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> Home Made Tales, The journey
peter.howden
post 23rd Jan 2020, 09:47pm
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Nomadic (1 of 3)

It was a long night train, with a multitude of selected carriages, slowly grinding to a standstill, and lucky for him, as the clatter of the steel wheels woke him from an uneasy doze. Stretching and moaning for being aroused, a familiar cough as the railing pulled back, revealing George (the porter) standing with a pot of coffee, and a huge grin which stretched from ear to ear across his whole face.

It had been a long journey… monotonous to boot, with few bright spots, except the detours from tedium via George relating to the long history of ‘The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters’, “fight…or be slaves” battle with the Pullman company. While he was the custodian of coaches of this particular train, he explained in a deep voice, revealing a few interesting facts. One being, his name was not George, but it was a condition enforced on his shaky employment, all passengers would recognize him, and all his fellow brothers by this single, “Non de plume”.

The voyager rose sharply from his make shift sleeping quarters, washed and brushed up, then checking his Italian mohair suit was presentable, showing off his handmade Melbourne shirt, followed by Milan leather shoes(shined to perfection by George) , and finally, taking his cashmere coat from the swinging hanger.

It was raining as he stepped down from the coach, onto the wet unwelcoming platform, making the traveller wonder why he had truly come to this dismal station, which was exactly as he remembered it…cold and hostile. He struggled to remember poor George’s real name, but it was lost in his own discomfort with the downpour, making it awkward to see what was ahead. The blue skies had vanished long ago, now it was dark, with foreboding black holes with intervals of nothingness. The angel of death, he knew so well, could per-chance be lurking behind some innocent facade, being rewarded for surprising this beaten traveller.

He had no wish to be here, or anywhere near this grim reminder of the past, but then again, drawn by not so subtle threats and intimidations, which made it aptly clear, as to his would be future if he disobeyed. He was trapped…and now there was no turning back. Unlike George, he had no union, or backing for his unspoken services to companies……or individual shady clientele. He thought to himself, ‘Money was good but sometimes money is not the problem’, gripping his light attaché case. He wanted out… but out, was not an option.
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peter.howden
post 24th Jan 2020, 06:59am
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Carmella; Thank you once again, for taking the time and bother, reading and reacting to my scribbles. The correspondence is certainly a delight for me, for you fairly enhance my wellbeing…you are a lady indeed



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peter.howden
post 27th Jan 2020, 11:08am
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Only two episodes now

Nomadic (2)


His psychological grisly journey through dismal personal confinement was measures in years, forever bound by his own Gordian knot. No swift Macedon blade to swiftly cut clean the unanswerable question, could he somehow be released from this endless riddle, to live an honest existence? His was a small intimate family business, taking contracts from unidentified immoral individuals, no matter the human cost. Was there a higher deity, deeming his dark activities depraved, condemning him to eternal unrest. Was this the total conclusion of his life’s worth, yet, regardless what he truly wished…. there was no chance in hell of coming true.

Early drab morning whilst walking along the chilled empty streets of his hometown, he bitterly recalled school days being regimentally constructed, by one domineer person above all else, his father. He had now broken free from his persistent bulling, which made him do things, terrible things. In his mind, this was the one last mission into the bleakness of life. As usual, he reached the bus locker station, with a key, not see the shadowy furtive body lucking in the avenues and passageways nearby. He followed his coded orders inside, examining rail ticket left in cubbyhole, then headed for something to eat at the old café. Time waiting for the return sleeper, back from whence he came, just caused pain.

The dirty Pullman carriage was hiding the distinctive Chambersburg dark green of all the companies’ coaches. He met George… George was his target. Like many other large companies of this notorious time, they employed spies to keep tabs on their employees; in extreme cases, company agents arranged disappearance of union organizers. How this was done…no questions asked. He warned George of his company’s wish to end the ‘The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters,’, by pushing George over the railing of the Caboose. George huge smile had gone as he locked the unfortunate porter in the freight carriage, then prudently head back to his allocated seat on the train.

