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Last 10 Posts [ In reverse order ]
peter.howden Posted Y'day, 02:34pm
  PARIS AGAIN;(old Story, in two parts )

Flying into Beauvais, France was for me, stepping directly on the scene between Paris and Orleans. My Scottish soles felt Musketeer ground, along with the Auld alliance. If I have ever read ‘Alexandre Dumas’ words, the three musketeers, Athos; Porthos; Aramis and of course; D'Artagnan, for me, somehow these tales represent Paris, even today’s…Vie la France. Paris itself, pulled my eyes out of their sockets, trying desperately to observe all around on the left bank. Uncontrollable imagination whispered, ‘all for one and one for all’, as my mind visualizing duelling in the park, in the lower parts of the amazing city.

Parisians, we noticed obvious hold immense pride in public buildings, cherishing what they stood for, belonging once to royalty and nobility. A hint of haughtiness from the folk utilizing them now. It is hard to go anywhere in the French capital, without its origins coming from regal background… or Napoleon, which to most Parisians seems to be the same thing. The greeting "Bonsoir", is essential with meeting anyone ,whether in a café, or shop, or asking for anything. also, polite Paree social decorum

While Rebecca and I were staying in Toni/Fergus apartment, roughly four blocks from famous landmark, Sacre-Caur, hallowed rain fell only twice through the night. The water from the heavens, if not so blue, encourages the masonry used on the building to weep, temporary bleaches the stone to produce whiter than white. Quite good for a chapel overlooking most of the capital, which in turn produces stairs, and hills up and down. The Artisan boulangerie where I bought the breakfast "baguette" each morning ,was just around the corner… though up 112 very steep steps upward to reach it.

The first time attempting the flight of stairs proved a significant struggle to complete, having to halt quite a few times before reaching breathless at the summit. Entering the establishment, I was lucky to “bonsoir”, then pointing in the correct area, using single one finger. The following early morning, the ascent took less stops but still breathing in gulps and gasps. So much so, I went into the shop, used hand signals, in case they mistook me for a dirty old man, practicing my telephone obscenities. From then on, each time I arrived in the shop, juggling my understanding of verbal French, after “bonsoir’, both my asking and my climbing had improved, though needing my full concentration, along with luck. Most times either breathless or forgotten the words… I’d point.

My last day, felt confident, enough to be able to totally outstrip any previous performance. From bottom to top of the stairs in one near effortlessly ascent, then sauntered into the shop, and in one, almost flowery flow to the end , asked; “Bonjour, madame, s'il vous plaît puis-je avoir une Baguette, merci beaucoup ?"

The lady and the gentleman worker of the shop clapped…then smiled profusely
peter.howden Posted 28th Mar 2020, 07:27am
  My Chronicles,28/03/2020


This vital nationwide lockdown gives me the opportunity for intimate reflections, how ‘She who must be obeyed’, is a clear winner within my life. For 53 years we have been lucky to have a private learning curve… being in love, but far more important, cared for each other while reworking thru jaggy situations in our relationship. Almost all my life has been a ball, described in dictionaries; ‘Joy’, a vivid emotion of pleasure, or as wee Jimmy of the Krankies shouts, “pure dead brilliant”. It doesn’t take much to realize how magical it is still. Countless people helping in one way or another, especially Family, close friends and China’s. The goal posts have changed quite a few times, but I can still see the route… without squinting.

I need a certain level of boredom, even doubtfulness to gain the simplicity of pleasure. But for total rapture, bursting at the seams is music, dispersing all desolation waves, so even the most misery of all emotions cannot help but notice and vanish. With eyes closed, single minded clasping around the tempo, until I’m literally living the part of the composition itself…pure dead brilliant.

