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Last 10 Posts [ In reverse order ]
peter.howden Posted Today, 08:30am
  My Chronicles 21/08/2019…

Driving home from holiday Dumfries, the main thing on our minds was our bed. Bizarrely each time returning from a much-enjoyed trip, or outing, coming home to our own missed bed, just oozes with daydream delight. Also, it is odd, how in diverse ways, things taken for granted, flooding back virtually as soon as the key turns the front door…and the following days.

We have two chiming clocks which were in Aunt Becky’s abode before she moved to the Dementia home. One loses 3 ½ minutes per day, the other is faithfully either 7 hours behind, or 5 hours in front. If you waken up in the night, it can be confusing but it warmly reminds Rebecca and I, of both Becky and Uncle David. Last week, I took Becky for the usual hurl, around Strathblane, Lennoxtown and Torrance, then back to the home. For an unexplained reason Becky remembered my name, held my hand carefully, singing along to the well kent Scottish songs as we drove along…a touch of instant magic.

Toni is constantly with us all, although we have different ways to receive and remember her life. Toni’s demise anniversary was two days into our home coming, bring unsuspected memories with different emotions bubbling around each. I found two enlarged old photographs, which I hadn’t seen for such a long time, taken when she was around 11 years old. One, along with her constant pal at the time Elena, playing golf with a plastic club and ball, the other is paddling in the sea, at Stevenson, with nephew Mark, and Aunt Ann.

On our first Saturday back, we enjoyed Toni’s main man Fergus, Nicky and the kids, around the old wooden kitchen table, as usual, talking ten to a penny. Why…who knows… but it was more than particularly pleasurable. Chris and Kirsty were unable to make it but came the following week.

It was quite a shock to find out, because it collapsed into a blank screen, how habitual my computer had become. My knowledge of the intricate workings of a processor and the technical language needed to understand what had gone wrong…is almost nil. One thing was sure, I had not a scooby what went wrong. But as usual relied on Fergus’s methodical patience with computers…but more important… with me. This is why ‘My Chronicles’ is so far back.

Visited Dom on Sunday, who has Demetria and Parkinson, whose crack used to be, “I knew I had Parkinson when I kept interviewing people!”. He has lost most of his abilities, needing 24-hour care from his missus Janet, who is a cracker but knackered and needing help from the authorities. On Tuesday travelled down to Ayr, for a slight refreshment in the company of China, Jim Hendry. We do talk a lot of nonsense, act like old age teenagers… but we laugh a lot... good medication. Hope to see chums, John Sweeney and Hugh Cameron shortly.

Soon, It will be the 50th, Wedding Anniversary of ‘She who must be obeyed’ and myself, who disgracefully has taken Rebecca for granted throughout the passing years…naughty boy. I am lucky having such a patient lady. I have booked a table at the Kastriot's Mediterranean bar and Brasserie, for our close family. We did have imaginings of growing old together, but never dreamt how lucky it would turn out…and how much I love her…wow.
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peter.howden Posted 9th Aug 2019, 11:00am
  Holiday

Thank god we are much too old for camping, as the meteorological conditions are rather doggy. As for our wee tour, through the ‘Elliot’ Reivers clan’s territory was surprisingly, not bad at all. Checking the weather conditions before venturing south bound, it was rather gloomy…yet all the whole, it turned out fine down Dumfries way.

One thing most important in my agenda, not to weary ‘She who must be obeyed’, but boy didn’t she do well. Rebecca has one of those gadgets which tells you how many steps taken, when heavy breath makes the rate of the heart thump, what type of sleep is performing…and I would not be surprised if it did not detect when wind, just for cheek, was set free into the wild.
Her normal daily steps are around 1,000/1,500, but on the first day, nearly 5,000. Second day 4,300, 4,000, then 3,600. The actual worry was, due to her determination, casually stopping at various points, to give Rebecca time to recover, without butting into Rebecca’s wants.

One fundamental relaxation, for both of us, the massive bed in the Station hotel. It was bloody vast, we had to phone each other to meet up in the middle. We have a king size at home, but this was King…King size crib.

One real downpour, returning from Newton Stewart on the A75, knocking along at 25/30 for some 20 odd miles, while it was akin driving through a carwash and the whippers could not cope…yet some bloody loonies, dangerously overtaking whizzing by at 60 or more. One junction had a tractor stuck solid at an abuse angle, over the verge, while its trailer was completely overturned, spiking out on the road.