Just about to pull the curtain back, he heard a tense explosion then instantaneously felt a red-hot pain stinging his skin just below his heart. Blood spurted onto the grubby curtain as he uncontrollably spun through them. His body fell on the seat, staring upwards close to unconsciousness. The agony now almost unbearable, as a shadow appeared through his blood hazed eyes. For some reason he sneezed, which cleared his sight slightly, when a head took shape right above him. What ever happened was beyond explanation, made his sight come to life for a brief second, to recognized his assassin.

Tears rolled gradually down, from his misty eyes, as he took real effort to spurt out his last spoken coherent words…”Hallo Father”…his limp body ceased to exist
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carmella
post 27th Jan 2020, 05:06pm
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QUOTE (peter.howden @ 24th Jan 2020, 06:59am) *
Carmella; Thank you once again, for taking the time and bother, reading and reacting to my scribbles. The correspondence is certainly a delight for me, for you fairly enhance my wellbeing…you are a lady indeed

thumbup.gif
I enjoy it. I am something of a bibliophile! Will comment later.


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It is possible to fail in many ways...while to succeed is possible only in one way.
- Aristotle
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peter.howden
post 29th Jan 2020, 03:15pm
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Cheers ...

Throughout Prohibition years, many members of Congress, the wealthy, secretly amassed massive private supplies of world-wide alcohol, in their mansions and homes, leaving the working class, over 13 years, to suffer the wrath of the law for buying hooch …nothing much changes

January 1931 Chicago, mob rule through fear and intimidation, making the population watch their backs all the times. Even so, it was a gay jazz time, with the spread of ‘Speakeasy’s, with “21” Club,the talk of the town. Down-market moonshine dens, named ‘Blind pig’ or ‘Blind tiger’, because bootleg illicit liquor was far from medicinal Mountain dew as the Rocky mountains, could risk punters vision, or blindness. The south side organized gang; ‘Egan’s Rats’ preformed the North Clark Street ‘Saint Valentine massacre’; The Chicago ‘Taxi wars’ ended in an unknown blood count.

Tracy was a working girl, in one of the many joints, not by choice but necessity putting food on the table. She was not taking any chances, getting the North line train, that stopped at Fullerton, three stations before Belmont Lake Michigan. The fact the train was packed sardines, felt safer than walking or taking a cab. On the platform, a stone faced man, cautiously squinting both sides, before boarding the overcrowded carriage. He wore a expensive huge overcoat, almost touching his feet, squashed against the back of her.

As the train shuttered forward, both bodies closed the already restricted gap between coats. Another sudden jerk forward, was when she felt a solid rounded item burrowing into her feminine back. She timidly turned her head around, for a brief second or so, to notice him trying to act unaware. Up close, the face was handsome in an Italian way, but serious and all too familiar. Tracy had served him once, definaltly notorious Tony Accardo…"Big Tuna", ‘Circus Cafe Gang’, reputed hit man for thee ‘Al-Capone’. Her mind went haywire in sheer panic, believing the mob’s top hit man, was rubbing her out. A cold nauseating sweat trickled, as the train clattered over cross points closer to her destination. How will she divert him from her home? in a futile effort to save her family, she let her station to go by..

She wanted the courage to face her assassin, but pluck refused to rise, just terrified, frozen to the spot. The short but infinite journey came to an end when the doors flew open at the terminus, Belmont station. For several moments she made no movement, but, because of outer commuters, she was forced to turn, to meet her fate. The stern stranger’s mannerisms change, smiling profusely, then with a slightly high pitched voice said, “my humble apologies for causing you obvious distress, but I believe, with the movement of the train, I may have been more intimate than manners should allow. I hope I caused you no lasting anguish”.

