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> Home Made Tales, The journey
peter.howden
post 24th Nov 2020, 07:56pm
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DEAR SANTA.

Some Jezebel has just broken my childish heart by ranting and raving how there is no Santa Clause, or Missus Clause. That naughty woman, havered and hooted how I was just a big Jessie, besides trusting a fairy tale fit for a bairn. My whole world has been crushed, hoodwinked, or was it a figment of my imagination…or a willingly wish. Even when central heating was installed, I blindly believed the magic main Christmas man coming through the ventilator.

Bravely hiding the pain, as tears fell while telling the poison dwarf to put on her jaiskit and bugger off …and what she could do with Goldilocks. Secretly I bought this magic portion of Reindeer food, which would attract Rudolf and the rest of the sledge team, straight to my back yard on the illustrious enchanted night for all good boys and girls.

From the pantomime, I know not to give away my five magic beans, but I do not wish to disclose how much I paid for the feed, in case the old hag was right, making me look a bigger fool than I am. The guy that sold me the unique nosh; rubbed his hands with absolute glee, then mentioned something about baby Jesus by quoting… “One born every moment…and some mothers do have them?”

Bizarrely , I’m became a tad worried about the Tooth fairy, for each night, I take out my teeth, yet in the morning… no monies or gratuity is left. I just thought she could not swim, or she was frightened of water….even when it was in a tumbler.

P.s….I hope this will not affect my Easter chocolate egg and mister Bunny

P.P.S. Santa: I miss you….From a 908-month-old nice little boy
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peter.howden
post 25th Nov 2020, 07:09pm
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My Chronicles 25/11/2020

We are advised another 4-week lockdown for the home in which Aunt Becky is residing. Also, two weeks ago, the residents were asked to take the test, Becky refused this time around. The whole inhabitants, including staff, casual or full time have been tested in the past, however, if an individual refuses, the staff must abide. The matron informed me they are monitoring her day by day, and Aunt Becky is fine, although fragile
There is strange thing about our lockdown, this time around…it exist close to; ‘Get me out of here…I’m no celebrity’, plus a ‘Two way Stretch!’. ‘She who must be obeyed’, and myself, want the freedom to wander at will…go somewhere…anywhere, just for the hell of it, yet there is a hidden comfort of safety behind our front door. Rebecca is making Christmas Cards and knitting wee weird teddies, while being the dominating male, painting outside Inanimate objects, mainly huge boulders surround our lawn. Calling it a lawn is not only stretching the truth…its beyond basic honesty, for the green patch of grass, moss and weeds is so bumpy…you need climbing boots to walk on it?

Some 12 days ago, in the supermarket, I purchased a packet of assorted sticky sweet dates which Rebecca has dished out a selection of them during weekdays. These ‘Phoenix dactylifera’ fruits, mentally transported me way back to around 6/7/8 years old, early Christmas’s, where dates of the same calibre were the main treat for the whole family. I don’t consider myself as vain, but I lost the front tooth of my dentures top plate with teasing out a stone… I was now in a quandary.

Due to such damage proved an inability adjusting to dine…and coherent communication without wallies proved nigh impossible. Fortune shone on being thrifty, as stored in a sock drawer for 15 years, were a redundant set. As for the false tooth, displaced by vigorous gnawing the stone from the date’s skin, there was a near certain chance being swallowed in all the excitement and flurry.

Then two possibilities rose from the confusion…To have the plate completely repaired once it the foreign body came out from its wrong end unwanted captivity. Or await for the naughty virus vaccine to be discovered…allowing attendance at the dentist for a new replacement set…which one was chosen?
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peter.howden
post 30th Nov 2020, 09:21am
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The Puppet who could not talk(1/2)

There was nothing really unusual about the puppet, except a kind of cute wee nose, next to his one eye twisting around to follow you wherever you may stand. He was adopted by a courteous little girl who lovingly cuddled him, and covered him with doting kisses each night, ever since she received him as a late gift from an auntie, she never knew she had. The little girl carried the puppet everywhere she went, making sure he was on her pillow each night before her night-light went on. She told him stories, and nursery rhymes she learnt during the day, and just before she fell asleep, she kissed him warmly on his scraped head. He was a hand puppet.

