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> Home Made Tales, The journey
peter.howden
post 3rd Feb 2015, 01:08am
Post #31

Super Lord Provost
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Posts: 424
Joined: 21st Oct 2005
From: /Glasgow
Member No.: 2,485

The Flight for Life(2)

In the darkness of my flooded awareness, concentration for life resumed jolted by the reverberations of the Roman mob, jeering abuse as my kinsmen warslin for a lungful of life... in their hour of peril...clench a hint of dignity. Here in the middle of this awesome Flavian Amphitheatre, the Colosseum, built by the methodical Vespasian, authentic mock sea battles barbarically staged for the amusement of the mob and the dubious honour their new Caesar.

Uncontrollably while under undefined rage my mind independently returned to the past



When the Roman Chief Agricola came North reaching the mouth of the River Esk, he encountered the tribe of The Votadini at Traprain Law or Dunedin. This fiercely proud tribe was related to me through my wife’s NcNdonochie Vcewn. The Romans slew her, not before invading her and made her watch having our children slain….. While they were absent from my protection. There was no need to slaughter my beautiful woman and our offspring, for the skirmish had been settled. It was the legion 1X; the philistine Parisi Celts brought over from Gaul. They would sell their own kin for a few denarii.

Our peoples of a mixture of tribes had a basic attitude to warfare as a part of life. . It was considered part of their solemnly religious rites, for all young men to perform adolescence to manhood. This process would indicate which youths were the fittest and strongest, thereby enabling them to progress into mature warriors. The weaker or puny youths and the physically uncoordinated did not survive and would often be cast out of the tribe.

As such they would not survive and so perish when left to fend for themselves. A brutal system, but it ensured the tribe remained strong and healthy.
But this was not me, for I may not have been a combatant warrior but I had sharp wits to survive and studied to become a skilful druid, respected and travelling the length and berth of the land giving guidance and wisdom to the welcoming natives

The all brutally conquering magnificently disciplined legion army were steeped in the art of warfare, would squashed the ragged collection of the dour barbarians This was the Roman folly, for the Caledonians (this was our Roman title) Druids such as I, persuaded the Cruithi; “the people of the designs"; and the mighty Nouantae, put aside their neighbourly squabbles to take on the might of the known world. The Celts and the Picts beat the Romans time and again. As the chariots lightning attacks scared the hell out of them.

In Celtic tradition a “Druid” means ‘Knowledge of the oak’ and ‘profound knowledge’. They were never challenged because whispered to be demigods, beings in human form who were somewhere between humans and the gods.

At this point of being out of daytime wanders, I returned to the carnage of chained beasts...for that is what my people, their warriors had become. This watery grave of thousands was organized... in this vast arena where no true god would enter...but my now alerted mind...concentrated on raw revenge

Nothing is more cunning or brutal than a cornered hound.....with nothing to lose but life itself...to be continued #

-=--=-=-=-=-=
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peter.howden
post 5th Feb 2015, 10:40am
Post #32

Super Lord Provost
*****
Posts: 424
Joined: 21st Oct 2005
From: /Glasgow
Member No.: 2,485
The fight for life(3)


Mayhem spread instantly, like a fearful plague bestowing agonizing death indiscriminately....through sword, blundering, fire or drowning with the severe crippled scattered throughout the brutal; imitation battle, to be cut to pieces by the Praetorian guard of the mighty Caesar who showing pomp and ceremony sat watching this cruel display with wonderment.

Clinging desperately on to life with some sort of divine delay for the inevitable end, my tortured mind was amiss to why... the Gods had chosen so unforgiving to severely punishment bestowed on my peoples in this den of regal bent Iniquity

I did things no living man should contemplate but I had no choice... though was glad I did Being a blessed soothsayer of true augur virtue... via visions gave me privilege enhancements denied to others, our fate was revealed came forth before leaving our beloved shores of our homeland. It was that moment I planned retribution revenge... savouring it cold and slowly.... as all good vengeances should be relished.

Captured chained and taken before the mighty Caesar who bequeathed knowledge of my fame or infamy by some betrayers or spies within our kingdom. He demanded my knowledge of eternal life to be laid before him. Like all apparent great men, above all else was his wanting; endless time to achieve the ultimate goal of a legacy of supremacy for a thousand years.

Though tortured...I chose to inform, but he believed this was through fear, to reveal I did have the source to Immortality; escaping rejuvenation far beyond anyone’s means other than the Druids. It lay in a certain herb found nowhere else but the very northern isles yet to be discovered by Rome, whose location known to but to a few . Caesar was so desperate to believe he swarmed on my words as if Holy Scripture and believed he had stolen from my merger goods... the actual answer to eternity.

Now as I lay on top of a burning splitter of salvation, Caesar deliberately searched for eye to eye contact with his principal victim, who unwittingly had blindly followed my arduous extracted instructions of taking a portion of my mashed components of wolfs-bane and white snakeroot. It was clear, for I knew where to look, there were irreversible signs... naively...on the brink of an excruciating death. These herbs presented in a mashed component

The Gods would know... divine intervention ....I would be dead....but retribution for the death of a nation...........and the sordid inheritance of the reign of pitiless Caesar Titus.............

-=-=-=-=-


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peter.howden
post 6th Feb 2015, 01:32pm
Post #33

Super Lord Provost
*****
Posts: 424
Joined: 21st Oct 2005
From: /Glasgow
Member No.: 2,485

HOT AIR;

Once upon a time there was a petite balloon whose every life sustaining breath was filled with loneliness even though he had devout parents. He often felt to be the last balloon in the world.