This was said in the most humblest of ways, by the suave dressed gangster, almost embarrassed, with a red face reflection, he continue. “I forgot my late lunch was in my coat’s top middle pocket/… and mum packed two big bananas ..For afters?”
-=-=-=
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carmella
post 29th Jan 2020, 06:06pm
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Haha those bananas, aye heard that one before! LoL another lovely episode!😯


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It is possible to fail in many ways...while to succeed is possible only in one way.
- Aristotle
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peter.howden
post 31st Jan 2020, 10:34am
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Second wind

A lot has been written, spoken and a variety of deliberations called global warming, and how we humans are to blame for “The end of the world as we know it Jim”. Some say Poppycock, others seriously worried, and as usual…some just don’t know. Among the greenhouse gases, the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, predicted by a fella named Svante Arrhenius, a hundred years ago. Carbon dioxide is usually deemed the naughty boy of potent glasshouse gases, whereas atmospheric methane, is almost 30 times more powerful as a heat-trapping gas.

Methane has been particularly aired, as a matter of fact, caused by cows, who shoulder the blame, though some scientists maintain this is absolutely crap, little to do with severity of any situation, other than causing mental hallucination on a mass gauge. These boffins argue, this is the reason authorities are attempting to hide the truth behind the fallacy of the udder. It is factual how livestock, particularly cows, chewing the cud, gives off heat and decay in massive quantities of Methane, equal to two cars per cow, per year. Yet, several geniuses seriously state, that below our feet, lies the true problem…. Termites. the following do not include Ants, Bees or Wasps…..

Insect experts at the Natural History Museum, are studying termites, famous for building enormous mounds and eating houses. What they do not reveal, there are 2,500 species of termites, never mind the wiry cockroaches, the beasties alone, have existed for 320 million years already. This collectively brings the numbers into trillion billions or almost absolute infinity,+1.

Atomically speaking; the scientists secretly are taunt and fretting with the physics of this massive problem. When termites, find or try to attract a sexual mate, in layman terms…they Fart, producing a small dosage of lethal methane. The specialists have worked out mathematically… if the entire population of termites, seek mates collectively, at the exact precise moment let off uncontrollable methane …there would be enough energy to alter the world’s spin.

However, with the realization of adding Cockroaches, carriers of some critical diseases…it is feared, if they all achieved their sexual appetite spontaneously, the nightmarish is, the Earth would shift orbit, aiming for the sun…causing unimaginable toxic atmosphere. There is one small spat of good news, the cockroaches will survive.

The boffins say it is not a question of if it will happen… but when? “A guid Ne’erday’ s …Tae ane an' aw” …as long as It may last?
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peter.howden
post 3rd Feb 2020, 09:44am
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A nice little earner……..

A perfect plan, if each step was executed to the letter, giving me 6 3/4 hours, to carefully open the safe holding approximal £3.6 million. In anyone’s language this would be a great tickle, concluding with glorious success. I planned it precisely, right down to the last breath and movement, so it could not fail

The police, bank head office, and local managers, had done everything to disguise and confuse their actual intentions. Thinking they were smart, no high-tech surveillance, no bang up to date gadgets to attract we naughty thieves. They just deposit the used banknotes in the last place intruders would assume. Such a serious amount of lovely loot, in an old-fashioned back street bank, with an old fashioned, but world-renowned Chubb safe. However I was crafty….and swift.

Success depends on a wee bit of whispered information, and willing to pay big bucks for it, means no need to blow the safe…plus, I had not lost my knack. How many tumblers (wheels) are acquainted with certain types of safes is crucial for triumph, along with specialized knowledge of the drop- pawl, also called a mechanism fence, to keep out Peterman such as I. The bank place of business was completely situated on ground floor, leaving nothing to chance, including alternative times police patrol checked the doors, shone torches through both the angled windows into the interior. As taught by the great Yiddish ganef, soaked my fingers in olive oil, then drying them with precision, before putting on the all-important Kidd gloves,

Now entering the financial premises with ease, to set up shop, taking each step as important as the last, ready finally facing my opponent. To create an allusion of emptiness, I made two 3D, for each window inside, inch by inch life-size realistic copies of the empty internals, giving any wandering eye, peering through the said windows, a delusion of normal, as I worked behind the screen, totally un-noticed and un-hindered. Changing for the throw away supple plastic gloves used by surgeons, I was ready finally facing my opponent

Intently listening through the stethoscope, gently easing the dial clockwise until the dial is opposite the sound of two flash clicks which locates the ‘fence’, connected to a lever mechanism responsible for keeping the safe shut. To meet my requirements as a professional, the rest of the details will remain unsaid secrets… only kent by a privileged few. My work had begun.