Via vibrating earphones, classical music is my concealed drug … just for me. The super tones connect with the inner ear, pulsating right out the socket for all their worth. When the tenor (personally, Mario Lanza) reach the almost ultimate crescendo in “Student Prince”, or more “ La Donna e Mobile”; though I have not a clue what he is actually singing, my whole body is emotionally tense, while my voice roughly harmonizing with the last vocal gesture. One magnificent harmonious rendition the ‘flower Duet’, from ‘Lakmé’, release’s an aftermath plus, floating on a different plateau. Another marvel for individual attention; “The Hebrew Slaves”; just sublime

Joe Cocker with “Delta Lady” accompanied by “The Letter”, almost anything of the early Stones, directs me into a paradise which is seldom shared with anyone. Wearing a huge set of headsets, attempting to follow the electrifying native throb is way out… something else. If ambrosia is the food for the Gods, then music must be the pulse? Listen to Ray Charles, blues or country, is just astounding. For me, it matters not the chic tune, or instruments playing, I’m willing to be transported to a music prism heaven… or simply go with flow.

I have no wish to peep into tomorrow, knowing what may happen with unsubtle hints, for it would spoil the surprise, good or bad, which keeps us truly alive. The blues melodies are right, for around every corner, are glimpses of slightly tedious moments are bound to become pointless, yet worth every agonizing moment. Remember each day, the world is a wonder, and a truly rewarding paramour.
peter.howden Posted 25th Mar 2020, 08:04pm
  This news just in, is spreading all over the country…Cat Burglars bitterly complaining to the police, having been kidnapped as they went about their profession…not let out for a week….as alternative company for couples forced to be isolated housebound…the burglars are demanding recompense for being prevented from preforming their gifted trade(handed down through countless generations)
peter.howden Posted 24th Mar 2020, 12:24pm
  My Chronicles 24/03//2020;

I presume we roughly are in the same boat as most peoples in the British Isles, self-isolated as best we can. Fortunately, having the internet, the telly, the humble radio, is an excellent bonus, and a broad band of Films/D.VDs, C.Ds we haven’t seen, or listen to for donkeys. Although one of my school nickname’s may warrant it, we are not in the same situation as fictional Robinson Crusoe… 28 years and a couple of months, castaway… his dire need was a boat. Funnily enough, never got round to reading the second edition, ‘The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe’, I must have missed the boat?

Due to the latest state of affairs, I’m unable to visit Becky in the residential home, but allowed to phone in a regular basis. Becky’s health and ability to take nutrition, has declined, though does drink a little. Becky is sleeping for most of the time, and we have been instructed, the home staff, and doctor, is keeping an extra close watch on the situation. Over the past few months, when I did visit the home, Becky was sleeping, and if she was awake, and in the canteen…Becky had no clue who I was. I will keep the family posted

My smashing mate, Dom, ‘Benghazi Mice’ original member, is in the Victoria Hospital, with his health issues accelerating to grave concern, though recently, this condition he has visited twice before and recovered slightly. The sadness is for both Rebecca and I have enjoyed their company so much over the years. Rebecca, from an early age, holds recollections of Becky close to her emotions. For me, Dom is a loyal mate for over 35 years, and so many memories to choose from.

Before the balloon went up, I took my customary rail trip down to Ayr, meeting up in Witherspoons, with China, Jim Hendry…for the habitual, slight refreshment. Its always good to wander over old memories, slang each other. We are gritty old men, but boy do we laugh at the most ridiculous conclusions, chuckle unrestrained at the drop of a hat. I have no idea when we will meet again, but I will tell you this…when it happens, I’ll be there…though its his turn for the bell.

The magic Pines are back home from France, for good, mainly due to the uncertainty of Europe. Rebecca and I met Keith and Lizzie just a few months ago, but again, when and how we are lucky to see each other again, is in the hands of the gods….but hope eternal?
peter.howden Posted 23rd Mar 2020, 02:32pm
  JIM Stepped Down

Jim stepped down from the train, what happened next defied all logic or physics, nevertheless, the plain truth is… it did happen. The train, the platform he was standing on, just vanished. Not only from sight but from existence. Jim’s courage spiralled uncontrollably downward to almost zero, as fear took a vice-like grip, yanking at his nerves. He forced himself to witness nothing, a void… except a weird sensation that common sense having just lost its foundations. Inwardly asking himself if this was a dream of nightmare proportions, to escape was truly impossible, apparently, he was just dangling in nothing, unless it was an allusion… or else a distorted reality…Or neither was true?

