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peter.howden
Lonely old man

What the heck am I doing here, among all strangers with yellowish false teeth and a glaikit expression beyond belief…but what I want to know is…. how did I end up in this abyss hole? It is true I’ve lost some of my sharpness and my memory is taking some time in catching up with names, even places and my senior moments are most regular but I’ve still got my marbles roughly intact.

I think my well-meaning the offspring must have something to do with it. Due to their commitments they tend to believe the social services quotes and mealy mouthed… “He’s getting on a bit….needs qualified care!” I need my independence …and that’s a fact!

I had loads of friends you could depend on. If you were skint somebody between my cronies would help but especially my best mate… what a bloody charmer…could charm the birds oft the trees, …oh bugger what’s his name; it’s on the tip of my tongue….the guy had glasses like the film star, you know the one and not many people know that.

My lovely woman passed away not so long ago but I can still look after myself… must be ten years now…..no Gregg’s for me unless it’s an important guest and I’ve not the time to bake. You can’t bake in here…certainly not, something to do with hygiene or health and safety … which is flaw for there’s not many healthy people in here. I miss her quite a lot. I often amazed my friends as to how good I was in the kitchen.

My best mate always said, “You’re a man’s man but you aren’t half good with a baking tin. Bugger it….what’s wrong with me this morning, I can’t for the life remember his name…….horned rimmed glasses he wore

Were the heck is all my children ….four of them though all different with the youngest a pea and a pod like my wife used to look ….spitting image. Surely they would rescue me from all these old people who smile as soon as you look at them but talk a different language..,… they sleep a heck of a lot………Out cold like corpses to boot .

There is my so called personal room but that’s all I have private …no keepsakes and just one photo of my woman. I cry when I see it or when I can find it ….last time it was in the drawer along with my underpants…..she would have laughed at that.

They never come you know…….the children I mean.

Oh keech* what was his name………the actor was Carter……no that was the movie…..It was Michael Caine; he played a Zulu chief in a flick; but what a stupid ending with him balancing on a bus hanging over the edge of a cliff…no… wrong film but it was Michael defiantly Michael…the actor not my best mate…I must stop thinking and it will come to me as easy as pie. .

What day is it…..Monday….oh God blinking mince again and I bet it will be shepherds blasted pie tomorrow………it always is!

Oh Christ… here comes that smelly woman again …………..who the hell is she?
peter.howden
My Chronicles 26/06/2016;

Slightly later on in life, I am learning things which just astound my way of thinking, demonstrating how little I actually knew when I thought I was intelligent…nevertheless now still unable to propose appropriate grammar or spelling. When the mood takes gazing up in a clear silent night to witness the stars and a couple of planets, I’m flabbergasted at the simple wonder, but aware this is just a pinhole glimpse at the whole known universe.

This phenomenal development is reputed to be fashioned by a big bang, seconds later quarts start forming infinite expansion far-reaching through billions of years, fading stars thrusting out glowing cosmic dust collectively fashioning new planets and stars to being born… and my very being and body come from stars….wow.

Standing in the sands of Saltcoats, staring at the night sky crossing over the horizon, no words can express the inner sensation of muddled joy, pride and bewilderment how a puny wee speck such as I could look onto the wonder of creation, which happened 10.7 billion years ago…with protons and neutrons bursting to create… just jangles my brain cells.

Taking the existence of another time dimension, way beyond our ken…If the big bang happened to spread billions and billions of molecules of one or two atoms, then walking along the sand could be the start of all creation…but for now I will keek at the miracle of it all, just standing at the shoreline, I can understand why Peewee comes here to meditate.

The sad truth of the matter is, over the last couple of years, I rarely stride along the sands while visiting the seaside town of Ayr. This is due to meeting up with china ‘Jim Hendry’ and the Witherspoons welcome. We share a glass or two while catching up with life, talking absolute rubbish while laughing at ourselves more than a lot.

Last week’s visit was trying helping installing windows 10 and loopholes in his computer. It was like the blind leading the blind, but somehow we managed and of course arrived at our favourite hostelry for slight refreshment.

A special occasion was on the cards for Friday evening, when I can say both ‘She who must be obeyed’ and I were honour to take part in the reception festivities of lovely Tracy and Peter, the couple just looked intimately happy …pure magic

Yesterday, I finalized plans to visit France, completing the expedition and the highlight of the trip, by staying with my friends abode, a braw couple who live near Carcassonne. The small village, where they reside, has a quality of tranquillity where I do nothing other than eat, drink and be merry with the hosts …what more could a traveller wish for…clear skies to fly back home
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peter.howden
MADIS TOUCH;(Part 1)

Like all tales and stories, it is harder to figure out where they actually start rather than when the finish…or if they ever do, debates if these accounts have any hint of truth or are just fables can cause friction between readers or listeners; however I know exactly where this one began… and what truth it holds.

In the past, my employment took me into different and strange surroundings, because my chosen line of work was as a self-employed upholstery cleaner, relying on the ‘Word of Mouth’ to obtain servicing a variety of homes and businesses. By chance I was given instructions to revamp a particular fascinating old crumbling house, which stood alone, away from any other signs of civilization, situated way back from roads between Glasgow and Edinburgh, though in the general direction of a certain chapel. The large abode included a Victorian styled library, filled with the usual stuffy aroma of bindings of all ages lying or standing on ancient carpenter crafted wooden shelves.

After completing the hired tasks, the owner, who was rather frail at the time but has since died, insisted I took any one piece of litterateur or artefact I cared to have… as a thank you. While searching row upon rows of books with their interesting and varied covers, there was one particular book, seemingly ancient manuscript, which caught my eye, for no matter where I was in this elaborate reading room, my glance would return to its bindings, made of medieval hide leather, with perhaps traces of embalmed singed gold.

On closer inspection, the manuscript was certainly many centuries old with the gold styled writing on a tattered faded red binding called “Knights Templar”. Having been always been interested in this far oft cult order of “Warrior Monk Knights”, its swift decline or as some saw it; total ruthless demise, I was more than intrigued. The owner of the household bid me farewell by congratulating me for choosing that particular book, saying he had not quite got round to flipping through its delicate pages and wished me, ‘God speed and a long life’.

On returning to my own abode, and headed for the adapted office…come den, laying the book cautiously on my desk. Almost at once sensing antiquity as I gazed on amazing skilful text and reasoned the book itself was much more than just pretty old, the writing was parallel to the scribes of the monks did in the dark ages. Opening up at one page, it revealed inserted between pages, several pieces of separate chapters. Lodged inside those, a smaller piece of parchment…by appearance had been there for some considerable time…perchance behind solid walls of some abbey

I gentle unravel its folds, being well aware of its fragile state and it was not too willing to release or open its contents. Once the grime of minute speckles settled down, I wondered what was before me. Three delicate leafs of brownish heavy paper, writings of two separate styles though it could be as old for the scroll had similar texture. The first and the smallest parchment on the desk was a diagram of a building in several dimensions, some instructions and a map. The second and third script contained only words. I was hooked. It became plain, by the little I could define; it was a letter imitating the prospect, and knowledge, where great fortune lay

I feel it to be my duty now to inform you, the message and contents in this tale, hoping you gain knowledge and wisdom, a verbal vision of greed resulting in its undesirable consequences

-=-=-=-=-=
peter.howden
MIDAS TOUCH;(Part 2)

Though painstaking toil it was imperative being extra careful with the parchments but then again the pure magic of possible medieval scriptures was mind-bending and, though the meaning of the words were partly lost to me, apart from the odd heading, and some, I managed to decipher….the opening paragraphs where a set of instruction….and I knew at once where these instructions would send me

I have no choice but make it a vow here and now, I will not reveal certain findings, or indeed the vital clues, as to pin point exactly where all what was going to happen, happenings that happened… as it would destroy the sanctuary of the holy place,, causing mayhem as other people finding themselves investigating. Holding no religious beliefs myself, or even spiritual minded, nevertheless…the singular historic building is a practicing shrine..

Hidden in a siccar garden of stone roses, is the one rose, supported by broken leafs, to uncover the secret. “Grail hunters” would go to global lengths for such cryptograph, totally astonished as to the incredible discovery, well on hand to eclipse the true reward from the ‘Apprentice pillar’. No more detail dare I revel other than… The smaller tanned parchment, translated the following astoundingly message;

‘My name is Johannes de Houden; I was born north of the river Clyde, close to the Clamachie burn, in the hamlet of Bar-lenerk (high clearing of the forest) lands belonging to the Archbishopric of Glasgow, in the year of our lord 1457, my age penning this proof, three score and ten’…other instruction followed, nonetheless the details I will not disclose

If my time was to be served again, I would surely conquer temptation and deify to follow the same path that sorcerer’s map maneuverer me…promised by the document’s spiritual serenity, wealth far beyond imagination complete with having in my bare hands, the Christian meaning of true destiny. Greed and sheer lust overtook any horded sanities while hypnotized by the burnt authentic words…and so, throwing caution to the four winds, this quest was to be my inclination

Analysis the orders on the map until I could recite, word for word perfect the instruction on the map, informing the reader of the imperativeness of being at a certain spot mid evening on the 12th October for this was the only time the spells protecting the telluric-ley lines at Princess Pillar, would be released. Timing was of the essence.

I bade my son Christopher to journey with me, not only for his physical strength, also his natural camaraderie while travelling, as the way would certainly be rugged and sometimes darkness would be my only companion. Many a footpad would be abroad whither night or not. Though being flesh and blood I demanded my heir to swear an oath of silence on what we gained, witnessed and our daring.

We spoke not a word of our departure, or indeed gave any hint of leaving the safety of the hamlet with its protection by the grace of the Archbishop. For swiftness our provisions cut sparse to essentials as we set of unannounced. Travelling incognito while soon it became obvious my son’s stride was greater than mine…causing fair amount of pech…pech, so to disguise the fact, I stopped regularly, taking bearings, though I knew precisely where we were heading. We struck cold camps, so not to attract the villains and vagabonds common on these highways where no one was safe but for their wit and cunning.
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peter.howden
I'm really sorry...but I forgot to post this first part


The Maltese Cat (Part 1)

After softly chapping the front door then cheerily invited in by the mature inhabitant , the knavish entered could not help but notice how, taking pride and place, in the corner of the tiny hall, the deceiver had entered, was a gigantic freezer proving odd to have in such a small dwelling. It had the appearance of almost shrine like… as it was obviously receiving constant care and attention, gleaming pristine condition though the model was pathetically ancient. It was as if the old dearie that lived here was slightly losing her marbles

This certain scoundrel had done his homework most diligently and picked this particular person abode because she was old, probably frail, living alone apart from her cat. He picked his prey by going to the library and checking the voting records where it is amazing the information it gives a stranger. The lady who was Scottish had been widowed some twenty five years back, which had left her not only comfortable but extremely rich because her husband had been president of one of the major banks of this land. The shyster reckoned the old buddy must have lost it a bit, as she refused luxury care home some 15years ago and all due to her devotion to a feline. In the knave’s twisted mind she must be an idiosyncratic old bat.

Though having a pleasing pleasant outwardly appearance, completely opposite to his true vacation being deceitful con man of the worse kind, and proud of his questioning successes believing he was smooth, suave and cunning…but the truth of the matter being… he was a sordid little creature devoid of emotion. This particular mark, for this is what the old lady certainly was, would be skinned alive and pick her bones clean without even the hint of wretchedness or wrongdoing entering the old lady’s mind. Every penny would be screwed from her hiding places for her nest egg he reckoned must be quite substantial. All statues or antique of assorted knickknacks would be bagged before the afternoon clock struck 4.

There was nothing outstanding about the little old lady for she much resembled most of the rest of the suckers… this human crow deceived and feed from. The routine was down to pat as was his forged badge of office from the town clerk passed the eyes of his victims without a mummer or question. As usual he knocked the walnut door delicately so not to cause any unnecessary stress to the occupant. His smile already painted ready for the opening of the front door. Checking his shoes were shined and giving them a quick buff with his trouser legs just in time as the door opened.

‘Good afternoon madam; have I the pleasure in addressing the lady of the house, Mrs Radcliffe?’ The fraudster words flowed like honey as his smile beam pearls between his screwed up lips; ‘I am from the Council and here is my badge of authority for you cannot be too careful!

Like the slimy serpent he truly was, slinking in almost without the resident’s noticing his well-rehearsed precision, he carefully put back his false I.D just in case the old biddy what’d a closer look, whilst spinning round to be ahead of Mrs Radcliffe. Accurately this is when the freezer became obvious to the demon visitor. Something happened at that moment as if the tables were turned on him because the occupier of the home was in front of him . How she managed it…he could not tell… but he could have sworn she did not pass him.

Next moment was when he saw the moggy for the first time. In saunters this large cat into the hallway with the deliberate confident manner of ownership and he was big, really big beyond any prediction what a tabby should be. Depending how the light caught his squinty eyes, the crook saw a slinky blue or a velvet grey pussy. The shadow of a frown was on its face yet how a cat could show emotion was beyond this scallywag. However he had other things on his mind to be too bothered about this overgrown tabby.
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peter.howden
MIDAS TOUCH;(Part 3)

Our travels took two whole days, then bitterly cold nights which buried deep in our bones, as it was not safe in my judgement to be seen, even if we were carrying the cross of our lord... the parchment was well concealed in my attire, though cutthroats thought nothing in slicing travellers inners in case the cunning adventurer swallowed his valuables. We tramped very early morning and dusk while in daylight, rested well away from the main footpath.

To keep us from dozing and wakening up with our throats cut, I related stories to my son of being called to arms, though not gained good fortune for my inflicted wounds nor held in any esteem though .billeted close to the main thrust including the Knights Templar whose monastic order was cruelly annihilated by devious forces

It was whispered common knowledge how the Knights Templar had travelled to Scotland in great haste, if not for their very lives, along with their treasures and enlightenment of supreme pious devotion, guardians of the Holy Grail, “holder of Christ’s blood was in their keep. The order of poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ, Temple of Solomon, was anything but poor or wanting in the riches of life.

They alone could guarantee safety for any pilgrim to and fro Jerusalem or indeed any Lord or fellow knight, from any order and their valuables while travelling across the wades threw world. Their lance, their sword reached the furthest field known to man. Their shield’s escutcheon of pure white and the Red Cross ready to defend the Lords bidding with the “Truce of God”

It was clandestinely alleged, among the learned elders, the King of France, in league with Pope Clement V; scorned untruths accusing falsely the honourable knights, mainly for voracity and gathering power.

