richard De Dunidovis, followed by John Stewart, the original named ‘First Provost’, and his regrettable misplaced…Incident?

Over the centuries. under the political banner of the Auld Alliance, Pee-Wee made many trips during war and peace, particularly throughout the terrible times Madame Guillotine ruled, with the old hags and their needles of knitting revolution in those chilling years. Peewee recalled visiting a valiant Scot mercenary soldier from Glasgow, who saved France in the Italian Campaign, becoming a French nation’s hero… to this very date.

After the customary warm-hearted greetings lifelong friends do, a rather subdued Peewee explained, his latter trip to France’s capital may be his last, due to the crazy political ether, here in U.K. We Scots, having a cantankerous history of being argie-bargie creating treaties…however…once made…our word was our bond.

Peewee looked despondent, saying, regardless what other nations do, how could he tell the French people, and Europe’s population, we will not honour our agreement.

Taking a sneaky sip, from Uncle David’s flask…turned around…Peewee was gone…fingers crossed we will meet again
-=-=-=-=-
peter.howden Posted 29th Sep 2019, 10:14am
  Acting Snobs

“I can’t believe it!…it’s an outrage to be treated this way, a guest of my calibre, who in stately homes has mixed in high society, brushed against royalty dynasties throughout this fair land… and further afield I may add!”, bellowed such an angry voice, which mercilessly continued, “Is this some sort tragic wheeze, a bizarre joke, cruel revenge of a spiteful insignificant acquaintance ?”, said the haughtily voice, with just a tinge of venom.

“I agree with you dear”, a gentler feminine voice, then hesitantly adding, “Though sometimes, just now and then in the past, you’ve lost your head in the heat of the night, almost scaring me out of my wits!”, spoke the female colleague, “still sweet, but with more emphasis, “it’s not right, so there”,

The male took little notice, continued his rant, “ For yonks, I’ve tread the boards of the great empire theatres in this land, and no stranger abroad on occasions, with comical plays, and tragic performances, as me, yes me as the main theme, including Shakespeare and the gifted Scottish Bard from Ayrshire”, the snooty voice ran out of breath, then faded.
“Should we not attempt to make the best of it, even though fate has cast us so?,” quietly but more firm than before, came the dainty tone of voice. “We have been together for such a long time…ever since the incident…you know?”, abruptly stopping her, with a almighty outburst; “be quiet!”

Silence fell, until a quieter, but still gruff voice addressed, “Sorry …its just here, once proudly possessing a country high society grand house, on a hill overlooking roaming countryside, belonging to the ‘Bishop of Glasgow’, was when I began travelling from place to place , but this puny, so called residence, is harshly unimportant, no space to be flamboyant, no hide hole to prepare” spoke the male voice…almost in tears.

‘Suddenly, with resolute firmness, he added, “we will go on strike…tell the guild we refuse to give nightly performances here”. “Now, let us both fly off, confront the union, demanding better conditions, and total respect for our art!

The inhabitants of 12 Calvay Place, Barlanark, were tucked up cosily in bed, fast asleep, oblivious to the fact, two such phantoms had visited their home
-=-=-=-=
peter.howden Posted 25th Sep 2019, 10:00am
 
My Chronicles 25/09/2019…

It was deliberate not to see Aunt Becky for quite a while, allowing her, and the staff, time to settling in their daily routine after moving to a brand newly built expansive home. The actual shifting date for Becky, changed a few times, due to rearranging essential works completed by ‘City Building’. Some two weeks ago, took advantage of the invitation given to have a saunter around this spacious establishment, proved to be impressive, where Becky and her cronies will spend most of their time.

Becky’s in room 13, overlooking what will turn out to be a pleasant variety of flowers and trees. All the mod cons, including a massive screen attached to the wall facing the bed. This means when the Proms are on late of an evening, the carer can switch it on, allowing Becky to enjoy all her music in privacy. I certainly believe, that although the premises are important, it is the staff personal abilities which counts in such homes. The plan is for tomorrow, to take Aunt Becky for a new route hurl… heading for the beloved hills.

Glasgow’s city centre has changed considerably, with only a few landmarks which reminds a simple mind of many a happy encounter. The new one yesterday was meeting up with Salty, for a jar or two, although the final ‘Alcohol Chess’ challenge is still to be determined. Retiring from the sea next month, he is always good company, however my ability to stay sober is more than wobbly. Salty is planning to renovate his cabin, so with luck we may hold the ultimate game then.

