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peter.howden
Home Spun Stories

JIM story 5


Jim stepped down from the train, into downpour of rain then stepped right into a massive tarn. As if in shock he just stood there… motionless alone while her memory locked and burnt uncontrollably in his disordered mind… as the puffing locomotive headed to god knows where. Still transfixed Jim carefully felt his crumpled pocket of his well-worn rainproof jacket, to check if her letter was safe.

Within the weary scribbled message, in her hand, he carried one of those new-fangled “Image Photographic Phantasmagoria” although he had no need to do so… as each dimple; every curve and special delicate feature was branded and imprisoned in his mind….tormenting almost every wakened moment.

Over and over Jim would silently tell himself…if only he had not miss- read the note…. he would be a contented man by knowing where he stood.
Recalling all events as clear as if it just happened, he caressed aggravated despair….almost into the murkiest depths of depression where unwanted happenings happen. Abruptly he was back standing alone…in a manky puddle

Taking a deep breath Jim looked around to find himself at a waterlogged railway crossing somewhere in the middle of a desolated wilderness. No evidence of buildings ever being there, no trees or bushes, no shelter and only the single rail track, stretching far beyond distance in both directions… all there was sort of standing was an old crumbling message board, exposing a scroll of words in a language alien to him. His conclusions started with he had forgotten to have a map or ask for directions before leaving hastily on this particular journey.

He had in the past tinkered on the idea of joining the Foreign Legion, though thought better of it as he could not stand discipline and his Arabic was sporadic, if at all. Years ago while in the desert region of Syro, mucking around the Algerian war, he befriending the Berbers and Bedouin peoples in the Arabian Sahara Jim had taken up a sort of verbal local dialect and with a few words of French, pronounced sort of, he was able to get around… but just. Jim reckoned, as his senses always swirled around his fate to have her memory deep in his mind constantly, disturbing his way of being.


Back to his present isolated location; he did notice another distant sign, apparently pointing away from the steel rails at roughly forty degrees into nowhere land, though there was no obvious trail or pathway but a few deep impressions of washed-out footprints… mishmashes into each other as if the previous footprints as if they could not make up their minds in which direction should be taken. As Jim slowly analysed his predicament, he could remember being told the locomotive only ran twice a week on this particular stretch of line as there was no call for it.

Walking slowly up to the old sign Jim observed on the tip…. not a drip but a droplet of water which mysteriously give the impression of holding a whole universe within…and after each glance the droplet grew in size, causing a miniature panoramic illustration like a time capsule. After some ‘toing and froing’ the enlarged rainwater globule was the size big enough to look into without strain.

It revealed a near picture record of his life…a whirlwind guide to all the happenings
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peter.howden
Jim story (2)

Whatever struck his reasoning at that precise moment… no one will ever know, but one thing is certain…he thought there was something ‘jarring’ about the whole set-up… what was really annoying him was the incomprehensible message on the old wooden sign having an abnormal growing magic bead of moisture on the edge…just flowing out his life story…for all to see…if anybody was, or had been there. Was he being delusional?

Obviously, he had heard of people suffering heat stroke in the desert, having hallucinations and its name was at the tip of his dry tongue. It was due to heat and light causing an optical phenomenon. As if another piece of a jigsaw appeared out of nowhere …he noticed there was not a singular sound, no noise, not just quiet, not just muffled no birds, no crawling bugs, no wind, and no sign of life but absolute scary silence…and an absenteeism of feeling.

Staring again at the message, now perceptibly deeply registered on the wood, but somehow he couldn’t place all the words together…to form an obvious instruction. As far as he could fathom…nothing had stirred an inch, and he must have been here for some considerable time. The single track was still heading in both horizons but both skylines, in Jim’s scope…was further away. Again returning to the sign message …the blurred letters magically were becoming more focused but just out of reach of reading.

His eyes automatically set on the splintered edge and the growing droplet. Jim recognized almost all which whisked past in incredible speed until it stopped precisely at one frame. To his horror he immediately recognized the gruesome image… he locked his eyes so tightly, almost burst his head with utter rejection but did not prevent the truth, being displayed, how he had brutally slaughtered his declared ‘love of his life’.

He fell to his buckled knees, shivering uncontrollably in dire sociological pain… releasing how much a deceiving monster he had become. And at that exact instant, the haze of the notice dropped, revealing in branded black clotted blood …’this man will hang this day, for odious and unchristian crime against humanity’…strangely in the noiseless panorama ….a whistling tune of “Coulter’s candy'.

Unexpectedly Jim awoke in pandemonium state of foul smelling secretion …it was a nightmare … he is here…safely out of the delusion… two detached domains…his mind jolted…but which one is the dream [size="3"][/size]

peter.howden
THE VILLAGE DREIMIRE;

Welcome yes welcome to the village of “Dreimire”... settling in seclusion and protection of the craggy stanie braes in the deepest part of the highlands…yet we have all the hot spots that any Metropolis in the known universe has… with some added attractions which little are known about.

Remember; as you are entering our boundaries... watch your speed. We have up to the minute, on the spot speed cameras in operation, focused directed to our main street and thoroughfares…so you have been warned.

If one of our local pedestrians spots a speeder, immediately they press a button on special constructed lamp post which alerts Mr Mc Deed, the undertaker to come out of his closet with his flash. As a deterrent, it appears to work with the sight of Ernest Hardly Mc Deed( he was to be Christened ‘Hardy’ but the minister had a lisp)...in a lum hat, naked and painted black from head to foot.... apart from what he is flashing... scares the living daylight out of drivers....always has a surprisingly effective.

We are proud... proud as punch... of the excellent cuisine personified in the ‘Ghilie Dhu’ and garnishes from the simplest of ingredients, tailored to perfection, second to none and equal to any comers in Scotland or indeed the European market we hear so much about... as long as cook rose in a good mood. “Punch” himself is seldom allowed into the centre of the village, these days, after the unmentionable happening involving pea soup and a unscripted ladle placed in unspecified quarters. It was judged to be unhygienic by the village elders.

There is of course the dreadful red light district, the scourge of any urban area. It’s up there but we don’t talk about it down here. This seedy establishment is run by Hardly’s older cousin; Ambrosia Hardly Mc Deed; (same minister christened). She acquired the rudiments of equipment, mainly thirty red bulbs, for an electric company holding a closing down fire sale. Although getting up in years by some forty and fourteen span in age, she can be very flirtatious, even voluptuous, under such lighting.... has been known to send guest into unbridled genital procreative behaviour at the mere sight of her tartan helm lifted above Church standard decency. Sensuous or so I have been told.

The export trade from the village varies in amounts. We tried to grow our own tartan stones which to all practice and purposes took forever to develop...as we can find no local person, living or dead, who can recall cropping such marvels. Still, after watching Weir’s way (An Outer Hebrides boy by his accent) on the only translation photo boxes in the village, and the now defunct Rolf Harris, we struck gold. Tartans to order all suits, skirts and thingymabobs…weaving cost extra…and can you see it yet.

As a community we have few, one or two at the last count, of the new-fangled moving screen box in the corner but one seendil programme we collect in which is nearest, the communal hall…or the pub, goggled eyed viewing the Glasga “Thingummygig”. ‘The laird O Ccoocaddens’ proudly displaying Scotland’s best


With good fortune, we do not suffer from hoodlums or graffiti except for Madam Mayor; with slogans of “Votes for women” rather set in her ways and in the past. We have a superb youth programme run by Willie Hardly Mc Deed, who is proud of his Danish ancestry, giving special care to blond wee boys. With great personal pain, tries hard putting a little Viking culture into each of them, whenever the chance arises.


It’s the simple things in life that gives pleasure to the gratified inhabitants of “Dreimire” village

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peter.howden
Lay preacher bloke

The other day across from the renowned Glasga Green’s unofficial ‘speakers corner’ one orator concentrated on the crumbling state of Scotland, Britain and the world values, continually hammered home the decay of humanities scruples inviting debauchery and devaluing of religion. His vocation, as a former janitor for 50 years for Allan Glen School sanctioned his platform. Mr Allan Glen, a prolific tradesman, died in 1850 and approved a fee paying institute with places for social preparation in hands-on trade’s education or businesses including public places in the commercial modules for sons of tradesman. The school was renowned in rigid Christian values

His passion threatened to burst all veins and arteries as he feverously near tyrant bawling that the young today give little or no respect for their elders and how society and the world has lost its way in historical creeds and disregarding the good book as God’s holy words. His feverous pitch reached ear-piercing decibels, howling how pugnacious wars violated the populous wants, needs and rights completely by voracity and unpalatable vicious desires. His closing line was a simple statement…”What has the world become?”

A voice within almost immediately captured the crowds’ attention, with a soft but deliberate reply…. The world is the same as it’s always been… from savage beginnings… and yesterday is as today…. We singularly believe we are cultured and civilized… and the feeble excuse is…”they and others are not”

The voice of motive continued… the young’s duty is to question their elders…then added even softer…..It is not either a boast or complaint but I am not religious because throughout my ordinary experiences in life, I’m unable to believe in such a deity… but if it comforts others… so let them be… but listen and read other people’s book?

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peter.howden
My Chronicle three 13/10/2015

The last few days collectively been extraordinary with astonishingly surprising meteorological conditions…so much so… it’s not only an Indian summer …but extended autumn showing off trees in a fascinating array of dark green and stepping stone stages of gold to golden along almost every road and avenue. I generally take Aunt Becky for a hurl in such sunny weather heading for the nearest hills with Scottish music and bagpipe dirges blaring inside the old jalopy.

The day free, from commitments, and on a whim to do just that, was the first day for ‘She who must be obeyed’ to visit her after Rebecca’s own appointment of being unwell. Notwithstanding…I took an instant notion to make the usual trip alone but this time with some more gusty music of my own taste

I did not cry but there was humidity or a leek as I observed all before me….it was heart-warming moist eyes of total amazement viewing spectacular panoramic landscape in such perfect conditions, up there…right in the middle of Kilpatrick hills…or was it the Campsies….looking down of the ‘Clachan of Campsie’. It’s bloody marvellous.

To add insult to injury to wee Aunt Becky, I paroled a poke of nibbles I have in the car for her, along with a couple of sweets to help her constant dry throat. I have to use wisdom while eating anything for having complete set of false molars…is a mouthful. Throughout the fifty odd years I have been cautious as to eating habits as certain things penetrate under my wallies, such as strawberries, tomatoes and a surprising amount of food is a no-no on account of diner table manners…and not to look like a complete Charlie.

I am off tomorrow to seek out a really good friend and spend a few hours away from the hurly-burly with a refreshment or two though avoiding getting blootered…like the plague. We talk many a subject but mainly baloney and I can be a “heid-the-baw” gowk without reservations. The measure of a special friend is how much you would miss them if they were not there…and I’m lucky…I have three…..
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peter.howden
My Cornicle’s Three; 18/10/2015


With such grand benevolent weather I could not refuse the opportunity of joining my china Jim for a sneaky extra visit to Ayr…but this time seriously be shown the hidden sights of Ayrshire…the ones the tourist rarely see and Jim Hendry is thee oldie pioneer of Ayrshire coastline… a sort of ‘Scottish’ Daniel Boone of Cumberland Gap fame, (originally sung by ‘Uncle Am Stuart’ back in 1924…; then Brigdeton Glaswegian ‘Lonnie Donegan’ belted the lyrics in 57’.

So with a dream the weather would hold out I aim the tin lizzie in the direction of Ayr joining the traffic working its way through mist on the very early misty Saturday morning. The grey mist thickened as my wheels rumbled past near brother loch, little loch and white loch, wheezing through an unrevealing floating tunnel made of eerie smog you can’t truly observe from side to side The sun was bleary orange ball unfocused hole through the grey sky as my wheels darted into the imaginable unknown though hopefully a mystery tour set in the correct direction. The music playing was ‘Bix Beiderbecke’ and boy was I enjoying the blues horn of the twenties.


The phantom smir, as if stealing time itself, plays hide and seek with unseen but permanent building who’s location suddenly appears for strained eyes to see gauze skip through bushes, trees, clinging to blades of grass yet…akin to ‘Will-o'-the-wisps, horses crop up as phantoms of the wild as livestock hooves trample over the ‘breath of the dew’, while isolated pampered pedigree bulls stand motionless as if they are wiser than humans who hurry onward going to god knows where.

Like an instant dream straight out of the blue… clear cloudless skies and a sun that would not be foreign in Spain. The faraway flowing meadows with a variety of green and cows and walking lamb chops with a odour of imaginary mint.. a sense of raw excitement as I entered near the city centre …or was it Tom Jones and the album now playing “Reload” duets.

True to his word, Jim takes me around the veiled treasures and advantage sight-seeing spots…to then tramp to, within striking distance of the Crème de la Crème “Heads of Ayr” the weather tapped the top making it a rare grand day .

After a sauna in the plush hotel…then oft for a meal and a few golden nectars with a braw band of punters in the Anchor Bar, with the resident home brewed note-worthy Del Shannon plucking his instrument…”G” string by the sound.

On the way travelling home on the M77 as I neared civilization….well before Pollok, the mist befell onto the motorway intimidating most motorists to slow down apart from one or two Stirling Moss imitators. after a few minutes as if near magical or translating spiritually…. the whole metropolis of the fair green city of Glasgow, slowly rose from the depths of the ghoulish haze… displaying the image off rising out of the bellows of the earth itself….a magnificent sight to behold…pure dead brilliant…..
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peter.howden
My Cornicle’s Three; 18/10/2015

rewrite

With such grand benevolent weather I could not refuse the opportunity of joining my china Jim for a sneaky extra visit to Ayr…but this time seriously be shown the hidden sights of Ayrshire…the ones the tourist rarely see and Jim Hendry is thee oldie pioneer of this rugged coastline… a sort of ‘Scottish’ Daniel Boone of Cumberland Gap fame, (originally sung by ‘Uncle Am Stuart’ back in 1924…; then Brigdeton Glaswegian ‘Lonnie Donegan’ belted the lyrics in 57’.

So with a dream the weather would hold out I aim the tin lizzie in the direction of Ayr, joining the traffic working its way through mist on the very early misty Saturday morning. The grey mist thickened as my wheels rumbled past near brother loch, little loch and white loch, wheezing through an unrevealing floating tunnel made of eerie smog you can’t truly observe from side to side The sun was bleary orange ball unfocused hole through the grey sky as my wheels darted into the imaginable unknown though hopefully a mystery tour set in the correct direction. The music playing was ‘Bix Beiderbecke’ and boy was I enjoying the blues horn of the twenties
.
The phantom smir, as if stealing time itself, plays hide and seek with unseen but permanent building who’s location suddenly appears for strained eyes to see gauze skip through bushes, trees, clinging to blades of grass yet…akin to ‘Will-o'-the-wisps, horses crop up as phantoms of the wild as livestock hooves trample over the ‘breath of the dew’, while isolated pampered pedigree bulls stand motionless as if they are wiser than humans who hurry onward going to god knows where.

Like an instant dream straight out of the blue… clear cloudless skies and a sun that would not be foreign in Spain. The faraway flowing meadows with a variety of green and cows and walking lamb chops with a odour of imaginary mint.. a sense of raw excitement as I entered near the city centre …or was it Tom Jones and the album now playing “Reload” duets.

True to his word, Jim takes me around the veiled treasures and advantage sight-seeing spots…to then tramp to, within striking distance of the Crème de la Crème “Heads of Ayr” the weather tapped the top making it a rare grand day .