We totally relished all the small villages and hamlets, plus first time in Carlisle, also noting, akin to Dumfries, no professional beggars, or Scroungers squatting in the streets. When in Ayr yesterday, some 8 or so right down the main shopping street, Greggs buns and coffee, fags stuck in their mouths, squatting on a cushion, a plastic cup ready for donations. The sad thing is, we will always have poverty, however this is just abuse on the public…. even worse than the organized panhandlers

I now have obvious signs of arthritis creeping along on my main hand. It possesses the knack of annoyance sometimes, then the slightest touching a surface…a pain just shoots up the arm. Trying various exercises with a tad of relief…but like everything else as we grow older…adapt to suit.

A Glaswegian Hobo
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peter.howden Posted 6th Aug 2019, 03:08pm
  SPELL

Time gives the impression of being elastic, for the older I reach, the more I’m confused about understanding ‘theory of relativity’. It is said, brilliant Albert Einstein did add, then subtract, a slight variation of the mathematical equation, to fit his peer’s thesis. Gosh, scientists bow to pressure…and some tell fibs.

Apparently, time has a ‘Tautochrone Curve’, while the universe is made up with 94% of Dark matter. Does it matter… Jings…find the light switch. On the face of it, the speed of time whizzes past me, with a commoner’s technical term of ‘Crivven’s’ it’s Monday again’…Help ma Bob’. Perhaps my view on time, has been tinkered with, hitting a snag, or two… or my mind is rather stourie.

During School days, as a pupil in Shawlands Academy, our absent-minded science teacher, taught, and raved, about the late great “Einstein” by observing movement relative to defined points. Our teacher was a grand tutor of theory, but his hands-on demonstrations in pure science, especially when apparatus containing compounds needed heated by a Bunsen burner… nearly always ended in a hitch…the game always became a boogie.

Last night I could not sleep, with curled time dragging, so I took action to pass the tedium. Earphones plugged into my faithful old turn table, spinning ‘Great British blues Barrelhouse and Boogie Bonanza, (L.P.) with such performers as; John Mayall; Alexis Korner; Cyril Davis; Graham Bond…and the great Peter Green. To make it absolutely complete, a large dense glass of dense Highland Park. Then looking out ‘Toni’s’ room window, into the dark outside world. Why we call it “Toni’s room, is lost in time…though she never spent a night between these walls.

Pleasantly passing time, It is amazing how good music, and a bonny drop of splendid spirit’s does for the soul. In 1999, in our patch, Calvay Housing Association, planted a tree, which now is maturing long branches, desperately reaching up through the darkness of the seemingly timeless sky.

Drifting through the past activities in our home, when a break in concentration, started my pondering over a long-forgotten puzzle, nay an enigma, nay… a nagging paradox belonging to the golden thread of justice. A specific wager for a couple of pints, with Tommy, way back in 1967. The wager itself was simplicity when the fellow was unable to gain a date with a girl….and I boasted of my charms. The young lady did consent, with a slight wangling on my part, to attend the picture, “Deadlier than the male”. I won the said stake, fair and square, but dastardly ‘Tommy’, did not conclude, and has since gone missing.

The dilemma is …should the said young lady be responsible…and should the wager pass over to her.

The lady in question is; “She who must be obeyed”. Will I ask her, or should I consider …I just want to live!
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peter.howden Posted 4th Aug 2019, 06:23am
  Memories from an old Chronicle.

Dear Diary 28/09/2010//


Today, preforming my usual routine, which could mean several things, however, in this occasion, a small walk, assisting my rough dicky tummy constitution. There can be no other word to describe the present weather, other than ‘terrific’, although some are talking of a Indian summer, which would be correct, since recently, the heavens have been opening up, causing miniature monsoons over the last few months

There was a certain spring in my late autumn step, purely because of the sunshine, reviving aching limbs as the fresh air breezes through the renewed cut grass, and all the countryside stuff. While walking, I find it rejuvenating my dulled mind, to boldly go…exploring certain taboo subjects…and if we can change some for the better.

Passing various prosperous streets, possessing decent living abodes, yet recalling in this area, things were not always as good as they seem today… and how millions around the world are not so lucky.

