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Last 10 Posts [ In reverse order ]
peter.howden Posted Y'day, 06:42pm
  Tunes of Glory

In the long distant past, Smithy had been attached to the boy’s brigade, when he was disciplined for sucking a fisherman’s friend while on church parade. This was a melodramatic, near military experience for the lad, as he struggled unsuccessfully to blot it out from his memory, along with the unique technique he established while performing the Indian clubs display. Perhaps for reasons of his idiosyncrasy behaviour, the name ‘Smithy and all other names following are non-De plumes, protecting the innocent

In later years Smithy, was courteously invited to a Provincial army dance within military established headquarters, situated in Crow Rd. Smithy’s spouse Senga was related to charming, but flirty Doris, who volunteered a stint of training duty in the Territorial army. This dire stroke was taken while desperately trying to impress Dougie, her new soldier beau. Therefore, this marshal affair intitled Doris, not only to attend the military twostep with a uniformed partner, but also invite two guests of her choosing.

Due to suffering from a serious bout of man flu, snotter’s everywhere…and loose, Smitty had no wish to attend, but Senga let it be known clearly, insisting he attend this classy ‘Do’. So, his taut drainpipe sky-blue jeans were stuffed with many paper hankies and assorted lozenges the tight pockets could take, while Senga dolled up in her finest finery. Smithy’s only comfort was the thought of a slight refreshment, and perhaps a wee hauf…or two, then slugged some cough medicine before leaving the home.

Arriving at the hall, the dance was in full swing, but unfortunately Smithy was not. His medical condition dropped drastically, as Senga’s nagging caused a draft in his brain. The situation deteriorated beyond question, when he realized there was to be no alcohol refreshments, the army forgot to reapply for a liquor license. Smithy steadily became worse fitness wise, continuously sucking lozenges while forced to sit with only a glass of ginger, surrounded by tedious company, incessantly talking over each other. Groggy and perspiring profusely, headed to the loo, sucking Eucalyptus pastilles.

Standing, as all men stand under the same circumstances, leaving nature taking its course, Smithy became scunnered sucking red menthol lozenge…lacking enthusiasm spat it out. Yet oddly, a hidden force projected the sticky sweet against the stainless-steel sheet, spinning and rebounded to landing tackily on Smithy’s glory… which was still peeing. Several times Smithy tried to relieve himself from the tricky predicament, then, a slight snigger, followed by a laugh out loud, thinking it was apt to where he was… the packet of lozenges was named ‘Tunes….so…”Tunes of glory”!
peter.howden Posted 1st Jun 2020, 11:25am
  The choice today, Number 1 on my list of memorable(3)L,Ps

I don’t believe anyone has any real control over their emotions, or as people in my age group call, falling in love, because it has to do with genes, scent and mysterious body vibes, but, staying together is another thing. After some 53 years, I declare; ‘She who must be obeyed’, was, and is, the corner stone, through my quirky furtive ways. I also confess wishing so often, being able to sing; ‘Deep in my heart dear’ in the same mannerisms as Mario Lanza…who’s voice was something else, marvelously transforming Opera and popular music. We had a old L/P; (the title escapes me), although I played it until the groove disappeared. I have the very song on my IPod.

Being a jammy guy almost all my life…but genuinely appreciate my main good fortune, was certainly is wrapped around Rebecca. due to my taste in music, the Rolling Stones played a big part in our relationship, before we were wed. The Strathclyde Students tavern in John St, was the cheapest in town. The main entrance security guards were rigidly strict, always seeing a Student’s card, before anyone was allowed in, yet, not having one… every attendant always waved us on, with a smile, because I wore a student’s scarf. “Aftermath” was thee Long player…. It is playing now!

Our first date was the Cinema in Victoria Rd…the Film ‘Deadlier than the male’. The following date was to attend the Art Galleries. After browsing around, we missed a 57-bus, in Clapslaps Road, the shortest Rd in Glasgow. An old-fashioned café at the corner of Sauchiehall St/Argyle St, suited our needs while the record, by ‘The Mamas and Papas, played more than once.

