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> Home Made Tales, The journey
peter.howden
post 6th Jul 2018, 08:23am
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ANIMAL VOTE

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

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

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

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

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

She stated as she blinked her eyes,
Those politicians do nothing but lies,
Rodger disagreed with those ties,
Raised glass of wine, “here’s mud,” he sighs
;
The cat Dobby Malone, been quiet through that,
Silently had been squatted on his mat,
Gave his opinion as he rose from where he sat,
Strolled over and pissed all over Father’s hat.
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peter.howden
post 6th Jul 2018, 02:16pm
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Dear Diary; 06/07/2018;

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

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

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

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

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

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

We will share the delights but how come so? Will we cut it in equality half …? or will we be more daring and passionate, by sucking it to and fro, through French kissing? If the latter is palatable… then how do, we keep the strawberry in cream?
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peter.howden
post 8th Jul 2018, 07:32pm
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Forlorn;

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Within a heartbeat some other poor lost soul in accommodated in Kate’s old dodgy flat
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peter.howden
post 9th Jul 2018, 07:41pm
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Foretastes of a 60s adolescent

Local

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roughly around that time, partaking some bike movies, including ‘Teenage Devil Dolls One-Way Ticket to Hell’, and the famous; ‘The Wild One’…which influenced me to be involved with the motor bike circle. For a bet I took, I experienced and a nerve-racking, back pillion ride on a Triumph TR5-Trophy, hitting 100 M.P.H streaking up Parliamentary Road.
The meeting place café was at the corner of Calder St and Pollokshaws Road, the name escapes me now… but the sight of around forty leather jerkin clad blokes, yet only three or so bikes outside parked in the street, will never leave me. Later I owned an old banged up Triumph, we were not quite ‘Marlon Brando’ studs, or even his weak sidekicks… but boy… we wanted to be so much!
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peter.howden
post 15th Jul 2018, 07:50am
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My Chronicles 15/07//2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Uncommonly; I was speechless… I would like to gratefully thank the E.V.H organization, for such a considerate gesture… for me… the mere attention associated with giving such an honour, is an award equal to the now treasured mementos…now this did blow my mind.
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peter.howden
post 23rd Jul 2018, 06:17pm
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Second Holiday on the Loch;

My Family consisting of ‘She who must be obeyed’, and I, plus Toni, Chris, Nikki, all under the age of 6, resided in Glasgow’s, Easterhouse estate, in many ways mistakenly perceived as a notorious housing scheme. Money was scares, making any holiday rather limited, however owing to the amazing success the of 76 raw camping expeditions to Loch Lomond, we decided to repeat the adventurous excursion the following holiday… with a few additions…one being ‘The Voice’… the other was totty Brian…son of wee Brian

‘The voice’ was my nickname for Nancy, for tiny, down to earth mother-in-law, who was not averse to multi-coloured language when her dander as up…or down, come to think of it. She is a much-missed matriarch. Wee Brian, a work’s pal. Whose son, totty Brian was the most accident-prone kid we have ever met, Somehow, on a drizzly morning, both came to join us, for the start of our marathon expedition. Their input to the tale is moderately short… but crucial to our wellbeing

From Easterhouse railway station we could travel direct to Balloch, situated at the beginning of world famous Loch Lomond. Having good cheap family travel tickets from Strathclyde Transport, no changing in the middle or on to another train or additional transport, just straight through, offering us a highway to trek further with monies available. The previous glorious year, on the road to Luss, we camped secluded, just off at one side of an old bridge, arched over a burn,

Our only obstacle was from our house to the station was a mile, and the distance from Balloch to the ancient bridge being three and a bit mile… which was some effort when having young children and a very weighty canvas tent, plus equipment, borrowed from Uncle David an Aunt Becky Donnelly.

At this stage, it may be better to point out, our wains fondness for Granny was not exactly true…closer to the mark would be an awareness of tension, following anxiety, when she was around in case one or all three would be bundled home to stay the night with her, for she shouted a lot. When our kinds grew older their affections changed… but at this early age…. worry wavering was closer.

