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My Pal Al’

Yes, I see Al’s over there, hard to miss if you have an eye for his style... an old friend, I believe it so…just because I told him many a time in the bellows of yesterday. Lots of people want to join his company because they think he’s cool, and I must admit he looks the part, sleek, right on style no matter where he turns up, they are ignorant about his darker side…and boy I know that

The truth of the matter is, at first unpretentiously, he has been at my side thru thick and thin, but the fly in the ointment is… he started to wanting to own me, lock stock and barrel, and the question I must ask… was he good for me. At times I believed so…but he was a selfish pal, he had always to come first, continuously deceptive but insisting to go a tad bit further than most likely was wise. Many a times, everything we did was but a miasma, as if another world beyond my grasp, because I was young and foolish, not realizing we were in a mental Quagmire

For some time, I have stayed away from his company and right at this very moment, a period away from his company is the best thing, in the name of valour. Well for a wee while anyway…but could I keep it up…or really stay away from my pal Al’. My once closest friend Jack, used to say Al’ was a hard case or had a hard neck, with bad news thrown in for nothing, leading me into somewhere I didn’t want to be, but heck I chose to ignore it, believing Jack did not know him well enough to judge, and he was just jealous because I spent more time with Al’ alone

What’s he doing over there? not supposed to be proactive, just sitting like’s out of place just tempting someone to ask for him

I tell you this, I’m not going to make the first move, spiritual or physical …you would think, after all this time, he’d would show more respect to me as old friend, but he just sits there…showing off. I never really desired him, he was a comfort when I needed something, just being there, but I can’t let him know, or he will invite me into his life ...but what is he doing there? barefaced and stinking of booze. It' hard to swallow how brazenly he stands there. As if royalty I’m not swallowing it, he does not rule me…I’m not dependent of his charms.

keech*; I can’t hold out, like a pathetic character out of ‘Les Miserables’, trembling with anticipation passion, walking across to him…pull out the cork and pour a bib three fingers into the convenient glass and drink…my pal al…Alcohol… “Mr Johnny Walker”

After so long a stretch of denial, in seemingly a continuous journey…knowing only too well…the first drink will be pure nectar, just perfect ecstasy…followed by imprisoned hell…surrounded by liquid walls.

My Chronicles 13/10/2016

I am not spiritual in any manner, however I am certainly with the people who hold sincerely devotion to any creed, but…you don't have to believe in any paradise’s, such as Heaven, Zion, Elysian Fields, Moksha, Valhalla; Avalon; look up to the sky, no matter what time of day or night, witness spectacular display every diurnal, and say...WOW that's something else...Perhaps I can’t work out the dynamics of this wondrous marvel, but what a free show…

One advantage, though there are more, is taking wee Aunt Becky, for a hurl, in the old jalopy, having time to appreciate the countryside, constantly look at the skies above, as we putter along, listening to the tartan top twenty (no reprieve from this particular state of affairs). The music is a must for Becky, for she does enjoy tapping her feet, while singing almost every verse of any tune. Right enough we have been doing this for quite a long time, then again, it’s a rare tear for me as well ….

Over the last few weeks, Aunt Becky has been attending, what is termed as, an old folk club, which she gives conflicting revues, enjoying it, not so good at other times, due to her Dementia, however, perhaps with a tad of selfishness, it has given us a slight rest bite for the days she been present.

Unfortunately, some of the residents of Possilpark, chatting and gossiping, through their own experiences, trying to protect her, warned Becky how families and government’s only want your savings, which caused some anxiety. When Rebecca came to her home, Aunt Becky was anxious to tell about the problem. Her next statement surprised Rebecca.

Becky demanded quote’ tell Peter to collect me and you, we will all go up to the bank, I will withdraw all my money and give it to you both…that will mean the Bank or that swine (actually said Bastard) Tony Blair, or anyone getting their hands on it’. On the same breath, asked how her feather friends, pigeons and sparrows, were doing outside. Next day visit, I took me quite a struggle to explain to Aunt Becky’s, not to talk about her money outside, and how her money was safe due to her registered will and she would need monies for expenses. She said she understood, but showing a blank stare which means she would not remember. Sad to see.

At least the people at the club had a convincing reason to tell Becky to be careful …on the other had I cannot understand people who deliberately try to hurt others by spreading malicious gossip, or actual lies, he said this and that?, when it was not so…or exaggerated while the subject has no idea of this ...which, spreads unnecessary misery if discovered. It is so easy, hurting people unintentionally, by saying roughly the wrong way or rendered on another wavelength.

We must give her, pills of all pills, on each visit as she refuses to allow anyone else to do so. I just tell her ‘here is your sex pills, Becky’…she always laughs sometimes adding ‘You make me giggle…what the hell am I going to have sex…I’m past my sell-by- date!’. this is an over abused word…but it’s nice to see her laugh’.
(“This bird Has flown”)

Peewee, the most famous magical pigeon, adviser to the Lord Provost of Glasgow, normally took a break in Saltcoats, meeting up with me, while walking home along the sand-dunes swigging the water of life, after a wee dram in the town’s hostelry. I do recall a time in Leiden having left the comforts of a Dutch ‘Kroeg’;(pub) walking along some canal sipping ‘Van Toor’… and who should pop on the poop deck of one special barge ...was Peewee

Although I was surprised to see him, especially in the Holt-lands, after warm greetings, Peewee explained, “it is coincidence we meet here, for instantly I decided the annul resbite was due a change, therefore I flew over to Leiden, one of the sailing places for the pious ‘Pilgrim Fathers’…beats Ryanair does it not?” In past conversation, Peewee had mentioned how long ago he had assisted the ‘Kingdom of the Netherlands’, affairs in certain matters, though for sanctuary reasons, the actual substances cannot be divulged, even right up to this very day.

He once hinted how the brave little Hollander, who stuck his thumb in the dyke, was actually true, 1845, receiving silver skates for his bravery. It was told as a story for obvious of security such facts cannot be disclosed willy-nilly. An Ice skating race, rose from this affair, but the Americans borrowed? the concept from Holland and so speed racing was born.

Peewee is not a spy…more an emissary adviser, held in the highest esteem for services rendered in nearly all nations in Europe. it is a custom for all honorary parades, major along with minor state events functions, for leading male dignitaries to wear a pigeon feather in their boaters, doff the said bonnets as they enter any building. This is why pigeons of all the nether regions are named “Duif” of the wild. Peewee is not a vain bird, certainly not, even with past troubled centuries old affairs, needing his magical abilities, and his closeness to the Glasgow Lord Provost of any given era, is legendary. Before setting oft to any new adventure…or particular ‘DO’, Peewee glance’s a mirror for one or two seconds, checking his excellent form and plumage.

Strangle he is the only one of his species that can do this… without clucking about eggs or feeling femininely peculiar. It is a well kent fact, breeding birds do need company of other feathered creatures to stimulate and fertilize. It is known how some breeders cross that sight by supplying a mirror to imitate company and a couple of gay birds do this also in hope too. There are no cross dressers in the bird world, perhaps a few ruffled feathers though few to speak of. When Peewee gazes into a reflection maker, no other bird would dare suggest any other motive other than checking groom.

After I took another few sneaky slugs from the weird shaped bottle, the enchanted pigeon began to explain his real purpose why he was here. “It will come as no surprise in the surrounding area, in fact in the whole kingdom, there is huge quantities of manufactured medication inducing ingredients, sprinkled unrestrainedly through the mixture of special kinds of cakes, to be used in meditational relieving pain from any casualty”.

If a pigeon could look mellow, at that very moment Peewee did just that, while continuing this escapade; “of course it was a breeze heading for Amsterdam, although I, surprisingly, almost lost my way in heavy smoke coupled with the red light district, where ladies parade in the supposed safety of florescent lighting windows and a long cigarette holder, also accommodate cheroots”.

He stopped, for a few seconds, as if his brain was catching up with his beak… he then slowly followed; “I found the very café who supplied this weird weed and a copy of the formula…however I may inadvertently have indulged more than I expected to do!” It was only then I noticed his eyes were rather bigger than I remembered back in Saltcoats.

Another swig of alcohol, to clear my vision, Peewee then spoke in a louder voice than before; “to my shame there is no recollection what happened next …so I must have gone into auto pilot, glided and woke up here, minus my big cake and worse still…without the treasured formula!”

Hearing the welcome ringing church dome bells of ‘Peiterskerk’ he could at last relax. He spoke not another word, unsteadily waddled across the badge towards the front. I was concerned because quaint Leiden, with water everywhere, was made up of canals…and Peewee did not look ship-shaped at all…I needn’t have worried, after another wee sip of liquor …Peewee called” Goodbye” …and vanished…as usually he did
A gullible Carwash

Mr MacLean, right off the hoof made a sudden decision, he was due a well-earned vocation, and what would be better than a drive about his earliest homeland, around the backwaters of the Hielans; ‘Argyll and the Inner Hebrides’. A casual trail to trace his ancient ancestors, including a clansman, who, as the hand down legend goes, gave council to King Macbeth, also another, thought to have fought for Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn…just the biscuit for such a fell clan.

This being true or not, the idea of the hills overshadowing lochs, and the heather were just too tempting, because Maclean had this image of himself, as having Gaelic teuchter clansman pluck, supporting the traditional Broadsword, Biodag and Targe… ‘born too late’ for Culloden, but no ’Sghian Dubh’ the black dirk, never used by an affluent noble clansman.

Though it was just breaking day, as the sun was swithering to awaken, there and then he packed his trusty jalopy full of camping gear, extensive survival foods, water and essentials …. Several bottles of Highland Park, for the morn’s morn tipple, weird though it sounds, headed towards what he believed his destiny. The hunt was afoot, driving out of the city westward, into almost virtually unknown territory for Maclean.

Just after Ardnamurchan, on the what Hielanders refer to as a major thoroughfare, the cosy B8007, holding some cracking scenery, Mr Maclean had a notion to turn off this route, so being adventurous he chooses the next exit, leading into a very large forest area. It did not take long before he observed how dark the woodland made the middle of the day seem, with crazy darting shadows of scuffie unspecified ghostlike beings, appearing intermittently, as if the very trees were actually moving. The eeriness lured a growing nervousness, stranger to Maclean until this actual moment. So much so, Maclean slivers of perpetual fear was becoming physically obvious, as a small trickle of perspiration ran down his back.

The journey seemed eternal and Claustrophobically bleak and black, until… like bloody magic, a total clearance of trees, of any kind, as the road, weaved and wound for miles to the horizon, or as far as he could see. The strange thing was, the sky started to fill with flocks of different sized birds, seemed like hordes of hovering birds circulating the heavens, just waiting, but Maclean had no clue as to what species or types.

At the side of the road, somewhere in the middle of the scene, was a massive brightly coloured constructed, with what appeared, see through windows. On arriving was an automatic enormous car cleaning service. On an advertising board was an alternating sign, displaying the following…” have a car wash… out of this world, operated via cyberspace internet…thru our computer operated marvel, bringing the ‘latest of the greatest’ perfect car washes you have ever experienced…only £10’.

The car by now was rather manky so for to have a short break from driving, and to put a shine on his waggon, Maclean, being thrifty Scot, promptly placed a ten pound note into the machine, then sat back to enjoy the experience. Each stage of the operation was designed for faultlessness, even the hub-rims, as the large all in one machine ran up and down the car, so many times.

Now started the giant drier, doing it’s bit moving gently alone as Maclean watch intently, but failed to notice what was behind the jalopy. A colossal solid piece of metal anchored to the rear of his car, magnetically or computerized, locked the doors, then began to push the car forward, even with the handbrake on.

Inch by inch, involuntary shifted the car forward, with wheels screeching including a now terrified so called warrior Maclean inside. Inch by inch the car disappeared into the unknown, and pretty soon there was nothing visually left of the motor, or Maclean…they just vanished into emptiness. With seconds, all the unexplained which appeared to happen, all that went on before, was but a dream…who’s dream it was…or was it just an hallucination… no-one knows … what was certain…from that moment on, all that could be seen in the whole area…was the winding road…. mile after mile of it.

The B.B.C issued an emergency report, how another motor, with an unidentified occupant, had just vanished… this is the 18th car, and 39 passengers, in the last year who have disappeared without trace …. and no one had seen them since. The authorities are extremely concerned.

Later, in the same bulletin…. under a nature statement, how there had been an unexplained huge increase of ‘Western Harriers, Red Kites, Peregrine Falcons and buzzards, in an area of Argyll near ‘Loch Mudle’

One wonders if there is any connection…so do I…

I hasten to add, all characters are made up….and anybody with the name Maclean bares no reference, or connection in this tale. A certain Mr Duncan Mc lean, once director of a Housing association, in Barlanark …had no linking to this subject… a clue, the way Duncan’…personal signed his surname, there is an missing an “a” and had gained a space…. between C and L. -=-=-=-=-=
Jim stepped down from the train…. retribution

Jim stepped down from the train onto a deserted platform, instantly hearing a processer voice, from everywhere and nowhere…notifying him how this area is a death zone, because of fundamentalists. The message ricocheted throughout what seemed, at first glance, to be an abandoned rail-station, but now, with a second dawdling scrutinizing eye, this place had witnessed dreadful atrocities.