One day as the family were passing a not so pleasant part of their large town, without noticing, the wee girl accidentally dropped the puppet out of her grasp. It had been the little girl’s fathers fault, for as he was carrying her, he jolted the lassie just before crossing the road. In a nervous reaction her grip slackened and so the puppet unnoticed tumbled down to the street below…landing in the gutter. The puppet saw his family move away quickly in big strides, hurrying from the strange dim streets

Luckily, it had stopped raining, however the puppet fell in the only puddle around the manky kerb, causing his fine attire plus his mittens being soaked with dirty water. By a bizarre quirk of fate, a dog happened to be sniffing around trying to find a lead on other mutts around the vicinity. His nose was telling him nothing was happening…so in a fit of pique, roughly picked up the sodden puppet and carried it dripping in his unwelcoming teeth

Wandering around through a couple of streets, the dingy mutt whiffed new prospects in the air, dropping the puppet at the side of a well-kept garden, moving on to investigate where the scents were coming from. Rather undignified, the dazed hand puppet landed on his head, lay there for some considerable time. As night was approaching, he began to fret for he had never been out in the darkness. The puppet was terrified from words unspoken, some awful stories about the goings on happening to unexpected travellers during the hours of nightfall….we don’t really know what happens when the black cover takes over.
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peter.howden
post 2nd Dec 2020, 08:46am
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THE PUPPET WHO COULD NOT TALK(2/2)


As the last glimmer of light struggled with the all-consuming darkness, unexpectedly the puppet felt warm hands around his now soggy clothing, being carried into warmth and dryness. The mystery saviour decided the next morning to place him, in all his glory in the garden, as a sort of mascot, protected from the worst parts of the rain and wind. His new abode appealed to him, though for some reason he could not forget the innocent kindness from the wee girl. In her house he stayed in the bedroom, with occasional trips throughout and beyond. Several times he slept on her pillow along with her favourite doll. No kissing took place, but it was cosy.

The marionette did not know how long he was there, in the garden, however the sun went down a few times and let lose the eery dark mist. Sometimes the puppet was very scared. One day from over the next door’s gate, as they had a habit of feeding the birds, a piece of bread fell on his head. A magpie came cruising down, but instead of just pecking the bread, the big beak bird lifted the bread and puppets head, flew as fast as his wings would carry him.

Flying over lots of chimney tops, the magpie must have realized it was only the bread he was after and dropped puppet from his beak. Down and down went the puppet, until he landed on something really soft. At last he will return to lovely stories, and a cosy pillow to lay my head, he thought. The Puppet had no way of knowing he had landed on a builders skip. Composing himself, he realized he could see the little girl’s house, just across the street. The joy in the puppet was overwhelming…for now he was sure he would be found, and all of this nightmare would vanish.

Early next morning, the wee girl came out of the house, walking with her mum, heading straight for where puppet was. He saw her up close, obviously been crying for me, thought the puppet, as I have been crying for her. He tried to catch her attention, but could not speak, or even make a noise on his own? Everybody knew this but he did not. He watched her walk away into the distance as her echo disappeared into the crowd. Puppet sobbed and wept.

He heard her giggling when she came back from school, with her mummy, and pass right underneath where puppet was trapped. He tried to call again, but it was hopeless as she vanished behind her front door. Well, thought the puppet; “at least I will see her every day going to school, and I know I will cry some more; but it is a comfort! I’ll even overcome my frighteners of the blackness?... his hopes were raised.

What the hand- puppet, and the little girl, did not know…. was the builder had finished with this skip load, was having it dump the very next day……
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peter.howden
post 4th Dec 2020, 08:34am
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The Puppet who could not talk,(News Extra)

Slowly recovering from the doolander on his head, caused by the magpie dropping him from the sky, fortunately enough landing on a manky cushion, the puppet gazed at the stars and wondered what would become of him. Inside the wee girl’s house, she manage to stop crying for her puppet, long enough, to write an unusual letter to Santa, as Christmas was just days away

It simply said, ‘Dear Santa, would you be so kind to take extra care of my precious lost puppet, keep him warm and safe…but most important, send him into a loving…loving home.’ P.S. Thank you’. The wee girl went into the kitchen where her parents always sat next to a roaring log fire. She asked her papa if he would send her letter to Santa. As usual he gently places her precious letter into the fire and wrinkled in the heat, then watch the message, through sparks and smoke ,rise up to the top of the chimney, outward towards the stars.