Setting off with a merry heigh ho’ for a brand-new adventure, even in the drizzly weather, trekking the half hour to our local station with the tent only falling off the wheels, twice. Having reached the loch-end, alighting from the locomotive, as dark heavy clouds moulded into a posse with vengeful …spitting sinister malevolent spirits swarmed above

This is not to say our spirits were dampened, or spirited away, as we prepare to embark on the final trek for the comfort of our own made camp… but Nancy needed a wee woodbine” before we stepped out of the station... This was normal for my mother-in-law, I knew she constantly smoked “woodbine”, the strongest cigarettes for its size, morning, noon, and night.

The small party continued, slow though it be, with the kids staying out of swiping distance from Granny, but not enough to get lost, as the cauld wet drizzle was seeping through our protective garments. Wee Brain’s son starting to wail worse than my mother in law, while poor Rebecca trying to boost everyone’s spirit by repeating “not long now” when in truth, she had no clue to where and how far “not long now” was.

We reach the old bridge, climbing over a dilapidated wire fence and trudging over a newly turned field we were at the burn, or running brook called by the true English, directly beside the stone support arch, in no time what so ever at all we had the tent up, a hot drink made with the help of a gas camping cooker placed under the bridge for safety reasons and all pally asses and kit and sleeping bags ready for all us exhausted bodies.

We had our Ps and Qs, washed our hands creped in and settled down for the night. It was cosy with all these different sizes of bodies squeezing in every nock and cranny taking ever available space allowed within …so with contented sounds I started to drift oft

I do not know how long it was, but I awoke with something wavering over my head and noise of heavy rain blending, overriding the sound of rushing water from the burn, and a craggy voice moaning over and over” Christ that’s all we need” …. while the source of the voice poked the canvas tent, affirming….’the f---ing rain is coming in’

The final episode…. The finger of destruction
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peter.howden
post 30th Jul 2018, 05:57pm
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Second Holiday on the Loch;(2)

Being abruptly awakened in pitch-black strange surroundings, sensing foreign odd combination of aromas circulating within confined space, and a vague object swaying object above my drowsy head, made my reactions rather sluggish …trying to focus under the circumstances until I grasped where… and who… this stramsash was coming from.

Fumbling around for the trusty battery torch, then shinning it in the direction of the stooshie, revealing a ragged grey-haired Nancy…having jitters, but worse…far worse… she was poking ‘willy nilly’ the canvas above… with a probing finger. With every prod, the voice sobbingly croaked, ‘and its f—ing coming in here’, as more than a trickle of water invaded the sanctuary of our canvas covering retreat.

There was no time for words to Nancy… other than, ‘Please refrain from doing that’ but in an excited colourful Glaswegian tongue, then an emergency dash out of the tent clutching the week’s ration of sugar, in a vain attempt to seal up the already seeping areas. How successful I was I can not recall but early next morning is much clearer.

If the torch light had done no favours about Nancy’s panic appearance, the morning sunshine emphisised the old haggard witch image, with all her sorcery painfully removed…without consent. Now sitting on a log, crumpled up, blood drained from her face, puffing continuously from her wee woodbine’s. Every movement, every cough, every sputter, told the tale of an old lady who aged dramatically overnight.

One thing, both Rebecca and I agreed on…she would not survive a week camping. Another thing we knew her obstinacy would not allow her to give in.

Another camper was not in good spirits and this was toty Brain. During his brief stay he had manage to spill a plate of milk and cornflakes into his bag of cloths, tripped over the guy ropes of the tent…twice…fell in the burn…twice… and stood on a country pancake, just the once, but walked through the tent with the remains stuck to his sannies. I cannot recall who had the idea, but it solved two difficulties…with ease.

We asked Nancy if she would do us a favour and take toty Brian home as we were concerned for his safety…as he was ill-fated…at best. Within ten minutes she was packed and frog marching the unwilling toty Brian across the field to the road as the hourly bus was due anytime.

We silly five stayed there for ten more rainy days, with it only halting on the morning we were leaving. The highlight of each day was the duck family making there way down to the loch around about 6 in the morning…and returning 6 in the evening…with not one single quack between them.

Like many things which happens, everything came all right in the end, with one fact resulting from the experience…although Nancy came on our holidays regular through her life, she never came camping with us again. There is more to tell of this particular event but another time, for even after all this time, it plays funny recalling it...
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peter.howden
post 5th Aug 2018, 12:52pm
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MIRRORS;

‘Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?’…While the law of mirrors develops, they don’t always reflect truly what’s in front of them. Looking in the looking glass, hoping youth will sparkle, seeping through the bevel of the reflector, but truth be known; on certain occasions, a stranger has invaded individual privacy, by taking my place… with eyes squeezed in startled misbelief…staring straight at me. If they existed, any magic mirror will never answer my request with, “you are fairest in the land”.