Dishevelled and tired, Jim took it rather calmly by striking a match…lighting, then drawing a deep breath, inhaling the smoke of a cigarette, then gradually releasing the combination of both from his lungs, which sort of relieved his tautness thru his bones.

Massive posters everywhere, on whitewashed walls, publicising the laws, and harsh punishments for smoking, drinking alcohol… sex outside marriage…and secretly consuming food more than designated allowance, per day. In big bold letters, clearly voicing safety laws, stating; due to the lack of global food, water of any description, and fuel…anyone responsible with any of the above crimes… without a trial…will be executed.

Jim wonder if it applies to personal sex at home, but this was not the time, or place, for bathroom humour…or any wit…even within himself.

A huge monitor automatically turns on as he approaches, screening a full history of the sector, and where its service and status was placed in the world. With no sign of man or beast, a complete deafening emptiness, Jim takes heed of the information and reads on. The way he read it, the gist of the elaborate scripture was….

Hidden in worldwide cyberspace, are five uncollaborated make-believe overlords of mystic origin, laid down rules in compulsory chanted scrolls, hi-tech communications penetrating deep in the populations minds, under their domain. Around the entire globe, people willingly reject freedom…fearing it will destroy their zone’s idol…thee only true ethos ...given his almighty voice recorded…its law for the faithful mindless individual redeemer.

This virtual reality news unceasingly clarifying… contrary to translated script, many splitter groups, irrationally blaspheme against the five hallowed conceived deities, calling a holy war on all other idols. The insurgents somehow managed to amass illicit weapons, sneak through security, posing as honest ardent celebrants. The message ends, and the screen blanks…and with seconds, the deserted place Jim arrived in, as if magic, from every direction, became a hub industry of commuters, hurrying ‘to and fro’ Jim stepped back into his Pullman.

With seconds, from somewhere unknown, an obvious pre- planned operation, opens with indiscriminately, zapping untold numbers of true devotees, innocent people by the score, just vanish to nowhere. The Worldwide Computer turn’s on, displaying one fortitude statement; ‘Retribution’

Virtual reality wants a healthy populous, totally, controlled by their individual friendly liberator, having the military might to enforce mindless obedience. The automatons sentinels, only need carry a simple button…. Attuned instantaneously through information superhighway, to physically exterminate, and liquidate any individual…group or multitude within that zone

In the coach’s isolation, Jim came to an uncomfortable conclusion …no matter how, or what the source is, there is a darkness within one and all of us; or is it an insincere failure to look at truth, how pure wickedness is inbred growing virus…so deserving of such a Retribution

All such pathetic deaths, and destructions, over five Imaginary friends.[size="4"][/size]
My Chronicles 24/10/2016

There are certain tangible things I hold dear, both physically and emotional within my heart, mainly because ‘Who’ gave me them, as a present, knowing only too well I would cherish and treasure these gifts…but more important having the ability to do so. There is also a few things I am advantageous to actually do, with one or two more than a cut above the rest, or hits the spot unexpectedly from out of nowhere.

Taking Aunt Becky, a hurl may sound like a chore, but it never has been, for I enjoy the drive, especially the sunny days we have had in this much-delayed Autumn with trees shedding leaves which fall into golden pathways crisp and dry. The pure gem is the superb Kilpatrick Hills which change with every glance, wind change and the sun splitting its rays and light across is rugged features.

Every day changes the nature settings throughout the range of hills and mountains, in all weathers, so curious to the eye, giving a passion of satisfaction, just by being there… and one day I will walk across them…yes one day. Another wonder in our tours is the incredible ‘Dunglass’, a mass defiantly just there…pure dead gallus… one day soon. Just now and then, Becky smiles and looks at me, as she remembers who she is…that is a magic wonder. I return home myself, playing either Chuck Berry, or Ray Charles…or the unbeatable ‘Stones’…. pure heaven.

As for special material things, I always keep near hand, or know exactly where they rest, even in my now forgetful frame of mind which age has brought. It is not the cost or world value which makes the precious but just the memories they invisibly hold, preforming as an inner projector spinning through my mind, coming to life as soon as I touch, wear or look at.

A magic wand, with a windmill rotating lights which light up via a switch, given to me by ‘Nikki’ our daughter, who purchased it at a family pantomime outing some 12 years ago...She just said…’just for you dad’
An outdoor hiking jacket, bought by ‘Toni’ when she went to work in Leiden/ Netherlands, some 14 years ago. When she and her main man decided to have a year off work and go right around the world, before setting off…She just said ‘just for you dad’.

Chris, our son is the one who purchases, some daft and crazy, presents for me, at Christmas and birthdays and just ordinary days. However, this year after marrying the lovely ‘Kirsti’, he brought back from their honeymoon, a French Dinky Toy ‘Camionette De Depannage Citroen’. To show up my credibility as a normal sane person, I happen to have a few Dinky Toys stoatering around the ‘Toni’s room’ He just said…just for you dad’.

There are a few personal items that ‘She who must be obeyed’ has given to me down through the ages…but they are too private to release them or their meaning to a untold readership…. but each time…she just said…

There is a place in our lives for money and valuable things, but to want them just for the sake of ownership is not my bag…but just for you…. pure dead brilliant
Granddad’s letter;

It is amazing to watch just how much our children change over the years, where we were lucky...and luck has a lot to do with it...and our family held on to being good natured and decent people who respected their parents and Grandma, but simply idolized their granddad. They were so impressed of his life story, which over the years his whole family reckoned they knew every step he had ever taken throughout his 84 years.

Not that grandpa was a boaster…far from it…but from almost the moment each one of his family was born, he gently steered them, before bedtime, read ‘Fairy Tales’ holding a moral attitude. These ethical tales, mixed up with events throughout his long life, his grandchildren felt privileged to stay at his home. On several occasions, he declared, with a wry smile, because of dire circumstances, when he was young, always working at something or other from a very early age, then. When he had broad shoulders, as he put it, he went down the pits shafts as a Banker man, among cursed Blackdamp…that stole his best mate from him. Later, after the miners’ strike in 1943, witnessed and worked with Bevin boys… held them in high esteem

One thing always remained a mystery, an unopened stamped letter, clearly addressed to Grandpapa, inside an extravagant photo frame, taking pride and place on the lintel of the ever-burning ingle-neuk. Throughout many a year, the few occasions Granddad was asked about this despatch, his answers were evasive, or talked around it with another anecdote, remaining constantly enigmatic. The respect the entire family held for their proud grandparent, they never mentioned he forgot to specify the reason for the posted despatch…and no one knew when it was delivered…or why it was kept sealed.

Unfortunately; even strong old oxen’ have a contract with passing nature, as did ‘Boxer’, the strong determined but ignorant horse from Animal Farm. The story Grandpa told many times, with great power of speech, many a winter’s night… but now is hour had come, quietly, with everyone he loved, and they loved him, being at his bedside. After the terrible shock and heart crushing loss, which would never go away, they had a wake, talking only about their recollections and wisdom of their much-treasured Grandpa.

Their warm memories sprung thick and fast, with every word uttered held tenderness from within the hearts of respective orators, until one family member caught a glimpse of the letter, on the mantelpiece, sort of glowing radiated from the coal fire. ‘I wonder what is in the letter’ said the inquisitive youngster, as he moved towards the fireplace…then unexpectedly stopped in his track by Granny…who softly spoke ‘I believe it’s time the family knew your Grandfather’s secret’.

She calmly motioned all present, to sit down and pay attention, then continued. ‘we only found out some time back, your grandfather had this thing named neurologic disorder called ‘Alexia’, he has had this condition since the day he was born’. An unusual quietness surrounded the room, and you would have heard a pin as their elderly granny continued in a low sincere voice.

‘He believed, it must have been caused when a cranky mule kicked him, at the side of his head, just about the same time we became one for each other…some 68years ago’ Slowly s if the words were jaggy coming out to the light after so long, Grandma, near tears explained, ‘once he had recovered at home, there was no money for fancy doctors, we made a pact…no one would be told’. She stopped to take a few breaths, then added; ‘maybe he was holding suborn pride, but from that very day…we set up home, I took all the lettering, bills paying and the like…he was a good man, he worked hard for his money’

One of the older children present, pipped up ‘But gran, Granddad read, great fairy stories, to all of us, every time we were at your house… word for word perfect’. The grey-haired lady smiled, then replied, ‘we practiced for two nights before you came, apart from reading and writing, he had a good memory and active brain’. ‘He tried for years to literate …but for some reason, it just did not happen…we were non-believers, so we could not blame him!’.

Taking time to sip some black tea, she added, ‘some 50 years ago, that very letter arrived, and Granddad decided, if he could not read it…it would stay unopened’. She inhaled a deep breath before restarting with, ‘Well that was not strictly true…we both thought it may be a letter, from the authorities, asking us to go to court…because we were not married, we jumped the broomsticks!’

The family sat there in total silence, but just gaping at this kind Nanna, with astonishment. The oldest son asked when we would open this letter. The mother smiled shyly ‘it was your father’s secret all this time; it will be buried with him’.
Anecdotes from the auld Steamie…Part 1(the big match)
Lanky Dick v Ben-Gunn

Throughout industrial cities of Scotland, many 19th century buildings were for civic service, while in the heart of numerous working-class communities of those fine Victorian metropolises stood the proud Wash-house and bath public. Insides the mechanisms of any such establishment, employees laboured, not particularly hard, below average wages… but unofficially near guaranteed job for life.

As any workforce, certain hot spots rose from time to time, grumblings about managements roll or being mischievous in work practices or being caught doing something against the rules of service. For a counter action defence, all staffs worked under a ‘closed shop’ environment; meaning having to belong to the Union present. ‘Mat the rat’; previously and widely nicknamed, because of his shady moves, was thee overall shop convener. In one such section institution, in one such crowded city, arguments threatened to flare beyond words or negotiation

Ben Gunn decided to be involved with the union, health, and safety within the confined of public amenities, being allected to Shop Steward by employees of three such establishments. In all honesty Ben had no real conviction for this privilege position, other an excuse to leave the buildings, unchallenged, whenever he wished…. somewhere along the lines of thinking as ‘Mat the Rat’.

Probably a blunt excuse, but low wages encouraged, most of the staff, manufactured or otherwise, a right to ‘privileges’ …along with back handed ‘Buckles’ (a freebee). However, this was directed against the council while honesty was vitally important when dealing with customers…for gratuities on the fair, Christmas…especially for the Turkish suite, as they alone received such numerations, daily.

A report of ‘wrong doing’, in the Turkish suite, by a member of the paying public, led to Ben Gunn investigating, much to the displeasure, adding to an already strained relationship between Ben and Turkish suite hand, ‘Lanky Dick’, who was a keenly built Ex-Military Soldier, with a wanting eye and quite a belligerent temper. He felt he had been dealt a rough deal in the baths, holding a wandering grudge, originated from when Ben managed to save his job the year previous as one of his ‘trifles’ came to light. His temperament did not sit easy with the customers …so he received less gratuities than others.

Under the protection of Trade Union business; Ben unfortunately using the derogative term ‘Lanky Dick’; demanded, ‘stop trying to be the fly guy…your gutsiness affects us all’. Due to the fact Lanky Dick was thick(hence the nickname) attitudes and things slowly but steadily deliberately came to the boil. Heated words sparked his macho persona ending up in a challenge pose. He then moved to intimidate the rather small sort of creature…Ben.

Lanky Dick, then loudly projected, so all could hear, he was going to knock the hells bells out of insignificant wee weeded, mealy moothed… Ben.

Within seconds of this announcement …the whole building was ringing…Fight…fight…fight.

To be continued
big al
Once again Peter a nice haul - thought for a minute that I was Al - after a while I realised it was me in a kinda way - Jim gets darker and darker - great stuff - keep it up!
Thanks Big Al...I will do my best...hopefully
(Anecdotes from the auld Steamie…Part 2 (the big match)

Lanky Dick v Ben-Gunn

Grasping the urgency of his position, such a direct indication intended by Lanky Dick, Ben almost caught ‘lose bowel syndrome’, but quickly recovered with an official cough, followed by his rugged union voice…’We can’t ruckus here, we’d both lose our jobs, but if you agree, we have a proper pugilism match, in 6 weeks in the boxing booth around the corner?’

Under mounting pressure quickly noticing how Lanky Dick wished still to partake in immediate blows, swiftly added ‘you would not like a reputation of taking advantage of a wee weeded mealy moothed bloke…would you?’ It certainly was not Lanky Dick’s kind nature, for he had no such thing, but whatever the reason… miracles happen, he agreed

With a bad imitation of a John Wayne gait while walking away, Ben admitted to himself, Lanky Dick was a big lad…and a Bampot to boot, but somewhere in the back of Ben’s mind he had heard a theory how you can only take so much pain… then it’s all the same level. Who knows? …but Ben knew with definite authority… he wasn’t ready for the hilly necropolis. He began rigorous training straight away, swimming, running added with press ups, but most important, strictly no booze; Ben had more than a slight weakness for the golden nectar, and lots and lots of oat meal and porridge.

Within weeks Ben felt fitter having far more wind in him than needed. He was running up and down the massive granite stairs in the City Chambers. Ben was impressed how macho athletic he had become, looking the part, characteristically muscular…where it counts. Here was a looking glass image of Charles Atlas…no more sand in his face...perhaps.