The following day across the road, workers were busy clearing the building site, as the skip lorry came to pick up the last load. The driver had a keen eye, spotted the humble puppet, rescued it by placing him into the cabin . The handler's intentions was finishing his schedule, then he would glue the puppet onto the large front window of his wagon, to travel around the country, along with other knick-knacks, which now looked a bit fatigued. At the end of his shift he went to the cabin, but there was no sign of the puppet. Searching in vain, he then thought… it either fell out which really was nigh impossible…or he must be losing his marbles

On Christmas day the wee girl awoke from a restless sleep, rubbing her eyes before opening them wide. She couldn’t believe what she saw. Propped up at the bottom of the bed was a unbelievable sight… her puppet, all spruce and proper…with a note pinned to his clean robe. So, excited she lifted the wonderful puppet, then cuddling him tenderly she ran all the way to her parents room. Once the instant enthusiasm calmed down, papa put on his old-fashioned glasses to read the pinned message which was… ‘ You asked me to send your puppet to a loving…loving home, this I have done, the posted you paid was a sincere teardrop…Merry Christmas’ X.
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peter.howden
post 7th Dec 2020, 09:05am
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The tales of Hector and ‘The Bruce’


The sum of Hector’s early years were filled with potential for learning by making mistakes…but years alone do not make him wise, if he fail to learn from these blunders

Hector and ‘The Bruce’ were inseparable, through Hector’s nigh self-imposed abysmal phase, at the time when mates were mates no matter what, though these times have gone, musings linger still in certain places. Many memories do not hold any time limit in the mind, and on rare cases, the brain. It can bunch all irreverent actions and conversation into one big happy plan, with mundane spaces blocking out reality… where hide inescapable tragic circumstances feaster…even to this day.

With two stints of closeness, firstly, school two buddies … lost contact in a short break, coming together again, forming the infamous musketeer four, ready and willing for excitement. It is not correct politically today, however, ‘The Bruce’ one failing was… being a true-blue protestant bigot. In some ways raised, nurtured in this mould, but sometimes the hint was there…he accelerated his own making.

Hector had no such predispositions as an atheist, yet… in some way, he was just as bad, for it seldom bothered his inner being, or indeed tickled his conscience to any consequences. Prejudice was there, unlike today’s mythology of correct intolerance, for we accepted it as being part of life’s rich tapestry, dogmatists on both sides was rife in this age, especially in Glasgow.

Hector had first-hand experience how the vicious infection on both sides, installed to a neighbourhood, in the guise of a cult, reputed faith. It just made it exceedingly difficult at a party or dance, because ‘The Bruce’ open gambit with the opposite sex, was predictable. “Which foot do you kick with?”. He genuinely believed it was wrong to be intimate, or even associate with the Catholic creed.

The strangeness was “The Bruce” had no prejudice against Arabs, Chinese, Jews, any coloured person who found themselves brown or black, only Catholic. He had a jagged track record as you can imagine, talking to a cheery girl one minute, then she would storm off with embarrassment. Hector always knew when Bruce’s ruse had struck once again.
-=-=-=-=-=-=
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peter.howden
post 8th Dec 2020, 08:51pm
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Lockdown; Surprise

The lockdowns have affected everyone in different ways, trying to create a meaningful interest, or work around the house, or a hobby to avoid a quicksand barren abyss. How long can we wait, living in a fantasy airy nothing, for tomorrow’s just beyond redemption. I was released from tedium just per chance, while making an forced attempt to tidy Toni’s room, stumbling on a forgotten treasure, locked in a small decorative wooden chest. Originally owned by ‘She who must be obeyed’, but containing almost indecipherable Post-cards, letters in various stages, sent by the endearing, almost unbelievable Mr Gerald Duman. He was a proud Ayrshire, Scottish Jewish entrepreneur, from the old school of selling suits and the like.

These very nearly forgotten personal communications dated between 1996, right through to 2008, when I worked as a weekend salesman, in his auld Dickens styled tailors in Glasgow’s Saltmarket. Where his establishment was situated, just a trickle of trade during the week, while weekends could be hectic due to the mass popularity of the Barras Saturday and Sunday. He had a habit of writing to me during the week, replying the debates talked about on Sunday afternoons when trade started to dwindle. Gerald was a caring man full of curiosity of life, far from the gruff persona acted in his establishment

About some 250 postcards, 20 odd letters, many precious scraps of paper, with writing on every spare inch available, carrying his thoughts for the day, with a huge range of subjects, allowing a peek into all our yesterdays. Now they are separated into years, and dates which permits leisurely consumption. There is a drawback, due to his scrawls and weird obscure scribbles, plus changing subjects without warning in the middle of a sentence... which I admit I do in my scribbles. Although this makes it difficult to focus on the theme, I’m keen in discovering his inner inspirations…his true message.