After a sauna in the plush hotel…then oft for a meal and a few golden nectars with a braw band of punters in the Anchor Bar, with the resident home brewed note-worthy Del Shannon plucking his instrument…”G” string by the sound.

On the way travelling home on the M77 as I neared civilization, the mist befell onto the motorway intimidating most motorists to slow down apart from one or two Stirling Moss dunderheeds. after a few minutes as if near magical or translating spiritually…. the whole metropolis of the fair green city of Glasgow, slowly rose from the depths of the ghoulish haze… displaying the image clearly rising out of the bellows of the earth itself…a magnificent sight to behold…pure dead brilliant…..
peter.howden
BATTLE OF MIDI BREAK-FAST;

I need no excuse or particular reason to visit the special family whose residence is in Saissac France other than the great excitement in meeting people I really like… way further than friendship, though I do wonder why or how on earth they invite me at all. But for me the plus apart…Yes their abode is in the heartland of the southern mapped area called Aude, complete with twisting roads and fabulous mountain scenery of the Pyrenees…the Midi canal and of course the medieval castle ‘Citi de Carcassonne’ yet I hasten to argue this gives me little cause to be there as my French consist of six words and after saying “Good Morning Monsieur”(very badly) and asking for a Baguette, I’m lost. The simple fact is it’s a privilege for me as I immeasurably relish the couple…the family and for a few days of near to nothing other than good food, rich company and slight refreshment

I do confess I am intrigued by the French peoples and their language however, I believe this is from classic books as “Three Musketeers”; “The Man in the Iron Mask”; the list is near endless, plus the book called “Naked came I” the life of the creator , of “The Kiss” Monsieur Auguste Rodin.

Many moons ago I was casually invited to their home , or should this be chateau, in the lower parts of the Midi-Pyrenees, which I jumped at the chance however our friendly airline could only book at a slightly awkward time. This was a hidden bonus as I already possessed a half price billet for the Carcassonne Grand Terminus Hotel straight across from the main railway Gare and the famous Midi canal. Now I could sample the good life for at least one night to prepare for the splendid care and attention mine host always adore. My host, monsieur “No-deplume” arrived unannounced at the airport, chauffeured me to this ‘Grandiose’ hotel, arranging a pick up point for the following morning. Kindness personified.

The hotel obviously was a grandeur building, though rather lost its perhaps sparkly or pompous appeal, however its interior would surpass most hotels in Britain. I was treated with great courtesy, while my every whim was cared for even if it took hiccup sign language to make my wishes understood. With the doubled door in the balcony flung widely open I was able to smell the complete picture of life passing under my rooms. Rising from the busy street or should I say “Avenue”, was the noise, the air, the language from French motorist, taking me to a state of equilibrium which I had not experience before.

Breakfast time in similar establishments I had experienced before. Now a day there is no longer French cuisine of a morning but a self-service which may be “Quite quaint” however losses the personal touch and a chance for us lesser intellects to practice our French to some order of respectable letter. Instead you had an abundant selection of cold meats, plus cheese coupled with biscuits, yogurts and eggs cereals weird long sausages and the like. No square Scottish sausage, black pudding or Scotch eggs and fried bread… and certainly no porridge. It appears they all go to work on a continental breakfast and one hell of a strong coffee.

I was down to the food hall very early with the intentions to miss the rush then onwards to enjoy the health suite and swimming pool which came with the package. I had observed several coaches had arrived throughout the evening before…and now it may have been conjecture however it would be calculated hypothesize…this paying abode depended reasonably heavy on organized posh tour business as a large quantity of various personal luggage and baggage was already taking position in the large lobby ready for dispatch to the next destination.

The morning battle of the Midi break-fast was about to take place
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peter.howden

BATTLE OF MIDI BREAK-FAST; concludes;



I selected a seat almost underneath the stairway, which led upstairs to extra seating of this all-purpose brasserie and adjacent to the automatic coffee/hot chocolate and tea dispenser…which instructed in vocal French. The following may show some bias to certain nationalities; however I can assure… all that this is what took place…. or as near the truth I can relate.

Cautiously choosing to sit alone because it was obvious there were British travellers down for breakfast being slightly prissy aloof while puzzled and indignant at the need for self-service. In conversation they spoke loudly to the French staff so the foreign employees could understand good old fashioned Queen’s English. They appeared to be rather unflappable apart from one young couple positioning themselves at the corner of the huge bay window to benefit from the to and fro of the attractive avenue outside, having eyes for only each other as they munched their croissants.

The Germans were the first to enter for no mistaking their gruff sounding language and slight aggression as to where and how they would sit. All of them, including the ladies wore khaki shorts and marched rather than doddle or walked and looked fit outside credence. Some were taken aback from the rudimental conditions they found… however almost without words, as if previously planned, they separated as if panzer groups even taking seats upstairs, long before the necessity of being overcrowded ground floor. Before almost no time had passed, Germans were at each stage of the breakfast accommodation and only being slowed down by the verbal French instruction at the coffee machine. One by mistake I guess, received hot water when he was clearly expecting something else, however managed to bluff his companions with what echoed as military instruction, this is what he desired all along.

With no hint what so ever, the Japanese silently were everywhere on the bottom floor, some dressed in Hawaii shirts, which forced the suit adored statesmen of the group to lower their eyes, attempting to harbour their pearl wisdom. This situation seemed to near stop in slow motion when the red and white rising sun group suddenly realized the danger they were in with being outnumbered. Luckily the Japanese had old fashion honour which halted their progress, as not so senior busied themselves by bowing to senior and so senior bowed back so slowing up their strategic advantage. The brightly dressed ladies in the company astutely and traditionally toing and froing to serving their masterly men with whatever they desired.

The closed doors of the eatery suddenly burst open…a soundless fanfare filled the air… entered the Americans(last for at least two major conflicts) whose garments could only be matched with a children’s sense of dressing properly… including bulges showing from every angle imaginable and a conceited arrogance they invented the origin of the oily-dollar. The muted bugles blasted at full strength as they over-ran surprised defenders of the defenceless sewn Baguettes. A miniature battle of midway threatened as male Japanese’s stood up rigidly …imitating their ancient Samurais….but merely bowed in good manners.

They bolshie Yanks were on top of the Butter Mountains without struggles… the now polite Germans took a strategic step backwards having lowered their eggs into the communal boiling pan for the three minute eggs; incited by the females of the species. For a breath taking moment it looked as if the Germans would come to blows, at least complain about their own eggs now unclear when due, all to the aggression of the Americans. The battle of the bulge faded, with the Germans retreating, upstairs almost to a man, on higher ground with slurred grunts and Flemish thoughts, leaving behind their special ‘Schwarzwalder Kirsch- torte’ (Black Forest Gateau).

While the Americans were busy supplying their comrades with nick knacks, the Japanese headed for such seating left available at the bottom of the diner, while an unknown odour rose from nethermost below. For a while it was unknown as to what damage the Kamikaze single operators whiff did to the American morale, who silently claimed it was farts rather than divine wind. Several Japanese chose a squint of their eyes …receiving constant glares from Uncle Sam.

The big problem for all concerned was this being a first class classy hotel, no one wished to drop their manners first. So an uneasy peace broke out with smiles, bowing and heel clicking. The last action was extremely difficult to do with sandals on and no goose in sight. By now the eggs were well and truly over boiled yet no American had coffee which suited their taste as the Tokyo Joes had used up all the hot water and ceremonially tossed it into the street (avenue) for luck. They did not rue this action even when the others complained using bad French letters

Rumblings from all three nations’ representatives and dire consequences could have been afoot, however as swiftly as it started; it ended with a blast from a coach’s horn. Suddenly bodies were flying past to check whose transport was calling. It happened to be the Japanese who still had the urge to bow to anyone they had not met in person yet. The Germans and the Americans were informed their luxury wheels were across the road and would leave in a few minutes in different directions, so please do not board the wrong bus.

An unpleasant incident at Midi Break-fast had been averted and the restaurant fell into reasonable quietness apart from me sipping a hot chocolate from the now replenished coffee happily observing the young couple beside the bay windows…completely oblivious to all the happenings and appeared ready to…in French style ‘copuler’…in public…if allowed
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peter.howden
My Chronicle’; 23/10/2015

Personally I find age has a habit of surprising me as it changes in uncertain stages throughout my life span…yet old age stays just around the corner whatever age you have managed to reach. Some stages are just a single word which alerts me of my creeping advanced years in slightly different ways…depending entirely on the circumstances and the single word being said.

I remember the first time I was called ‘Mister’ by a young lad whose ball had landed in our garden. It was to me an honour that I had reached the position of elder statesman in the neighbourhood… I was chuffed almost like a peacock. The boy was just that about 8 years old and anyone who was male and several years older would be a mister to him.

Just recently while taking slight refreshment in a Ayr tavern, a stranger, of say well over 40, called out to me ‘Pop’. My inner reaction was not horror but awareness that indeed I had turned the corner into old-age long ago…and he and the world recognized this at first glance. Vanity…vanity where is thy home.

Last Monday I had a hospital appointment alert on my computer. With this electronic message displayed caused a personal thrill because this had been recorded ages ago, by me, with the instruction where the letter for the practise was. It was easy to find and I read it intently. Parking at the infirmary is always a problem, but Monday I was lucky as the letter clearly marked the time of the appointment was 13.15 of the afternoon clock. I left earlier to catch a parking spot during when most people have lunch break.

Having difficulty pronouncing the actual department once I reached my destination I just gave the letter to the receptionist and whimsy asked “I’m slightly early…is it OK to wait?’ The administrator laughed….quite loudly if I can recall correctly, before informing me…“You certainly are…you are a whole year early. To save ridiculous embarrassment I hastily added…’well is it still OK to wait?” …they all laughed.

Not disheartened but now aware how even when reading a document I may not focus of vital information…I must be alert to my shortcomings…swings and roundabouts.

On the way home I popped into ‘Morrison’ for some messages that “She who must be obeyed” repeatedly reminded me of the households needs. Within the wheelie basket, I had all which was required to complete my duty. The express till for ten and under was empty but I had at least 19 items as I re-routed towards the self-service machines overseen by a supervisor. The controller knew me from previous excursions to this supermarket, saw my preference and pointed me to the fast till. The smiling lady at the till signalled me to use the express service. Within seconds…with my bill paid and change in hand…I walked pompously out the swishing Star trek doors … Swings and roundabouts.

Having an IPod blows my mind right out of the water, for at the slightest touch of any digit, music plays and anything whatever….at my fingertips …anyplace…anytime…anywhere. Just yesterday while listening to a downloaded American radio production of 1939 it was commercially supported by a company called R.J.Reynolds…known for Camel cigarettes. Their advertising slogan, repeated most regularly throughout the programme, was ‘you get more puffs to the penny’.



This just illustrates how they knew the harm nicotine caused yet belatedly ignored it for profit. They were by no means alone and sadly the practice still grows to mislead the gullible public…for the toss of a coin….

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peter.howden
Shaelo Life-force

If this rendition is real, it proves there are cacophonous sounds we are incapable of hearing as we know it, but hideously bury within the foundations of our wits… to gore into ever nerve…tissue… atom of our bodies…making or instructing mentality …resulting …I will go mad…. But if it is an illusion….then I already grievously insanely fear of utter obliteration… for no tangible rational reasoning can break into my mind.

I am alone…alone as never ever before ….sheer terrified my mind will explode or implode… at best robbing and denying my snatches of stability followed by disorientated horror or vanquish my brain into a million pieces and my physical existence will cease to be. The hope of survival is acutely beyond me…by a long chalk.

The full moon’s hoary beam distributes light through the incomplete darkness of the night sky, shinning with unusual brightness on an unexpected metropolitan whose inhabitants had forgotten the desperate belief in absolute black magic which twisted such odious demon creatures to roam amongst humans whenever called on from the centre of evil…. I sit solitary

We are not our fathers’ shadows or dreams to make or come true yet fate wills coheres black magic with the dreaded talisman who deals the yard of measure in misery and apathy towards life…
The beginning if ever there was such an happening, began with an irritation vibration within my left or right ear, I can’t recall exactly but a noise spasm similar to the description of Tinnitus with a sort of hissing or a irritating whine starting from somewhere out there in a wilderness of foreign dins.

Over the next painful couple of days this irritant became a clamour I dreaded awaken to witness, as soon as my eyes released the morning, as its strength could not be measured in decibels for it had leaped by far above, but bizarrely no one else could hear its titanic vibration. It no longer tracked from my earlobes; its cradle of hubbub had crawled inside my skull… crux power storage laid within the very soul of my mind.

Oblivious to my loved ones, or indeed associates all others this dreaded soundless blare started as a distant hum but measurements of vibrations escaped its secret hold…contacting me without permission. It soon became them…for now there was an innumerable horde.

People talk about the Dark Continent but the darkest continent is the island of doom in my head... I envy the sane… cursing them for denying me the right to be one of them…if I had only known…what was ahead….
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peter.howden

Shaelo Life-force;… the end


As with all the folks in our small community we lived pious lives, solid in our devotions and religiously unrestricted in caring for our fellow man. As a family we were blessed with material wealth, gained by good honest trade and with devout labour invested and rewarded with the finest house in our small hamlet. In times of scarcity or misfortune we shared whatever we had until good fortune returned within our mist.

It became obvious to me how much I was powerless to find solace in simple sleep and at first my family were unaware until the evidence of complete exhausted manifest into my intermittent, then constant, redraw eye bulging with pin like pupils seemingly staring into an abyss uncharted, followed by vivid hallucination in which I found thorny comfort but frightened all others who beheld.

My family, though loving in every manner, believing I was possessed by some unknown lurking evil spite … or the Lucifer himself…. forcibly detained me in the furthermost attic, from public or personal gaze, of our grand home, shunned away from prying eyes of passer-by’s in the streets or travellers of the highway who may spread the horrendous misfortune. The church elders deemed it to be ‘Predestination will of God’ while the common parishioners began openly murmur curses calling me…an abomination of the earth.

Overpowering hallucinations of ghoulishness forms gave apprehension of shear dread, as a replacement for sleep causing constant perspiring, the launder of the devil, stained my cloths until I was left constantly naked. In plain English…I was going completely deranged, and my distort relatives where planning to move me… unseen… to the “St Mary of Bethlem” hospice. They halted in such a plan was practically impossible not to be observed and in panic its fumes spread to them and others in the rural community .

With no end in sight other than a reduced skeleton of a craved beast, stuck with muteness unable to communicate with a living soul… possessing nought but frozen unseen dreams there…disguised in hideous shapes…in no world whatsoever…..no existence but a crippled creature hurdled in a corner of darkness. I died on “Hallows evening”…. ‘all saints eve’

My remains were disposed of, without my right of religious ceremony as the cleric refused to ordain my burial. My family torn by entrenched guilt, left their home of centuries, for a destination nameless… never to return.

It is only recently discovered this helter skelter band of depriving emotion and diabolical mental fears I suffered…. where the result of... Fatal familial insomnia Disease…. Still unreservedly terrible and incurable
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peter.howden
Barred;

Dean observes his new estate…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, stole or rob for gain, just because his only talent was as a thief which has led to him being banged up(confined in a cell) on countless occasions for his trouble.

By the prison authorities he is not only deemed institutionalized, but by his actions and reaction, is Inherit of jail system.