Turning my head upwards towards the nearly cloudless blue sky, mentally asking, why within affluent countries, people are so deprived, suffering terrible hardship, while religion influence is so abundant. Why so much manmade bitterness between creeds, causing so much misery

I could swear, an imaginary deity, boomed in my head; ‘Why ask me… things haven’t changed much since I was created!’;
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peter.howden Posted 1st Aug 2019, 06:24pm
  Memories from an old Chronicle.

Dear Diary; 27/04/2010


I saw an inspiring face today, mind you, just a jiffy glimpse, a beautiful vision you shouldn’t forget, or ever want too. Not a glamorous face comparable to those prepared on the glossy cover of a magazine, or film star, or one of those many forgettable celebrities.

An almost flawless reflexion, akin to a magnificent creation, bursting forth with innocence embodied. Just Infront of me, this allusion bowled me over, way beyond her womanly conception… from who knows where in the cosmos.

Lost within the wonder just gazing on her superior features, while oozing with temptation, leaving a guilty feeling for wishing to steal such a moment. Recognizing the young lady inspired me to quicken my foot- step, in a vain effort to catch up with her, whisper her name so softly. She would know instantly who it was …if only I could remember her name.

Then, and only then, I stopped immediately, regretfully realizing time was playing such a cruel joke, on this now simple mind. Such soft enchanted memories, became entangled in today’s reality, rapping around an unknown innocent lady.

Standing frozen to the spot, exactly in the location where so long ago, this real phantom picture from the past, lured this old fool into wishful thinking…yet, just for that split second, or two…the illusion of ecstasy beckoned me forward
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peter.howden Posted 28th Jul 2019, 07:30am
  Memories from an old Chronicle.

Dear Diary; 20/07/2011;


The other day, I witness something spontaneously caring, loaded with human kindness, almost beyond any measurement, yet… it was the cruellest blow all the same.

At a set of traffic lights, on a thoroughfare, a young hoody approached, which some older people would classify and judged as a modern teddy boy. This was the type who would carry a flick- knife, or a cosh, to alarm some poor old bugger… or worse still, intend to rob.

The almost phenomenon happened on the busy Victoria Rd, while the man was heading for Queens park, and the renowned ducks and swans pond. The papers say there are rats there, but everybody knows ducks don’t eat rats. Anyway, this older man was attempting to cross the road when the hoody moves towards him.

The gentleman was nervous, but, from under the hood, a broad smile from cheek to cheek appeared. When the traffic lights changed, the hoody gently held the man’s arm, guiding the older man safely across the busy highway.

Without waiting to be thanked… he disappeared into the oncoming crowd.

The cruellest stroke being…I was the perceived older man
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peter.howden Posted 27th Jul 2019, 10:27am
  Memories from an old Chronicle.

Dear Diary; 03/06/2011

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

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

Struggling to come to grips with this newly born dilemma, yet, the dates did not tie up in this still half-a-sleep noddle. I was about to quote it was not the anniversary of me losing my virginity, as that was summer way back, and we had not even met, then luckily for me I pulled out at the last minute, the telling and not the act…I think. My love one looked so hurt, as if I did not care a fig, but low and behold I produced a card centenary, which in all truth, I forgot to post. I calculated I would win brownie points by stating the post could not be trusted, and it was too precious not to deliver by hand.

I was taken aback by ‘She who must be obeyed’, giving me with a card, by hand and the magic twinkle in her eyes. We kissed; we cuddled, then in turn opened our cards, with smiles beaming up the dull kitchen.

Just as I was about to replace the card ……..for next year’s outing , my true love utters in whispers………….don’t forget where you put it ‘

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

Keep our true love alive,

By surprises, we strive,

And decisions it takes,

Sugar-Puffs or Corn Flakes.

AND THEY SAY… ‘ROMANCE IS DEAD!’
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peter.howden Posted 25th Jul 2019, 08:11am
  Marker

Have you voice to debate
Have wisdom to cry
Have strength for sorrow
Have courage to not hate
Have the character to lie
Have you resolve for tomorrow?
peter.howden Posted 22nd Jul 2019, 09:59am
  The Day Dawned

One of the more famous old farmers predictions, based on lifetimes of observation by hard working country folk; ‘Red sky at night, shepherds delight, Red sky in the morning, shepherds warning’, which in my frame of mind, is based very early dawn having not quite raised itself in all its heavenly glory.

it certainly was not a hallucination, it’s real as real can be, nonetheless, because I am no shepherd of any kind, holding no responsibilities of such a professional dependency on nature outcomes, or the dangers lurking livestock, it forecasting an easy-going mode, or foul, before the trials and distractions of the day disturbed my shaky equilibrium.