For 6 hours 33 minutes…. I tried every trick to hear the lever drop to open the stubborn safe…to no avail. Every attempt failed, while perspiration reached danger signals. A safecracker becomes useless, if the slightest sweat interferes with his digits, however like a ball against a stone wall I kept returning with stalwart delusions. My safety margin had run out, I took the remainder precious time, recovering all my gear, and anything that could link me as thee purloiner…leaving empty handed, but more important…not knowing where I went wrong.

Next day it was in all the news rags, about the attempted theft and why the robbers were stumped. By sheer terrible coincidence, accidently the chief clerk, had left the safe closed, but totally unlocked that night…all I had to do was turn the bloody handle.
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peter.howden
post 5th Feb 2020, 12:38am
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Circles
There is a fine line between reality and illusion


We have to face it lads, there is defiantly some kind of invisible energy, a concealed forcefield, denying moving forward at any time, also, it’s all around us, regardless of which direction we come from, preventing us reaching our given ultimate goal. Every so Often it appears to be dominant all around, enclosing the neighbourhood. With a common sense of scientific conviction, this just can’t be… surely not, if my memory is correct. We should be able to venture anywhere we want, or wish, yet, at this moment, attempting to move ahead, is made impossible by something…somewhat supernatural… not of this world, and totally transparent. If only we could break the cycle? or is it all a purloined dream.

Yes, we have adequate supply of food to last a long while. Yes, a constant supply of fresh water. Yes; there is life as we know with restricted freedom, … but, nevertheless is it a false existence’

It’s not alarming me, as I’m easy going, swimming with the flow, but cause’s all and sundry complex limits, nevertheless, one should not loss faith either, because there is a constant bright light, a beam signals, almost to the second, every twenty four hours, giving us a continual bearing to measure the direction we need to travel. Other luminosities happen high above, if my recollection provides a reason, but no set pattern, or consistency, to be reliable, nonetheless, the proven morning light never fails…if only we could reach the illuminations…I believe we would be safe.

But there is something out there…. What it is I’m not sure, for its just out of reach. Weird silhouette shadows of certain significance emerge, then disappear without logic. If only we had the intelligence, the ‘know-how’, the vital oomph, I’m sure we would recognize why we are here…. The answer to the ultimate question of life itself…. if there is a divinity?

We are confined, and there was no doubt about that, yet, somewhere deep in our D.N.A; a stubbornness arose through generation after generation and raw evolution , a harden craving to seek the unknown, being totally away from our usual docile lifestyle, forcing us to fight against this imperceptible unwanted control…..

It sadly will be their plight, persisting to find a clink against such invisible armoury, lasting all their lives …as goldfish in a living room bowl!
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peter.howden
post 6th Feb 2020, 01:48pm
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My Chronicles 06/02/2020;

Over the past five weeks, I no longer phone each time I plan to come to Aunt Becky’s Dementia home, since it’s so unfair on Becky’s wellbeing, as it’s indeed apparent, Becky has no idea who I am, and she sleeps at unusual times during the day. During each visit, I’m brought up to date by caring staff, concerning her general health, mobility, feet and eating ability, somewhat diminishes the concern of her reduced weight and frailty.