Inside the many jails, there is little preference except a loathing for Peterhead…for is where all the queer folk (perverts and child molesters) are made top job trustees. In Dean’s opinion, held many of the main stream long termed convicts, those detainees are blight… and such offenders strike loathing in the hardest lifers, sadistic murderers and Co. old lags …

The authorities, in their fashioned wisdom, stuck most of them together, in that crumbling nick for supposedly their own safety…but Dean knew as all inmates recognized… it was to prevent or bank against prison riots.

Screws were roughly the same in most penitentiaries though some did have a evil twist He preferred a ‘Single Peter’ (a solitary cell) but would double up comfortably with some old crony from the old time, where cons having porridge…doing porridge, playing cards ‘Bela’…also known as Clobyosh by old timers Tobacco and fags used to be the currency all prisoners used, but now its phone cards. Time plays funny tricks to the memory and more so when little is left to remember.

There was in no danger of Dean learning a new crime while inside, he was too far gone down the line of entrenched, preferring to be in his own company, reading a book with no ending as some sod had ripped out the last pages. Where he was in peril was by some soap slashing from a young nuttier trying to stamp his authority without violence against himself. There is a class system inside and a heavy duty pecking order and one must know ones place…a society within a locked society .

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

His abode had all the mod cons (Pun) T/V within an all-purpose, newly painted room and a tiny kitchenette He had no past apart from jail, no memories to fall back on and no friends from the outside at night he cannot sleep because of his insecurities, while during the day; acts as an enigma stuttering to and fro from wall to wall in his cramped strangely named living room

But time march on in his head. 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 inside genuflecting as the gaffer passed. In his synthetic home; Dean felt wanting and needing all we look on as cold, depraved and isolated from the world; but made him feel safe…

He tramps the same path in the so called living room as if in a cell. He can’t sleep properly because the lack of noisy silence, the whiff of different flint tins or the urine odour which floated from landing to landing no locked door could keep. He seldom retreats out except for caging a shopping need of Giro drop.

In prison he had a sense of worth……………………………………………………within Freedom he is a caged animal.
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peter.howden
My Chronicles 03/11/2015

All in all, this week Howden’s household has had more than a slight improvement in ‘She who must be obeyed’ measures of quality in life. Rebecca’s confidence is slowly methodically returning, boosting the inner determination which so much assisted the success our 49 years tryst and continuous love affair.

Similar too many marriages, there has been an old fashioned carnival ‘Dundee swing and swung occasional muddles as to our feelings and objectives, with collective honesty it was Rebecca who held our pledges together.

Aunt Becky is in a wee, seemingly comfortable, world of her own with little reaction other than reading one book or other but minus the concentration staying power longer than 10 minutes…then moving on to the blaring television. If it’s a John Wayne movie she will watch it to the end. Becky and I both love old cowboy movies…the difference is she forgets from one minute to the next …and I have noticed personal moments when I battle to remember names.

During the week, the sun was shining in a cold but bright manner, forcing me to awake to the garden needs for some comfort and care. Usual in September, I sprinkle some weed stuff to prevent moss and weeds taking over the range of wild grasses. This year having an unofficial extension in good autumn weather, nature has overlapped with traditional seasons…so my laziness took its usual position…less fret and prepare nothing.

A bonanza of fallen leaves covered the surrounding Howden’s Ponderosa, to such a degree, I took action with a garden rake, outside sturdy brush and the brown bin supplied by the nice people from ‘Glasgow Council Cleansing dept.’…duly worked on for at least 1 ½ hours solid…or as near as I could do. Two things I noticed but not at that precise moment of achievement. They were I was near if not knackered and the very next morning my right hand pinkie was thumping with pain, real bloody sore, for holding the shafts of both implements used to achieve my objective. Age has forced me to think hard about getting ‘Suction treatment’…in a garden theme.

However on that morning after completion my now marathon task, it provided a on the spot, magnificent bonus, observing all the golden flaxen pathways surrounding my abode offering a picturesque dazzling variations of bright yellowy tinged, light brown golden treetops, with evergreen bushes and trees of all shapes and sizes completing the magic setting…it’s the small things that count…just like marriage.

With tons of T/V warning, in-between adverts for Christmas, around came Halloween or ‘All hallows’ Eve’ to give the old Scottish Gaelic…’Samhain’…pagan to the Christians coming along with the giving of ‘Soul cake’ to the poor. Aunt Becky would remember if she could ‘Galoshin’ in safety from being sensed by wicked Ghouls’ now called guising, Neep lanterns, dookin for apples or swinging treacle scones on suspended string, nut burning…not to bring tears to the unexpected eyes but to witness if your true love would be happy…finally scrumptious Sausage rolls forbade by the ‘Witchcraft Act’ just before Culloden…but reinstated in the 50s .

The newish American ‘Trick or treat’ where the applicants need do little more than rattle your letter box or ring your bell to achieve a reward for being dressed in over commercialized costumes which cost their parents a bomb…escaping from the tradition of All saints day.

This is an old folks perspective…but their duty to support the new theme, for no matter what it is called, the tiny tots and children still display a huge variety of facial appearance, from shy beyond expectations, to the boisterously full of vim kid, both displaying their interpolation, in many shades of astonished gratitude personally receiving the booty…also giving the householder a glimpse into fairy land and happy memories of their own youth.

The old brigade needs to encourage all children to be united…especially if it is not quite what they remember….it’s the little ones that matter.

P.S…. I have not witnessed any poppy sellers this year?
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peter.howden
The dancing imps (1)

The daytime is reasonably harmless in creating impish spasms roguery captivating individuals uninvited…yet there is a price to pay in city’s hours of bleakest darkness winding through the dead of night…invites without favour these mischievous sprites…those scallywags lurk un-shamefully ready to pounce on the unexpended traveller, loured into the seemingly safety of a hearth volunteering a roaring fire.

Even the ‘Prince of Darkness’ himself, in all his malevolent majesty, concealed in startling masquerades, in an enthusiastic manner is instant available to inflict terror, striking with immeasurable brutal force…resulting in a wound that never heals…or vanishes until the concluding clandestine of fatal death itself…rears its ugly head.

This particular traveller, weary tired and exhausted, almost lost through weird winding narrow streets, the tantalizing temptation of a whispering light, superficially escaping from the source of an open fire, thru a window of some outlandish accommodating tavern or lodging house, was hard to resist when appearing as a beacon of salvation from the freezing unsympathetic unsettling fog of the uneasy darkness…once inside …the benign appearance was abundant but deceitful.

For our nave of a traveller entering the candle-lit interior…the beckoning enticing rosy face of the shapely barmaid, releases an air of a instant warm haven from the dreadful conditions outside, carrying our unsuspecting naive wanderer closer into the centre of the blazing interior…while his nose catches extraordinary but enticing aromas from the catering noisy kitchen, waft thru the merry old rafters of the clandestine establishment.

A superb out of this world meal gave our wanderer a full and satisfied belly, followed with a rosy disposition, enhanced by not so light ale and a complimentary spirit or two made his eyes woozy and his heart content in relaxation…but unaware…dire consequences where afoot

In every nook and cranny of the interior…intertwined in every shadow, skulking in the darkest of dark corners, lay unobserved… along with his little helpers… watches the creature commonly called ‘Satin’…a beast craving uninhibited vengeance for being unceremoniously stripped of rank without grace, expelled from the seven heavens being denied infinite ecstasy…in words unable to define simply because they are humanly crafted.

But what could be explained was just ahead
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peter.howden
My Chronicles 07/11/2015

I’m surely no ‘Phileas Fogg’ or ‘Passepartout’ where travelling is on the menu however over the years I have trod a few towns in a couple countries, other than the British isle, which gave me a wanting urge to see more… such as Amsterdam, Lisbon and Barcelona but specially Paris…its bygone days full of artful flair and panache just stepping where Emperors, kings, princes poets, authors artiest cultures crafting instant dreams so much… it float’s into the past glories via left and right banks of the Seine.

Yet I came across minor spots on the map, displaying an air of unbelievable unassuming wonderment…freeing any restriction I may have held. One was in the ancient Dutch town of Leiden, part of the old Rhine flows…fleeting past a roman settlement, a castle, university and windmills, revelling almost at most corners and canal delight. Yet for me it was off the beaten trail next to St Joriskerk, facing a minor Marina, watching Coots diligently constructing a nest for the coming wonder clutch of eggs.

Morning had peeped through a mist sky as the sun crept across the waterways. Memorized by sheer pleasure, completely oblivious to the affairs of surrounding world, time did not exist. The spell was broken by a eastern gentleman introducing himself as ‘Aafiya’ who talked so proudly about his son at Leiden University and their religion. How many hours had passed I was not sure or remember but Boy…what a morning.

Another totally unprepared nature trail to almost perfection was out of the blue excursion with close friends to swim, alfresco in the unknown depths of ‘Auberge du Lampy’ supplier to the Midi Canal on a really hot day midsummer. After our dip I decided to walk around this man-made structure roughly 1.5 miles circumference…clad I may add. I stumbled across a steam oozing down cleansing three or four wee layered pools of running water to the French loch surrounded by growth unknown to me…

Yet the tranquil atmosphere, created by this simple trickle of water, was almost out of this world…a moment to clasp and hold as long as possible to witness Mayflies galore and brightly assorted colours, deep black swimming beetles, Dragon flies Damselflies, water striders and totty fish of numerous characters and origins of amazing proportions. The time was irreverent however my friends did become slightly concerned when eventually I left this haven, returning to man-made reality.

Chateau de Saissac Castle, a medieval castle entwined with 12th century Catharism, known as the ‘Pure ones’. “Comme ci Comme ca” It takes little imagination of the horror inflicted while being exterminated from the main catholic religion of the brutal times. Adjacent there is this simplistic built chapel with the barest of needs for a congregation invisible at any of my visits. I am not religious yet there is something fundamentally good honesty radiating from its massive stone walls which without thought or purpose, takes me on a trip through ages as commitments leave me with warmth of peace. It is a place of solitude and reflection for a weary traveller.

No matter where I go…little can compete with Scotland and recent privileged views of Ayrshire…Thanks Jim…. but for complete and utter delight a wee hurl in my clapped out jalopy and the road to Strathblane and the compelling magnificently brooding, changing at every glance the pure dead brilliant Kilpatrick hills has yet…in my mind…to be surpassed.
It may be noted by everyone….I am slightly bias
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peter.howden
The dancing imps (2)

What did follow has no bearing on anything in the world, verbal or scribed before, as no human being, breathing or demised, rational or insane or free spirited, has before witnessed such dire clandestine integrity mysteries, banished from…but held beyond the grave of mere mortals

Yet; this intrigued wanderer entered the interior of the back room, first smelling of peat, then noticing a lit fire in the hearth with this enormous chimney which grate took the whole wall…and that’s no over embellishment. With his first few steps inward, the fire appeared minute while he took notice of a lunkie elderly man humbled in the furthest corner of the inglenook. His face was uncovered but dark just the same as his features remained undisclosed from the eyes of the hostelry’s visitor

A weird hypnotic refrain ostensibly coming out of the self-same core centre generating massive heat gained by earth’s simple turf, driven by an un-natural breath oozing down the crumbling lum …bursting forth as raw flames surprising the eyes then quickly disappeared as it came. A tune… eerie of a lament played on Scottish war pipes wreaked from the fumes of the prehistoric munch, moulded by millions of years decayed vegetation, then dug traditionally from histosol soil.

Stranger breaths intimately mingle along with the heated tantalizing vapours secretly outward from the inner gases entrenched in the ancient blocks of turfs oozing deadly persuasion for the keen onlooker to be drowsy…or actually involuntary laps into sleep. Within the clock time passed slowly as out wanderer noticed curious eye movements from the old man in the corner. Each glance, each rod stare brought the flames seemingly to life and much more.

The wanderer stared at the now blazing fire, witnessing a whole chorus of actual miniature men of fire dance in line…so much so…. each bursting flame formed into a body with moving fiery limbs and head with a smile of stern displeasure…then instantly returned to the core.

The old man slightly moved his finger…then his gloved hand as a whole multitude of flaming dancers moved flickeringly towards the now startled wanderer. Each individual dancing imp… took it in turns sizzling and pirouetting closer to their now judged victim …within untold moments there was a petrifying shreek …scrauchin to awake the dead of ages.

At that precise moment the whole scene vanished. No traveller or old man could be traced…. just a rip roaring fire…unusual for peat….blazing in the back room of this olden hostelry

Where this tale came from is anyone’s guess, or indeed our wanderer did meet “Clootie” alas thirsty for vengeance that night… you will never know for sure…. Yet where this tavern is located is kept stringently secret…just in case you unintentionally happen to wander past…and then wish to enter… hope to see you soon…. Death is the final mystery…at the moment.

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peter.howden

My Chronicles 12/11/2015


Around my local area it has been bucketing it down…constantly pelting cats and dogs,(even they had imaginary coats on) then during intervals, the dreaded minuscule stuff which soaks right through without trying…and above all this, anything not tied down was tossed around by unpredictable severe winds. All these driven weathers are no strangers to Scotland…however the extended autumn in the meteorological conditions has been dodging around for some time and like any such season…abundance of leaves from the trees and bushes, fall to the wet chilly ground, creating thick gung slush, not so golden carpet on the earth below.

The mixture of exceptional weather happenings delayed horticultural conditions gave way to saturated leaves spreading into all nooks and cranny corners including street now water-logged drains of communal rubbish Adjacent to our back iron fence, lays the corner main bevelled drain, slanted several inches on an angled-tilt continuous road surrounding a rectangular public grassland area. When it is heavy drenching rains of any calibre, the water from various surrounding areas, swiftly runs past other drains heading for this sunken main drain positioned somewhere in the steeply dipped corner. Due to all factors, this drain was obviously clogged with rubbish plus sodden leaves building up to an artificial reservoir…blocking traffic at the vital corner with almost knee-high(my knees are quite low) manky water threatening a disastrous runoff into our garden.

Our sanctuary plot is undoubtedly not up to the standard of thee Alan Fred Titchmarsh but a lot of hard work as gone into this patch and it’s our little bit. With rain giving no sign of abating while the moon playfully reflecting its proud silver rays lightly dancing across the wavy waterline…I decided endeavouring to re-route the not so great flood by fair or foul means. Old faithful wellies and old clothing and armed with a couple of bamboo and metal poles, complete with a garden brush…I stepped into the unknown.

Wadding slowly towards the corner …somewhere in the dark while the rain pelted down my acute direction indicator was either faulty or had swam inside to the warmth of our abode. Pinpointing just where the actual drain was mounted was not the easy task I first thought as added was big lorries driving through this submerged road, while smaller cars giving up, caused wave after wave of this mawkit liquid. Drookit almost to the skin by now, passing comments from inside driving seats such as ‘what are you trying to do?’…became a scunner until I replied sardonically ‘I’m on my f---ing holidays!’

The elusive drain was not to be found as I frantically prodded and brushes hordes of floating leaves from one side to the other of this growing the now small loch. Beaten and near disheartened I returned dragging my garden brush in a faint of disgust. I left my cane/rod planted in the adjacent grassland as an epitaph of my struggles. With a now odious body odour a hot bath was called for and an added zing in adequate measure of “Uisge Beatha” and my pride returned in abundance…especially after another refill of the tonsil warming ‘Highland Park’

Phoning the Glasgow Council next morning and explaining my road problem, they dutifully came, souked up the excess water, in a matter of half an hour…with their mobile souking machine. I discovered the drain was there but some ten feet away from where I thought it was….

