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> Home Made Tales, The journey
peter.howden
post 11th Sep 2017, 09:40am
Post #421

Super Lord Provost
*****
Posts: 458
Joined: 21st Oct 2005
From: /Glasgow
Member No.: 2,485
Foretastes of a 60s adolescent

‘YOUNG ONES’ HALL;

Not yet being fully-fledged adolescents, our behaviour was more tactic than erratic, discovering the world beyond our childlike experience so far, protesters of the universe, forging ahead with virginal thinking where no generation went before…. or so we thought. Acting within an individualism crowd, we youngsters debated haughty ethics in a new light, when frequenting the Brookland Café, situated at the corner of Minard Road and Frankfort St.

None of the non-conformists were real admirers of Cliff Richard, though now I openly confess having more than several of his L/Ps in my vinyl collection. However, everyone, proclaiming to be ‘Cliff’ fans because the lads possessed a overriding ambition to be in the good books of Helen and Betty, both waitresses at the coffee bar. It must be understood, we were merely spotty urchins to these cultured girls, as they were several years older than we were.

It would not take much to impress teenage boys about any girl’s form, however Helen, known to launch a thousand sighs, predominantly was out of this world. Naturally blond, an hour glass figure, bright red lips wearing high heels to give the wiggle, sending imaginations to the roof. When she walked, all eyes of any age turned to look. In other words; she was a stoater, and Betty came a close second. Both females being die hard Cliff fans.

While congregating in the café most nights, seldom thrown out even when there were only one or two half empty coke bottles amongst the multitude, for Tony seemed quite content as from a whole week we did put some cash in his till. One night, while discussing again where to go and being blank as usual, passing Helen suggested a club. She had been to see “The Young Ones” staring the peter pan of pop, and felt we should do the same. We agreed it was a good idea…well, all the boys did without thinking. Someone suggested the scout hall just past Crossmyloof Ice rink in Shawmoss Road, almost under the railway bridge.

We all become excited and decided for inspiration, to go and see the film. A couple of days later and again in the safety of the Brookland walls, we sat around discussing for ages what how and when we would put our plan into organization. Pat, said her dad was in commerce, would give us a few bob to set us up. We declined, wishing to do it all by ourselves, having seen how Robert Morley had acted in his part of the film, then agreeing Pat would go as she had a lovely smile, and Sam (the bam) …within a fortnight we had our first Sunday night club.

In a short space of time we had a great wee place. on the lines shown on the movie while insisting only soft drinks could be consumed in the hall. Ginger factory deliveries were made on a regular basis. We were left in no doubt that any alcohol abuse and the Scout master would throw us out

In the meantime, at the very first night, to celebrate we had a game called musical chairs, as couples where split oft and a record was placed on an old bashed up automatic stacked turntable. Lights out was the signal for communal cuddling in various mods. Now in this political correct culture, this may sound sexist…or even worse, however I would argue we were just fooling around, as most of the gang were friends rather than sexual partners. A test pad for your kissing skills, perhaps?

The last record finished with a scratchy ending while the next unknown young lady approached me. What I do reminisce is the fabulous two odd minutes clinched with Betty. In a hundred and twenty seconds, give or take a few, she not only blew my mind. I don’t know what she did but boy it was something else, and then the French kissing just jumped two of the three steps to heaven.

Now you may shudder at my careless way reporting this event, or take it as degrading the women concerned but I refute this as out of hand. Both sexes were just at different starting points around relationships… and it was really innocent, even adolescent. We all remained good friends for a couple of sessions…nevertheless like life itself, we all moved on.

The moral of the story is; a surprise comes with every association, no matter how short, and one button does not start the elevator.
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peter.howden
post 12th Sep 2017, 05:39pm
Post #422

Super Lord Provost
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Posts: 458
Joined: 21st Oct 2005
From: /Glasgow
Member No.: 2,485
Anecdotes from the auld Steamie …

A heated moment

In the working areas throughout all the major metropolises, in bonny Scotland, the Victorian buildings called ‘The Steamie, held as landmarks for the community’s hubs, long before the word became an ‘in’ saying. The main reason was packed tight tenements, consisting of two room/one room and kitchen, and Single ends, cherished spick & span homes though having little or no space to install the necessary Washing/drying machines within their abodes

The workers inside these specially built premises, were varied in skills and jobs, with one thing common to all, being low paid… but a job for life, unless constantly late or incapable to complete the shift. However, if someone did make a mistake or error, unless it was life threatning to the public, or the actual building, rarely the person was punished unless one inexperienced supervisor being a real stickler for the rules, or the infamous sacking superintendent.

