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Last 10 Posts [ In reverse order ]
peter.howden Posted 20th Feb 2020, 02:30pm
Memories from an old Chronicle.
Dear Diary; 03/06/2011

Coming down for breakfast this morning, welcomed by pleasant smile of expectation, complete with enchanted echoing from behind my beloved’s eyes. This was broadcasting the arrival of the early daybreak banquet, added was the aroma of some perfume, disguising the usual kitchen whiff of pets, or the last evening’s meal.

This is when I made my first mistake, by enquiring if there was anything special going on. Shocked is not the word, but angered hurt may be closer, while she struggled to control obvious mixed emotions. My treasure closed her eyes tightly, then reopened them anew, speaking with a tense cold quietness, ‘Surely you have not forgotten? was her crucial question, although she could easily see, I was still in my own wee wonderland…me, the mad hare.

‘Remember’, she prodded, ‘When you betrothed your troth’

Struggling to come to grips with this newly born dilemma, yet, the dates did not tie up in this still half-a-sleep mind. I was about to use a teasing quote, “It’s was not the anniversary of losing my virginity?” but lucky for me, I decided to stay quiet, at the last moment. My lover looked so hurt, as if I did not care a fig, but low and behold I produced an Anniversary card, which in all truth, I forgot to post. I calculated it would win brownie points, by stating the post could not be trusted, this was too precious not to be deliver by hand.

I was taken aback by ‘She who must be obeyed’, exhibiting a magical twinkle in her eyes. We kissed; we cuddled, then in turn opened our cards, with smiles beaming up the dull kitchen. Just as I was about to replace the card, for next year’s outing, my true love utters in whispers, “don’t forget where you put it”

In her heart felt card… I wrote sincere lines, in hope it would forever keep us entwined;

Keep our love alive,

By surprises, we strive,

For decisions it takes,

Sugar-Puffs or Corn Flakes.
peter.howden Posted 19th Feb 2020, 03:37pm
  A Simple Gift

Similarly to empty of words crossword, or jigsaw puzzle not yet attempted, along with other icons, the actual box proudly sits covertly on a shelf, in the old man’s working den, laying not exactly hidden, but certainly not in plain view for any Tom, Dick or Harry to see. It is shown daylight on special occasions, as well as when a need for an essential tidy-up, or room to be made for some other private symbol. The box is now not in pristine condition, as when first given, but the contents are in prime, and in original tact. Under these circumstances this package is often open, just to peek in with great designs to complete but stops short with memories flooding of the purchaser.

He is no miser, yet, before this present from a child, he secretly horded foibles, complete with missing complex emotions. A better state of mind is not compulsory but allows a wave of gentle reflections on life’s given magic, can easily be bestow, without having profusion of life itself. This simple gift revealed how he had been careless with family lives and passions, and obvious precious talents. This birthday memento is some thirty-eight years old, and now it certainly pleases him, while frightens him at the same time, as he is scared of the conclusion… if completed.

He presumes, fate deems if this poser was finalized, then the chance of seeing his child again, would not only fade, but disappear where all failed hopes go. Now and again, he carefully opens the bright cardboard box lid, takes out all the components within, cautious not to break the plastic covering, sealing it from age, or dust. Gently returns the items into the box, then with care…replaces the box back to rest.

This simple gift from his child, springs thoughts from a Robert Burns quote; ‘A man’s a man for ‘a’ that; ‘is there for honest poverty’ ; and for an unknown reason, his favourite ; ‘O Thou! Whatever title suits thee- Auld Hornie, Satan, Nick, or Clootie.

One last glance to the precious Air fix kit of a Porsche 935 turbo sports supreme car. The memory of the giving, followed what his eldest daughter said smiling; “Can’t afford the real thing right now Dad…but one day, Yes one day?”
peter.howden Posted 17th Feb 2020, 02:58pm

Dean observes his new property…there are no bars on the window, no turnkey at the door to the kitchen, no hard rules to follow but there might just as well be. The occupant of the small maisonette, is one Ex-convict, or cyclical criminal, who once upon a time, began stealing, or rob for gain, just because his only talent was as a thief, which has led to him being banged up in a single ‘Peter’(confined in a prison cell) on countless occasions for his trouble.