On Wednesday at a meeting of housing ass…I was informed my aftershave gave the fragrance of ether air freshness or furniture polish…all I could say…”do you pledge this?”….

At the same meeting… precisely on 11.00 of the morning clock…was held a one minute silence for those who had fallen or injured through conflict. It is a human tragedy how in recent history there has been so called two world wars, but hidden away, before and since, bitter conflict which adds to the human catastrophes way beyond silence or words… sadly I believe it will never change

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peter.howden
If Music be the food of love; find me a trough

Food glorious Food…a rapturous song in the famous musical “Oliver”, the full cast giving all, their best before the central character tensely asks for “More” because he and his fellows were starved. Fortunately I have never been in such a die frame though food is rather important since, in one form or another, I have been consuming it for almost all my life. Having savoured sheer delights or even recommended first class gourmet nosh but to some embarrassment…my gastronome bent favours plain “mince and totties”,(mince and tatties as far east as Fife) then ‘Pies’, or ‘fish and chips’.

For utter heaven…being really blessed, a feast of steamin hot “ribs and cabbage” with an profusion of tatties… sublime to the eye and digestion, dished out cheaply in a small scruffy looking café in the centre of the renowned Glasgow historical 200 year old ‘Paddies Market’’….regrettably no longer flourishing under a old railway arch which led to a complicated assortment of life in one small area. Situated behind the Salvation Army’s hostel for fallen women next door to the high Court completed the triangle.

Paddy’s Market bought trinkets and rags, sells antiques and rave clothing. I am not knock the place for it was an essential place for Glasgow families and beyond, to buy clothing for a growing family at a fraction of the price it was originally, and just needing was a scrub with carbolic soap.
The Victorian imaged lanes, with lean-tos shanties…stalls; was often quipped as being P&M stores by mothers constantly having to count every penny, being no strangers inside its borders. People of all walks of life would stroll along the causey (more likely struggle through a mass of bodies) hoping to pick a bargain or undiscovered treasure.

We all believe we can barter and gain a prize at the lower price than the seller peddling but nothing is further from the real truth. All the hawkers there have no difficulty at making a keen profit out of this misguided notion. I would go on to say that they indeed could have taught the chancellery or the royal bank of Scotland a trick or two.

The bustle and the noise and the smell mixture of food, clothing, staleness and people all surrounded at the river Clyde results in a unique excitement of being alive, with a constant sprinkle of magic of a flea market …But may I come back to food?

Invited to my first outing to an Italian restaurant noted for ‘Lean Cuisine’….I must state now, I was not naive in good food and etiquette…just totally ignorant. My host suggested the ‘La Lanterna’ speciality ‘Ravioli’…my only experiences was with the firm Heinz 57. Served with elegant decorum, a heated dish displaying five pieces of pasta with no tops on them, a minute cube of meat in a slim pathway of sauce around the open space left on the sparkling white plate.

The sauce the food was wonderful in taste but after a couple of slim tasting…. the plate was empty of everything. 7 courses later, I was still starving as the whole meal to me was a appetizer…but I still had the good manners not to display my wants…or hunger….to my host
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peter.howden

Bugs me.


“What is that relentless vibrant annoying noise...where is it coming from, and where the hell am I? These thoughts suddenly sprung into my blurred mind as I came to my limited senses.

My mind and intelligence, for what it was, is more than hazy…more completely muddle, resulting from one heck of a pounding headache deep inside, like nothing I have experienced before. One thing is certain ...it’s dark...no not dark… but completely and absolutely black with no clue to anything else other than a distinct odour foreign to my senses.

The bed is solidly hard, with no ply…hurting the back of my head like billow, with the impression of hot darts racing right down my back. Best thing to do is remain still, allowing me to accustom to the blackness and try to remember…but remember what as my mind is wholly unqualified…apart from sheer agony there nothing at all.

Hell… I can’t move at all …not one muscle or limb

Now there is no noise other than this inherited hum; did I imagine it…I don’t know…I still can’t see even in front of me. The bed, if this is what I can call it, is not high because one of my limbs can reach the very cold bare floor. There is lip on the corner as far as I can sense, hard but not metal I think, and it seems to run as far as my hand can go. I feel as if I am not the right way up and my hand is so sensitive. I can’t move anything else… no sign of restraints but I am confined, if not being manipulated and moved without actual moving

Opened my eyes and hell terror struck………. Something bloody happening, some kind of horrible catastrophe as if I am looking at nothing with vision through a kaleidoscope. Tried to move my head; but something invisible prevents me doing so. This place is beginning to warm up while the air is stale. Muffled hums come from somewhere…if near or far I can’t tell but fear is beginning to take grip as some kind of fluid invading my body.

What the F--- was that?. Like a giant pin with a million volts striking burning flesh in every fibre of my entire body, creating miniature eruptions at every stage until blew out my arse as if there was no tomorrow

Thwarting it is impossible while for some reason now a cry in my vocals though not one syllable has passed my lips…hell I cannot feel my lips but a dripping humid sensation

A shocking pain just shot through my whole body and now I’m terrified of what is out there but even more frightened of what is in here and where is here?. A small glimmer of light is somewhere beyond me…I am not sure if it is a allusion or not. Try to move again but I nothing budges though I have a strange rumination having more limbs than I should have. Whatever or whoever they are, they have intoxicated me in some way but what the heck do they want and who the hell are they?

Straining real hard this time… but I am where I am and nothing I can do.

Wait a minute there is light, it’s coming towards me. Somehow I have foreboding about this but this does not stop the precession. Suddenly such brilliance; almost burning even with my eyes tightly closed. I slowly come accustomed to the new radiance and what I see brings new revulsion, from a huge reflecting mirror.

I am a beetle being experimented on for scientific research and now I presume I will die for its progress. The boffins believe I have no feelings no emotion…no dignity


This really bugs me?
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peter.howden
My Chronicles; 20/11/2015

Is my ability to forget simple everyday things at the drop of a hat, yet remember other obscure happenings of a gone-bye age with vivid clarity clutching almost with pedantic tendencies…a mark of my aging age…or am I going potty?...if the latter is true then I must above all else…enjoy my personal things, my friends and lifestyle while I have the mind.

For some considerable time I have counted myself as being fluky… nay fortunate with all the things which gather up my life. Thee one and only “She who must be obeyed”, my family, my China’s, my close friends and a couple of bob so not to go hungry if everything goes burst.

But in the not so distant past I have noticed certain silly things happening and losing things which are there but I just can’t see them while following a day to day existence…Doing odd jobs around the house, it takes longer to find mislaid tools that complete the actual task.

For example this week I caught or was hooked at my unreachable back, by my leather belt; on the inside handle of a cupboard….while wearing tight jeans. I should have known it would be tricky trying to catch my youth by wearing such a garment and dancing to ‘Bat out of hell’. Attempting to be released was hampered by items stashed behind the door as I searched for ‘god knows what?’

The door defied being opened ajar and for some considerable time the dilemma grew almost to the extent of dropping my jeans though I tallied this would not help because the belt would still hold fast. Eventually I managed to be gratefully released but this will remain a secret …for decency sake.
The main mystery came yesterday morning after purchasing 10 large tins of assorted chocolates for gifts to certain folk. Later in the afternoon I returned to the room, to store the goods in their plastic carrier bags, finding five only.

I was totally alone and where the others are I have no idea. Search after search has proved fruitless but worse was to come. Because of my continuous shifty curiosity, “She who must be obeyed” oozed out my predicament. Bampot is the only printable response I can report.

Driving the long way home the other day from Aunt Becky’s the clouds smothered right along the tops of the famous Kilpatrick Hills, shrouding them with a misty clandestine sensitive look creating intrigue of the unknown…dark but pure dead brilliant magnificent.

This very afternoon while passing them again but going towards Becky’s abode...;positioned right in the middle of the peaks, an out of this world rainbow… reaching out bursting for eternity…and surrounded by a heavenly lit showcase emphasizing the power of the skies beyond human conception…bloody pure dead brilliant.

If this is a sign, first or otherwise, of going batty….roll on
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peter.howden
Alternative farming

While visiting Holland, the Scottish shepherd observes the Netherlands shepherds and sheep have a complicated relationship. Land being so precious, most sheep and livestock have rich green ground surrounded by an abundance of canals surrounding rather than open fields or fenced in areas. . This can lead to problems for them as they may choose to run away from the Shepard, in the dark being uncertain of his intentions…as Scottish ewes are whilst the working kilt is swirling

For the going Dutch Tups, in desperation can possibly be followed by accidental tumbling or tripping or simply falling unintentionally in the water while confused? These fields are rarely vast, making it so easy a thing to do for very scared running lamb-chops concerned about virtue. In this situation they are lumbered having one eye concentrated on where its going and the other nerves eye on the shepherd holding his trusty crook …and before the poor beastie is aware in the canals, probably feeling rather sheepish…who knows.

Because of the animate danger, the Netherlands government have ruled a strict health and safety throughout their domain having started a programme of life saving survey and courses to be obligatory. .

For would be Shepherds from Holland, this would include chest heart manipulation and mouth to mouth respiration for the lambkin. No softly, softly approach would be deemed right because of the nature of the beast….ram it home would be compulsory.
This could lead to strained relationships. One such Dutch herder has already been taken to court for gross indecency with his charge but had sympathy from the court due to the dire need of the situation.

It must be pointed out in the case of acute emergency heart respiration… it is now considered to be more practical not to use lip service and just pump the chest to the rhythm of the Bee Gee’s song ‘Staying alive’. This does not apply to sheep…I repeat that sheep do not need to blindly follow this Euro instruction as it is believed Sheep have better taste.


Scottish shepherds are up in arms, as well as their kilts, in anger…. stating clearly it is unfair and they are demanding kisses too? It is a flimsy and false rumour; that a fleeting Mac or north Celts, Gaelic or otherwise, hold no tender moments or indeed thoughts…dear and near to their cherished lambkins

more news to follow.....
peter.howden
Home Spun Stories

An oracle?

To what purpose are dreams, do they lay in wait in crowded but forgotten cells of the mind, craving to opt out unannounced, striking imperfection clouded in fear alike as phantoms…perhaps a mixture of uncertainties humans find impossible to fathom being a mobile home for the Gods to influence tomorrow’s behaviour…or a passage auld nick uses for his sardonic purpose.

Are dreams, a light of day sensation reproduced in a murky curve of the mind while in slumber, then to awake not remember in part, or to find innocent, or not accurate...yet an uneasy emotion lingers even though not so. Perhaps simply a piece of cheese unsettled as ‘Scrooge’ wrongly predicted as far as the story goes…who can tell

It is plausible they are animal instinct keeping out the terror of the world, forcing chaos at bay by creating a safe haven to return to when reality is too much to bare...for sin has no boundaries…and indeed are we not animals beneath our pretence.

This very morning I awoke, instantly pondering when or why does a dream become a dread to close your eyes, when does the lucid illusion seep into reality; when does the fantasy become fact ....or hope disappears into the quicksand of misapprehension horror .The situation was not only confusing but left me bewildered but disillusioned as to what was real and what was invented.

What was life and what was dreaming? It may sound perfectly feasible to the rational head of deduction which automatically separates reality from fiction however remember this is achieved in the welcoming light of day. My normal reveries spanned usually at the dead of the darkest hour of night. All the while a sweet smell of mint apple jelly draughts through my nostrils, seeming whimpering in most cracks and crevices of my now anxious mind.

My eyes were closed with sticky concentrated residue. Restricted I barely move my arm let alone my hand, so temporary blinded I decide to stay still until movement came back. During the night, I must have lain on my side on top of my hand which preventing the proper blood flow. Growing older I have noticed this inability to move after wakening has become more common than not

After an unknown interval I managed to raise my head slightly from the softness of the pillow, becoming aware of a wriggling sensation underneath. Rolling onto my back and suddenly being wide awake though for the moment and for no reason, preferring to keep my eyes close. My mind suddenly switch on to recall of the previous night where, along with friends, had discussed the bible faith but in particular Moses and his peoples; the Israelites. A lengthily debate took place about whither there was the 10 plagues of Egypt which included Boils Blood ,Hail and a massive sand storm called “Cashimh”. .

While discussing the pros and cons, someone mentioned one of the plagues was of ‘Pharaoh ants’ however this was dismissed as not true as it was reported to be flies. It was then added, as a face saving fact, by someone, indicating these ants are strange in two ways. One being they can have numerous queens and are so small they can hold a colony on a thimble or between sheets of paper.

Now my neck became uncomfortable and itchy underneath the skin. Leaving me wide awake, certainly having no chance resuming the happier state of slumber.

At that precise moment… my mind boggled… …. The dream was coming alive….

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peter.howden
Home Spun Stories [size="4"][/size]

An oracle…thee end

Something unattainable whisked passed my eyes, leaving me for a jiffy, almost blind as the ending sort of reflected back. For that precise moment, unadulterated fear took hold barring any rational thought on my part. I had read somewhere it was common to see illusions before turning blind It is strange how during the night, all apprehensions are magnified to almost to panic proportions. Now my skin below my neck was burning with a clawing sensation and appeared to have spread towards my ears of all things. Again I tried bodily to move…and I could not.

The radiator, which I could not recall switching on, next to my bed suddenly burst out extremely hot makes the room stuffy and I prefer fresh cool air while in slumber. The palms of my hands were clammy as I now, in earnest, tried to shift my lumbered body with no success as something was holding me down

Then… and it was bloody then, I saw this thing move directly in front of my vision from one side of my head to the other and it appeared to be carrying something. Then another scuttled across my sweating skin leaving a syrupy substance behind it. Shockingly came another, and another really scaring the hell out of already overloaded exhausted brain

A last ditched attempt to move from a inviable cocooned …failed as I collapsed in total defeat

In utter disbelief there were red ants, tiny wee red ants by now a steady stream cutting across my head along this tacky path…exactly.

Horrified and unable to cry out as sweat was gushing from my brow. Tapping noises in the lob of my ear, at one side then seconds later vibrating from the other ear, as if to convey a secret message. A colossal amount of toty ants, coming and going, I could not guess how many were on me, or elsewhere, for there was no feeling left from my imprisoned physique.

Inside the workings of my skull booming sounds… almost explosion, followed by a boring cutting sensation, deeper and deeper from inside my now aching ears

I gave all my strength to my body but not one inch did I move from my unseen bondage, though now my head could twist round to the pillow. I did not want to; being feart to what was there, so I slowly sneaked inch by inch as my eyeballs were are the furthest to the one side. Nothing.

I moved slowly back to the original position staring upwards to discover lots of little web like things dotted all over the ceiling. Then the horror began from my defenceless position and my head trembling and daring not to move, when suddenly it was there.

I was way past mental and physical fear…as It surfaced from nowhere, stood on the bridge of my nose, with its antennas darting madly from side to side. For what seemed a lifetime... this beastly ant stood still as a statue apart from its twitching things.

Somewhere way far off... the alarm rang… it was a dream…a dreadful dream…but just a dream.
peter.howden
Home Spun Stories;

A human deed


The little town was almost shattered out of existence by years of bombing and military bombardment, reducing the once proud township to rubble and despair. During the brief times during the night, this terror halts is when the few scares survivors scurry to find water, fuel and any kind nourishment to continue….like human rats eating anything. Most were determined to endure by any means possible or otherwise… justifiably foul. An incredibly thin ravenous boy crawls and stumbles through the rumble in the pitch black. He hears a faint tapping noise and following the survival code… instinctively…he stops dead in his tracks.