One fair evening as he lay in his cot, which made him feel immature rather than a youngster, he decided to visit his parent’s room, for some urgently needed comfort. After a hard day of ballooning they were fast asleep.


He did try awfully hard to squeeze into their marital bed without disturbing them but just could not without causing unwanted vibrations, which woke up both parents. Collectively they blew hot air at such unprecedented happenings, demanding the little balloon return to his abode and try to discover his own Utopia. Their little balloon had not heard of this place before though felt he was wasting his breath to ask his father where this could be.


Later on while shivering alone and frightened in his cot, the little balloon decided to try once again to snuggle up with his parents, for they certainly had looked obviously comfortable. Sneaking silently room, he once more attempted to squeeze between them with no more success than the first time.. The little balloon reasoned his parents were too big to fit him in.

Then came the brainwave the answer was to let some air out his parents.

So extremely carefully he loosened his mama’s balloon pink ribbon... allowing a controlled amount out, and then sealed it with a cute little bow.

Turning to his father he untied his heavy string and once again allowed a certain amount of air out then closed the escapee with a sailors knot.

This time he had the space to snuggle up between both parents and enjoy collective hot air.
In the morning his mother and father woke first and were shocked to see their little balloon had deliberately disobeyed their instruction and in anger, papa balloon wakened up his offspring. Once out of sleep, the little balloon was barraged by his father who complained bitterly of his disappointments and that his little balloon had disturbed his “Utopia”.

This was the second time the little balloon had heard this word and from his own papa. His father continued to scold the little balloon. I am banishing you from our family home and though you think it to be severe punishment right now, when you become a bigger balloon, and discovered your own “Utopia” then you will thank me.

The little balloon was all filled up and almost choking as he floated oft from what he had known as home.

Because he was so concentrated as to what was this “Utopia” his father had called three times in one night but had failed to mention before, he bumped into furniture...and then the ceiling a few times, he uncontrollably bounced back into the room he had shared with his parents and some mixture of toys. The little balloon landed on the chess table, right next to the white queen.


The little balloon had not spoken to anything or body, other than his parents and other balloons when the opportunity arose. He decided this was not a time to be short of breath and asked the queen “Where or what is Utopia?” For me, the Queen replied, Utopia is when my king is not check-mated ....but I am of the belief there is a bigger and better “Utopia” out there; somewhere.

The little balloon could not see her pointing anywhere however saw Her Majesty gazing upward and so concluded that is where the better “Utopia” was.

So, with no further ado and with every bit of energy he could muster and vibrate, the little balloon took to the air and a wild adventure. Out through an open window and up to the bright blue skies where he was sure held the secret of the better “Utopia” and who knows;

perhaps he would find it?

-=-=-=
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peter.howden
post 8th Feb 2015, 12:47pm
Post #34

Super Lord Provost
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Posts: 424
Joined: 21st Oct 2005
From: /Glasgow
Member No.: 2,485
Constant Hot Air;

Unlike other ‘Once upon a time’ tales... this one has depth or height depending at what perspective you were coming from.

The little balloon was now full of mixed emotions, matching terror and sheer excitement all rolled into one, as he was leaving what was his happy home, his security when things got rough and an answer to any question. It was not his fault he seldom, if ever, had a question to ask but somehow he knew that if he ever had.... in his home would have an answer. But what was this “Utopia” which his Papa suddenly brought into his life and both parents more than urged him to search for.

With a final last glance downward, he vibrated so hard he shot upwards faster than he had ever done before.. As a novice he found it thrilling. Although it made him wobbly inside, he knew he was in perfect shape to cope with whatever, because Mamma balloon had always remarked so to Papa.

Floating along with the help of inner artificial pulsations which soon tired him out to near exhaustion, bring him down to earth... landing in a small graceful stream. Once down he realized there was no need for work or pulsates, as he could float with ease...to go with the flow. Relaxing in his new environment allowed him time to dream but no matter how much he tried, the idea of “Utopia” escaped him.

He had heard stories in the nursery at home of the big and smaller walking skins,, of ‘Peter Pan’...’Alice in wonderland’ but they were just fairy tales, for who ever heard a rabbit talking, never mind being late, or of a boy, any boy who could fly. Everyone knows only balloons can fly. Just as he reaching this conclusion it became obvious he was travelling very fast indeed...and this balloon had no control as he headed where the stream’s unknown destination.



Rapidly, which came as a bit of surprise, he decided if he was going anywhere, then its only right and proper to be in control himself, so... with a mighty heave and a good deal of shuddering, as if he was about to sneeze, he broke free of the surface tension which had held him in check....lift-off was achieved by pure effort and not by physics. The little balloon comfortably rose above the whole scene to catch a glimpse of a beautiful waterfall which could have spelt danger for him. Yet with his reasoning he could not spell so danger would not find him.

As he made is way upwards he did recall a distant uncle giving him advice by saying; “always aim for the top in anything you do...It made be hard even a struggle but you will be an achiever!”... looking up, he thought...’I’m on my way to the top’

A sign post appeared through the clouds, marked “You are now in Troposphere ...next stop Stratosphere” which meant nothing to the little balloon for he could not read. He was able to listen to the stories told in the nursery at home...but give him a book....he was lost....and anyway...he could not turn the page? This was no disadvantage at home but it really could have helped out here..