The prison authorities not only deemed him as institutionalized, but his methodical actions and reaction, is Inherited from jail system. Inside the many jails, there is little preference except a loathing for ‘Peterhead’, where all the queers, (perverts and child molesters) are made top job trustees. In Dean’s opinion, held by many of the main stream long termed convicts, those detainees are a blight… and such offenders strike loathing in the hardest lifers, sadistic murderers and Co, but especially detested by old lags …

The authorities, in their fashioned wisdom, wedged most of them together, in the crumbling nick, supposedly their own safety, nevertheless Dean knew, as all inmates recognized this wayward logic… it was to prevent or bank against prison riots. Screws were roughly the same in most penitentiaries, though some did have a sneaky evil twist.

Dean favoured a solitary cell, but then, would double up comfortably with some old crony, experienced cons on doing porridge, plus knowing the rules playing ‘Bela’, a card game also known as ‘Clobyosh’ by old timers. Tobacco and fags used to be the currency all prisoners used, but now it’s imported phones and Sim Cards and naughty drugs. Dean was satisfied with the extra snout and food they got on Christmas and Ne’erday. Drugs just performed tricks with your mind. Time itself, plays funny stunts to the memory, while caged more so when little is left to remember.

There was no possibility of Dean learning a new crime while inside, he was too far gone down the entrenched line of behaviour, desiring his own company, reading a book with no ending, as some dumb or vindictive sod, had ripped out the last pages. Where he was in peril, was some young nutter, soap slashing (razorblade in soap block), trying to stamp his authority, without receiving violence against himself. There is a class system within any ‘big Hoose’, a heavy-duty pecking order, not knowing one’s place can prove dangerous…a society within a locked society.

Being released on licence, by the “get back to civilization” team…Dean passed with flying colours, without really striving. Asked where he would like to be housed, he plucked for a simple name, for it was the easiest to spell. Social workers and others were busy bending over backwards to succeed, forgetting what was really best for the man inside, but they had boxes to tick, trying circumstances creating quotas to perform and process, … their hands were tied.

His abode had all the mod cons (Pun) T/V within an all-purpose, newly painted room, and a tiny kitchenette. Dean had no past, apart from jail. No innocent memories to fall back on, no friends. At night he can’t sleep because of his insecurities, while during the day, acted in an enigma form, stuttering to and fro from wall to wall in his cramped strangely named living room. There was no old lag to smirk with, or no ‘Thee’ man of the block to avoid eye contact. No debt to pay for trafficked snout, or genuflecting as the turnkey passed Dean’s synthetic home, making him feel safe.

Dean now felt inner cold, depraved and isolated from the world; He tramps the same path in the so-called living room, as if in a cell. He can’t sleep properly, for the lack of clatter noises, here just silence. No whiff of different flint tins, or the urine odour floating from landing to landing, no locked door could keep him in safe hands. He seldom retreats out, except for shopping needs, after cashing his Giro.

But time march on in his head…In prison, he had a sense of worth within a regimen …with Freedom…. he is a caged animal?.
peter.howden Posted 15th Feb 2020, 12:20am
  ‘WINCHIN’ (2of 2 Parts)

At the edge of the Shawlands’ boundary, a dominating area is cost free for young couples of all ages, was Hill Sixty in Queens Park. The supreme high spot, with a wide view, looking at many districts of Glasgow; in an aerial perspective, without wings. From the grassy mound, the fabulous famous Scottish roar could be heard, when a stramash occurred on the sacred field, but especially when Scotland was tanking England at Hamden

The three slanting fields of |Hill Sixty, near always was knee deep with splendid grass, except the well-worn paths, making it an excellent place to be ‘Winchin’, with still a grade of privacy. On sunny days, inviting young ladies was common practice making arrangements to meet, one girl in the park, and maneuverer the way to the hill basin. With sly intent, making my way to the best spot, with young lass in toll, only to discover that somebody had cut the grass, almost into the ground, all the way around the fields, so great expectations were lost that afternoon, concluding in a bitter tryst disappointment,

Other times, waiting for a cinema date, standing outside the flicks, chest out showing puckered pride, notifying any unfortunate passer-by, that I was waiting on my bird! Slightly politically incorrect language for today’s sensitive ears, but I suspect, many a lad today, waiting for their first real date, with self-esteem bursting from their chests, utter something close. The words they may use now may be different, however, I would imagine the sentiment will still be in running order.