Now I realize how the ‘Honey’s’, our close friends from Cornwall, felt when I scribbled letters ,titled, ‘The Scottish Hordes’. After years of this practice, sadly Pam Honey died, and I motored down to Freathy for the funeral. When meeting the local population of the steep seaside knolls community, Jack introduced me, not by name, but as; ‘The Scottish Hordes’. After such induction, each person warmly greeted me, then replied, “nice to see you… in person”. Pouring out a couple of goldies after everyone had left, ,Jack then clarified…each time after receiving my scribbles, they found it hard to decipher what actually was written in the regular 10 paged letters. So, they passed the rough communication around the community, sometimes taking days, trying to understand what this Glaswegian was writing.

This was the only funeral where after retreating to the ‘Honey’s’ abode on the clifftop, proposed by Jack and two sons, many of the family and guests, including myself, went down to swim in the sea…Pam would have smiled… a beautiful, beautiful smile.
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peter.howden
post 10th Dec 2020, 08:31pm
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Scottish scribbler confounds Cornish pasties?(1 /2)

How this headline came about was perhaps a fluke, or as other people would have it, fate. Whether it was a combination of random happenings or predestined by a mysterious power is of little importance to the event, but the aftermath is and shall always be within my mind.
In 1988, a surprise letter came to Becky Donnelly Scotland, from a Pam Honey Cornwall, affirming her mother’s marriage to one of the original Donnelly tribe, mothered by Rebecca’s granny. The message explained Pam really wished to meet all Donnellys , and descendants, who helped her, her sister Connie, and her mum during the war. Apparently, they were up in Glasgow, staying with Rebecca’s family for a short time. Thereafter, had never forgotten the experience.

Therefore, it was arranged, through letters, to meet in our home in Barlanark Place, top flat no less, where we would make sure all available family would be, but most important both Becky, Nancy and the old war horse uncle David would come along. With Scottish famed hospitality on the night, a wide spread of eats laid out, kept in place with slight refreshments. There was true excitement and curiosity as to what these Honeys were like. Most of the family did attend, except me, due to late working for the Glasgow District Council that evening. When I did manage to join the facilities for 10 minutes, it was obvious by the look of my brother-in-law, a good time was still apparent.

I was introduced to Rebecca’s cousin Pam, her daughter Allison, and the now infamous hubby Jack Honey, who all gave the right impression of being very pleasant people, with a glowing warmth, which encircled everything, and everyone. Allison was born with Down’s syndrome, special as she certainly was who had a strict self-imposed routine of life, while Pam had a style with Allison which was clearly the right way. All too soon they had to leave, for like us, they had been curious as to what to expect, taking the precaution to book into a hotel, pricey though it was. The reason I mention this now, I knew Cornish folk and Scots also, have a rumored reputation, having carefulness where the coins are concerned.

Several months went by with both families communicating by letter, resulting in the following year, ‘She who must be obeyed’, and I… being invited down to Torpoint for a holiday. We had no difficulty in accepting and arrangements were made in Central Station. Rebecca possessed an officially numbered, green railway disabled card, with her photo, name, and address within, which she gave to the lady at the desk. The female staff member was extremely helpful, however ignored Rebecca completely, and in a sympathetic voice, invited me if I could not manage so early morning rise to travel in by bus… just phone here the night before… and we will have a car to pick up you… plus your wife.

While traveling down to … on the special day, a vital question put both of us in a quandary. Rebecca asked if I would be able to recognize them as it had been some time since their visit. I piped in how I was relying on her as she spent the whole night in their company. ‘She who must be obeyed’, argued they would remember me, as most people did from inside a crowd, for seemingly, I do stick out like a sore thumb.
-=-=-==-=-==
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peter.howden
post 13th Dec 2020, 01:36pm
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Scottish scribbler confounds Cornish pasties?(2 /2)


‘She who must be obeyed’ proved to be right, as both Pam and Jack hurried through the throng in Plymouth railway station to greet us warmly, guiding us to their car. A ferry trip over to Torpoint to stay in their Buller Rd townhouse. The cozy cuisine was just superb, as was the company, and the homemade beer took a long time to come accustomed to my palate, about three seconds. We then stayed in their chalet seaside retreat at Freathy, which were lucky to visit, for no one never left without being charmed for the rest of their lives. Their whole family was, and is, a fine mixture with an ease of not trying.