Good looks aren’t everything, though I suspect most of us hanker for them. I am of the belief the people we accept as being “ideal profile”, have their doubts and wanting’s. Part of Robert Burns quote “O wad some power that giftie gie us; to see oursels as others see us”. This ability I certainly do not wish for…I have enough problems accepting my profile, without bringing this wise scenario into play.

It appears to me…different mirrors give off diverse reflections, or perhaps alters the image because they are having an off day. Maybe, just maybe…the shaving mirrors throughout the land, are having a global day off, leaving a standard reaction, or predetermined proportions displayed in front of the polished surface. Whatever the reason… it changes my features quite dramatically and alarmingly.

The visual echo appears to choose when it will be kind or cruel, by simply reflecting the truth. The principle of light travelling super sonically just goes over my head, but… if there is so many millions of energy base droplets to create reflection or refraction vision, then it would not be discrediting Newton’s theory, if one or two bent a bit to cover the cracks.

Going in and coming out life’s survival course has knocked and rocked my appearance. No longer can a whisper in front of the looking glass; “Kookie; Kookie; (lend of his comb)” while looking into the bathroom mirror, combing my hair…. the golden flacks have all but gone.

On reflection, all this worry is not a penny’s worth of a tuppeny stamp. The old joke when asked about a certain ‘Will’ left by a miser of a Scotsman, the lady questioned the Solicitor, as to the lawful assists the deed” Is it legal. is it signed over a stamp?”. The reply was quick and sharp, “Madam; It’s written on the stamp; ~McPherson did not like waste!” Back to the blinking mirror

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peter.howden
post 9th Aug 2018, 09:54am
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On the carpet…

Quite a considerable time back in a certain metropolis’s history, Humphry had had problems with the mighty council’s halls of power, when the main compensation for the workforce of the baths department was near guaranteed, ‘a job for life’…however mostly lowly paid. Having more than a sight difference of opinion. dragged on for some time until Humph realized, it would be prudent to part company with such a dominating organization.

Wither Humph acted on principles or foolhardiness was now in the past, however the problem was simply employment…and where to seek it? During the upsetting period of service within the city structures, humph was sent to diverse departments, including the carpet cleaning squad. He swiftly decided to be self-employed, purchasing quite an expensive German carpet cleaning machine.

The main problem now was there were horde of adverts for such a service…so to emerge from the multitude, an individual promotion(gimmick) was paramount. The advert was “Cleaned, with supreme care…by hand”. It was not long before the word of mouth was enthusiastically providing patrons. The impression of seeing someone, down in the hunkers, seemingly sweating for a couple of hours, then the machines eliminating the surplus liquid, gave clients a feeling of value for monies. Humph could estimate and charge his own fee.

Humph soon found out, what he always knew, the very well off, along with ordinary people, were excellent at paying and providing hot tea on tap… even bites to eat, leaving him alone while working. The so-called middle class and the would-be snobs were the tricky buggers, eager to talk about a discount, or indeed extra work at the same agreed quote.

One such lady strongly hinted, then remarked regularly while coming into the room where the procedure was taking place, almost most of Humph’s stay… until he insisted being left alone, to complete the assignment. Once completed and seemingly happy with the result, she said in a serious tone, she felt… since Humph used her electricity…then a reduction should be made from the bill.

Humph…in a deadpan tone explained, “this is a ‘Karcher Puzzi 10/1 carpet cleaner’…probably the best German Cleaning machine in the world… this apparatus only borrows the electricity…then returns it to its source in the wall’…. She paid in full, without another word been spoked.
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peter.howden
post 12th Aug 2018, 02:54pm
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My Chronicles 12/08//2018

Sadly, Aunt Becky is receding inward, to an indefinite existence, unable to recall almost anything without prompting…which must be delicately given so not to cause any disruption for her. I was at the Care-home last week, as arranged, but unfortunately Becky had withdrawn to her room, presuming safely within her own wee world… by sleeping. A care assistant tried to waken her several times, but Becky just turned around, seemingly not wishing to know. My future visits to take Becky for a hurl, will be at best… pot luck…but I feel I must persist…even though rejection will occur. If the best care possible is in place…that is what matters.