Unexpectedly atmospheric bitter coldness overtook his on the spot thrill as he was turning bluer the higher he went....firstly light blue....then deeper positive blue and he had no idea this was called changing colour. He knew absolutely nothing about colour of balloons at all, different or otherwise, as it was not ever mentioned at home. In fact... he never saw colours in any balloons he was acquainted with....but now he reasoned they must have been one colour or another....he was just too unaware to see it.

Meanwhile he was travelling upward as the flatness slowly disappeared to become sort of roundish....just nearly like him.....

-=-=-=-=-=-=
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peter.howden
post 9th Feb 2015, 06:34pm
Post #35

Super Lord Provost
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Posts: 424
Joined: 21st Oct 2005
From: /Glasgow
Member No.: 2,485
Cure


It’s hard to tell a story particularly when there is no real story to tell just a collection of happenings. I have told peoples some at various stages in my life but to put pen to paper is a different game altogether. Some found them amusing and some found them hard to swallow but they are all true and the names have not been swapped to save embarrassment. When I say they are true it is worthwhile remembering that my vision of truth may or should differ from persons mentioned within, so it lies mainly with the reader.

(Grannies remedy)

As a young boy and growing adolescent I suffered badly from dreaded spots and boils of all shapes and sizes. As the years have passed this embarrassment state has been explained as normal growth behaviour for teenagers of the male gender but while in action this became a constant harassment. The boils would spurt out with surprising speed and I would look in the mirror just before leaving to go out, and I would certainly see one or even two maturing on my neck. A look further on and there was a spread around my lower chin. Other boys had boils but they never seemed as big or as sore as mine. My affliction in tow I managed to struggle through life and carry on to marry the girl of \my heart. Life was now appearing colourful and bliss until the fateful day
.
A few days before that particular morning’s dawned, it became obvious that a boil had travelled far. This singular inflamed swelling had settled between the cheeks of my bottom. I did not know how big it actually was, but it felt like a volcano erupting pain my wife and I had been married for only a few weeks and we were still on honeymoon really and totally inexperienced in life or its funny ways. My wife could remember a remedy to rid of boils handed down by her great Gran to Gran to mum and then to her of a magic poultice made up of heated sugar, soap and kaolin and just thinking about it now brings tears to the eyes.

I lay on the bed face down while the gently warmed substance was placed between my bare cheeks and this mountain of a boil. After a short period we both realized that it was not being of any good and my wife suggests that it is not hot enough. The second attempt was totally different for the mixture was heated as far as she dared and then a couple of minutes extra for good measure like all good novice cooks do. The chosen wrap around the mixture was too small a piece for the amount of mixture made, expanded by heat I think , so when it was placed a second time it hit raw flesh. Well it was such a shock it forced my cheeks together which made the mixture act like super glue while the force of the clam tight cheeks spurted the by now huge extra stuff out in all directions but mainly the ravine of my exposed bottom.

I was never a great athlete at school but with my new overheated aid I leapt upwards into the air from my lying position to what I believe a hairs breath away from the ceiling of our Victorian room returning back to bed in a cat like posture screaming “get the buggering thing off”. This created a panic in my wife, much the same as a chicken that has had its unfortunate head chopped; she grabbed the only piece of cloth showing and pulled with feverous vigour. Unfortunately as she pulled more of this homemade larva discovered virgin skin relatively unscathed which lead to my second leap. It was not as high a leap as my first but it did manage to squish the remaining mixture forcing me to squeal in a very high pitch which I have since never been able to repeat and I wish not to. After such an ordeal you would imagine that the very boil would have at least burst but no way.

My wife argued convincingly that since I had been to hell and back, and to rid myself of this boil once and for all, heat I should try a course that her Granddad swore by. On reflex ion I now know why Granddad swore and call me a fool but by now I was past reason or thought and also my threshold for pain or so I believed.

I watched my wife prepare a heavy old milk bottle by heating it up in water just below boiling. She explained that by heating the bottle and placing it on the skin it would act like a kind of vacuum therefore suck up the boil puss and all. You may find this hard to believe that there was no sensation of pain what so ever when it was placed surrounding the offending boil and she insisted that for it to work she would count up to twenty before removing the very hot bottle with the two towels woven around it.

I was extremely embarrassed by now but the count came to an end seemingly without success until my wife tried to remove the bottle which was rock fast. She had no choice but to give a violent tug and being in an awkward position lost her grip on the bottle leading to my third leap but my screams by now were muffled by muteness.

The aftermath was cream placed gently on the whole area and I was told the boil was indeed burst. A few days later, with the aid of mirrors, I was able to see for myself and all that remained and to this day is a perfect red ring mark.

My lovely wife has never had a boil or if she has never told me……

[/size][size="4"]
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peter.howden
post 12th Feb 2015, 11:10am
Post #36

Super Lord Provost
*****
Posts: 424
Joined: 21st Oct 2005
From: /Glasgow
Member No.: 2,485
Endless Hot Air;

Looking downward towards earth he was filled with surprising emotion somewhere deep inside, he felt he could never see home again and poor Mamma and Papa would be searching for him throughout the house but especially in the small walking skins nursery where tales of Peter Pan ruled.....’Second star to the right and onward on till morning’. Would it be forever and a day?’ He whispered a silent message to his beloved parent balloons, Quote “between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember to dream......... to dream......where you will always find me”.

Unknown to the little balloon he was now passing by the pointing outward signs Mesosphere, Thermosphere, and then finally Exosphere, his insides gurgled strangely as he soared uncontrollably further and further into the unknown. Although fretting, the vision all around, being so heavenly spectacular astounded him, filling his emotions with excitement and wonder.

