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> Home Made Tales, The journey
peter.howden
post 2nd Aug 2017, 08:32am
Post #406

Super Lord Provost
*****
Posts: 474
Joined: 21st Oct 2005
From: /Glasgow
Member No.: 2,485
Shades;


Throughout the dead of night, the wind mystically maliciously disturbed and misdirected the chilly elements habituating within the darkness, meandering in and out the deserted streets and alleyways…then collectively resting, for unscheduled moments, in secretive foreboding places, unknown to the sleeping human race…then truly lost endlessly when daylight makes yawning moves.

Within the house in question, up some grubby unstable stairs to the top room facing the street, lay restlessly a tired old man attempting to sleep, anxious about the bare fact he was now all-alone in the world. His mate, his long and caring comrade had lost the struggle for life, the only living breathing soul who unreservedly cared for him, showing love and affection without favour. They had been together for some 12 years before his dog, Sammy demised without warning…. just the day before. The old man clutched tightly the photograph of him, with a mixture of pride and anxiety, while uncontrollably shedding tears of longing.

The dishevelled room escaped total darkness, leaving hints of eluded capture, because of the remarkably bright streetlight beaming brightly straight across the street, directly into the room, through the window covered with tread bearing curtains. The old man lay resting on the bed opposite the unadorned wall, heaped in uncertainness and dread what the future would now bring, Unruly drafts of harsh squalls, caused by ill- lifted sash decomposing timbered windows, flapped those drapes back and forth… instigating shades, shadows and structures… real as real could be.

Outside, adjacent to the window…. the old crippled tree, once struck by lightning, has haywire branches swaying against the unforeseen gust, adds to some sort of malevolent carnival of black magical shadowy pictures … momentary on the manky wall. Rattling crumbling window frames echoes the drama. The forlorn moments slowly past by as the man’s nerves come near a shattering breakdown.

The wall now held an existence of its own as he timorously keeked from underneath a damp cover, moistness due to uncontrollably perspiration from his aching body underneath, caused by vagueness trepidation of impending doom and decay. The old man held onto the image of his faithful hound, struggling keeping his sanity, but no matter how hard he tried to keep this single thought… it was a losing battle.

Without warning, an unknown flurry erupted just outside a cracked pane, almost shook the window out of its exhausted frame, causing such a hullaballoo with everything it came into contact…the man froze with utter terror. At the very same moment, an uninvited noise bellowed around the room, while outside the dwelling it seemed the worn-out hoary tree lifted clear from the rotten roots. The deceased feeble tree toing and froing, while the maukit wall of the room unexpectedly presented a frightening shadow image ,looking of a dog’s gigantic jaw …filled with massive sharp teeth as if it was ready to jump out of the wall and attack.

No one went near the old man’s abode until a worried community helper called for assistance from the police, who burst in the flimsy painted front door. Up on the landing, the odorous front room was in a muddle, while on the empty bed, other than one manky cover, and a crumpled photo of a dog…reputed to be the old man’s pet.

It was said a few neighbours heard a cry of agenizing pain coming from the room, during the terrible night of the storm… but where was the old man who once lived there…no one knew…and the truth…no one cared

It is always possible to live another day…well almost;
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peter.howden
post 7th Aug 2017, 09:30am
Post #407

Super Lord Provost
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Joined: 21st Oct 2005
From: /Glasgow
Member No.: 2,485

My Chronicles 07/08/2017;


She who must be obeyed’ and I have the family over almost every Saturday afternoon, exchanging news, gossip and wandering crazy conversations about almost anything. I would say, it has been a boon for all concerned, throughout the years. This Saturday was slightly different, not the usual carefree around the old wooden kitchen table as normal simple because it was the anniversary of our Toni’s (Daughter/Partner/Sister) losing her fight with cancer on Saturday 6th of august 2011.

We all have our ways of coping with family tragedy whenever it strikes, regardless of dates or conversations, followed by awful lingering aftermaths catching discrete thoughts. Most memories and observingly pleasant with moist eyes, but sometimes in nigh impossible to hold back the flood. Rebecca and I are grateful for our usual crew of Fergus (Toni’s main man), Nikki, Simon, Chris Kirsty, Lauren, Andrew and not forgetting Emma.

As this afternoon began, we managed through several woeful moments on the edge, to control by just stopping taking easy breaths, then talking about happy notorious times we all remembered, recalled with a different pitch, how each responded on a specific circumstance, but chiefly Toni’s unique way of attitude and behaviour…but most of all…her magic affectious laughter.

Personally, I can be innocently washing dishes when I emotionally zoom back To Leiden where Toni and Fergus made we two so welcome. Over many years when they travelled on holiday, Rebecca and I stayed in their homes in Leiden, Amsterdam, and Paris. What true Scot could turn down such an offer.

As usual, we tucked into Rebecca’s homemade scones, listened to some gossip and celebrated Chris and Kirsty’s new house they had managed to finalize the mortgage on the Friday. They move in on the 8th September., and although tons of renovating must be done, for their own personal taste and comfort, both are over the moon… they deserve it, so to speak. Hope they don’t tug my coat.
Last week, Rebecca’s sister Jennie, made a rare visit to Aunt Becky.

Jennie has always been impetuous. At the side of Becky’s door, there is a combination locked steel box, with a front door key, allowing the carers, back and forth access. Arriving at Becky’s home, she knocks the door quite a few times. Owing to the unusualness of anyone chapping the door, Aunt Becky comes to the door in her acute dementia more than flustered unable to remember where her own keys (two sets; one supposed to be hanging up, and one in her wee bag to go to her carers club)

Luckily, I arrive because I forgot to pick up the washing as thee washing machine was down the day before, and the arranged engineer was not due until the end of the week. Becky is all confused but pleased to have any company. She has a knack to pretend she remembers someone but the reality of her condition she forgets from moment to moment.