Several days before the big event Lanky Dick, sought out Ben Gunn, then sheepishly asked if the ‘Rumble in the jungle’ be called off. ‘After all…we are grown men’ he spurts out unconvincingly, followed with ‘we do not need to physically fight to make our point, do we? Lanky Dicky produced his stretched-out hand and suggests to call it quits.

Inwardly Ben was about to burst with pure dead magic, while outwardly he played it cool, slowly moved his hand across and shook lanky’s limp hand. With exaggerated cockiness, he, and his ego walked slowly away, reckoning Lanky must have watched him train, seen something dangerous in Ben’s style …Lanky was an x soldier…he would know…must’ve had him worried.

Several weeks later, safety checks were being done in the Turkish suite. George, a punter, approached Ben, asking if I had any problems…then embellish a wink, no punch-ups I hope. Ben told the story about Lanky Dick and their slight disagreement but explained how it was settled. The customer George expressed a different line of reasoning as to the whole affair, explaining all the punters knew of the oncoming presumed slaughter. They all blamed that sleaze bag Lanky Dick

George carried on to say he brought this to the attention of a friend of Ben Gunn’s called Joe. Joe was little bigger than Ben but well in shape with lean strong build and an aggression Ben lacked. Joe was known locally being handy with his fists, plus a reputation of taking on more than two at a time. He had that bit more than most of us…as the T.V. would say “Could handle himself”.

Apparently, Joe cornered Lanky Dick, just the day before the truce, sternly explaining what he would do if Lanky laid one finger on Ben. Lanky Dick got the message…but Ben reached the wrong conclusion.

A bit of luck helps… while a bit of extra muscle is even better.[/size][size="3"]
My Chronicles 06/11/2016

There is a sadness these days, mainly for the older generation, when funerals come around faster than I would wish for, but now a variation has come to pass where bleak Victorian style religious sombre behaving funerals are being more so replaced by a collective audience participation in celebration of life of the deceased called humanist memorial funerals.

Although the wishes of the departed are keenly observed, during cremation or burial, the whole ambiance is for the living individuals of the family, and close friends no matter what interments are chosen.

The main difference is simply the humanist’s services are conducted in a more personal intimate manner, nourishing strictly centred around the person life and times. Where religious services, of any calibre, are traditionally pious ceremonies, having 90% around the core purpose of their brand of faith. I am not knocking religion for it is a comfort for those who truly believe, but for me I prefer the less rigid practiced service.

I know, it is a distressingly painful time, for those left behind when a loved one has perished. At any given time, my mind overpoweringly transferring thoughts, through and around, a million places why this should not have happened when Toni died…and in all honesty, Rebecca and I had little awareness of what was actually happening, but it was a humanist affair, for this is how Toni would have wished it.

Last Thursday was the cremation service for Bill Sharkey, a committee member of New Gorbals Housing Association…a lovely man. Gorbals born…. The theme; a gentleman…gentleman…and no one there, among the large congregation, would see fit to disagree. Bill was one of a few…his own man, with a Gorbals tenacity to stick and honour his basic principles

Perhaps it’s the grumpiness within me now but apparently, it is not only politicians, who take credit, and praise for other people’s achievements, feeing no pangs of guilt watering down their values, chip away at their principles, to suit any occasion where they may gain ill-gotten advances. There have been periods of simple naivety on my part, believing people hold precious integrity to gauge their actions, where the reality is, peoples manipulate and dilute principles to suit their wants, in any situation.

Lucky for me, this imaginary world disappears within a very short space of time, knowing you can’t change natures hallowed habits. Unfortunately, each time I experience this behaviour I am emotionally upset.

Meeting people like Bill; gave a rudimentary honesty to whatever was on the agenda, or to be discussed seriously when needed…. but abundant humour and laughs along the way

I have just remembered…he owes me a beer…thanks Bill for being in my life [size="4"][/size]


I don’t feel right, not right at all, even in such a bright morning…nobody I know… somehow the whole world appears topsy-turvy… I sense as if am not here…or should not be here…. everything has transformed…looks very strange but inquisitively still the very same…. ever since I took my first drink of delicious cool morning water…. I always do take care how much clean water I sip; it helps with my digestion during a hectic day… you can be a slave to the contents of your tummy while out and about.

I am not moving until normality returns, I refuse though its possibly seen as stubborn, but I’m sticking to the principle. If I can’t see anything in a familiarity light, then it’s bizarre … I’ll stand still…it can’t touch me….as I stand here…nothing has a right place; the landscape has all changed…even the grass looks differently odd ... conceivably greener if I’m allowed to be truthful. Usually no matter where you go in the local area, it’s easy to bump into others just browsing around…but I do not recognize anybody or thing here today.

It’s beginning to grow eerie, even spooky and scary, at the same time…. there is unidentified tattie bogle, of unknown origin out there…in this weird queer place. This gives credence to the frightening rumours to what happens to all of us soon… to be frank, nobody knows but no getting away from it…its odd today and that’s a fact staring in front of me. ... this now, I’m at the unknown edge where everything is inexplicably out of this world.

Yesterday was fine…I did nothing out the ordinary …rather boring if you ask me, but then again…most days are the same old routine. I would give the coat off my back if I could close my eyes and, by magic, spirited back where I belong…too unconventional this place…even if it is tedious!

I’ll give it a try…either I’m doing it wrang…or its no joy …I’ll just stay here…perfectly still…showing no fear…well no much…. Suddenly there is a brash voice….’She’s got a big bloody red stain on her rump… and these buggers still make the same F---in mistake!... Blue sheep here…red sheep in the next field!’

Two farm-hands continue in conversation, while standing outside a gate, of a certain field, in a quite spot somewhere in bonnie Scotland…one hand laughingly blurts through his sandwich …’there’s our ‘Dolly’ again, looking bloody confused… sheepish clone if you like…bung her in the next field, for god sake, where she belongs!’
[b]Anecdotes from the auld Steamie; Scooter[/b]

Somewhere in the not so distant past, within the boundaries of a Scottish city, deep in the heart of a Victorian building accommodating as swimming pool, a Turkish suite and the all-important Steamie, a ready and willing staff were prepared to service the whims and fancies of the public, whilst holding some impulses of their own. Their true identities are with-held, apart from nicknames, to protect them from officials.

Scooter (his nickname) was a drop off sort of guy, wishing to be in the mould of famed movie star ‘Marlon Brando’, but rumoured had it, he rode side- saddle his treasured motorbike, a magnificent Triumph Bonneville 1969; which he kept, with bursting pride, in mint condition. Don’t be fooled as to his capabilities, for he knew many diverse ways using a bicycle chain, while chain-smoking the all-important cigarette from the side of his mouth…Clique

In his locker, the height of Scooter’s literary library, consisted of boys’ own story papers, particularly the Scottish Hotspur, Victor; feverously shining his preference for north of the border publications, especially past Cavalier glory days, where pompous honour, and the regiment, was paramount. From one rare excursion, while reading a local history book, one event struck home and instantly fired his imagination way beyond the point of reality; …

‘In the early 19th century a Lieutenant Knox (no kin to Thee John Knox), 15th Hussars, pledged a gentleman’s wager, he would and could, ride hearty gallop through the city’s crowded jewellery arcade, in complete soldierly uniform, sabre, lance and all’. In civil police court, he was fined a mere £5 for his daredevil escapade. A full military was held afterwards. ‘A small price to pay’ so thought Scooter, failing bearing in mind the difference in coinage from then till now.

There and then, Scooter decided to use his mechanical charger, in a similar audacious action, driving his prized Triumph around the indoor swimming pool. I hasten to add the building was free of the public. Revving up his trusty steed’s…enhanced by perfect acoustics, throughout the building, Scooter and motorbike drove faster and faster as a devil ride of death in a carnival, until a careless discarded swimming float, played havoc with his front wheel, uncontrollably changing his, and more important the bike’s angle of direction. Tragedy struck as Scooter failed to see the 18 foot bamboo cane, used for rescuing purposes, poke into his rear chain driven wheel, smashing and splintered into a million pieces, as his powerful machine carried on regardless.

Fortuitously spooked Scooter, and the triumph, disappeared through swing doors, into the empty Steamie, bangs headlong into a workplace table holding a bucket of diluted phosphate, which summersaults, unfortunately proving Newton’s law, ending with Scooter as a dysfunctional caricature of ‘Oor Wullie’. Phosphate was used in old working Steamies to bleach hardened stone floor, unfortunately the contents of the bucket spattered all over his black leather jacket and jeans, … disastrously fifteen big white blotches sprayed on his cherish bike.

Scunnered to the bare bone, Scooter troubles continued when unexpectedly arrival of local superintendent Kirk (nickname from T/V space) probably the work of a stool pigeon. Shaking his head in disbelief, barred Scooter from overtime for 6 months, for wilfully causing the pool to be closed for one week. Due to health and safety procedure, if any foreign body, or bodies contaminates the surrounds or actual swimming pool, it must be emptied, every piece of foreign substance removed, regardless of size, completely sterilised by chemicals, over a lengthily period… then refilled.

Way after the disastrous happening, a weary Scooter, could only say; ‘at least I was not deported out of city…. for the East Indies’…proving, at least, he knew his local history
The plan;

There was no get from the hard truth that he was not having any real success with the ladies. Yes, he had had his moments, but few and far between complete boredom with his own company. Once, a long time ago he had delightfully walked hand in hand with a female, across the sands of a windy beach, whose mighty waves demonstrated the powers of the tides, crashing before their bare feet…but the truth of the matter was the damsel was in distress, mainly due to the fact she was drunk. When shortly later and sobriety had gripped her thoughts, she grabbed her shoes and ran.

When younger, offering the fair sex a sweetie, take pleasure from watching their gleeful faces accepting such an innocent surprise. Now if such a gesture was made, he would be in serious; serious trouble… being a man nearing sixty. For so long now, searching relentlessly to find out the cause, any reason why, in all this time, a lady fair had just not appeared, never mind the pure heavenly delights, slipping him by. Looking in his faded dull mirror, he realized he was not a man’s man, but neither a man who preferred the company of a man. Not handsome in a film star way…or in any way if the reflection was correct …but not repulsive either

Then it came to him to stop feeling sorry for himself, face reality, there was one way he could solve the problem even if it was just for one night. . Although his loins were busting full, using the service of a ‘’Filli de Joie’ as the gay French say, never entered his thoughts, although he held nothing against them, unfortunately. Quick as a flash, he formed a cunning plan…to solve the problem but to keep his integrity.

Spring cleaning his home even though it was not spring, then rushing out to purchase the best of food and wine he could afford, plus plenty of scented coloured candles, placed in every neuk and cranny in the entire flat , creating the a atmosphere of perfection, for this romantic evening to remember with his chosen partner. While arranging the main room, he took several glasses of the fine wine bought for the occasion…just to steady his nerve and add a tinge to the growing expectations

Once all was completed taking a final pre-celebration glass of superb grape juice, he made his way down to the local telephone box cluttered with adverts for such ladies classified as ‘Cocotte courtesans’. For some reason the light in the booth was not working and the smell was rather unwished for, as he rushed doing an, ‘"Eeny, meeny, miny, moe’, finally plunging for one card. He would never use, or thought the ungallant word ‘Strumpet’ while giving his name address and instructions, on arrival to ring the bell and enter his flat .

Back in his boudoir, in dim candle-light, lay on his bed like a spider awaiting it’s delights. The excitement almost reached breaking point when the doorbell rang and he heard someone call…with a nervous quiver in his voice he answered to come on through.

The bedroom door opened and his dream and scheme disastrously broke into a thousand pieces…. standing before him was a call out; 24-hour plumber…unamused by the way.

big al

Once again a good laugh at the romantic evening ending with a call out plumber - really good

Thanks Big Al

DESPERATE; 5 Creepy;

This story may be disturbing

He creeps around the crowded house, sleekit as a rat, looking for pleasure, imitating a timorous mouse, and just as fearful of being caught. Contrasting the daily rags storylines, he lives on his nerves, but for entirely different reasons from you and I. Although he knows every inch his way around, he checks each cunning step carefully, not to make a sound, being sure everyone is in their place, having not wandered sleepily around, creating oblivious dangers the night, especially this very night may bring…. petrified he will be found out.

Slyly scrutinizing ever craves and notch of the home, extremely important, where everyone may be. Darkness covers sleekit movements but he is aware this does not have to be it makes it exciting in his warped judgment. In silence, examines all comings and goings of the household have been as planned, adjustments can be made at the drop of a hat, in case something unexpected turns up. The slightest noise agitates and alerts his frustrated mind

He is now an elderly man, starting to imagine and forget things, so it’s vital while carrying out his plan, not to faultier or overlook to check everything So many physical things can go wrong, while getting about is much harder than before This is official, he is mentally sick, however like most sick people, they believe they are not as sick as some people want to believe. Psychiatrists say he has a mental illness, and has been for a long; long time. He would categorically dispute this.

Knowing how easy it is to be caught due to a stupid slip, but emphatically believes his ability and agility is smarter than the rest, especial having his silver tongue which keeps him out of trouble and helps gain what he craves for. Retracing each stage, double checks each room, especially the toilet. It is very late, if not near morning, no one in the household have any idea he is prowling around their sacred things… except one little person, who heard an distressing familiar sound, hoping against hope she is wrong. Like a thief in the night, he closes each door so quietly that not even ghosts know not his presence.