As the years pass, I do believe being romantic, particularly with the anniversary of our wedding. I proposed to Rebecca, while eating in the China Palace, Jamaica St, although I didn’t have a clue I would. On the Sabbath, all the pubs closed, and It was cheaper to feast and drink in a restaurant, than a hotel. After a double brandy I just said, “I think it’s about time we got married? With Rebecca’s reply equally blunt, “Well when?”. “What about next week?”, my answer, and that was that. To make up for such a lousy performance, on our anniversary, we return to that very eatery, that very table, without fail or high water every year of our 50 years of union…. And I kick the heck out of that bloody waiter.


I know I am happily married; for ‘She who must be obeyed’ tells me so!
peter.howden Posted 11th Feb 2020, 03:18pm
  WINCHIN(1of 2 Parts).

‘Winchin’, is a Glaswegian slang word, meaning many things to all types of people, but mainly means kissing, snogging, or to some older quarters, ‘Stepping out’. With very young declaring, “He, or she is winchin me”, declares ownership of one or two persons making a statement, to keep your eyes off my property! Casual ‘Winchin’, can be described as canoodling, necking, smooching, pecking, though true romantics would rather say caressing, making it all lip service to emotions, with depths deeper than the channels of Mars, the planet, not the Deity, as he is the overseer of war, yet… there is a quote, ‘All is fair in love or war’, superficially attributing to the mythical divinity

Human nature on this subject, raises first interest in adolescence, or slightly later on for late developers. There is a theory it’s wasted on the young, but then, we can be of any age to act coy, even childish, simply when there is someone of the opposite sex, for an unknown reason, just a whiff away, so essential to individual feelings and untamed growing lust. When young, it was a different story, for that’s all it is, having keep up with peers. My own skills in this area or affairs are limited, except a facet of reputed innocent looks, I did not discover girls for the right reasons until later in life, being thirteen and at B.B. camp.

Around 6 years old, I do recall being taken to Newcastle, by my much older sister and brother in law, for an extremely hot and sunny holiday. A couple of days later, confined to bed, enduring naughty sunburn, with the souls of my feet having hot tar blisters from the road next to a seaside. One weekend, taken to this posh house, where some lively refreshments where being offered. The occasion bored me, so passing time I attempted to peek up an older girl’s dress …I couldn’t figure out ‘why?’

As a 10-year-old, living in Westcliffe St, Shawlands, next close was a girl named Beth, with an air around her, who I bashfully fancied. In all innocence, not knowing why, but fate can be cruel in the shape of a boy Gordon. He could outrun me; make a better bow and arrow, played football as it should be played, was taller and without a doubt, more handsome. The bugger was also a hell of a nice guy… how can you win against that? Love takes no prisoners just casualties. I know how it is to love and lose, however at the time, I had no clue what to do with my hormones…. or in fact… I even had them!

The following year, John, my much older kindly brother, taught me all the right words, the activities in that area, for I asked awkward questions, making me knowledgeable in theory, but a total dunderheed in practice. My first real love was Alice, while B.B camping in Dunbar, whose last name is lost in the passageways of time.

Older lads had instructed, if you met a girl, never gave you right address or second name, in case of any accident while winchin, hindering any come back. I had pecked girls before, but, kicking over the traces, that first kiss, with Alice, was something else, lingers yet as a main point in my life. Alice emerges from the past, via visits now and again to the East coast Dunbar’s White sands. Sometimes I wonder, what she is doing now, and did she know… what this thing called love was?
peter.howden Posted 10th Feb 2020, 09:29am
  When young, I was too lazy to seek perfection, now being older, I still don’t seek it, with the theory when perfection is achieved, no matter in what arena, you are never satisfied again
peter.howden Posted 9th Feb 2020, 11:30am

The minutes were dragging, as she gazed at the clock taking its time to reach five minutes before the doors close, when she could make a beeline for the timekeeping meter, punch out her card and head straight home. Her knickers where almost in a twist, because the impending extra special date tonight. Nothing will be allowed to stand in her way, crucially to be ready, willing, and able for any reasonable suggestion aired. Her ‘Beau’ is entering her home tonight. He was without doubt, ‘pure dead brilliant’, and had been in her home before, quite a few times she recalled, though not in an intimate fashion… but never in the field of love had she been better prepared for everything he could ask…or wish for.