We found out by accident that Scottish and Cornwall nations had not only Gaelic in common but a reputation of tightness in the purse region. This proved false, as far as our hosts were concerned, for we had great difficulty in dipping into our own pockets. So much so, I planned to pay for the petrol the first time the car landed in a garage …but bizarrely, it never did. They must have persuaded the fairies to fill it up during the night for though it was a Volvo they drove; its tanks could not be that big…Could they?

Pam’s mum was now staying in a home for residents in a Plympton care home, as we arrived to call, an old man armed with a stick, wearing slippers, shuffled along aiming for the main gate. Two flustered nurses in hot pursuit, like a page out of Benny Hill farce. I thought …“Escape from Coldish as old man foils cushy guards by starching their uniforms”. after returning home I wrote a few postcards to Pam’s mum, saying the Scottish hordes would come down and rescue her from staleg 13. I soon realized it was a nurse who read this to the old lady so to cut my stupidity I ceased to write in that manner

Jack had arranged to walk with me, around two and a half miles by the map, but in true Cornish distance, with hills added, was around four all told. The girls were to catch up at the twin villages of Kingsands and Cawsands at a local watering hole used often. Setting off in good step, stopping at one of Jack’s friends on the cliff, I was introduced as a Scot in breeding, the Cornish host offered a large ‘water of life’. I was a good guest, who did not know the Cornish word for –no. We dutifully visited quite a few persons on the cliff, while slowly headed for our true destination letting the same circumstances repeat. Arriving at the water hole in Kingsands or Cawsands, truly under the influence of Cornish manners. It was just after one, and we were walking distilleries …small though they be. The girls just shrugged everything with a twinkle in the eyes from both.

Allison, whose mind was a wonder maze as sharp with a filing system for her massive collection of Radio Times backdated to 1930s, baffled and impressed me. Once her bedroom door closed, a ruthless streak could be heard, and doer in her own wee world. The last day visiting Pam’s Sister Connie in Plympton, a fabulous baker who gave us six homemade Cornish Pasties to take home. I ate four of them on the return train journey home to Glasgow. Good people they certainly were, for not only did they put us at ease…not only did they try fitting in as much of the beauty of Cornwall… not only did they arrange everything… but always made you feel so welcome.

The last night I could not sleep, shuffled through to the lounge, pour a special whisky, sat for two odd hours at the massive window of the chalet, totally captured and lost as the moon shivered over the sea, swooning towards Portwinkle….or was it the Loo? A word of warning for those who are not aware, being Cornish seaweed virgins. do not go into the sea when there is ether a continent, or a wicked vowel in the month…for It is many degrees colder than the sea at Aberdeen… even with knitted swimming trunks?
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peter.howden
post 15th Dec 2020, 09:23am
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Twa Worlds.

It had been the best of times, but now it was the unequivocally the time of total panic throughout the civilized planet, shocking peoples to run havoc, creating disbelief. Every so-called scientist, in the four corners of the world, concurred there was no hope, nothing to stop the calamity, Armageddon was upon the globe just hours away. Universal Politicians nervously endorsed evacuation for the leaders and key people. This was paramount, but unfortunately, they could not agree who those selected individuals were to be.

After epochs of abuse the planet’s ecosystem was nigh exhausted , only a few rockets, with precious fuel, were available to be sent out to space, but, how robust would untested missiles function, more important, where they would reach….or, was it just wishful thinking. As valuable moments and minutes ticked away, idle and undecided, until one lone country, chose to save who they could. An automated lottery was cast, collected with the diverse ticket holders arriving at the outer space station and boarded.

Almost at the moment of catastrophe approaching, the feeble crafts were launched into the unknown blackness.

Somewhere, perhaps in another dimension, a bunch of youngsters decided to play rounder’s, late in the evening. That day the temperatures were the highest ever recorded, unbearable, in fact, the tarmac on the road melted. Strolling along while slugging ginger, the casual group reached the grassy sports park, ready for the innings,

The pitcher’s had smuggled out from a glass display cabinet, an incredibly old hand-crafted ball, handed down through his family. All the boys gawked enviously at this extraordinary orb. This was his first delivery, normally bowled underhand in a unintentionally spur of the moment, for some unknown reason, he changed his tactics. Why he did not know, but strenuously with all his might, he hurled it overhanded.