The workers in one such ‘Steamie/Swimming pool/Turkish suite’ , always had nicknames for such gaffers and area boss…. such as …The Brillo-pad Kid…Andy Pandy…. Curly(bald) …. Kirker…. Kit… One slug Fred, (many concealed slight refreshments) … No-chic (ladies’ man; in his dreams) …. Sally-ann (over the top religious). If a mistake was made, it depended who witnessed or saw anyone doing it…or if shopped.

At one time or another, Ben-Gunn was involved with all the above, yet it depended who was on duty on any shift as to what would then take place. The Brillo Pad king…he was above all others as to his ignorance of how the day to day running went. On a surprise visit, he found some four swimming attendants just standing around seemingly doing nothing, so ordered everyone to pick an industrial sized Brillo-pad….and clean the tiles, while patrons were swimming. Ben refused, and the Brillo-pad kid sent him home, shouting the odds after him, ‘I’ll report you for insubordination’…so he did, by phone.

The next morning before the staff were due in, Kirker in person, explained to the dumb novice how this was a bad idea, because it will take the protective ceramic glaze off rendering it useless for its purpose. He caught a telling off and Ben-Gunn had a paid holiday, unfortunately Kid was gunning for Ben after that.

Andy Pandy’s mood depended if Rangers won, or lost, at the last week end. If they lost…Monday started of rough and ratty …then became worse as the days crept towards another weekend. If the won, he was still stiff as a board but just cranky…even tried to be one of the lads…. badly.

One of the workers named Humphry, was in the wrong place at the wrong time, so mean Andy Pandy had the pool emptied, which took most of the day. Then Humphry, at the old waterline scrap the build-up of solidified chemical crystals….it took him 8 days. It was later found out, the reason the pool was emptied was area superintendent was under the allusion….glass containing an unknown substance, had fallen in, smashed, contaminating the pool.

There were good gaffers around, as well as others, when wee fluky accidents were made, particularly in the secluded Turkish Suite…which never saw daylight. One such occurrence happened when ‘Peewee’ was automatically giving a massage to one client, (to supplement his income) while talking gibberish to others. Applying heat treatment, then what he thought was thick cream, to manipulate the back area, he was indeed smearing on Colgate toothpaste. Once finished covering the client’s whole back, peewee discovered his dilemma, for this fate had occurred once before. There was an unwanted chemical reaction, traps the heat.

Peewee instructed the unaware victim, not to go into the steam box… just recline on a bench for half an hour, in the hot room. Whether the surrounding clatter, or he just did not perceive, the client spent half an hour in a very hot steam-room. The result was looking like well overdone raw sunburn, strangle the client drew a glowing picture…. saying he felt on top of the world.

If the reality had come to being public knowledge and the gaffer had heard whispers, then Peewee would have come out with more than a red face…. but the client thought it was once in his lifetime reflexology …maybe he was right?
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peter.howden
post 13th Sep 2017, 02:31pm
Post #423

Super Lord Provost
*****
Posts: 458
Joined: 21st Oct 2005
From: /Glasgow
Member No.: 2,485
My Chronicles 14/09/2017


It has been said, even quoted what a difference a day makes, but for me it is been every day separate but collectively within just a little over two weeks. I have been on holiday roaming France but mainly first in astonishing ‘Toulouse’, then the medieval ‘Cité de Carcassonne’, then travel to find my holy grail ‘Saissac’. Everything turned out well but Saissac is special because it is a sublime small village situated in Aude district of languedoc-Rossillon.

However, for me, it is the home of a generous couple, suave Keith and lovely Lizzie Pine, who were my hosts of pure indulgence in food, beer and conversation. It is worth the journey alone just for those five days. There will be future scribbles full of enlightenment of the whole trip.

Coming home to find ‘She who must be obeyed’ still in the Royal infirmary. The operation was a grand success according to the doctors, however the heavy medication taken before, then after the operation, was not acting as expected. Rebecca’s blood was 1, when it should have reach 2.5, whatever this meant, but for Rebecca, it made her dizzy. This morning the staff gave Rebecca a couple of pints of blood, varied the pills, checked the leg by taking the stookie off. It will be replaced but… exasperated Rebecca will not leave the hospital until the head doctors give the nod. I am not henpecked…but I miss her.

I have seen Aunt Becky every day since I have come home, while this morning, being so bright and breezy, as since time allowed the use of its hours…I took her for a hurl…but no guesses where were rolled or the music coming from my old jalopy …yes, the stunning, terrific ever fluctuating Kilpatrick hills, what more could you want, while playing Scottish tartan top twenty, which we both knew every word. Becky’s Dementia did not halt or stutter her while she sang at the top of her voice.,. Grand medicine for her…and a super tonic for me. Sadly, Becky’s general home care has not improved. The girls wish to help but their training is wanting, their strict instruction and schedule do nothing to assist.

