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peter.howden Posted 18th Nov 2019, 01:42pm
  The tales of Hector and ‘The Bruce’

Only Just Pious (3)

The author wishes to convey, this three-part article is a personal experience… certainly not scribbled to be plainly derogatory towards people’s beliefs

Hector’s allegiance to the ‘Water of life’ was known during Christmas services, with Mr Phillip’s observing the odd behaviour of, Hector and ‘The Bruce’. Both embellished emphases sing hymns off key and a few bars behind everyone else…the lads wondered if God had noticed.

Hector believed the minister was a fine man…however with One black spot…evoking the parable “no room at the inn”. One Christmas everyone gathered information, producing a set a list of so many names, plus encouraging local business to chip in, was with grand success. Around fifty elderly people received, 15 in groceries, plus a bag of much needed coal. Simple…. However, Reverent Philips asked if all were Church of Scotland. The Bruce and Hector were disappointed. What the hell did it matter?

Reverent Philips persuaded Hector, via the Playhouse to attend a Billy Graham’s third Europe crusade (weird word to choose, to save poor misguided souls). Witnessing the usual fanfare from the true master orator, beckoning slipped souls, down to the front of the famous theatre. Wavering at first, with true wonder of his inner beliefs, Hector went, feeling like a sheep, hurdled into a room, a red-faced sheepish man, burping out a well-rehearsed “road to salvation.”.

Asking a plain question threw Hector’s messenger off salvation trip, passing him onto someone, supposedly more advanced. Reiterating now the seemingly uncomfortable question, and again the tutor passed him on, declaring this gentleman was a true pastor who would be able to answer. This time Hector was shown the back door, branded as a troublemaker. So ended the sermon.

His inquire was “what would happen, after the rapture at the end of the world, if all religions practicing, discovered we all had been praying to the wrong supreme being?” Or worse still “If he’ was not in?”. Hector never told Mr Philips of the older man’s fibs, as well as Hector never entered the church again, after his first communion…he felt…one black sheep was enough!
peter.howden Posted 16th Nov 2019, 12:43am
  The tales of Hector and ‘The Bruce’

Only Just Pious (2)

The author wishes to convey, this three-part article is a personal experience… certainly not scribbled to be plainly derogatory towards people’s beliefs

Having passed through the ranks of Life Boys, then the Boys Brigade, plus as an unlikely Sunday school teacher, not to mention accidently becoming a bouncer for the church youth club, it seemed natural progress to Hector’s first church communion, however, his spiritual being was in turmoil. Small nagging reflections surfaced, sensing it was the same spiel every week, just the names changed to protect the innocent. It also appeared silly to lecture meekness will inherit, turn the other cheek… and if asked, walk that extra mile…for this was Govanhill, at the time a cradle of adolescent hooliganism.

The street code was no tougher, or rougher than any other district in Glasgow, but the belief was created by the youth, to know how to handle yourself…or be a good runner. Amongst it all, a raw kindness weaved thru the community, hard to explain to anyone who has not lived in a tight poorer area of any major city, but Glasgow especially is rightly know for instant warmth of its people. Where once a church, is now Govanhill Housing Association office, a driving force serving the needs of its richly vast cultured neighbourhood

The Reverent Philip suggested Hector should join a few other people, to the vicar’s manse, for an informal chatter on wandering souls, express their faith within the bounds of the church.

The meeting was debating a fair assortment of theories, and religious emotions, but most important how the individual honestly defines the whole meaning of prayer. The minister turned to the subject of the demon drink, then looking at Hector directly… spoke softly, how there was no reason to ask his opinion on the said matter.

Reverend Phillip glances around the company towards an older man, who Hector knew via the district. This demure dressed elder man went on to claim, persons who indulged in monster liquor, were indeed, on a shoddy slippery road to damnation, and the evil of booze he would not allow a drop to pass or touch his lips. Coincidentally, Hector was puzzled, as he had often seen this very person, frequently pissed as a newt, stoatin up his wally close, in the posh part of Cathcart Road, yet God’s envoy looked pleased at the response.