One of Becky’s neighbours, also her career, Sandra (a nice lady and very good helper) arrived and I left everything in her capable trustful hands as the washing needed done and returned. I was back over that evening; the wee soul Becky could not remember anything about the visit. I promised to take her a hurl the next day and listen, and sing along with her, her precious Tartan Top Twenty.

‘She who must be obeyed’ and I, think but mainly hope we are back to normal…whatever that phrase really means.
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peter.howden
post 12th Aug 2017, 08:00pm
Post #408

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From: /Glasgow
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AUGUST 13TH; AFTER THE SHOOT

It would be interesting to know just how many people par a personal name to their car, for this is exactly what ‘She who must be obeyed ‘did with our first, just out of the factory, brand new jalopy. The name for this wonderful, bright red Ford Fiesta was christened “Wiggy”, a happy appearing tinny motor which purred as it hurdled along any road or destination.

I was certainly not ashamed of the vehicle, in fact chuffed as hell, however ‘Wiggy’ never answered when I called, even when I practised an extra whistle so it would know who I was. This echoes’ the kind of chap I had now become…a motorist. The new car gave Rebecca and I freedom we had not experienced before as a couple, for we only saw the real country side on holidays, buffered in-between work. I have memories when young of golden days of fun and astonishment but to a lad… all times were magic.

As a boy of 6 or somewhere along the line, I regularly received magazines, along with comics published and sent from Canada, from my sister Margaret and brother in law Easton, who both had emigrated in 1950. These very colourful journals and comics, fired my imagination with bright adverts celebrating huge cars of Hollywood statues, turning my innocent head way round. It was a different planet shown in publications from America and Canada, for in our Glasgow existed grey streets displaying grey buildings, surrounded us everywhere, except for la multitude of parks like Glasgow Green and Queens Park lending their touch of green.

In Canadian magazines, they had country till it was coming out their ears, lakes waters went on forever, with canoes styled by Indians, but most impressive was that everyone had a car as normal, if not two or three. With promises of ever day an adventure and paradise for a few dollars more, while Scotland it was, at best an existence for most, near total closing on a Sunday.

Rebecca and I received the car just the right time for going on a planned holiday to a North Berwick camp site the following week. We had just left the rugged and quiet village of Duns, heading for the centre via the eerie moors road. This superb country side can compete, if not surpass, what Dartmoor does for the eye. The date was the 13th of August, one day after the glorious 12th.

It turned into being a horrendous if not chilling trip, I hope I will never have to repeat. It all sounds brutish, how people with loads of money, spend the stuff by going out with beaters, dogs, and guns to shoot fleeing grouse, pigeon, or any fleeing bird…or beast. It does not sound right under any guise, but society have ignored its pitiful cruelty while accepting this barbaric practise as tradition for all, although it’s the hob knobs who cultivate the inhumane business We had no vision as to the senseless suffering of these targeted birds defiantly We could not contemplate it affected all the animals living throughout the vast area of the misty moors.

Driving our wee red car down the C road, through the middle of the moor, staring in disbelief as to our blocked path. The highway spread thickly with dead squashed animals. Every sort of fur and feather lay there making it obvious as to what had happened.

The din of noise deliberately created by the beaters for the shoot had caused a panic in the animal world. So much so they fled in terror away from its echoing deafness, straight across the busy road. Now the shooters, who bravely stood behind their gun line, must have started to blast anything that flew to the open sky, not flinching in the blood duty handed down through generations. They may even have been oblivious to the alarm they had caused the beasts and crawlers, who did not share in the ability of dating a calendar, avoiding that bark day…the dammed poor creatures.

The ones that were not done for by the shooting, air and foul means, were however mowed down on the roads leading through the fern landscape by the multitude’s cars attending such events as part of country etiquette or protocol. These wee sleekit cow’rin tim’rous beasties plunged out of the safety of the darkness of the fern just to be squashed by oncoming traffic.

Hares, rabbits, badgers, snakes, stoats’ weasels, foxes, rodents, all needlessly killed by machine, gun men or dog. For a’ that and a’ that, the brothers of gunpowder kept blindly pounding in a thin dark line.
I know the law of the countryside and human nature is cruel for survival is the name of the game… but I ask you, what name can you put to this so-called sport.

We could not turn back as traffic forbade doing so. Mile after mile there were bodies of assorted dead disfigured creatures spread in lawlessness view for all eyes. Even going slowly in a mark of futile respect seemed to make it worse as the wheels suspension took the strain and bumps caused by them

What a callous and shallow call the glorious 12th?


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peter.howden
post 13th Aug 2017, 01:19pm
Post #409

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-JUMPING JUMPERS

If our dear Scotland is to have a new identity of its own, any plans must be audaciously courageous to make the populace masters of their own destiny, grasping any and all opportunities to complete with world trading markets. Cautiousness is fine it is place, but the Scottish people and government must insist being brave by taking a leap of faith, in one area we can excel and not been placed in the same category as our whisky and oil. We should go all out to improve our Scottish lamb and wool industries.