In the eerie murky surroundings, silently breathing, he watches a man with a white stick rhythmically feeling the ground, fumbling and shaking, coming closer and closer until he is just a breath away. Observing the man is wearing dark glasses indicating he is blind, the boy accidently moves kicking a stone. The sightless man falls to the ground, wailing loudly his exhaustion. He shouts out in distress, ‘who’s there?’ then almost crying pathetically ‘ if your he bloody soldier’s then have mercy and kill me’

The boy falters…then comes out of the safe shadows, bends down to the old man saying;’ I’m just looking for scraps’. As if instantly relieved, the old man seemed to smile while quickly explaining how and why he was here and acted as he had done. These terrible militias torture strays then they would know about his where his beloved wife lay sick, in need of medication that is why he begged to be shot.

The elderly man, coughed and crooked, then added ‘it’s nearly pitch black now… and doctor’s house is just a few blocks away but I am so spent’; as he desperately attempts to stand up…but fails…falling back crumpled and exhausted…and crying unstoppably.

The endurance of this senseless conflict had stripped bare the lad of any decent emotion, or so he thought, as a glimmer of compassion rested on his weary shoulders as he realized the human passion when someone is needing help…and desperately. The boy had noticed the old man’s clench fist…held an envelope, crumpled but just visible as he asked if he could help by contacting the medic. .

The old man gave a sigh of total relief and begged the young man to go to the address on this envelope which held the prescription needed to save his cherished wife… but most important…deliver it personally to the consultant. The boy instantly readily agreed as the man promised not to move until he returned with the vital medication. Like a cunning fox, the boy harried through the ruins…finding the premises tattered but still standing. He knocked the huge wooden door.

A stocky built man, wearing an undersized white blood-stained coat, appeared as a weird odour escaped through the now open entrance. A quick verbal explanation as the man examined the contents of the wrinkly envelope…nodded then returned it to the boy ushered him towards a door down the end of a dingy corridor. As the door opened a horrible stench reached his nostrils and immediately the boy was flung down a slippery stairway.

This was the basement, dark and gloomy, with a singular flickering candle light, of hope… far away in a corner ahead. Everything he touched was greasy as he stumbled, tripped or fell making his way towards the glimmer. Roundish objects, fleshy in texture, coupled with the continuous horrendous stench just smothered the boy’s consciousness as he now urgently needed the light for his sanity.

Finally reaching his lit oasis he looked around to find instant revulsion. Low the light may have been the outline of half eaten carcasses, skeletons, skulls and a assortment of limbs…and every one was once a human being. He was frozen to the spot…for an unknown time.

A rude slamming door upstairs brought some senses back from the catastrophic human abyss…lifting his arm… stare with bulging wet sobbing eyes at the filthy envelope he was grasping so tightly…discoloured by manky blood.

The letter within was clean and white which he took out slowly…and he read….”this is the last meal tonight…Bon Appatite”

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peter.howden
My Chronicle 06/12/2015

Travelling down to Ayr around once a month is not only special with meeting up with a special china... but magic in so many ways

Standing on the windy Edinburgh Road on a crisp morning, wakens the senses with birdcalls, observing shifting clouds glide through the skies, something I miss when I usually open the curtains ready to make breakfast. As a dedicated people spectator, travelling by bus rather than driving is a novelty of its own as school kid’s mothers and workers mix in the journey. In days gone by, at the drop of a hat you talk nineteen to the dozen and by the time you disembarked from the locomotive…you had someone’s life history.

The sorrow is for Glasgow culture reputation, now a memory in the past,of talking to anybody and their granny at the bus stop or on the journey, has all but gone as few, if any, people say ‘hello’ anymore to a stranger.

At my usual time arriving at Central station is about the morning rush, it’s abuzz as a hub of moving bodies, mostly heading for daily employment or town shoppers in for a day’s assassination in high heels while introducing bunions in the name of a bargain. People all at different speeds mixed with a wide range of nationalities communicating in many tongues and idioms making it a guessing game what they are actual saying but all the while sharing a common body language.

Simply because most commuters of today are either messing around with their phones or pitching a game they have no time for dialog or the outside world whizzing by…the actual train journey has compensation. Each journey is unique with the occasional four seasons in one…or at least two including summer …spotting curiosities…amazing wildlife…and amazing varying scenery and the odd eccentric to brighten up the couch.

Ayr itself is having a tough time as most seaside towns and villages around our ragged coastline however there are small signs the communities are fighting back although fewer holidaymakers come to fill the eager coffers.

My main reason is to find and talk absolute bollocks with one of the best arguers in the business. There have been brief moments of close rationality but the basis is just to laugh and joke…mainly ate each other expense…in the hostelry known as whetherspoons
Unfortunately the time allocated is short, with my good china Jim Hendry; we become old Sir Lancelot’/Sir Galahad joisting with twisted words on impulse. Laughter with a personal china is worth any journey no matter how long it takes…and thanks to Jim…I have never been disappointed

Leaving earlier than desired, is due solely to my reduced accomplishment in consuming a slight refreshment …over a certain dwindling amount…nonetheless the quantity of nonsense brought to bear, particularly sounding almost sensible, is astonishing beyond belief. My main excuse for leaving early is having a longer journey home… where I could take a bus … but like all grumpy old buggers…I need unexpected immediate pee…and the train takes care of this emergency by having a toilet.

My thinking and visit Is it a justification…or wishful thinking, but I do believe these ventures balance my way of thinking and keeps me in check.

The family visited the very funny pantomime, playing at the Kings Theatre, thanks to the generosity of our son Chris. One main exception was Aunt Becky, due to circumstances beyond our control however we have a treat in store with the Schools version of ‘Cinderella’ being played locally in Barlanark community hall. Becky enjoys the atmosphere the children audience create more so than the show itself.

I saw a bright colourful lady Santa, no sign of her Reindeers, waiting for a bus very early this morning. Passing I gave her the thumbs up…she returned with the most generous beaming smile, brightening up this day….who says there is no Santa Clause?

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peter.howden
ANIMAL VOTE

The young lady’s name, to give her a label,
Was not classy petite, just plain Mabel?
Sturdy, robust and stable
Though for sensitive advice, was able;

Her younger brother was called Rodger,
Evil, surprisingly simple little codger,
Who, imagined he was a artful dodger,
Just one of life’s wee shifty forger:

They lived in a house of brick and stone,
Because of their age they didn’t live alone,
There was father and muter and Dobby Malone,
A strange ginger cat suffering kidney stone;

Rambling around the building; room to room,
Always alone while whistling a tune,
Guarding themselves with a big wooden spoon,
Through great halls up and Doon.

Now the reason for this lengthily story
Is that father was standing to be a Tory,
Muter filled with pride and felt glory,
However Mabel called it “Jackanory;

She stated as she blinked her eyes,
Those politicians say nothing but lies,
Rodger disagreed with those ties,
Raised glass of wine, “here’s mud,” he sighs;

The cat Dobby Malone, been quiet thru that,
Silently had been squatted on his mat,
Gave his opinion rising from where he sat,
Strolled over … pissed over Father’s hat.
peter.howden
Conviction

There is no use believing in nothing,
For nothing is not much of a sin,
So start believing in something,
Is roughly where you should begin.



There are beliefs on the shelf
From one to quite a few
But to believe in yourself
Is really the one to do?
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peter.howden
THE VILLAGE DREIMIRE;(2)

Dreimire is by no means a one horse town, certainly not sir, we are proud as punch of our livestock consisting of an profusion of sheep, followed by a few track ponies, plus some cows and bulls and an odd looking beast with antlers....which was taken to be the true ‘Monarch of the glen’ until the butcher owned up placing the new-fangled coat-hanger on top of a old horse’s head.

Mr Mac Dabble, being the practicing Veterinary (you would think he would have got the hang of it by now…would you not) approached with his every ready arm, can cause a slight disturbance with the cows and bulls. Come to think of it….they looked rather rattled and pinkie one morning, after being seen to by the veterinary

“Dreimire” revels a grand old country setting, with of course the festive season returning once more, as it seems to do each year on Christmas day, then like any other city or town throughout the land, we are geared to satisfy all shoppers’ whims. Our parish is not bound by the glorious 12th as we have round the year poultry farms and grouse sanctuaries, dealing with a mixture of wild birds (if you were being shot at, wouldn’t you be in a terrible mood) looked after by professionals dedicated to their shooting flighty trade.

There is old Angus Mc Duff, and although it’s a tricky business, what he does not know about stuffing birds ready for cooking is not worth a poke in the eye. He has been known to stuff birds out of season, just to keep his hand in. It’s the rawness of the hens and cocks inners which most raw recruits cannot handle, though it don‘t seem to bother an old codger of the likes of Mac Duff.

Blind Jock Mc Jock(the minister stutter at his christening) though now he is too old to catch the fallen birds, so he just sits there and makes flies, for the fishing, a skill of master baiter to line his own pockets. Before losing all his sight, he would just handle the cocks before dead heading. Some nasty rumours were spread by members of the village how he missed his mark and decapitated the wrong thing while working with the sessional helpers

I must vigorously stress these were just naughty whispers and has no bearing on the coincidence the choirs numbers being on the increase… particularly male sopranos. Jock himself has never married so I suppose that makes him Master (with a Mac); who has an uncanny knack, regardless of his sight handicap, being able to put his fingers on any fly. Amazing

The seasonal problems start when the volume of work is overstretching for MacDuff. Some, part time labour is needed, which causes a problem. Far too many applicants are enthusiastically wishing to stuff any wild bird…without the experience to guide them.

The novice apprentices can be so exuberant, while high strung with the whole affair, go padding fowls, being not fussy in the least if feathered, dressed… or in the pink… but found out…being nude…feathers crept in the most curious places

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peter.howden

My Chronicle 13/12/2015,


As promised I took Aunt Becky to the ‘Cinderella’ production, performed by ‘Glasgow Arts’ and held in the Barlanark community hall. The place was jumping with excited children proving infectious quickly as we both sat there, listening to a mixture of old Christmas classics.

It could be said the costumes, the scenery was more home-made than what the Kings Theatre offered but the cast personalities, and the audience enthusiasm reached an intimacy far beyond professionalism…which could only be summed up as pure dead brilliant.

As usual, Becky watched weans more than the show and I found this fascinating too. Observing bairns captivated with the instant magic exploding within…is just a sheer pleasure. We enjoyed every minute of the intimate show, finishing all too soon.

Back in our cosy home, after all the family had left the Saturday table meeting, I watch Becky closely as her concentration was to and fro. Sometimes asking her a question and seeing her face looking back at me but her mind and memory are beyond connection …lost in a broken string of pearls…yet somewhere another word brings her back and she smiles…those smiles are worth treasured moments.

As a matter of convenience, very early this morning, while looking out the window like a small boy, to see a true impression of ‘Will O’ the Wisp’ phenomenon, cold eerie mist just vanishes, as if by magic, leaving the bluest skies seen for ages, revealing a golden sun spreading brilliantly while penetrating and glancing off every dewdrop afar, creating pure dead brilliant across a winter scene fit for a royal Christmas card… any heart could desire.

‘She who must be obeyed’ and I were talking about the spirit of old folks Christmas which reminded when I was involved, in a toty way, with the old Church of Scotland situated in Coplaw Street.

In this era… many old people lived up closes throughout the area, nearly trapped due to bad weather and the filthy slush and icy conditions. it was decided to deliver a made up parcel of provisions, which included a bag of coal…since most had working hearths. Distributing the shop bagged coal to one male pensioner…he quipped quickly with a twinkling in his eye “ at least my nuts will be warm”

Dispensing to one old lady she nearly cried with joy with thanks and kisses for everyone standing at her door. Then she remarked as she looked at the small bag of coal, “it’s a pity I have electric’ she sighed. We quickly to her we could take it away and give her the cash quantified. “No-~No” she insisted “I will give it to the old dear next door”.

The woman who lived next door, was twenty years younger than her …that is the true meaning of Christmas in my book
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peter.howden
Jim Stepped down…The Beginning(part 1)

Jim stepped down from out of a dream, his eyes heavy and blurred into the darkened room appearing before him while he argued subconsciously of his sanity and sensuality. He was confused as to what was reality…or celestial or just dreaming, but he did know, just before this curious happening happened he was sleeping. An uncontrollable anguish claimed his doormat heart, as he wept, not knowing why the growing distress, or what would happen to him.

He was usually a plucky soul however suddenly he felt more than uncomfortable here; where-ever here was now.

The big man stood quite still, while he checked for his security, wanting to be safe in such dark surrounding. Strangely, he had not noticed until this very moment the room was vibrating. At first it was of the slightest of trembling, and then more until this distinct and obvious quiver.

All his senses told him, no matter how fantastic it was, the room was in fact moving…and shivering. He had the urge to hold on to something but resisted it which was really academic as there was nothing to hold on too; everything seemed real yet at the same time as if he had been stamped on a life-sized postcard. Silence ruled the picture

Seating directly in the centre of the puzzling room was four large forms. No serious formed in direct lines bonded to a particular shape for any of them; they just merged, or smudged with each other sneaking into darkness.

Some hidden force gripped Jim compelling him to move closer whither he wished to or not Just then and it must be emphasized only then, did Jim slowly become aware of the constant steady clicking noise of steel rolling over gauges of steel bedded by sleepers which echoed the unchallenged clatter of a moving train.

Jim took stock once again; ether imagined or seeing shadows of buildings and trees, and the like, whisking past busying themselves on the furthest most wooden wall, of what now he presumed was a bare train carriage; except for the ghostly abstracts hovering in the middle. Were they smoke which had escaped from the air of the night, just happened to be hovering between the small Waffs of air cushions inside.

Meanwhile, those hovering, beings of dubious shapes and sizes had not conspicuously nudged or moved at all until someone or something menacingly echoing these words; “Are you ready to see?” Now the words ominously bounced all around making it impossible to locate the origin, causing Jim to be rooted to the spot…in frozen fear. Was this black magic; was this Sorcery?... Why pick him?

Jim also was aware he was not perspiring. He usually did when worried or frightened, and boy was he ever terrified now… no actual physical sweat. Was he in Lucifer’s den...or beyond human imagination?

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peter.howden
Jim Stepped down…The Beginning(part 2)…no ending

The all-inclusive illusion of a Pullman train jolting and moving with increasing unknown speeds, rhythmical resounding the message repeatedly, louder and louder, with the clicker clackers of wheels over invisible tracks reverberating “Are you ready to see?”.

Testifying every ounce of strength he had to form a fist so tight, the fingernails broke skin inside his clenched fist and bleed profusely, Jim crocked back “What for; I don’t believe” Jim had no idea why he said this the way he did as there had been no hint or determination what these being were talking about or what their intentions were, or if they were capable of intentions.

Silence reigned…until another short sharp message swirled around the darkness “Yes you are?”

For a second or two, nothing happened until with out reason or resistance from Jim, he was catapulted besides those darkened imagines soaring around the centre of the room/carriage or what ever and witnessed the core of the carriage spread apart to what seemed a bath of bright crystallized water lay in front of the unconventional shapes

Then one outline form spoke, which Jim assumed talked before, though this, was just pure conjecture, because if he tried really hard, a skimmer of outline resembled almost human facemask characteristics. The one attempted to speak in unison with its contour; “You are the witness and the chosen essence of the Universe; The Guardian of Mankind has chosen you”.