He recalled earlier times when he was amazed as to the bountiful wonders of life, simple but complicated things beyond little balloon’s ability to explain, such as the miracle in a drop of water and a new bit of string...long enough to keep him alive...lifesaving technology ....to a balloon it is. The awe inspiring feelings of love... when nothing is said.

Moving little by little towards what even to a little balloon was the unknown but magnetically inviting memories flooded in and out, went as quickly as they came, with one exception... he recalled asking his parents where he came from and unanimously the answered ...under a bush. Now being a travelling balloon, seemingly his thoughts of reason were deeper than before as he wondered..... but what bush?… a bramble which promises sweet fruit once you have torn your hand to gain your fill………or a thorn bush……………which promises nothing but bare reality...and what was reality.

He stopped pondering for a moment being more than content as to where he found himself, not scared in the least drifting into infinity...before having one more thought. Would he ever become an old star...he hoped not....for they lose their twinkle......but to live.....is an awful big adventure.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-
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peter.howden
post 15th Feb 2015, 01:35pm
Post #37

Super Lord Provost
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Posts: 424
Joined: 21st Oct 2005
From: /Glasgow
Member No.: 2,485
Peewee Too;



How did it start??



One evening, near the start of one of our holidays, I happened to be wandering along the coastal front, between Stevenson and Saltcoats, just north of the river Garnock. You could see the mystic “Arran” to the left as I sank forward in the ever moving ground of sand. I can tell you at first hand ‘Arran’ so serenely majestic yet sublime as the silver moonlight reached my hazy eyes. What a sight, what a view.

Being on long weekend break from the ties of my labour, earlier I had refreshed myself with an uncountable account of “Wee Goldie’s” giving me a glow beyond spirits... of heavenly merry mood.

The moon exceled in its nightly duty, clearly displaying the shiny grains of sands which had travelled for indefinite centuries to be there on that special night...so I plunged with my best foot forward sinking into the sands, with the stars above not glittering through the milky way, but winking at we humans abroad that night. The whole sky was so clear and crisp with enchantment falls only once in a while or on a cartoon film of Walt Disney. I was captivated by the stillness as I halted, sat down to flounder in this awe-inspiring disposition.

Then reaching for my inside pockets to hold the bottle carrying my golden nectar, perhaps enjoy a sip or two while surveying my prospects. Before I had the opportunity of tasting through touching my lips this divine god sent liquid...there was a distinct clamour...a noise that should not have been there at that time of night. It caused not an alarm, but curiosity

It is a very difficult thing to do, trying to pin point any noise on deserted seashore, shingled or not, with the worldwide sea waves roaring across the break forming small white horses, then they vanish as soon as the sand makes contact. Noise just naturally wanders all over the open space with no definite start or finishing point. Even in moonshine a spooky place for grownups. Strangely for gay abandoned holiday-maker, secure in spiritual comfort...at hand...inviting.

The first sight of ‘Pee Wee’ was against the powerful moonbeam, just as in E.T; the movie, but without the boy, or the bike and all. The really funny thing was how cool I was cool about it. One moment enjoying a secret swig of pure unique whisky, then this bird... which had all the makings of a Pigeon... but much bigger.

My mouth, was so dry but open ,while trying to find my vocal cords, as this biggish bird clearly uttered; “ My name is Peewee...how’s it going there Peter?”. I did not reply but the bird added; “You’re not a Provost, you know...I normally only converse with reigning Lord Provost and have done so all my existence.... but then again I’m on my vocation!”

With mixed messages buzzing around my confused brain, I did consider if it was a ventriloquist’s trick, for as it spoke and although its beaks moved they were not in sequence as the order of these words and where, or how I recognized the name “Peewee” did not penetrate right at that moment...but ...Peewee was one of the not so prized nicknames I was given at school.

From this day forward Peewee, the extraordinary pigeon, gave me an historic insight of his life and exciting times by preforming his duty as the ancient guardian of the governing Provost in each era, which he related each time we met down at the Saltcoats sands. Coincidently I was always alone except for Jonnie Walker with the black coat...or his brother Blue coat.......and at all times... by moonlight

To this day I find it not only incredible but privilege I am of his choosing to keep company with...on his days off. I will endeavour to pass this valuable information to you....in tales fashion.

-=-=-=-=-=-=

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peter.howden
post 16th Feb 2015, 06:28pm
Post #38

Super Lord Provost
*****
Posts: 424
Joined: 21st Oct 2005
From: /Glasgow
Member No.: 2,485
Worm up;



In as noble a voice he could muster, he bawled ‘they have forced us into a hole that certainly isn’t square ... and have those mutts pee all over us...we have just about had enough!’ called the leader of the squad of diggers emotionally expressed .............”Yes by George”, that’s just enough. With this verbal display of rebellion... the rest of the excavators became obviously restless.

‘I do mean this’ he added with a bit more aggressively harsher than he thought he could manage, ‘we should not have to put up with such indignities, no matter how high the peers of the regime are’. ‘We have suffered enough indignity and now it’s time for action...what do they think we do all day?’ he repeated but with genuine emotion. Galloping with pace added near furiously... ‘the way they treat the hard working minions...You would think we just dig insignificant holes for the pure pleasure in doing so!’

‘Well lads ....down tools.... not one more piece of digging till our conditions are met and appreciation for our existence is shown’.

This was the determined words spoken by the chief engineer and shop steward of the ‘Worms Union, Municipal Miners’ Buckingham Palace branch, two whole weeks ago. Since then, the strike has spread to the rest of the country and I can tell you, it’s causing havoc. Where William Blake’s; ‘Once England’s green and pleasant land’ was green has been transformed into a mini Holland.