Becky has fallen four times in the home, in as many weeks, each aftermath seen by the institute’s own doctor, then a hurl to the hospital. Walking everywhere in her lifetime, was a necessity of funds, and a pleasure which she happily indulged along with Uncle David. My persistent memory of Aunt Becky is, helping everyone in the family, but particularly, for some time, exceptionally in the early hours of every Sunday, came to our home, took the lead role in assisting with housework…whether we wanted it, or not

Now within the interior of our home, and outside, imps constantly act childish, by being naughty sometimes not so merry games of ‘hide and seek’, with me. These illusive scamps, half-inched five months ago, my favourite cap, planted somewhere exclusively unknown even after my turning the whole house inside/out. Other items disappear only seconds after being put down, only reappearing several days later…blatantly in their usual place. These scallywags of sprites have wholly bamboozled me…or could it be, my memory is not only suspect…but nigh lost itself?

One thing I haven’t forgotten is my friends, although some I don’t see so often as I may wish, particularly close friends, and China’s, though having with China’s… close Email communiqué, is pure magic. Regularly travelling down to Ayr, to have a few refreshments, with one such China, Jim Hendry, has become an enjoyable quest. We are ‘Chalk & Cheese’ but we laugh a lot, with memories flooding back, slightly failing to remember small details of these memories, such as, when, where and how they happened…who cares, if the whole Whetherspoons, turns around to wonder who these two old impish fools are
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peter.howden
post 9th Feb 2020, 11:30am
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Bulletin

The minutes were dragging, as she gazed at the clock taking its time to reach five minutes before the doors close, when she could make a beeline for the timekeeping meter, punch out her card and head straight home. Her knickers where almost in a twist, because the impending extra special date tonight. Nothing will be allowed to stand in her way, crucially to be ready, willing, and able for any reasonable suggestion aired. Her ‘Beau’ is entering her home tonight. He was without doubt, ‘pure dead brilliant’, and had been in her home before, quite a few times she recalled, though not in an intimate fashion… but never in the field of love had she been better prepared for everything he could ask…or wish for.

She knew precisely what his favourite things were, the brands he preferred, for she had known him for quite a considerable time, not cosily, but very close. She also had taken the precaution, just to be right on the button, looked it up in some books and magazines to ensure continuity, for he is quite famous…. probably a house-hold name… but to her, he was just her delicious ‘Dandy’. She had gone to the posh shop, down the Byres road apiece from the Botanic Gardens, purchased fancy German sausage and biscuits, wine and all the trimmings to add to a dinner party for two.

Checking her phone to see if she needed any extra knickknacks to compliment her home-made cheesecake, which she learned to make whilst a young flirty girl. Scrolling down her data, checking her list for light non-alcoholic liquid refreshments, to make the evenings events run smooth and sparkle. Being not aware, or involved with whisky, and indeed rather ignorant of the pleasures of the grape, relying totally on the counter staff to guide her. She considered her mother advice, making sure she ate well, to offshoot the liquor, endeavouring keeping her principles, and coy demeanour mysterious. As far as she was now concerned, she’s ready to skite tonight…if only he would, for he always spoke and acted a complete gentleman of the old order.

At last, relaxing then out the scented bath, dressing in her most seductive clothing, complete with brand new underwear, she was prepared for anything. Her alarm rang loudly in the kitchen’s pantry, and now was the time. Sitting comfortably on the sofa she took a deep breath and turned up the television.

Her elusive ‘Beau’, sparkling on the extra large screen, she bought for these occasions, sent her into a trance, becoming limp and listlessly among the cushions, not noticing she was alone, as her ‘Richard’ read the news, as he did at 6 of the evening clock….ever evening;
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peter.howden
post 10th Feb 2020, 09:29am
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When young, I was too lazy to seek perfection, now being older, I still don’t seek it, with the theory when perfection is achieved, no matter in what arena, you are never satisfied again
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peter.howden
post 11th Feb 2020, 03:18pm
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WINCHIN(1of 2 Parts).