Wearing thin kitchen gloves so no finger prints can call his bluff. A seasoned wolf in sheep’s clothing, wearing slippers of a special kind will only be used once. Pre-scrubbed every part of his body so that sweat cannot recall him being there. All his attire burnt later, once he has got what he came for.

He creeks open the final door of the only person awake at this terrible hour. Tears are falling from her face as now she looks, with horror expectations at the prowler. She tries desperately to merge into the background, wishing the wall to suck her body up away from this horrible place as the stalker quietly calls in an ear shattering whisper “hallo darling…. this is our own wee secret; you ken your grand-dad would never hurt you”. Inside her trembling body, she soundlessly screams for help…but no one hears her.

Every inch a predator…he is a paedophile; registered or not, more likely than not…it’s a relative, or family friend who causes ruin to an innocent childhood [size="4"][/size]

I think you all know I scribble…usually make light of actual true happenings I’ve witnessed or been involed with ….as I said many times, I have regrettably been in personal horrible knowledge of such diabolical matters... more than once… devoid of anything but anger and wretchedness

If people are offended…I will withdraw…
David; my deep unreserved apology
To Big Al...and other readers...

a difficult subject and perhaps, with foresight, I should have left it in my private domain. However, recently I was given an update, by the Kilmarnock Prosecutor, of this terrible case of two such persons, who plagued the lives of my sister-in-law back in the 90’s. In Largs, she discovered the enormity of their wickedness…. and was murdered. They were both jailed for 30 years for a multitude of crime against young boys throughout Scotland and the death of my sister in law

Some 50 odd families, throughout Scotland, England and Spain were deceived by these smiling parasites and in each case, the acted as modern ‘Fagan’s’ with boy’s innocent lives. It is a fact that 97% of this corruptible detestable crime against humanity… is by fathers, uncles, grandfathers and family friends…which these two ……. were to many a poor family. My story is accurate how many perpetrate their evilness

In future, I will make sure my personal dark feelings,on such distasteful subjects will not be broadcasted in such a manner… It is not fair on the innocent reader
Anecdotes from the auld Steamie;

Coloured Extension;

Throughout Scotland’s industrial Victorian cities and towns, purposely built buildings, containing swimming pools, hot baths Turkish baths and Steamies, provided overcrowded working communities, much needed washing facilities, both personal and clothing, they were also used as a meeting place especially the Turkish suite.

Why men wish to go to Turkish baths differs considerably, as some to encounter business contacts, others to relax in male company in the last stronghold for a male club (until recently). A multitude from all walks of life, socialise while others attend the sauna, same time and day each week, to dodge one thing or another… and some blokes just out of sheer habit.

Finally, believe it or not, some go just to wash themselves of the day’s dirt. The fact almost all these outlets are now in mixed company’s, means the origins of Turkish bathing has been gone forever. Nothing to do with sexual irritations, however something is lost when the user cannot stroll completely nude through the treatment rooms of a Turkish suite. There is a somewhat magical and releasing feeling when you swim in the nude. The public may say, a slim bathing costume should not make a difference… but believe me, it does…it does

Lanky Dick was envious of everyone, always looking pestering punters for an unearned tip or buckshee …Hammie was a regular punter owning, for some thirty years, wee red shop in the heart of the metropolis. He was typically friendly true blue Scot, who just happened to be quite dark skin of a person born in Africa.

One day, Hammie asked Lanky Dick if the sun bed was free for his use. Where Lanky Dick asked why would he, of all people want to, he replied in his sly humour, that the previous day only two people had called him a ‘black-Bampot ’only once that day, and he was feart he was losing his colour? Sigmund Freud might have given an explanation as it was an inverted joke, to reverse the turmoil within built, but he just laughed pulling over the curtain to fry in privacy.

Some twenty minutes later, Lanky Dick chatting with another regular, Big Dodger, appearance of one of those real heavies of gangland movies, but in truth was a pretty gen guy. He was slightly fu, attempting to sober up before going home, failing in his feeble task. People automatically have faith in the Turkish steam able to sober the drunk instantly. A missed conception, as the steam dehydrates a body, and the booze swallowed has already done just that. The result the happy chappy became more disorientated, temporary to be more blotto.

Graham had been playing in his quartet, around the clubs and dance halls, the guitar was his instrument. One night, just at the break a man, slightly fu, came up to him and asked” do you mind if I give you some constructive criticism “, and Graham replied no. the rather drunk man went on “your bloody crap”. I have a strong feeling this would have been said, whither right or wrong, if the guy had been sober.

Graham and Lanky Dick, sitting right opposite the sun bed being used by Hammie, when he reopened the curtains, in full glory to all and sundry, which totally surprised and amazed Graham. He growled to Hammie” where did you get that?”. Hammie, thinking it was the tan, pointed to the debunked machine. “No” shouted Graham “no, I mean your manhood and I wish I had one just like it”

Without a sign of emotional expression, Hammie tells Graham… he could have his wish come true if he could obtain a short piece of string (gardening type preferred) and a fair size stone. Further information given was to tie one end of the string to the stone, the other end to his own manhood, leaving it for a couple of days.

‘Will it enhance my potential, like yours’ asked Graham eagerly? ‘I don’t know about that’ said Hammie…. but it will turn just as black!”
My Chronicles 20/11/2016

In the last 20 odd days, unexpected varies pieces of news arrived, reaching into my past, small smithereens of judgements I presume were supressed deep in my subconscious, involuntary surfaces, triggering misty mind games, unsuccessfully understanding the logic. A smudged ‘Les Miserables’ I can’t mask or remove weirdness of a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ persona installed in my being, then without notice, dispersing close to the ending of ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’.

This abnormal behaviour, rises and falls, thru unqualified periods in the past, which I believe are nudged by certain overpowering reminders. I struggle with a piece of irritating rational fluff, floating then clinging, floating then clingy with callous tenacity. What worries me, is when such undesirable moods take possession, suddenly appearing unaided and unwanted …people I know haven’t noticed the character change, or their too well-mannered to say so. The good news is it’s on the wane as several events have, and will surely helped restore my inner confidence.

The cold nights and chilly days have settled across our patch of Scotland. On Friday, Aunt Becky and I took the old jalopy, probably one of its last voluntary runs through Strathblane countryside dominated by the Kilpatrick hills. and what a magnificent site to see the craggy tops covered in snow, adding a majestic atmosphere to this ancient phenomenon. Becky, and myself, singing along to the well kent Scottish songs, with a gusto to forget all else…except careful driving. Great therapy for both of us.

This coming Tuesday, my travels will be by train, heading for a much welcome meeting an Ayrshire man, pure and bred, my China; Squire Jim Hendry. Meeting up in an old church in Sandgate, stacked with history and booze, as it is converted Witherspoons. We talk such crap while taking a verbal magic carpet, whizzing through the past, present and perhaps the future with such gusto humour…our jaws ache.

I am not at all fond of scripted public speaking, for the simple reason of my inability to project, being natural, while reading from a calligraphy. An event is happening on Friday, where I have given my word, to be on my finest conduct. this I will do, by hell or high water…. because it’s important to other people[size="3"][/size]
Peewee… Black Friday

Returning home from Ayr, in the warmth and security of the train, indulging in a sip from Uncle David’s hipflask, the finest ‘Water of Life’ reflecting on a grand day in the company of a true friend. Our excuse, if we needed any justification, the mere fact of relishing each other’s company was enough, and what perfect place other than the famous Weatherspoon's comfortable tavern.

Displayed in the coach, several adverts were dominated by a large ad affirming, the extension of Black Friday’s 50% off, search for a bargain. While taking a taster, from Uncle David’s silver flask, which eased its way down, then tingling in warmth beyond price. I thought…’a bargain is only a bargain, if you need it’.

Within the blink of an eye, in complete surprise, my old friend Peewee, was sitting opposite, in his usual regal manner. Peewee, for those not aware, he’s the magical pigeon, who for untold centuries, guided and protect all Lord Provosts of Glasgow, right to the present day. Peewee bafflingly takes holidays and breaks the same time I do…and apparently, I am the only one who sees him.

Without any pleasantries and straight away, he quoted a small piece from Robbie Burn’s; ‘See oursels as ithers see us’, stopped for a deliberate pause, then added his own words; ‘Such a gift is within very few of us, most of us would fail to handle well such an ability, which is beyond mind boggling’…for we are never the louse?’.

Peewee solemnly carried on; ‘1919 a large peaceful protest was organizing by Clydeside workers, asking for a 40-hour week, unheard of in those days, was turning into the real Black Friday, because the then Lord provost; Sir James Stewart, feart of the striking union masses, tried to read out the ancient ‘Riot act’. Peewee’s eyes glazed over, as he recalled attempts to prevent such a folly, before the Provost, against his wishes, read the act, followed by eruptions starting almost immediately’.

Peewee held his breath, seemingly for ages, then quietly continued; ‘What followed was a national disgrace, when Britain’s Secretary of State for War; Winston Churchill, sent 10,000 English troops armed with machine and field guns, (Glaswegian troops were not trusted, locked in Maryhill Barracks). The aftermath…three strike leaders were jailed for 6 month… back to work strikers were told,a 47-hour working week would be guaranteed…10 hours shorter than before the strike, now know by nickname of Red Clydeside.’

Looking rather peeved, Peewee then asked the domination question…’who there was the louse? With that stunning statement, he just vanished…without saying goodbye …I had no answer anyway…

My Chronicles 29/11/2016

The ritual of attending a sauna, on Saturday morning, has changed since the ‘Benghazi Mice; which’ began in 1987 at Pollokshaws, then moved to (Dollan Aqua Centre), East Kilbride. The boys (slightly worn) are down to 3, majestic company, warm and sincere, but I miss the rough and tumble, self-opinionated loud talking multitude of pals, whose creation of instant sharp gayety just hit the spot each time we met. We salute the fallen ‘Benghazi Mice’… long may the live within fascinating memories.

Having not exercised for some considerable time but decided, there and then, a swim would help painful muscles, joints, and bones, caused by constant mental foolhardiness, by picking up gross over-weighty things, thinking I’m still 17 years old. This of course is an allusion, for when I peek into the mirror, I can’t believe the return reflection…mirror, mirror on the wall…forget it.

It would have to admitted, I am no Mark Spitz, more like a wrinkly greyish baby out of water. I asked the attendant Billy, if it became obvious I was way over my depth, and struggling to remain afloat…could I choose who, or whom, gave me the kiss of life. ‘They’d find any excuse to leave the pool…or toss a coin, the winner is the loser’ said Billy swimmingly. I mentioned to him, if the need arose …they would probably use a household vacuum tube, rather than warranting personal contact. I would favour a Dyson…but beggars can’t be choosy

The contentious lifeguards always looked upon my style of swimming as odd, puzzled by unique strokes. Taking the plunge this time, I was aching quite a considerable bit, demonstrating puny arm movements, coughing, spluttering, near out of breath, however, in five minutes or so, a sensation of mounting powerful strokes. Not in a Tarzan the ape man panache, which Johnny Weissmuller did with ease, but a steady ell like motion in the pool. The watery exercise did the world of good to my confidence and accepting the pain will wither as time swims by.

Now floating around relaxing in the comfort of the indoor pool, my memory slips back to the good old days in Saltcoats and Stevenson extended beach. To have any chance experiencing really deep waters, there is a need to swim a long way out, where no not another soul was, regardless how crowded the sands became, with people looking like ants from such a distance. One such day, I had swum out further than ever before, totally in isolation. I began to chill out and float, allowing the heavy waves to dictate my speed and direction.

Relaxed sunbathing on the tide, loose and troubled free, way out from the shore, when a dot-dash-dot continuous noise entered my head, gradually picking up pace, and decibels, for me to recognize the incessant soundtrack from the film; Jaws, encourage attempts to drown out any sensibility. With some anxiety, I looked around for the tell-tale signs of a shark as the frenzy tune bounced louder and louder. Knowing you are a bampot did not help in this weird situation, as an awareness of panic started to swim, around my head.

At that stage of my life, I was a pool attendant, quite a neat swimmer, now heading for the distant beach, I pulled many a stroke to reach the safety of the shores I knew so well. Once I arrived at toe touching sand, the sounds in my head evaporated. A little bit of imagination can be a worrying thing…. Silly billy

Selfish; all about me…Reports on Aunt Becky’s 90th birthday will be posted next
JIM; stepped down from the train

Jim stepped down from the train, to hear echoes of music coming from a small orchestra or quartet to be more correct, at the very end of the platform. It was harmony to his ears, for it had been a terrible journey and the tuneful piece easily reminded him of some Austrian waltz’s or other. The trip, to say the least, had been miserable, if not intolerable, unwanted passage.

Jim was not used to this continental way of travelling where everyone is lobbed in together…. rather crude he thought. The chilly expedition took so much time passing, plus the total awfulness of it all. Jim decided, while travelling on this foreign line, to imagine he was in the British Railway system where class was everything, First Second …and bringing up the rear, the Third. No way would the bulldog British treat people all in the same way.