The memorable Song: “Monday, Monday’’…To this day…transports me back to that very moment we sat across from each other…I have is earmarked on my iPod.
peter.howden Posted 29th May 2020, 07:23am
 
My Chronicles 29/05//2020;


It has been quite a while in between reports from the Chronicles, mainly due to the tedious routine from day to day, plus the inability to visit Aunt Becky. Without doubt, scrapes rub slightly on my naughty sanity. We trust the staff implicitly working at the unknown coalface, through this period of dodgy safety guidelines, and the residents in the home. This particular fall this week has put us on fretting mood, though assured by the caretakers, imagination can sneak in unease thoughts, concluding the fact wee Aunt Becky is shrinking, and fragile…Our fingers are tightly crossed!

Although Chris and Nicki and Fergus keep in contact via the internet, yet, the inability in person to laugh, argue or simple brush by their chair around the old kitchen table, makes both of us oversentimental on the phone. Hidden memories drift around, almost at the moment they say hallo… still, when on the computer weekly gathering… with just mundane news…we dry up very quickly.

The day will come when we can meet…we wish it speed. Rebecca and I are fortunate having a garden, sitting on Aunt Becky’s bench, watching our own wildlife, though the sunshine can be a two-way mirror…a touch of freedom, with moments of aloneness, bordering on woe creeping into my inner consciousness, where the sunshine is a hinder… rather than a boon.

There was a touch of guilt last night while clapping for the Health Service, we as the collective public, let them down two-fold. The government’s emergency virus laws, deliberately broken by the inner cabinet adviser, they covered up this intentional personal crime, then so obviously allowed to go without punishment. The prime minister had a solemn duty to protect the public, but chose not to keep such a pledge…Why?

The collective we in the U.K, failed in demanding better pay, better conditions, more trained staff in the hospitals, care homes throughout the past 30 years, while the governments constantly drained all services of vital monies, attempting to blatantly transfer ownership away into privatization.

Tomorrow the sun will shine…optimistically
peter.howden Posted 26th May 2020, 11:56am
  The choice today, Number 2 on my list of memorable L,Ps

I can’t say I was the best of fathers…or indeed average, yet I have the cheek to be immensely proud what our children accomplished, by being good people, with the odd foible here and there…but I had scarcely much to do with the end result. I do recall their fun and ‘High Jinks’ each time it snowed in Easterhouse.

We had just moved to Rachin St, with little furniture to fill the spacious home, when it snowed heavy. This gave me the excuse to take, Toni, Chris, and toddler Nikki, Titch the mutt, plus the wee blue baby plastic bath, to unknown adventures on the slopes leading from the chapel down to the playing fields. Staying out for donkeys, we had a ball, with each child squealing all the way, burling down the slope…with ‘Titch’ franticly trying to catch snowballs. Appreciating all soaked nearly to their skins, grudgingly we slide back home.

Rebecca ran the bath for all three, to be in together. We played submarines, each out with homemade water pistols frolicked around in the steam and hot water. The last out was Nikki, but we had run out of clean towels. The smashing sight Rebecca saw, was Nikki in the skud, wobbling down the hallway with her bare near pink bum, trailing the sheet provided for drying in front of the living room coal fire.

I have been told by all concerned that most of the music heard on that day…and apparently most often afterwards, was songs by Cliff Richard,

The choice for the 2nd on my list of memorable L.Ps, is “Me and my Shadows”
peter.howden Posted 24th May 2020, 09:58am
  Demise of a blue plate

If someone utters how your version of thee auld folk song; ‘Don’t pee in the fireplace granny…grandpa is heating his willie’, is at the very least misrepresentation of the true literary written word….then beware of someone without imagination, for, like a seed…a poem, a song, a selection of words must grow within individual minds as they see it, without causing offence. but then again, has there ever been a normal?

Nicking a well-known opening line; ‘it’ was the best of times…it was the worst of times’ …but now, has it come to be the normal of times?

Since Toni died, as a whole family, , practically every Saturday, it became an necessary time around our old kitchen wooden table, strengthening our resolve by banter, and as foolish conversation as possible…matured into normal

During the Saturday preparations for the family gathering, the table was casually laid out with mugs, teaspoons, and knives. Because Toni’s main man Fergus, was usually first to arrive, three clean dark blue plates laid out first, when the throng arrived, other cutlery and tea plates would be placed on the table.