In Australia, there are millions upon millions of sheep, many of them suffer the same problems ours do, tragically including animal version of T.B. They have Kangaroos who appear not to suffer from this drastic affliction. So, to be one jump ahead, there has been a bill past through the Scottish Executive, we are going to issue every single sheep in Scotland, a pogo stick… teaching them the art of pogo stick. It is not so thorny, or crazy as any of you, or ewe, may expect for is you teach one sheep, the rudiments of the pongo stick…the rest will follow…like sheep

With such decisiveness for the future steadfast, this will be beneficial in four main ways, and many additional outlets beside. Firstly, the principal benefit being once the sheep are proficient operating their individual pogo sticking, not one hoof will touch mother earth, at any given time, signifyingly reducing the risk of infestation of naughty T.B, from those nasty contaminated little Badgers who, if our scientists are correct, spread this terrible disease. Owing to the fact spitting is one main way in dispersion this calamity disaster amongst certain livestock, it can only be assumed, these naughty elfin Badgers are tramping through the undergrowth, wily nilly and not caring a spit where they dribble.

Most important second benefit will be in the sheer quality of the lamb and mutton, particularly the hind leg, also the rump and shoulder, muscles where ram mutton builds up from holding on the necessary equipment pogo stick, as the sheep roam up and down Bràighs, Beinns and glens. Approximately side effects could be with stiff necks occurring as they look back and check who is behind. However, this is only visualized to be a soaring problem if the sheep holds racing.

Thirdly; it is more than possible we will boost the quality of our precious wool many fold, maybe, just maybe, we will be able to compete in world markets, status closely to cashmere or mohair. This would be because with all the leaping, the air constantly flowing, forcing mites, fleas, ticks, and lice, to flee from the fleeces, bewildered and terrified from not only the speed moving, but the ups and downs going with it. The continuous draft would soften the wool to a high degree,

As time and nature progressed, the fleeces would turn, in value, almost golden. It may all be Greek to the layman but it is inevitable the grade of the pelts would advance with leaps and bounds. Also as a sideline all this exercise and balancing signify muscles of a larger per potion would mean larger growth in the limbs area and so a leg of lamb would go further for the housewife.

The basic expense in teaching these animals the skill needed to operate these maneuvers would only have to be paid once. When the second generations watch their peers confidently pogo-ing, they are being sheep, will follow like sheep, but do not mistakenly believe that sheep have only sheep’s brains for other scientific test proved beyond any doubt, they have a far greater intelligence than first believed. It must be pointed out though those tests, three of the boffins were reported to be in love with their subjects. This may put a cloud over their findings or maybe the trio felt that a sacrifice was necessary for the sake of science but felt a bit of a goat when going public, however we should not delve into other unproven actions just count our luck sheep it was not us.

The major drawback is the actual sheepdog. The very fact thousands of flying sheep will be bounding all over the place, appearing unexpected, as far as the mutt’s eye view is concerned, this could cause havoc. These dogs are used to lying down, awaiting sheep to stroll by before leaping into action… but then again the mere fact the lambs are going to spring on them at such a rate, it can be envisaged whole batches of brave collies having mental breakdowns… this could prove costly. The vet bills alone would vault out of control, followed closely rest homes for these unfortunate mongrels where they could have forty winks without sight of a sheep with a spring in their step.

I can count on you, if not the sheep, to sleep on this new brave idea.
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peter.howden
post 15th Aug 2017, 05:38pm
Post #410

Super Lord Provost
*****
Posts: 474
Joined: 21st Oct 2005
From: /Glasgow
Member No.: 2,485
Why don’t we take time to blink?
Or maybe time to think?
instead as robots…
one, two…what to do?
Three, four…lock the door,
Five, six…play some tricks
Seven, eight…be Irate,
Nine ten…do it all again
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peter.howden
post 16th Aug 2017, 08:59am
Post #411

Super Lord Provost
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Posts: 474
Joined: 21st Oct 2005
From: /Glasgow
Member No.: 2,485
[b]Jim stepped down from the train(24)
[/b]
Jim stepped down from the train, after the huge locomotive pulled into an enormous old-fashioned railway station which visibly was to serve passengers, also once functioning as a working heart of a multitude of industrial engineering commercial heart, serviced by every kind of shuttle train ever imagine. Tired after such a long journey, yet immediately being familiar with a worryingly stillness of eeriness, void of travellers or any sort of noise. He was mindful having been away for a long time, nevertheless he was now alone on the platform, somehow intimidated and insecure by being unaccompanied, where everything was covered either in dust or rust.

After lighting a cigarette, he started to walk down the platform, sheltered by a massive dome which produced an echo from each of his foot-steps, ricocheting off the stone and brickwork, returning as if minor thunderclaps. Coming to the entrance to the station, he observed a sign which read, ’first class passengers only’.

What was really puzzling, this portion of the station was immaculate with not one piece of dust to be seen, and if he was not mistaken the door was half a jar. Hoping to meet someone who would explain this tomb, Jim strolled slowly towards the door. Just a few steps away the door closed, not with a bang…but a whoosh…shut tight with no outside handle. Jim inexplicably jumped, and he was certain this was odd.

Bewildered, he then moved towards what appeared to be a busy thoroughfare, with people going about their various unknown business, seemingly unaware or not concerned when bairns, no older than 5 years old, started rough fighting over a piece of bread, manky as it lay on the cobblestones. They were battering the living hell out of each other, swinging arms and biting… drawing blood and using the boot. By the time there was a so-called victor. Only crumbs pathetically lay on the dirty street. He could hear a buzzing racket coming from somewhere, where or when it came, Jim just could not fathom.

