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> Home Made Tales, The journey
peter.howden
post 31st Oct 2021, 02:37pm
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Life in a Glesga Close Part 10
The population of Oatlands, while Ben lived there, were a mixed political opinion much the same as elsewhere in any metropolis in Scotland, though strangely many old conservatives with the narrow built in pledge, ‘ know your place’. The Social Labour party was strong within Glasgow’s boundary but only one or too true communist…yet on their pledge of contribution, the whole area had closes, where the necessary ‘Loo’ (Glesga Lavvie) shared by all on each landing. The residential red sandstone wally closes just had two houses on each landing, while the grey sandstone tenements had three households on each landing, more bottoms to share the same water closet, (Glesga Cludgie). Almost all grey tenements squashed in 12 families, with some 16 or more weans.

Halfway on each landing was an arch lavvie, kept spick and span by who’s turn it was to clean the stairs, and heaven help those with brass necks to forget their turn. During the winter, inadequate air circulation didn’t protect any occupant from being cauld…to baltic, turning one’s cheeks to icebergs, adding to the effort needed to achieve the required commitment. Old newspapers were often ripped up and left behind for common use, but the biggest treasure, annoyingly often forgotten by leaving it in the home, toilet paper of any description.

In dry weather the weans played in the grubby backcourts, in between the families hung out washing. ‘Wee shops’ for the girls, football, and dreepin from wash houses, and round the walls for boys. Out in the streets ‘kick-the-can’, and A‘leavo’, along with ‘Statues’. When rain stopped play nowhere else to go but in the close, swapping football cigarette cards, until being hunted out by annoyed ground floor occupants. Later, they played ‘ring bang skoosh’ on grumps especially. In each close, all the inhabitants kept a keen eye on the washing left in the backs since every area had maybe one, or two snowdrops. this was the slang name given to sneaky persons who steal washing from the lines. However, a hidden credo existed between the as someone would clype on the despised offender. The foolish Ben was unlucky as unwisely he put his brand new ‘Wranglers’ out on the line one sunny day…they vanished…the clypes must have been out…somewhere?

Next…the mutt was drunk
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peter.howden
post 1st Nov 2021, 09:16pm
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In 1972, the first indoor toilet and bathroom was installed in the Govan tenement home of Annie Gibbons. Towards the end of 90s In the massive metropolis of Delhi, slum communities club together to pay for building spotless inside public loos where it is estimated 1,9040 peoples use the outdoor primitive premises more than once a day
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peter.howden
post 2nd Nov 2021, 10:48am
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Each blind Sentence

In his mind, he walked this final path along the cold avenue before early morning, recalling his school days when sadism was carved into his emotional and physical being, by a brutal regimental, domineering individual. This inhumane sadist constantly inflicted unforgettable….unforgivable penal treatment

To this end, there were instruments such as the leather belt, then the large brass buckle. A further device inspiring pain and fears was the dreaded thin whip-like rod, callously inflicting intense heat as it tore away young flesh, opening older wounds with each stinging flick attack. Numerous kicks with steel capped boots, followed blows where they would not give evidence to the outside world. Although this monster of diabolical wickedness grinned in apparent glee expectation at each stroke, intensely wished it to be kept quiet, their little secret. The lad was held in trepidation, left as a wasted bundle…. preying it to stop…craving loneliness

Above all else, although he had believed he had broken free the persistent bulling which made him do things…terrible things, he did not want to do. However, he couldn’t excuse himself for his criminal desperate life, by laying the blame on such evil deeds beyond the pale of decency preformed on a boy, who had no means to protect himself? The truth was he was more entangled than ever. Now he had to pay the ultimate price because as everybody knows, it’s impossible to keep them out, there are eyes… everywhere. Coming to the familiar path, he took one last deep breath of cleansed air before the final thoughts and suspicions

Is any man's death accountable aware for whom the bell tolls…it tolls for thee for the deeds preformed in the past, willingly, or under duress… if only the nightmares would cease…but once again in uncontrollable surrender, trembling in his hallucinations, yet…at last prepared to climb the final steps?

Reality opens with the first peek of dawn…the abyss no more…until the next night of darkness
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peter.howden
post 7th Nov 2021, 07:55pm
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My Chronicles 07/11/2021

On Wednesday last, a planned train journey from Central Station to Saltcoats taking company with Salty, but the main question was to a name the supremo over a period of 40 odd years of personal Chess championships. Inside the station itself was a massive presence of police personnel, there for the climate summit, keeping in hand the many protesters outside with banners, some who were bodily lying on roads trying to cause traffic chaos and apparently being successful in Hope St, Waterloo Street. I do not know what they expect, or want to achieve in such action, but hope eternal they do?

