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> Home Made Tales, The journey
peter.howden
post 13th Nov 2019, 03:44pm
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The tales of Hector and ‘The Bruce’

Only Just Pious


The author wishes to convey, this three-part article is a personal experience… certainly not scribbled to be plainly derogatory towards people’s beliefs
-=-=
Today throughout Glasgow’s dynamic vicinities, attracting young enthusiasts heading for the bright lights just before mid-night…then party on till dawn. In the late 50s/early 60s, adolescents were allowed out to the devilish hour of ‘10 of the night clocks’, on weekdays, hitting Cinderella time on Saturday, Sundays… out of the question

Religious organizations owned many varied properties around the city, fusing almost absolute power, preaching from pulpits, ‘Night bewitching hour life breeds debauchery, making it taboo’, if not against Christian ethics. The Hielanman’s Umbrella; nicknamed for ‘Highlanders and Islanders’, as a rendezvous. Not a ‘Big Mac’ in sight, except in a name.

Apart from the folk scene on a Saturday late evening, the only warm light in the middle of the night was the tea stalls. After dancing in the “Cooper’s Institute” it was inevitable Hector would wander to the tea stall at Cuthbertson St. Clean cups, fresh sugar (no brown bits) tasty rolls and sausage, or bacon, if not tops in hygiene. A bit of comfort in the grey of the 60s nights. A beacon in the darkness of mankind.

Late one evening, an old bloke, most surely a wino (Drinker of anything) not a pretty sight, given his dire needs, shivering uncontrollably, lacking adequate attire for a winter’s night. Hector bought a mug of tea, gave it to him without asking as he just looked… not a word passed.

Hector took off his gloves then gave them to the hobo. Hector took off his scarf, body warmer, and his fleeced lined car coat, handed them to the surprised stranger…Hector disappeared into the dark night, heading for Marywood Square.

Hector’s China, ‘The Bruce’, related this tale to their church Minister, young Mr Phillips, who said warmly… “This was a good Christian beneficial act, on Hector’s part!”

The Bruce’ sly reply was… “Naw…Hector was pissed!”
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peter.howden
post 16th Nov 2019, 12:43am
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The tales of Hector and ‘The Bruce’

Only Just Pious (2)

The author wishes to convey, this three-part article is a personal experience… certainly not scribbled to be plainly derogatory towards people’s beliefs

Having passed through the ranks of Life Boys, then the Boys Brigade, plus as an unlikely Sunday school teacher, not to mention accidently becoming a bouncer for the church youth club, it seemed natural progress to Hector’s first church communion, however, his spiritual being was in turmoil. Small nagging reflections surfaced, sensing it was the same spiel every week, just the names changed to protect the innocent. It also appeared silly to lecture meekness will inherit, turn the other cheek… and if asked, walk that extra mile…for this was Govanhill, at the time a cradle of adolescent hooliganism.

The street code was no tougher, or rougher than any other district in Glasgow, but the belief was created by the youth, to know how to handle yourself…or be a good runner. Amongst it all, a raw kindness weaved thru the community, hard to explain to anyone who has not lived in a tight poorer area of any major city, but Glasgow especially is rightly know for instant warmth of its people. Where once a church, is now Govanhill Housing Association office, a driving force serving the needs of its richly vast cultured neighbourhood

The Reverent Philip suggested Hector should join a few other people, to the vicar’s manse, for an informal chatter on wandering souls, express their faith within the bounds of the church.

The meeting was debating a fair assortment of theories, and religious emotions, but most important how the individual honestly defines the whole meaning of prayer. The minister turned to the subject of the demon drink, then looking at Hector directly… spoke softly, how there was no reason to ask his opinion on the said matter.

Reverend Phillip glances around the company towards an older man, who Hector knew via the district. This demure dressed elder man went on to claim, persons who indulged in monster liquor, were indeed, on a shoddy slippery road to damnation, and the evil of booze he would not allow a drop to pass or touch his lips. Coincidentally, Hector was puzzled, as he had often seen this very person, frequently pissed as a newt, stoatin up his wally close, in the posh part of Cathcart Road, yet God’s envoy looked pleased at the response.

