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peter.howden Posted 17th Apr 2019, 01:41pm
  Tales of Hector and ‘The BRUCE’


The Bruce, (Porthos); Alan. (Aramis), Hector. (Athos), and Jim, (d’Artagnan) homemade flamboyant ‘Three Musketeers journeyed down the Sassenach trail. Plain language was a limping annoyance, though proved not insurmountably at the next stop, surprisingly another pub. The Paladin adventurers feeling hungry, but not starving, requested a few sangwidges, as marked on the chalked blackboard.

Somewhere along the line there must have been a misleading understanding given, as a massive silver tray appeared minutes later, barely managing to hold mountains of top cut bread, covering separate fillings. Athos innocently inquired, “have you a poke?” …but alas, the poor mademoiselle just looked bewildered. Swiftly Athos added, “a Brown paper bag!” to which she still was stunned. Eventually, with magic hand signals, he managed to connect, Athos was presented with quite a few paper bags, to rescue those extra sandwiches.

A couple of days later, within a chip shop, Porthos enquired “Four tasty Ashet supper suppers please”. The staff appeared fraught, until one daredevil chippie, who didn’t understand the weird vernacular, suggested that the gay musketeers, must be from “candid camera!

Next day, with the trusty stead Singer Gazelle, smoothly roving through ‘The New Forest’ which looked ancient, then onward to the outskirts of charming Christchurch, heading for a public loo. Just outside the convenience, Athos virtually stumbled over a ill-fated mademoiselle, obviously spellbound with some drug. Her blue eyes were hauntingly vague on her cragged aged face, flumped in disarray on the pavement, incapable of movement, then howled like a banshee when the Paladin’s attempted to help…very…very sad. Hard decisions make inflexible conclusions, while some people would argue, you can’t make an omellete without breaking eggs, yet it helps looking at the recipe now and again.

The small band of Musketeers arrived in Bournemouth, reasonably dressed to visit the ballroom, where the entire atmosphere truly was cosmopolitan, with so many nations represented their country, in one form or another. Pathos’s mumbled French was not making him adorable to any of the Mademoiselles within the crammed dance area, chose to sip a slight refreshment at the dainty wee bar,

Out of the assemblage, a anonymous relentless screech “SCOTLAND! SCOTLAND, rebounded in the hall, Immediately the hall split, with a multitude on the right-hand side, against half a dozen, would be Cardinal Richelieu’s antagonizing clansmen on the left. It was not hard to work out who was who? A gormless brangster of the Cardinal’s, rushed out from between the crowd, lacking the musketeer’s inbuilt tenacity, pleaded with ‘Athos’ to assist (‘Hauners’ in Glaswegian), along with the other three, Porthos; Aramis, D'Artagnan.

The Tree Musketeers, and D’Artagnan, refused flatly and hastened to leave the crude mayhem affair…just in time. What occurred next they knew little except the ‘Police Nationale’ arrived swiftly, closing all the entrances and exits…plus apparent arresting those Cardenal’s hoodlums…however most important these ‘Knights Errant’ as they retired from the scene, homeward bound… their axiom lived on… “All for one and one for all”

peter.howden Posted 12th Apr 2019, 11:40am
  Football for a nation…

The day had arrived, the same way these critical match days always came, with complete dread of defeat. The countrywide event has radically altered, throughout its uneven history, when whole towns populations were the team, fighting tooth and nail to win. The consequences of defeat have transformed beyond recognition, since James V1; uttered these famed words, “Playing fut ball is forbiddis, punishable by ‘Four Pence’ fine”.

The old-style intense shindig repartee between spectators, was amiss. as a horde of exactly 400,000, government authorized ticket holders, despondent followers of their national team, marched into the colossal stadium. Hardly a soul on either side, embrace a skeptical optimism notion they will win, but in the depth of their pounding souls, each person is praying for victory, no matter what their walk of life is… the dreaded night will come… but will day follow it

As soon as the starting whistle shrieked into the air, it induced haunting memories of the original ‘Hamilton Crescent' encounter, broadcasting the urgency for utter victory in this bitter match. Nothing was unpretentious about the summoned revolutionaries, both sides seeking barbaric blood and guts revenge… with no mercy to the losers, being the toil.