He continued his saunter when it became visible this was the deprived end of the town, whatever town it was, as the dwelling places, both sides of the street were no better than hovels, while at the mouth of each close several people stood with a glaikit needy expression. Instinctively he knew he had witnessed the same scene in some counties abroad, shanty townships, packed to the brim with the underprivilege, existing hand in mouth…near to the living dead.

The smells were pungent to him, however no matter which way he turned, the identical whiffs went straight for his nostrils…reminding of something or somewhere he had been before… somewhere where darkness crept over ghostly images, making danger a constant companion.

Now on the jagged pavement, each person, with decent apparel, deliberately forced past him, either ignored him completely, or shooing his presence away indignantly. Others dressed as ragamuffins, pleaded with him for a penny or two, for their destitute families, mumbling sad terrible stories to follow. Jim argued with himself, how could this be, he could not focus exactly where he was but he had a feeling, how this was an affluent land…an empire in the making.

Gazing up the hill to easily see, mansions and manors, complete with fresh green hedges and trees each establishment separated with wide streets. A high wall surrounding the estate, complete with a toll barrier right across the only road leading in and out…Jim knew it was not to keep them in…but to keep the unwashed populous out. Jim was beginning to be confused, he thought his county was free, for all to walk anywhere…but he just could not pinpoint his past… something to make freedom important, or supposed too, not exactly sure…there was a lot of confusion, unknown clamours throbbing in his head.

Now marching up and down the main road, as if it was second nature, back and forth, trying to find some place to work…but the few dingy shop proprietors just unheeded his quest completely, as if he was speaking a foreign language, or chased him out of their premises, with a few swear words for comfort …he just could not make them understand. Jim sat down despairingly, how could this be, he was smartly dressed in pressed suit, clean hands and neck, well-spoken and shiny boots ready to be taken on…but they just did not want him.

He across an unusual shop for the area, as it had a glass displaying window. Jim briskly paraded up to it, to check he was spick and span and Bristol fashioned. The reflection from the glass window shocked him, showing in full uniform… a military first class, master sergeant.

How long he stood there is anyone’s guess but it was some time until he took another few steps to come across a massive election promotional poster …stating in huge letters…. to see a Liberal sworn statement, ‘We will make a land fit for heroes’
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peter.howden
post 17th Aug 2017, 01:16pm
Post #412

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From: /Glasgow
Member No.: 2,485
Anecdotes from the auld Steamie

Heart-Breaking

Within the old steadfast Victorian structures, built specifically for the complete wash-house experience though favourably known locally as the ‘Auld Steamies, dotted around working-class areas in many industrial cities of Scotland. An assortment of employees was needed in the day to day running of such necessities for the needy community, who were living in very tight knitted accommodation, such as room and scullery, and the well kent ‘single end’. Modern amenities as washing machines, driers or even the basic bathrooms, where either way out of reach financially, or there was insufficient space to provide them. A old pram was the ideal means of transport to take a week’s washing to the Steamie.

Most councils had a union led systematizing workforces, vacillating from Boiler men, Lifeguards, money takers wash-house attendants and dogs’ bodies of no description. Callum took over the position of Shop Steward, however not as a well-meaning union man holding a theory of helping his fellow man…No, the reason was simply skiving. When there is a union lead by an individual, whose nickname was ‘Matt the rat’ then the picture may appear clearer.

While working for the mighty halls of power in the so-called Bath department, it became clear it was one route a devious creature could take to receive the equivalent of ‘get out of jail, free card’. For any excuse for a fictional meeting, or inspection, or consultation with a union member in trouble, then Callum was off like a bolt of lightning. Because of the nature of things and a certain cliental calibre of workers, this would be a secure reoccurrence almost of a daily basis.

Callum, enjoyed the company and kindness personified of the workers, for they were a grand bunch to work with, well almost to a man, or woman with a few exceptions. Nevertheless, when it came to Union matters they were a naïve lot, instructed, by tradition, why and how the workers strength laying in union. In other words, at the drop of a hat they would believe almost anything if it complied with their wisdom or lifetime’s experience. this may sound pompous yet it was comparatively true. Superintendents and gaffers displayed their vulnerability in other ways.

On one of these occasions Callum was genuinely called out for a brother worker’s dilemma. The operative had been caught, in the act of consuming liquor while on duty in the Steamie, by management in the form of the infamous sacking gaffer. At this period of the cities Steamies impressive history, although low paid, a worker had to have committed near murder before being sacked.

This was gross misconduct of the severest order, for not only health and safety for the public but the fellow workers. In every line of industry, works or any employment, this is an immediate sacking offence, and quite rightly so. The consequences are endless though the culprit or victim believes it is personal.

Drinking in this organization was a tremendous problem, making the bosses concerned and afraid, of being prosecuted, or sued monetarily, so much so they would do anything to stamp it out. Meeting up with the man whose desperation was clear, Callum instinctively knew the fella was a hard and determined bevvy merchant. At first glance, he assumed this desperation was for his job but in the first few moments with him realized… it was for his struggle to survive life’s unfair hand he believed he had been dealt.

As far as the worker could remember he had been always a compulsive drinker. He wanted to take cold turkey, but just could not find the courage to give up the dreaded alcohol. Informing Callum of personal details, how he was now constantly bleeding from his rectum with black outs occurring at terrifying random. Callum advised him to see his doctor as soon as possible, to have immediate help as the consequences were too horrific to contemplate.

There was a safeguard for their employment, a get out clause, which most workers took, not for salvation but just to keep their jobs. Hold their hands up and say; quote ‘I have a drinking problem’. These simple words compelled the management to send them for therapy and keep the job open, without any blemishes on their record.