She knew precisely what his favourite things were, the brands he preferred, for she had known him for quite a considerable time, not cosily, but very close. She also had taken the precaution, just to be right on the button, looked it up in some books and magazines to ensure continuity, for he is quite famous…. probably a house-hold name… but to her, he was just her delicious ‘Dandy’. She had gone to the posh shop, down the Byres road apiece from the Botanic Gardens, purchased fancy German sausage and biscuits, wine and all the trimmings to add to a dinner party for two.

Checking her phone to see if she needed any extra knickknacks to compliment her home-made cheesecake, which she learned to make whilst a young flirty girl. Scrolling down her data, checking her list for light non-alcoholic liquid refreshments, to make the evenings events run smooth and sparkle. Being not aware, or involved with whisky, and indeed rather ignorant of the pleasures of the grape, relying totally on the counter staff to guide her. She considered her mother advice, making sure she ate well, to offshoot the liquor, endeavouring keeping her principles, and coy demeanour mysterious. As far as she was now concerned, she’s ready to skite tonight…if only he would, for he always spoke and acted a complete gentleman of the old order.

At last, relaxing then out the scented bath, dressing in her most seductive clothing, complete with brand new underwear, she was prepared for anything. Her alarm rang loudly in the kitchen’s pantry, and now was the time. Sitting comfortably on the sofa she took a deep breath and turned up the television.

Her elusive ‘Beau’, sparkling on the extra large screen, she bought for these occasions, sent her into a trance, becoming limp and listlessly among the cushions, not noticing she was alone, as her ‘Richard’ read the news, as he did at 6 of the evening clock….ever evening;
peter.howden Posted 6th Feb 2020, 01:48pm
  My Chronicles 06/02/2020;

Over the past five weeks, I no longer phone each time I plan to come to Aunt Becky’s Dementia home, since it’s so unfair on Becky’s wellbeing, as it’s indeed apparent, Becky has no idea who I am, and she sleeps at unusual times during the day. During each visit, I’m brought up to date by caring staff, concerning her general health, mobility, feet and eating ability, somewhat diminishes the concern of her reduced weight and frailty.

Becky has fallen four times in the home, in as many weeks, each aftermath seen by the institute’s own doctor, then a hurl to the hospital. Walking everywhere in her lifetime, was a necessity of funds, and a pleasure which she happily indulged along with Uncle David. My persistent memory of Aunt Becky is, helping everyone in the family, but particularly, for some time, exceptionally in the early hours of every Sunday, came to our home, took the lead role in assisting with housework…whether we wanted it, or not

Now within the interior of our home, and outside, imps constantly act childish, by being naughty sometimes not so merry games of ‘hide and seek’, with me. These illusive scamps, half-inched five months ago, my favourite cap, planted somewhere exclusively unknown even after my turning the whole house inside/out. Other items disappear only seconds after being put down, only reappearing several days later…blatantly in their usual place. These scallywags of sprites have wholly bamboozled me…or could it be, my memory is not only suspect…but nigh lost itself?

One thing I haven’t forgotten is my friends, although some I don’t see so often as I may wish, particularly close friends, and China’s, though having with China’s… close Email communiqué, is pure magic. Regularly travelling down to Ayr, to have a few refreshments, with one such China, Jim Hendry, has become an enjoyable quest. We are ‘Chalk & Cheese’ but we laugh a lot, with memories flooding back, slightly failing to remember small details of these memories, such as, when, where and how they happened…who cares, if the whole Whetherspoons, turns around to wonder who these two old impish fools are
peter.howden Posted 5th Feb 2020, 12:38am
There is a fine line between reality and illusion

We have to face it lads, there is defiantly some kind of invisible energy, a concealed forcefield, denying moving forward at any time, also, it’s all around us, regardless of which direction we come from, preventing us reaching our given ultimate goal. Every so Often it appears to be dominant all around, enclosing the neighbourhood. With a common sense of scientific conviction, this just can’t be… surely not, if my memory is correct. We should be able to venture anywhere we want, or wish, yet, at this moment, attempting to move ahead, is made impossible by something…somewhat supernatural… not of this world, and totally transparent. If only we could break the cycle? or is it all a purloined dream.