A few morning’s ago, I saw a rare tear, being relatively warm for the session or persons to expect, here I was outside in just tee-shirt and shorts, checking the car. Apart from the obvious hypnotic illuminating reddish sky, the magic of a dawn was generating pure enchantment, above all else.

What caught my eye, then ear, was a glimmer of ambiguous purple streak of nimble light struggling through, followed by a burst of song from a tree, or bush, but boldly a feathered friend, whistling his, or her head off, then another, and another. I do not know if it is in their genes, or maybe they were caught on the hop, whistling in complete surprise, and joy, for another daytime was giving magnificent birth.

Standing totally memorized, by what unfolded within such a short moment, the sun proudly fashioned a tempting glimpse of its magnitude power, by covering the visible sky ,with a deep warming red I have not witness before, but would love to see it again.

All too soon, most of the show was over, as the sky slipped into something more comfortable with only a hint of what had taken place. Before my very eyes, the redness dimmed, daylight took its rightful place.
Although alone at our home’s front door, I did wonder, if my friends would be looking at the same marvel, but then again, they are far apart, most likely seeing things at a different angle…if they are looking at all.

A warm feeling inside recalling, one by one… all my friends, which are now fewer in number than before, but, unlike Facebook, for above all else it’s not the amount of so many supposed friends you have on the internet, it’s the close friends you fortunately have…near or far.
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peter.howden Posted 19th Jul 2019, 06:59pm
  Clash of miniature Titans

He is, as has been, a long-standing friend so it would be impolite to go so far as label him a fibber, although he is very liberal with the truth when discussing one vital subject. Perhaps the term fabricator, would even be to hard, but certainly a slight chancer, sneakily lurking in the depths of a devious side, yet not witnessed by the other fellow,

Then, to boot it all into a corner, way back in the last excursion, when this crafty fellow, takes advantage of another fellow, who misguidedly was struggling with just a tad too many refreshments, which affected that fellow’s capabilities, this was a bridge too far. There is no need going into details, nor excuses blatantly sworn why he was unable to take up the traditional challenge, but it will be adequate to mention it involved and included a bruised pinkie.

The verification rolled on to another affirming justification, it being much more hassle-free and comfortable to enjoy, if they were to saunter while taking in the sea airs of that ancient coal magnet of a seaside town called Saltcoats. Being mental putty in his hands, entirely unaware of his deceitful plan, the congenial fellow was allured into shady hostelries, and low-down saloons in a blatant effort to knobble the fellow’s common-sense ability, to be bristly crude…to beat the pants off him.

Whom is the fellow referred to, who stooped so low, preforming skulduggery and dastardly deeds, none other than ‘Salty’, the wandering seaman, brother-in-law; David? And what was the challenge other than the intimate ultimate, ‘Alcohol Chess’, and the running dispute over some 35 years… who actually is the decisive victor

I should have realized there was monkey business about, when he offered to buy the first round as I have experienced people from the area of Ayrshire, and they aren’t the quickest on the draw when it comes to the coinage of the queen. They can meet themselves coming out of an establishment just as they are going in.

Innocently trusting I was dealing with a gentleman, or at the very least a true and honest comrade, but sadly I must report of being duped. You think you know a fellow, little realizing what some may do when the sell their soul to the devil just for one-upmanship

The worst blow of all, a verbal dagger between the ribs, saying he had won by default, using a bare knuckle boxing term, I could not come ‘up to the mark’. Simply because my words were slightly inconsequentially incoherent, my walking may seem more than a hindrance…however apart from this, I was brand new…sound as a pound, in Harold Wilson’s time

Where the real exertion came after several games, the recognition as to what piece you were moving, to what square allowed to visit, and what bloody Queen? was always a bone of contention, especially for someone had sold his soul to achieve an empty victory. As the train pulled out from the station, watching Salty with a smirk on his face, waving a fond farewell.

The train hurried itself towards civilization, which can only be found in the dear green place of Glasgow…with one thought took precedence over all else…how will I knobble him next time around?
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