Hector thought naively… if someone could tell such down right untruths… to join God in church, then the whole idea was wide open to question?
To this day…Hector still holds the gentle Reverent Mr Philips in high esteem.
=-=-=-
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peter.howden
post 18th Nov 2019, 01:42pm
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The tales of Hector and ‘The Bruce’

Only Just Pious (3)

The author wishes to convey, this three-part article is a personal experience… certainly not scribbled to be plainly derogatory towards people’s beliefs

Hector’s allegiance to the ‘Water of life’ was known during Christmas services, with Mr Phillip’s observing the odd behaviour of, Hector and ‘The Bruce’. Both embellished emphases sing hymns off key and a few bars behind everyone else…the lads wondered if God had noticed.

Hector believed the minister was a fine man…however with One black spot…evoking the parable “no room at the inn”. One Christmas everyone gathered information, producing a set a list of so many names, plus encouraging local business to chip in, was with grand success. Around fifty elderly people received, £15 in groceries, plus a bag of much needed coal. Simple…. However, Reverent Philips asked if all were Church of Scotland. The Bruce and Hector were disappointed. What the hell did it matter?

Reverent Philips persuaded Hector, via the Playhouse to attend a Billy Graham’s third Europe crusade (weird word to choose, to save poor misguided souls). Witnessing the usual fanfare from the true master orator, beckoning slipped souls, down to the front of the famous theatre. Wavering at first, with true wonder of his inner beliefs, Hector went, feeling like a sheep, hurdled into a room, a red-faced sheepish man, burping out a well-rehearsed “road to salvation.”.

Asking a plain question threw Hector’s messenger off salvation trip, passing him onto someone, supposedly more advanced. Reiterating now the seemingly uncomfortable question, and again the tutor passed him on, declaring this gentleman was a true pastor who would be able to answer. This time Hector was shown the back door, branded as a troublemaker. So ended the sermon.

His inquire was “what would happen, after the rapture at the end of the world, if all religions practicing, discovered we all had been praying to the wrong supreme being?” Or worse still “If he’ was not in?”. Hector never told Mr Philips of the older man’s fibs, as well as Hector never entered the church again, after his first communion…he felt…one black sheep was enough!
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peter.howden
post 22nd Nov 2019, 07:16pm
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Innate Trepidation

From the countryside’s forlorn tradition comes, ‘Red sky in the morning, shepherds warning’, this crack of dawn sky, is total conquered by a brilliant unnatural redness. Unwisely, I took no heeding natures foreboding alert, as a phenomenal sunrise dazzling, intensely aggravate my tired eyes, while sitting at my destination.

Somehow rather hazily, was my first scary sighting of this monstrous metallic structure, virtually blocking out the sun, yet, casting a shuddering silhouette, creeping slowly in my direction, though limited glimpses caused dissimilarity between, glaring sun and eerie shadows, making it impossible to witness reality.

A second shufti with a flickering eye, caused alarm as the grotesque glistening giant, as portrayed in; ‘The War of the Worlds’, jolted into sudden movement possessing a rotating arm ready to swoop towards my position,

Peering around, seeing no one else here, to give aid…oh bugger, trapped alone, unable to move…Hell…the ugly robotic thing, defiantly keeps threatening with this bloody heavily arm, threatening to knock my block off…just keeps coming. One clear moment of sight leaves me gaping in silent abject fear…Hordes of yellow assailants…these little devils, terrify every second, as they lash out at anything in their path.

The monster is playing a provocative mouse game…rolling over me…but halted just behind, ready to return…darkness moments as ‘it,’ readies to pounce…once again. This is mental and physical torture.

Dread…. fright…terror, you name the frigid emotion as I feel cold sweat running down my soaked shirt, while the mechanical freak begins again. This time with another weapon, unknown but dangerously close noises…scares the shit out of me

At last this metal creature stops, with me swearing…. “last time I will use a carwash…after watching Doctor Who!”
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peter.howden
post 24th Nov 2019, 08:23am
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The Spooky Christmas Tree

Once upon a time, during a misty sessional spree, I floundered into this odd in appearance greengrocer’s establishment in the high street.