Hector thought naively… if someone could tell such down right untruths… to join God in church, then the whole idea was wide open to question?
To this day…Hector still holds the gentle Reverent Mr Philips in high esteem.
peter.howden Posted 13th Nov 2019, 03:44pm
  The tales of Hector and ‘The Bruce’

Only Just Pious

The author wishes to convey, this three-part article is a personal experience… certainly not scribbled to be plainly derogatory towards people’s beliefs
Today throughout Glasgow’s dynamic vicinities, attracting young enthusiasts heading for the bright lights just before mid-night…then party on till dawn. In the late 50s/early 60s, adolescents were allowed out to the devilish hour of ‘10 of the night clocks’, on weekdays, hitting Cinderella time on Saturday, Sundays… out of the question

Religious organizations owned many varied properties around the city, fusing almost absolute power, preaching from pulpits, ‘Night bewitching hour life breeds debauchery, making it taboo’, if not against Christian ethics. The Hielanman’s Umbrella; nicknamed for ‘Highlanders and Islanders’, as a rendezvous. Not a ‘Big Mac’ in sight, except in a name.

Apart from the folk scene on a Saturday late evening, the only warm light in the middle of the night was the tea stalls. After dancing in the “Cooper’s Institute” it was inevitable Hector would wander to the tea stall at Cuthbertson St. Clean cups, fresh sugar (no brown bits) tasty rolls and sausage, or bacon, if not tops in hygiene. A bit of comfort in the grey of the 60s nights. A beacon in the darkness of mankind.

Late one evening, an old bloke, most surely a wino (Drinker of anything) not a pretty sight, given his dire needs, shivering uncontrollably, lacking adequate attire for a winter’s night. Hector bought a mug of tea, gave it to him without asking as he just looked… not a word passed.

Hector took off his gloves then gave them to the hobo. Hector took off his scarf, body warmer, and his fleeced lined car coat, handed them to the surprised stranger…Hector disappeared into the dark night, heading for Marywood Square.

Hector’s China, ‘The Bruce’, related this tale to their church Minister, young Mr Phillips, who said warmly… “This was a good Christian beneficial act, on Hector’s part!”

The Bruce’ sly reply was… “Naw…Hector was pissed!”
peter.howden Posted 10th Nov 2019, 12:48pm
  My Chronicles 10/11/2019…

For serval reasons, I’ve been looking into the near future, deciding to bring a halt to the cherish tradition taking Becky on regular hurls in my auld jalopy, around varied countryside of Strathaven, Linlithgow and surrounding areas while the old Scottish songs piping out just for us two. Aunt Becky is steadily becoming frailer as time passes; however, the main reason is simply my reaction capabilities are slowly dwindling, which could endanger Becky if anything happened unpredictably.

Last Monday, sitting in the Home’s dining room, mainly listening to Becky, drifting through her Dementia imagination, around wonderous past events, plucked from her curious sense of reality. For nearly an hour, we chuckled, giggled and laughed while talking mostly absolute nonsense, which I do as normal. With good fortune, hopefully this will become another cherish tradition. I will miss the jalopy trips, for no matter the weather, the Kilpatrick hills could look out of this world, and on a few occasions, forebodingly moody, with us. both singing ‘Flower of Scotland’… with grand gusto.

Lucky for me, I still take in the diverse landscape regularly, by train trip down to Ayr, visiting another old grumpy China, Jim Hendry, in Witherspoons. Again, we talk a lot of baloney of past and present, but rarely take anything serious, though if need be…Jim is the lad to do it. He is a genuine lifelong Labour man, believing in the rights of the people, while I’m notoriously slyly whimsical…but the intimate time with him, is usually a tonic.

I often visit Stirling, which has its breath-taking moments, but one more expedition this week will be cruising up to Alloa. No matter the road I choose, I’m surrounded by fabulous panoramic views. …its magic…including the charming Teresa talking, and showing me around all the enjoyable community commitments she and her partner do
peter.howden Posted 7th Nov 2019, 11:01am

Shug always felt he was destined for something, he began to believe he was a modern version of a soothsayer, able to prophesies the future, or at least his own fate through nightly vivid dreams, with him reading next morning newspaper. Although exactly when this phenomenon began, is not quite clear, however, unswervingly seriously, he grasped hold of the whimsical idea on the first night while imagining reading his tabloid reporting the winning Cuddies, running next day at some racecourse. Very early next morning, with his photogenic memory, headed for the betting shop in town, placing a wager on each predicted winner…and every blooming steed won.

How, why, or by who, or whom, remained a mystery, but this launched Shug’s idle theory of his wondrous gift of forecasting powers. Each night, he envisaged glancing at the headlines in his newspaper (known locally as a rag), then straight to the betting results. Several weeks went by, he doubled his wagers each time, becoming exceedingly wealthier way beyond his imagination. One night while dreaming, browsing the rag, he could not help seeing, in bold letters, the terrible news; the two coach 09.15 train to town, tragically crashed, with deep regret…there are no survivors.