The journey was a gritty ordeal in itself, but what was to follow few tongues could or would tell; though I wondered why we were so curious in our foreign wanderings. Truth be told at that moment I had no way of knowing what depths I would plunder for the cravings of fortunes.

Travelling amongst such peril was courting dread, as many a rouge exiled clan member became “outside the law” of the chieftain and would fall barbarically on any unsuspecting traveller. No punishment deters them as they answered to no one except one more utterly ruthless than they. I had mentioned before, in my youth, being in service but of a different kin to knights. I was a strong hand for Mr Andrew Otterburn of Glasgow, as a protector…though this will remain in the darkest of secrets.

The confusion of the clans had been handed down from when Malcolm and Saxon Margaret married giving clan’s lands at whim to all and sundry. Under the feudal system, the king claimed land and he decided who to give it to and the Roman Catholic Religion had replaced the ‘Church of Culdees’ …this is why we strongly believed in the oath of the knights.

New orders were being created as “Order of the Garter” in merry old England though I can tell you nothing merry about it and “Order of the golden fleece” in Burgundy but for true pious servitude still lay with the Knights Templar no matter who blacked their name. God be the judge [size="3"][/size]
peter.howden
MIDAS TOUCH;(Part 4)


On the second day, we sheltered through the night until the darkness of twilight fell, resting and communicating more in a these few hours than we had for our whole life span. My heart opened up and my wisdom found a home. Alas my son, or my kinfolk, had no knowledge of my blood thirsty bygone days but quickly called on my experiences as a sword hand, with an excitement and eagerness of the inexperienced young.


I tried hard to explain the harsh realities without revealing some very dark closets of my life. I spoke of Jacob’s pillow, known to true Scots as “The Stone of Skoon”; the making of Kings since Dai, Riata Gaels, buried on the slopes of Dunsinane Hill.


Qualms of shivering guilt heard me telling, my flesh and blood, how I desired unearned gifts from the ancient gods, knowing the coming of ‘Judgement Day’ I would have to confess and the answer will be there for eternity. Until only two days ago I was endeavouring to make amends with my family but mostly with my own squawking demons….now I voiced my history


All the clans in Scotland had followers termed ‘Native men’ and Broken Men. The Native men were borne of the clan. The latter were from outside clans asking for and willing to serve as protectors of their adopted clan’s Chief; Tanists; the chieftains and captain; “The daoin-uaisle” (gentlemen) and the body of the clan I was a broken man from the Clan Graham.


Many years ago as an insult, a visiting Munroe’s clan members cut the tails off the horses belonging the Grahams while we slept and so, I was obliged to respond more ferocious than they had acted. Now the entire clan was traveling far, laying waste and scorching the Munroe’s lands as we journeyed unopposed. We killed all before us, and then rustled livestock as booty.


Crossing boundaries we paid our road Collop (tax for travelling through other clans land) though this is where the real clash started. The clans demanded more, forcing our chief to refuse and so other men gathered to peruse us, as we the true Scots acting as barbarians, slaughtering atrocities over our own lands…which now are best laid to rest.


We called the English deceivers, as they cheated the Scottish gentry with the treaty of Northampton. I spoke of 1320s “Declaration of Arbroath”… how every man armed or without weapons, meant every word.

I left the service of my espoused chief, came to Bar-lenerk to till the soil, pray for my endless evilness done while seeking the hand of the lord, for help recognizing my fate, until this per chance I gained this route to riches in the guise of this map. The custom how I obtained this hallowed document, I will not disclose as it is by furthest the most wicked thing from my life.

Taking from my neck the small leather pouch I gave it to my heir. He recognized it to be my most treasured possession, powder emeralds warding of the black plague and any evil spirit abroad. I revealed to him I had stolen it and how ashamed I was of myself.

My son asked why I still wore it if it was truth of my wrong doing. I described being scared of the grim reaper, and the evil spells, which had roamed this land since the Scots army came back in 1349, from plagued England and the darkness followed proving a national curse.



There was a dire need to inform my son how his father had led him to this holy spot and the truth was not kind



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peter.howden
My Chronicles 07/07/2016


There is a sense within how I may be starting to lose my cherished second childhood, worrying slightly as I believe this anchor keeps me sane in a less than compos mentis world. Within the sanctuary of my wee homemade den surrounded by nick-knacks sheltered from three decades and ten, many dinky toys of special favour, classical tale books, toy soldiers guarding a variety of abstract treasures but more important… my stability. A few steps away, in the bathroom, siting still, are the brigade flock of yellow plastic ducks, from various parts of the country, add to the safeguard a second juvenile haven.

A soothing comfort waffs memories instantly as the needle of my music machine lowers on one of many L/Ps….taking the mind down celebration lane, to dance o'er Slade’s “Mamma weer all craze now” or Rolling Stones belting out ‘Down Home Girl’ or just listen to blues Sunny boy Williams. All these distraction persuade reality to take a back seat even for a short while as I cherry pick thoughts and illusion….just for the heck of it. As for my aging fitness….my body is a temple….but crumbling.

Another exercise taking my precious mind into safety mode is Aunt Becky’s hurls in the old jalopy, especially when we are heading for the delights that the Kilpatrick Hills can offer any traveller. Apart from knowing almost every word in a musical excursion of ‘Top twenty Tartan hits’ the ancient colossal setting just blows cobwebs out of existence. We have to try more trips during the summer as wee Becky is slowly lost in an inside psychological mist. Still she has her moments especially when she threatens to kick my jewels if I dared buy her ‘link’ instead of square sausages from her favourite butchers in Saracen St Possilpark.

Another escaping hatch is in the shape of a train, clattering down the tracks heading for the seaside town of Ayr, and the good company of an old chine…Jim Hendry. Jim is sensible compared to me but somehow the chemistry always creates an invisible dome of raw crazy fun as we verbally kick each other, laughing profusely at the result. A few hours just sticking out our noses at sense or sensibility and the heck with reality…except when Jim climbs on to his makeshift soapbox…then I go for a widdle….

Meanwhile in the world throughout is where the halls of power in each and every country, state or regimes in so called republics, all waltz around merry-go-rounds of their own creation, manufacture the same mistakes as their forefathers foolhardily did so dangerously having fake confidence because it was deemed modern times, whatever century it happens to be, trusting they were real intelligent, far too cunning and smart to be caught out as history predictions …how dumb could they be….and still are…. ‘in a modern way’… relived.

Essay of a hopeful clown [size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
MIDAS TOUCH;(Part 5)

Speaking in a sombre voice the arduous tale of my past began…while I was in service of Mr Andrew Otterburn, then lord and master of Glasgow, his imbursement deed, to slay one cowardly traitor knight, who after the ‘battle of Redemore’ in corrupt ceremony, threw King Richard on a horse, as a dead soiled bloody cadaver, allowing royal privy parts plainly displaying free sight to all the kingdom, then learning Henry Tudor’s wrath … fled misguidedly to hide in Glasgow’s wild domain boundary.

Whatever agreement Otterburn made to the English Tudor, I was not privy to know, but I alone was the hand to send him to his maker. To my eternal shame I fell upon him while he was at his morning ablutions, allowing no means to protect himself. Unchivalrously he pitifully begged for his life, proposing some gold coins and a ring, in return for his existence, pleading how the ring itself was worth a king’s ransom.

It was then I caught sight of the pouch. I looked inside while my captives face turned peely-wally thinner than a drunkard’s piss. I knew exactly its worth without this excuse of a knight’s help.

The ring means was pittance , maybe some silver groats or one sovereign , however the pouch held a treasure with no match not be measured by all the Unicorn coinage dispersed by misery James Beaton; Scotland’s treasurer for James 1V.

Crushed Emeralds were known throughout the world, as genuine ward against the plague or spells of any denomination. I told the retch I would spare him if he freely gave me the pouch. He would not agree even in his terrified state and said he may as well be dead. So I obliged him and held onto his possessions. I vowed the pouch would not leave my person until I deceased…and did not till this day.

Barbers letting blood trying to evade the ravaging plague or boring holes in the scull and lords and masters sitting in sewers hoping the smell would force the plague to bypass. All the leapers being slaughtered while flagellants flogging themselves and each other, for 33.3 days because this was the number of days the lord Jesus Christ was on earth.

All of this was futile though the bishops prophecy preached the Armageddon to be recompense for evil done, blaming the Jews to be the cause of unholy apocalypse… were to be mercilessly hunted, hounded and killed… like pack animals. My blood-spattered hands…and avenging blade had been in these actions.

I was confessing these inhuman deeds, to my kin in intimacy for the first time to another living soul. Was I looking forgiveness and attaching it to the innocence of my first born or was this a last ditched attempt to justify my action. Rough and unwilling times bring rugged and uncharted behaviour. I hid my true conflicts within my genii… my less than moral actions.[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
IDAS TOUCH;(Part 6)

We arrived at our goal, bursting with great expectations, though we were ill equipped for what fate had in store. Keeping a secret of the written ritual instruction by preforming them, away from my son’s gaze, precisely to the letter as inscribed, and then waited while the moonbeam wafting beam lit the immediate surroundings. The chain of events was just about to start. We had reached the ultimate crossroads…now we had no earthy choice…the die was cast.

The night’s coldness buried deep into our exhausted bones though it did not deter me from my expectation of great multitudes of wealth, promise in the parchment now hidden around my person. I did not know then but this is almost the starting point where total greed took possession of my simple mind and soul.

I cannot clarify the site of this fearsome event, in case I tempt you to look to where exactly we had found ourselves, for I could not bear any human to witness the indications of spectre distorted thru excruciating pain while hovering beyond death, where no human hand or belief could help…and if anyplace was the crossway between heaven and hell…. this must be one of the most devout surroundings in Christendom.

The tautness forces me to observe the stark surroundings, darkened by many clusters of stone carvings of the highest standards, the sight cold exquisiteness and immeasurable compelling. Rising from the very foundations to the roof, glorious covered by heavenly objects of angels inward with the wraths of hell Gorgons outward. Many a shape with weird portions never seen by me until that very night, and pray not the want to visualize ever again. We both trembled as we tried, unconvincingly, not to see the deepest blackness fluctuating from within the enclosures, bleak as eternity itself.

The sheer Silence was deafening as our tiny lamp (the only salvation) flickers precariously in threat to extinguish, immerge our feeble bodies in the blackness of the unreal hours of darkness. The west wall of this consecrated dwelling was the spitting image of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and I know this to be as fact.

My knowledge of this land comes from the tongue of a righteousness knight who served in the crusade against the Saracens. We had talked, in quiet moments, while he was recuperating in a hospice on the grounds of the glorious Glasgow cathedral He, as his fellow knights, had taken a personal oath of poverty, chastity and obedience before entering the Order knights Templar, so his words were unchallengeable.

In the dancing light which could be possible swayed by the music of the devil, we could see many pillars and stone woven boxes with such beauty they looked out of place in a devout and pious temple of the Holy Ghost

All this time, my son stood by my side, without question or reasoning. Was I right keeping certain authenticities from him, or the parchment from his gaze? Was it for his protection or was it gluttony which the good book warns all travellers of the life cycle. I did not know the answer then but now I do… to my everlasting shame.
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No more tales till I return from a break in Bordeaux and the sublime Saissac
peter.howden
MIDAS TOUCH;(Part 7)

The parchment calligraphy was scribed in a vanished code derived in the dark ages, from Latin, Middle English, and Anglo-Norman added mindboggling complications to decipher, yet, I managed sufficient commands to recover, an medieval crafted ‘Granite Clavis’ by byzantine directions faintly scrawled. I warily placed the key into a clandestine slot encircled by the stone rose, then taking the precaution with several backward steps…at that point held our breaths.

Unexpectedly a horrendous thunderclap rose from nowhere, bewitchingly powerfully sounding as it came from ‘The unseen one’ abroad below, with vibrations shaking the crumbling ground itself, leaving us both in unquestionable dread.

No sooner recovering from the first jolt, as if a mighty evil spell was at work, the massive masonry close to 50 feet high …instantly one solid section after another fell inward, then miraculously replanted vertically, until totally enclosed in a complete circle of stone, making us now unwittingly imprisoned, blanking out the any visible sign of escape.

Once the grime and dust haze settled, strange illogicality in eerie hieroglyphic outlines, hither and thither, as if scattered by chance in creation. Strong Petroglyph figures of ‘Osiris’, an Egyptian deity of the underworld and arbiter of the dead dominated every column encircling were defiant prominent knights Templers. Carvings of three tied horses, a emblem of knighthood All around the pillars, the coats of arms dictating great knights dressed the walls with the shields of white and red cross superb on each section. This was truly thee triumphant monument of the bride of the lamb… also a insignia of nobility,

Secret gestures on every colossal stone posts, along with trisect compass and drawing apparatus displayed for us to see the art of stone masons and their craft were woven into the brother’s order as they built great fortifications throughout the lands here and across the seas. Druids and soothsayers, complete with their mythology embedded underneath scriptures which were undefinable, but to me the message was clear even through unnatural brightness

Strangely there was no difficulty with sight…still… where this deceitful light came from, I did not know, or care, taking no time to search for its source. We should have been scared out of our wits but sheer exuberance repelled such an emotion as fear evaporated whilst craving power, as promised, paid halt to any redress in me, instead, an impertinence over took any practical reasoning and smashed it against the rock of sanity…and the bait was being on the threshold of riches unimaginable wealth.

It was the olden parchment prophesies specifying that fate would come true… how I alone would succeed…no matter the perils to endure or the depths of depraved evilness I had to do… my own holy grail… this booty. At that precise moment I was unaware of mentally locking out from mind and body… everyone together with my first born son
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peter.howden
My Chronicles 27/07/2016

Eight day week in France

Grateful to be arriving in Bordeaux, though slightly concerned as it was later than scheduled, near midnight, heading for the Ibis hotel close to the Gare Saint Jean. My anxiety for my booked accommodation was vanquished into eternity with the beguiling smiling receptionist, who swiftly had everything in hand. Once checked in and just before taking my wheelie-case up to my charted abode I request at the tiny bar, a cool…cool beer simple my mouth was dry served with exuberance, regardless of the lateness of the night.

Alone at the bar, swivelling around as they do in the movies…I caught sight of what I thought was a forgotten iconic character standing annoyed and flustered at the opposite welcoming counter. She was five foot something, bleached blonde with cloths which always seems out of fashion, and those characteristic leopard skinned high heels…all supporting a plump wummin some 50years old…rolling Chewing gum in tangent with her china, both revelling poo faces and gapped mouths overdone with lipstick, echoing repeating rasping voices of their displeasure … the ancient classical ‘Wee Glasga Hairy still lives’…along with her ever present ‘heid the baw’.