Nowadays, I’m famed for senior moments occurring, yet…I would have sworn, never seeing, or passing this store before. My dear wife insists using big glop supermarkets as being frugal, saving the pennies for our old age. Secretly I ponder how much older I’ve to be …before making a start spending our nest egg. Anyway, I potter around, curious as to just how lean on provisions the shop seemed. Hardly any fruit or veg, with the whiff of damp spots all over the place.

A set of old-fashioned scales taking prime and place, besides the equally old money-till. The scales using equilibrium with goods in one bucket, then weights of different poundage, added to the opposite bucket, until perfect balance is achieved. Quaint to say the least if this is your bag. Having no idea why I entered the shabby doorway, apart from curiosity of this ‘Dickens’ of a spree, certainly no intent buying a tree, of any kind.

My eyes mysteriously pulled towards the darkest corner in this rather grubby establishment, seeing one small pathetically drab Christmas tree. Obviously, been through the wars, being last one since god knows when… but again I was drawn to it.

Before I knew it I asked, and agreed to buy it from the crumpled old proprietor, who would never be asked to play Santa, stank of alcohol and according to the other whiffs, was none too quick going to the smallest room in the premises. According to the greedy money-making grottos standards, he would fit the bill and no wonder why some children have been terrorized just thinking of their own experiences.

The tree itself, was but a few bronze coins, thinking my batter-skills were well-polished, sealing a real bargain. Next moment out in the busy high street, my prize didn’t come up to the mark in the daylight. If I have to be honest, the wee tree, oozed pathetically through and through, with limp branches… and almost brownish appearance where green should be.
I decided to take it back, and if the shop keeper was awkward, then I would be stroppy, quoting office of fair trade or something in the same lines.

Truly… I just turned round…and the shop was not there. I had not noticed what, and where other shops were at each side, but the greengrocer shop was undoubtedly not in sight. I only walked some ten odd steps, but no matter, for what conclusion could there be… how the bloody shop was not there. I do not know why, but I stood on that very spot for ages, in hope it would reappear somehow. I pinched myself, to see if I was dreaming …and it hurt. It really did cause pain, because of my age, but I was still there, with no shop and this pitiable tree.

What was I going to tell the wife?
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peter.howden
post 28th Nov 2019, 12:52pm
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A Christmas Karl

My favourite teddy-bear is Karl, acquired from a charity shop. He is a bit of a scrooge, absentminded to boot, oddly imagining he is a rabbit…lost without a doe. With, pride and place in our home is Aunt Becky’s curiosity old wall clock, possesses some kind of cryptic bewitched bell tolls. When 1 toll’s after midnight, it’s actually 6 in early morning...is when Karl changes into a phantom lover.

For in his imagination, he’s a rabbit, or a bucking leveret, hopping mad how anyone should dare refer to him in a bear manner. At first, I believed he suffered some type of delusion, pitifully watching as he tried to burry down a hole in the blankets. Secretly, I suppose the “10/-6” tag on one of Karl’s ears, assisted him being, ‘Mad as a Hatter!’.

Christmas day; teddy hoped Santa brought a couple of carrots borrowed from the Reindeers, or at least a leaf or two of lettuce, but instead notice, all the disregarded fancy wrapping paper sprawled all over the duvet. He may be a bit dotty without doddles but was quick to catch on, vegetables are wrapped only in Clingfilm, In a fit of pique, and a seasonal miracle, he jumped from the top of the headboard and landed rather awkwardly on the bed
A razor-sharp upside-down pin pricked its way through the duvet, just below Karl’s the bear, bare behind…instantly Karl had buck teeth, possibly from fright from the sharp pinhead.

Having a teddy who believes he is a bunny, is certainly strange indeed on the mind…however…the Christmas message is, I wish he would clear up …the wee black droppings, which appear just below my pillow each night… remember; you can be anything you want ? but try refraining from being a rabbit… for it bucks me?
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peter.howden
post 29th Nov 2019, 11:04am
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My Chronicles 29/11/2019…

Through the magic of Email, for some years from abroad, the master of Christmas Quizzes has included me in his worldwide clan of contestants. Most occasions the questions came in serial form, however this year, selections of humbug, Anagrams. Geography, Christmas drinks, Stiffer anagrams, singers/songs, history, made it the hardest, and longest. The rules allowed to include family, so I informed the master, all around the Saturday wooden kitchen table, we would endeavour our best, then send in our results back via Email.