I am not grouchy, however, due to the circumstances, which will only change slightly when ‘She who must be obeyed’ returns home, supported by a new stookie, and our commitment to Aunt Becky, free time will be a luxury for quite a bit. I may have an odd chance, on an odd Saturday morning visit to the Dollan baths, to meet up with the Benghazi mice (created 1985) and a visit to ‘Dom’, a founder member, at his home.

Unfortunately, a slight personal gripe, for some unknown time, be unable to go down Ayrshire way, to see my old china, thee astute political rascal, Jim Hendry. Although we are totally opposite in so many things, we both enjoy a slight refreshment, coupled with lots of laughter and talking rubbish. The main argument is who is talking keech…and who’s conversation is wisdom. To me it is an even toss-up…but I do look forward to them…. Just hope Jim is available when the time comes I can.
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peter.howden
post 17th Sep 2017, 03:45pm
Post #424

Super Lord Provost
*****
Posts: 458
Joined: 21st Oct 2005
From: /Glasgow
Member No.: 2,485
MOMENTS IN FRANCE

I do look forward to slowly travelling in France, with the help of native people, however this time might be the last expedition, as my saunters are throbbing my old bones and slowing down, yet… still hold a magic within a ecstatic experience. Flying into Carcassonne, then catching a very busy local train to Toulouse. I must be my wrinkles, as I was offered a seat several times, but declined, acting like a small boy, inquisitively choosing to sit in a void seat next to a ‘Gentleman of the road’, with a floored rucksack, tied up sleeping bag, small kettle, and pan, complete with his faithful huge hound, sprawled against the side of unused automatic doors. He was the only passenger not using a mobile phone.

He greeted me in French, smiling broadly as I shook his large coarse hand. Once I established my limited French, we communicated in gesture and small sparks of common language. He was heading for Toulouse and I had been to the city before and witnessed lots of ‘Gentlemen of the road’ and their dogs, rough camping under the bridges of the midi canal. Roughly half way into the journey the gentleman arose and stood with is dog as the train arrived at a country village. The reason became clear as the unused doors became the used door to enlighten from and board. One stop on and this gentleman of the road, manner and posture changed instantly

Four S.N.C.F Police officers (Pistols, bulletproof vests, and gear to the gunnels) military swaggering, came onto the train making the happy go lucky nomadic minutes before, become very curious and timorous, taking his ticket out for all to see he had the right of passage. We held no more conversation because the couch was well packed, and on arrival he left the train like a timorous beasty. Before leaving the platform, I shouted out loudly to the vagrant...“au revoir, Monsieur, merci beaucoup …His magic smile beamed again.

Arriving in Toulouse, which like all cities, has a mixture of cultures amongst its various local peoples and interwoven immigrant nationalities. The metropolis is charming, with lots of posh shops in the centre with more than its fair share of panhandler drones. Purchasing of a ‘billet de passage’ giving unlimited travel by metro, bus, and modern tramcar, helped my tours immensely. The metro, in French cities I have visited, is an education with a life of its own, imploding the hustle and bustle population through honeycombs of lines interwoven under the main streets.

Away from the centre and over the river Garonne is a more lived in rather run-down area, which appears to be a district where mainly African people are predominant. Real smartly dandy dressed duds coupled with the ladies in colourful costumes mingle with others in the street, where the shops are numerous but not as swish as over the water…. but boy what an atmosphere…unforgettable.

In the history of the world adventure, one of Toulouse’s interactive museum, is excellent for learning and watching children, of all ages, enthralled with inquisitive minds, united with body reactions of utter astonishment with the display. Their minds bouncing around but unable to set still, like Jack (, and Jill’s)in the box, wanting to cram every titbit of information, to be able to take every moment home with them…shear delightful.

Up in the top 3 story building, one display caught my eye, the only one just printed in French… which as far as I could see…was a vacuum with nothing visible in it…my translating skills are suspect but it apparently said… “The Missing Link”…and when you think how scientist do not know what 96 % of space is…its thought provoking stuff.

Another part of this children’s institution exhibited pomp accomplishments throughout the eras, mainly in France. Somehow my mind wandered away slightly while sitting observing all this around me, and the magic of imagination, we Glaswegians were part of a missing link, as history. The proud city of Glasgow, once the cradle of British/Scottish shipbuilding’s, second city of an empire that no longer exists…yet held so much poverty and slums…all in the name of progress, with a contemptable tag of voracity of the wealthy, hiding under their illusions… displaying ceremony of grandeur.