They had been informed pleasantly but keenly there was no room at the inn…or indeed locally.
By this time it was way past midnight and for ten odd minutes, the lady and her companion, in broken Glaswegian; repeated the same massage, time and again ending with …’ By-the way…canna ye get it inta yer napper, the bloke on the phone clocked us in…were no daftie; ye kin? You’ll get hee-haw money aft of us…. The young administrator asked for a reference number but they had no such thing. The girl then rang around all the hotels in the district, to no avail and great displeasure too the two females. The wee Glasga hairy added with intended threat ‘I’m cauld massehl…near greetin mental…anaw gessa yon grievance form!

The French assistant gave her a form, asking if she would like her to phone for a taxi…to that the wee wummin replied, ‘Are ye paying?’ As the girl behind the counter completed her task, the two ladies walked towards the entrance, for a fag, and they spotted me sitting bemused. The Glasga icon wobbled up in her stilettoes and asked brashly…’Kin we bunk up with you’…they were not pleased with my polite but firm reply…the real French connection.

There is certainly variety in such a culture city with a mix of population contributing for centuries giving the visitor visual treasures. I prefer off the beaten track which can see just how the citizens of a city dwell. Travelling in outer district on a almost over-crowded tram’s, a man maneuverer’s a bicycle into the throng taking some 40/50 seconds to allow the electric doors to close. No one could move with wheels all over the place, saddles, bars and chancels perturbing,… my French is virtually pathetic but I could see most passengers were grimly looking at him, muttering far stronger words than…”Get on yer bike |Jimmy!”

Something about meeting friends, in person, you have not seen for a considerable time, is unexplainable in the warmth of the first few moments bursting in a melody of incredible emotions…followed by a comfort my words can’t do justice. This is my experience in Saissac…and my hosts who have a neat way about them
There may be a few more recollections about my experiences while abroad but they will surface by and by in my Chronicles of the future.

While boarding a plane, to return home via Carcassonne Airport, I was keenly looking for my seat when this gentleman, sitting in the aisle seat assisted and directed me to my booked seat at the window…the middle seat was unoccupied. Almost instantly I realized the chappy was a male of the opposite sex and he was attempting to flirt …with me…I was not shocked or concerned…just a tad surprised as i’m past my prime(sell by date according to Aunt Becky)…on the other hand he was no spring chicken(wouldn’t feel right calling him a cockerel)

It turns out this retired gent of 66, has a house in Scotland by the sea and now acquire a holiday house past Cazilhac, lots of spare time to learn French and so on. All this information was related in a very intimate manner while the plane filled to capacity with the only free seat in 2B(to be or not to be) …between us. A slight disorder occurred as a guy with two young children was trying, with the Stewart’s help, to relocate seats to be together. The result was this huge fellow volunteering to relinquish his pew and plunked down on our available seat.

The conversation halted immediately with the retired gentleman sending furtive glances( no more come fly with me) as I conversed with the big man ....I am thinking of suing ‘Ryanair’ for crushing my love life.[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
MIDAS TOUCH;(Part 8)

All around us the masonry was carved figures, unknown to me either in meaning or manner, all the same I had seen similar workings yet nothing so elegant and grand…so compelling. The spells of all spells secretly began to spread from the bare masonry base rose a stone water-well… seemingly an impossible illusion but dense to the touch….before our very eyes it manifested itself until it was evident it had ceased its bounds.

Looking at each other utterly bewildered at what had taken place though all had been forewarned scribed in the parchment; taken from the darkness of its depths and was the very reason of our quest…which I still hid from my son’s eyes or knowledge.

We stood above the edges of the phantom stone well looking over the hard rim only a black abyss, seemingly endless except for expected hell at the centre of the underworld... but Greed-blinding pulsating was false courage into my heart.

I had my son hold a secure tight rope while he lowered me into the stone circle of the well. The rope cautiously inched gradually down into the complete blackness swallowing me whole with no comfort from my view. All I could see was eerie gloom, apart from the torch flickering frantic revelling glimpses of hard solid granite at the slightest touch and on any contact ripping both cloth and skin.

The deeper I went the more inconsistent the light and real danger of it being blown out. I felt with dwindling passion, I was indeed alone and would be forever

Slowly being lowered while looking upward, all for me to see was a minute pin hole, which was but a shadow reflection of the beacon above the entrance to the fount. Each jerk of the cable bolted my thoughts, to why I was so keen to throw all caution to the wind in such a mad gamble. The built up twisting of the rope spun me around depriving any control however the walls revealed long forgotten sketches mentally transfixing my mind, with such realism I drifted back to almost reliving there perceive moments of time.

The selfish and senseless battles; where the lords and Chiefs sacrificed the life of clansman, just because they could. The fights of honour; which were just a concealment, for being, ether a bully or a cheat, or both were common place and as likely as the coming of morning. I had been involved with clan bitterness between Cameron’s and Macphersons, though no kin to ether, other than bought sword, and the slaying almost to a man on the hill of Glenbenchir.

Being summoned on the Monday before Michaelmas, by King Robert 111 was an honour until the witnessing of the outcome of Macphersons and the Davidsons. I laid my sword hand down…for ever. They were no wilder than any other clans in the highlands, but held in common the ignorance of chivalry fashion, left from the Norman writers.

Unexpectedly something struck at my right eye, a loose stone perhaps, immediately gathered my wits I returned to my endeavour. Amazingly I was somewhere at the bottom and I moved slightly to the right of the rope and stepped crunching something brittle but sharp. Lifting the torch head high to my instant revulsion witnessed skeletons strewed gawkily in mishmash though appearing entwined in a last desperate dread to cling to life.

Such a horrific sight, through a eerie flickering light from my torch, held with a shaking hand, spread instantaneous terror clutching within my panicking heart…sweat took hold of my physique clinging clammily moist compelling my garments to bind to my now trembling body.[size="3"][/size]
peter.howden
MIDAS TOUCH;(Part 9)

Peering down while bringing the unsteady taper closer to the ground, the sight I saw was pieces of brittle bones sticking out, 'higgledy-piggledy all angles and size, crumbled and crunched at the merest touch, circulating and covering white-powder gloom of the hard granite walls. One solid block was protruding outward, just over waist high, etchings were just visible due to the dim light and my new found curiosity keeking paramountcy over my fears.

Standing over this grit stone, rubbing off the white ash I could just about decipher chiselled words, reading Quote ‘I’….Do professes and promise chastity, giving up all property and obedience to God and the Blessed Virgin Mary and to you Brother ‘.

I thought I knew the opening sworn oath was of the Knight Templar, though I could not be sure if the Hospitaller knights took the same allegiance. Touching the description in awe of what it stood for, strangely feeling secure and comforted by them, I whispered and touched the words “Virgin Mary”, gingerly with light fingers. Abruptly the trembling floor forced the massive carved stone to be eased back into the foundations of the wall. Nevertheless it did not stop but continued opening up a secret passage, of its own height. At that defined moment, I heard… in my head, angels singing so sweet… it made me cry

As abruptly as it started, it stopped with no sign how, no ropes or pulleys or obvious trip wires I could observe, leaving me to wonder what to do next. Checking to see if the means to escape was still there secure, with little hesitation, I decided to go forward or where this unknown entrance would lead. This may be seen as an act of bravery though I can assure all and sundry, it was an act of desperate compulsion, but far more important… voracity at its wildest edge.

Within several crouched hesitated footsteps, an opening of a brightly lit chamber was just ahead. Once in I rose to my full height, then realizing this ability to see was almost akin to daylight. I dubbed my precious torch while confused to where light came from as I was certainly leagues underground, however the exhilaration of my unique quest was burning deep paying no heed to such trivial things.

Revolving round to the side of the tunnel, I felt cold fear to see a skeleton vertical, in full mail armour with a Heater shield, guarding something unseen. Along aside this ridged body of bones stood another, almost as tall baring a sword, the biggest I had ever come across in military service. I had heard the guardian of Scotland, named William Wallace from Ellersie, owned such a fine weapon though in all my fighting experience never had to face such a formidable weapon, and thank the ‘Lord’ for that.

As my eyes slowly focus right around this bizarre chamber, a foul smell of death became apparent, rising so prominent, it choked the air I breathed but the mind’s eye vision was so compelling, I stood still for a long time. At least a dozen more such figures appeared as if by magic of some kind, paced right around the skirt of the wall.

They were indeed the recognizable knights Templar. They were, of stories and legend, told on cold nights around the fires of the land, as the guardians of the biggest prize in Christendom. Whilst some cynics dismissed it as being poppycock…I believed, like most, who had heard tales of the Knight’s …of their power…its glory…and its road untold wealth.
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Two parts to go....hope you enjoy the ending....not because it's ended
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peter.howden
MIDAS TOUCH;(Part 10) final chapter …by popular demand

Witnessing such magnificent armour fuelled the already compulsive germ of greed cancelling all demons which may lie before me. Being there was a mark of perhaps just inches away from the most prized symbol in the whole of Christendom….the Holy Grail. The battered shields protecting the once living knights, was testament to horrific combats under temperatures of hell and beyond….when something caught my eye.

It was a solid ring alongside a Gauntlet, both levitating unaided in the centre area of the chamber… not a thing touching. This evoked a memory of something carved on stone quoting ‘Thee ring of fire will enrich all you touch and a charmed glove will cease turning gilded’. Bending forward, and with immature impertinence, placed the gold ring on my right hand finger… and waited.

Nothing happened. I move one of the bones out of my path and instantaneously the piece of carcass turned to gold flake, crumbling before my eyes. As the gold dust crumbled towards the floor, memorized I touched another bone, but this time a larger one, and straightaway formed solid gold. I could not grasp what was actually taking place…so with an suckling mentality was dammed to test it again and again….and again until I was surrounded by gold.

Now the pieces were falling into place as I was starting to count my good fortune. This must be the ring of King Midas. Many folklores spread in hamlets throughout the land, how incredible treasures was hidden in a secret whereabouts, here in Scotland and in the Cather village of Saissac….embedding a seed for sanctuary of the ‘Auld Alliance’

Among those whispered, was the ancient ring of Midas. It was not the sacred Holy Grail but as a mortal how could I deem to hold such a hallowed vestige… but with this; I could be the richest man in Scotland… nay the richest man in the world.

Placing the leather glove on my ringed finger, of my right hand, touching a bone where nothing happened. So I reasoned this was a mystic sheath to prevent the ring doing its magic. The knights Templar must have brought this enchanted band from France while fleeing King Philip IV religious retribution, masking his desire for their magnificent wealth.

How and why it was in the well escaped me, but they were a powerful order and they held the Holy Grail, anything was possible. I was deep in mind when I heard my forgotten son hailing echoes on me. I put the glove on not to turn the rope to gold, clutched converted bones, crawled carefully to the inner circle and tugged on my lifesaver.

Slowly being hauled up, clinging desperately to my booty, I became unbalanced which made the rope swing from side to side uncontrollable while frantically I endeavoured to hold on. The golden skeleton scull loosened from my grip, gradually slipped from my grasp. The rope by now was hitting the walls as it rotated overpoweringly. There was no choice but to let go of my other trophies and hang on with all my might.

Almost at the lip of the well, the rope shuddered and Christopher; called loudly for me to grab his hand. Without thinking and instinctively, I reached for his powerful hand, locked tight with my left hand.

Now sweating profusely while my son’s grip was secure, mine began to slip. In all innocence he shouted for me to grab his arm with my other hand. Christopher called with all innocence and urgency “For almighties sake father… drop whatever trophy you have found and save your very life”

Fragments of the wall were falling alarmingly on the bulwarks surrounded me. The dust from all this commotion became unbearable to breath. Christopher called again “Reach for safety; father” as a stonework fell between us
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For a moment, all time stood still as if a melancholy plays unfolded before me. My right hand was still gloved, protecting all against the power of the ring. If the glove was allowed to fall, there was a chance the ring would plummet with it, never to be recovered. The glove was slipping on its own accord as I felt the ring tighten around my finger in an act of enchanted self-preservation. The glove fell downward away from my grasp…to seal my dilemma.

My neurotic greed had brought me to almost certain death … but if I reached to save myself, then my beloved innocent son would forfeit his life. I would have gained all the riches of the world but lost my only future….

What was I to do...there was no choice…….
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peter.howden
anecdotes from the auld Steamie[u][/u]


The lucrative Turkish Suite;
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Throughout Scotland in the not so good Victorian years when it was a priority to construct buildings to house Public swimming pools, complete with extra amenities, such as wash-house (the Steamie), baths and Turkish suite. From the very start the Turkish baths and its attendants, were of a class of their own, simply the halls of power reasoned a higher class of clientele frequented its premises.
Other employees including gaffers and shift managers looked on rather enviously at the flexibility and slack rules which Turkish personnel enjoyed but mostly because the gratuity they received from the reserved patrons.

Within one such Corporation Baths dept. establishment, one such employee nicknamed ‘Humphrey’, had been engaged, alone, in the above mentioned privilege position of ‘keeper of the keys’ in the Turkish area. The volume of clients rose steadily over several years with on suite hot and cold drinks, a variety of filled rolls and specialized eats, plus knickknacks and the primary body massages and rubdowns…added with a tad of the banter, jovial conversations insuring gratuities were substantial, more in keeping a private club.

In the spur of the moment, it is amazing how something so ridiculous can be believed by most peoples if said in a strong dignified tone coming from the mouth of a sincere trustworthy face. The plumbers had been in the previous day to install new showers and the old antique semi circled ring shower ( from floor to just above head high, at intervals of one foot measurements, five parallel spherical holed pipes at intervals of one foot, sprinkling the whole body horizontally), was left in one corner of the dry area suite.

During the morning several of the clients asked what this equipment was, so grabbing the moment, naughtily Humphrey instructed them this was the brand new dry cleaning apparatus and this establishment was the test area for the future. Three or four customers swallowed this and stood individually, while totally naked, for five or more minutes, and professed afterwards how marvellous this was… how exuberating the whole experience had been…. with one actually saying….”its saves drying with a towel”.

With personal massages came the real reward in monetary matters, far outweighing most perquisites, and again although the rubdown was important the verbal reassurance went a long way in encouraging clients of the magic in the fingers and hands.

Once inappropriately, while distracted Humphrey conversed with someone else, he accidently rubbed in a portion containing very strong heat treatment lotion and toothpaste on the client. The diabolical mixture came apparent when Humph’s hands became almost red hot, to then discover the client’s shoulders had achieved the same redraw state of affairs. Leaving the table Humphrey insisted the client should not use the showers at all, but alas, some minutes later he had ignored the dire instructions.