Both teams, though held strictly to the official rules of the game, stamped pitilessly against their opponents, out of sight of the referee. Any contact was unrestrained as if they were in a combat zone, fighting for existence. The viewing crowd’s ferocious conduct only changed when a penalty was awarded, then complete silence as the preparations where shrewdly taken.

The final whistle blew just after the only goal was recorded, sent the victorious crowd into escalating wild emotional eruption, equal to a hundred historic ‘Hamden Roar’. The winning throng of precisely 200,000 left euphoric, almost stupefied beyond redemption, while the lost factions sat mutely glued to their seats, knowing their fate.

The world, insisting being finally civilized, came to a consensus throughout the entire planet, football games structured in the same manner to address conflict between nations. All the population, of all countries were compulsory supports of the national team. A special unrestrained tournament set, involuntary spectators ticketed to attend (failure to appear, ordained execution of their entire family and their family’s family)

The defeated team and their permit audiences…annihilated…painlessly…and the victors…took over their nation…good old Footie…the liberator of the world…football for a nation!
peter.howden Posted 11th Apr 2019, 05:53am
Odds and Ends

Jim (Ayr) is certainly not well, having been in bed for the last 10 days. He spent a holiday somewhere in Egypt a couple of weeks ago. Ever since returning he has had painful bouts, coughing up blood, and short of breath. Jim can be a bloody idiot when it comes to health issues, such as the long running threat of prostate cancer, high blood pressure, plus dogmatic with medical personnel, while not taking doctor’s advice . Like most of us in the old bugger’s brigade, we can be single minded almost to the point of stupidity. What is the cause of his illness, or indeed what it is? But I will take a trek down Monday or Tuesday.

In the need to attempt some sort of exercise, early in the morning I am endeavouring a bash at deliberate walking to somewhere, however it’s a struggle to rise early…and a bigger struggle to get up. When I do manage to convince myself how it is a good idea, and out on the bound, the enjoyment of the saunter, over-rides the irritation discomfort which now potters around my physique. Only last week the spring flowers were blooming hardy daffodils, spreading along the pathway of the smashing wee park, just behind Gardeen. With this sunny vision, you would expect someone to think of ‘Wordsworth’ poem ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’, yet what came to my mind, and I search for,…the lonely daffodil, carefully placed between the cheeks of Wilfred Hyde-White’s rectum, in the movie ‘Carry on Nurse’

Last week I managed to take Aunt Becky for a hurl, around the hills we both relish so much. This trip was exclusive by one single unexpected action on Becky’s part. Because of roadwork's, the car was halted for some three minutes. I sat there with my hand on the gearstick, ready for action once the lights changed. Becky, while looking at me, deliberately clasped her hand on top of mine, remaining there for the rest of the delay, until I moved to change into gear.

Becky has talked in a sort of affectionate way, also, I have held her hand quite a few times… but she has never purposely made physical contact with me. Facial wise was blank, no expressions what so ever, giving no indication why she chose to do so…it has become a cherished moment.
peter.howden Posted 5th Apr 2019, 05:34pm
  My Chronicles 05/04/2019

For one reason or another, I have been unable to take Aunt Becky for a wee hurl around Strathblane countryside and the Kilpatrick hills. A few times she was sleeping and once I had to postpone, then feeling rather guilty. The plain truth of the matter is, even though Becky gives positive signs of enjoying the whole experience, I reckon I missed the outings more, since the wee soul can’t remember almost anything, except for Becky’s beloved Scottish music played each excursion. Yet… just now and then, I have the impression, something I’ve said, or done in a certain way… there is a glimpse ’rings her bell’…but more likely…wishful thinking on my part.