The interview ended with the harsh manager conceding to the rules and the relieved employee thanking everyone, especially the Union rep. Callum felt he did not deserve such praise as it was clear the man had insurmountable problems, so he repeated his advice, which was plain fell… on deaf ears. The last comment or compliment he gave Callum, as he left the works premises…you’re not like… ‘Matt the rat’.

Five short weeks later this man was dead. He died through alcohol abuse
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peter.howden
post 22nd Aug 2017, 10:07am
Post #413

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Member No.: 2,485
Foretastes of a 60s adolescent


Today parents and teachers are concerned about the adverse influence of the instant internet and the obsessional use of mobile phone by almost all the inhabitants of the world, perhaps except for over 70s club. You can tell the age of a person by how they use, or abuse the modern miracle, almost everyone twiddles with the knobs and buttons playing games or waiting for a disposable Email…. more sedate people just say ‘Hallo?’. However, in the golden generation, 40/50s, parentages and educators held the many cinemas and films as a curse of morality, waylaying of the youth away from decency and reality.

As a sprouting boy (though never sprouted much), the post-war generation held a different point of view, no matter how often Harold Macmillan, with jorries in his mouth, proclaiming; “You will see a state of prosperity such as we have never had in my lifetime ... "Indeed, let us be frank about it - most of our people have never had it so good”, nearly every city was dull and drab. The cinema, for all ages was an escape…even for just a few hours. . With the end of the hostilities just a decade before, rationing finally over, the people and the economy struggling to recover, watching every penny, also acute lack of accommodation existed, while in the cinema you could lose yourself in a crowd…in private

During the week, my brother John, allowed me to listen to Radio Luxembourg (208) on his fabulous crystal set, with Dan Dare, pilot of the future, Dick Barton, and Pete Murry’s top twenty…and an odd ball memory man. Nevertheless, the visit to the A.B.C. minors on a Saturday morning was the cake of the week. The cinema was always jumping with kids, and weans of all ages, gripping tightly their pokes of sweets and innocent faces glowing thru unbridled eagerness…. bursting to see the next instalment of the coming live serial on the huge bright screen. This was their reality.

Afterwards outside the building, and right along each street nearby, you could tell the main feature that morning, by the actions of the fledgling audience either riding horses in their minds, while skelping their bums ardently, shooting anything in sight with appropriate noises provided from the sides of their mouths, Shooting arrows with whooshes, or the all-time favourite…. dummy sword fighting with anything at hand.

As I grew older things changed slightly, believing I was mature, though in truth still wet behind the ears and a enthusiastic Spotty ‘Alfred Newman’ of ‘Mad’ magazine, reading the American issue ,from cover to cover on any dreary Sunday to survive with my marbles not bouncing off the walls. Sunday without tediousness was a novelty. In the north American continent, Sunday was Thee Sabbath, the Lords day, but life and leisure were catered for. In some states, they worshiped in full swing, bawling forth their message, telling all who cared to listen, not to fornicated or drink the devils brew. Carrying on how they once did so…but now they were saved… I often wondered if they were boosting, or complaining.

Roughly around that time, partaking some bike movies, including ‘Teenage Devil Dolls One-Way Ticket to Hell’, and the famous; ‘The Wild One’…which influenced me to be involved with the motor bike circle. For a bet I took, I experienced and a nerve-racking, back pillion ride on a Triumph TR5 Trophy , hitting 100 M.P.H streaking up Parliamentary Road.

The meeting place café was at the corner of Calder St and Pollokshaws Road, the name escapes me now… but the sight of around forty leather jerkin clad blokes, yet only three or so bikes outside parked in the street, will never leave me. Later I owned an old banged up Triumph, we were not quite ‘Marlon Brando’ studs, or even his weak sidekicks… but boy… we wanted to be so much!
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peter.howden
post 23rd Aug 2017, 09:17am
Post #414

Super Lord Provost
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Posts: 474
Joined: 21st Oct 2005
From: /Glasgow
Member No.: 2,485

Howden Transport…

‘She who must be obeyed’ and I, have been fortunate throughout the years picking brand new motorcars, while holding the barest facts of their abilities, or jargon the salesmen add for effect. If it pleased the eye and it was roughly in the chosen price range, we bought it.

My knowledge was really warped, around the age of 7 or so, while experiencing my first ever ride, on a horse, around the countryside surrounding Newcastle, trying to be keen, I asked my knowledgeable cohort this question…’How many miles to the gallon does it do?’ Silly billy…. or words to that effect.

Now I am wiser, more positive to have in my corner, the trustworthy threesome pals, Jim to purchase second hand cars from, Peter, the wizard mechanic(Motortunes), and main man Fergus for advice (all from Shotts). I believe we Scottish peoples, throughout the ages, have an undeserved reputation of being very…very canny when it comes to money, but there is a reality in the motor trade, your personal gleaming transport depreciates by at least a couple of thousand pounds as soon as the purchase is made.

With our first spanking new, allegedly just of the line, red five door Ford Fiesta; ‘Wiggy’ we began this first ever automobile excursion, or to be more correct vocation, Rebecca was acting as navigator with a touch of professional expertise and conviction, being well before Tom...Tom, could only be given when an Ordnance Survey map is being used.

As we were travelling I had a notion to ask my wife if she was sure we were moving in the right direction. With a hint of indignity Rebecca assure me this was so. She pointed out to the lone phone box as proof and then as magic persuaded my eyes to look for a church and then again like magic the house of god appeared around the next bend. Travelling further down the road I began to fear we were going the wrong way.