In a fleeting moment…. formed within untouchable darkness, Jim in a swift glance caught a cold eye looking back… imbedded within features of a murky silhouette, revealing a skinless cranium. This was indeed revolution unspoken, as beasty things moving both inside and out of the sphenoid bone and nasal cavities.

Unannounced and just as unexpectedly, ghostly apparitions began collectively waving which created a singular beam of magnetic light, engulfed Jim’s atoms, from every corner of his body, transporting them to be released in composition of limbo, looking down on rows of tiny cells holding weird shaped prisoners of supposed men.

For some unexplainable reason Jim knew this was indeed a place called the second heaven, a cherubic residence of which had been instructed throughout his childhood. The shaft of light concentrated on angels imprisoned for choosing to disobey the commandments from God “I am who I am”, by association of their own will. Poor lost souls named Fallen Angels; as they are well dictated scornfully by bible readers.

Jim mentally protested, how he had no right or longing to be here or indeed anywhere dealing with Divinity as the nearest he has come to spirituality is “Highland Park” alcohol; brewed by a lonely Minister on some Scottish Island.
At the moment his protest was to reach another plane; the voice spoke once more “You have no choice as your path has already been chosen by the Universal all powerful Divinity; however you are promised one question which will be answered with all truthfulness”.

Jim thought he heard heaven knocking, and expected a galaxy of trumpets sounding celebrated glory of it all, but only heard silence and silence is pretty loud if you know what you are listening for. Instinctively he asked the question where on earth had disturbed him throughout his life “How was God created?” He inquired almost puffing as he did so, the answer was to come.

the carriage entered a long bleak tunnel, barring all others but Jim to hear the earth shattering Principles of Relativity explaining God’s naissance. Once out of the darkness and the noise of the tunnel, Jim’s facial expression gave nothing away to what had been commanded to him apart from an almost invisible smirk. .

The bond sealed….the contract rested…Jim stepped down from the train…repeatedly ….and for an ever so long…an infinity long time
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peter.howden
Granny’s Soup

They say bigotry was rife within Glasgow boundaries and I reckon there will be an element of truth in these stern words, but perhaps not to the same degree as was the not so distant past throughout Glasgow, Scotland, Briton and the whole world.

Not all that far back universally there was intolerance with colour, Italian Pakistani, Arabs, Jews, Chinese almost most races at the drop of a hat.... or some unfounded rumour about anyone who was different, to the ordinary or reserved preserved way of life in that community or town. Disablement was looked on a second class residents being hidden away in the darkest corner through another room when company came to call, or when present being talked at...very loudly as if they were dense or near brain-dead,,...for it was feared it may be catching

It is believed we have come a long way to re-correct but I would suggest there is always a hiding place for bigotry thoughts... and we should not rest on our laurels, by working always try and see, the other point of view, along with room for scope.

Around the age of seven while growing up almost able to touch the mighty River Clyde was an experience I treasure, along with the Sunday walks or trek to Renfield church, hearing oldie stories from far off places. It appears although all people say you should be free and able to pray in daily life, whatever you feel.... each religion had passive spiritual message saying theirs alone is the true path ...or the best...causing rivalry and convicted indignant righteousness beyond any logic.

Throughout my childhood had been dominated with protestant outlook and doctrine to an extent of being a Sunday school teacher …of sorts. Later on in life, around 18 years of age...I became totally convinced any divinity in the world existence was mere myth. My hope was to not be a bigot and allow people to believe whatever they chose

When I met my future In-Laws, my views had not changed too much but my knowledge of the world had move on, for the better I yearned. Brought up in a reputed protestant household, and my new girlfriend’s family were all, to a man…women…and children, Roman Catholic. This caused me no concern for by now I was an atheist though curiosity allowed me to read, and debated, lots to do with religion in Scotland and the different theories on theories for poises.

The only person in the whole large…large family to always show a kindness was patriot Granny. The reason why, I think, the rest of the brood felt uncomfortable, not with my reputed creed or the real lack of it, it was that they put me down as a patter merchant... or as Glaswegians would say...a pure chancer

Visiting Granny every Sunday, and without fail, no matter who was in the house; she would shout the order…. “Get some soup into the lad”.. Three or four bowls later followed before she was relaxed enough to await and ask a few questions. The favourites were how my hand was doing since she had related the secret was rub olive oil every night to stimulate the muscles, insisting I squeezed her hand until she would whisper it was defiantly coming stronger.

This ritual over, she maintained her daughter feed me up something to eat… “he stays in digs”, grand Granny insisted. This was usually a very large plate of whatever was going, complete with piles of tatties and greens. I was more than glad for it as I was a growing lad. It was not that the rest of the family disliked me it was just I was labelled a smooth talker. I think the old lady may have seen something more in me than the rest did, or she was sorry for me being in the position I was in alone in the world, so to speak or maybe, just maybe she had a soft spot for me?

One day ,while in the kitchen of the chubby lady, she was busying herself making soup, and I saw her cut half a pack of margarine and dispose it into the bubble of the prepared mixture. I had never seen this before, so I asked quietly what she was actually making.


Quick as a flash the reply came


“Catholic soup you orange bampot...she smiled... ”
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peter.howden

My Chronicle 23/12/2015


Being the 22nd December, yesterday was the longest night in the calendar, making it pitch black when once again I prepared to head down to the capital of Burn’s country. This monthly trip has become a welcoming ritual. ‘Get-together’ with my Ayrshire china Jim Hendry.

As usual, the 41 bus takes me into Central Glasgow, but this time, the coach was near empty, minus the school children due to Xmas holidays. Normally it’s jammed packed with boisterous kids of all ages, frantically and urgently in all manner of excitement within their own wee domains… a delight for a wee peek or two for old onlookers who can only envy their utter enthusiasms… if we are lucky enough to remember our school days.

Being a small boy locked in an adult’s body strolling leisurely across Georges Square towards Gordon St in centre of Glasgow the city’s lights mesmerize me as if it was the first time ever seeing the yearly wonder, while the daily rail commuters, delivered by trains, thunder off as herds of wildebeests,(native Gnus) sweeping past in droves… heading for all corners of this Glasga metropolis.

The hurl on the train was comfortable as usual with a suspense viewing of the passing world because the morning was struggling through Jack-o’-Lantern darkness as the eye of heaven arose. Far into near obscurity, barely making out the brooding Kilpatrick Hills give the impression of wiz past, dark seamless clouds danced over the rim as if devilish Gods riding along the crest… showing of their invisible powers…toying with mankind. As the light won the day, searching out its arch enemy along the foothills it was plain to see the devastation these instant wetlands had on the countryside …and how powerful nature can be.

Passing along the stormy coastline there was no sign of any cherish rainbow reaching into eternity over the horizon but the sea was somehow still devilishly alluring and magical.

Jim and I met up, as usual, in a converted church, renamed the ‘Kirk Wetherspoon’s’, apt I though because you received spirit inside. The main reason I enjoy such visits there is no script ….just a couple of old buggers enjoying memories and one-upmanship while laughing our heads of at the slightest of excuses. It must be said a few of the other clientele have looked over with rather dour expressions at our loud chuckles …however it is usually those without a dram in front of them as they sip painfully slowly on the last few drops of beer at the bottom of a nigh empty glass.

All too soon it’s homeward bound time and the not so neat march to the station. Again I might not be as alert as the morning journey but I do sit perfectly contented just staring at the world. Through the media of the radio, I was informed that yesterday’s temperature was the warmest for that December date since records began…all I know was how warm and contented I felt.

A very Merry Christmas to.... Kenneth MacLeod…thank you
peter.howden

Thee greeting card

Ian remembers it so well almost down to the instant it was delivered…not as yesteryear…not yesterday but just a few moments ago Ian had held it…this treasure in his hands with great care. Ian live alone and just thinking about gave a lump in his throat and add the first signs of a tear or two just reminiscing about just that very special Christmas card.

He had no idea this would or could happen but Ian can abide witness that it does, and most unexpectedly to be picked…no to be fortunate, in such a privileged manner from such an icon of this country just makes him feel so humble.

When the letter landed on his mat he did wondered for ages from where or who it came from, searching his mind trying to guess, but even in his wildest dreams he could not have pinned it down…and certainly not from such a vast cherished institute the nation loves.

Naturally once he had stared so long and for agers in disbelief at such a wonderful elegant thought, Ian carefully and religiously positioned the sacred card right in the place of honour in centre of his seasonal fireplace mantel taking away a dusty photograph of ‘you know who’. Those years’ lonely festivities were constantly overshadowed by the warmth the card radiating outward towards Ian regardless of the activities happening at the yuletide flashes.

Each year this special delivery was in its rightful place dead centre of the well-polished brace

Several years ago, some ruffians broke into his small dwelling and the swine’s took everything of financial and sentimental value which included Ian’s irreplaceable treasure…way past valuation….for it will never be repeated…ever. The whole abode was unrecognizable…for the pigs even defecated on the very seat used to gaze at his special Christmas card.

Lucky for him, he did not rip the envelope open in excitement for it is now treasure this beyond life itself. Ian have kept it safe as safe can be…and only on odd occasions check’s…then carefully place it back on its cushion…in its hidden place. On the golden envelope, specially printed, his name and address for the postman delivered it personally

The fact Ian cannot read or write hasn’t hindered or diminished his enjoyment in any way or take away from his experience…but he does know and easily recognizes from who, or is it whom, it came from…for everyone in the land …from Adam onwards knows….what the title “TESCO”….looks like.
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peter.howden
My Chronicles 31/12/2015

I have just been delivered not only upsetting news…nay…. clearly sacrilege when dealing with a Scot…more precisely…a true Glaswegian. Safety steps just slipped out at the local vet’s (doctor) clinic while he was checking my blood, due to a male complaint of overheated liquid retreating from around the water area…nothing serious, just uncomfortable

My kindly GP, Doctor Smith, uttered unsuspected dreaded words, which have the ability to bring blankness and bleakness to… not only the flowing festivities but as my main duty as the head of the household, (I hope ‘She who must be obeyed’ is still out at Aunt Becky’s). “In my opinion”, says the family physician, in his understanding but serious voice, “to stay off alcohol for at least till the blood samples come back...you may have an infection?. Brutal…just brutal…not the actual diagnose, but the advisory instruction”. No more slight refreshments…no …“Sláinte” with the true ‘Water of life’ for an uncalculated period…and right thru Ne’erday and beyond… I am feart my circadian clock will fail to cope… Help ma bob.

On Tuesday, I had the first occasion to test my will power to follow the medical advice for my good Ayrshire china and I had squeezed in another wee ‘Swally’;(Glaswegian for a slight refreshment ), to rejoice the auld year slightly earlier than the almanac decrees. A rare tear planned with a overnight stay in the Burn’s Capital . Pre-warning Jim of the calamity befallen myself. It was decided to go ahead…the only question was could my diurnal timer keep in tick? Swallowing ginger is a hard duty at the best of times… but drinking nothing else may have been one of the tasks for Hercules…if he had been a Scot.

Since true refreshments were banished from the menu I took the old jalopy and headed for the coast. I know I am biased being a Glaswegian and a Scot but Scotland is beautiful if you allow your eyes to observe and I consumed every moment of the journey with Tom Jones/Jools Holland, belting out songs ten to a penny. Absolutely bloody magic….as the Welsh may say.

As usual meeting up with Jim was a refresher course of sanity simulator through a mixture recalling old times, playing the game of one-upmanship, talking nonsense surrounded by laughing out loud at almost everything. We met a few friends in-between, where common sense culminations took place, before idiocy once again took over. Many thanks… Jim.

Having a ‘China’ means you don’t have to explain.

Many places in the U.K had been battered with undesirable floods repeatedly, without signs of release and bad weather threated my journey home on Wednesday morning. It was quite a downpour traveling along the A77, with many parts of the highway suddenly flooded but managed slowly with due care and attention. The real danger was the idiotic drivers, whooshing past at unbelievable speeds, ignoring the conditions of real bad visibility. Their selfish faults could cause potential accidents and calamities hurting innocent peoples.

My jalopy pottered along…in the windy pouring rain…warm reasonably safe …while the Rolling stones belted out their songs…Is there a heaven…

Sláinte”…a guid Ne’erday….to one and all.
peter.howden
Up north twang


Each area of the British Isles may speak English but not with the same vernacular or indeed what is termed as the Queen’s English…thank god…. Who wants to speak with a load of toffies wobbling around the mouth and as if someone made up a speech a few hours earlier? Speaking and listening should be relaxed and a pleasurable affair while giving or gaining information… or just passing the time of day.

In years gone by Scotland always had a reputation of pronouncing words of English, precisely and clearly, though now it may be different. Having travelled up to Dundee and Aberdeen I can say it has been my experience that though I had to cock an ear more and listen intently what a Dundonian was saying…this was practically impossible with people who truly was born in Aberdeen known as Aberdonian. What a transformation 66 miles makes… Not route 66 which the Stones sing

If asking the way to ‘Union St’, they smile broadly, then proceed with Doric dialect which they guttural express in great haste losing peculiar vowels in confusion for five odd minutes or so, when you suddenly realize it was directions all the time they were trying to convey.

Weird words such as ‘Rummlieguts’ Clart; Thrawn Fa's, or ‘Bydand’ which means ‘Steadfast’ the proud motto for the ‘Gordon Highlanders’ or is it the gay Gordon’s. I do recognize, ‘Deoch an Dorus’, and have enjoyed Aberdonian company with a glass or two. Strangle my powers of understanding the local tongue grows easier the more alcohol I consume. One such time in one off their many taverns the subject of frugile Aberdonians carefulness with money and the likes was sneaked into the conversation

The following tale was related.

A lowlander came to Aberdeen and set up a general grocers across the road from a general store. Out came the traditional blackboard and written with chalk was ‘Sugar 2/- a bag’. Seeing this the Aberdonian put out his blackboard and wrote in chalk ‘Sugar 1/-11d a bag. This spurred the new arrival to wipe his board and scribble in chalk, ‘Sugar 1/-9d a bag’ Each time the stranger placed his price the Aberdonian lowered his further this procedure carried on until later on in the day when eventually the stranger marked up in big letters , in chalk; ‘ Free Sugar’.

With a smirk on his lips, wandered across the road and said…you can’t beat that. The Aberdonian in a cool droll saying ‘Ken Telt nay …Aye dinna roup sucarr’…translate….Don’t you know… don’t sell sugar…

My small miracle was I understood the joke…told in Aberdonian patois
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peter.howden

My New Chronicles ;06/01/2016

The twelve days of Christmas have come and gone and this being the start of a brand new year, I took the time to look right past last year…or the years before … to way back almost as far as I can recall with a certain mark of true reflection as to my part in the input into the human race…and came to the opinion throughout my existence I have been an apprentice, firsts strolling but in latter years practicing and studying to learn the trade of a reasonable assembled person although my theories have always been better than my practical accomplishments.

It would be wrong to imply or justify the training was like ‘a duck to water’ although many would say it gave the appearance of fumblingly waddling through time itself. My personal conclusion perhaps just when it may be possibly reaching my goal…the mortal coil will end… leaving me uncertified and not even with an eleven plus. However I have been extremely fortunate in two vital areas of my life…being true friendship and most important… being in and been loved.

I have always had right to this very day, had two or three really good mates which have been Chinas, the highest degree, knowing all my faults are always there when most needed, with the privilege being mine to echo. A mate is a mate no matter what or why, distance or time just simply does not come into the equation.