The usual tour is from Great Western Rd, then head for Milingavie, squinting at the Craigmaddie Reservoir, next up the road leading to Strathblane, sharp left on the A891, which is near parallel to the dismantled Strathkelvin railway over the Ballagan burn. Then, just in time with a twist of the steering wheel, to witness the awa inspiring ‘Dunglass’…then stopping at a place known as ‘Car park in the sky’, which gives a breath-taking view all around…bloody magic. A hop, skip and Jump to Lennoxtown, but remembering to turn right at ‘Milton of Campsie’ crossroad. Always releasing a rare wee buzz, while heading to Torrance, then Balmore Road…and home for a cup of tea…bring us back to life, as Aunt Becky still quotes.

There is no fudging the fact, Aunt Becky is shrinking before our eyes although her eating habits have improved, however, it would be prudent wait until later, to take her out on a spending spree. The logic is, lock stock and barrel, Becky and the rest of the fellowship are moving to a brand new purposely built, up-market accommodation, near Yorkhill hospital. The complexities for the hard-working staff are enormous, plus the residents adapting to their new surroundings, will be testy for all concerned. I now wonder if a hobo wanderer like myself will be allowed in the front door of such a swanky establishment.

The main ‘Vet’ renders an opinion my arthritis is now becoming prominent which is more than just annoying. I’m forgetting quite a lot, unpretentious everyday things, not only slip my attention, but play hide and seek within my mind. It could become scary if I could remember to worry about it.

There is a plus side to it all, ‘She who must be obeyed’, although not so forgetful, is travelling the same road, so we both can become dotty together. Recording and watching telly is a chance game, with the odds slightly against us. Having chosen a film, viewing it for a short period of time, one of us will realize there is something familiar about it…then it dawns on us…seen it. What we can look forward to in the unseen future…we watch a whole film, not realizing we have viewed it before…several times…now that is value for money

Perhaps I have been mistaken in the past, by judging all the so-called individual exploiting company channels, who make millions out of regurgitating a hell of a lot of old crap television….only to attempt to aid the growing aged absent-minded customers, whose performances are wandering,… give them their money’s worth… AYE …and the ‘Pope’ is not a catholic…my awareness has certainly not meandered that far off the track

I am not really a pitiless grump…. Just I have an over extended middle life crisis every day
peter.howden Posted 1st Apr 2019, 07:16pm

Within a modern abode It started…perhaps around the bewitching hour of darkness, a weird noise exasperatingly awoke, out of a dead slumber, the resident of the house. Something vague from a uncomfortable dream, spooked him…left him sprawling in cold damp sweat, surrounded in complete darkness, apart from the wee blue light from the inter connecting phone

Overpowering imagination intimidated him more, by hearing a scraping jabbing noise, wafting odours of someone, or something just outside the closed bedroom door…but his interpretation he perceived may have been suspect. Then, nothing… until, if he could trust his ears…pecking at the door.

Usually anxiety was repugnant to him, yet, now intimidated by the unknown, he stood up, edging his hesitant hand towards the bedroom door handle. Almost steathfully opening the door, to revel a problem of the neighbour’s intermitted bright security lights, flickering through the stairway window’s venetian blinds, reflected a silhouette black/white striped impaired vision.

Before he had a chance to move forward ever so cautiously, oddly, a suggestion of a haunting swishing echo rebounded around the landing, The erratic source seemingly within the confinement of the walk-in shower room. Taking shaky steps forward within a second, eerie splashing noises drifted from behind the shut door. With cautious set in every slow step, towards the wet-room door, to discover the light failed to work, worse…the door was locked. Instantly induced bowel movements, because, if the door was locked, then someone was inside.

Separate walking by witnesses only recalled a noise of running water…and quite a few shrieks, so horrifically chilling… they supposed it was the telly
The tenant’s sprawling body, halfway down the stairway, was discovered the next afternoon, dripping blood from atrocious little stab wounds, some taking his eyeballs out, others to the throat…and many piercing the heart…. but what…who…or why remains a quirk mystery.