Scotland has fared much better as the belief the Loch Ness Monster (he does exist and it’s rude to scoff) is transporting huge quantities of water away from troubled areas. Apparently Wales has not noticed the difference and no one had the manners to ask Ireland.



Speaking to a professor on the ground; he states on his reputation quite simply... Worms dig billions on trillions of holes per day, 10’s of millions per square yard. If they stopped digging then the rain had no place to go. Right now the Prime Minister, in Blair mode, has begged the Queen and her ladies in waiting (they decided not to ask Prince Phillip along in case he swore) to have a word or two with the worms leader.



We will just place the microphone nearer to hear what is being said at the royal earth.



“Yes I see why now’ softly spoke the monarch, ‘If you are digging the last thing you want is a horde of Corgi’s cocking a leg urinating with willie-less care or dumping night manure on top” that was the Queen herself;



Now the marine Engineer worm, who or whom, I have not managed to catch his name…States with conviction.....”That’s right missus, no one likes someone peeing & shitting on them while they work and while we are at it…..



Another request was if you an you stop those fanfare blaring night and day when ether a dignity arrives or when you go to the loo….its most alarming; especially in the dark?...and does our nuts in”



The queen waves her hand majestically instantly agreeing to the worms demands. The trumpeters are promptly dismissed.... sent out to the Dalai Lama; to remind him of his homeland. ..As for the queens mutts they have been put on a tight reign. As for Prince Phillip…who knows?



The worms were as good as their word and in no time at all things were back to normal.....
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peter.howden
post 17th Feb 2015, 09:05pm
Post #39

Super Lord Provost
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Posts: 424
Joined: 21st Oct 2005
From: /Glasgow
Member No.: 2,485
A bedroom Drama

You did everything to me, to keep me under your whims, apart from walking all over me ... then lost interest when not connected. Throughout our relationship, which was all one sided, you mistreated me for years, yes years. I sacrificed my appearance giving you the best years of my life... and how do you repay me in so many ways including ignoring me in bed and it is no good trying to hide under the covers……….again.

I am telling you for the last time, no more are you burdening me with your weighty problems just because you need me when you decide it’s time to be intimate. For as far as I can remember, every time I come to bed your always rather manky with ooze ....reeking of yesterday’s booze ...then after coming home in the early morning, pimping and sweating horrible odours which would knock out King Kong.

Every day you leave me alone in this drifty old damp house, expecting me to give a captivating performance just when you push my buttons. I was not put on this earth just for you, but you think you have bought the rights to mistreat and abuse me. Well I tell you brother……. you are not on.

I have lay here night after night, hoping you would come home to our abode so that when you are finished playing with me I would be able to truly rest before the next trial, but like all selfish bastards you think you can do what you like when you like and how you like...well sonny boy not tonight. I am sick to almost discontinuation with the inhuman abuse you lay upon me. In the morning I am curled up after being ill-treated and tossed aside like an old blanket.

Well....I am at the end of my tether, and I can tell you, you have driven me to drastic action even if it means my own existence before I blow a fuse. Tonight, when once again you retreat to bed, lying there steaming like a drunken wally, I will make sure that one electric cord is bare just about where you slop the dregs from the beer can and the drooling will cause a spark and………….. Whoosh goodnight Vienna.





So ends the depressed fiction of a once very proud Electric blanket …………………….un-named...for personal reasons

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
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peter.howden
post 18th Feb 2015, 07:29pm
Post #40

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From: /Glasgow
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Granny’s Soup



They say bigotry was rife within Glasgow boundaries and I reckon there will be an element of truth in these stern words, but perhaps not to the same degree as was the past throughout Glasgow, Scotland, Briton and the whole world.



There was intolerance with colour, Italian Pakistani, Arabs, Jews, Chinese almost most races and at the drop of a hat or some rumour, feed, anyone who was different, to ordinary or preserved way of life. Disablement was hidden away or when in company, were talked at...very loudly as if they were dense or near brain-dead, not just created differently when born, as the disfigurement as it was feared it may be catching



It is believed we have come a long way to re-correct but I would suggest that there is always a hiding place for bigotry thoughts... and we should not rest on our laurels, by working always try and see, the other point of view, along with room for scope.



Growing up right near the Clyde was not a battle, only a trek to Renfield church on a Sunday, hearing oldie stories from far off places. It appears although all people say you should be free and able to pray in daily life, whatever you feel.... each religion had passive spiritual message saying theirs alone is true...or the best...causing rivalry and convicted indignant righteousness beyond any logic.



When I met my future In-Laws my views had not changed too much but my knowledge of the world had move on, for the better I hoped. Brought up in a reputed protestant household, and my new girlfriend’s family were all, to a man, Roman Catholic. Caused me no concern by now I was an atheist though through curiosity I read, and debated, lots to do with religion in Scotland and the different theories on theories for poises.



The only person in the whole large family to always show a kindness was patriot Granny. The reason why, I think, the rest of the brood felt uncomfortable, not with my creed or the real lack of it, it was that they put me down as a patter merchant, or as Glaswegians would say...a pure chancer



We would visit Granny every Sunday, as a cheap day out, and without fail, no matter who was in the house, she would shout” get some soup into the lad”.. Three or four bowls latter followed before she was relaxed enough to await and ask a few questions. The favourites were how my hand was doing since she had related the secret was rub olive oil every night to stimulate the muscles. .She would insist squeezing her hand until she would whisper that it was defiantly coming stronger.