‘Winchin’, is a Glaswegian slang word, meaning many things to all types of people, but mainly means kissing, snogging, or to some older quarters, ‘Stepping out’. With very young declaring, “He, or she is winchin me”, declares ownership of one or two persons making a statement, to keep your eyes off my property! Casual ‘Winchin’, can be described as canoodling, necking, smooching, pecking, though true romantics would rather say caressing, making it all lip service to emotions, with depths deeper than the channels of Mars, the planet, not the Deity, as he is the overseer of war, yet… there is a quote, ‘All is fair in love or war’, superficially attributing to the mythical divinity

Human nature on this subject, raises first interest in adolescence, or slightly later on for late developers. There is a theory it’s wasted on the young, but then, we can be of any age to act coy, even childish, simply when there is someone of the opposite sex, for an unknown reason, just a whiff away, so essential to individual feelings and untamed growing lust. When young, it was a different story, for that’s all it is, having keep up with peers. My own skills in this area or affairs are limited, except a facet of reputed innocent looks, I did not discover girls for the right reasons until later in life, being thirteen and at B.B. camp.

Around 6 years old, I do recall being taken to Newcastle, by my much older sister and brother in law, for an extremely hot and sunny holiday. A couple of days later, confined to bed, enduring naughty sunburn, with the souls of my feet having hot tar blisters from the road next to a seaside. One weekend, taken to this posh house, where some lively refreshments where being offered. The occasion bored me, so passing time I attempted to peek up an older girl’s dress …I couldn’t figure out ‘why?’

As a 10-year-old, living in Westcliffe St, Shawlands, next close was a girl named Beth, with an air around her, who I bashfully fancied. In all innocence, not knowing why, but fate can be cruel in the shape of a boy Gordon. He could outrun me; make a better bow and arrow, played football as it should be played, was taller and without a doubt, more handsome. The bugger was also a hell of a nice guy… how can you win against that? Love takes no prisoners just casualties. I know how it is to love and lose, however at the time, I had no clue what to do with my hormones…. or in fact… I even had them!

The following year, John, my much older kindly brother, taught me all the right words, the activities in that area, for I asked awkward questions, making me knowledgeable in theory, but a total dunderheed in practice. My first real love was Alice, while B.B camping in Dunbar, whose last name is lost in the passageways of time.

Older lads had instructed, if you met a girl, never gave you right address or second name, in case of any accident while winchin, hindering any come back. I had pecked girls before, but, kicking over the traces, that first kiss, with Alice, was something else, lingers yet as a main point in my life. Alice emerges from the past, via visits now and again to the East coast Dunbar’s White sands. Sometimes I wonder, what she is doing now, and did she know… what this thing called love was?
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peter.howden
post 15th Feb 2020, 12:20am
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‘WINCHIN’ (2of 2 Parts)

At the edge of the Shawlands’ boundary, a dominating area is cost free for young couples of all ages, was Hill Sixty in Queens Park. The supreme high spot, with a wide view, looking at many districts of Glasgow; in an aerial perspective, without wings. From the grassy mound, the fabulous famous Scottish roar could be heard, when a stramash occurred on the sacred field, but especially when Scotland was tanking England at Hamden

The three slanting fields of |Hill Sixty, near always was knee deep with splendid grass, except the well-worn paths, making it an excellent place to be ‘Winchin’, with still a grade of privacy. On sunny days, inviting young ladies was common practice making arrangements to meet, one girl in the park, and maneuverer the way to the hill basin. With sly intent, making my way to the best spot, with young lass in toll, only to discover that somebody had cut the grass, almost into the ground, all the way around the fields, so great expectations were lost that afternoon, concluding in a bitter tryst disappointment,

Other times, waiting for a cinema date, standing outside the flicks, chest out showing puckered pride, notifying any unfortunate passer-by, that I was waiting on my bird! Slightly politically incorrect language for today’s sensitive ears, but I suspect, many a lad today, waiting for their first real date, with self-esteem bursting from their chests, utter something close. The words they may use now may be different, however, I would imagine the sentiment will still be in running order.