The only other living thing in the house…was a wee budgie…. Bizarrely still…it was found, in its cage…locked in the walk-in shower room…wet…but not hungry….
peter.howden Posted 29th Mar 2019, 10:33am
  Tales of Hector and ‘The BRUCE’


Jim, Alan, ‘The Bruce’ and Hector, four rascals believing to be true model characters from the intriguing novel, penned by Alexandre Dumas, ‘The Three Musketeers’. However, akin to the original writing, the close mates were not French military fighters, or swordsmen …. on the other hand, true loyal friends, glued to each other’s hips, ‘All for one, and one for all.’ ‘The Bruce’, would certainly be typed, Porthos; Alan persisted being Aramis, Hector animated Athos, while Jim had to be, D'Artagnan. They did not imitate their heroes, didn’t have to…they believe they were the Four Musketeers. Yet, the nearest they got to swords, was shaving bum fluff with Wilkinson safety razors

This was undeniably, one of the many happiest periods in Horace’s life. Comparable to the individuals scripted in the wonderful tale, they lived completely different lives styles apart…but on meeting, an unspoken bond existed. In the early 60s, one summer’s evening, on mere impulse the illusioned infamous four, made ready to travel southward into creamy Devon, simply since the pubs in Sassenach England, remained open for an extra hour more than in Glasgow.

In Alexandre Dumas, fabulous boys only stories, the ‘Three Musketeers’ always departed in a fury, defeating the cardinal’s men yet again, jumping on their trusty steeds, galloping like the devil into the sunset horizon for another adventure. No trusty stallions for the boys, but a chariot, a Gazelle sports car belonging to Aramis,.

Nowadays, perhaps adventure minded adolescents, would contemplate making a beeline for Buckfast Abby, just off the A38, but back then, fomented apple scrumpy cider, was thee mind blowing. The older generation forgets, how and what they did, in the name of discovery, though this is no excuse to downbeat the current brash behaving teenagers...

Camping on the way down, cut down on expenses, allowing money for needs and comforts such as booze, cigarettes, and a bite or two. Talent was an extra bonus but not essential. The voyagers arrived just outside Shrewsbury boundary, crossroad to this side of Birmingham. There was the typical English inn (whatever that is) with a sign stating camping allowed.

The snug friendly hostelry with a landlord allowing the now merry would be swashbucklers outer enthusiasm to overspill. Hector believed he was the ‘bees’ knees’, adorning his Canadian Sateen bright sky-blue bright jerkin, inside white imitation fur lining, spotted a uncompiled maiden at the bar. Casually introducing himself, with merry nifty patter, asked the lass to join with his friends.
The rest of the night was a ball, full of laugher and gaiety, until the last orders bell. The charming girl whispered to the boys, she was related to the owner, to just wait, letting everyone else leave. When the doors finally closed, the proprietor inquired what they wished to drink, refusing to take a single penny from the young travelers. This was their first try at a lockout. Staggering slightly, they left the tavern just after midnight, good and proper stotious!

The daredevils to a man, among them a Viking descendent, found outside not unpleasant, but blurred and confusing. Looking around for bearings, someone spotted a movement at the top of the hill, just left of the car park they found themselves in. Choosing to investigate, or thought they did, sort of followed the person who they trusted was in the leading the knights’ errand to the top of the hill.

Eventually making it to the top, to find a bearded Billy Goat tied to a small stump, restricting movement to a few steps in any direction. The wanderers decided to return to camp, grab musical instruments specially brought for the adventure, and returned alongside to the seemingly mystified goat. D'Artagnan strummed the guitar while the rest of the would-be paladins, blew out their kazoos

The goat on the top of the hill, did not like Porthos; He was a hard guy to get to grips with, so the musketeers never put any pressure on the goat, to change its stubborn mind. Don’t let anyone kid you on, how it’s easy singing to a goat, keeping in tune, if the dam thing is charging anything that moves.