Although years previously, I had been in this area, I had never been on this particular long road, I felt suspicion creep through my mind about direction being given by you know who. I made a slight mistake asking, if indeed this was the correct direction we were going.

Again, with absolute authority, Rebecca pointed to the map to prove her location was spot on, stating sort of hotly, there’s the village post-box…there was telephone box. After a few miles Rebecca scrutinized the map for some time.

Then Rebecca added clear instructions ‘we have to turn left here and then extreme right sharply’.

We, I mean me and the car, did manoeuvre exactly as ordered. Again, I inquired and quoted; to reach our chosen destination, how this did not feel the right direction to travel. As we voyaged onward…I heard my wife call out…in puzzlement…. “Who put the sea at that side?”

You cannot get lost in a car; you can only run out of petrol!
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peter.howden
post 24th Aug 2017, 10:30am
Post #415

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Foretastes of a 60s adolescent

LIFE’S UNIVERSITY;


My reason for attending the Strathclyde University was not for knowledge (academic anyway) but because it was cheapest place to buy alcohol in the city. I was able at any time to just walk past the security, who waved me on in a knowing casual manner, certainly minus a pass, while real students were placed through third degree and demands made of identity.

This was the place for a couple of quiet drinks and meditate, within a modern structure having 6 stories reached by two main stairways, plenty of places where a student of life could study…in comfort. With inexpensive beer and a colourful clientele, throughout the year, and in the winter, no chilly drafts wising thru the spaces rooms, perfect relaxing atmosphere.

I never reached academic grandeur or anywhere near it, though there was one fellow who inspired me with this simple quote “I have no goal except to be better than my Teachers”. I have had a few teachers who would not be recognized as being so, however have played a paramount part of my life.
The secret in a great teacher is, the ability to educate without the knowledge of the person being taught... to be a mentor and not an instructor. Some people have this quality though do not identify it, while others realize there is a touch and they work dammed hard to hone perfection, to appear natural or ground within their actual personality. A sort of optical illusion trick with knowledge.

Mr Swan was such a man for a young child thirsting for experiences, but ill equipped to have them or challenge them. He was a kind man, who perhaps saw through this face of innocence masking a devious mind for one so young. He ran a market garden a few hundred yards away from Bothwell Bridge and he instructed me on the basics of nature and the love of soil between fingernails. When I was around eight and nine, Mr Swan was an old man though seemingly as fit as a new pin. He taught me to profit through learning and never be ashamed to ask the fundamental question “what is it?” and “How!”

He always said to take a notice of everything, including the smallest of creatures and bugs, for in our world, it’s all a matter of concepts. Having been round the world, in America part of the team building the Pacific railway, and was there at the coupling of the two lines between two oceans. He told things in such a way it was not bragging, just factual, or as near to it as possible. You need not go to those places as he had visualized it for you in his words. I was in awe of him and quite rightly so. One evening under the glasshouse, he explained the theory of evolution (in Gardner’s terms) while smoking his trusty pipe; I still recall without trying and catch the tantalizing aroma of his favourite tobacco.

Jack Honey is no tar but a navy officer of some considerable influence, who handled my silly questions with more than a touch of class. A forward and forceful man whose heart is moved by life and could explain so many a thing with gusto… wrapped up in entertainment. He needs to enjoy life, more to the point involves those near to do the same. Many a pleasurably hour past, with his tone galloping through his whole persona and range of cultured subjects while my rapture burst forward from every orifice available. Jack had been far travelled, and his conclusion of the past ,as well as the present day, grabbed you by the collier and choked your mind to digest and think.

The whole family, though particularly Pam and Jack, possessed this warmth to propel out and install into people. I looked up to him and still do for I can remember one evening in particular, while sitting out on his porch at Freathy, watching the sun go down, sipping his home made Bitter, and stating how lucky he was, was the closest thing to heaven on earth.

As for Mr Keith Pine; he possesses the knack of presenting a total different charisma to his actual personality and it is this presence which makes him almost unique amongst his peers. I became enthralled after meeting him at a “confidence boosting” away day for Calvay Housing Association; as a series’ of lectures/performances of “how to be human and still work”. His façade was a tad of perfection.

I had the bonus of meeting him, and his magic wife Lizzie” outside the professional arena where his tangible psyche bounded forth energy which radiates through the chosen company. Keith has a longing to grasp the fundamental flaws and reshape them, not to a specified order but with a will for compassion. Very much a forceful man in life but tender enough to care So many to choose from however one evening, in his retirement home via France, where we just talked and suckled the drink. What a man

I have been extraordinarily lucky of having learnt so much from so many people; who turn to be teachers, one and all. My admiration for these three men holds no bounds… with the speed of switching a light on, I can hear them talking ….and if this is the first step to the nut house, I will gladly go.
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peter.howden
post 25th Aug 2017, 12:49pm
Post #416

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My Chronicles 25/08/2017

In the last few years, each period brings its own variety helter skelter times, for both Rebecca and I, verifying the older we become the more basic the concerns and worries take root. ‘She who must be obeyed’ is waiting for an operation in her ankle area where we hope after the surgery will give Rebecca a much-needed reprieve from the constant agony that each step gives now. This will not solve her breathlessness but with fingers crossed it will give her more freedom to venture out for a dauner. As for Aunt Beck, surprise saunters bring their own worries.

She is a good natured wee lady but lost in a timeless void of mixed up picture shows, however, proud bread Becky has always insisted with tenacity to stay in her own home, Glasgow Council insist unstable people to live in their own home, rather than use the more expensive ‘Dementia’ support homes. To keep Becky’s honed wishes is triggering growing concern in ways we never thought of.