This ritual over, she insisted her daughter feed me up something to eat, he stays in digs, grand Granny insisted. This was usually a very large plate of whatever and I was more than glad for it as I was a growing lad. It was not that the rest of the family disliked me it was just I was labelled a smooth talker. I think the old lady may have seen something more in me than the rest did, or she was sorry for me being in the position I was in alone in the world, so to speak or maybe, just maybe she had a soft spot for me?



One day ,while in the kitchen of the cubby lady, she was busying herself making soup, and I saw her cut half a pack of margarine and dispose it into the bubble of the prepared mixture. I had never seen this before, so I asked quietly what she was actually making.





Quick as a flash the reply came





“Catholic soup you orange bastard”
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peter.howden
post 19th Feb 2015, 03:19pm
Post #41

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SOMEONE’S KNOCKING;



There is a knock on the door. Wonder who it can be? It is rather soft and personal... though it can’t be a friend, for they would know how to press the doorbell a special way squinting to the left. I’ve been meaning to have that bell fixed for some time as it has something to do with the contacts being slack or lose or something. The manager at the rent office said last time around and he promised to send a man round. It’s not him though, for if he was the electrician he’d know how to touch the bell to make it work. Right enough tradesmen are not what they used to be.



I won’t be the postman; he normally bangs and if it is a special delivery, he would put through one of the cards. Tried to deliver mail to you but you were not at home. I think he writes them out before he starts his rounds. He gave me a hint once of a second job and this is why he never wastes a second. He has to be finished for a certain time. I reckon it isn’t the postman... far too late for him.



I wonder if its kids playing “Ring bang Skooshie” still I would doubt it for I never heard them run away. That is if they had the muster to run with all those electric games and computer in their pockets now a day. Operate in silence, alone in their room’s, like little hermits unable to see the sun, with fake tans and pen friends non-existent. They say you hear no chapping in cyber space….. Whatever the hell that is? I was told once it was a void up there storing all information from every computer in the world but it doesn’t exist. Sounds like my football winnings.



There it is again, wonder who is knocking at the door. It may be the fancy tart in No 56; who always wears her Sunday best and chatters on about to love thy neighbour but I don’t think the almighty meant to show special favour for him in No 33. God’s work must have more magic in the wee small hours God works in mysteries ways but there’s bugger all mystery what goes on in No 33 while his missus is away. I’m not a prude.......but I ask you..... Jammy bandit!. .



It could be meals on wheels but I doubt it…..since I told them to bugger oft.... I told the two of them; Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.... Well that is what I called them. I broadcasted for all to hear for I have got nothing to hide...their food was crap.... pig swirl and they would better oft shinning their grave stones. I think the matron said she would never darken my door again....so it can’t be her and that’s a fact.



There it is again; they want attention knocking like that. The trouble with people they have no patience, no consideration for other people’s feelings. Everything is go…go…go..



I guess it won’t be my kith or kin. My son, if you can call him that...the doolie will either be propping up a bar or too drunk to find his way. Even sober he will not remember the address. He only asks for a hand full if happen he comes around. And as for her.... after all I have done for her.......made sacrifices no descent chap would talk about..... she just ran oft without a by your leave or warning.

The iron is still on the table where she left it.... I wonder what ever happened to my sock? Funny things socks...you always lose one in the washing....just disappears....always the right one I think.........because there is one left.............



I had a cousin in Durham but that was donkies ago anyway... I’ve moved since she knew me.



It sounds as if they are walking away…..wonder who it was???
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peter.howden
post 22nd Feb 2015, 02:06pm
Post #42

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Thee Visit



“Hi Archie”....You phoned a couple of days ago, sounding so weak, telling me the latest news from the hospital and your doctor, then insisting it was fruitless to travel down all the way to Guilford as the end could come any time. I reckon you wished your friends to remember you as you were before illness took a grip but being so self-centred, I just wanted to...really needed to... say hallo to an old pal.



The nurse whispered just as I came in, not to expect communication, but there are times when you appear to be lucid but void of any reaction. Sounds rather clinical but then again ...this visit could add an extra word of goodbye. You’re a brave man “Archie”, always was, never shunting away from the what you viewed as reality or truth, with an inner strength which was catching....but at this precise moment I am certainly not ...there I go again...you are the guy in sick-bed and I’m being selfish



All the way down, it was a sort of drama dream, with mixed feelings of joyful reminiscences which go way back and how you influenced the way I thought about things. In the past, we met near every week, but recently not so regularly since you moved to Guilford...but I came down, used your key, but I always phoned first. You did come to Glasgow quite a few times, always stayed in the Central hotel and we would meet up for supper followed by long debates and arguments way into early morning. I always looked forward to those dates, like a kid going for a pleasurable lesson... with your vast knowledge from experience.... you constantly spoke more sense than I ever could. You never said I was wrong...never....but you would express so to me without saying I was wrong.

Stop at the flat before coming here and it was empty.....I mean empty............not a trace of who, or anyone lived there........she took everything.........seemingly could not wait. You always said Guilford was not civilized if you could not buy a bottle of, ‘Irn Bru’ or a ‘Tunnocks tea cakes ‘.... you just missed Scotland........and sadly... it didn’t work out for you both

A couple of times we verged on the subject of the afterlife...agreeing we were so sure it was complete nothingness....but would you mind if I saw it as you napping ...it’s just the silliness within me.