Without means to tell, out of nowhere came a moment where a self-named; ‘Keeper’!, requested to contact him, by language and vision through this ‘Keeper’s’ supreme mind. Jim was surely no scholar, but amazingly comprehended the technology of the information filtering through his mind. His fascination rid him of any apprehensiveness, switching off his alarm button. The lecture chronicle of moulded earth saga, from the beginnings from gas and dust forming the third planet from the sun, onward showing famine, wars and starvation.

Pathetic sights of untold misery by man’s hand, footprints stamping on want for man’s self-preservation greed, irrespective the era displayed. Each stage of supposed civilization was no better than the last… yet human cockiness of being the Supreme Beings, destined for higher things. Jim saw how human beings were just an single accident, in millions of accidents, taken place through infinity…If the ice had not reflected light, or the atmosphere had change minutely, then man would have not have existed, concluding the keeper had left it… but for what purpose eluded Jim .

He was left isolated, to consider all he had observed. Just beneath his concept, though it was perfectly plain it was there, a glimpse of an idea something of real importance was just about to come. Was this the answer why he was there, wherever there was… or was there everywhere? Without question, something controlled everything within the known universe, and universes far beyond, and the soups of creations unknown, about the makeup of all that mere man could never understand in a million years. Jim could see it all.

Time after time, the keeper picked up the pieces, started again… though Jim couldn’t reason the keeper’s motivation. The message was brutal, seriously heavy, from the voice giving warnings. Uncontrollable somatic regenerations will invade all bodies, and species throughout this world, until nothing living will survive. Genetic chemical mutagenesis will reproduce, at such an alarming rate, it will be impossible for it, or all other life to repair and reproduce anything, even bacteria. Death of the planet will be only a matter of limited time.

With another nerve of an unspecified chronometer, Jim found himself, alone on the silent stairway leading to the station, where the Pullman’s train was just about to leave. Jim instinctively spurted, making good, by boarding the moving locomotive.
peter.howden Posted 21st Mar 2020, 11:44am
  A Dark Journey

Awakening to blackness, my mind total blank, in the realm of emptiness, apart from a curious awareness of slipping into my destiny of old age senility, ‘losing my marbles’. Attempts to even think logically, brought only desolation, except time and time again the comprehension of amnesia. As I lay there, nigh in a stunned stupor, the blinds rattled, the curtains waved slowly but suspiciously deliberate, as if someone, or something untoward was lurking behind the heavy drapes, bring a shade of tension, even dread…an imaginary Bugaboo.

Trying so hard to be rational, but it was not to be. Carefully moving out of the bed, to face whatever adversary lay behind the bloody curtains. Silently as possible, cautiously approached the window, quickly pulled back the fabrics, to be astonished nothing was there… except the flickering streetlight across the road. Now wide awake, though apprehensive returning to bed, hearing distant thunder escalating in volume, yet, the night had looked clear while at the window.

Back under the covers, thrashing in my cowed psyche was now open panic. Out of the blue came an imaginative wavelength, as if in another dimension, thunderbolts sped to and thro inside the bedroom, causing unsteady thumping heartbeats, triggering pains right across in my chest. Because I’d lost my marbles, it was obvious I hadn’t the will power, or the mental strength to stop this vivid nightmare.

Repetitive unexplainable clammers, gaffes and mishaps, right in front of my closed eyes, preventing realities of actual time. Facts tossed out of sequence, as loud heartbeats echoed my fervour of useless. There and then, I crumbled, at that moment… I believed in cleft hoofed auld Cluttie, and his wandering gyre of the netherworld. Pleaded in his dark name to give me peace, for just one single moment…I want purpose, sanctuary for my soul…but no response came.

Fleeing from the crippled ambience of torment, into the hopeful safety of the next room, I began to scrawl on the internet, in a vain hope to calm my state of mind. Seated more steadily, I looked up to the shelves about the computer… and there was salvation up in the top ledge, a heavy glass drinking vessel, containing my poke of cherish playground ‘Jorries’. At a stoke, the sight freed all my worried tensions, and anxiety…because I’ve found my marbles…but…wait one darn moment…where’s my miniature Rupert Bear… given to me by?
peter.howden Posted 14th Mar 2020, 02:08pm
  The Treat, Conclusion (5)

Recollections lurched back to obscure school days, during the country’s massive military battles, schoolboys were sheltered from the horrors the conflicts brought, until the fateful day when hell came to visit. No one is sure what sparked off such unbelievable cruelty, and no phrases can express the reality among my peers and I. On that wicked day, it was whispered how the School’s newest intake, was a ‘BASTARD’ in the eyes of the church, and his dad was a slippery weasel Conscientious objector.