An enormous cry of agony was heard by everyone in or out the whole baths building. Fearing the worse the attendant gingerly looked into the wet area only to be confronted by the client still showing visible signs of pain…”best rubdown I’ve had for years “he says… and later, the tip was a bumper.

The rest of the staff looked on the Turkish suite as the ultimate position; especially Humph’s…and their antics will be revealed in other episodes
peter.howden
My Chronicles 07/08/2016

Where ever I go no matter how great it was or how I longed to meet certain company it’s great to be back home especial our own bed yet a few memories linger. While staying at the Ibis hotel in Bordeaux I noticed a shopping trolley, with cardboard boxes folded, in the furthest parking spot next to the main railway bridge across the La Garonne. Around noon and 8 pm each day, two gentlemen of the road would appear using the cardboard as mattresses watching the world go, late evening retreat into the bellows of the bridge.


Curiosity captured me as on my last evening I decided to stroll past their abode. Under the bridge was a home away from home with chairs bedding and even a seat marked ‘Visiteur’ and even with my pathetic French….understood what it meant. The gentlemen spotting me asked if I was English, to which I denied, adding I was ‘Ecossais. They gestured me forward and in broken language managed to convey some sort of conversation with me being placed on the visitor’s chair. I had a few beers with me in my haversack, which I shared with these kindly gentlemen, they sharing wine…from glasses and bread, touring France for seasonal work…if my deciphering was correct. I had a superb couple of hours, just enjoying the company…bloody magic.

Flying home the was no mistaking the Kilpatrick Hills, Campsie Fells, breath-taking at such a height and different view and just plain something else …wow. Within the next couple of days, phoning Aunt Becky (to get her sannies on) before taking her a hurl around our usual run, which I confess gaining more from than the wee wummin does. While rolling along in the old jalopy, we have the Tartan top twenty playing away with favourites such as ‘Scots Wha Hae’; ‘Dark Lochnagar’ and of course ‘Flower of Scotland’ which we join in with absolute gusto. At the end of this song, Aunt Becky always says…”Were twa old rebels!”. While on the way to her home, then back to mine, II play loudly, with the windows closed for privacy and sanctuary, the Rolling Stones and the magic of Sonny boy Williams…unadulterated magic


After a few day home it became apparent something untoward was happening to “She who must be obeyed” for she wanted a hot water bottle while in this clammy weather. Rebecca was feeling extra tired and rather down for the next few days until one morning she woke chittering and freezing inside her actual body. Because of Rebecca’s past medical history I’m used to her fatigue coupling with long sleeps in the dark but this had symptoms ominously diverse. I phoned the doctor, who came and did a thorough examination. We were more than pleased when Rebecca was diagnosed having some kind of virus and to stay in bed till mended.

The weekly Saturday arrives and though feeling marginally better, the normal home baked scones were off the menu from our regular kitchen table rendezvous. By Monday evening, Tuesday morning, appearing to worsen, went to the clinic where Dr Smith stated the virus was still afoot and the length of time to recover unknown. Today it appears Rebecca has lost the wooziness and sore throat is almost back to normal….whatever normal is.

“She who must be obeyed” found it problematic to speak through this frustrating episode…but she was still able to direct me to exactly what she wanted…and I thought….pure magic….
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peter.howden
The Sixth of August;

I reach out and touch a piece of cloth you once wore, so selectively sensing a certain aroma traveling towards my consciousness that’s not a stranger….how long is forever… for this we promised every day we lived secretly each other’s breath…. Just captivated how one could love so intensely, almost agonizingly wonderful….with every meeting creating an emotion volcano overflowing within us both

I have this photograph, in silence, I gaze with affection which knows no edge, no distance, no time other than dusk… but desperately wish for you to talk back, or show a sign of anything. You have not aged since the day I took the picture… I have with wrinkles and lines of oldness … but you are somewhere other than my heart, my pulse or my mind….I just don’t know where.

The slightest jolt, the unexpected whisper, a memory from the kitchen sink, mysteriously inspires you to appear vividly in my mind, creating mixed and conflicting passions exactly as it was when our eyes collided in debating conversation or in temper. Our feelings grow through good and bad which strengthened the need between us… although we were always worlds apart….sometimes in true excellence beyond any imagination or limitation … they collided in utter brilliant chaos

We never said goodbye
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peter.howden
Anecdotes from the auld Steamie


The powerhouse;

Throughout Scotland metropolises, the most important occupation in the whole structure of an auld Corporation/Council baths department building was the firemen/boiler men….for without his essential skills…the whole hub of socials services for their areas would fail to function. These very imperative responsibilities were usually held by X- merchant seamen/ footplate railway firemen, commonly called a ‘Stoker’ operating a marine boiler

These dedicated men being the safety value in case any problems arose which rarely occurred…and although the commencement ignites/ the end shutdown, of their shift had a high concentrated level of acute duty, the continuous running of the system was relatively easy and a tad boring. With this in mind and individual history of 30/40 years at sea, these pioneers had a sailing taste for slight refreshments

In one such premise’s of the Auld Corporation, worked such an old stoker nickname ‘Al Jonson,’ due to his liking habit of singing the famed singer’s songs, with different gusto, measured by the amount of liquid gold he was or had consumed, all in all he was a rare chanter in a desperate struggle against tedium. There was a sure fire way of comprehending his partiality of the day was. The tell-tale sings was on his table layout in the powerhouse bothie.

Coming down the metal steps Al Jolson could be observed sitting at a clothed table used by engineers and firemen for lunch/tea breaks. If only a tea caddy was situated on the centre of the top meant he was drinking beer. The caddy was just above the height of the bear glass. If per chance a biscuit tin was on display in meant a half was being consumed…and if both…this ordained a ‘hauf and a hauf’’ was regularly his chosen tipple…usually on a Friday.

If per chance he wandered around away from the comforts of his bothie… if he talk nineteen to the dozen, chit-chatting the legs of a donkey in such a vocational fashion of a hifi record needle…he was fu. Somewhere across the busy city worked a superintendent, known as the sacking gaffer, had phone urgently for Willie’s services (this was his real name) as his man was sent home…for being drunk…before he even touched the water boiling cauldrons…

It was sneakily manged to keep Willie away from the ‘Sacking gaffer, simple because he was slipped in via the back entrance to the boiler room and no self-respectful superintendent would venture down such a greasy hothouse, Willie on the other hand, could prepare and kindle a boiler in his sleep, so things seemed normal. Once the big cheese left for home…the shift supervisor discovered to his horror… the continuing problem was…Willie was more blotto than the guy they sent home…
In the deemed ‘Mean Town’ shipyards areas, in any metropolis, the clandestine alcohol are in a league of its own…blew your brains out.

It was believed when liquor illicitly came into the docks, in these vast vats, after they were released of their valuable cargo, these containers were steamed cleaned releasing raw alcohol and this was run off and bottled, sold and drank by a mixture of personage through a wide areas of the housing and so called country clubs( made speakeasy’s sound tame) around dockyards.

An experience better tried once and once only
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peter.howden
Anecdotes from the auld Steamie

Ethics

In different Scottish metropolis, within areas of those metropolitans, a sense of pride amongst the Baths Department council workforce, a certain principle was, and is inherent, almost mimicking the infamous mafia (if it exists) as unspoken code of accepted ethics to be followed to the letter. The most serious of these silent morals is… never to grass (tell tales) on workmates known workers from any other establishment in the city.

No matter how the unofficial union scrutinize …there is always someone who will do just that…either out of spite, wishing to be notice when promotion is in the air, so called night and day workers…or just bampots*. For some insane reason there are peoples who take an unhealthy delight by being such informants almost in every works or establishments, just the hell of it…

In one such premises there was such a snitch, we will nickname him ‘Jim’ to preserve his individuality while named ‘George the untrue’, who had the audacity to inform on Big Ben, employed causally in the Turkish suite. He was called big for that is what he was, possessing hands like shovels when open and sledgehammers when closed…especially when angry. He was dubbed ‘Big Ben’ for it was known he had done some serious time, by request of her majesty…though nobody knew what for. This tale is using nicknames to defend the innocent…but mainly to protect the author.

When Big Ben discovered he had been stitched up by this naff, he stormed through to the works laundry where all the towels and the like are washed, dried and bundled. Jim was caught off guard as Big Ben bodily grabbed the nark and tossed him into the drier…locked the door and turned on the motions that driers do. Jim was now an authentic squealer…which was heard all around the old building…no-one dared to rescue him until the shilling ran out…anyway it was on cool air function.

Though it was unusual, Big Ben did not turn up for work for a week or so leaving the gaffers none the wiser why? He was always on time also being known for his honesty, above board, trusted and frank. Whether this was due to his massive frame with height over 6 foot 6 inches, he was truly daunting, but It was not the first time Ben handed in money and possessions, perhaps left by a forgetful punter There was a visit from five local C.I.D. who requested, records when Big Ben worked, and to search Big Ben’s lockers and the whole of the prodigious Turkish suite to boot.

As they turned the who place upside down it was unclear what the plain cloths police were looking for until one of the gaffer’s actually asked. Replying in serious manner tones he was informed the purpose was to search out any lose money unwarranted for such premises and circumstances. It was then the shift supervisor retorted in his Scottish vernacular, he certainly wished not to be a stoolpigeon but Ben Gun earner extra money in the shape of perquisite, not declared in his taxes, and a fair amount of overtime.

There was a certain half-baked snigger from one of the C.I.D men, as he nonchalantly addressed to his college that this would go a long way in explaining how 20,000 was found in Big Ben’s home after he had been arrested on last Tuesday.

Carefully and innocently, complete with a tad of curious concern for one employee, the same day-manager added… “Tuesday is Big Ben’s day off….why and how was he arrested?” The law enforcement agent quickly comes back “Along with a couple of living stooges a robbery took place, at a bank in the city, the thieves made off with hundreds of thousands of pounds!

The gaffer was flabbergasted…and surprise in his voice….”on his day off?”
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peter.howden
PEEWEE; HONOUR AND LOYALTY;


Not so long ago while on a short break, I strolled along the sands of Saltcoats, after a few refreshments in a local tavern, being a chilly night but so enchanting full moon displaying my way to the holiday caravan owned by Salty (David my brother-in-law).Stopping to take another few sips of ‘the water of life’…for medicinal reasons , neither the Christianity vision or Brother Grimm’s fairy tale, but liquid gold from a true Scottish distillers .

With such a clear evening memorized by the distant Lamlash, Isle of Arran, almost as if you could touch her. Turning around to the direction where unfamiliar noises were drifting, when a welcome figure arose out of the shadows. It was ‘Peewee’ as everyone may ken by now, supernatural and magical pigeon guardian of Georges Square, self-made protector of the Lord Provosts of Glasgow, before time was measured by a ticking clock.

In a serious temperament he spoke “In 1794, a certain incident took place, which could have tore the very heart out of Glasgow and perhaps had started another uprising pitching Scot against Scot!” Continuing with precise dictation, “The military authorities were nervous due to the auld Alliance and the state of France! A highland regiment named ‘Breadalbane Fencibles’ billeted within the Glasgow walls.. A guard was duped into allowing a prisoner to flee was to be hanged…the soldiers protested and the authorities declared the men to be flogged”

The rebel soldiers felt disgrace had been bestowed on their honour, so a small group did rescue their companions from the jail. They demanded their fellow fighting men to be released and when refused, took them by force and refused to hand them back, no matter what the officers ordered .

This became ugly as the rescuers, having returned to normal duties, they themselves were confide to barracks, where in several days would be sent out of the town, Musselburgh sands no less, to be shot for mutiny . The common folk of Glasgow were well aware of the unfairness dealt to all the soldiers and so a mob started to riot at the Tron toll. They ambushed the very officer who had called for the unjust sentence on the wrongdoers and their rescuers. The mob was ugly and had the officer plus his batman held in a house close to the toll.

The Lord Provost at the time Gilbert Hamilton was in a right panic, requesting me for advice how to deal with such a volatile situation. With this he wrote to Lord Breadalbane Fencibles, to whom this sad affair had started, and then demanded release of the accused and disciplinarian. This the methodical militaries did without question knowing they were sealing their own fate. Their honour was more important than any argument or punishment bestowed proving trust was well founded. It was successful as all returned to where they were billeted and all soldiers were released from their sentence but sent to the four corners of the known world…. one escape goat named Alexander Sutherland was hung.

Provost Hamilton took the ideas of action to be his own and warmed in their credit. The reason for the last moment reprise was not honour or duty done but the fear of full scale uprising as the likes of France. Peewee then added with a hint of distaste; “So many loopholes in some government legislature, council decisions and bills, lots deliberate that you could use them as verbal sieves…or how to make simple words mean a thousand ways!”

Peewee looking at me as if teacher to pupil and then surprisingly added before disappearing …”You can’t always get what you want” leaving me with a conundrum …was Peewee a Rolling Stone’s fan...I took another snifter from my bottle and I guessed the answer was.... Yes….
peter.howden
The Plague beyond salvation

It has been long thought, by scientist and boffins in the field of physics, the first living thing on Earth were single-celled micro-organisms deficient of a cell nucleus, around four billion years ago, some hundred million years after the construction of the Earth itself. The geniuses are completely ignorant of the dark facts of the whole creation structure…or why the universe is here.

The architects are living forms in a time structure way beyond human ken, where billions of light years superfluous shadows in their cosmos. The simple answer is it is an experiment, in a control environment, by them to adapt basic life to different atmospheres and chemicals. Our whole structure surrounds 94 elements…we have two yet to discover. The plan was to inspect any such life forms produced by opposite proofs and conditions and where that might lead to in a relatively short phase

A safety valve was installed by having a special beginning, a one off ‘Amoeba Archaea’ in case something uncalculated or distrustful was to take place. This had a positive/ neutral disguised atom was separated… the neutral was installed in the very first living female organism, hidden and obscured in the females D.N.A. of the progressive top predator being. The positive half was buried undeveloped into the top predator males D.N.A

While closely monitoring their progress in their studies and premeditated stages, which include anticipating a struggle for supremacy between species…domination by one species became inescapable. What apprehension there was … when one such dominie becomes so indifferent to irreversible consequences for the survival of the planet…then the experimentation would be terminated immediately

When assessed to be, with the press of a key, will instantly activate both cells…destroying all of humanity [size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
Joe’s discovery

Taking a shortcut home through a wooded area near his home, Joe stumbled and fell over a unseen object, banged his head on the gravel pathway also grazing his knuckles.. Murmuring curses and being embarrassed, Joe began to pull himself together, looking to see if anyone witnessed his stupidity. In the dim light available he saw what seemed like a fancy raincoat, puffed up and spread across the pathway but taking a closer squint he began to panic…as he saw there was a crumpled body in the expensive coat.