At first glance of the entertaining test, ‘She who must be obeyed’ and I were daunted, so much so relied greatly on our family for guidance. With their assistance, we managed to almost complete the now document without cheating. So chuffed with combined efforts, I rushed to type the answers as readable, and sent the results to the maestro tutor. In my unwarranted haste to the return message, not only Emailed to the master, but to all the players…twice. I haven’t received the true answers yet, To save being banished shamefully from the competitors…my unworthy hope is…most of the answers we gave were wrong.

Nikki/Simon, Kirsti/Chris and Fergus gave several gifts for our anniversary, two of them being, Musselburgh Saltire races, then staying in Dunbar. On Monday, at the races, was a most enjoyable experiences, even with the drizzle watching every race high up in the open stand, plus, a flock of unidentified birds, flying in V fashion at twelve noon…then returning at 2.30 pm. However, my arse was freezing, so we hopped down to collect our arranged fish& chips while the third race began. Standing waiting for the crisp fish…it was announced our number 7. stoatered home first, winnings £94. Mistakenly believing the hot food would act as a defreeze…we finish our drinks…then drove to the hotel…clutching our booty.

Choosing Dunbar was rather selfishly me, because as a lad, I haunted the seaside resort for a few years…and later as a adolescent. Similar to all seaside towns and villages, Dunbar is struggling to keep individual shops and as we wandered around, discovered the auld Amusement arcade was gone…but the memories remain. Not because we both have recollections of North Berwick, but the town is faring better, simply because there is more employment… and money within

Thank you, family,…
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peter.howden
post 2nd Dec 2019, 10:17am
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Desperate 43
Encircled


I’m not paranoid, but for on hearing unwelcome echoes are threatening….must continue moving, never standstill, or they overrun you…honest. O.K, no worries, it’s the postman, pain in the arse rattling my letterbox. Buggering asbestos …who would send me post? Bloody junk mail, it’s not right strangers can invade your home with unwanted clutter just because? There should be a law against these bastards invading my privacy. That tell-tale postman is keekin through my letterbox, I know he does. I’ll catch him one day, give him what for, see if I don’t. Very little post comes…I like it that way, no disappointments bringing no promises people won’t keep. I kept myself to myself for it was better that way.

I like asparagus and greens, helps to keep vigilant, keep on the move, isn’t mistrustful, just careful. There is something in the blind corner, a weird F---ing shadow…. but what? Wait a minute… it’s coming from the mirror over the bloody fireplace. My maw used to call it a ‘Brace’ in the old days. She died… couldn’t attend her funeral. She couldn’t understand me but then… neither could I. There were no corners where I used to be, just straight lines and things, making me feel secure, on the safe side, no one watching nobody…is keeping check… I miss that, I really do.

Must be in step as I look out the window, crisscross to the door, reassure it is closed, then move to the window… I’m no loony, just privately keeping them out. Now my exercise time, stops stiffening, both in mind and body; taught me cautiousness to be careful, and I am extremely vigilant. These bastards won’t catch me out this time for you need eyes in the back of your head, consequently…must keep moving or there are consequences.

No sleeping in this flat with all those weird noises, and lights darting in and out during the night. The light was always on in my last place, security and comfort in that. I may be a man, but I’m bloody scared to go to the loo at night. You never know who’s there, so I use a pee bowl or a ginger bottle, whatever comes to hand. Don’t get me wrong, I am not manky, I slosh it out in the morning. Keep on my toes you know.