Last Monday, the stunning wedding ceremony, involving a shy couple, the bride being ‘She who must be obeyed’ smiling niece. It was a successful ‘Do’, with most of the families there, apart from Thomas and Marion from Jersey, though their charming children, Elena and Josh stood in for them. Unfortunately, Thomas had to go through some tricky urgent surgery, which was successful although the recovery needed was longer than anticipated.

We were unable to book a room in ‘Waterside’ where the actual wedding was, but boy were we lucky with our reservation in ‘Seamill House Hotel’, not long opened, fresh and classy. The view from the veranda while we sat, sipping coffee, was ever fascinatingly changing…pure sublime….and a memorable stay.

This weekend we are watching their mutt for Yvonne and Tony. It is a rather paunchy Dash-hound who barks seemingly at the moon …or anything else. Its name in correctly named ‘Krumm’, because if it hears a crumpling of any packet of food or sweets or crisps…its at your feet, with beseeching eyes…constantly staring. Dubbing her ‘Rufus’ (red haired) which is close to her colour, so Rufus and I are rehearsing our version of Puss in boots…. called ‘Mutts in clover’…all is well…I will miss the mutt when it goes home.

Although I have been fortunate having made a couple of lifetime friends during this period, I will shortly discontinue all activities within the housing movement, and my homestead…. Calvay. I certainly can’t fail to miss all the employees in Calvay, along with tremendously braw committee members throughout, some keen directors and hardworking steadfast staff of other association …the staff, and boards of both S.H.A.R. E… and my bedrock, G.W.S. Forum.

All in all, I’ve met some awe-inspiring people, making the last 25 years a fascinating meandering journey...thank you one and all…it’s mainly been a ball.

One such friend I still meet, around once a month, down in Ayr…this being Jim Hendry, a firm Labour and union man, who… in his style, represented Ayr, Ayrshire and Scotland. We always stop at Witherspoons, for a couple of refreshments to help the vocal cords. I really look forward to the Ayrshire day out… but mainly the banter.

The drawbacks for all the community groups being… the dogmatic brick wall, set up instantaneously… at will… by councillors, M. P’s; M.S.P. s…both governments with their uneven playing fields… controlled by hidden decision makers, who mysteriously exist under any radar, complete as small selected committees with unknown agendas….so operates the halls of power

Another binding friend is moving; lock, stock and barrel, from a pleasant village in France, back to jolly old United Kingdom…which is anything than politically unified…

We never know what the future brings…but now…it brings back a flood of recollections…magic
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peter.howden
post 15th Aug 2018, 03:11pm
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Termination

This is certainly an accurate and true story…only the names have been changed to protect the innocent

Monday December 6th, 2010, on a double decker Edinburgh/Glasgow intercity bus… packed to the gunwales with commuters, Sam was a passenger with a recently broken leg, on route along the M8 for 21 hours. The motorway was frozen underneath, with temperatures 15-degrees C, covered with massive amounts of snow, however the main problem being jack-knifed HGVs, abandoned cars scattered over all lanes, including the official emergency rescue lane, exits and entrances stowed-out with trucks wedged in heavy snow.

Sam was fortunate in one respect, due to cadging a lift, to start his shift in Glasgow… the bus had an extra driver, which later proved vital enabling the vehicle completing the journey. In Edinburgh, there was commotion in Waverly rail station, cancelation signs popping up on nearly every platform.

Before deciding to head for the bus station, because Sam had been newly issued with a Scottish wide bus pass. He then purchased a big bag of crisps, (you rarely can buy a normal bag size of crisp at these outlets now!) and the comforting bar of chocolate (reduced because proof of purchase for the big bag of crisps)

All went well, as the bus made its way through the old parish of Corstorphine, cruising towards the slipway for the M8, passing a Christmas card scene, with the snow concealing any blips or greyness, projecting pure white wonderland, giving a warm cosy feeling inside, while gliding along the highway, day dreaming of castles in the skies. No timely warning something horrible was around the next bend…but something certainly was. Once on the highway, the bus quickly slowing down…shuddering abruptly as it stopped.