The now pathetic unfortunate boy was roughly paraded around the seminary, as an unwanted trophy, by a growing insurmountable throng of demented adolescents, chanting he was a blaspheming demon against true Christian values, a scoundrel, but the truth was…he merely was an outsider. It was fearfully astounding how speedily we were swept along, together with raving repetition of a dark omen, under the flimsy guise of a religious cause. The enthusiasm, the sheer indulgence in a phenomenal connection, breaking all barriers as to wrong-doing, and as one, the pent-up reactions of the mob took over my own motivation.

I wanted to tear his heart out, being swept away with the power of the rabble, as the tore off every inch of his garments, left feebly stand in judgement by his crazy captors. He was blackened from head to toe, to symbolize tarring. Added was a makeshift skeleton of the dead, rudely painted over the blackness of his skin. The tragic figure was then trust to the concrete ground, held down while a teaspoon was tapped, not hard… but every half second, until his calf became red and swollen beyond any recognition. Each tap heightened his agony

Released from the many restrains, the boy attempted to walk but collapsed like a lonely tree in the forest. He made several more attempts with dire spirit willing, but his body just crumpled. Reality came when I heard him sob, I now felt no words, or tongue could justify such behaviour. Placing his ripped coat over his grotesque naked body, I left the barbaric scene, bearing a sickly remorsefulness for my abominable uncontrollable actions. For weeks afterwards, I prayed, quietly in the furthest corner of a church, so God will skip his chastisement on me. The school governors, protecting the school’s reputation, the whole affairs account was ‘Buried’, and the only innocent one of that day… expelled forever.

Just before my father died, he wrote this declaration, word for word, left it in his will. His simple message for life, not to judge individuals by their convictions…or what they wear. I decided to walk slowly over to the shadowy strange, call out a friendly “Hi”. He hesitated to reply…due to a stammer which obviously embarrassed him…he asked the way to the railway station…then said, “Thank you”, which shamed me to the bone.

Unexpectedly, a sudden flare of light, awoke me to find I was naked as usual, in the exact place, time and day…as I had done before… Searching completely every nook and cranny, throughout the whole house, for the threating note but could not find it.
Was it all a dream... my imagination… the end?
peter.howden Posted 11th Mar 2020, 02:08pm
  The Threat (4)

There was no way out, other than the front door, but now I knew it was imperative I should go out, threat or no threat. Breathing deliberate deep breaths, hoping to stop my pulse going erratic, yet, my blood still felt as if it was gushing from my very veins, causing numbness in not a nice way. My mind uncontrollably forming strange thoughts of misapprehensions, straying unaided, free from restriction or any barrier. So raw, reality wobbles from a straight line, as pressure from unknown sources crimple sanity. With every effort mustered to be composed, I opened the front door, closed it behind me, stepped around to face my adversary, that villainous vagabond over by the road.

Straining my eyes taking a second glimpse of this trespasser, something familiar about his rundown physique. His cloths had seen better days, matching his pale morose features. A cloud hung over this twisted body and the hint of foul odour outwardly circulating, even at this far distance Suddenly, without warning a nerve hit a spot, as my sub conscious acted without me being aware. It’s him … isn’t it? But surely, he did not hold a grudge, after all this time? I mean, I had no idea of the consequences after our boyish prank at the school. Surely, he does not blame me alone.

A distant bell in the back of my brain, began to hurt as a new thought painfully emerged. Perhaps he has caught up with all the rest who performed with such vigour, the despicable adolescent act. I could be the last in his vendetta list of vengeance. Maybe he saw me wrongly as the instigator, for the fact of the matter, I just was carried by the physical wave of my peers. After the horrible action, I tried hard to contact him, apologies but by then, he had been erroneously expelled.