You would not think an empty flat would make inexplicable and uncanny bizarre thumps and vibrations. Been here forever and still can’t get used to it. [u]They[/u,] decided to release me early from a life’s sentence some time back …why… fish out of water…need swimming lessons, that’s a bleedin joke! I would sooner be inside, but don’t get me wrong I am not institutionalized, or a blockhead, but there’s a need to keep moving up and down, down and up. They call me an old lag, or hole in the wall for all the porridge I’ve done, but this is far worse, I feel guilty. Bunch of villains out here, safer in there?
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peter.howden
post 4th Dec 2019, 09:54am
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The spooky Christmas tree. part 2

Stand at our door I naively assumed by telling my dear wife the truth that occurred, she would not believe me…or think I’d greedily consumed too much Christmas spirts. Moving towards the kitchen, taking deep breath, I spluttered, “I’ve purchased a unique magic Item, actually a Bonsai Japanese miniature Christmas tree…which has fallen on hard times”. All she saw was a pathetic unnatural branch, with a few tatty arms, an orphan of a tree. “Your always telling stories!”, my spouse suspiciously replied, so I added; “I was informed, if we use this special manure nightly, its full spender will be restored…though perhaps tinier than usual!”,

Falling into a deep asleep that night, I dreamt constantly hearing a haunting, drip…drip…drip, in military precision, as an alien formed into horde of creatures tapping into my brain system, apparently as their intellect eyes of the dead, watched every nerve communication transmitting. I awoke in a cold damp sweat. After endless tossing and turning recalling the terrifying allusion, I managed to fall into a half sleep, sort of aware…and yet not!

Whatever time it was I have no idea, but, starting as a whimpering hubbub, soon became a peculiar lurid yelping, increasing in volume associated with wild dogs, even wolves. Psychologically struggling against the growing fear invading ever cell of my body, I Ultimately no longer have the Vim to evade the mental dread, when again I awoke… completely distraught.
Laying stiffly wide eyed till morning at last came, I went downstairs to make some tea. I had no reason but looked in the living room to see a small pile of dark heavy powder right under the supposed Bonsai Japanese miniature Christmas tree.

After making the brew, taking up to my, not a morning person wife, I explained my dreadful aspirations, particularly emphasising the deafening yelping during the disturbing night, plus what I saw in the living room. My wife stared incredulously at me…then in a non-humorous voice said; “The tree’s Bark… is worse than it’s Blight!”
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peter.howden
post 5th Dec 2019, 02:31pm
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Dear Reminiscing Diary;

A few weeks back, while slowly sauntering along Kilmarnock Rd, with Shawlands ’Cross in the distance, swept into nostalgia, from way back in my formative years, when the Embassy (the darkest flick’s for winching) and Elephant cinema, stood in prime and place, beside this busy thoroughfare. These establishments, near the Embassy café, were intimate places for male and female youths to come together. Some naughty skinflint cads, would arrange to meet up with them in the cinema, so not having to pay the ladies in.

Passing the cinema that is no longer there, instantly urged recalling a particular first date, with such a bumper of a girl, I was making my way home, having taken the subtle hint from her dad, who kept putting out the bins, time to allow his daughter safe passage into his residence Going home by the Embassy Cinema, it was stoatin down cats and dogs, but as a complete numptie, I was bopping up and down, dancing in the rain, in absolute joy, near imitation of the famous film star.

Acting so ecstatic, not caring a fig where, how, or when my feet would land splashing in any puddles in the vicinity. The road was completely empty, apart from a lone drenched figure, walking her dog on the same side as myself. She apparently spotted my idiocy…then chose to cross over the road to the other pavement, until well past my exuberant display, then, in a drone like fashion, crossed back to her original destination
Now today; because I’ve aged slightly, deliberately walks are part of my exercise, maintaining a reasonable state holding back the pain/ discomfort in my joints and body as a whole, to keep my health under lock and key. Sometimes; I ‘ve forced myself not to come up with excuses why I should not take my constitution.

A few days ago while in Glasgow centre, close to the river Clyde, was the swanky new Tradeston Bridge, cost some 7 million, known locally as ‘Squiggly Bridge’. It was raining hard before but now was a mere drizzle. Slowly strolling along the unique overpass, old musicals came to mind, making my feet tap slightly with a spring in my step, almost near the state of pirouetting, attempting to miss the newly made puddles big and small. I started to enjoy it, oblivious to a pair of eyes watching my juvenile behaviour.