The horror spread like uncontrollably wildfire in his confused mind, darting to and fro from reasonable sanity to fragments beyond dreams as he cautiously moved closer to the victim, swithering whether to move the body. Joe had seen many murder mysteries of the box to know the police don’t like the public to touch anything but especially not to move the body. Racing through is mind was the thought ‘Is he dead?’ Joe inwardly thought ‘he might be alive and needing help?’

His mind spun…’If he’s dead and I buzz the polis…I’ll get the blame… no doubt about it with my record…no one here to tell them otherwise…the bogies won’t believe me…that’s for sure!’ ‘The body hasn’t moved at all …then again he may be wounded. Joe chose to investigate with care… turning over the limp body which let out a very faint sound…no more than an unconscious murmur.

This unknown smartly dressed man with a bow tie and silk shirt and all the evening dress clobber… nevertheless ….over the front of coat, blood seeping at an alarming rate… staining Joe’s tee-shirt. Joe now was not scared…just bloody petrified, because almost instantaneously the damp gooey liquid dripped as if wet across his ice blue jeans….his brain worked overtime…

“Christ!” he shouted without thinking…. Then silently said to himself…‘If I do a runner I’m still marked, how the hell do I wash the crap off without that nosey bugger of a landlady knowing?’. Joe’s reasoning was now grindingly clawing for an answer …. The body just lies there creating havoc in its possible last moments …if he dies I’m defiantly stuffed…if it was ever possible he survives…he most likely unable to remember what or who happened….then I’m truly stuffed…I can’t even change tailored suit and fancy dancing shoes

Precipitously for a moment he relaxed as if saved due to remembering ….the dead come out in their Sunday best…. as the drunken poet writer once wrote…. Then realizing he must be nuts thinking so….

He covered the body as best he could trying his best to make it invisible to the naked eye….….he took all his cloths apart from his vest and pants, luckily the were trunk shaped and before burying his cloths in a separate hole….with a small branch scribbled the number 42…once all completed …walked as if exercising in a race…while remembering the number 42… is the meaning of life….
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peter.howden
My Chronicles 24/08/2016

There are certain conditions within life occur regularly happily expected but then again there are unqualified circumstances which causes consequences on no time dreamed would arise. The main change was learning to accustom aging…more important, how it touches my family, affects our lives… and me.

Our Aunt Becky while managing to reach 90, old of age is not the real factor; on the other hand diagnosed with Demetria progressively chronic has affected all who care for her. In her own little world she appears reasonably happy reading her precious books and the occasional cowboy film ‘John Wayne’ of course. Unfortunately she has forgotten how to switch the telly on, never mind changing channels, and her concentration reading books although eager to achieve…last about 5/10 minutes at best.


When assessed by the professional peoples from N.H.S, and the like, they depend on basic facts and financial restrictions, while ‘She who must be obeyed’ and I are to close.... Yes… she can make something to eat, always a piece and marmalade (I call her wee Paddington) or a half cup of tea she has forgotten she has made and makes another and another.

The authorities state she is safe which I am rather dubious about but she spends 21 hours alone….to us …this is not measuring up to a quality of life while the authorities are determined to keep peoples in their own home mainly for just financial reasons…. not the worth of precious life …the simple qualified consequence is …we feel inadequate.

I am lucky to have a couple of ‘China’s’ who are around my age, while the precious thing about these mates is simply knowing they are there. One China has had relatively unexpected consequences placed on his life. I may be lucky to visit once a year, which is an event all of its own. My other China, like myself, has steadily realized we are growing old. with my enjoyable trips, I see roughly once a month Jim Hendry…an Ayrshire man. He is taking a well-deserved holiday in November, after funding his trip, will cause perhaps an assessed financial consequences… with unrehearsed consequence of sleepless nights on his mattress being a wee bit lower in height.

Rebecca and I have had one tragedy with the sudden loss of ‘Toni’ our daughter ,almost destroying all of us and still does deliver instant aching at a moment’s notice, due to uncontrollable unqualified thoughts …though the pain now is slightly bearable with happy memories of her life… peeking in unannounced.

With my heart’s partner ‘She who must be obeyed’, Chris and Nikki who care and loving, three oddball grandchildren, Toni’s main man Fergus… plus Paddington(Aunt Becky) all in my corner and for me personally…my whole life has been one heck of a zigzag, up and down, but mainly fabulous ‘once in a lifetime’ trip….I have just purchased a new badger/hair shaving brush….I hope the badger does not mind me having a few close shaves …wonder what comes next [size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
Desperate 14;

Pinched;

22b stubbed out her filter-tipped hand rolled fag, made from doubts of previous cigarettes, through necessity rather than conviction. She had only been invited next door, 22A, just twice before; her hands were shaking for it was like stepping into another world. The neighbour delivered the invitation when they met in the post office while 22b was collecting her meagre rock bottom allowance from the state. Her next-door fellow citizen was dispatching some correspondence and early Christmas gifts abroad. 22A said you had to post early to make sure of delivery ….in time for the season festivities.

Celebration; what calibrations were going to take place in 22b. Bugger all…and that is God’s honest truth. In the empty shell of this address was puck all; apart from hand- me-downs of a small single bed, a chair and a wobbly side dresser, completing the set an old telly which only worked at night because the picture could not compete with any form of sunshine or daylight. She had tried to tape an old cardboard box around the screen to block out unwanted light but it was bloody hopeless

On her last visit to the abode the well-off owner’s abode of 22a, the host surprisingly gave her an automatic tin opener. What the France was she going to do with that? One tin of old corn beef and a tin of Heinz whatever kind of soup, and that was a pull can. I guess she can give presents with impunity, because she has carpets……in every room. Anyway the visit will pass the time.

Next door greeted her with a welcome of sheer delight though such joy and reception was lost on number 22b. Noticing her guest was rather vexed, the lady of the house decided to show her the flat’s new bedroom suite, bought with some monies from an inheritance left by a relative. The only inheritance 22b could look forward would be double monies at the fair and Christmas. The only difference was she was totally skint for three weeks instead of 5 days.

The phone wrung shortly after the private tour introduced to the bold four poster bed. The lady host excused herself and left the boudoir. The lass from 22B skits around with wanting eyes until they come transfixed on an enamel jewellery box. Peeking inside was as if it was King Solomon’s mines or Ali Baba’s ill got gains . One precious piece stood out from all the rest, within the blink of an eye; she palms it…drops it into her blouse pocket.

When 22b returns to some small talk, false smiles leading shortly afterwards with 22B back in her cold bare custodial flat. With great electric excitement jumping through her body with speed faster than light 22b takes out her purloined jewellery she had stolen with such ease in craving and desire personification, she released the stone out of its hiding.
Graspingly glaring at the ring as it shone so brightly in the dull surroundings of the shabby painted room, she slipped it on her poky bony finger as if it was made for her purpose alone.

She knew no one could witness her adorning the stolen treasure and if miss have-it-all came to the door; 22b would just deny all knowledge. She toasted her conniving cunning with a slug of flattened ginger. 22b was in a mood to celebrate and decided to open her long awaited corn beef.

As she prepared the electric can opener a shaft of light bounced off the diamond on the ring’s setting and caught her eyes, forcing her to lift one hand to shade the glare. Just that precise moment, the gifted automatic gadget lunged into operation catching her ringed finger with the sharp mechanics. The exquisite ring squashed into the flesh causing tremendous pressure to squash fragmenting the very bone, almost wrenching it from the hand, hot blood spurted in all directions, instantly turning cold when landing on foreign flesh.

22b panicked, racing around as a headless chicken making the heartbeat faster, producing more escaping red serum. The moment’s vital force was seeping away. as her spark of life drifted .

Some miracle happened, 22b didn’t know what, but she woke up in hospital as ashen faced doctors mumbled seriously over her. She felt nothing but anxiety to see her ill-gotten ring, trying to utter words but somehow they made not a sound

The doctors were holding up an X-Ray and uttering there was nothing that could not save the hand or the arm and the critical condition was caused by gangrene. They assumed this appalling act, most likely was caused by a dirty cutting instrument, because she was in the kitchen at the terrible scene.

The medical persons agreed unanimously that the patient had a fatal complaint

The ring lay in the senior nurse’s cupboard, unclaimed to this day and perfect in every detail.
peter.howden
The little princess


The little girl was indeed a picture of virtually divine prettiness right from the start, being told to one and all almost every day, by those who saw her but especially her dotting mother. The mommy bestowed many other praises on her ‘Little Princess’ at any opportunity, or excuse, or moment she could derive to do so. From the child’s cot onwards, when grandiose fairy tales, such as ‘Snow-white’ ‘Sleeping Beauty’; ‘Cannettella’ and of course ‘The Flower Queen’s Daughter’ all read before climbing the wooden stairs to slumber land, and the child being dictated to these fables was based on her, as she was ever so special preparing for the rosy future being the bell of the ball, to marry, someone no lesser than the royal circles, even a king.

From that precise moment of time, each growing step, the little girl was drilled in strict decorum posture complete with perfect diction. Respectively mornings were dedicated atomized routines preparing her face, body and dress for that particular day…always being referred to as ‘Princess’. This was physically followed by tuition how too graceful in sitting walking and tone manner allowing someone into her presence

Her father, being male and just barely tolerated by the higher female matriarch, had little say in any matter, apart for adding the term ‘Precious’ after each sentence communicating with the child. Money was no stumbling block, so nothing was too good for her prized offspring, best of best of everything, from head to toe in cloths and accessories only ordinary girls can dream of. There was rarely conversation…just gruelling instructions interwoven with total admiration bestowed on their living doll. What was totally forgotten was to encourage individual personality, complete with separate skilled qualities.

As the years progressed the young child change into a girl, then cool controlled young lady, imitating a top film star’s magnificent image, with her looks and profile knowing no bounds, but on the other hand…. Outwardly, ground impression of being cold, aloof, haughty taughty female whose panting suiters, attracted by the illusion, very soon after introductions flew away without daring being verbally or physically Intimate

As the ages past, the older woman still held such grace and elegance, wearing cloths which suited her every move which others envied, as some seriously wanted to be like, but she was terribly alone and an all cried out wallflower…living completely alone. Her parents had tutored her especially well and now there was no other way to behave. Now distant memories just exploded into agonized thoughts of depression, so dark it was frightening …but more frightening when they were lost in the hidden allusion of the mind. Inside her heart, she would give her life tomorrow… just for a night of loving, with any male company, and above all…honest warmth to last until dawn

There was great wretchedness deep within the soul, simply because the living doll could only be a subject to look at…admiring her contour perfection
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peter.howden
High tea in Milngavie

‘She who must be obeyed’ and I were invited to meet the Family of ‘Kirstie’ before the wedding between the lovely Kirstie and Chris, our son, due to take place on the 23rd September. They have been going steady, if this is the correct term, right from the first moments they met and continue beaming pure delight and contentment whenever just sneaking a glimpse of one another…they are as one. Charming and nice are overused words but together they both fit the bill of the pure joy they share and just a few weeks ago they announced, to prospective families, their intentions of being wed.

Now; for two unknown families to meet under such circumstances, in my experiences, can be a tad awkward to all concerned or at least… daunting. With this in mind and the bursting enthusiasm displayed by the lovebirds it was agreed Rebecca and I would travel to the home of Kristie’s relatives in Milngavie. We were not completely in the dark because on two occasions, we had kept company with Kristie’s sister, Yvonne who visited our regular Saturday kitchen table family rendezvous. When it was mentioned the theme would be ‘High Tea’…of course, I was guided by ‘She who must be obeyed’ to be on best behaviour, which I promised to endeavour to be just so.

On the day while motoring to their home, I had a slight mixture of raw excitement, plus a niggling worries and hope both families would not take an unfortunate unplanned irked with each other, for these things can unfortunately take hold regardless of the efforts of the families concerned. Kristie’s family were absolutely pleasure to meet in their home surroundings, proving the High Tea setting was pure magic to put all company at ease. And what a spread of homemade scones, cakes and delightful bites just so tempting.
Each and every one of Kirstie’s family made us both feel comfortable and important with all looking forward to the big day.

The big surprise was when Kirstie asked if I would be honoured to give her away to Chris…giving me moist eyes and on the spot pride. All too soon we were being waved away by a heart-warming family… from High tea in Milngavie.

High teas where no strangers to me although in distant memories way back as a tyke youngster, when my mother constantly coached me in the three-layer etiquette…known as manners. It was not polite to dive in at the cream cakes or buns, first you sampled dainty pieces of bread, from the bottom layer, with butter or jam…not both which I liked. Then after asking politely, a scone, middle layer, could be placed on your plate, again butter or jam…but woo betide me if I used the knife instead of the tiny spoon supplied for that very purpose…and this would be excessively embarrassing for mother. Once this structure had been heeded then a cream delight was mine…except it was to be cut in small pieces to fit the mouth. The best part of eating cream buns or cakes was having the cream all over your face and liking it off with the tongue…not acceptable at high tea.

‘She who must be obeyed’ and I are spending this weekend down at Saltcoats, in a chateau, thanks to the generosity of Salty (my Brother-in-law… the looser of Alcoholic chess) but a dollar to a penny…he has not laid on High Tea….[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
My Chronicles 04/09/2016

‘Actions speak louder than words’, is a quote I trust to be true, on the other hand, I may be wrong because the style of writing words can hint of the true character of the author. Within my scribbled compositions, displays my ‘Primeval atom’ actions, both physical and literatures, ranging through foolish …silly and categorical daft…with just a glimpse of triumph peering through the word haze. Some ask if they can give ‘constructive criticism’ or another ‘with respect’; they only mean they don’t agree because you are not preforming to their reputed standards…in fact being rude.

How this affects the occasional reader I cannot tell, but the continuous flouting rules of grammar, merged with childish spelling, total ignoring the English language, is not down to being a proud ‘Scot’ but the amateur urgency, of pure excitement, to scribble what is inside my mind…trusting it is legible. The truth… it acts like a release valve evaluating my temperament with the bonus of the finished article…which I seldom change.

The proof in my bodily cavalier attitude is tangle up with several actions taken lately, which some may say fool hardy and collectively I may agree. Several months ago, a charming friend who owns a hardware emporium, had at my request, ordered a huge bag of peanuts for our ‘feathered friends’ in our garden. Arriving at the shop, I struggled to place the extremely heavy awkward jute bag into the car and home. The strain of it all did not hit back until two days later, when my body objected with pain, from every muscle limb, fingers and torso’s every simple movement for some weeks ahead. Did it teach me?