Rail travelling over the British isle in the steam locomotive network; class is first, no matter where you were. The third class would not dream of entering first carriage in the same way as first would not, under any circumstance approach a third-class coach. Only time would be in an emergency, as with the unlikely case of an accident caused by God’s grace…and defiantly only when no other persons or people were available. Travel under this system was then bearable though tedious to a fault.

The different railway companies did all in their power to attract the right sort of passenger though they tend to have a private musical trio playing in the dining car, rather than in full view or hearing of all and sundry. Possibly the reason for the trio was logical, as their instruments take up valuable space and not to cause any inconvenience for travellers to flight from compartment to dinner car.

Jim cannot recollect any service of food on this latest journey, however, he had been day dreaming for most of it… so it may have just escaped his notice.

On the spick and span platform, many a person was there to greet obvious strangers, with hugs and assurances of welcome though Jim did observe they could have been serviced with better tailors. The cloth and design was of the highest standard and the frocks so colourful but the fit was just not “kosher” as the Jewish people may say.

Thinking back on his appalling journey, taking day rather than hours, wiling away time with memories of other trips. Once on the old London Brighton & South Coast Railway in some year or other. He’d been served up with Goose with all its trimmings, plus port of course. Jim remembers while tripping along the Southern Railway line and passed Dartmoor, he was tipsy all the way with compliment refreshments provided by Bradshaw’s Railway Company…I can’t remember any musicians on either of those trips though.

“What is this haunting melody fluctuating airborne” Jim questions himself as he slowly, but ever so gently, pushes forward

One thing about transport on a secure British line, being restored after even a long journey with everyone working on board, at your disposal, for anything you fancied. The country side, weather could do its worst, every person had protection of warmth and service on a moving magic carpet.

The violin player looked tense with his compliment as Jim glancing over his shoulder, he caught a glimpse of stern looking observers who were keeping a well out of the way distance of the main throng.

Then an announcement came crackling over some old, but very loud speaker; “Welcome to Auschwitz, in the year of 1942” ; Please move forward and…….
The Classical Date

She met him at the local disco, a stranger with something deeply alluring, obvious as soon as their eyes chanced across the dancefloor. She was proud with her what now is known as old fashioned status, saving herself for Mr right and a wedding ring. Her dates up to then had at best been nothing to write home to mum about…. or keep her from knowing.

They arranged a date next to, what was accepted in all Glasgow neighbourhoods as the old dizzy corner, once housing Boots Corner. Out of character, but with growing curiosity, she happily accompanied him to his flat, in the west end, to listen to his classical records collection. Better excuse than his etchings she devilishly thought to herself.

With drinks served and comfortably sitting closely together, he surprised her with a wonderful kiss, in such a way, she felt had no right to exist or for him to practice near paralyzing her resistance. Thus, began his slow, almost motionless touch, intriguingly penetratingly and apprehending places which naively had been hidden for years, erupting at the merest hint or suggestion, into a wild reality. Her mind said no…please no…but her heart, her soul, her body, her very being… intensely arched in hope of contact accidently happening, to satisfy her raw lustfulness.

The creation of desired agonizingly passion materialised with each movement of his godlike physique, stirring thoughts she trusted did not exist, nevertheless bursting alive as the almost touch, pushing the accepted boundaries, not only out, but meaningless from that moment on.

She could not be certain of such enticing passions and vibrations would give birth to an inner hunger for more eccentric emotions unknown until that very moment, as his body moved so close to hers, she would sacrifice a life time of dreams just for a fleeting moment of complete gratification extravaganza

What took place next is unclear, as a ringing tone in the background suddenly burst the bubble, awakening her, confused for a second or two…then recalled everything about her vision…left mentally frustrated…but a wicked smile on her face…almost simmering. Was it true, or an unfounded dream…. only a Gallus Lady of 87 will know…and her Beau

My Chronicles 07/12/2016

At any time, night, or day, we haven’t, what could be baptised as, a spic and span house…. just a sort of presentable, lived-in home. This was the early morning setting for 4th of December.

Aunt Becky’s big day arrived with ‘She who must be obeyed’ scrutinising the ever-increasing list of priorities. The cooker was the first piece of apparatus in operation, completing the baking section of freshly made assortments of scones. Planned baked cakes and birthday gifts given the once over eye checking every conceivable item, hopefully to make it a memorable day.

I had the easy part in collecting Becky in the old reliable jalopy. As usual, I phoned beforehand, demanding her ‘to put on her sannies’ (not quite in that language but rather rough and tumble Glaswegian dialog), which pierces through her dementia, always makes she laugh loudly… always ready with coat, shoes, and handbag, stuffed full with hankies and sweets when I arrive.

At home was a full kitchen table of family and friends, who just made her day. Easily seen by her delightful beaming expression even though sometimes slightly bewildered at who was who. Lots of cards, and presents from everywhere, complete with the surprise delivery of flowers, specially from the family in Jersey.

Having observed some people, I’m at a loss understanding individuals, who, continuously look for faults. Owning tenacious permanent cranky faced manner, nit-picking pedantically the general behaviour of the community, under the guise…’it’s the principle!’…very sad…such a waste of bloody precious time.

Aunt Becky situation, although wavering between dementia and its wants, is an endearingly quality of a comfortable simplistic outlook all through her long life. Being defiantly rather bias, nonetheless ‘She who must be obeyed, and I, also have been fortunate with family and close friends, caring and guiding we two… through some rough times, leaving us both with an overall contented disposition.

Driving home a tired happy lady, imitating a child by grasping her posy of flowers, and a porcelain dog, her special presents, while the Scottish Tartan top twenty played in the background. Becky polished of the Fish and Chips bought and brought home. I left her reading one of her books.

Popping in the very next day, I asked how she enjoyed her party…she was lost… then asked where the flowers and the dog on the lintel, came from… but she was a queen for a day
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Anecdotes from the auld Steamie;


In a, past era, mainly located in engineering and labour-intensive communities, in many Scottish cities, the Baths Departments of each metropolis, held the responsibility of providing much needed amenities as Wash-houses;(Steamies), hot baths, swimming Pools, plus plush Turkish suites, within purpose built impressive Victorian buildings. in recent history, one such establishment, Ben Gunn (nom-de-plume) ran his Turkish baths domain, more like a club than an amenity for the local city’s Council, providing extra facilities out with the usual

A wide range of punters took to the suite like ‘Drakes in water’ relishing the male bonding and comradeship conversations over teas, coffee, rolls, and biscuits, duly supplied after steamy sessions. Extra facilities meant extra gratuities. Many customers had exclusive qualities seldom know to the outside world.

A true relative of a celebrated female actress, one such patron deemed a regular, nicknamed ‘Harry-Murder-Polis’. This dubbing was after a rumpus between him and a very successful Jewish businessman. Harry boasted connections in the worldwide musical trade, so he could clear the background clamour on a scratchy tape, recording of the entrepreneur’s number one son’s Bar Mitzvah

Remember, this event is the most important in a Jewish boy’s life, but much more precious for the father, and can never be, or could be, repeated. Harry-Murder-Polis did manage to remove the background crackling noises, but he wiped the whole tape clean… eliminated anything. He did not tell, or try to explain, to his fellow patron shook was even more, once discovered.

The following week when the merchant returned to the Turkish suite…he came across Harry. Then all hell burst loose. It took four men keeping the two separated, while Harry squealed “he’ll murder me, will you phone the police!” Harry was swiftly taken, half naked though to the pool, down to the boiler-room and out to safety.

Harry always wanted to give a good impression or put on a showiness display. When the first mobile car phones came out in this country, he glued an ordinary disconnected mainline phone to his dash board, attached a bike bell underneath and pretended he had an important call. Then spent five minutes or so speaking into the receiver without answer.

A young brash fellow waltzed into the sauna, exhibiting an attitude ‘do you know who I am?’. slightly better built than the run of the mill. When undressed, on second glance, he was a mean machine, built with not an ounce of fat in his entire body. He continued to complain as to the towels and the locker room, generally bugging Benn until he had enough. Asking him to leave, he gave Benn verbal diarrhoea. With no uncertain terms, Benn insisted he showed leave, if he did not comply then Benn would make sure he would want to. He left with a mouthful of abuse.

With a wry smile, Jack the bookie (one of the regulars) ask Benn if he knew who he was…where Benn admitted he had no idea. In a slow drool mentioned the fellow was Jacobs; the light middle weight boxer, reminding me, that he could have demolished him with just one punch.

The combatant returned the very next day, making an apology profusely, if Benn would allow him back again. He explained was flying out to America for a world title at the end of the week and wanted a relaxing bath or two before the big night. He also express regret for his previous behaviour but put it down to pre-fight tension. He lost the contest in New York

His uncle had recommended these suites to loosen up ready for the big match. His uncle was the very Harry- Murder-Polis.
My Chronicles 14/12/2016

Aunt Becky’s recovery from the excitement having a 90th birthday was not on as she could not remember anything, though asks each time where the flowers, and cards came from. She caringly points towards the lintel, where the ornament of a Jack Russel sits as exclaims…isn’t he gorgeous! We still take hurls which we both enjoy immensely, in the old bone-rattler, travelling through the rugged countryside around the Kilpatrick Hills, but much fewer than the summertime. Personally, I can’t wait until the real snow downfall…the trip blows your mind away.

It is increasingly hard leaving the wee soul, as a sense of guilt descends regardless how long the visit has been. There is help in the way of “Cordia” though with mixed results, where two such helpers are superb, however many others, with limited training, come to cover a shift and fill in the basics…if that. I cannot blame these helpers but the company are working a strict money saving programme. The problem is simply we cannot ask Becky for she is muddled at best. The good news is She is reasonably content and eats, sleeps well and has excellent neighbours who have our phone numbers…just in case.

Up above, in the unknown darkness I searched …and searched, and search, what seemed an eternity, for the central icon of last year’s wee Christmas tree. It was amazing and mind boggling what I discovered in the loft, but the genuine article of a festival tree eluded my sight or reach. Calling a halt trying to find the main yuletide theme displaying the memorable collection of Christmas past. The very next day, while daydreaming out of the kitchen window, I instantly recalled how last year’s tree was wee, but reputed active and transplantable item. A chance glance outside proved that the sad bare pitiful twig like thing, planted in the garden, proved the last statement dead and void.

Age has brought a selective memory, though at this very moment, my main constant problem growing older each day, is non-odour, but raucous wind. First thing in the morning, unbelievable unwanted airstreams, freely travel their natural body course, blasting the morning air. My only saving grace is… the blasts are very fortunately aroma free… but the decibels must exceed legal requirements for peacefully living in the community.

My other growing grumpiness is I can’t abide deceivers, fibbers, and downright liars. I have no defence taking such a moral stance, considering my own record of what can only be called deceptive, sailing so very close to the wind while working, in one form or another, as a determined salesman… where truth would have been counterproductive in my endeavours to make a living. I have been called a con man, and by myself…but I believe I held a set of scruples I would not break… for love or money…they were just hard to see. Just as well I’m an atheist or I might be in trouble.

Although not a believer, I have a growing excitement as Christmas comes near and the actual day arrives.

The fact each year Christmas extends way beyond the origin intentions, through the medias bombardment of imitation hullabaloo, all created for commercial selling in shops and the television…and now the infinite internet. We have decorations going back when the kids were young, complete with old-fashioned socks for Santa to fill if we have been good. I don’t fancy my chances…but there is always hope. Each year we bring down those precious decoration, recalling so many golden moments and genuine hankering for all of us around the Christmas table…. just being a family.

This year it will be around our daughter, Nikki’s Christmas table[size="4"][/size]

The key

There is now way getting away from the reality of my situation, I must admit, they look after you in here, your every need, rain, or shine, though rather a Spartan form for my taste. On the other hand, as I add a slight piece of constructive criticism, not everything you would wish for, but no getting away from it …even needs you didn’t know you needed.

Now at my age simple things help me through my day when the authorities, and your family, believe... it’s better all round to have them look after me, 24/7 in their lingo. My point of view is the system is far to clumsy just sieve out the bare facts. My kith and kin have just lost interest, no matter how they try to protest, digging up from the past they did this, and that…put themselves out, and it isn’t fair judging their reactions now without taking the past into account

The point being, it is not so bad in here where it is warm, sometimes too stuffy in the summer, but overall, all the facilities are here, at your disposal, making it almost bearable. I found, with experience, you must forget the relations behaviour. What good is it doing drooling over what might have been, if they had the sympathy to stick by you. Age related is the prime factor. This place, like all these places of the same calibre, sacrifice a portion of personal space they call privacy, much needed at my time of life, especially being here for my own good. if you are patient by taking a diverse viewing platform, the benefits out way any inconvenience when you have the privileged ownership of… the vital key.

I was assessed, by one of those so called social worker from the system, who spoke very loudly, as if they had something wrong with her mouth, or I was deaf, as she completed a bunch of official looking forms, which apparently resulted in the conclusion I was a danger to myself…. fully endorsed by others hidden in the background No one in my family wanted to take responsibility, with one excuse to another.

You know, In the old days, the family saw it as an honourable duty, to accept the old as living mentors, proudly places in their homes… now they behave as if I’m fusty… don’t go with their new décor…. someone else can look after the unwanted…a plot for a play if it wasn’t so serious. Thank God I’ve got the key…come in useful many a time.