God: it’s been donkey’s since… with the cobwebs of time cluttering up almost all memory of it. Time and purpose have neatly kneaded away at whose true responsibility…and the school exonerated all of us for our restraint. The true story was buried for the good of the all, bar one. And here he is today. Then, the terror of fear struck, interwound around every emotion I ever possessed
peter.howden Posted 10th Mar 2020, 12:11pm
  The Threat (3)

My imagination set off a can of panicky worms, as somewhere from the mist of retrospective School times, an extra piece of information, circled around my confused recollections regarding ‘Ides’ of March. According to my shaky memory, 15th Ides in the Roman Almanac, occurred so in May, July and October, but more concern being, ides fell on 13th of every other month remaining. What does this mean, if I survive after 15th unscathed, do I have to hide, in terror on the 13th and 15th ever month, and what if its centred around full moons, has the date shifted with the introduction of 1752 Gregorian calendar’s missing 11 days

With this sneaky probe, subsequently nearly set root to my way of thinking, until I realized it was a poppycock way to use facts…and the basic fact was…no mention about the ‘Ides’ in the crazy note. Stiffening my remaining resolve to carry on with the day’s routine before this bloody letter, I chose to leave this bizarre message in the sideboard all-purpose drawer. Made a cup of tea, rather sweeter than typical, however, along with painkillers, would easy my raw tension. All scrubbed up, decently attired, ready to face the world outside, with a umph that everything now being tickety boo, locked the front door, then turned to march forward.

It was only then, out of the corner of my eye, I spied this dubious oddball character obviously staring in my direction, who was definitely a foreigner to this district, for I never saw him before. He just stood there gawking through dark beady eyes. following my every movement, Now I was feeling apprehensive’, but not losing control, I casually turned around, acting as if I had forgotten something, re-entering my home closing the door, locked it and checking it was tightly shut.

Tiptoeing into the living room, slowly moving sideways towards the heavy curtains, trying hard not to move the newly bought blinds, so I could peek out. The dark toe-rag was awkwardly standing over the road apiece, in a deliberate menacing manner. Dressed in ruffian type cloths, he was lurking slyly as if contemplating a bog of evil intentions. Again, I peeked out to see if this unknown lout was heavy handed, or with an accomplice, but I could not see anyone else.

It was becoming obvious, this chilly bugger, was attempting to startle my usual composure. Was this the F---in bastard who sent the message? If so… what the hell am I to do?
peter.howden Posted 8th Mar 2020, 11:44am
  The Threat (2)

Is this a bloody sick joke, a stupid witticism from one of my crazy friends, like Bruce? However, at that moment, I was in a stupor, crumpling both note and envelope, tossing them in the bin. After a usual breakfast, automatically following my normal routine back upstairs, starting bathroom constitutions by switching on the shower. Standing in the steamy sprinkle, niggling thoughts returned to this anonymous letter. If I looked at the postal stamp, perhaps I could work out who sent it. A crank, more like a loony heidbanger.

Rapping a towel around for decency, a bequest from shady Marseille, returned to the scullery, retrieved the plain russet envelope to witness no signs of postal code, or anything. Again, scrutinizing the bizarre note, hoping for a clearer focus. It’s daunting message once more startled me into a trance of fantasy, drifting into darker passages of my psyche. For some volatile reason, the Roman God Jupiter tumbled into straying thoughts. Instinctively I knew it was March, but what was today’s date?

Completely under a psychotic mentality, violent images and reflections lurked in a shadowy desert milieu, where out of the blue came the chilling Sibyl’s repetitive warning to Caesar… 'Beware the Ides of March'. This triggered a focus on school’s recital of Shakespeare. In ancient times, ‘Ides’ was the 15th. and the first full moon of the year, but catastrophically more important, the slaying date of Caesar, who uttered... “Et tu Brute”?

Today’s date came in a amazing flash, spreading utter was 8th, safe and sound…but then, from the depths of absurdity a bloody worrying notion hit me instantaneously …it’s only 7 days to the 15th…. bringing another unavoidable nagging fret.
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