The auld stale ball plunged towards the batter’s head, like a missile with a death wish, leaving no choice for the batsman but to swing wildly at the oncoming sphere. As contact was made, the whole globe disintegrated into disastrous smithereens, leaving all the runners in a stooshie. Strangely, one boy’s keen eye observed what appeared to be… wee solid shaped bits, from inside the auld sphere, projected out straight up into the darken sky.

Were both events on the same globe, but in diverse time frame, or velocity? ….or poles apart, happening at the precise same moment on another universe entirely, two separate planets, but ,at that precise moment… both orbits fused in collision…running-together in parallel dimensions… or same cosmos with fractured distorted time frame
Or just amazingly simple coincidence?
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peter.howden
post 18th Dec 2020, 09:26pm
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My Chronicles 18/12/2020

Christmas will certainly be unique this year, mainly because of this naughty virus, producing self-imposed housebound for both, ‘She who must be obeyed’, and myself, probably more intense than we believe it at the moment. A opportunity for making it profound, to make good what we’ve got….not what we want. Alike all, we certainly miss our family, as for some years, assembled dynasty at Nikki’s for the Christmas feast. However, no matter where they may be on Christmas day, the now traditional toasting absent extended family and close friends… at 14.00 precisely .

From any December, my wish to hear carols, Christmas songs and hymns, paramount as a sort of comfort zone, arousing cherished memories . Exceedingly early in life, being almost religious, a Sunday-School teacher I became, which shows how desperate Church of Scotland, Coplaw St was. Sometime after one midnight Christmas Service, I mentioned to Vicar Phillips I really enjoyed singing; “#O come all ye faithful#…originally an old Jacobite song, hidden meanings the essence of the carol!”. His quick reply, “yes indeed…the whole congregation noticed how robust, hear your Forte quavers… some three notes behind everyone!” . Much later, Govanhill housing Association took over the routed holy building.

Not so long ago, a yearly visit to Barlanark Greyfriars Church Christmas service, really in support for the minister, David Locke, a gifted man with certain inquisitive ways. It was he who encourage reading all sorts of literature, which inspired me to research; ‘The water margin’, a Chinese traditional manuscript, hard to read even in English. During the Song Dynasty in China, 100 or so Outlaws of the Marsh, Robin hood standard but bloodthirsty with religious motivation….I have to admit…never finish the famed huge novel. Way back, I did watch T/V serial; ‘Monkey’ the Japanese Buddha tale. I liked the craziness of the whole series

There is a opportunity to visit Aunt Becky, because the home has managed to make safe with hard working astute preparations, to be available somewhere close to Christmas, or just after. Unfortunately, the poor wee soul hasn’t a clue who the heck I am, nevertheless, it’s worth the chance of even a hello. Returning home, we must have a chance to watch one of the best ever film; ‘Scrooge’ with the superb actor …Alister Sims…magic

"God bless us, every- one!" ….A merry Christmas to one and all
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peter.howden
post 21st Dec 2020, 08:04am
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Jim stepped down from the train(2)

Jim stepped down from the train, surrounded by a vast parched desert, onto the end of an empty platform displaying a shabby poster of illegible words. Whatever struck his ability to reason at this particular moment, no one will ever know, but one thing is certain, like it or not, he was in an fiery ambience. A squeaky old wooden sign, ‘Pandora’, hung as abnormal blobs of moisture dripped from its fractured edges for the intense heat was nigh unbearable. Jim spotted an archaic tatty photographic poster, a grim face uncanny resemblance to himself…or was it just an optical allusion

He had heard of individuals experiencing such from heat stroke hallucinations in arid regions, due to the intolerable temperatures, triggering mirages? Jim then became aware, of a singular noisiness , not any kind of sound, no birds, no crawling bugs, no wind, no sign of life but absolute scary silence…and an malingering foreboding hovering through his mind. His fatigued eyes gawked over this frayed poster, but somehow, he couldn’t place all the words together, as if alexia formed an obvious obstruction.

An uncomfortable sweat arose on his brow, and under his shirt, as he glanced around from where he stood, only to fathom, he must have been here for some considerable time. The single track was still heading in both directions, but horizons where far…far away. Jim now dehydrated, with crinkled eyes returning to the poster message …the blurred letters magically were becoming more focused, just about able to read. . To his horror instantly identified the gruesome image… he locked his eyes so tightly, almost burst his head open with utter rejection, yet couldn’t prevent the truth being freely revealing…how he had brutally slaughtered his declared ‘love of his life’.