Unfortunately, Cordia’s ability to manage the home help service varies with individual persons who are a boon, three times daily, nevertheless …most helpers, with limited skills, are seriously undertrained, also being stuck with tight schedules. The administration is weak and extremely slow at best, while the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, or not achieving, and the social service appear minus to the whole picture.

Through the last few years we have manage to convince Aunt Becky, to use electricity rather than her beloved gas cooker and fire…both which she frequently left burning all night. She would boil eggs in a pot and forget…the water evaporated and the eggs exploded hitting the upper limit. Becky unaware what happened, failing to see more eggs on the ceiling and walls than she ever ate. Installing an isolator, so she could not switch the cooker on, adapting the fire to one switch, cut the risk of fire to almost zero.

A relentless anxiety is produced with her beloved books and newspapers, which she spreads all over the place, but mainly on the floor, which can be the cause of tripping and falling which unfortunately she has quite a few times. Her ability to phone is now totally lost, though she can answer the call. When I phone, to take her for a hurl, using the code ‘Get your F------ sannies on’(not a gentile request but it is our joke) is ready within a couple of minutes. Three times a week, during the day, she is taken by a local club’s bus to a gathering with her peers, around five hours with lunch and teas…as all people, Becky has her moods but mainly enjoys the events and company.

Becky has two personal sets of keys, one hanging up near the front door and one in her purse for when she goes to her club. There is a security locked key outside the front door, coded to allow the carers in…and deter others. Over the last 4 odd months, Becky, with no warning, has taken a notion for a walk, both night or day, because she has no real grasp of time. what concerns us both is not her meeting nasty folk who may do her harm….it is if she stumbles, injuring herself and being unable to get back on her feet.

Going into a panic because she does not recognize her surroundings, becoming lost and can’t remember where she lives, or tell people her address. Four times, our phone rings from, either concerned neighbours, or Cordia helpers saying she isn’t here. Twice more has been late at night, and once was two in the morning.

Becky has terrific neighbours, though she thinks they are nosy, who phone us when concerned however this is no way to plan the safety of a 90-year-old Glaswegian. Aunt Becky does give us snapshots of pleasure…but at a worried price. There is a very limited solution which if possible but no one wants it, however talking, or managing to get through to Becky is completely fruitless because her brain span and attentiveness is no more than seconds. As for taking to Cordia or the authorities….


All official decisions are out of our hands as it is the authorities that assess Becky….and it is faulty…for all decisions made are monetary based…and not for the despairing need of the patient.
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peter.howden
post 26th Aug 2017, 07:21am
Post #417

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Memory lane

There is a saying ’there is no fool like an old fool’ but there certainly is, for I’m an old fool who knows he’s an old fool and constantly proving it to be so……. without thought or reason or rhythm. Normally it is simple things passing through the day or ships through the night and in themselves are not significant yet occasionally I just seem to waltz into some situation or other, coming out the other end either looking imprudent or physically affected or both. This was one of those times.

Regularly deciding to meet up with my old, very old, buddy, Ayrshire Jim, whose recent birthday puts him in such a bracket as being older than me. Jim often informs me he has the key to life, wonders why he had not obtained such a solid key before. No matter what life throws my way I can always count on Jim to raise my outlook from the doldrums. Some sceptics may say it is down to the liquor we consume, while others, in the hostelry may just refer to the both of us as silly old men, but whatever it is we can talk, and talk and laugh until it aches.

We have always have conflicting ideas, concerning the rudiments of life and the dreaded politics there within , where sometimes can come to being close to heated debate and even further, but with the safety valve of a timid smirk or a sneaky giggle or calling one to the other just a bloody idiot, more often words flowery similar, to bring us back to enjoying each other’s company. Jim Hendry has the barebones of a Ayrshire man known to be canny with money, for if when offered a timeworn Penny-farthing, he would demand it to be cheaper, but he has a inborn sense of fairness…. and surely would walk that extra mile without being asked. Anyway, no use in using the ‘Penny farthing’ he could not climb on.

One Wetherspoons meeting, as usual enjoying each other’s flighty conversation, along with the later added company of a local friend of Jim’s. Because Jim was in full flow about local affairs I decided to head for the railway station myself, which is usually a 10-minute walk away.

I must have been confused as to the timing of the Glasgow bound locomotive but whatever the reason I missed the express. Having my now’ jolly’ hat on, so to speak, I took to having slight refreshment in the nearest tavern, and then timing properly, made haste to catch the next train leaving for the central station. In my haste, I slipped on the only wet patch of the pavement. Trying to catch a sturdy bench (made of rot iron, I used my left hand to cushion the fall. My main mistake was not judging how far away from the bench I was positioned, then how quickly I would drop.

Once earth landed the pavement was as hard as I could remember in my youth however I picked myself up and mainly tried to avoid being embarrassed with kindly meaning folk fussing over me in a caring manner giving me a ‘Riddy’. The rest of the journey home was uneventful as I clutched hold of a children’s book I had purchased called ‘Asterix and the Picts’. Once safely home I did realize my hand was rather annoying as I explained to ‘She who must be obeyed’ which I might add, she gave no sympathy noises. Rebecca left to go to a lady’s class on art… I took advantage for an early night.