Rousing in sticky shock, Shug’s first thought was to warn the authorities…but who would believe him, at best treat him as mad… and unfortunately, nothing, just nothing could be done…fate is fate. He was now in a quandary, this very timed train to town, was his train, always taken so not to forget the results sequence from the visions. Somehow… sinful greed took hold, with Shug deciding, in the morning…he would take the 09.00 train instead.

The following morning, the newspaper printed an apology… for causing unnecessary distress to their reading public. The earlier reporting edition had regrettably a simple typographical error …the train which crashed…was the 09.00…
peter.howden Posted 4th Nov 2019, 09:23am
  The Fall

We have been extremely fortunate observing over the years, a small sapling, at the back of our garden, cultivate into a magnificent tree, stretching higher into the skies. By the shape of the falling leaves, it could be of mountain ‘Alder’ family, however, in my mind…the trusty tree is, a Robin Hood’s essential observation post, with its many strong branches, and enormous stature, vital as a look-out for way beyond the wild forest …or hide his loyal merry band of free spirit outlaws, ready for surprise affray, with the naughty soldier thugs belonging to the sheriff of Nottingham.

All through the summer… either watching from the kitchen window, the wildlife equally enjoying the fabulous tree, or I admire it personally, as I refill the birds feeding cages. The only fly in the ointment is, each autumn, the tree, sheds ..and sheds…and sheds, limp dreary leaves from its branches, to the ground below. Because I have obtained a University honours master’s degree, in being a grumpy old man, the sheer clearing the ground endless dull leaves is laborious to say the least

Outside our fence, at the front garden, is a much smaller younger unknown type of tree, which during the year is rather plain, if not boring, as trees go. Yet, in early Autumn… its miraculously changes, into superb golden statue, small …but out of this world. As Autumn fades, touching toes with winter…the gilded display dropping to the round, not losing its amazing colour, in fact appears to emphasise a unique brownish yellow pathway around its roots…and way beyond as the winds predict.

I crave… I Pine… for that tree
peter.howden Posted 1st Nov 2019, 06:33pm
  My Chronicles 01/11/2019…

I yearn for the makeshift home parties taking place after the ‘Guising’(children going from door to door- in disguise), to ward of Ghosts an Ghouls and demons. Most families in the late 50s onward, proudly made the individual costumes and masks, or blacked face, to fool the ghosts identifying the children going out on ‘All-Hallows’ Eve’…Galoshin, originating from the Celtic festival ‘Samhain’. A gift was traditionally given, in the form of food, coins or "apples or nuts, or in recent times…chocolate, but first, perform a ‘Trick’, by reciting a song, poem or joke, prior to being given goodies. Today, now modernized, mostly bought costumes…

Yesteryears parties, for the young and old, was homemade activities, cut out neep lanterns, keeping evil spirits at bay… ‘Apple Dookin’ a Celtic game of the past, where everyone taking part, laughing, squealing, screeching and yelping while being splashed, and drooked by the on-lookers. Nuts Burning (steady there, naughty thinking) … treacle scones daggling on a string, hands held around the back, while mouths and teeth, struggled to swipe a bite. Simple fun was so infectious.

Yet, even missing what my memories recall…the first moment I opened the door last night, to be welcomed by smiling faces, just blew the cobwebs away. After calling out, ‘Trick or Treat’, in unison, left five assortments of childhood, coyness, bravado, angelic, directness…and shy, silently waiting for my response. What could I do, other than ask is anyone had a song, a joke or a dance? Of course, Bravado obliged, though I had difficulty hearing him…but laughed anyway as the took their prizes from the basket.

For the next couple of hours, the doorbell rang repeatedly, producing a new batch of various types of infants, most wide eyed with curiosity expectation, giving for gratis…wonderment to anyone watching…and for me
peter.howden Posted 30th Oct 2019, 12:03pm
  Jim stepped down to nowhere (episode 2)

A lot of wild commotion, coupled with pathetic yelling, was apparently the primary protection for these deluded peoples frantically seeking salvation…or a saviour. At the very beginning, Jim lost everyone he cared for, perhaps loved, he still was a novice at brutality. Right now, a contractor, totally immune in feelings or reason, a robotic human with a given purpose, paid retribution, for who would notice in this field of lunacy

He sought a contract mark, kill him, or her, moved on to the next selected target, nothing to do with right or wrong, or money…just plain survival. Without mercy, a barrage of shells fell as mayhem erupted within the small area. With each explosion, disruption began with petrified screams of people who had obviously been hit. Civilians, cowards and the brave, react the same, to get out of instant hell, followed by an earie deadly silence. Jim couldn’t condemn them…but he had no choice, his mission was priority.