Again I have had three loves in my life…. The first lasted two weeks… the second continued close to six months… and ‘She who must be obeyed’…48 years, my complete life to date. The first dip into adoration stakes called winching was a summer romance with the first real kiss, which lingers yet in memory as an experience beyond.

My second adventure into being in love rather than just dating was another experience forward though my behaviour was not ready or the ability for commitment but has many happy memories.

My third and lasting 48 years partner is “She who must be obeyed” who has brought sense to my existence and a longing in my time. There are few words to explain what we both feel about each other than “Love”!?, which has changed slightly over the years, but lost none of its desire. I hope ‘she who must be obeyed’ is the last thought I have before I end this mortal cord…

Now my Family, my clan and close friends and of course… the elder of the family… Aunt Becky, all are thee centre cornerstones to my choices, my actions and my future

P.S….I took Aunt Becky for the first of the year’s hurl along to the Kilpatrick hills, where the awesome rawness through millions of years creation awaited as we turned the bend towards Strathblane…and boy it blew my mind, just like it always does, and this time while the Corries sung “Flower of Scotland…perfect…just perfect.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
peter.howden
Anecdotes from the auld Steamie;

Electrical energy

In most industrial towns or cities, throughout Scotland, before and during the turn of the twentieth Century, purposely build local council buildings supplying public baths, hot baths, Turkish saunas facilities and the wash-house,with affection named “The Steamie”…housed in the less affluent districts….these are some stories, accounts or parables which may have originated within such amenities walls

The Sherlock Holmes quotation, ‘when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth!?, anything can, for a moment… for an hour or day or undiscernible amount of time, be held to be true If you say whatever, in such a tone of alleged personal sincerity… then regardless how ridiculous or insane it appears written down….people will take it in trust indeed held to be true.

Throughout wards of a certain metropolis…old fashioned public swimming baths, along with community hot baths and the ever impressive ‘Steamie’ were numerous in areas once categorized as working class. These community buildings were operated by low paid workers whose employment largely due to the whims of district managers, and four area superintendents… almost all had either worked their way up through the ranks or had a funny handshake…extended to others of a similar ilk.

Most of the day to day employees presumed to have some kind of granted perk or gratuity such as, in the wash-house an unofficial buckie (unscheduled wash) or flogging the odd poke of soap powder or to the pensioners in the area, small bags of coal used for the boilers. Obviously I do not condone such behaviour…yet the workforce laboured long unsociable hours for a meagre wage…there was always a squealer, who could not wait to spin and spill a tale on some staunin aboot poor soul. The purpose was just souking in with the gaffers… in the hope of granted overtime above everybody else.

In one such building, close to the city centre, there was a tell-tale fellow informing on anyone skiving improperly…shop his granny, at the drop of any hat, to worm his way into the confidence of a region manager to gain perquisite. If truth be told, the managers actual despised such action but benefited from them. The whole workforce was well aware of this slinkin sleekit employee’s allegiance…for personal gain. It came to the point no one trusted anybody but realized something had to be done. Quite fortunately the culprit was an eejit who intensely read comics.

The day of reckoning started while the snitch was passing a worker acting rather furtive, whilst carrying a closed cardboard box out of the stores. Questioning where he had the authority to enter the stores unsupervised… then the nark demanded to know what was in the box. Nervously the employee beckoned him towards a hidden corner as he placed the box, extra carefully; on the concrete floor…wiping his brow of excessive perspiration…then with a sigh of relief, took off the thick rubber gloves he was wearing.

Standing in a academically pose, the operative whispered he was willing to split the proceeds once the item in the box was sold to a contact he knew. Curious about the extent he accidently caught some kind of pilfering, the grass was determined to winkle out as much information as possible…perhaps he had stumbled of a thieving ring which would be a feather in his cap when it came to the next promotion.

Looking in all direction through the dark tunnels underneath the swimming pond while listening carefully for any foreign clatter, the employee spoke in an extremely quiet, but solemn voice so not to disturbed the very air. “In the last two months I have managed to pass on about 39 boxes of electricity collected from the emergency generator”, he uttered earnestly then continued “I daren’t take more because the generator has to make up to record perfect on the electricity meter before I take one amp more” he stops for a deliberate breath. The grass asked rather savagely “do you think I came up the river in a banana boat?” he growled!…”how could you handle raw voltage into the box?” he spat..

“O.K” softly spoke the operative as he moved his head from side to side, checking no one was about, “unlike you I have done my homework for inside the cardboard box is a smaller rubber box which is sealed to stop leakages… and before you ask, yes it’s on the same principle why Superman needs a lead box to stop Kryptonite affecting his powers!” All this was uttered with a dead pan face.

Trying to think of some sensible comeback, the nark struck gold he thought when he mentioned…”how do you managed avoiding an electric shock?” was his clear curious question…. “are you a total numbskull” the worker quipped queitly yet holding on to authenticity …”why the bloom do you think I am wearing these heavy industrious duty rubber gloves?” . This struck a sensitive nerve in the informant’s way of thinking, stating he would consider the offer. The employee displayed great acting ability as he laboured to pick up the box and make his way out of sight and sound.

It was not until the end of the week it became common knowledge the stoolpigeon had been moved to the Parks department, in charge of the rubbish, after his failed miserably attempting to update his employers of the shocking theft now taking place under their very noses.



It is unknown if the bosses laughed or cried crocodile tears at the idea



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peter.howden
My new Chronicles;13/01/2016

The regular East Kilbride drive to the Dollan Baths last Saturday morning proved to be out of this world… through a panoramic Christmas card, almost fairy tale picture, with imaginary wishes hiding out there, or crock of gold ready to surprise the finder at any moment. The fallen snow… just so laid back resting of the bare branches …refreshing the trees into animated life, cultivating a splendid white display of purity. Yet, with the snap of a childish finger, this mystery of a winter wonderland before my eyes…as if I was the very first to witness such a sight, totally ignoring the many cars passing me and my old jalopy with ease. The snow continued to fascinate and my eyes wishing to see everything… before nature started its epic journey out of reach from reality. .

The sad news to bare and accept the probability of Thee end of the much treasured “Benghazi Mice” could well be nigh, due to ill health and quite a few demises obliterating membership throughout its grand history. The institute, for this is what it was and is, started innocently enough in 1987 due to a Mr Dominic McCabe, whimsically saying he wanted to write a book about his critical time served in the R.A.F’s Waffs during the war. We were a bunch of old lags meeting up in the Pollokshaws Turkish suite…and so started this unnamed group meeting up every week…added was a monthly outing somewhere for a meal, ending with hilarious company preforming in one or two taverns. As for the name …it was plucked out of thin air and because we were not in the army… but akin to the desert rats

The members numbers where always around twelve, not ordained by creed or colour, as a healthy mixture from the twelve partisans from all walks of life. Something likes ‘The four just men’ multiplied by three…almost…without unlimited monies…or saving the world… enjoying good companionship was and is the common denominator…and crazy old buggers a must…but sadly our numbers now are down to a shaky 5.

Our singing Heroes of the 50s and swinging ‘Jean Genie’ 60s are slowly being lost or been thrown overboard in the journey from the ‘Six-five Special’, thru a purple haze wilderness as new music scene becomes Cloud Number 9. We have the recordings but no more in person; ‘Dancing in the Street’ as ‘Rebel-Rebel’ or ‘Star Man’ knocking on wood, because of their untimely demise. Some faded stars drifted from over usage of drink, drugs or heart trouble or cancer or simply oldness….lost in the mist of time with just a tempting name, not quite there on someone’s tongue.

It seems the same happens to local ordinary people of yesteryear, who decided to do something for their community by joining committees or action groups…intent to make a difference. At the time, they were the true heroes and heroines, champions for the people of Glasgow and every city, town or hamlet throughout Scotland, making a sacrifice of time and effort for their fellow citizen. They now have become a nearly forgotten memory of unsung protagonists. A few are living in hidden corners, in houses and homes, humbled by illness or mere old age. Take a moment to lift your eyes, and thoughts of gratitude as to what they archived in our names which changed the face of your city.

The politicians and the civil servants claim ownership for peoples ability to be proud of all the achievements but without the volunteers…these would be unimaginable draughts of a forgotten dream… hidden from reach by a coded filing number.

-=-=-
peter.howden
Outer-limits

This is an unauthorized copy of a transmitted message, recouped somewhere in cyberspace, from an unnamed seemingly distorted person , but thought it may be a ruse…. the authorities are treating it with caution while having the source verified…. Live report as follows as a trembling voice calls….

My purpose as the real traveller, with a Sphere time machine, similar to the reputed ‘Anacronopete’ possessing miniature rotating compressor blade, operated by total computerized technology, which simply surpass H.G. Wells tale in 1895 by reach Fourth/Fifth and even the Sixth dimension in seconds rather than minutes or hours. I intend to reach the future according date, 2525…a boyish whim of mine, due to a song by forgotten duet called ‘Zager and Evans’, entitled “in the year 2525”…

Aiding my departure, all systems located back up computerized instruction, just in case I was unable to instruct….due to unforeseen circumstances. My lifetime’s endeavour was before me…ready to launch from the centre of the lab, far away from any interference from flight plans or secret rockets paths being sent up from Earth axis travelling from the west towards east. With my last look at my surroundings, checking my settings… proceeded to begin my journey into the unidentified… to enormity and yonder …with a simple switch.

There is no way on earth can I, a mere mortal explain or describe, in words what the journey consisted of… but it included inconceivable sights, even the Gods would be stunned, never before witnessed by man, including an emotion collective in pain coupled with haunting passions at the same time. How long the expedition took in a measured unit, I could not tell as my dials and counters just went haywire. There was a start and a stop but total loss in-between.

The time machine halted almost unnoticed, though rather the worse of wear. Staying motionless for a few brief moments, I had no way of calculating my position in the time frame of existence, while arriving my apparatus was warped…hopefully repairable with my backup system. I stepped forward into the mysterious yonder. A deliberate jolt I realized to my utter dismay, this was defiantly not 2525… or indeed anywhere in the future as far as I could tell.

The only conclusion I could muster was I somehow reversed into the hidden primitive past…perhaps medieval. I decided to stay put and use my technology to reboot my backup and analyse the position and time. Meanwhile concentrating on the immediate area, 360 degree observation of my situation …in case danger lurked

It looked every inch as a bombed area….crumbled demolished buildings with fires burning in hidden corners as crowded hordes of intimidated peoples, apparent psychological tormented just staring out but frightened to see anything. Before me lay my impression of the ‘Dark Ages’ no sign of any form of technology, almost everybody clad in worn thin rags, with filthy confused appearance of very timidly cagy almost animal reactions, while a horrible smell of rotten meat and putrid smokiness wafting through the murky air.

Above all…no bloody shoes, or boots, or footwear of any kind, apart from leaves and leather patches wrapped around their ankles…it was bitterly cold with few building of substance…just hovels which could only be described as primitive hovels

Taking a quick glance at the instrumental panel, on my time machine, the date unreadable, as my backup was obviously having difficulty rebooting. Then the shock came with information live on the screen, how 14 years previous came from outer space, an unknown catastrophic virus, a growth bug of unlimited power, extinguishing every satellite obverting earth and near planets. This universal Trojan horse completely demolished the entire computer system, worldwide and space, terminating internet and all informational data…. To nothing. Now there were signs the travel machine’s computer has caught this syndrome, with a constant distress signal indicating all emergency batteries is near exhausted…soon to be non-functional.

I grasped how the extent of absolute chaos this would have in the time period I had left… because for the first time in history of humans throughout the world…. Nearly every solitary person breathing earths air existence through dependency exclusively on the internet, for everything from minus to plus, and the internet alone…for life survival itself….without it they would return into cave dwellings due to lack of mental knowledge of anything else.

The unfathomable dreadfulness of my own predicament became personally acute in one sudden thud….with a flashing faint signal…dictating my present date and position… I was standing in the year 2051…I had travelled…not thru a bygone age…but into the future of earth… a mere 24 years

For a long empty silence, there is nothing until a faint crackled response echo’s ….there is no backup the virus has contacted my computer, this is the last recorded report back before power fails comple…. Pease…please beware for th ……. The signal died….

Today March 21st 2017….The worldwide government believe this must be a hoax….but is it?

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peter.howden

My New Chronicles;21/01/2016


Once again my journey to my comrades, the last of the ‘Benghazi Mice’ up from Thee Braes/Peking Palace over William-hill onward to East Kilbride was a trip of over indulgence ‘Gallus’ imagination with a canny eye catching view in the near distance.

A old stotter of a country saying “Red at night, shepherd’s delight, Red in the morning, Shepard’s warning!” but this so called warning was just a superb phenomenal displayed in the early morning sky. While the road rose up highly to the outskirts of East Kilbride, the brilliant red blossomed on a smooth panoramic canvas riding across the sky to meet the horizon …as if the road, was the pathway to heaven or hell….if there is no heaven there should be in such scenery…and if a hell….well to hell with it…

Aunt Becky is slipping slowly into her own wee world, though seemingly content, certainly not aware of such happenings. “She who must be obeyed “and I visit each day while each week passes, it takes longer individual time to secure and make ready her home. Sometime…just sometimes I catch a glimpse of her innocent take of her world…and it is a wee girl looking back. I find it reassuringly hopeful while Rebecca wants the old Aunt Becky… who will never return. We both know it will be harder and more heart wrenching, no matter what happens in the future…but Becky helped each one of the family, whether they wanted her to or not…so she deserves just a piece of our lives to relate too.

My own memory wants more leeway trying to remember what I had for dinner last night but can remember precisely a day in 1955 or swinging 60s. No matter what the adverts say there are ways to prevent this…I have not found them or have forgotten the combination. I have to start watching an old film before I realize I have viewed it before.

Grumpiness, coupled with less patience with indecisiveness fellow colleges has overtaken laid back easy-going composure while in attendance of some meeting or other. I reckon I’m ok with an aggressive argument or decisions which I do not wholly agree with, but the purposely constructed loopholes melt my resolve. Everything takes so long before the dots are dotted… and we run out of “T”s to cross.

Staring at an old photograph I ponder what makes personal prized processions so individually cherished is who gave you them…. or in what memory you hold because of them. Having quite a few keepsakes from people who mean a lot to my being…but no more so than “She who must be obeyed”. It is the small insignificant odd pieces I treasure, yet most of all it is Rebecca herself.

Chris, Nikki and Fergus…our sprouting grand-children… Lauren, Andrew and Emma, all having tolerance with my attitudes… while close “China’s” know there is no room for change….with all of this… my range of faults….even after the tragedies… the unwanted pain manifesting anguish bursting with uncontrollably fuse and flair….I am reasonably content trying to be myself…for I have, been pretty lucky….my worry is I may become a prune…inside and outside….I can’t change the outer appearance but the inner?????

It’s coming close to Burn’s night to celebrate this poet of beautiful words and deep meanings… I am not a religious person but this address is nigh perfect.

The Selkirk Grace

Some hae meat an canna eat,

And some wad eat that want it;

But we hae meat, and we can eat,

And sae let the Lord be thankit
peter.howden

BETH;


I gazed on Beth as if she was a goddess, with a longing of a lost pup and perhaps looking just so…but it was a dream afar. I could hardly sleep in the darkness of my room. Her face was moulded into my very being as her features were paramount to the simplest thought or action that splendid summer.