Perceptibly no, for just before my planned trip for France, while entering her abode, Aunt Becky missed her step over the thresh-hold and fell inward, landing luckily unharmed on the carpet. After checking she was O.K. I attempted to lift her from her now obvious embarrassed position sitting cooried on the carpet. We strained everything until she grabbed my right arm, instant pain riveted me, then with combined effort, we managed to raise her from the floor. Becky was neither up or down but unfortunately my muscles, rebellious with pain, electrifying pins and needles reproducing joints, muscles and tissues contending to be the supremo inflictor of pain’s awful aching from the previous mishap, which did not ease until recently …did I learn or take heed?

Obviously not, as just last week arriving at B&Q, with intentions of purchasing just a small box of Evergreen grass treatment granules, avoiding the pay trollies since superfluous to requirement. The price of a small box and a larger bag where the same…and being a canny Scot, I choose the later not taking into account how far away the pay desk was. By the time I reached the car, clumsily bundling the fat plastic bag into boot, I felt a worrying weird, growing shoddier on the way home.

Everything in the previous mishaps was combining to work against my now painful body. I took the harsh advice from ‘She who must be obeyed’ retired to bed and stay there almost continuously for three days. Recuperating gave me the chance to ponder over my obstinateness in admitting why my mental age and now… are both prime numbers…with me being the one. ‘She who must be obeyed’ states ‘I’m the one’ but with dissimilar connotations.

My reality, bodily and rational, activities achieved in a spectrum of ‘Gung Ho’ brashness, thru to frequently ‘Will of the wisp’ mind of a 17year old, now in the body of a relatively 71-year-old man…not what the scientific genius; ‘Einstein’ had in mind when quoting ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge’.… but just as curved when attempting to keep my feet on the ground …rationally as well as bodily.

Throughout my life, there has been recognizable stages where noticeable changes in personal abilities, adaptions accepted, avoiding physical glitches or hell bent into destruction …will my scribbles change to good old fashioned spelling and English…. I very much doubt it. Once or twice I was told by a couple of teachers, ‘for someone reasonable smart, I was rather puerile’…. God knows where they reckoned ‘Smart’
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peter.howden
Wandering date

‘It is a lovely day’ he thought as he strolled around ‘Queen’s Park’ which held magic moments for him, and his lovely ‘Beth’, cherished every day since they came together. Sauntering all the way around, then stop at ‘Hill 60’ and meditate the famous history of ‘Mary, Queen of the Scots’, and the renowned battle of Langside. As a couple they had no mind whether rain, windy snow or even once through a blizzard, they took those familiar steps. For uncountable years they were dedicated to each other

Few words passed between them hiking around the old bandstand, for they knew each other so well, conversation was not necessary, though loving eye contact was a prized delight for both, and showed. Today was different as he had important information to tell his beloved and had no idea how to go about the delicate subject, or how she would react at the news. His heart was bursting with mixed emotion, being terrified for his lovely ‘Beth’ having to face the world alone if anything happened to him.

He watched through watery eyes as he saw her just being herself, busily enjoying the fresh air, enhanced with the scent of newly cut grass as the park-keepers preformed their regular duty, keeping the hill neat and tidy. Over by on the right was Queens-Park famous football ground, where the Hamden roar given, not often, by passionate football fans, for the national team while playing and winning the battle with England,

They both deliberately stopped at the spot where they could see all they surveyed… the view was more than breathtakingly stunning. It did not help him to produce the words of sorrow, for he just could not do it. He had had a few serious things going wrong in their lives but this was the worst and hardest. He had been going to the Victoria hospital and the Doctor had told him he must have an operation but even worse news came the following week. Time was not on his side. the hurt knew no boundaries and the pain of knowing what was about to take place, was internally destroying him

’Beth’ on the other had was just as beautiful, full of life and total unaware of his concerns. They walked together through the massive green iron rot gates, around to Langside Rd to the place he had been regretting since the medical gen was discovered, without any alternatives available. He stopped and gave ‘Beth’ a looking look without a word, then walked through the medicinal establishment.

All white coats met them both and he gave a nod as permission as the vet led ‘Beth’ his cherished Labrador through swinging doors for the last moments of her life. Then he could swear she looked around and seemingly had a tear in her huge brown eyes……then disappeared. .

This was the last walk for master and dog……….together;
peter.howden
The little bashed pot

Having been laid down, unceremoniously without thought or fortune, lodged between other already washed dishes, the little bashed pot settled down too dry. The time this took, depended on the heat within this demanding kitchen, or in rare moments when someone would use a dish cloth, then place it on the usual shelf ready for the next time.

The wee battered pot was not a castoff, for it had been brand new, at one time in the past many years ago, bought for purpose of everyday cooking. It was a very popular saucepan because of its size, while the bashes and scrapes told the tale of constant usage. There were even abrasions when one visitor to the kitchen, volunteered to do the washing-up, used, of all things, an old fashioned brillo pad. A no-no as all good cooks knows to their peril and pots and pans dread.

Unknown to the little pan, he was being ogled by a self-professed beautiful crock, in prestige condition, whose resting place was in an all glass display cabinet...reputedly but never substantiated, built with him in mind. The ancient pot was a downright snob, who had never been washed, so commonly, with suds as the rest of the utensils in the pantry, as he knew he was special being massaged with olive oil and a soft cloth.
When he had arrived, handled with kid gloves, hands delicately used a small brush and a blow dryer before being carefully placed in his resting cushion enabling him to gawk at all around the kitchenette.

Once the humans had left the scullery, silence fell except for the drip-drip from the tap, its washer had been wasting away for ages. The bad mannered would be toff, scornfully quipped down to the wee wet pot and cursed it with a sting, calling him a common pot rough ware. The little pot was not completely upset by this unnecessary hurled abuse, quickly quipping back, how at least he had seen life with constant use, learned a few things by meeting all other utensils...and been loved in a particular way.

On the whole, the show-oft appliance grumpily stated he was of the upper order of the social scale as he was an antique, having been kept in unspoiled condition for all those years, more than he could recall. His last quip rang out ‘I must be worth an exceedingly high amount because everybody wants to hold me and kiss me’.

The little pot, with a glint in its well-polished bottom, whispered this rye twist ‘Where you are, you’re definitely not ‘suffice to purpose’ for my boastful fellow, you are a Victorian travelling commode; Yes ... A pee latrine’…known in Glaswegian as a Pish pot
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peter.howden
Foreign Date

Finally, he plucked up nervous courage to phone her personally. Each time he wandered passed a phone box or looked at his mobile, he would start the dialling sequence only to bottle out at the final vital digit. Naively he knew so little about her, apart from her stunning gaze with such seductive eyes …staring directly at him each time, while exhibiting a curvy feature, pear shaped film star pose. She was foreign, but what city exactly, Paris perhaps, he was not sure but certainly she was French. Ah yes; he knew her number off by heart and without doubt, she was what he desperately needed and yearned for a time with her… absolutely her alone…for the future he had inflexibly planned.

The memory of her voice haunted him as being soft, while she declared the day she was available, the time… in addition place where they could meet for the very first time, sounding not only sincere for him asking, but expressed so sweet all her responses. His head now was spinning with great expectations as to what future he had, for she was fundamentally important in his life now and the foreseeable forthcoming. He could hardly believe his luck at finding her.

For the next few days he was walking on cloud 9, for his dream was now becoming a reality. He wondered if he should bring chocolates while just try to make a good natural impression of his intentions would be a better start.

The very day came after a sleepless night of torturous thoughts of him being a failure as far as she was concern. He was washed and spruced while checking Google Earth to check, time and time again, exactly where the address of her abode was. Hours before the rendezvous, he rechecked from head to toe he was just right for his first meeting.

Now he was on the actual street, rather run down and not what he imagined it would be, but he did remember the saying of old, ‘never judge a book by its cover’. His other concern was…if he would come up to scratch.

His mouth was parched like a desert as he pushed the manky security button at the main door, then the sweet voice of the lady in question murmured for him to ‘Come up!’ The flat door opened as simultaneously his jaw dropped standing dead still almost with shock by all accounts. She was skimpy dressed, for such an affair while what she had covering certain personal parts where of see through material. Her lips were red as red lipstick could be, and the shady apartment aroma was of cheap perfume. All in all, his obvious disappointment was completely unable to hide.

Gawking at the frayed card, with her photo adjacent; he had carried around for so long. The card he acquired from the public phone box at the city centre…close to his abode.

With a lump in his dry throat he forced himself to ask; ‘I am going to Paris soon…are you the young lady with the pseudonym, ‘Madam’…who gives French lessons?’
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peter.howden
Anecdotes from the auld Steamie

Timing

In almost every thriving urban, town or industrial metropolitan within the coastline of Scotland, during the last century, local councils attempted to deliver a true service of well-being in the shape of public parks, museums and washing and bathing institutions, for working class within manufacturing areas. Those establishments appearing prime and strict appropriate training for its disciplined hand chosen staff… this rule did not apply to Clark (nom de plume; for disguised superman) …or quite a few of the staffs of such establishments

Clark for a better explanation, was rather slow on top, which now is not politically correct but still exists all over the land. This was not to say he was witless, on the contrary he was crafty and keen with money. The young lad was no walking fool, but fooled almost everyone he encountered, or had come across him. He may have been a walking disaster, pretty slow, in parts in the uptake; however, believe me, no fool.

In his ordinary life, he could receive instruction one day, and then loose I the jiff quite quickly without seemingly knowing consciously he had been instructed at all. A tad on the lethargic side, though his burning ambition was to qualify being a swimming attendant in the swimming pool. His Victorian building was a washhouse which also had a pool, only used for schools during the day and the town club at night. He was employed as a dog’s body, cleaning anything and everything was his duties.

In those days all workers received a brown paper wage packet, delivered to their places of employment around 11.00 of Friday’s morning clock. With such an advantage the late evening staff bought special dinners just in this one day, while feeling financially flusher than the rest of the week. Owing to the factor the building was right slab dab at the edge of ship building yards it was a busy place with a staff big enough for the compliment. Clark collected the list and monies for the food carryout’s around 4 pm those afternoons.

One particular Friday when an extra bonus was paid out, virtually the whole late staff ordered extravagantly over the normal helpings, saying to Clark to buy whatever he wished…as a gratuity. The usual exercise from start to finish took perhaps ¾ of an hour most time taken waiting at the counter of the chip ship. Five of the clock past without any sign of Clark. Another half hour went by and no delivery. The clock struck six in the evening and still no sign and the staff genuinely became worried if something had happened to the lad as the district on a Friday was renowned for drunkenness and punch-ups.

Concern grew as they were about to send out a rescue party, when Clark loaded with hot and cold goods, plus fags for the smokers, cheerfully entered the building. Quickly he dispatched the awaited goods for each person’s order and then disappeared. The lad only appeared when he had scoffed his Ashet pie and chips plus a bottle of the famous Irn-Bru… made from girders…as advertised.

The late crew obviously asked for their change, as they had given the young Clark. either 5/10 note from there wage packets. Astonishingly Clark replied there was no change for anyone as he was told to buy anything he wished. Astonished if not with growing anger…the workers demanded what happened to their money…

Clark explained he had bought two shirts and a pair of jeans with the collective tip. There was deep resentment for some time, totally aimed at Clark…and he never got keeping the change ever again [/size][size="3"]
peter.howden
Forsaken

Wearing a make do sleeping shirt, which my wife had bought for a Christmas present years ago, I was completing this weekly chore concentrating on the awkward green wheelie bin… she came out of nowhere, or this was how it seemed. The apparition, hooded up against the coldness of the sessional morning, making her way through the well-trodden common footpath running at right angles next to our homes... though at that time in the morning it was surprising to see another soul.

The chilly air of the morning caused vapour swirling around my words ‘Good morning’ echoing further than intended, perhaps sounding sharp, as she turned around and replied in a soft deliberate manner. Battling with my wheeled monstrosity, she came closer as she called again to wish me ‘good morning’ in a clear and upright fashion. It was awfully cold and my slippers were sliding, making my way down the pathway, almost in control of the independent minded moveable bin heading for the street.

She cleared her throat, calling not so loud this time, as we were pretty close by now and only separated by a hedge “excuse me but do you know the time” I knew it was 6.30 am as I had heard the news start just as I was coming out. “I would think it must be somewhere near twenty-five to seven”. I replied trying to be helpful “What time does the shop open” she asked rather craggily, then a slight pause, followed by “I know it is 7 of the clock” with a hesitation in her voice. She asked and answered the question, then mumbling something incoherent, repeated her question and answer

Now in full street lighting, it was then I saw her quaking and displaying evidence of a harsh life lived, past her sell date but not because of her age but due to her condition. The whiff or strong odour of stale drink following her, even in the severe cold be located about her person A youngish woman of maybe 40 or so however her face was haggard, weather beaten with a yellow tinge, and though one was not there I felt a wart on her chin or her nose would be appropriate for her appearance. Perhaps you may think this as terrible and disgusting of me, to judge a fellow human being so but that is how it was.

Even with me judging her so bleakly she was unaware and thanked me kindly, then turned around to retreat where she came from. Her abode was next to spare ground where a wee council building once stood. The housing association had plans to build new homes there but it never happened for one reason or another. The door shut and after a wee while… a small light went on in the house above and a lonely figure stood at the window and stared out into the bleakness.

You may call it guessing or a terrible cast on her character but the lady was going for her much needed refill swally. She is well known locally as holding a boozer house… in the vicinity country club abode, where alcoholics met sharing, when money is available, various forms of liquor…. called wine-moppers….
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peter.howden
Powerless to translate

I wish I could rid my inners of this tight foreboding, which lodges every time since I unsuccessfully read stories, plus traditional fairy tales to our children then our grandchildren. Kids being kids especially toddlers need the security of chosen tales, they know off by heart, to be repeated to them, word for word, as a comforting blanket, preparing them to sleep. My crucial fault was, and is ad-libbing, taking this faithful fiction into another direction. Our offspring and grandkids would complain and I would have to devilishly concentrate, to resolve their anxiety.

This was controllable, or retractable in the comfort of our, or their homes, however now in the small activities I take part in, finding the increasingly difficulty has become a major problem, bordering on the impossible, to speak clearly, precisely what is written down, conveying to the audience a simple message intended.