His mouth an instant dried-out cave, Jim fell onto his buckled knees, shivering uncontrollably in mental pain… comprehending how much a deceiving monster he must be. And at that exact instant, the haze of the notice dropped, revealing in branded black clotted blood …’this man will hang this day, for odious and unchristian crime against humanity’. Then strangely, for a mute panorama ….a haunting whistling tune floated; “Coulter’s candy'.

Unpredictably ,Jim awoke into a mayhem state of foul-smelling secretion, but it had been a nightmare … he is certainly here, safely out of the delusion. He goad two detached domains when his mind jolted hearing in the distance… the unmistakable old squeaky sign …he dare not look outside of the window… now sprouting into madness… he dare not hope it was a dream…for If so… then and now…which one?
-=-=-=-=-
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peter.howden
post 28th Dec 2020, 03:43pm
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THE WORM WHO WOULDN’T DIG IT

After observing John Wayne quoting his dictum to live by…"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on…I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them” ….Wriggly the earthworm just stopped burrowing.

He really could not see the sense in knocking his aortic arches and circular muscles constantly excavating organic matter, for the benefit of others…particularly humans. Some beings just abused him something rotten, in so many ways, stand on him as if he weren’t there, or deliberately poison the soil. . Old beings dig him up for usage in bait, hooked, then plunged into freezing running liquid to catch these smelly things in the river…that’s inhumane thought Wriggly. Half sized beings wearing specks, in any opportunity, dissect him or his buddies at a whim just to see him squirm.

Do you know, thought Wriggly, some bammy boffins beasts tested lipstick on him? How embarrassing it would be if he tried to pick up a bit of worm skirt, and he had redder lips than she. It is just as well that he has both male and female reproductive organs, or he would really been F------

Wriggly worked it out he must have dug through almost every piece of earth for miles around. There were human things called Scientists, patronizing Wriggly and his millions of comrades, declaring without worms, man’s empires would crumble. Wriggly had never tasted crumble, apple, or rhubarb though he had a piece of bashed pears at one time. for a brief moment, he of a strategy of starting a union with a million members each square mile…but cancelled out this notion as the other worms had not seen the John Wayne movie; ‘The Shootist’…being too busy exhuming the earth

Personally, being taken for granted, for so long…wriggly worked his bristles off in the past, but somewhere decided to diet. No longer would he be a slave to his inner tube, digesting the worlds earth for food. Oddly, he had not quite worked out the mechanics for what would now be his sustenance. Ideals are all very well, but they won’t bring the pigs in, whatever that meant, thought Wriggly.

One thing he did work out for himself , if he were to be in a forced diet to excess, he would have to be careful passing his old holes or he might plunge into the unknown? So reluctantly, as an act of mercy rather than punitive, but more so for the good of his health. Wriggly would go back to what he was best at… .passing the muck.

P.S. if Wriggly and the global ‘Grahams’ number of worms, continue passing the dirt…they could change the Earth?
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peter.howden
post 29th Dec 2020, 08:39pm
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A STRANGER ;

A single figure of a pitiful man, sat in the middle of the human jungle made up of scruffy tables and tatty chairs, but for this, the café was almost empty. It had been pandemonium during the usual early morning crowd dashing to and fro for coffees and teas, plus rolls and toast before scrambling up jam-packed elevators in search of one desk or other. All of them locked safely in boxes surrounded by thin walls of plaster wood cells. Outside, hidden in some corner away from the main office door, the odd fly by night, sucking nervously on a cancer stick, ready to dart off as soon as they have inhaled their fix.

In the unfilled snack bar, the stranger, twist and turns his teaspoon, firstly clockwise then anti-clockwise swirling the drops of cold liquid in a haywire direction. This single act he has carried out for at least the last ten minutes. The weary waitress has given up tempting him to move by washing down the table with an over damp cloth, leaving streaks across the Formica speckled tabletop. The spare water soaks his shirt sleeve but fails miserably to encourage movement on the stranger’s part. Wherever his mind was, it wasn’t in the restraints of the coffee shop.

Unheard words darted within his trouble mind…How could I be such a fool, all of our goodbyes to last forever. I have no sense except horse sense, to allow her slip away, unable to tell he, she was my Mona Lisa, my soul mate, my life. How could I be so foolish, so proud…so tongue tied? Just for once I wish I could have open up. Pathetic love songs say some rain must fall, and some tears be shed. She will never know just how much I cared.