Yes, the authorities have locked me up once again in a prison, with all the mod cons (double pun) within the latest security. Some of the public believe jailbirds are given privileges they don’t deserve, and there is a point to be made, because of the varied hardships borne, by old people, in emotional cold purposed built homes for the elderly.

But in here, with everything considered, unless you have experience how your freedom is void, especially when each gate, each cell door closes with a deafness bang, you never lose the reminder how liberty is deprived of…and the emptiness inside. The system with the wardens, want to survey every movement, every word spoken, every word written, possibly with justification for a physical barrier, yet…it is a society within a society, with secrets.

My precious enigma key is simple, physically I am locked up but they can’t crack it, or take control of my mind. I have my own wee utopia which is just a thought away… what tomorrow will bring…I have no idea, but…. wow.

Anecdotes from the auld Steamie;

Steamie Family;

It was the night before Christmas, when all through washhouse, affectionally known as the “Steamie”; housed in the old Victorian building standing in the centre of the working community, unlike the famous poem, it was a beehive of frantic activities without a mouse to be seen among the patrons. However, a scourge for the regular punters at Christmas time, hoachin the Steamie, was so called ‘once a year washers’

Some came from ‘Wally closes’; regarding themselves a step above all others in the area, and at any other time would not be caught dead in such a common establishment. Other one off clients were deemed simply as manky clatty middins, because their bedclothes and curtains were just washed and scrubbed once a year. The regular patrons grumbled very loudly how both parties ‘Gies them the boak’. Everybody came due to an ancient Scottish tradition, a total clean sweep before Hogmanay…spick and span for Ne’erday.

Even with the special hours allocated, attempting to accommodate everyone because the ‘once a year mob’ did not have the smooth rhythm the regulars had, the held up the easy going routine which lead to flash hot spots where displeasures flared quicker than a jiffy. When this happened, the male attendants stayed safely out the way, while hair pulling and punching were common themes. The establishment or workers never witnessed a regular punter losing an intense heated argument, or physical scrap due to the unassuming fact …they outnumbered the others.

The typical weekly punters, if necessary looked and acted hard as nails, with coupons battle hard, filled with punishing life they were forced to bare. A lack of money being common place complicated by dreadful living conditions, and the ‘Steamie’ was their sanction amongst their peers. Their rough and ready appearance hid their true nature and natural banter and wit, which would oust top comedians of the day. If anyone was in trouble or needed a helping hand, without words they would bond together and remedy the true warmth kindness beyond description

Old Steamies had Drying horses (15 movable cloths holders, with constant hot air pumping from the coal boiler) …with the furthest end unit used by the attendants to store, and enjoy a private swally with the illicit alcohol brought in by the girls. The women always very generous with gratuities bestowed on the workers, because of the help they gave during the whole year. For any worker bauchle who, in their minds, only helped for a tip, or bawheid just did not bother to help wee elderly wummin, …received he-haw

Seems like since time immemorial, the Scottish race have been given a mean reputation alleging being tight, and miserable with money… when they had so little themselves…. these yesteryears braw housewives proved this utter nonsense.

Famous Poem

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The occasional anniversary

The old clock wearily hands of the windup timepiece, ticks a feeble tick as the bell prepares to strike quarter to the hour, the only sound in a room which had seen better days. A permanent darkness is within the very fabric of its walls whose wallpaper imprinted and absorbed the weariness of time slipping ever so slowly. The pattern, once gay and bursting alive as if moving images, now form old unmovable pillars of solidness… just sort of hung there with indifference.

Don’t gain the wrong impression, the house and its rooms are not tainted, not sticky to the touch because of lack of cleaning but just a bit run down. This room, this very room holds memories from way back and every now and again a spring cleaning, wither its spring or not. is carefully planned. Usually when the naked eye sees the need, or when the mood takes and the time is right. From top to bottom, each window, in and out, cleaned with vinegar and paper, curtains taken down the night before machines washed and dried, respectively every item is lifted, then laid exactly where it came from, making sure everything is in its place…. just in case.

Once, after a final check that every single photo and trinket have been restored near to their original glory, the lonely occupant leaves the room to prepare for the rest of that hallowed day returning with a tray contacting a cup and saucer, a plate of newly cut sandwiches and a flask of strong tea. The occupant sits in the seat which hold his shape and know to be his, adjacent from her seat. Every moment sitting in the very familiar armchair is spent reminiscing separate special moments they had together. The flask is so not to miss one precious moment, and more important…just in case.

After the day is through, he returns to what people would call normal behaviour. He is no sad old fool, or losing his marbles, but he certainly knows how deeply he misses his deceased woman, his lover and love of a lifetime. How was it the way the humourist said at the funeral ’Passed on’ ….as if she may pass back.

Well…if that is the case, he washed the tray and the contents, rinses out the thermos, putting all back in their usual place…ready for the next time…just in case
JIM stepped down from the train (11)

Jim stepped down from the train, walked forward before stopping, detecting something was out of step. There were plenty of people on the platform, seemingly about their private business, going back and forth, carting luggage and boxes, like any other eventful railway connection or terminal, but something just was not right. Every now and then, glancing around through thin mingling crowds, not quite putting his finger on what was pestering his wave of thought. Jim had been travelling for such a long period, while just sitting, attempting to pass the void of time, which had a creasing effect on his cloths. Brushing himself down, as if to loosen imaginary cobwebs, then tilting his hat. it struck him.

It was only then Jim was aware of a bizarre silence everywhere, even though everyone was rushing around as if there was no tomorrow. But he also witnessed among the hectic silent crowd, a startling amount of martial personnel assembled, as if marking time, provoking an obvious presence, all wearing the same kind of cloth cap, exact same on every head. Although in appearance a busy station, the populous give the impression of no talking, no idle tête-à-tête going on either. Curious and taking another gingerly step forward, Jim did not know what to make of this inexplicable state of affairs, however all his instincts told him to be alert.

Drawing from his pocket a crumpled packet of cigarettes, then lighting up aided by his hand acting as a windbreaker. Without a word, a stranger from nowhere stood in front of him, snatched the smouldering cigarette out of Jim’s mouth without articulating a single word of explanation, then stood on it. The individual disappeared as he came, swallowed without trace into the throng of identical forms. Every single one’s appearance was the one in front, or behind or ether side, garbed in duplication from one frame to another...row upon row

So much so it was impossible to separate the sexes. Again, the absence of the customary bustling day to day clanging of any railway depot came to Jim’s attention. It was not complete noiselessness, as there was a hint of activities, yet Jim strained to compliment actions he could certainly see, to marry audible hubbub you would expect. Not exactly mute, though as if mesh circled everything going on or being implemented.

With a more astute gaze, Jim focused on workers acutely performing detailed duties, with deliberate clockwork precision. Bodies walked to and thro in defined motion rather than individual flows or ordinary activities of normal folk. Dumb anxious faces nearby plainly exhibited mindless gazed expressions in every single so called being. Trying to fathom what was illogical , Jim became aware of a large board advertising the following words “We are superior to all other races on the planet, in this year four score and ten of Utopia. We, the governing body will introduce new rulings to improve wellbeing for all.”

At this precise moment, Jim’s gaze centred on reading certain sign post at each side of the moving throng, and it was only then the full revulsion dawned on him…. The featureless mass was being systematically filtered from each side of the aimless pathetic figures, placed in separate lines moving away from the centre towards signboards clearly marked; “sub human”

Was this a nightmare…or was this unreality actual real. The cost of Utopia was savage and too high a cost, proving to be individual’s ultimate powerbase vision throughout history…the Mass dictated to by one, in Jim’s mind. Most minded civilizations, simply being born was no longer a qualification for the betterment of mankind. The plain logic of maths evaded their plans; for taking any line as a start, to totally rid the population of its lowest denominator … then cleansing the labouring class which now become the lower class. Then eyes move to cull the petty, middle, and upper “Bourgeoisie” ….and so on… until there was nowhere else to go.

Was this realism …and if not, what state of mind had he and the entire known existence become…. or was this “HELL”? could heaven be any better if floating in such a timeless void? To no avail, Jim tried to call to any persons passing closely by to warn them … then shouted to anyone just to reply to no avail. There was a deaf silence

The most destructive words to utter, or accept as true…we are better than you

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Car News

There is a newish advert on the television, for a piece of equipment which apparently eases the lives of passengers and drivers leaving motorcars. A heavy robust specialized tackle has been profoundly promoted as a miracle apparatus assisting individuals who find great difficulty, primarily for older pensioners, who struggle leaving their automobiles. The prized item is placed on the sturdy locking bracket on the frame housing the car door...ready to ease the user out of the motor.

Unfortunately, Elderly Chib Merchants (a person who chooses to hide and use a hidden weapon, concealed around his person when entering a verbal or physical hostility) have taken to the car apparatus as a Godsend. They can now legally transport this perfect legitimized device, immune from prosecution for carrying a dangerous weapon. Now from the blessings of the manufactures even the partial or almost blind Chib merchant, can be guided to his target, even in pitch-black circumstances with a built-in sturdy torch to guide his strokes for perfect aiming.

However more concern and urgency for the law prevention teams, Chibbers now can discarded the innocent looking almost empty ginger bottle as an instant source of mayhem.

The infamous Old Glaswegian Chib merchants, such as the Jim ‘Evil’ Kemp or the fictional Jimmy Stark, from the novel ‘No Mean City’ gave Glasgow a terrible reputation of gang land mayhem in the early 1936, which Glasgow halls of power have worked to eliminate as a blight from the past.

Chib Merchants are scorned with utter disgust by the elderly hard men of Glasgow…who on principle have distaste for such agents at any age. But their biggest fear is the disuse of the iconic ‘Barr’s Irn Bru’ thee symbol of sophistication among Glaswegians. The sales of this heavenly special nectar will plummet… thus, not only placing Glasgow’s economic strategy in peril …but systematically end of an era
Anecdotes from the auld Steamie;

Tony’s lot

As mentioned before just at the turn of the 19th century, buildings built in the working-class areas within major cities and towns of Scotland. Being well constructed Victorian buildings, though damp and humid via the swimming pool, Turkish suite extra… with the main culprit, necessity for the labouring communities throughout,’ the Steamie’, complete with washing stalls and drying horses. These structures attracted nature in many ways but the top of the crawling beasties were cockroaches…yet this is another tale for later.

Having had the complete satisfaction being employed among the Author’s deemed peers, in perhaps a basic low paying job, but outside the wages, fortunate being taught hard facts by the salt of to earth Hoi-Polloi alliance, complete with all its faults, a multitude of individuals who amity was beyond mind's eye or academic reasoning. Working class gaffers, who rose through the ranks where the best to keep order without instigating problems, for they knew all the dodges or supposed; “Buckie” rewards, recognised the reason for them. An easy-going relationship existed with everyone perceiving their place and limits.

The anonymous controllers base in faraway ‘halls of power’, decided it would be more resourceful to establish a higher arc Collage or preferred University paper theory qualifications peoples as supervisors, who had never been inside a wash-house or competent physically to work in a swimming-pool area. They in turn attempted to pressure staff to be versatile in the way the thought about their jobs, unware most of the old personnel knew exactly how to gain the best with what they had at their disposal…especially Tony.

Sensing their ignorance of the basic workings inside the Steamie Toni began using the works only driers, situated behind closed doors, to start, and advertise through the grapevine, a Dry-Cleaning Service for picked clientele. Approximately all the women who used the Steamie, where of core stock, except for several office staff ladies, such as posh secretaries in surrounding businesses, upper-class female punters, feeling uneasy being in such a lowly establishment. Once the silent word got around, they jumped at the chance of just dumping then collection the goods….and rewarding a generous gratuity.

Behind closed doors, allegedly working on the premises industrial washings, Toni examined the garments for stains, used crude work cleaners as best he could, then along with cheap perfumed socked cloths, bundled everything in the tumbled drier, pressed the delicate paraphernalia, packed ready for the given time to be collected after the academics had gone home.

Perhaps this may sound, at best down right cheek…or more formally as abusing and using unlawfully at the work place…but commonly street wise recognised as a ‘Buckie’(buckshee).

It may be thought for Justice reasons, or even fair play, receiving such a payment, at the very least, these actions should be disciplined… however if a closer look at the whole structure of any council’s department…it may not be so clear. Quite rightly if anyone chooses to thieve in one manner or other, and is caught stealing, or misappropriating work goods, equipment, or staff…should have instant dismissal…yet in the writer’s experience…this certainly did not include office staff or the halls of power who roam the city councils.

A young boy in one swimming pool, received the swift verdict of dismissal for stealing two industrial Brillo-pads. In the same week one office staff was caught fiddling time sheets and sent to another section. A controller used Baths department staff to fix up a house, and garden they bought…nothing more was reported. An accountant working in the baths department of an unnamed council invented many fictitious staff, pocketed the reputed wages and national insurance payments, was discovered, asked to resign, and still received a pension…slightly one sided Justice…in anybody’s books…

slight change

[Anecdotes from the auld Steamie;

Tony’s lot

As mentioned before just at the turn of the 19th century, buildings built in the working-class areas within major cities and towns of Scotland, constructed to house , swimming pool, Turkish suite extra…, necessity for the labouring communities throughout,’ the Steamie’, complete with washing stalls and drying horses. Damp and humid,these structures attracted nature in many ways but the top of the crawling beasties were cockroaches…yet this is another tale for later.