As the years pass, I do believe being romantic, particularly with the anniversary of our wedding. I proposed to Rebecca, while eating in the China Palace, Jamaica St, although I didn’t have a clue I would. On the Sabbath, all the pubs closed, and It was cheaper to feast and drink in a restaurant, than a hotel. After a double brandy I just said, “I think it’s about time we got married? With Rebecca’s reply equally blunt, “Well when?”. “What about next week?”, my answer, and that was that. To make up for such a lousy performance, on our anniversary, we return to that very eatery, that very table, without fail or high water every year of our 50 years of union…. And I kick the heck out of that bloody waiter.

P.S.

I know I am happily married; for ‘She who must be obeyed’ tells me so!
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peter.howden
post 17th Feb 2020, 02:58pm
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Confined

Dean observes his new property…there are no bars on the window, no turnkey at the door to the kitchen, no hard rules to follow but there might just as well be. The occupant of the small maisonette, is one Ex-convict, or cyclical criminal, who once upon a time, began stealing, or rob for gain, just because his only talent was as a thief, which has led to him being banged up in a single ‘Peter’(confined in a prison cell) on countless occasions for his trouble.

The prison authorities not only deemed him as institutionalized, but his methodical actions and reaction, is Inherited from jail system. Inside the many jails, there is little preference except a loathing for ‘Peterhead’, where all the queers, (perverts and child molesters) are made top job trustees. In Dean’s opinion, held by many of the main stream long termed convicts, those detainees are a blight… and such offenders strike loathing in the hardest lifers, sadistic murderers and Co, but especially detested by old lags …

The authorities, in their fashioned wisdom, wedged most of them together, in the crumbling nick, supposedly their own safety, nevertheless Dean knew, as all inmates recognized this wayward logic… it was to prevent or bank against prison riots. Screws were roughly the same in most penitentiaries, though some did have a sneaky evil twist.

Dean favoured a solitary cell, but then, would double up comfortably with some old crony, experienced cons on doing porridge, plus knowing the rules playing ‘Bela’, a card game also known as ‘Clobyosh’ by old timers. Tobacco and fags used to be the currency all prisoners used, but now it’s imported phones and Sim Cards and naughty drugs. Dean was satisfied with the extra snout and food they got on Christmas and Ne’erday. Drugs just performed tricks with your mind. Time itself, plays funny stunts to the memory, while caged more so when little is left to remember.

There was no possibility of Dean learning a new crime while inside, he was too far gone down the entrenched line of behaviour, desiring his own company, reading a book with no ending, as some dumb or vindictive sod, had ripped out the last pages. Where he was in peril, was some young nutter, soap slashing (razorblade in soap block), trying to stamp his authority, without receiving violence against himself. There is a class system within any ‘big Hoose’, a heavy-duty pecking order, not knowing one’s place can prove dangerous…a society within a locked society.

Being released on licence, by the “get back to civilization” team…Dean passed with flying colours, without really striving. Asked where he would like to be housed, he plucked for a simple name, for it was the easiest to spell. Social workers and others were busy bending over backwards to succeed, forgetting what was really best for the man inside, but they had boxes to tick, trying circumstances creating quotas to perform and process, … their hands were tied.

His abode had all the mod cons (Pun) T/V within an all-purpose, newly painted room, and a tiny kitchenette. Dean had no past, apart from jail. No innocent memories to fall back on, no friends. At night he can’t sleep because of his insecurities, while during the day, acted in an enigma form, stuttering to and fro from wall to wall in his cramped strangely named living room. There was no old lag to smirk with, or no ‘Thee’ man of the block to avoid eye contact. No debt to pay for trafficked snout, or genuflecting as the turnkey passed Dean’s synthetic home, making him feel safe.

Dean now felt inner cold, depraved and isolated from the world; He tramps the same path in the so-called living room, as if in a cell. He can’t sleep properly, for the lack of clatter noises, here just silence. No whiff of different flint tins, or the urine odour floating from landing to landing, no locked door could keep him in safe hands. He seldom retreats out, except for shopping needs, after cashing his Giro.

But time march on in his head…In prison, he had a sense of worth within a regimen …with Freedom…. he is a caged animal?.
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