After some grinding hours or so, the transport had not moved more than a couple of hundred yards, from then on, the trials and tribulations of constant uncertainty, took a dark toll overcame everybody’s minds, as the idyllic winter scene…screwed turned… becoming custodial. For Sam, an extra feeling of guilty took over, for having some ginger and crisps left, as not so silent murmurs implied a lack of water or nourishments from the rest of the passengers

As time drag unmercifully, the bus had moved 100 of yards rather than any credible distance, while the uses of mobile phone became less, then dead, as batteries and signals prevented any proper use after time had passed… personal necessity for the toilet started niggled Sam darkened mind. Within minutes later it had now become the most important thought on Sam attention… it was not a pee he was desperate to discharge

Necessity is the mother of invention, or so it is said, for in-between these instants of anxiety, it was becoming perfectly true. The bus privy was utterly disgustingly reeking, and overflowing, for it was never equipped for such abuse or so much usage through perpetual times, so something had to be worked out…somehow? Sam figured, having a huge bumper sized empty crisp bag would accomplish his mission…when no other avenue was available

The plan was simple, though telling it now sounds crude, crass if not despondent. He would go to this wee space of a latrine, complete his business… holding the big crisp bag underneath. Rap the late result carefully, leave through the emergency door with some excuse of needing air, or a fag or something. Whilst out, cause diversion attention, cast night soil bag into the blizzard wilderness.

Now; for this strategy’s success, depended entirely on the bus being stationary. Sam presumed ‘nay problem china’ as for the last 12 hours this was mainly what passengers had grown accustomed to. You can imagine Sam surprise…and dilemma, when suddenly, the coach moved with more speed than witnessed throughout this unwanted ordeal so far.

The double decker speed like a bat out of hell, without warning while Sam repentantly whimpered in disbelief …holding tightly with clenched cheeks…. with overpowering tears in his eyes…


How long could Sam hold out… without dishonouring himself….
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peter.howden
post 16th Aug 2018, 10:28am
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Termination2

The surprise velocity of the double decker intercity bus was short lived, for as soon as it took off, it came to a dramatic stop giving the unexpected passengers a jolt. Sam just sat there, with little awareness of the incident, as he held breath and body in limbo, frightened to interchange, just contemplate on his intimate predicament. His mind slipped away back many years, when the entire family were forced to use the public lavatory, at Gorbals cross, because of a plumbing problem in their home next to the Clyde. His mother warned him about catching something unhygienically atrocious, if he dared use the seat.

Another memory hovering in his brain, instructions to always make sure he had clean underwear on…just in case of an accident, ending in attending hospital. ‘Two plausible worries in one’ thought Sam…Obviously he was inwardly pleased though terrified he would unwittingly offload… without warning.

The coach ploughed its weary way forward, as silent prayers drifted upwards, as gears threatened to halt, but apparent our two brave drivers were determined not to allow this to happen. Then out of the blue, sort of mystically as one of Sam’s recall was reading, or hearing about mind over matter working while going to sleep, with concentrated thought, ‘I will awake at seven… and it always worked. Sam used all his mental power absorbed in one thought…’Please don’t release’

A brief welcoming sight when the bus was met by generous inhabitants of Harthill, just after two in the morning, who had heard of the massive problem in news broadcasts. They were loaded with homemade hot soup, bread, tea coffee…even biscuits. Sam had to forgo this splendid offered sustenance…in dread what may occur…even with a tiny bite.

Now, perhaps it was the movement of the bus, or the expectation at last heading in the right direction called home nevertheless Sam primary problem seemed to ease. People in all situations of emergency often act honourable and thoughtful, yet… some with deeds of total disgraceful selfishness. We had now been reliably informed all highways were gridlocked, Glasgow was mayhem with stranded commuters.

The drivers had been instructed to head straight for Glasgow’s Buchanan Bus terminal yet were swayed by a perilous case, from three fibbing passengers, to stop at Baillieston. Certainly, a thorny manoeuvre because of the snow, ice, and vehicles ahead blocking a through passageway. One driver upstairs, stamping the floor for left or right directions for the actual driver.

This suited Sam as it was just a mile or so to his home. The time was 04.00 am Tuesday morning. Reaching the branded landscape of Morrison’s, Sam joined the other three to embark from this refuge of some 21 hours and thanks to the selfless drivers. Slipping a few pounds to the drivers, express thanks positively, whilst the other three looked on puzzled. An instant anger came over Sam, these were the very ones who pleaded with these guys, just twenty minutes ago, to make the unauthorized detour. He shamed them into dipping into their pockets.