Then…right out of the blue, a rush of enthusiastic children with faces full of enthralment and amazement… my thoughts just vanished into thin air. Perhaps this upcoming generation, will buck against all odds, practicing optimism, and impartiality for all …after all France is the home of the motto; “Liberté, égalité, fraternité"

…. now on to Cite Carcassonne?
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peter.howden
post 20th Sep 2017, 09:19pm
Post #425

Super Lord Provost
*****
Posts: 458
Joined: 21st Oct 2005
From: /Glasgow
Member No.: 2,485
Foretastes of a 60s adolescent

Private Tune

In Glasgow, akin most metropolises around the early 60s, dancing was a vital part of being near the opposite sex, and like many cities around Britain, there was numerous places where dancing was pure fun and exciting

We had in Glasgow numerous dance halls, of all shapes and sizes, however I had three regular resources namely Stamperland hall, Thee Maryland, the world famous Barraland, plus a secret weapon called ‘The Highland institute’. Stamperland was early Trad Jazz, Maryland more like a two room and kitchen playing the ‘In Pop. The Barraland, a Glesga establishment all of its own, however, it is also the ballroom where I accomplished 17 knockbacks, from young ladies, in a row…it certainly did nothing for my confidence …least said the better…so skip over and on with the tale ..

Around this time, for a very short period, I met and was under the spell of Helen. Not from Troy but from the centre of the real highlands…a true Scottish beauty. We came to be very close, or as close as a young clansman would allow in these circumstances, when she asked an innocent question “Do you like proper Highland Dancing”? Of course, I said Yes, with only the knowledge of the “Gay Gordens” practiced for weeks, in plimsolls, at compulsory School rehearsals for the yearly show off dance…not quite my bag

Helen mentioned a special event was to be held by some Sunderland Association, in the St Andrews Halls situated at Granville Street. Having been at the “Highland Institute” (Aitreabh nan Gaidheal,) in Berkley St, wildly dancing till my feet were red hot, but the bar open until the early hours of the morning. 2.30 If I remember right. Glaswegians are famous for refreshments; however, these kilted gentlemen were in a superior league. I expressed how honoured to such a boozy ball.

Helen, in a stern matron manner spoke firmly. This is a serious matter, for they perform pomp and ceremony which must be observed. The culture has been handed down from Jacobite family to Jacobite family, right to this very day. “God help you if you fail to display Feudal respect” was Helen’s next words, almost spoken in patriotic tears. It was obvious this gathering was close to her heart and I did everything to sooth her worries.

While waking her home that night, she spoke excitingly about the aftermath of the formal meeting and of the grand music of Iain McDonald’s band, favourite amongst the Glasgow Gaels. Her final words was to be decently attired with a respectable suit, as her father was impressed by people who take the initiative being properly dressed. On the day of the huge event…but due to circumstances beyond my control, being struck down by the most devilish sneezing uncontrollably man flue.

Desperately wanting to really impress both her father and of course Helen. I had seen my entrance to this famous Glasgow hall, in a picaresque manner of “Red Roby of the Eagles”; A character in a sophisticated comic I happened to have glanced over. In truth, what stood at the main door, was a snivelling crouched wee bloke, feeding and sucking couch sweets constantly. There was no hiding the factor, I did not make a good impression on Helen’s father. Excusing myself in haste, escaping for the wee boy’s room.

positioned at the slightly unclean glazed ceramic latrine and having too many cough sweets in my mouth at once, I spat several out aimlessly. One such sweety, rebound off the porcelain in front of me…landing on the tip of my privates. Where I made the mistake was broadcasting this to lovely Helen…who was far from being enthralled. From that moment on, whether the skirl of pibrochs, blazing through the night air as many an arm bellowed out ‘tunes of glory!!...Helen was not listening. Both she and her father ignored me entirely, and at the interval I scurried in retreat…disgraced…how I was gutted….and wounded.

Shortly after my tragic night, St Alexander Halls had a devastating fire, causing the insides being completely gutted…. Was this an OMEN…?

Meeting Helen some years later, when we both had moved on from the naughty experience, she asked if I still had “The Problem”. I obviously looked as if I had no clue to what she was referring to. Noticeably she had changed since our first meeting. No longer possessing haunting eyes, surprise smile beaming from an angelic face. Now, in its place, was a constant frowny impatient manner, void for the ordinary goings on of people. In other words, she appeared permanently annoyed.
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