Trekking through debris, Jim nearly stumbles over, what appeared to be the remains of some kind of animal, its lifeless body crossed his path. As he leaned down, grabbing and tossing it aside, he recognizes human skin. He made a colossal blunder which his training forbad… interrupting a job, even for a moment. On the ground was a motionless frozen limb of some young child, according to the size, though age would be a guess. A hint of blond hair over a shattered baby face with one open eye, pierced and burrowed instantly deep into Jim’s very soul, prompting him starkly, he had unqualified emotions, inwardly asking… “how long could he go on living like this?”

A fiery blow struck physically numbness into him, so unexpected, he had no time to prepare a shield against it… And what of death?... He did not care; it would be a release from the constant clingy sweat, from this incessant nightmare, breeding revulsion to life itself. Jim evaporated into the throng, it is said never did return…but, sometimes in the wind, or around the improvised campfire, rumours by the strays from combat…Jim is continuously prompting himself…starkly…he has emotions…defiantly.
peter.howden Posted 29th Oct 2019, 03:35pm
  Jim stepped down to nowhere (episode 1 of 2)

Jim stepped down from the train, in just another desolated township, possessing haunting silence which prevented any sensible conclusions of how there was no rain no bloody wind, yet a sensation of an undesirable chill, uncontrollably rushing through his body, which no earthly fire would be able to rid.

Before stepping down from the coach, Jim checked he had everything prior to leaving the compartment, for one thing he had learned about surviving this journey, depended on this being done, and any equipment could save your life in these foreign parts. He had naively expected a warm welcome from some of the town’s inhabitants, just a hint of relief, for he was expected, but then again, unforeseeable setbacks caused unknown delay.

The platform was packed with bodies all dressed the same, all heading in the same direction, however, as different capabilities and professions. They had been herded into those trains and forced to travel through the heat of the day, even if the whispers were right, this was first class, compared to third or last class from previous treks. The poor sods paid over the odds for their tickets, then only allowed one suitcase and even then, they had no choice of their destination.

Jim walked briskly, almost marching out of the main transport building, then heading to what was obvious the main street of this tumbled down deprived wayside. He had seen more than a dozen hamlets, villages and small towns, over the last two drudgery weeks, with each day exactly the same…. draughty, manky accommodation, and the miss- trust of the locals. What made matters worse, the ludicrous tedium attached to these places or indeed anywhere Jim had stopped.

Keeping his eyes alert, checking for potholes which caused more injury than the job Jim had in hand, no matter whose fault they are there. The chances of medics or indeed the luxury comfort of an ambulance was beyond the likes of Jim’s means or rank, and he had no intentions of needing one. Each street, if you could call them so, were exactly the same, making just for some slipping moments, Jim being lost

Then without warning, from somewhere in the darken skies, a hazy din suddenly swarmed louder and louder, so close, it became thunderous, making everyone either crouched down, or attempt hiding behind some kind of protection. Jim observed some inexperienced individuals actually with their faces flat on the ground, leaving themselves, well and truly open to anything while they next attempt to scramble to their feet, seeking other cover. By then, the unidentified threat has a far clearer picture in what is going on in this perimeter.
peter.howden Posted 24th Oct 2019, 11:06am
  A conclusion from a song

Listening to Bob Dylan, singing on an old long player, “The times are a ‘changing”, the 60s song moulding home spun philosophy for the young, while the old looked on in silent perplexed. I’m now much older, looking on at the young, perhaps not muddled, but slightly amused as the fledglings making their mark… similar to the young generation of yesterday. No one likes changes, apart from the young, who change anything… just to change. To be prickly with the old is their duty to be so, for they are the future… since first man arose. The old hang on to tradition…. hopeful not having to adjust…too much!

It is a myth, we grow wiser as we grow older, because our minds were set when very young. Aristotle philosophized; “Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.”, as do all religions practice in their own way. However, somewhere along the line, we collect useless baggage, complete with phobias of all descriptions, and biasness, sometimes willing and sometimes anonymous, but we do with some degree of foregone conclusion.

One thing is certain…there is always uncertainty, known as the unknown, to react or prepare. The up and coming generation seeing through virgin eye, attempt to break down dusty traditions, to have a new horizon and holy grail…. which is the same as the last horizon, but perceived at a different angle

Personally, the older I become, I make the silliest of mistakes, with the only difference throughout my years, now… I’m more than ready to admit my foolishness. This very morning, I have misplaced my favourite bunnet and gloves…any attempt to remember where I laid them down …leaves me…as Frank’s song goes…bewitched, bothered and bewildered
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