The bus roared away Sam stood utterly alone in an eerily white wilderness. Suddenly Sam problem from the bus reared. Sam needs seemed to have weird radar qualities, as his big crisp bag was missing, the steel bus shelter was there. It was so bitterly cold he was frightened his bare backside would stick frozen to the steel bar. The mere thought he would be stuck like super glue, for god knows how long, defeated the urgency of the situation. Sam decided to march on fully loaded.

He imagined It was like Siberia, with a deafness of silence, and a complete absence of a living soul, person or otherwise. By now Sam leg was really bother, but the idea of being trapped out in such a frozen wild spurred him on. Reaching his front door just in the nick of time to comply with two wishes

He quickly poured out a wee double/double half of Highland Park, for medicinal purposes, then made his way to the smallest room in the house, sat on the seat, bugger the consequences, enjoying two of the most precious reliefs and joys. Shortly after all needs were satisfied, up the wooden staircase to the comfort of a warmed-up bed. The clock struck quarter past five in this glorious morning, as he attempted to slink in-between the sheets.

Sam’s lady opened one eye…murmured ‘had a nice trip’? She never even waited for an answer Goodnight;

The End
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peter.howden
post 19th Aug 2018, 01:22pm
Post #553

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My Chronicles 19/08//2018;

I reckon most people’s lifetimes are a roller coaster, which in most circumstances are not planned, or even wished for but as the old sayings goes…If you don’t have sad periods, you can’t appreciate happy times to the hilt. However, sometimes the pleasant and good times are vailed with mixed emotions, so personal and secret, you have no real grip how they will display…to yourself and other people. This week has been rather strange, with three totally different events, filled with diverse sentiments, for their own reasons… give sensuous pleasure.

We were dog watching last week, for a charming couple, Yvonne and Tony, wishing to visit York, along with the rest of their family, but the regular pooch keepers were unavailable. ‘She who must be obey’ and I have had a few dogs and cats, through the years, so we agreed. Each person’s dog is a member of the family and if parted anxiety creeps in, leaving certain instruction to follow. It was strange at first, but a sort of routine formed, along with a sense of satisfaction. On the couple’s return, Rebecca was given chocolates, while I received a bumper ‘Buffalo Bill,1951 Annual’…I know who got the best deal…to bed, under the covers with my torch

On Monday, after phoning to check, I arrived at the Dementia old folks’ home, to find out if Aunt Becky is O.K for taking a wee hurl around the Kilpatrick hills, I was glad to see her walking out the lift with one of the extremely helpful carers. It certainly was obvious, Aunt Becky had no idea who I was, her brain has altered due to this progressive illness, but she did look fine and alert, plus seemingly keen to take my arm… saunter to the old jalopy.

Who enjoyed the trip more…is hard to tell, but now and again, between the Scottish music, Aunt Becky, smiled a most generous smile…hit a spot for me. We both called after ‘Flower of Scotland’…’get the claymores out’…and laughed…magic

On returning to the home, one of the male carer’s let us in, immediately it was noticeable., Aunt Becky had a distinct relationship with him. This gave me confidence it was a bonus for her, to have someone special within the premises.

Attending my last ‘Glasgow West of Scotland Forum, Board meeting, and A.G.M, holding various frame of mind for several reasons. For me, this is the core of the movement, and I had been fortunate to be part of it, with such dedicated comrades, but sadness mingled aimlessly, with memories of losing our daughter ‘Toni’ during the duration of participation. It is almost an impossible step to overcome. A special director of the host housing organization at this grieving time, went out of her way to support me…which I will never forget.

At the A.G.M, a surprise presentation with thoughtful gifts…a pleasant reminder just how smashing people can be. Asked to say a few words, proved hard as all my emotions took their turn to enter my thoughts…however eventually I did manage a couple of lines…such as…’I have been fortunate to meet a lot of enthusiastic people who have made a difference within their own communities … During my time, met a few bloody armholes as well…but heck’

I should have added…’I came to a movement meeting, surround by comrades…but left a whole bunch of friends and fantastic persons…. thank you very much…you made a grumpy old man, happy’
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