It’s so obvious you are uncomfortable with un-manageable pain, injections of high dosages of morphine, only go so far...being blunt..... Losing so much weight it would be hard for acquaintances to recognize the once resilient man......demise will be a relief ...in fact I can see it being so now......... but I will have an empty corner... a space no one can fill. I hope you don’t mind me talking like this while holding your hand....so cold it is, but you seem unaware... though if I used my over active imagination...there is a flicker in your eye, just a slight glimpse of the old Archie.



Remember that time “Archie” when we dined at the Central Station Restaurant (overpriced I always thought...silver service indeed) I complained to you the glass of white wine tasted like water............and you said “no wonder...it’s Perrier Water?” What a dumplin I am sometimes. Or when we visited an Italian Restaurant.....but that will have to wait............a strict rule of the hospital..........time at the bedside....and since I’m not family.......i will have to go.



I make a promise “Archie”....I will remember you as you were....for there is no other way...Goodbye dear friend.

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peter.howden
post 24th Feb 2015, 08:10pm
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MARY’S PILLS;

When you ask any academic or professional writer, what the basic rule about writing, there is a good chance they will end up telling you to write about something you know. The trouble is with this theory is when you have a blank page, and you don’t know anything so nothing is what you write about and very soon you run out of subject matter...leaving you with a blank page without really trying.

‘A life that has not been tested or examined cannot be creative’ said an old Greek philosopher but I would say this is nonsense, for many of us can be simple or empty headed and still create. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to laugh or enjoy life to its fullest. In fact there is room to think how too much evaluation can choke the very life out of any adventure or enjoyment in life.

Two persons springing to my mind to prove my point.... Billy and his mother Mary, who unfortunately are both deceased now, but as far as they were concerned they lived their shortened lives to the fullest whilst abiding across the road from our abode.

This is where Mary and her son Billy, who’s only outlook was to scramble through any day as best they could.... with as much alcohol humour thrown in to life’s melting pot. Mary was known locally as a character, as many older people in Glasgow are.... because she would talk to anyone, stranger or friend with wit and a wink of the eye outlook beaming to hell with tomorrow. Mary could claim fame for Billy was also a born character, in his own right, unusual to have two such persons in a living family, even for Glasgow.

Billy’s hobbies were Rangers... an empty glass lifter. I would presume ‘glass lifters’ exists in every busy pub throughout Scotland, under a different guise, with a busy bar.... a regular local user, who is there every night can perform this duty, when chosen after years of attendance. Collecting used glasses at the punters side of the counter, with a reward of a few beers on the house. It helped the bar staff and it helped Billy saving the expense of alcohol each night.

Mary was a cheery wuman who always seemed to laugh as so as she spotted anyone she wished to pass the time of day with and along with her friend and next door neighbour, she would often have slight refreshment when the mood took. Mary and Billy were both free spirits... in more than one way.


One particular day when Marry had not been well for quite a few days, the Doctor was called, to examine the possibilities of her compulsory stay in bed, she was asked a few normal questions. One seemingly innocent enquiry was “had she taken any pills lately” with this Mary answered a resounding YES, making the Doc look at his patient’s records...then look puzzled...asking “are you sure”, with a definite echo “Yes”. An expression of worry crossed the Doc’s brow when he added there was no sign in her notes of any pills prescribed over the last six months. In a lower tone asked ‘where did she get them?’.

She answered with confidence she personally did not obtain them but her Billy did. The Registrar inquired, ‘what amount had she been taking?’

Quick as a flash, Mary said.... about six at a time. The Doc reacted, ‘what colour were these pills?’. Marry, mussed; ‘green and yellow’

This forced the general practitioner to utter under who’s instruction did he obtain these pills and she then came back with “ME”.

The physician was by now nether up the wall or down it and had a final stab at what he believed to be a sensible all round question and asked what chemist supplied such pills without authorization needed normally with a Doctors line and again with instant speed the answer came with some surprise in her voice”.

“You don’t get Pills Lager from a chemist.... if you can get them with a Doc chitty.... then please write a few out”. Billy thought they would cheer me up and at the same time sweat this terrible whatever it is out of me.


It was probably not the best lager in the world....but probably the best piece of humour the Doc had heard for a while.
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peter.howden
post 25th Feb 2015, 04:27pm
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THE DOG;



The longest tem minutes I have ever spent and it was in a caring place. On the way there the mutt looked at me accusingly with its sad deep eyes until I realized it was my uncomfortable interpretation. The dog just sat there reflecting my thoughts via her eyes, dark spiritual pools piercing my already fragile guilt. In short I was taking Aunt Becky’s hound to the vet with a strong probability of it being for the last time.



Several weeks earlier Aunt Becky had been taken into hospital and my grand-children had volunteered to be the carers of the bitch, the dog... not our wee aunt. Becky loved the dog to death and often too much by feeding them everything she thought the hound would like, plus a few extras along the way. Fish suppers and cream biscuits, washed down by milk were no strangers to the canine’s dining table.



Gregg’s famous pies were no stranger to her plate though sometimes all she received was a Glasga salad……….. Plate of chips.. The only reason the dug did not have the legendary ‘Deep Fried Mars-Bars’ was Aunt Becky’s repugnance to chocolate in any state., ever since with an incident in the siren shelter during the war.



In contrast the children stuck to a précised feeding pattern backed up with regular exercise. The mutt grew healthy and wet nosed though my daughter spotted the dog licking her special bits more than she thought she aught. I took’ Lassie’ to the locum vet who gave me antibiotics and ordered us back next week’ he warned me of serious consequences. The following week, the senior vet instructed the dog back to the main surgery, for exploring examination, in a voice and manner indicating a very serious diagnose.