The next morning, Aramis, drove away from the site of entertainment of the previous evening, with the rest saddened to leave Billy goat. Was the adventure all down to drinking scrumpy cider?. ‘Air mhisg’ as the Gaelic peoples would say

Next Going south conclusion
peter.howden Posted 22nd Mar 2019, 12:56pm
  Little old lady

The elderly lady shuffles along the bumpy uneven pavement, heading for the traffic-lights on the busy road. She is in a rush for the shops, badly needing messages, and not to forget slice beef sausage, as Harry loves a bit of sausage, and bacon. Corn Dobbie for herself, makes a rare sandwich in the middle of the night, when she cannot sleep for worry. She thinks to herself, she’s being so silly, for Harry will keep her safe.

Reminding herself having no time for this foolery, for she had better get her skates on, hoping she doesn’t meet Mrs MacBride, a terrible chinwag, who bad mouths everybody and everything. The little auld lady, with keen eyes for her age, glances to and fro, steadily heading for her goal, the Zebra Crossing. All the time, nervously keeking behind her, relieved she is not being followed. She knows her Harry will call her daft when she gets back home. Once the key is secured behind the mortise locked door then both of them will be all right…. snug as bugs on a rug.

A wee laddie was at the crossing as she stops her four wheeled trolley from rolling any further, giving her time to gather her breath. He gave her a smile as she earnestly thought ‘he does not look like one of those hoodlums, who broke into our house, when I was out last week’. ‘Lucky, Harry was with me, or he might have been hurt, or worse, thrown out into the street’.

The place was in a real stooshie, the manky middens, even peed on the coffee table, really scunnered me…but I promised Harry, they’ll naw catch me napping this time’. I’ve bought a double drop mortise lock, paid a real joiner put it in. I said to Harry, ‘you can’t put a price on safety’.

The lights change, leaving the wee lad standing, the old lady darts across at some speed, like a hurricane, quick as a flash, she is inside the nyaff supermarket. She would much prefer to shop in the wee shops, however; the high street is full of sad empty premises. The family butcher, who Harry likes his sausages from, is gone somewhere, but not local. She scoots around the shelves, hardly looking at the well-publicized bargains, tempting the sodie-heid shoppers.

Racing through the till section, then marches, almost runs along the well-worn street heading for her home. She worries if she was right to leave Harry alone, in the flat, however the chippie said the door was like fort Knox …. Guaranteed. ‘I hope he’s right’ she thought entering the close…. her heart was thumping ten to a penny.

To her relief, the front door was intact, enters the home, calling on Harry, just to let him know she is out of harm's way. Locking the double- drop, and starts packing her messages away, then makes the tea. With her favourite slippers on, she sits down next to where Harry is, and relaxes. ‘Told you handsome, I’d be back in two handshakes and a jiffy, and so I am!’. With a twinkle in her eye, a warm tender smile, she carefully picks up, from the new coffee table……………a photo of her darling late Harry.
peter.howden Posted 21st Mar 2019, 01:38pm
  Young Ben…

Chance is a funny thing, it can happen with unseen casualness. At certain precise times Ben wished it had forgotten it’s unwritten duty, by surprising everyone concerned, even when it is far from being beneficially befallen to the main person. It springs in all directions for good, and not so good… it is that way we most remember its presence.

Per Chance, for a short period, 8 Gorbals Street, became Ben’s home, on the corner of Carlton Place. The house was large for the district, with three bedrooms, sitting room, kitchen and bathroom as it stood then, right where the modern Glasgow Court is now. Ben’s mother maintained her opposing way against liquor although she always had a fair measure of the “water of life”, complete with a piece of Dundee cake, in bed every night…. for medicinal reasons, she reminded the family.

Per Chance, much against his mother’s wish, Ben was placed in the special Hollybrook school, for disabled children taken, then brought back, in a wee grey van/bus, for all the world. A couple of those incapacitated children totally disproved the theory, all disabled children have lovely natures and cute in a funny way.

Per chance, a bigger boy, who used crutches, took an instant dislike against wee Ben, for ever break or lunch time, while in the playground, out of sight of any teacher, he tripped Ben up to land awkwardly on concrete. This behaviour continued until one day, Ben was told this was his last day at this school. The last playtime, Ben kicked the big tormenter’s crutches away, who then immediately blubbered loudly. Ben was branded a bully by the headmaster, he reckoned most people would assume this without knowing the whole story.