The train journey was well worth the effort as it was such a braw day for a wee donner around the seaside town in the sunshine magnifying the splendour of the rolling sea. Met up with my host while purchasing some refreshment. The stage was set with no nibbles to interrupt the games procedures; however, this played no part in my approach except I lost my inquisitive speed of yesteryears. Three shortish games with each match, sadly for me, won fairly and squarely by Salty…Leaving the older contestant without a swansong. The aftermath was filled with laughter while partaking hard liquor, talking magic craic until the ultimate remembrances of the past, including one or two sad memories. More than slightly inebriated we both retired to our bunks…to sleep the sleep without dreams.

Thursday was a grand morning with both pal’s takin the sea air before heading for the train station, for my journey home. As the locomotive moved off as brother-in-law Salty, stood on the platform with a wave goodbye, there was a tiny, but obvious glee in his eye…or was I being just a grumpy old man. Anticipating another game…with Salty
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peter.howden
post 8th Nov 2021, 10:15am
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Just here

Since Hallowe'en has come and gone, there has been niggling anonymities in my thoughts, concerning nameless images in the oldest mirror of the house, unidentified to this very moment. Every single time I dare to enter the smallest and coldest room in the abode, my stare is lowered to a sleekit keek towards the reflector, ogling truth in the face, or is it perhaps a mirage, spellbinding through my eyes, hidden in my image. Sitting in deep contemplation, the realization clears to who, or whatever it is, we remain a secret to each other and ourselves…and outsiders

Who or what is reflected, lures me deeper into the mirror’s illusion with incessant silent music in my mind? Who is this unwanted guest within its boundaries in the beguiling hour? Could it be Lucifer, for he entices by playing the most excellent melody, with a flicker of an eye tormenting each thought and secret hugging in my bosom. Is it the bogeyman or just a fantasy of my imagination?

Is the mirror another world with my imaged unprotected, but with a life of its own? And what is to become of me if the weird world collides with another, forcing all things to shift shape . These fruitless thoughts spill over to nowhere….don't lock the door... to escape… if I can
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peter.howden
post 15th Nov 2021, 02:17am
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Life in a Glesga Close Part 12

There was no shortish of pets of all descriptions within historical Oatlands, plus an unknown amount of wandering homeless cats and dogs, accidentally or deliberately unwanted. On a maukit night coming down cats and dogs, Ben heard the door to witness three weans with a drookit whelp, insisting it was an orphan, needing a home. The timid mutt was taken in, on the understanding, off to the dog hound next day, though surprisingly changed their minds, naming the stray ‘Titch’. The massive hound downstairs took a fancy and was Titch’s minder from then on.

Ben had a habit of taking Titch down to the ‘The Little Mill Inn’, adjacent to Shawfield, home for Clyde F.C and Greyhound racing. Eventually Clyde had to move due to fallen numbers from the turnstiles owing to slum clearances over a vast area of south Glasgow. While Ben played dominoes, the owner of the establishment left out a tinny bowl of water for pooch. One night while Ben’s luck was winning almost every game, with a bonus alcohol beverage of perhaps the strongest Danish beer each game. Before delivery of the liquor accolade to the table, an unkempt number of libations poured into Titch’s bowl by the unseen somewhat inebriated losers.

At the end of this particular successful night, Ben wandered slightly unsteady on his feet, but noticed through some haze, Titch, with head almost touching the pavement, clumsily swaying from side to side along Roseberry st into Dalmeny St, as if drunk. Pausing at Ben’s close as if needing a rest, then tackling forever to climb the 4 stories with jelly legs. Entering the single end, headed straight under the bed recess, bumping his head on each iron support until settling right in the furthest corner… poor sod stayed there for nearly 24 hours periodically odd whimpering as if regret. Eventually managed out into the relative open of the single end, down the stairs and out into the back…with the longest pee witnessed. Ben never took Titch into the pub again, ironically the pub changes its name to ‘Chancer’ !

Ben and his wife attended a dog racing night in Shawfield, placing a bet on each race of the night. With not a single win.

Next… A rest in the ‘Big Hoose’?
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peter.howden
post 17th Nov 2021, 02:37pm
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Optimistic

George noticed the flickering light shining with an unusual twist on her statuesque curves, causing shadows to fall from nowhere, allows him to gaze upon her unique luring eyes with fondness, if not simple love. When he first saw her, she was a plaything used and abused beyond even above the most erratic imagination, just for the customers, being degraded for unmeasurable debauched fazes the fetish clients . Forced to abide without the means of complaint, to bath with whoever wishes to, sleep even with them, without complaint due to conditions beyond her ken, or ability to quit such a despot service.