I often rambled around my brain, chiefly when I was younger, who, what, why and how are we on this earth…the theories where wild , many of them stolen from others, books, even comics, but still didn’t managed to get my head to quite work it out. Is there a thing called love…or is this just a gift-wrapped excuse, to blindly follow so called mother nature… copulate to populate?

All I know is, ‘She who must be obeyed’ and I, have a bond…that no known words can analyse…50 years wedding anniversary ….and it is not long now for the family’s celebrations
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peter.howden Posted 22nd Sep 2019, 11:34am
  A VISIT TO ABERDEEN

A visit to Aberdeen proved splendid, though unnerving cold winds blew wildly across the Granite City’s beach, near Queens links, as the North Sea roared across virgin sands. Meanwhile, snug folks in the hotel’s bar, were paying extortionate prices for wee 5th of a gill measures of, “The Water of Life”, Scotland’s national drink.

Unwilling to pay the extra coins, I crept away from all the hubbub, entered my room with great expectations, finding Uncle David’s bequeathed silver flask, now filled with Highland Park Valkyrie single malt, worth many a bawbee. The heirloom carrying the precious cargo was swiftly found.

Prudently twitching the lid anticlockwise, which led to the golden nectar inside, aspirations were at fever pitch, my wants were truly wanting, as the screw became looser and looser, until free completely. Instead of pouring it into the alternative drinking vessel, I decided to slug it straight from the lovely silver neck.

The taste of paradise just passes my lips, slowly the golden liquid to be nurtured onto the roof of my anticipating mouth, and… shit, it was putrid. I rushed to spit this dire solution free of my mouth. Luckily a makeshift quaich was close at hand and the whole amount fell. This foreign fluid was green in colour.

Then I recalled I had used dental Steradent active false teeth cleaner, to deep clean my treasure flask last time in use.

Tragically and obviously, I had forgotten to empty this vile stuff.
peter.howden Posted 20th Sep 2019, 11:04am
  More news from the village of Dreimire

The reputed author, learnt to scribble before learning to read, which became confusing because he could not cypher anything he accidently wrote. Now remember; what is seen in these said scribbles, not for the intellectually minded, only in the imagination of the reader of words….

Dreimire, as with all growing metropolises, there is a portion of dog fouling, mainly in the park, that proudly takes the name of the founder of Dreimire, Sir MacMount,

It is obvious this cannot be allowed to continue, for as well other dog fouling occasionally laid in the village lanes, this had been solved, not indeed to be swept under the carpet, as some other skulduggery regions do. When an offensive toley was discovered, operation ‘Cinderella was put into practice’. The dislocated dog toley was placed on a red cushion, scrutinized and measured, then frozen. Every dog from every knock and cranny in the district, physically checked for fit. Whines, moaning… and again bulging eyes, where present when the discipline was taking place.

No bum was left unturned, no hurdies to low. Once ownership was established, by process of elimination, an appropriate fine was made to pay, together with a severe handling charge imposed, also, the price of a new pair of gloves. The humiliation did the rest…illegal dog pooing was wiped out, in a single chilled stroke

Also, within the famous park, Sir MacMount, a competitive, activity between dogs and their owners, some may even see it as sport. Dogs crouching down, in deep concentration, waiting for their balls to be flung. all dogs are busy chasing bouncers from one corner to the next

The dilemma is, some enthusiastic mutts are tripping up other dogs, just to get their balls, long after the fetch whistle has been blown. They seem bent not to understanding the offside rule. One owner chucked a Chihuahua’s (nicknamed Techichis) in an effort to foul the other owner. Several dog lovers believe the reason why Chihuahuas have bulging eyes, is this very fear of being tossed onto the pitch, while kilts are dangerously swaying above, revealing all… in such a limited space.

After diligent research, this is not the case. They were used as ceremonial sacrifices by the Aztecs and the Toltec’s. Now, if you were the smallest dog in the world, and a dirty great Teuchter came up to you for such a ceremony, then your eyes would bulge as well.

It is rumoured, the first rugby teams formed in Dreimire village, the packs decided to practice unseen in the scrum, not with the oval ball, but with Chihuahuas…much more cuddly
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