On the day selected for broadcast to an audience, my abdominal tightens the closer the hour comes while d my imagination touches a nerve, then overdrive towards the actual moment to begin the carefully crafted words, by others, which I have to translate into vibrant dialog. The fear I will either dry up…or more likely my trusty eyesight blurs failing to transfer what it sees, or stumble over the simplest of words I am somehow unable to decipher. The terror is the stone I cannot pitch or overcome

It is not only one of my Foibles… but a catastrophe waiting to happen…now tonight…reviewing this scrip, uncontrollably dread has taken grip since having to read, a short well’ black and white’ script, without deteriorating into almost verbal dribble with the first uttering word of the simple paragraph.

I can with careful planning, pick four/ or six words, to use as a pilot to progress and identify, all what information to relay to an appreciative audience…reasonably well or in the Morecambe and wise theory …. the notes are all there…. but maybe…. not in the right order
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peter.howden
Philistine thoughts



it all started with a slight earache followed by a peculiar humming din within my head which took donkeys to stop. At first I thought it was Tinnitus, as it could be mistaken for a ringing tone, no real pain felt, but strangely, it seemed to dominate when rising from the bed. It was as if I was disturbing something eccentric echo or strange enchantment within my head. I laughed having harboured such bizarre notions more akin to comic books, or horror stories to frighten the innocent …not realizing the terror ahead yet to occur.

As the time past into dreaded days, then lingering weeks, this annoyance was beginning to hurt and sometimes after raising from my slumber, each day several spots of blood could be seen on the pillowcases, increasing to larger quantities as the days past. My wife, my poor suffering partner stressed how I thrashed calling out throughout the dead of night, were as before only occasionally would I toss and turn. The occasional twinge was now a constant throbbing, spreading to chronic aching was alarming in speed and time. Most of my day was alarmingly consumed trying to relieve this invariable pounding spasms becoming spontaneously frequent, too relentless

the now distinct rhythmic ringing near musical sound of ‘tapping feet’, was replaced by the constant tick of a pendulum, found in the old fashion time pieces. This was in a small way fuzzed with a rocking sensation, to and fro deep in my mind. I attended my local doctor, who sent me to a psychological specialist. Something about this man made me reticent, who methodically explained these sounds were benign where 25% of the world’s population have this musical interlude. This in no way helped my situation, for as time passed my so called Tinnitus became almost unbearable with very little relief from the complaint.

While sleeping with eyes painfully awake at the same time, dreams entered my concentration explain what the quack could not. I was taken into the very heart of my brain, floating and observing every nerve message carrying the secrets I was not aware of. The messages carried was total recall as my mind was crumbling within…ready to implode.

This did do nothing to quell the mounting pain, as it progressed to almost every waken moment, my only solace was snatching rest-bites created due to moments of sleep. I tried dousing my mind through consuming alcohol, which only acted as a distorted amplifier creating terrible hangovers of attentive magnitude. Then one night, out of the blue, came the horrendous discovery of why I was now in unquestionable distress.

In pure desperation, placing a small mirror, with a magnifying glass attached, to attempt looking down my ear, because the scrutinising agony became almost impossible to bear as my sanity was close to collapse . Now while in a semi conscious state of near delirium, I observations caught this feeler coming from my ear drum. Within seconds a fully formed ant like creature emerged with what appeared to be larvae, proceeded to prune both it and itself. I had the presence of mind to take a photo of this ghastly phenomenon while being spell bound. Later I possessed the results into my computer and this is the dreadful truth unveiled.

A certain species of foreign Queen Ant; probably from Australia, had transported, then borrowed into my ear and further beyond. On the screen was the name Irdomyrmex purpureus known as meat eating ants who survive in nests around 64,000 years.

My immediate problem was remaining relatively rational while meat eating ants designed a layer for them to progress their nest expanding whilst they do so, while I inflicted with increasing intolerable agony…. going mad buggering bonkers. Will I become a walking automaton before they break out from the core of my brain, increasing their nest to immeasurable sizes?

I am alone, in a lurid mass of sweaty dread… wishing someone will come and blow my brains to smithereens, freeing me…. For God’s sake…this nightmare started with a slight earache…….[/size][size="4"]
peter.howden
Benghazi Bye-Bye,

When you are of a different age, there is no one warning how hard it is to grow old. One moment you are looking through very young eyes, seeing only youth thriving, and grandparents and the oldies likes, the next jiffy you are the oldies. Yet no one counsels you concerning the struggle from one stage of development to the other. If I had been warned of the pitfalls of destruction, depression incorporated into my life, would I may have acted any different…I doubt it?

The purpose for Stonehenge seems to have been primitive reverence, of one kind or another, complete circles once upon a time however, the decibels of joy once cherishing their magnificent stones are lost forever… yet this does not diminish the original service or re theories, regardless thesis or deity praise of one kind or other. An obligatory dream or verbal opium perhaps for the masses, or so it has been said, but not by me…. but the dead were remembered

There is something about life which makes you want to live beyond imagination…fuelled simply by what your eyes see, at any particular moment,

Humanist funerals have a knack way about them, celebration of a life’s reality check of the individual human being honoured. A fanfare of information to remind the guest congregation just how much we enjoyed that person’s company through the journey.

One such service was recently held for one fully paid “Benghazi Mice Mark Two” member, who will be missed for some time to come if not for a lifetime. Tommy was a unique man, for all men are unique in their own right. He could be grumpy, sometimes even a pain in the butt, but he was also a warm person who tried to relish life to the uttermost fullness. Not wise is some points but sincere in what he believed. In other words, pretty well balanced human being, who’s want was coffee, even if it is a double edged sword

Tommy loved wee refreshment, plus a good cigar and talking total ballocks along with other members of the “Benghazi Mice Mark Two” We are unauthorized group of men meeting up at the Turkish baths of a Saturday morning. The routine varies slightly, depending who turns up, however we solve the world’s problems in three easy lessons, and then talk unqualified verbal diarrhoea to which he was a competent expert

Many believed Tommy careful with money, yet those who knew him well would ken this was not so, though he kept his benevolence well hidden. The Benghazi Mice knew this to be the truth, for Tommy helped many an unfortunate without announcement. Tokens of affection were given to all in the group.

We gathered together in the waiting room of the crematorium chosen by Tommie adores family. Before the actual service we recalled happy times spent with the gentleman and all agreed that if he was in the great Sauna in the skies, then he would be demanding more steam We were the real lads from ‘Last of the summer wine’ with just as much dignity

A personal memory was not mentioned in this tribute private ceremony, which I recall all too well. Once, while I was in spending a penny …Thomas entered and joined me in the adjacent Shanks receptacle. Squinting over he murmured ‘Not exactly the Scottish future your holding there but it will do the job if your pissed again?’ I took it as a shaky compliment.

If there is life after death… I will need to remember to tell Tommy… I did enjoy his funeral [size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
The reckoning reality

The year was around the mid-fifties; the boy was an ‘end of the war’ child, living with his mother, in a reasonable respectable part of the town. The mother had known better times, somewhat above the upper middle class, but like lots of people throughout the land, the war and time had taken its tow, though the rationing had stopped with meat and bacon restriction lifted. Still there was little in the shops to purchase and dam little money to pay for the privilege.

Her 2 room home, plus kitchen, bathroom was much smaller than their previous abode, due to the awful war, and unforeseen circumstance. The mother would walk a mile just to purchase sugar a penny cheaper but pride insisted she make one a sitting room, for visitors and Christmas, perhaps Ne’erday, regardless how the boy slept in the cupboard of that room. It was big enough for a small single bed, chair and shelves right around it…and two pegs inside the door. The mother, as was common in those days, gave more credence to duty rather than love…though this may have been not quite correct.

The war was over but certainly not forgotten as most households used army surplus in one form or another with people still suffering from its terrible hands, both physically and mentally. The population were proud not only to have won and pulled through but filled with pride for the fighting lads, and husbands, who made the victory so possible. As a ten-year-old schoolboy, he used an army stores Khaki kitbag to carry his school books, like most of the lads. The boy was ‘proud as punch’ about his missing dad, having been a major in the army but tragically killed in action as a hero. The lad told everyone he met the facts related to him…bursting bubbles with admiration for his father.

Many families were in the same situation but one terrible night the boy found out the grinding truth by eavesdropping on his mother conversation…. then bitterly confronting her. She informs him, his father was alive but knew not where and his father was a constant drunk, stealing all her money and possessions for alcohol, then left her when he found out she was pregnant…with him. In disbelief the boy’s teeth were grinding furiously as his mother continued; ‘he was never in the army, nor a major but a scheming scoundrel who led her to almost destitution’.

For months and years, he blamed his mother for everything… as she must have been the cause, cursing her for telling lies about his father, he became a right wee hoodlum, and Bampot, in and out of the house, using language fit for the gutter. But the worst action for his mother was his unceasing loathing for her, and surly broke her heart…. she died without him being at the graveside…still the black sheep. Years later, after an assortment of crimes, endless hooligan fighting, trying to prove some unattainable point, he met his father and realized very quickly his mother was right.

The very next day, the now young lad made three vows to himself…not ever purposely hurt anyone, if at all possible… try his hardest not to bad mouth anyone behind their backs, face them…and though having rudiments of an atheist…desired urgently to see his mother, just for a few minutes or moments to explain to her just how sorry he is…. he knew it is not possible.

Every day since, he’s recalled just how cruel, and despicable he was towards her…right up to this very day….and knows it will continue …but now he cherishes these dark thoughts…Its all he has of her….[size="4"][/size]
big al
Peter

Once again I have enjoyed reading many of your tales - I like the Chronicles for some of the insights and thoughts you provide as well as some of the humour therein - particularly liked your choice of the Rolling Stones and Sonny Boy Williamson - also enjoyed your story on the flight on Ryan Air - appreciate what happened as I have been in that situation as well.

More power to your story telling elbow - keep them coming

To those who have not read any of these tales try them once and persevere - you'll get a lot of pleasure out of reading them....
peter.howden
Big Al…I’m chuffed to bits you have not only savoured my scribbles but were good natured enough to tell me…. They are a safety valve for me and much more because some peoples quite like them…I will do my best….thank you Big.al
big al
Peter

thanks for your response - I like the thought of your writing being a safety valve - in these times it is better to put your thoughts down in writing as you have done - it makes more sense to read your tales than read some of the rubbish that is produced on some of the other parts of this board - I hope more people read your postings and comment on them as well to give you encouragement and to thank you for making them laugh or cry or whatever - keep up the good work

regards

Alan
peter.howden
MAGIC
peter.howden
My Chronicles 25/09/2016

A celebrated Welsh poet wrote a line of poetry at the start of the last century;’ “What’s our life, if full of care: You have no time: To stop and stare? How profound those words are… as more and more we allow bloody miracles to escape from our inspection and attention

There is something about things happening in life, which makes you want to live beyond imagination…powered simply by what your eyes allows you to understand, awareness within your brain, qualifying the space in a particular second, gaining untold privilege of being truly alive. The peak being an explosion of complete delightful amazement.

The other week, when the brightest of brightness harvest moon rose through the creeping darkness of the evening, slowly inching upwards over the slated rooftops of the homes across the square, reaching towards the blackness of the heavens, became such a magic connection between my brain receiving while my eyes stayed glued to the fabulous event. Obviously, it was physically out of this world, but at that moment of time and for many moments after…it was wholly wonderfully, pure dead brilliant, to witness beyond my imagination.

Other moments in my life, good and not so good, stick above the normal memory, due to the simple fact I deliberately took time in the original happening to observe all the goings on. Family affairs surrounding ‘She who must be obeyed’, our children and grandchildren are obvious special moments protected together with a variety of outside interest to pleasure my memory box… Friday there , another marvellous occasion takes its rightful place among the very exclusive unique.

Taking part of a jolly humanist service, our son ‘Chris’ married his sensational sweetheart ‘Kirsti’, leaving most witnesses, and guests with a lump in their throats, or at least moist eyes out of nowhere. It was obvious, to all and sundry, this was a love match, linked by ‘Kirsti and Chris’s’ eyes, struggling to contain their overwhelming pleasure throughout the entire ceremony, of just being together glowing with raw emotion. Their radiance personified all through the private dinner for both families, our mob and the very gracious family of the bride, and friends, thru the gay shenanigans of the ceilidh …towards utter exhaustion but still rosy with happiness.

Utterly delightfully…each and every moment holding hands, was filled with a lifetime love affair, where time takes second place….and heaven was within their grasp. Perhaps my account is bias, yet… each guest and spectator took delight in their completeness. Both Rebecca and I have private wishes for this now charming married couple with special memories locked away, to peek at…when the occasion arises.

The Ceilidh was just 'tickety-boo' for the whole company, likewise thought inspiring for me, recalling being forced by order, taking part in the ‘Canadian Barn Dance’, also the ‘Military Two Step’, way back in my school days at Shawlands Academy. This time I certainly wished to take to the floor, but remained absent from taking part due to aching muscles from the strain just a few weeks ago…though tapping the floor to the time of the fiddles I did enjoy. All in all, it was a rare tear.

(P.S)I have tried to convince Rebecca, how my arm is caused greater annoying pain when washing/drying the dishes …but she won’t wear it…that’s the trouble when you’re not henpecked but just want to live……wheesht …she is coming up the stairs
peter.howden
Suburban living

Yes; you are right, it is a lovely property but I virtually had to fight to gain possession of it before getting my feet across the door to enjoy the threshold. This location is in such high demand and to be utterly honest, no matter what…I would have crawled, on my knees, or done anything, even killed, to obtain such fashionable selective shelter., a lot of the neighbours are an unexpected mixture making unconventionality plans intertwined with exceptional careful scrutinizing to who they allow within the locality. Some of the older residents displayed strongly to my admission locally…on a few occasion taking physical confrontation as a demonstration of displeasure.

Sir Walter Scott quote, from a poem, about an infamous Scottish battle; ‘Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practise to deceive’


Yes;
I myself have stooped to questionable ethics, including some sticky moments with these hoity-toity snobbish attitudes of inhabitants, who perceive themselves far too superior to show respect to any newcomers. Looking back, I would admit there were certain actions I cultivated which may have been tailored better, preventing snap decisions been taken adding up to the wrong approach for this tacky affair. On reflection…although only a few were high and mighty, they were indeed common and as the saying says, ‘you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear!’.

Yes; now I am the lord of all I see, which, I don’t mind telling you, is a grand feeling worthy of all the effort. A fantastic abode with views to die for…hopefully not in the near future Plenty of space for one to move at leisure, and decide when to lunch or dare I say, quench my thirst. As for past hostilities from local residents, that is all in the past and I welcome, one and all, to share in my good luck, some more than others I would put up fresh net curtains to invite them in.