George was no knight, no prince in disguise but he could not allow such abusive behaviour to continue, under the very nose of what is seemed caring conditions . He had no means to rescue every such entity, but his heart went out to attempt something…anything? Due to his lack of financial security, his first thought was to sneak this so humble ‘Madamsellie’, from this interminable imprisonment but, he argued with himself, they would always be looking over their shoulders, or worse still…the unknown knock on the door. No…he would face the stoneface management, requesting if a sum of money would release the invisible chains of this poor unprotected individual. Without another thought he took her down to the formidable front doors of the so advertised; ‘entertainment’ organization.

Expecting an altercation at the very least stating she was property owned by them, the administrator surprisingly said, strangely with a kind voice, you can take her without any monetary agreement. We are honour you are so pleased with our personal service. Quickly, before any other obstacles took place, or the ruthless owner annulled such an astonishing pact, George packed up and took her back home. There she has been well looked after and given pride and place…the very first yellow plastic duck he was given…by a very understanding host in a Dundee hotel some 11 years ago.
In 1992, a cargo ship container tumbled into the North Pacific, dumping 28,000 rubber ducks…Chris Ebbesmeyer studied the movements of the 28,800 Friendly Floatees—yellow ducks, red beavers, blue turtles, and green frogs, washed into the Pacific Ocean. Some landed along Pacific Ocean shores, such as Hawaii. Others travelled over 27,000 kilometres, floating over the site where Titanic sank, spending years frozen in Arctic ice before reaching the U.S. as well as British and Irish shores, fifteen years later,

George wonders if she was one of those so called ‘Floatee ducks?
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peter.howden
post 20th Nov 2021, 04:55pm
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Life in a Glesga Close Part 13

A rest in the ‘Big Hoose’?(1)

Ben unwisely broke the law but more irresponsibly on a futile principle, refused to pay the fine, but it was his own bloody stupidity. The plain fact was, either £120 or 12 days in Barlinnie. Accepting the latter may seem foolhardy, but for Ben, a life curve experience, in a closed society within a society, very scary cruel moments…strange partnerships. Taken to a huge holding cell beneath the court was immediately asked what he was ‘in’ for. Throughout his stay in the ‘Big Hoose’ when Ben attempted to explain, hilarity always followed with an ironic return, “you’re in here just for a weekend’s holiday!” Ben realized very quickly, you kept your thoughts to yourself, your jagged sense of humour…but most of all, your wits…educated by submission

The cell already full of about 25 jabbering accused who couldn’t afford ‘the ultimate lawyer of Glasgow, Joseph Beltrami’. The reputed lawbreakers appeared to practice law themselves offering various opinions as to what sentences would be bestowed on each other, depending on the judge allotted to the case. The cell door opened as the turnkey took a furtive step inward, muttered to the ear of the big lad nearest the entrance, then slyly crept out again locking the cell access. Some 30 seconds later an edgy dinjy fella was escorted in. The bloke who was first approached by the turnkey, sauntered up to the latest detainee, asking the introduction main question. A silence fell as he stuttered out how he had been drunk, start a fight and then was lifted by police. As the explanation limped out, he was surrounded by hostile bodies, with one loud growled voice snarling, “We have been informed you are a mankie pedophile, interfering with two children.

A fist out of nowhere struck a crunching blow to the victim’s face as a signal for the encaged mob to lay into the stooshie with blind retribution. It was as if each man had a right to take part, as an unwritten code or duty. The frightened man fell screaming at the top of his voice but no interference from outside jailers The shocked man fell screaming by this time but no interference from our keepers. this in turn release the rest of the audience to take part as they rushed to do so and all the while the battered man was shrieking at the top of his voice, but no nothing from the jailors. Ben took no part, just stood there… motionless. He held limited knowledge of the law, except…man is innocent until a trial by our golden thread of justice, no matter how imperfect…. But, at that crucial moment… Rumpole of the Bailey stayed shtum.

After a further minute passed the door opened with the now familiar noise of the keys, the turnkey entered as he viewed the bleeding man on the floor, then asked, “What happened to him?” The answer was he fell out of bed! The upholder of the law looked at him…shrugged…then left with a thud of the call door.

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peter.howden
post 21st Nov 2021, 11:50pm
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Tumbled Ideas

Well after the bewitching hour of midnight, isolated in the stillness, contemplating my navel, or anything else, unable to sleep and not knowing why....apart from an allusion of ‘Déjà Vu’. Is it due to a mixture of emotions, such as enthusiasm and trepidation unknown...or just a trivia excuse because the eyes refuse to close properly to encourage sleep?

The past two years has been a magic carpet jaunt of scary patterns of the virus, jaggy thoughts, and remembrances; Good and bad...but mainly good which points to one hell of a bundle of luck. Each individual on this planet may have a similar journey, filled with paths, which if you had the option, you would do a detour, or go back to safety of yesteryears, minus this horrible infection . The conclusions of life changes as to the attitude taken…making the best of the cards you are dealt. Some say morals in life are black and white... up till now I prefer having a rational mind prism, to see and act with colours.