The owner of the eyes shouted out ‘Singing in the rain with Gene Kelly?’;… almost a condescending tone I thought, “Not quite, came my reply…more like dancing in the pain with feet smelly”

The eyes were still smiling…they must have cracked the joke.
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peter.howden
post 6th Dec 2019, 07:32am
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A aging wish for Christmas

I want to be with you, night and day a moment is too short, forever is imposable…. but just one extra minute, or hour, or day, or week, or year, or decade…whatever health and life will allow. I don’t want to waste a jiffy, on silly moods, or rows over the daftest things we say….

We are settled if not just old, and luck has delivered not too bad a love match, with perhaps one or two hiccups along the way,

I even now search for your hand, gaze on your smile, still look into your eyes, still see the charismatic lass who allowed me to be her partner in marriage for life, lover to stay

We have had our share of grief, but our devotion saw us through the darkness…to grow stronger when the light of life shone through each day
-=-=-=
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peter.howden
post 8th Dec 2019, 09:59am
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Desperate
The Job(in two parts)


George had been given strict instruction by his rather rigorous wife, as she left their abode, heading for a few days in Dunoon, sometimes recognized by those reputed in the know, as Scotland’s answer to Marseille. The spouse complained having promise after pledge broken, totally due to his vulgar laziness… she had no wish to be disappointed again. “This time George” She said loudly, while storming out the door, “rent a bloody machine, and clean the blasted carpets!”,

George smiled, for if anyone thought Dunoon is equivalent to the ‘French Riviera’, must be more than slightly touched, however, he deemed her close circle to be so. Wishing to avoid tantrums and problems in the homecoming, he hired the required equipment, moved all obstacles, worked like a beaver, and was pleased as punch all rooms completed by the first evening. Early next morning, the more awkward stairs were the task. To help not being caught, or tripped by electric cable, or the shampoo tube, George wrapped the electric flex around his shoulder, to restrict entanglement, but alas…oncoming disaster was intimate.

In his haste, the heavy machine, unsteadily placed at the top of the stairs, George tried to reach a darken corner. Within a blind second, this manual effort, countered-acted by yanking, then toppling over the cleaning machine, which hurled towards the defenceless man. Alas, sticking out rigidly, one of the brass couplings struck George’s head as it hurtled past him, before a jerking halt, left the apparatus at a perilous angle, some five steps down.

Twisted in sheer pain, George buckled unconsciously… landing upside down… backwards… one step down.
-=-=-=-=-=
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peter.howden
post 13th Dec 2019, 08:24am
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My Chronicles 13/12/2019;

Being Aunt Becky’s birthday, Kirsti/Chris, Rebecca/myself, visited her in the new spruce Dementia home, taking a chocolate cake and small knick-knacks, with the home providing a marvellous birthday cake. While delivering Becky’s birthday cards, it was obvious she had no clue who we were, although appearing trim, but much frailer, with her wee body prone to falling. Afterwards, while we were reaching the car, Rebecca was a tad upset, because she can see Aunt Becky’s light for life is darkening to somewhere else. Two days ago, while visiting the care-home, Becky sat in the café/dining room, unaware of me or who I was, in-and out asleep, however I managed to talk to her carer before I left

By train, travelled down to Ayr, in the lashing rain last Tuesday, seeing the moving patterns angles on the windows, which depended on how heavy the down pour and the speed of the train. Met China Jim Hendry in Witherspoons, not only for the beer, but chuckling old kids we were, then, reminiscing slightly seriously in full flow as to out past community activities. The discussion varied though centred around trips, to foreign parts like England’s Liverpool, Manchester, and Welsh Swansea, Cardiff, and wider afield, nevertheless, could not remember the organizations banners we were under. Struggling for some twenty odd minutes until recalling, Jim’s mob was S, C, V O. mine Oxfam. Our lights are none too bright?

I’m no Christian by any means, although being grateful for the ‘good will to all!’ on Christmas. Church bells take me back to a special comfort zone, also Christmas Carols, Hymns and the like…a beam from the past

Finally, a new super-duper light was replaced in the walk-in shower room of our home, by Calvay’s electrician, because it is a sealed item. Throughout the last few years, we had not realized the illumination was becoming dimmer and dimmer…. till it gave in. The first time we switch on the new apparatus…it was singularly brilliant lit superstar, akin to an operating theatre…A Merry Christmas for our ablutions
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