Beth inherited every quality of a Mademoiselle a young male could wish for; silky brown hair with sniffs of flowers, blue eyes to beckon the wildest soul. Her innocent smile would enchant the devil himself, while each step of a dainty walk defied gravity. She strolled as if in the breath of the Gods themselves. The sweetness of her voice echoed softly enchanting all ears yet pierced the most resilient heart to become a willing slave to every whim or suggestion she may wish. In short…she was beauty and sex personified.

Even though being new to this game of passion…I entered it with the vigour of a seasoned Romeo and the private presumption of a master Casanova. Alas; even with Great Expectations, my labours never quite reached the smitten love qualifier (11 plus or otherwise).

Each time she made entrance to the street, where we both lived, and the sun shone instantly, even when the skies where full of rain which rested shimmering glittery on the street. Her feet seeming made no contact with the ground… but dance to wherever she wished to be. I found myself timing to be at her close when I thought she was due out, not wish to waste one second or moment being with her…gazing with worship, and true affection, for all to see but Beth.

There was a problem, or two. The fact she neither realize I existed or ever encouraged or touched me in any way was a bit of a hindrance to my affections…and the hard to bite…she fancied Gordon Campbell. This boy was good at everything he ever tried and names any sport he did not excel in school and you would be hard placed. He had the audacity to be good looking to boot but the worsted thing of all was; he was so dammed nice? He would make up excuses for me when once again he beat the pants off me (not literally…as it was still against the law and any he’d probably wipe my arse with that too) at some deed or other.

I had no choice than to accept my fate and look on from afar, hoping against all hope she would miraculously change her mind and see me in hero’s light. I had no choice but to do something constructive so to fill in the lonesome time. I made myself a new bow and arrow out of garden canes, just like all we kids did but I tell you this….Gordon Campbell made a bloody better one!? This is when the writing fever began…through desperation or depravity



Each time I recall and look back I cannot help but smile… for to win or lose…to have a dream of any sort ,believing and nourishing it, walking the walk and talk it, allowing it to flourish in daylight …even when peoples think and tell you your heed is full of jorries, is worth every breath…every single moment…of your existence
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big al
Peter

I have really enjoyed reading your short tales - reminds me of my grandfather who used to write similar "tales" - keep it up - have you ever had any of these published anywhere?

Al
peter.howden
Big Al

Apparently publishers wish…Good clear English Diction, Spelling which certainly leave me out….however I enjoy Jottings as a release valve so I will continue making up wee stories… in the shadows…thank you Big Al for reading my scribbles
peter.howden

Miserable

Sitting silently in a sporadic light room, constantly apprehensive as to what might or perhaps happen, bite’s her lips knowing deep down, her terror…it will happen. She sits alone, dreading intently when the worn sound of the Yale key turning in the front door. The woman seldom blinks or breaths, keeping alert like a trapped animal, to make sure of her readiness to receive her man; her tormentor. For that is what he has become, totally changed from the man she chose to spend her life with. For this she gave up friends and relatives alike simply because she believed with all her heart…they both were so in love, needing little else except each other.

That was a lifetime away…and now… everything is cold even in the heat of bitter suffering. Sheila has cleaned the room from top to bottom with a nervous perfection to assure she does not alert his wrath. There is nothing left, except a tattered picture, she treasures in daydreams, to remind her of the happy day when they were betrothed. No wedding presents left meant to sail them through life in gay abundance. One single spoon from a set is all she can cherish and she does by hiding it from anyone’s eyes bar her own. Of a night, when it’s safe to do so, she sits for hours and gazes upon it…dreaming impossible dreams

Her loneliness knows no bounds but the empty shell she exists in every day. No longer having a sincere smile let alone smile from within, she anxiously grins in his company but apprehensively laughs when others can hear. Her days entangle into nights but may as well be both for her time does not exist.

Suddenly the terrifyingly familiar sound came from behind the battered scraped door. A scurry of sound follows with the seemingly endless search for the latch. Then the dreaded moment of truth when the key finally finds its home, a kick…then the door swings open there stands the man of the house completely senseless when and manner.

He demands his tea.

Shelia’s bloke has never struck her, no a finger, even when he has been in a uncontrollable rage. He always manages to stop short of the dreadful deed, but his tongue never misses the cruel savage sharpness against whatever she says to either appease or defend a certain action. He lashes into her with no regard of another human being. The only difference between drunk or sober is the length of the current fury.

He is all the inch of a bastard.

His worn out wife makes every attempt to salvage the spoiled ‘Carry-oot’, a gooey disgusting mess, bought with stolen money out of her purse. Grumbling to himself, takes another slug of electric soup, slabbers with snottery abundance…then wipes his mouth before following with another incoherent ramble of torturous abuse. Sheila has somehow managed to cope with these savage attacks and almost truly believes that somehow it is her fault, yet …in a crowded misty thought…she still yearns for her old bow, again dreading the sweet talk that comes with the break of day along with the self-pity. She knows that this is the prelude for the exact same the next night or afternoon or any bloody time at all.

Sheila has lost her independent actions and views or ability to walk…or run away. Just ekes out an existence, from moment to moment, in her own private hell.

0-0-0-0-
peter.howden
JIM; the caper (part one)


Jim stepped down from the train, exhausted after a tedious one way journey…one he had no choice but to make. Certainly there was other means of transport, but none would help him blend in so well in a crowded couch, but lumbered, days on end, with six uncomfortable travellers, all perspiring an uneasy whiff, was not the way he wished to travel. Had circumstances not been force on Jim, he imagined he could escape the authorities or even the dirty detectives… but from him... no chance getting away from him; but Jim realized…he just had to try.

Jim had been skint before near rock bottom with a few dimes, barely enough for a cheap one way ticket. Millions of his fellow countrymen and women had been just that through the depression for well over five years, regardless what ‘Franklin Delano Roosevelt’ said about the ‘New Deal’ programmes. The European war had solved the good old countries financial problems long after politicians stated all was well.

The big crash was advertised as hurting all walks of life, however, when push came to shove it was mostly the already poor or downtrodden who suffered most during that particular time. Jim had fair better than most, seldom had to bum his way around the railway lines of different states. It had never rubbed his conscious of diddling ordinary folk, for one thing was always sure...when a black market exist, there is always a way to make a buck.

Jim lived on his wits but his problem was… he could never capitalize on his good fortune…always allowing it slip through his ever grasping fingers. In other words; He was an idiot or a real bum to be perfectly clear. Now he had found out just hard it was when, not only did your suit look shabby, it was hard to distinguish if it were a suit or not and the colour was just a guess. No one wanted to take a chance on any dip, from a drifter dressed like he was. No matter how good it sounded,

The only solution was to be dressed from head to toe in spanking new expensive attire. He thought of doing a number on one of the many drapers in the city but, realized to his cost it would not work, for as soon as he entered a store or corner shop, the proprietor; immediately suspect to his intentions. Some of these shop keepers would defend their stores more aggressively and to the death than any bank.

Jim knew one rule for true…you have to have the ability to turn misfortune to your advantage; always use a weakness to become strength. You could only con a greedy man…but man.... most humans are.

All this street gen did not help him as he lumbered his tired body through the cold unforgiving streets. The church bell rang and with it came an idea that grew into a certainty. The chapel give to the poor and the priest is a servant to the community, so if he could stick a line then who knows what he could scrounge.
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peter.howden
My New Chronicles;01/02/2016

Last week I made two special journeys in my old jalopy, both loaded with tempests of huge proportion and both journeys had music provided by the miracle of science my iPod. Travelling through Thursday’s weather was difficult but I managed taking cautious time.

The whole trip scenery was dark and blurred at best, not seen at its most advantage. Keeping me alert and company was vibrating through the speakers, an assortment of classical music from such masters as Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, Verdi, Dvora, completing with a few anonymous Handel’s. Having no idea of the orchestras preforming but with such magnificent experience once more just blew my socks off.

The quality can’t be questioned as the splendour of the compositions wafted through my head exciting every savour bits to be almost in danger of exploding. As usual, most of the singing was in Italian almost urging my pitiful frail voice into vocals without perceiving what the performers were singing. There was no need as the texture of the trained voice, the passion with perfect pitch in each of the voices just carried the piece of music into reality. All music played in such a professional way pleads appreciation. The flower song duet…sung by Anna Netrebko & Elina Garanca; just hypnotizes my senses… taking me to another world, as does the ‘Hebrew slave chorus… utterly superb. ’

Due to being voluntary tea totally, once again off to Ayr deliberately to visit my chum Jim at his home. I denied the pleasure visiting the tavern known as Weatherspoon’s, mainly for the main reason not to attempt drinking ginger till it came out of my ears. Jim was having slight problems with his computer as we elderly statesmen endeavour to keep up with technology. With me there to assist…it was like the blind leading the blind, yet between us, we worked out the problem….we were both computers illiterate.

I really look forward to turning up in Burn’s country mainly due to visiting Jim Hendry. We both have pure dead magic wrangling verbally and severely with each other as ‘China’s do… no explanation needed.

The storm during Thursday evening and night was not frightening because I was secure in safe dwellings however the next morning witnessed wide spread destruction, especially in caravan sites in Ayr, Prestwick, Saltcoats and the like with anything not tied down just disappeared. My journey home was following the tail of the storm, with a totally different but most welcome music interlude …vibrating once again from my speakers but supplied by IPod…the miracle of the age…it was time for ‘SLADE’

What a magical trip bouncing almost at full pelt thru speakers nearly strained translating the vibrations causing electronically steamin… exploding inside this moving musical booth… my trusty tin lizzie. Each song almost a classical in themselves, accompanied by the horsy voice of Norrie walloping out decibels such masterpieces as ‘Get down and get with it’;’Mamma weer all craze now’ and the cracking ‘Take me back home’ how can you ignore such savage beat especially when I could feel it in my very bones, knowing all the words as I struggled to sing in the same gusto but failed but still continued at the top of my limited vocal cords. Horse as a mummified duck at the end of this fabulous solo concert….thanks to my IPod

The weather has been rather cold, windy, wet and snow …yet still Daffodils insist it is spring and are growing almost in mass in our back garden. The front patch has an assortment of early spring flowers such as Crocus, Eranthis, Snowdrops and the weird named Pussy willow.

As far as my inelegance may suggest the floral world has gone crazy, but who am I to judge .…..I forfeited my adolescence in search for wisdom….and lost out on both of them….

I have been a brave little soldier… not mentioning but endured the pains and agony, in silence, of a ‘man-cold’….the terrible condition which robs the male of the species of vital hunters senses needed to be the provider….and woman scorn at …shame on lady class
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peter.howden
JIM; the caper (part Two)

Jim knew most Chapels and Churches had poor boxes and he felt he qualified since he was behind the six, slang for being stoney broke. All his life as a professional grafter, taught by ‘Old bones box’, the best, how to be a dealer for the back street wise game ‘Three-card monte’ he was hip… but because the wall-man lost his cool, a team of detective’s (bluecoats) raided…Jim was nearly caught and would have to take the fall(Prison) a narrow escape but it blew his stake. .

Jim cautiously enters the immense chapel through the golden tipped gates of the main thoroughfare, watching the last worshipers disappearing into the dead of night. It must have been an important mass for while Jim had been contemplating “his angle” he observed multitude of religious folk leaving the candle lit building. Once believing he was alone with all the congregations homeward bound, he sauntered slowly up this isle, still occupied with how to start a conversation with the priest or Monsignor.

Carefully crafted inaudible steps avoid echoes of warning given to any ‘Mark’ in the oratory’s vicinity; he made his way towards the central alter. Out of the corner of his eye, Jim witnessed a young man, dressed in black loudly counting out the contents contained in several silver dishes. Also catching his eye was the elegant candlestick holders which numerously adorned the whole alter and surrounding passages. A cold dark thought entered this astute brain which at first he dismissed as balmy. However after another few steps into the warmth of the building, he thought again and this time he refused to dismiss it. The evil seed was set.

The priest failed to hear Jim exercising his dexterity as a thief huckleberry, lifting each silver candlestick silently moving in the shadows. Jim was making every effort eluding the monastic cleric’s attention …yet totally aware he was not alone. Jim was descending towards his quarry, the poor box, when he heard the “Father” mutter to himself, something about an orphanage…how proud he was of his congregation. Jim was almost there and although he had not worked out exactly what he intended to do, he lifted his fist ready to pounce. Just then the cleric turned around and instead of looking surprised or frightened, gazed on Jim as if he was expecting him.

“Are you all right my son” the words quietly spoken from padre’s lips. “Can I help my fellow man in his moment of darkness”? The man of the cloths next words came softly and sincerely. Jim was flabbergasted and for one, who believed he had the patter for any situation or murky deal, was speechless. The priest came forward and without any further words thrust a sawbuck in Jim’s needy hand. This was the point when simplicity became complicated and the road to hell was firmly cemented as Jim picked one of the stolen candelabrum’s…ready to strike a cowardly blow.
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peter.howden
JIM; the caper (Final))


For one frozen moment, an abysmal ferocity raged over Jim’s existence, reflecting coldblooded eyes bent on reprisal. In this state of void, everything was in absolute slow motion with jagged movements, breeding inner rage and revealing ownership of a hidden antipathy to destroy everything before him, becoming a cornered animal beyond religious or moral redemption. Instantly Jim forced behind the eighth ball and would do anything not to be caught or do the ultimate final chair dance…the big sleep

Somehow and somewhere behind his living nightmare, consciousness produced a reality awareness stimulated his inner simulation, detesting ferocity though always been a fakeloo, a drifting grifter fleecing by his wits rather than any savagery and a definite no-no to wearing iron or any kind of a mohaska (gun). He was one of the old schools, marking a chump by being the bee’s knees but no violence or drugs to fill you up with pretend guts

Just at this precise moment the priest unexpectedly turned swiftly around to face his menacing marauder, with a look of self-possession serenity…near a state of grace, then softly said….’rob me and my house, my church if need be…. but do not commit the mortal sin of murder …if you do, this day and every day you breath …you will know no peace…here or in the afterlife .

As if an actual bolt of lightning came from nowhere, penetrating his mind with active electricity, immediately striking the core of his basic humanity nerves reporting to Jim’s brain. He savagely cursed himself aloud… for permitting hurrah, to be set in this conundrum, sanctioning consent to pure greed taking hold of all his morality creating boundless self-destructiveness. Demeaning his life borne principles by inflicts a simple robbery to end up committing actual body harm.

Lowering his offending arm, Jim placed the candlestick softly onto the table. He knew facts and deeds were by then irreversible, as he returned ill-gotten dishonest gains to the rightful place but perhaps not in their proper place… for time was the essence…if he wished to remain free. A bag of silver coins he had plundered was being dispatched from his person, as one single coin escaped spinning separately on the floor. Jim decided to take it, not as a souvenir but a reminder of his terrible folly. Hastily leaving the holy place, he asked the priest to forgive him. Before the priest could reply Jim was nowhere to be seen….just vanished without a trace.

Before he had started this train journey which he had attempted to mingle in with the crowd, he washed up in the stations rest-room… and to his horror he saw his reflection in the mirror. On his forehead was branded …. "Truly you shall be with me; in Paradise”. If seen, everybody would know he was a thief… all for a silver dollar which he keeps close to his heart ,only every now and then he touches it….to remind himself he is but a $1 hustler

Jim returned to the train he had been drudgingly travelling on for days, with his cap secured on his head he had to travel as far away as possible if not further…Jim now came to the conclusion that the priest was being unfair….or was it him?
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