Having had the complete satisfaction being employed among the Author’s deemed peers, in perhaps a basic low paying job, but outside the wages, fortunate being taught hard facts by the salt of to earth Hoi-Polloi alliance, complete with all its faults, a multitude of individuals who amity was beyond mind's eye or academic reasoning. Working class gaffers, who rose through the ranks where the best to keep order without instigating problems, for they knew all the dodges or supposed; “Buckie” rewards, recognised the reason for them. An easy-going relationship existed with everyone perceiving their place and limits.

The anonymous controllers base in faraway ‘halls of power’, decided it would be more resourceful to establish a higher arc Collage or preferred University paper theory qualifications peoples as supervisors, who had never been inside a wash-house or competent physically to work in a swimming-pool area. They in turn attempted to pressure staff to be versatile in the way the thought about their jobs, unware most of the old personnel knew exactly how to gain the best with what they had at their disposal…especially Tony.

Sensing their ignorance of the basic workings inside the Steamie Toni began using the works only driers, situated behind closed doors, to start, and advertise through the grapevine, a Dry-Cleaning Service for picked clientele. Approximately all the women who used the Steamie, where of core stock, except for several office staff ladies, such as posh secretaries in surrounding businesses, upper-class female punters, feeling uneasy being in such a lowly establishment. Once the silent word got around, they jumped at the chance of just dumping then collection the goods….and rewarding a generous gratuity.

Behind closed doors, allegedly working on the premises industrial washings, Toni examined the garments for stains, used crude work cleaners as best he could, then along with cheap perfumed socked cloths, bundled everything in the tumbled drier, pressed the delicate paraphernalia, packed ready for the given time to be collected after the academics had gone home.

Perhaps this may sound, at best down right cheek…or more formally as abusing and using unlawfully at the work place…but commonly street wise recognised as a ‘Buckie’(buckshee).

It may be thought for Justice reasons, or even fair play, receiving such a payment, at the very least, these actions should be disciplined… however if a closer look at the whole structure of any council’s department…it may not be so clear. Quite rightly…anyone caught stealing, or misappropriating work goods, equipment, or staff…should have instant dismissal…yet in the writer’s experience…this certainly did not include office staff or the halls of power who roam the city councils.

A young boy in one swimming pool, received the swift verdict of dismissal for stealing two industrial Brillo-pads. In the same week one office staff was caught fiddling time sheets and sent to another section. A controller used Baths department staff to fix up a house, and garden they bought…nothing more was reported. An accountant working in the baths department of an unnamed council invented many fictitious staff, pocketed the reputed wages and national insurance payments, was discovered, asked to resign, and still received a pension…slightly one sided Justice…in anybody’s books…
My Chronicles 10/01/2017

Like many households, the past four weeks have been odd, to say the least forgetting what day it is. Also rather frantic trying to remember if there was anyone you forgot…and in the aftermath…there was, however now is making it to late…so sorry whoever you are. Treated like near royalty, comfy in Nikki’s home, we had a grand day on Christmas, being waited on hand and foot(I thought it was a strange menu…even for Castlemilk) but all was just superb without washing a single dish…a real beauty of a Christmas gift.

From the Wednesday before Christmas, one very important guest was being detained in the Royal Infirmary suffering from ‘Delirium’ …Aunt Becky. Her mind had slipped and her memory severely dented. She spent three weeks dipping in and out of recognition of her surroundings, including ‘She who must be obeyed’, mainly believing she was at her work, unaware what had taken place. She had skipped a page, or two, in her life The following day after being admitted she said to me comfortably; ‘ I don’t remember anything, but something about your mannerisms I recognize?’’ Big words for Aunt Becky.

A little bit of me is crumbled over the past few months, a feisty wummin, with occasional vim, just being lost… and not lost in the comfort of her own wee world, but a strange place of the unknown. People who haven’t known her, or have not seen her for quite a while, think she is just a typical Glaswegian old woman…but her spark is dimming, and for Rebecca and I…its tragic.

A couple of weeks ago, I cruised around alone, our usual route through the Kilpatrick hills, with her favourite Scottish music almost blaring… lovely magnificent scenery, but it was not the same thrill. The good news is she is back home, where she always wants to be but we are unsure of the future with only crossed fingers to quell the worry.

We have a rather large garden some 300 degrees around our home, where three cats have taken up tenure. We are just nothing in their eyes. A black cat, akin to a panther… white cat whiter than white…and the black and white cat, the dare-devil of the temperament line-up. All three-claim sole ownership.

Trying to catch unsuspecting birds is their main occupation, other than the obvious needs. As you can imagine the birds are too quick but this does not deter the moggies. I spotted something I had not seen before while the white cat stalked a swift Robin.

The feline’s tail was whisking furiously in the air, seemingly in anticipation, while its teeth showing as its jaws jerked up and down the closer it gains on the red-breasted feathered friend. Obviously when it made its move, in slow motion from the bird’s eye point of view, a glare of frustration took over the demonstration of excitement. Failing its attempt, it stopped suddenly like a statue, stood there for some twenty seconds. In my mind trying to work out unsuccessfully, why things went wrong.

I certainly would like to culture the garden as I see many friends do however time is slowly catching up with my ability to do so with gratifying work taking twice as long to achieve half the amount. Still we both do like the limited results. I have quite a big raised boxed in bed to grow a range of vegetables. I have named it the coffin…quite appropriate when you come to think of it.

Tomorrow is another day… [size="4"][/size]
JIM stepped down from the train 19;

Jim stepped down from the train as if in an overjoyed mood. He was going to meet his girl and as he slowly walked the walk a confident guy would do in those circumstances, he heard Tom Jones over the crackles of the old speaker system “The green, green grass of home”. Not quite apt but it will do for everything is just bloody marvellous. He knew he had never felt so good in a hell of a long time, and he was not going to waste one golden second or minute.

Strutting down the platform, in a manner of poise but sedate, Jim heard a faint ticking clock, though no sign of a station clock anywhere. His travelling eyes searched, caught sight of an old childhood friend, across the line opposite. He stopped dead in his tracks, shouted his name. The one-time crony appeared not to notice Jim, even though he was standing right in front, and nothing other to block the view. Waving to his former best buddy, he could not help noting how his pal looked very youthful, full of vigour as if he had pinched years of life.

Jim muttered to himself, how his old chum had always, with a long spoon, supped with the devil, .His long lost mate at the opposite side of the rails, made no effort to contact Jim. Was it a fact his former chum did not see, or wished not to see Jim. He felt like a tear, though he could not find one.

Briskly turning about, Jim made his way through the thronging crowd relatively effortlessly with only his single goal, to meet his girl. With all this inner excitement, coupled with pure tenseness, he failed to notice the madding of the crowd beginning to encircle him, as if they also were franticly looking for someone special, becoming quite crazy in doing so. As he munched through the mass, eventually this became quite apparent, the crowds eagerness made all else a misty illusion. He tried to focus further afield but there was no background what so ever, only what was happening in a very small radius. Everything outside this circle was just a mishmash blur. The ticking beat was now louder as if there was a deadline to meet. This compulsive beat was coming from inside Jim’s head.

Unexpectedly, scarcely only feet away from where he now stood, Jim can see the outline of his father’s harsh features. For no obvious reason, the testy image of his pater, as he remembered him in childhood, popped out of the grey muddle of forms. If sternness was measured in musical notes, then his old man would be a demon symphony He always felt his dad raced with the hoofed one, though awakening memories of how his father wept, in frustration, as his only son turned his back, to walk on the wilder side of life, and reject all but this empty design. For some countless moments is father just stood there, though just out of reach, motionless and as if he was not real? Then as suddenly as he came, he was gone.

There was something familiar about this as Jim felt he had done all this before, and many times or was a cruel trick of ‘Deja-vu’ of some kind or some queer nightmare. What was this constant irritating ticking… was it becoming gaudier? His thoughts turned to his girl, driving all other trivia away except this lonely feeling of emptiness coming from deep inside him, which stubbornly would not shift.

Jim started purposely eyeing through the multitude in search for his love. He knew that just one small glimpse of her angelic features would make all well, even perhaps rid him of this repetitive tick in his mind.

As if by magic she was there… beautiful as a picture and as heavenly as an angel…and only just a few strides away. Jim tried desperately to quicken his steps but something powerful was in slow motion action, frame by frame. His mind was racing but the noise of this invisible clock was almost shattering each thought. He struggled with every ounce of strength he could muster, yet he was no further forward.

She was compellingly just out of reach, his one true love. All the meaningless sex and relationships he had endured while his love virginally waited for him. Had she have known it would have broken her innocent heart but she did not… thank the almighty.

Jim felt a deep pain of immeasurable agony, as each struggled step made no difference and his fingers and arms were no nearer to holding her caress. Such an inviting body, outlined by her white dress, personified innocence. His anger was only overtaken by frustration of the highest magnitude. There was something terribly wrong as small pieces of memory filtered past his growing temper. The noise of the clock was now almost unbearable striking midnight.

Without any warning, all before him just vanished, as a feeling of total despair took over. It was then and only then; Jim recognized what was to come as dread took over for what seemed an eternity. ..

Oh God …this has happened before… but why? Within his head came an unwanted message this ends happy hour for today, same again tomorrow but you will not recall -=-=-=-=[size="4"][/size]

Anecdotes from the auld Steamie;

Wash out?

Many tales have been told of the high jinks, and shenanigans occurring within the great public baths, and community amenities, scattered around throughout the metropolises of Scotland. All of them were, and still are controlled by the mighty councils, in each of industrial districts of the cities. In one of the lesser hamlets, an Auld Steamie was released from the control of a city’s financial and duty grasp. The reason was simple…the outward-bound establishment was losing heaps more money, by a long shot, than the rest were losing.

Washhouses and baths were public services, provided for the betterment of the working communities, but they argued duty would only stretch so far…so desperate actions were needed. It came apparent with a secret deal, a posh entrepreneur offered to take over the old-fashioned premises …for a pepper corn contract of £1. The way, the overlord fathers of the council reasoned, the businessman would be responsible for the running and maintenance, and they would be free from all debts that would certainly occur. Like the village of “Asterix, the Gaul” (from the famous French Cartoon), this small area would be free from control by their ‘Caesar’…the council

Comparable with all the rest of such establishments, this ‘Steamie’ was housed in a purposed built Victorian building, centre of a rather large community for a hamlet. Within a short period, it came to the attention of the council, deceptively, the newly capitalist was making a go of it. He had just advertised for qualified workers, to assist him as his business was working flat out, a full seven days… not even resting for Sundays. A year or so after the unique transaction, the man of commerce ordered some modern equipment, along with converting part of the building into a café type place.

It was obvious the slick ‘Homme d’affaire’ was not only succeeding way above expectation, where the council had drastically failed, but expanding swiftly whilst holding on to the original basic layout of huge old fashioned washing machines, washing/scrubbing sinks, and horse driers, exactly what the clientele preferred. How he managed it, no one knew, or even guess…but a nifty squint of envy came from the ‘Halls of power’. There were whispers the council were labouring with devious ways to retrieve what they deemed, their legitimate property…and his formula. They conclude this magnate held a secret sort of magic recipe, which did the business, or possibly, with a stretch of imagination, supposed this intrapreneur was supplying some magic portion in the café via of homemade goodies…

Over the next four-year period, news of the, day by day, increasing phenomenal success of his commercial enterprise, not only filtered down to the offices of the most powerful leaders., but caused self-made petulance in abundance, especially in the Baths department. Their astute legal team had already scrutinized the novelty contract, and stated in their legal opinion…by trying to make sure the other party could not, and would not be able to squirm out their responsibilities… the bond was solid…a real stoater.

A few months later, during one mid-afternoon, the finance officer of the economics department, queried one of the annual bills connected to the Baths Dept. Calling on all senior colleges, who after checking other yearly paid statements over a certain period, then double, tripled checked them all again…they realized the horror of a catastrophe. Every single bill, electricity, water, fuel, the total cost of modernization, also painting the hamlet’s establishment, from top to bottom, the council had been paying ever since the very second this sleekit entrepreneur took possession. He even charged the daily papers to the council.

By the time, they had arrived at the terrible conclusion two days later, it was going past10 of the evenings clock Strangely there was personal contact data of the peppercorn owner …but the game was afoot. They planned well into the night, calling up the troops, to be prepared to swarm the rogue establishment next morning, at 07.00 A.M opening time and catch him red handed.

Everything was set however at the presumed opening time, the premises did not open…or in fact all morning afternoon or otherwise. Seemingly, the council found out later, he had paid off all the staff two days’ prior… the bird had flown…or should it be ‘Homme d’affaire’, must have had a premonition…or inside knowledge… along with his secret gains ...this was his magic portion….

Anecdotes from the auld Steamie;

Slightly Soiled

In the Auld Steamies and ablutions facilities, housed in Victorian buildings all around the industrial centres, nicknames, or “None de plumes” as the French quote, sounding quaint and secretive, were essential for a couple of just reasons. A secret code protecting the workers, stopping supervisors catching a drift of what, or who they are talking about…and whispering was so bad mannered.