Per chance, across the river was Broomielaw, a bus terminal, but on the quay, for easy storage, was mountains of coarse sand, stone chips, pebbles, granite and bricks. This was a magic magnet terrain, enticing children to come from near or far, devising devil dare games, unaware it was really a horrible black spot for accidents, sometimes death for bairns falling into the water. No matter how they tried to secure the area, the kids managed in, with a mixture of innocence and mischief.

Per Chance, one day while playing slides, Ben lost his glasses case, went home without it, even forgot it altogether… until a knock on the door about six to eight weeks later. A workman, in overalls, came to return Ben’s glasses case, because Ben’s name and address was taped inside. It was his mother’s habit from the war, marking everything from cloths to underwear, in case something accident happened. Although not that often, the slipper came out, making contact quite a few times with Ben’s Bahookie…. because by chance, a man took the bother to return an item to its rightful home.

Per chance, one day while Jim Miller and Ben, walked to Cuthbertson Primary School, about a mile or so away from the Gorbals, they constantly used the money given for bus fare, on sweets. As usual, they passed the “Star Bar” at Eglington Toll. With great delight, found loads of coins lying in the street, which must have been dropped by a drunken man the night before. They busied themselves gathering this bountiful treasure, Jim picking anything coming to hand, while Ben was aiming at the silver stuff. When eventually they counted out the bounty, Jim was muffed because he collected, three shillings and nine pence, far more coins than Ben …. However, Ben scooped about, 2 and fifteen shillings… give or take!

Per chance, Ben’s family was awoken by firemen, in attendance to a fire in a garage right behind the home, concerned about it spreading, ordered the evacuation of their wally close. At three in the morning, finding themselves in the coldness of the street. Apparently, there was a lady worried a wee snout such as Ben would freeze, guided them both, up to her home which consisted of a very small hallway, with a single room, packed with people. Ben was told afterwards, he stood with his mouth open, then curiously asked…. “Were do they sleep?”. Ben’s mother explained, it was called a single end, this family of 11 people, adults and children, lived there, as best they can.

Later... Ben knew many families, forced, by circumstances, into the same type of accommodation. Per Chance… a valuable lesson learnt

Per chance, there was dark bits after school, when Ben, had to wait up to an hour outside the close, for his brother John, coming back from University. Occasionally, strange sweaty men would ask stuff and show things, but Ben came accustomed to body swerve them. Ben believes it didn’t affect him much… or hope’s not?

With the little bit of common-sense Ben managed to muster, he’s not as gallus as before in his childhood, and youth. The bottle has not gone, or indeed empty, however it seldom removes its cork. The older Ben becomes, he sometimes just takes a peek of a wish, not to grow one day older, with the real chance looming, of losing his most precious love he has toda
peter.howden Posted 19th Mar 2019, 12:50pm
  The Pack

To untrained eyes, there were places covered, and protected, by unseen magic, where the reality is, it’s down to a whiff. Do not be misled by this phenomenal ability, the science of sensing…It was… and still is, beyond human comprehension, being superior by well over 10000,000 times more than any human

Not so long ago, when the discipline of time itself was dictated by daylight, the stars, and the weather, there existed a particular large wilderness terrain, offering meagre existence, and life expectancy. In the middle of such despair, due to exceptional climatic conditions, intensely within a secluded valley, occurred an abundant range of forage, encouraging assortment of grazing animals, ruled a family pack of wild dogs.

Through countless generations, the group pack’s endurance depended of intimate network communication, obtained by having a wild dog’s nose inhaling ability, sniffing complex odour molecules, messages through pee, different senses used through poo evolution, and sexual orientations.

Imperative for the life, or death of the close knitted successful clan’s presence, depended on absolute trust of each other’s individual capabilities, working as one unit, marking precious territory. The result of interacting was having entire knowledge of every blade of grass, each twist and turn of any escape route from danger within their domain…. knowing precisely where that dangerous marauding foes were.