Yes; I would add how gracious I have become in my dominating location…’what the F---ing hell is that blazing light?’…. we are bundled and abused…manhandled by the unknown creature putting a cloth or rag huddled over my many eyes…I can’t see who would dare… we are being forcibly evicted…. out the front portal…like some undesirables into the freezing night.

The main door quietly closes, as the occupant of the house is heard mumbling to themselves “If you let them these creepy spiders will take over the place!”

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peter.howden

My Chronicles…03/10/2016

Today is our Anniversary of having remained married for 47 years, at the pricy sum of 7/- 6d(three half dollars) and I have been extremely fortunate, to gain my money’s worth, while believing ‘She who must be obeyed’ is of the same mind…though in truth our span is mainly due to her. I believe the cost of any matrimonial, though important, is not in money terms only, but all nuptials shed varied physical and psychological intervals throughout, giving good and bad, sometimes terrible times.

While love firstly burst into intimacy, you sway or refuse to see any foible within your chosen sexual partner… as all is just way over the moon. As time progresses, these limited faults, we all have in variation, become more evident, if luck has disappeared, grows bigger than the need or want or lust you have in togetherness, forcing a comprises or destroying the precious gem. If both partner’s windfall is prosperous, you accept those faults, emotionally embroidering as part of the basis of your devotedness. It is love, which has matured through the timespan, creating an essential want for your partner…Happy Anniversary Rebecca….

The event of the year for us must be the wedding between our son Chris and his chosen partner, lovely Kirsti. Since they first met, their radiance when together is impossible to miss the most sceptic eye, for Rebecca and I, it is so good to see Chris so obviously besotted and truly happy. The wedding was of a ‘fifties theme’ and just pure magic… but then again I’m bias. The marriage ceremony, Kristi’s family, the dinner and speeches, the Ceilidh in the evening were all just pure dead magic.

Personally; the only hiccup was me being absolutely terrified, and show it, while giving the bride away. I have done a few things in my life which may have been hair-razing but that single minute walking towards the service, just made me rigidly petrified. Perhaps the fact I have little hair left to raise which froze me. Rebecca and I wish the happy couple, a fabulous future ahead.

Aunt Becky is slowly moving towards a world of her own but I hasten to add she seems quite comfortable with it although the conversations fall into just the odd recognition of her understanding what is being said. Becky appears to hold no anger, though slightly confused as she skips between a paragraph in the daily newspaper, with the odd comment, then picks one of her books for five minutes or so…then back to another newspaper, old or new. We still have hurlers around the countryside around Strathblane and the historic Lennoxtown, however it could be anywhere while she enjoys the music of ‘Tartan top Twenty’, singing, swinging and marking time as we putt along.


Illnesses are a scary thing, causing worry to the helper rather than the patient, but when other ailments and conditions are present, can complicate how a carer can cope. A very old mate of mine; ‘Dom’ has ‘Dementia’ and ‘Parkinson Disease’; the later for some 20 years. Janet, is wife, is exhausted trying desperately to cope, simply because Dom is her man. We are trying to persuade her to take a rest bite. Dom on the other hand still jokes about his problems. When he first realized is shaking he jested; “I knew it was Parkinson Disease’…I kept having the urge to interview people”

He told me at my last visit, though we knew for some time, he had ‘Dementia’…. I asked him…how could he remember he had it …we both laughed.
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big al
Peter

I just finished reading your latest efforts - really enjoy them - finally decided to print out all of your submissions so that I could put them into some kind of order (to me) and to get a bit more continuity - managed that and then laughed away at the story of Ill Omen and Tabby - also Animal Vote - you and Edward Lear would have have fun writing together. Also love the continuing stories of Jim - your imagination and style are very very good - keep it up! Still love the stories of James - what a character he was....

regards Alan
peter.howden
Big Al..….

You do me a great honour taking time and patience to piece all of my scribbles together …in an attempt to make sense of them…if you did succeed you are a better man than me …but I am chuffed beyond words and I thank you sincerely for such a compliment of the nigh impossible link with Edward Lear…quite a chap and classy he was…

I will endeavour to improve
Gratefully
Peter Howden
peter.howden
Jim stepped down from the train.

Jim stepped down from the train, quite exhausted after a tedious stage of his journey, desperate for a cigarette. As he reached for his packet of tobacco, he caught sight of a tattered looking sign with large engraved letters,’ anyone smoking will be vanquished’. Not knowing if it was a joke, or for real, he withdrew his hand from his pocket. He had travelled quite a bit, coming across some queer customs in railway stations, and while looking around this unscheduled busy stop…yet, totally noiseless as groups of people went about their business he presumed.

Walking slowly towards the departure gate, Jim took in the fact everything was spotless considering the constant train shunting, while hordes of individuals, all dressed exactly the same, men and women scurrying ‘to and fro’ apparently in great haste, almost touching, but outwardly not communicating, or stranger still…not aware of each other. The children were carbon copies, spitting images of the adults and they, surprisingly were as quiet as mice walking beside each other.

It was hard to miss but Jim wonder why he had not seen it at once, being a massive sculptured granite piece, solitary standing at the entrance of the exit, ten feet high and wide, with huge golden words embodied on a black background… the following; “I condemn slavery, I banish poverty, I teach ignorance, I treat disease, I lighten the night, and I hate hatred…. a quote from our architect Victor Hugo .

Turning around, Jim spotted a spare seat on an uncomfortable looking wooden bench, he sat down beside an old lady who appeared slightly different than the rest of the peoples rushing around everywhere. She was dressed the same as everyone else but on her chemise, was a red label, with bulging letters “S.P.As’ . it was only when sitting down, Jim squinted along the extended pew, becoming aware…the rest of the people sedentary …all had the identical labels. The elderly lady looks at him, then gently whispers…’You’re not one of us...be careful’

In a soft voice she continued to explain, that they ’whoever they were’ took as Mentor the French writer…. but only those words on the marble as utter truth, then to an ultimate conclusion…to ban all simpletons and ignorance. Now through time, birth and life became a regimental conveyer belt, reproducing core standard ‘I Q’ beyond previous imagination, but void of independent personalities, good or bad…or what once was called souls. ‘They’ can only detect blips or oddities if ‘they’ complete concentrated screening individuals, and anyone measuring as imperfect, or visible slight variations, are disposed of…This is why no one talks…in case they are revealed to be lacking and having a separate personality

I have not uttered a word, till this very moment, but speaking to you has brought me greater joy than I knew existed, these few words have given meaning to my entire life. I now realized, I would rather have poverty and ignorance, for all the terrible tragedies they can bring, than the dreaded fear of the consequences of talking.

Thank you…but you must go…or you will be eradicated passing though the next platform…that is what we all sitting here and programmed for….
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[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
QUOTE (peter.howden @ 5th Oct 2016, 12:59pm) *
Jim stepped down from the train.

Jim stepped down from the train, quite exhausted after a tedious stage of his journey, desperate for a cigarette. As he reached for his packet of tobacco, he caught sight of a tattered looking sign with large engraved letters,’ anyone smoking will be vanquished’. Not knowing if it was a joke, or for real, he withdrew his hand from his pocket. He had travelled quite a bit, coming across some queer customs in railway stations, and while looking around this unscheduled busy stop…yet, totally noiseless as groups of people went about their business he presumed.

Walking slowly towards the departure gate, Jim took in the fact everything was spotless considering the constant train shunting, while hordes of individuals, all dressed exactly the same, men and women scurrying ‘to and fro’ apparently in great haste, almost touching, but outwardly not communicating, or stranger still…not aware of each other. The children were carbon copies, spitting images of the adults and they, surprisingly were as quiet as mice walking beside each other.

It was hard to miss but Jim wonder why he had not seen it at once, being a massive sculptured granite piece, solitary standing at the entrance of the exit, ten feet high and wide, with huge golden words embodied on a black background… the following; “I condemn slavery, I banish poverty, I teach ignorance, I treat disease, I lighten the night, and I hate hatred…. a quote from our architect Victor Hugo .

Turning around, Jim spotted a spare seat on an uncomfortable looking wooden bench, he sat down beside an old lady who appeared slightly different than the rest of the peoples rushing around everywhere. She was dressed the same as everyone else but on her chemise, was a red label, with bulging letters “S.P.As’ . it was only when sitting down, Jim squinted along the extended pew, becoming aware…the rest of the people sedentary …all had the identical labels. The elderly lady looks at him, then gently whispers…’You’re not one of us...be careful’

In a soft voice she continued to explain, that they ’whoever they were’ took as Mentor the French writer…. but only those words on the marble as utter truth, then to an ultimate conclusion…to ban all simpletons and ignorance. Now through time, birth and life became a regimental conveyer belt, reproducing core standard ‘I Q’ beyond previous imagination, but void of independent personalities, good or bad…or what once was called souls. ‘They’ can only detect blips or oddities if ‘they’ complete concentrated screening individuals, and anyone measuring as imperfect, or visible slight variations, are disposed of…This is why no one talks…in case they are revealed to be lacking and having a separate personality

I have not uttered a word, till this very moment, but speaking to you has brought me greater joy than I knew existed, these few words have given meaning to my entire life. I now realized, I would rather have poverty and ignorance, for all the terrible tragedies they can bring, than the dreaded fear of the consequences of talking.

Thank you…but you must go…or you will be eradicated passing though the next platform…that is what we all sitting here and programmed for….

not to communicate with onne another is to stop inproving, halting progress...
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not to communicate by talking stops progress...and inproving...no matter how slow
peter.howden
Anecdotes from the auld Steamie…(not a mouse)



Public service for bathing and washing facilities, was for the main part roughly the same throughout the major cities in Scotland. These where huge Victorian built institutions, with swimming pools, hot baths, Turkish suites, and the essential “Steamie” as advertised in the wonderful play of the same name. Such areas served by these mighty establishments, covered tenements housing working class families, from what was termed poorer parts of any city in Scotland. The posher tenements, of any metropolis, where named as ‘Wally Closes’… the residents would have a real riddy, if asked, ‘Whit steamie ur ye gaun tae eese?’

In one such Scottish metropolitan’s districts, such a building, ran and maintained but a great bunch of cracking personnel…most having nicknames to confuse the management. One other important fact, of all those council workplaces, far and wide, the workers where very low paid on an hourly rate. There was always grumbles about wages, although there was an union, who went through the visible paces, it was seldom heard of a strike or down tools by the workforce

The shop convener for the whole baths department of the city, decided there must be a demonstration of unity, and strength from the union by asking the boiler men to strike, on a precise date, for more pay. The cunning plan was if the boilers were powerless, so to speak, then all employees would be unable to work and be sent home. The convener told the firemen not to waver and ‘stick it out till management see sense!’

The plan work, and the rest of the workers, throughout the city, were sent home, because there was no work …which lasted two weeks. After this the management gave, what the termed as gratuity, 1 extra in every wage packet, if the boiler men returned. It was quickly resolved when the rest of the staff, by outnumbering the firemen, forced them to return. The crux of the matter was, the management blackmailed the rest of the workers force home due to the strike… by announcing they would not be paid for that critical two weeks unemployed.

It was discovered how and why the shop convener wish such a strike to last two weeks. His brother-in-law was going on holiday and Matt, for this was his name, was offered to look after the bar …on full wages and perks.

He was dubbed with an obvious ‘non-de-plume’, exactly how most workers thought of him… ‘Mat the Rat’, with dealings with the management became legendry…for all the wrong reasons. ‘Mat the Rat’ screwed the whole workforce. He would report, to the management, the employees were restless or perhaps had broken the rules… while he took ‘Buckie’s’ (unregistered underhand personal payments)… right left and centre.

By coincidence, he could afford thrice the amount for a carryout than anyone else, even the Turkish attendants. Akin to the play “The Steamie” set on an imaginary Hogmanay, hinted how alcohol was consumed on the premises… very nearly true, but closer to every single payday…hasten to add, not all workers broke the very strict rule of no alcohol on the premises.

It was whispered, a retiring head of the baths department, indicated giving ‘Matt the rat’ two bottles of whisky to keep the troops from causing problems…possible; but still only a rumour….

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peter.howden
Anecdotes from the auld Steamie…(not a mouse)



Public service for bathing and washing facilities, was for the main part roughly the same throughout the major cities in Scotland. These where huge Victorian built institutions, with swimming pools, hot baths, Turkish suites, and the essential “Steamie” as advertised in the wonderful play of the same name. Such areas served by these mighty establishments, covered tenements housing working class families, from what was termed poorer parts of any city in Scotland. The posher tenements, of any metropolis, where named as ‘Wally Closes’… the residents would have a real riddy, if asked, ‘Whit steamie ur ye gaun tae eese?’

In one such Scottish metropolitan’s districts, such a building, ran and maintained but a great bunch of cracking personnel…most having nicknames to confuse the management. One other important fact, of all those council workplaces, far and wide, the workers where very low paid on an hourly rate. There was always grumbles about wages, although there was an union, who went through the visible paces, it was seldom heard of a strike or down tools by the workforce

The shop convener for the whole baths department of the city, decided there must be a demonstration of unity, and strength from the union by asking the boiler men to strike, on a precise date, for more pay. The cunning plan was if the boilers were powerless, so to speak, then all employees would be unable to work and be sent home. The convener told the firemen not to waver and ‘stick it out till management see sense!’

The plan work, and the rest of the workers, throughout the city, were sent home, because there was no work …which lasted two weeks. After this the management gave, what the termed as gratuity, 1 extra in every wage packet, if the boiler men returned. It was quickly resolved when the rest of the staff, by outnumbering the firemen, forced them to return. The crux of the matter was, the management blackmailed the rest of the workers force home due to the strike… by announcing they would not be paid for that critical two weeks unemployed.

It was discovered how and why the shop convener wish such a strike to last two weeks. His brother-in-law was going on holiday and Matt, for this was his name, was offered to look after the bar …on full wages and perks.

He was dubbed with an obvious ‘non-de-plume’, exactly how most workers thought of him… ‘Mat the Rat’, with dealings with the management became legendry…for all the wrong reasons. ‘Mat the Rat’ screwed the whole workforce. He would report, to the management, the employees were restless or perhaps had broken the rules… while he took ‘Buckie’s’ (unregistered underhand personal payments)… right left and centre.

By coincidence, he could afford thrice the amount for a carryout than anyone else, even the Turkish attendants. Akin to the play “The Steamie” set on an imaginary Hogmanay, hinted how alcohol was consumed on the premises… very nearly true, but closer to every single payday…hasten to add, not all workers broke the very strict rule of no alcohol on the premises.

It was whispered, a retiring head of the baths department, indicated giving ‘Matt the rat’ two bottles of whisky to keep the troops from causing problems…possible; but still only a rumour….

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