Yes, we have adequate supply of food to last a long while. Yes, a constant supply of fresh water. Yes; there is life as we know with restricted freedom, … but, nevertheless is it a false existence’

It’s not alarming me, as I’m easy going, swimming with the flow, but cause’s all and sundry complex limits, nevertheless, one should not loss faith either, because there is a constant bright light, a beam signals, almost to the second, every twenty four hours, giving us a continual bearing to measure the direction we need to travel. Other luminosities happen high above, if my recollection provides a reason, but no set pattern, or consistency, to be reliable, nonetheless, the proven morning light never fails…if only we could reach the illuminations…I believe we would be safe.

But there is something out there…. What it is I’m not sure, for its just out of reach. Weird silhouette shadows of certain significance emerge, then disappear without logic. If only we had the intelligence, the ‘know-how’, the vital oomph, I’m sure we would recognize why we are here…. The answer to the ultimate question of life itself…. if there is a divinity?

We are confined, and there was no doubt about that, yet, somewhere deep in our D.N.A; a stubbornness arose through generation after generation and raw evolution , a harden craving to seek the unknown, being totally away from our usual docile lifestyle, forcing us to fight against this imperceptible unwanted control…..

It sadly will be their plight, persisting to find a clink against such invisible armoury, lasting all their lives …as goldfish in a living room bowl!
peter.howden Posted 3rd Feb 2020, 09:44am
  A nice little earner……..

A perfect plan, if each step was executed to the letter, giving me 6 3/4 hours, to carefully open the safe holding approximal £3.6 million. In anyone’s language this would be a great tickle, concluding with glorious success. I planned it precisely, right down to the last breath and movement, so it could not fail

The police, bank head office, and local managers, had done everything to disguise and confuse their actual intentions. Thinking they were smart, no high-tech surveillance, no bang up to date gadgets to attract we naughty thieves. They just deposit the used banknotes in the last place intruders would assume. Such a serious amount of lovely loot, in an old-fashioned back street bank, with an old fashioned, but world-renowned Chubb safe. However I was crafty….and swift.

Success depends on a wee bit of whispered information, and willing to pay big bucks for it, means no need to blow the safe…plus, I had not lost my knack. How many tumblers (wheels) are acquainted with certain types of safes is crucial for triumph, along with specialized knowledge of the drop- pawl, also called a mechanism fence, to keep out Peterman such as I. The bank place of business was completely situated on ground floor, leaving nothing to chance, including alternative times police patrol checked the doors, shone torches through both the angled windows into the interior. As taught by the great Yiddish ganef, soaked my fingers in olive oil, then drying them with precision, before putting on the all-important Kidd gloves,

Now entering the financial premises with ease, to set up shop, taking each step as important as the last, ready finally facing my opponent. To create an allusion of emptiness, I made two 3D, for each window inside, inch by inch life-size realistic copies of the empty internals, giving any wandering eye, peering through the said windows, a delusion of normal, as I worked behind the screen, totally un-noticed and un-hindered. Changing for the throw away supple plastic gloves used by surgeons, I was ready finally facing my opponent

Intently listening through the stethoscope, gently easing the dial clockwise until the dial is opposite the sound of two flash clicks which locates the ‘fence’, connected to a lever mechanism responsible for keeping the safe shut. To meet my requirements as a professional, the rest of the details will remain unsaid secrets… only kent by a privileged few. My work had begun.

For 6 hours 33 minutes…. I tried every trick to hear the lever drop to open the stubborn safe…to no avail. Every attempt failed, while perspiration reached danger signals. A safecracker becomes useless, if the slightest sweat interferes with his digits, however like a ball against a stone wall I kept returning with stalwart delusions. My safety margin had run out, I took the remainder precious time, recovering all my gear, and anything that could link me as thee purloiner…leaving empty handed, but more important…not knowing where I went wrong.

Next day it was in all the news rags, about the attempted theft and why the robbers were stumped. By sheer terrible coincidence, accidently the chief clerk, had left the safe closed, but totally unlocked that night…all I had to do was turn the bloody handle.
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