So… this episode marked down in the annuals of time but will end with one question; ‘will I be so daft in the future?’ Perhaps the question should be; ‘when will I be so daft in the future………….and what is yet to come?’
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peter.howden
post 27th Aug 2017, 09:33am
Post #418

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A keek back

I am now of the age where comfort is more important than style or elegance, though the later I never really achieved. As for the former, in my early youth, my bank balance was near nil or nil itself, trying to be an extravert individual, as did most of my companions do exactly the same in cut and flair. Our imaginations were filled with fire with everything we did, believing we were the very first living souls to experience such crushing and gripping emotions. We were rebels, but unlike ‘James Dean’ on the silver screen…we had a cause.

Acting and being certain we were the Bee’s Knee’s, chic…almost unbelievable, while all along our cloth was cut from the same bail, as a collective horde of identity fraudulent individuals, attempting to defy the bouncers in the Barra-land, close to Glasgow Cross, or the Maryland, just oft Sauchiehall St. The dancehalls were besieged waving crushing sea of personalities, all looking the same result, especially in the Maryland, which a converted room and kitchen with maybe a large foyer. Ice blue denims attacking your crutch, may have looked becoming…… becoming a threat to do a severe mischief to a young county boy.

Rock had just rolled over into instrumentals and play pop songs in the Charts of the ‘New Musical Express’ a must for our generation. I think it was around then, I sort of took the notion to change. My thoughts were purely selfish for sex, as I worked out the way to attract the opposite sex was to be truly dissimilar to all fads and modes. Whether my cunning strategy worked or not, I could not say, yet I nearly always managed to walk about with a smile on my face. Perhaps it was due to minus tight Spanish Inquisition’s ice-blue jeans

Now; in today’s climate, the risk of interference comes from other quarters, manly ‘She who must be obeyed’ coiling up and saying with woe in her voice; ‘You’re not leaving this house dressed like that’. It is more a threat than a question. We are safely in retirement; deep in the discussion of what ‘Do’ has come top of the list…perhaps another cruise. I am quite ignorant as to the ship shape of such sails, but was previously horrified when informed of having to dress proper for dinner, even if you are not one of the chosen ones for the captain’s table .

My good friend, the charming laid-back Jane, wheelie for short, implies I would scrub up well in a dicky-bow and diner jacket which is expected for such occasions in the more well to do voyages around the seas but dread the fact of being staked out more like a puffed stuffed penguin


I certainly prefer Tin-tin’s, Captain Haddock at his table, or more profound would be Captain Pugwash on the Black Pig, guided into the horizon by the rascal ‘Puff the magic dragon’. At both captains’ tables, along with Jackie Paper, you never had to dress for dinner. Lower my flag…………..that sounds sea worthy to me;
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peter.howden
post 28th Aug 2017, 02:09pm
Post #419

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Dear Diary; 05/08/2011

I’m certainly not a hen-pecked husband, but I do gain a notion to hanging out washing for the fresh air I consume while doing so. This surprise notion springs on me when I see the washing machine, full of mixed cloths, finally halt. When returning return from France, this year, on my person was a rack of cloths pegs, a personal gift given to me by the lady of the house I was visiting.

‘She who must be obeyed’ explained these pegs were superior to ours, the reason was because they provided greater grasp and flexibility not awarded to old fashion wooden pegs. Next sunny morning after preforming my personal ablutions, gathered the rope and peg-bag while taking the washing out, I noticed our new-fangled pegs were not in the bag. I took courage to one side, climbed the stairs to inquired about their whereabouts to my lovely wife.

Her reply caught my breath and amazement, as she firmly informed me those pegs were far too good for my usage on everyday washing, only Sunday best cloths would be pinned by them. Whether this was to happen on a Sunday, I was not well-versed however I thought at the time… to get a grip, as this was snobbery ether gone wild, or hung up to dry
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peter.howden
post 29th Aug 2017, 03:01pm
Post #420

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Light Interpretation
Last night I dreamt of being arrested for flashing, though a senior moment forgetting to close the door, however I was let oft with lack of physical evidence….whatever that entails.

In modern Easterhouse ‘s collage there is a grand library inside the impressive ‘ Bridge’, which I attend this morning, to aid my mental fatigue through such dreams ordeal. The written word is the best way to lose yourself into another world.

Having a history of various comics, I searched for deeper philosophy in offerings from Amalgamated publishers, by writer John McCaill or some religious guidance by ‘Anvil Parish periodicals ‘author Marcus Morris to no avail. Changing course such as lighter works titled ‘Kartzman’ for Alfred E Neuman, or Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi’s “ Adventures of Tintin”, however once again no luck . No Triumph, or Eagle comics with Britain’s interpretation of Superman, or Dan Dare Pilot of the future. No mad magazines to be seen and no dust collected where they should be . No ‘Puck’, no ‘Judge’ or high class witty cartoon stories to ease the embarrassment.

I decided to look for lighter reading but equally disappointed with a total absence of the Scottish lords of this discipline such as ‘Dandy’ ‘Beano’ ‘Rover’ ‘Wizard’ ‘Hotspur’ ‘Skipper’ connections or the ultimate reading for a dull rainy afternoon, while excited at tomorrow’s travels. These works or word and art, parents poured cold waters over such riveting reading, including The Broons and Oor Wullie’….there is nothing worse than soggy print

What can I say, other than deep disappointment being let down in my hour of need. Can you picture it, a library with not one animation illustration with just rows and rows of words falling uselessly all over the place?

No...I'm wrong... for there was ‘Charlton and the Wheelies’, along with ‘Thomas the tank engine’ however I would have taken them out on loan and not cared about leaving the children’s section, but on the other hand…I had read those deep meaningful books… just a couple of weeks ago.

I departed the building housing ‘THE Bridge ‘knowing less than when I entered their automatic doors. Education had another tragedy, if it weren’t so amusing.
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