The need to assess my life, and hopes for the future, automatically spring from a relatively inactive mind...with surprises conclusions. ‘She who must be obeyed’ is not the reason why I live or breathe....but she is the main reason why I want to live.... It’s not the big gifts or gatherings with loads of hullabaloo...but just a glance, or a smile across a busy scene or unpredictably hand of comfort, reaching out unseen which is the bonding agent...no matter what age.

Will I need my woman while partaking on my voyage ...yes and yes again... in certain ways, however I do not need to think, for I can see her face...anywhere......is it my life’s bonus?......I would loathe to miss it...
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peter.howden
post 23rd Nov 2021, 04:27pm
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Life in a Glesga Close Part 13
A rest in the ‘Big Hoose’?(2)


After the ugly stramash then hurl in the prison black van, Ben’s head sort of still in the clouds, yet, realizing the reality of prison correction is having a sense of uneasiness being incarceration. The official theme gingerly works with two sets of rules to abide …the appointed prison governor and the illusive prisoner’s inner circle values… a duplicate society where everything has to be paid for, one way or another? On arrival it was the closing of Barlinnie massive solid gates was when the whole scenario of imprisonment really sunk into Ben’s innocence, suddenly discovering how vulnerable he could be under such circumstances. During his stay one thing proved his ultimate shield…when asked; ‘ what was he in for, and how long?’ which caused such instant genuine mirth every time .

Although in a van full of talkative detainees Ben felt lonely and apprehensive, especially being counted five times like sheep being herded before being locked up individually in a ‘dugbox’, referred to by both detainees and prison officers(nicknamed ‘Screws’).It was so small, while sitting on the wee wooden bench, his knees touched the door. Being a novice, Ben assumed this where he would be for his entire sentence? Much later, while waiting in the nude for the doctor’s inspection, the old lags told him, tobacco was the top currency in the nick, followed by pills, any kind of conscription pill, followed by fresh fruit.

In ‘D’ block, Ben’s intended single cell had three residents, with a crystalized glass brick window having two small panels minus glass. Seemingly for fresh air but also was a communication line which could pass small contraband, as well as written notes. It was also a limited view from outside with little variations. When the cell door banged shut that night …just before lights out, the familiar rattle of the eye-spy on the solid door caused a sense of foreboding… someone is always watching even through a locked door.

In the cell chalk and cheese residents, apart from sly smirks when Ben responded to the question, ‘why he was inside’. One was a fella who could take care of himself and the other was a nervous guy, who apparent was being moved to ‘A’ block, where he expected retribution from auld acquaintance for clyping. In the near dark, the sleekit man paced up and down the limited space. until the other bloke on the top bunk, picked up the wee snide by the throat, advising the frightened toley to stop hence forth…or else…he complied silently. Ben lay awake for some time gazing at the shadows caused by diffuse lighting through the glass block windows. During his confinement, Ben often peeped through the open to the wild two blocks missing at each side. These openings giving very limited outlooks… straining moments of freedom… to wander past the true confinement.
-=-=-=-
Next; Tinder box, tobacco tin
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peter.howden
post 25th Nov 2021, 08:15pm
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My Chronicles 25/11/2021


Some 4 years ago, withdrawing from all obligations simply because I couldn’t confidently quote from the minutes of previous meeting off hand… proving slightly dodgy. My art of recalling without searching through heaps of papers, aided the ability to debate confident with facts… was slipping downhill with astonishing speed. I miss most of the people involved, but started to enjoy doing my own thing with ‘She who must be obeyed’.

Now the memory is a struggle even recalling ‘who’, what year was any record played on ‘Sound of the sixties(Tony Blackburn, Saturday morning, a ritual we play while having breakfast in bed). Fergus was fixing my computer two weeks ago and asked for my number code…my mind went totally blank, staying that way until I took in upstairs. Then, and only then, my mother’s Co-Op number ,which I believed I could never fail to remember…came tumbling back. In simple words, I can’t trust my memory on almost anything. I’m not worried about the situation, for just playing it by ear is available, yet, to say the least
my hearing is dulled down.

I have completed a P.H.D ….a diploma first class…With honours… certifying me to be A grumpy old man
Other than that, we are both pleased as punch Rebecca has regained her confidence…almost back to full strength. I plan to pop down to Ayr for a slight refreshment, plus pop down to Salty…for the same and a game, or two of chess. Found my charming old Chess set up in the loft, must have been there for nigh 20 years, it will be the trophy for the winner

A Glaswegian Hobo
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