Noticing the other day, only two dark blue plates, where once there was three. I sadly surmised, somewhere during the lockdown, one very particular plate had been broken, laid to rest in the bin. When or how this occurred was unknown, due to the enforced tedium of circumstances…I was not surprised. The missing plate developed into mourning the ending of a superior normal.

Just last night, three very blue plates left drying at the sink. Rebecca informed me the plate had been at the back of the fridge…and I had not noticed…is this the age of foolishness?

Will there be a new normal?
peter.howden Posted 23rd May 2020, 07:26am
  The choice today, Number 3 on my list of memorable L,Ps

‘She who must be obeyed’, and I up to this date, via Nikki our daughter, gave us grandchildren, named, Lauren, Andrew, and Emma, with Emma now just about to enter university. Lauren was a baby when I took over daytime supervision during the week, then working nights and weekends cleaning carpets and suites, To say I enjoyed the experience of childcare, would be an understatement, regularly taking Lauren with me to most of Calvay committee meetings, and around Easterhouse. When Andrew became on board, I found it slightly different, and difficult planning for two because of timing.

Limited where we could go, unorganized and acting on impulse, now experiencing staring at four bare walls. The Teletubbies’ was the answer, giving 30minutes of peace, as both tots watched intently memorized when the title tune came on. My bright idea of taping the programs, extended the comfort zone. Even the shocking news, 11 foot, ‘Tinky Winky’, was gay propaganda, because of the ownership of a handbag, did not deter my minutes of near sanity.

Years later, we were driving down to Salty’s cabin, (my brother in law), for a week’s holiday, with the grandkids. Lauren wanted to hear, Tony Christie’s; “ Is this the way to Amarillo?”. At first… not so bad, however…it was played over and over, and over many times, grinding nonstop, I could not erase it out of my head. Even now it pops up from the wilderness of my mind, as a uninvited guest.
Today’s nominated number 3 album is…Tony Christie; ‘I did what I did for Maria’ reminds me of the kids and how precious they are …thankfully…the song; ‘Is this the way to Amarillo’…is not on it
peter.howden Posted 22nd May 2020, 02:04pm
  The Desultory fellow;

What’s in a kiss

Some voices ask, ‘what’s happened to this world?’, an aimless excuse for what is happening nowadays, which they disagree with . The world is the same as it has always been, just roughly tolerated, with a slight glimpse of trendy alterations, ever few years or so. Because of extremely poor living conditions within Scotland, one such desperately needed, or accidental trend, began some 45 years ago, with the introduction of tenant self-controlled local housing associations.

The living tapestry within this revolutionary housing movement, were chairs, directors and committee members, mirrors life itself, mainly determined to make a difference in their homes, surroundings, and neighbourhoods. The growing movement has found a couple of rogue directors’, pompous senior staff, some self-opinionated chairs of housing committees, a few conceited witches as office bearers …but, completely outnumbering those naughty lemons, are dedicated staff supporting ordinary committee members, genuinely working each day, constructing neighbourhoods to be proud with… through hard work, have surpassed beyond any measure ever dreamt of.

Shug and Old Tam, innate horses at the diplomacy game, attended quite a few network Conferences, organized by advisory establishments, such as S.F.H.A.., E.V.H..and S.H.A.RE…G.W.S.Forum, conveying important legal information, Business plans, work ethics structures, and inevitable changes in the government’s attitudes. Perhaps it’s Shug’s wavering memory to blame, but there was quite a bit of carefreeness and fun collectively between the serious business at hand.

Donkeys ago, one such weekend conference of E.V.H, was held in Perth’s prestigious Railway Hotel, apparently slightly overbooked, no room at the inn for the two olden lags. The Director of E.V.H. at the time, offered to share his spacious apartment (apparently used regularly by pole taxer Maggie Thatcher).

Shug rose exceedingly early next morning, having been disturbed by old Tam’s constant snoring, echoing throughout the massive room, each wheezing sounding like a death wish. Standing in the total buff, opened the curtains and window wide, with vigour started to exercise both arms and legs. Tam woke with bleary eyes, grumpily protested about Shug’s weird actions. Shug turned around, headed towards Tam, calling out ‘Tam what you need is a big morning kiss!’ .

Tam was out of his bed, and like a rocket into the bathroom…closing the door with a banging stramsash. This slight kerfuffle…the Director opened his private door…revealing his own nakedness… other than Flash Harry boxer shorts… A sight to beyond at any time of the day?