Unfortunately, they lost their aged natural front-runner. Some may say the following is most unlikely… for in the balance of the wilds of nature even impossible… but it did happen…with absolute unbelievable hidden consequences. In the jungle, sneaky Jackals come in mating pairs. However, the incredible arrival of this devious duo was…they were two old insignificant spinsters. Due to the confusion in the pack, with deception, the yappers wormed there way into the core of the group.

Ominously for the bewildered wild dog family, a pair of stripped sibling Hyenas took over-all charge, not consulting with any dog, nevertheless, partaking intimate clandestine gatherings with the Jackals…. Which penetrated up the pack’s proboscises. The wily shifty incomers denied the pack, to operate any form of yakking networking… or they just willy-nilly urinated all over their specialized communicational scents.

A relentless urgent problem quickly arose, possible invasion domination due to the lack of genuine marking within their territory, and letting the outside world interrelate with them…on common ground.

Since the Jackals and Hyenas, were sourly oblivious to the necessity of wild dogs’ markings…Survival depending exclusively on the art of sniffing odours…quite simply… they didn’t smell right
peter.howden Posted 17th Mar 2019, 11:28am
  THE HONEYS( Last Farewell)

Following our return home, a host of letters continuously posted from both directions north and south, with the only differences being…north bound being easily legible. The old man at the gate, making his dart for freedom, inspired me to scribble a few postcards to Pam’s mum. These started with, the ‘Scottish Hordes’ would come down, and rescue her from Staleg 13. After a short while, rethinking the situation Pam’s mum was in, meant the daily nurses would have to read these communications to the old lady. I swiftly cut my stupidity by concluding script in such a manner, adding a flowery style. Pam frequently mentioned how Mum treasured her cards from Scotland

Our second visit down to Freathy, Cornwall, had us staying in Jacks self-built chalet, clifftop retreat, with its magnificent complete wall of glass, to view the everchanging sea. We spent many an evening after alfresco supper, just talking, and breathing the romantic air. In general conversations, it was clear that their lives together was not all sublime, for they had more than their share of heartache, and pain, but their plain approach drowned any self-pity, to make the very best of everything, with a twinkle in their eyes.

My last night there, I could not sleep. Around one in the morning, I ventured into the main room, poured a generous special whisky, sat for a couple of hours, sipping… just watching the moonlight sea, as it captures my thoughts…pure dead brilliant.

Jack lost his Pam swiftly through cancer, and she had no wish for anyone to see her during her last painful short weeks. Jack bought large mirrors, placing them all around the main bedroom, making it possible for Pam to see her beloved vision of the sea…no matter how she lay…through her last days.

When Pam sadly died. I attended the funeral, being introduced to most of the guests, not by name, but by my nom de plume, ‘Scottish Hordes’, being surprised how they knew who I was. Close friends and family returned to the chalet that she treasured. It was a beautiful day, the company tried to keep the tears away by talking grand passionate memories of past times, and what Pam liked most of all, swimming in the sea. It was suggested to go for a dip in Pam’s sea. Along with Andy, Bill and some others, supported with borrowed trunks that’s what we did. It is what Pam would have proposed. I may not be able to fill Jacks shoes, but I had a whacking time filling his shorts.

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 vowel in the month. It is colder than the sea at Aberdeen, especially with knitted swimming trunks?

Shortly after Pam’s tragic demise, his truly great love of his lifetime, I attended the unexpected funeral when Allison passed away. Later his mother in law also died, unfortunately I could not make it. All this in a very short 18 months period. He had heart operation at the tender age of 74. Several times I drove down just to see, and stay with him, before his own demise…sad and haunting.

A glancing thought, and Freathy White sands Cornwall is within me, along with ghostly voices of the past, filling the air with cooling smiles. This is the ultimate gift “The Honeys” gave us, and I thank them within my heart. I will not say they were a perfect family, but they have certainly enriched our family for knowing them…. and you can’t get much better than that, can you?
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