Meanwhile Aunt Becky comes home and broadcasts thanks to the children , indicating she would be happy to resume her tender care on the pooch .I had to tell her about the visit to the vets as I was scared not to. It would have been a terrible shock to Aunt Becky if the dog had gone without her knowing about the possible tumour. We both cried a bit, all that day, and more.



So here was the dog, sitting in the car like snoopy as I nervously glancing at her.... hoping she would not sense my desperation. She did not for it was only my clarification of her moments surrounding this trip. Selfishly I wish I had taken bow-wow to the graveyard earlier in the morning as she just run around crazy trying to catch rabbits and squirrels. Although she always failed in her goal, she lapped up every moment. Driving with a dread music of Elvis’s ‘Old Shep’ coming over the radio, but needing some distractions from the mutts returning stare.



’Lassie kept trying to give me a paw each time the car stopped at traffic lights or nuzzle her nose under my hand as I changed gears though most of the journey she just sat in the front seat like the famous Peanut character . It was a lovely morning when we reached the leafy part of Whiteinch meeting Scoutston. Early as I was so early in the morning I decide to take the canine for a walk to kill some time. Perhaps not a very good choice of words but I was nervous, for both of us.



Leaving the pedigree anonymous there was hard on both the dog and myself as she was dragged away to the enclosure. The assistant where every inch of kindness and even talked in the high pitched voice for soothing purpose but annoying to my ear. Lassie now defiantly knew something was amiss, as she had been there twice before and her senses taught her to fight against being manipulated towards the trap. She had shown teeth in angry fear for the first time ever in my presence. My heart and manner sank right there.



She had a tumour and was put to sleep because of its spread and dumb animals should not suffer.

In my mind nether should human beings, dumb or otherwise....as the song goes’ if there is a doggy heaven?’……………..one thing for sure; I will not be there.



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peter.howden
post 26th Feb 2015, 02:52pm
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BACKCOURTS;



There were many backcourts in Glasgow situated a million miles away from poverty and if one toffee sweet paper or a piece of litter drifting aimlessly by the breeze, there would be one stooshie of a kerfuffle if not stramash .in many a Wally-Close. This description was of a stairway to tenement houses, which had tiles, or fancy decoration that was much sought after by the haughty brigade. No one underneath their supposed class or station in life was allowed into the hallow walls of residence unless called for or dipped their tatty bunnets in respect



It was not uncommon of workmen changing from ordinary labour clothing of their work and into suits in Central railway station before embarking home and entrance to such intimate passageway. This was

the desperate lengths some would go to hide the fact that their employment were not of the supposed standards of other lord and lady mucks of such esteem quarters.



This crazy class illusion was not available for the other type of communal dwellings in the backcourts in any slum area was just about the same however, people were not aware of presiding in such a place called ‘A Slum’ or did not realize they were deemed destitute or ‘in poverty’ for most people were in the same boat and some were more skint than others. Such was the situation in the Gorbals and other parts of Glasgow at the turn of the previous century, including, such as Dundee, Liverpool and other industrial cities around Briton....great or otherwise. In those areas were backcourts.... which today would be unimaginable but existed all the same. Those were manky holes at best and utterly disgraceful germ, disease ridden hotspots in reality. This was not the fault of the tenant.



Most closes had room and kitchens on each landing and a single end dotted through the whole stairway. A common toilet positioned halfway up each stairway to the landing. Every proud misses of the household kept her domain spick and span... to the very best of her ability and woe betide anybody who spoilt her efforts. There was one or two considered clatty middens who became the talk of the steamie every wash day.





The backcourts foul smelling marshes of mucky puddles and mud in the winter and dust bowls in the hot summers Kids played with anything at hand or from the middens. Now and again, something really smashing was found in the ‘Luck Midden’, treasured more than a pot of gold by the finder, keeper. Shops sprung up as the wee lassies had cardboard counters and milk bottles filled with muddy water and displayed as perfumes or milk or ginger. Empty cans filled the store and milk tops was the money to pay for such luxuries. Many a tear came when such shops were forcibly close for the night by weary mothers.



Nevertheless, back to where there was fun and life by the jug full where most people said hallo and meant it.



Backcourts of Glasga were alfresco entertainment centres were mistrals of different quality would sing their hearts out proving there was no shortage of chanters. Sometimes a mouthorgan player would join in or even a banjo. Highlights of the show shown by the youngsters, in the audience, giving rapture applause with the help of dustbin lids. The then performer would show their agility by catching pennies and the like thrown from various windows, down to the court. They had to be smart as the young tinkers were not averse to nipping in and grabbing the fallen loot.



Our gang decided to do something different and perform as a circus. The idea came from Kelvin Hall annual circus. These instant shows came without frills but bags of enthusiastic wee showstoppers. Tubby was to be the strong man while Willie became the escape artist and a couple of the girls would do show dancing. Alan was the ring master with a top hat made out of an old oil black container. Tub’s had a dog which could do roll over and play dead, then hold its paw out which was quite nifty but there was something vital missing... at the first whiff of a sausage or cooking in any manner....it was off like a hound out of hell .



A group of woman were sitting waiting the grand opening of the instant gala as weans prepared murmurs from the group peevish they had no one to dress up in baggy trousers, a squirting flower, big shoes to fall over and a painted face.







Just at that moment one of the well-built wuman smiled and belted out ‘Fizz...in the name of the wee man, there are plenty of clowns around Richmond Park and Glasga Green’;

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