To this day…he still coughs nervously…recalling the memory.
peter.howden Posted 21st May 2020, 05:14pm
  The choice today, Number 4 on my list of memorable L,P’s

During the early 60s, scorching a young imagination influenced by all kinds of music entertainers, Paddy Roberts, , blues, Sonny Boy Williams, Chuck Berry, Elvis…being involved with the unbelievable great Matt McGinn in the folk scene. Then, at the world famous Barraland Dancin, personal appearances, Long John Baldry in his Hoochie Coochie men, The Kinks …and the everlasting Stones, before their fame, possessed a rawness about them, which bloody hit my bones and filled my socks.

No 4 memorable L.P must be…. The unique long player album; “Crying” Roy Orbison; ready to burst forth magic powers, reaching where other singers just could dream. This record takes me back to 23 Marywood Square…when haunting Ross Grant, my China, sharing a flat. We pooled finances from being in a basement flat, with two windows looking out to a steep grass verge, leading up to the public pavement. Those frames were used as an entry regularly, when behind in rent. So many ludicrous times just waffled by, like when reading a Dennis Whitley book, attempting to draw a chalked 7-foot circle, and the essential seven cones of incense, towards north at midnight…to keep the devil at bay.

A quandary arose, with the lack of the essential substance, so seven cups and tumblers, with dashes of Old Spice was the Sacrifice, to ‘Lucifer: Lord of the Underworld’. Lying there for quite a while, in the nude, and in the dark, as waving shadows of outside trees emphasis by the streetlights, … spooked us. Due to alcohol consumed was a contribution to our growing concern…until we shat ourselves… hastily rubbed out the circle on the wooden floor…while playing the Roy Orbison L.P. I have the original

So many more memories about we two…but this particular one lingers…in the shadows
peter.howden Posted 20th May 2020, 07:12pm
  The choice today, Number 5 on my list of memorable L,Ps

A dreary Monday evening in 1962, Traveling on a public bus, around 9 in the evening, from Glasgow to Tannochside, the site of the mighty Caterpillar tractor factory, where I was fortunate to be employed, as a tool investigator. The wages were way above any equivalent British firm, but the only fly in the ointment, flash striking instant walkouts.

Left work on Friday morning, straight over to Clarkson, to join one of the legendary Alan Ramsey’s all weekend parties, returning now rather fatigued, from such a special endless event, laced with floods of alcohol. Today’s is No 5, the groovy smuggled L/P; ‘The Genius of Ray Charles’, over the 3 days, and nights, just played his tunes, over and over…and over.
He is a master at his craft…my personal favourite; ‘I can’t stop loving you’

So important was my position as the lone tool on nightshift…I fell asleep for 4 hours, hearing a distant Ray Charles deciphering ; ‘Come rain or come shine’… singing in my mind, while on the loo….when I awoke…my bum was numb and no one missed me…or even asked for me …
After being diagnosed having Dermatitis from the oils in machinery, it warranted an end to my lone tool position. At the time I believed I had made the silliest of mistakes, turning down a desk job…but now, what the heck, I would have lost out in a hell of a lot of way out fantastic times, what a ball?
peter.howden Posted 19th May 2020, 06:51pm
  The choice today, Number 6 on my list of memorable L,Ps.

Our gang of teenagers met up in the Brookland Café, corner of Minard Rd/Frankford St, with bottles of coke, each uncultured night… then came the movie; ‘West Side Story’. The gang had seen the film the week previous, however I was unable to go to the Waverly Cinema. They all said it was a waste of money, though I’m not sure now what the girls in fact said…but the boys loudly testified, very non P.C in today’s society, quote “just a bunch of fairies floating and prancing around…real keech.”

I managed some days later, to see the flick, which blew my mind way out. I thought then, and still do, the music, the dancing…the film is a masterpiece. So much so, I wanted to attempt dancing all the way home, in a weird fashion. Gene Kelly would have been proud, but passing peoples gazed at my shabby attempts, as if I were a nuttier.

I did not challenge the gang about the film until several weeks later, to little comeback, as everyone was praising the movie. Safely in our home is the valued soundtrack of both film and stage performance…plus, the DVD bought for me …and we have even been to the Ballet version.
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