Just at that moment, a young lady entered the silent café, orders Russian tea, neatly sat down quite a distance from the stranger. Glancing towards her while making sure she did not see him do so. With each cagey peek exciting his eyes, for something really sweet and charming, and innocent about her body language. Was she waiting for someone… however, the stranger did not believe so? The waitress delivered the glass lemon tea then left the change, in such a way to encourage a reasonable tip. The server glared at the stranger, who failed to notice as his attention was on the young lady at the far side of the window.

With angelic hands reaching for the glass with lemon drooping into the hot liquid, the stranger saw her well-manicured nails tipping her slim fingers, so elegant. Her alluring red lips puckered with excitement as they sipped the hot beverage. Her eyes glistened with expectation, personified through the crafty lighting of the open premises. In other words, the stranger saw the young beauty as a peach to savour.

Might he take a chance, should he approach this Madonna and ask to sit next to? Could he be so bold and invite this walking perfection for a sentimental journey to begin the beguine. Perhaps they could take a tram ride together to Kelvinside, or maybe the art galleries . Yes, lets strike while the iron is hot, thought the stranger and almost gave effort into standing up!

Just at the vital moment, she uncrossed her legs…amplifying the sound of stockings stroking each other which drives young wild, and old men alike. She rose and left the premises without one word from her perfectly formed lips.

A single figure of a pitiful man, sat in the middle of the jungle made up of tables and tatty chairs, but for this, the café was almost empty.
-=-=-=
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peter.howden
post 4th Jan 2021, 08:13pm
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Steps of Paris

The necessary lockdown has caused we two, quite a few physical changes and emotion spiring from health and fitness endurance, mainly due to our age and medical conditions. ‘She who must be obeyed, and I, must endeavour keeping a certain level of well-being, no matter what the restraints. We both are experiencing nigh weepy dispositions watching terrible old repeats on television . The icy weather hampered my small exercise walks, so i commandeered the house stairs completing six up and downs, then stopped in Toni’s room to catch my breath. A tad dizzy as I looked at computer’s desktop screensaver’s, a smashing 1933 picture of Lamarck Metro stairs, with a cute lady, floating as if in a play, long ago in Paris… I sat down memorized in the past.

Toni and Fergus worked on contracts in various cities throughout Europe, including Paris, for some time in Rue Lamarck, in the vicinity of the saintly white of Sacre'-Caur. When they were on some exotic holiday, ‘She who must be obeyed’ and I were given the chance to amazing challenges exploring Paris, while being fortunate to be staying at their comfortable abode. Fergus left an inventory of various amenities to aid our vacation, including artisan bakeries. Rising early on our first morning the decision was taken, for me to buy fresh bread from the nearest baker artisan, and a chance to ask in the French language. One slight problem…112 steps straight up to reach, ( un boulangerie artisanale).

The first ascending proved not too bad, although showing signs of a definite struggle, for although I did complete all the stairs, I was breathing in gulps with rasps seethed coughs . So much so, being feart to enter the shop in case they mistook me for a dirty old man practicing telephone obscenities. Meanwhile juggling my understanding of French, and what I had practiced, needed my full concentration, along with extreme luck. Going into the bakery, surrounded by wondrous aromas, all I managed was a blurt out a weird interpretation of, ‘Bonjour’, to point at the stick bread, then hold up one finger. The young girl smiled profusely, speaking sweetly ?...

Slightly improved the following daybreak yet still gasping and cocking while arriving inside the premises, struggling with another French word after Bonjour! Early each morning my steps became firmer, yet gruff breathing still was a problem, as well as asking in French for a single baguette, yet managed an extra pronunciation of a French word…well nearly. Ten days passed with every morning struggling the stairs and the language, with minor success but incomplete in both.

It was a beauty of a morning on our final full day, warming my intentions to a spurt climb of the dreaded 112 steps relatively easier than before. As I reached out to open the door, the day demanded confidence approaching the counter. The young girl stood smiling sweetly. Almost without thought, I suddenly asked with no hesitation, or stutter… ‘Bonjour, je voudrais acheter une baguette, s’il vous plaît ... merci

The bakery was silent for just a jiffy as the young girl placed a single fresh baguette on the glass counter, still smiling prefusely, and obviously declining coins for payment. She then started to applaud, along with the two bakers working adjacent, even one confused punter joined in the instant celebration. What came next made me the talk of the steamie…she declined coins for payment of the triumphant baguette.

Next…The stairs of Lyon
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