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

Super Lord Provost
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Joined: 21st Oct 2005
From: /Glasgow
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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 Y'day, 09:46pm
Post #452

Super Lord Provost
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Posts: 487
Joined: 21st Oct 2005
From: /Glasgow
Member No.: 2,485
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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