Enter ‘Slightly Soiled’, nothing to do with his clothing, or habits but his brain capacity. At one time, he was baptised ‘Bungalow’ (nothing upstairs) but this was used in theatrical circles. ‘Blackheid’ a gaffer, nothing to do with his skin completion, but he also had head problems, mainly the colour of his hair. He either plastered on greasing murky oil, or some commercial dye to keep the hair on his cranium jet black. Whatever he applied was superfluous to requirements, because it look like a black floor mop on his head…. this may explain his crankiness.

‘Slightly Soiled’ had been banned by ‘Blackheid’ the gaffer, from the hub of the Steamie, for mistakenly, over-boiling patrons washing, this had been the fourth time in as many weeks. Being a true working steamie, three pipes led into the huge washing machines (piping hot, cold and the naked steam) making the attendants job more precarious ‘Slightly Soiled’ was not the only one in the baths structure to make mistakes, by no means, but he seldom had the quickness to cope.

Over any given time, most attendants did, by blunder, boil over washings, but being gallus, or incredible fast with the patter, talked themselves out of the problem. ‘Slightly soiled’ possessed none of those aptitudes, just stood there with a glaikit expression on his face, so naturally every one took advantage. Blackheid the gaffer, made this historic, and bold decision to send ‘Slightly Soiled’ to the hot baths upstairs. The news distressed the poor lad for a terrible incident had occurred in the hot baths just the week before…which ‘Slightly Soiled’ had no hand in.

The week previously, the once deemed over efficient working team of hot baths attendants, had not only lost a punter, but eventually discovered had a dead one without anyone knowing he was there. . The client purchased a ticket at nine in the morning as all tickets had time and date printed. Everything that day seemed to be going swimmingly as the routine was followed to the letter…or this was the impression given by the staff. Around tea time, (six in the evening) his sister arrived at the pay desk to inquire if her brother had attended as he had suggested the previous night he would.

Because no one knew as other shift had already gone home, Blackheid the gaffer, took it in hand as a matter of health and safety, extensive search took place to discover, behind a locked door, the now somewhat wrinkled body, lay motionless in the large zinc bath. Now you may think ‘Blackheid the gaffer’ was being petty, if not of a quirky nature, when he gave them a shirrackin, using words that cannot be repeated, but these attendant’s duty was to physically check each door every half an hour.

The very next day, when both shifts where collectively up the stairs, an excuse timidly emerged from the day shift workers for the lapse from protocol responsibility…. ‘The customer personally requested extra time so he could give his nails a good scrub”. When eventually the chap was found, his nail was clean right enough but no one could not tell if he had done so before his demise, or the long soaking afterwards did the trick. The only good news was the poor old chap had died of natural causes …rather than drowning. This alone halted a huge internal stramsash and his sister was completely unaware of the true story.

‘Slightly Soiled’ being a somewhat tumshie person, was concerned he may make such a terrible mistake or worse, even be the escape goat from the aftermath of such a distressing incident. Neither happened as he performed his obligations, by mopping and regularly checking each door…open or not. Unfortunately, due to the reason he was banished from the Steamie, some daft as a ha’penny watch swimming attendants, would ask in the passing…’Hey Slightly…have you boiled any punters today’.

This appalling behaviour was only stopped when the local Union representative demanded it. [/size][size="3"]

…the plumbers, the joiners and floor layers have just completed changing a bathroom into a wet area, for the comfort of ‘She who must be obeyed’…

My problem now is, where do I house, or place, my large family of yellow plastic ducks?

(some are rumoured to be survivors of the 1992 storm, somewhere in the Pacific ocean, where 29,000 of them escaped a cargo ship and fled into the open sea)…

I do realize it is a wet area now, but health and safety would deter me from placing my charming yellow duck family around the floor….
suggestions to solve this Conundrum welcome!
It’s not only Gods who believe they are special, trusting they are honourable are mysticisms minded humans. We, on this fabulous biosphere of existence, by believing in them, become part of the theology structure, no matter how tedious that is. We fail to recall, by just being here, witnessing something so simple yet extraordinary, in our words, can be immortal…but we are not.

Time is only relevant if we are all applicable

While studying the relativity of time, purely by accident, it was discovered for some reason, the wild unpredictable mischievous young Divinities, from way past when, when was when, left out one whole day in the original equations of so called reality of time. and elements forming matter. Resulting from unfathomable blunder, this isolated diurnal, drifted inaccessible into the wilderness of desolation, beyond the deep unknow oblivion swarming around the interior the newly created universe itself. No deity or supernatural-being recognized how special this missing day was to be.

As the impish paranormal beings, recounted what they allowed to slip away, through foolhardiness, was actual thee most redeeming magic day ever born. Yes; Thee magic day, on which no one can refuse anyone, a helping hand or anything, which will not cause harm to another living soul. This was put in by the main maker, as a safety valve, spreads without limitation throughout any land, at a breath-taking speed to amaze the ancient Idols.

This today, may seem extremely improbable to most cultured scientifically educated boffins of the world, for all days have now defiantly been accounted for…. ever since the practical humans of the planet, rightly or wrongly, assumed for a measuring purposes, marking time was constant for all existence. The trouble was, thee mystic day had been squeezed out, by greed and corruption of a massive scale and no one believed anyone would do something for nothing on any day, including a magic one.

The more responsible Supernatural-beings gathered in Thee ‘Great Hall of Assembly’, discussing how, and what could be done, and who was to resolve this affair. The arguments carried on night after night (they could not use days until this pacific subject was dissolved or solved to suit all) dark hour after another.

Now the puckish Gods responsible for this ghastly consequence, panic… terrified they would be blamed for such an appalling calamity. Grouping together in secret, with all their powers at their disposal, hatched a rogue spell…however…it did not quite turn out the way favoured or intended.

What followed could only be described as a squabble of supreme simple minds, In the farcical confusion, plus pandemonium interludes of sheer madness. It was decided, to net the wandering day with entrapment, then placing the day into an enchanted cone filled with, Hydrogen and helium, woven through by layers of expectation.

The sphere itself placed on a small star under the ‘Pillar of Chance’. The fragile globule holding the precious cargo, became brittle with the heat, resulting in an almighty unpredictable exploding Supernova (a second big bang) sent the special day, crashing recklessly against the pillar of chance, smashing the contents into a trillion pieces. The penetrating light and heat, melted the unguarded day, forming into trillion of pieces, and each piece broke into millions of independent minutest of small atoms.
Throughout the entire cosmos, a portion of the 96% dark matter, is filtered with fragments of atoms from this special day particles, which by spellbound fate, trickles down through the Mesosphere of earth encircling the entire globe …with mixed fortune.The results today are eccentric, for ever since this catastrophe… if someone does a good deed, undertaking out of the kindness of their heart, and without motive or gain in mind, then they have breathed in a particle of the magical dust.

But there is a problem…the spell, has a reverse effect on peoples inhaling the magic invisible dust, affects a tiny minority of observers rational, inappropriately processing into derogatory contrary remarks, affirming in whispers, there must be a concealed alternative motive, for unrehearsed benevolent behaviour.

Due to those shenanigans of the lost magical day, way back then, a small number of people now, witnessing such a kind gestures, sadly are convinced such a generous person, isn’t preforming charity…unless they are gaining something furtively for themselves.

Breathe in deep…. breathe in hope?
Foretastes of a 60s adolescent

Baptised as the swinging 60s, apparently for good reason, or so the media alleged, however it sometimes swung unexpected, or in the wrong direction for a teenager or just did not swing at all. Still looking back…it was a life experience filled with the odd awkwardness, or nerves rather tattered by unusual happenings even for such swinging 60s. the medias famous quote is, ‘If you can remember, then you were not there. Perhaps this did not apply to a teenager named Hammie.

Was this unripe sprig typical of yesteryears 60s is uncertain, but in one way or another, things did happen to him, and some people might recognize pleasures and pressures

Back in the beginning of the said wild era, Hammie had a dentist appointment. For many people this can be, the very least, an ordeal. In some cases, a terrifying experience, but most often this unjustifiable fear comes from hidden mind depths of an unprepared person. Hammie was involuntary visitor to this Bachelor of Dental Surgery’ plaque premises, as his last visit, the tooth puller stated coldly, ‘Pyorrhoea’, his professional opinion, come back next week and we will whip all the teeth out.

Sudden idea of the loss of all them numbed the mind, especially when Hammie was as he could see his tusks were a perfect smiling picture, apart from the chipped front tooth, given to him as a going away present from B.B camp, by ‘Tricky Dicky’, in a frenzy rage over who’s turn was it to fetch the washing up water. As the news oozed around Hammie’s minor brain, with notions such “will I be able to talk, to mates and girls, but much more important …. would it bloody hurt? Entering the Dentist’s room of repulsion, Hammie wished to avoid diabolical agony…but the reality of his situation ..he had no choice

Sitting in the waiting room, in cold sweat, cringing with terror of the unknown, fuelled with the chilling crying echoes from some poor child behind the dentist’s closed door…. His bottle went. Sneaking towards the front door,Hammie almost made the great escape, unfortunately a white coated receptionist blocked his only retreat, taking his arm, led Hammie to his fate.

Inside the chamber of glittering prodding tools, the tooth buccaneer, with a strained sincere voice, explain it should be painless after a jab or two. Hammie could not claim to be first in the queue for good looks, thought his face would be changed forever when his major asset disappeared. The hissing of the gas was the last thing Hammie could recall, then awaking on a big black leather chair in the middle of a hissterious bright lit room and a distinct clinical odour, he has with him to this very day

The now gentle tooth surgeon informed the dazed Hammie of three things, keep his gob closed to protect it against the cold, there would or could be bleeding for 48 hours, finally the hardest of all, his new virgin false teeth would not be ready for four whole weeks.

Embarrassed as the weeks dragged by, trying to hide the fact why the tooth fairy had no reason to call on him ever again, Hammie stuck any object, at hand, into his mouth, mostly chewing gum being his waken duty Finally, Hammie’s day arrived with his dentures. He was more than determined, no matter the pain, they were not going back. They were gigantic, image of thee ‘Burt Lancaster’ white massive grin… from lug to lug

For a while, Hammie walked about feeling gallus, managing his two chuckiestanes in his gub, portraying a huge constant chortle until the crucial night at the Maryland club dance. It was really a converted house, off Sauchiehall st, with intimate small rooms and low ceiling with florescent lighting. Hammie was unaware his white teeth glowed…pure dead brilliant as he danced around his fabulous date.

The disc jockey played the Rolling Stones ‘Walking the dog’ which was the taper that lit the fateful event ahead. Frantically imitating Mick Jagger, Hammie lost control of his false teeth, which sprang for instant freedom, landing on the only vacant piece of the floor. The low luminous lighting exaggerated beyond whiteness of his dentures, as his rare beauty screamed pointing at the floor, promptly ear-piercing shouting; ‘his wallies has fallen oot his gub’. They lay there brilliant luminous white as the whole room stopped dancing, laughing their silly heads off… leaving Hammie with a beaming riddy.

Hammie’s stepping out partner…stepped right out of Maryland, without a word, and Hammie never saw her again, though through the grapevine, the wee middin, in a nippy sweetie manner quipped ‘ fair affronted and scunnered…Hammie is a Corrie-fisted, Bawbag wee Bauchle!.

Did Hammie learn to control is wallies? …more to come

My Chronicles 29/01/2017

Aunt Becky left the Glasgow Royal infirmary 15 days ago, after losing one and a half stones, confused but glad to be home like most patients. The nursing staff were far more than helpful, however confused with dementia, her return home was nothing more than a box-ticking by the administrators …and a poo. The box ticking came from the Social services, and the occupation-therapist, who, for some unknown reason, do not listen to what the patient needs or true circumstances…and fail to contact their opposite number dealing with Becky outside, and outside Social do not converse in return.

Perhaps this sounds unfair sour grapes, but Becky received an electric bath chair, which she can’t phantom, already has a home help aiding he bathing every week, just to make her feel secure, and a bath stool to sit on. She now is tagged in case of a fall. The apparatus warns a central point who immediately phone the patient. Becky has dementia and has no ability to either answer or even understand a speaker. …and no matter what we say as authorized guardians, like the seven dwarfs…they just carry on…regardless of consequences. What a waste of time and money when the health board are near bursting point both in staff and finance.

Becky noticed a solitary bird on the tree outside, as if saluting the age of grandeur, though to Becky, their either eagles or thrushes, so to encourage her feathered-friends to use the bird feeders, I placed signs around the front garden…free sex with free food’…none came. I could only conclude they were not hungry, or not the mating season. The deduction they could not read never entered my mind…

The magic news is, she is beginning to nibble and eat, although fragile, she seems comfortable in her own wee world, recognizing both of us as we go up every day. Before suggesting I take her for her first hurl up to the Kilpatrick hills, I quoted; ‘get you F…ing sannies on’ and she remember this verbal nudge, being ready to go out in about five minutes. The Scottish music bursting its pipes, Becky smiling and singing while tapping time to the music. A grand and happy day for both of us, with my two extra treats traveling home, seeing a Sparrow-hawk landing at the side of a grass verge of a roundabout, and the best of the best was Slade doing what Slade do best…the car was rocking…who is in a time warp?

In the in-between time after Ne’erday, as usual, I took advantage of my Ayrshire Chine, Jim Hendry. We meet up around every month, sharing a glass or two, for refreshment purposes only, within the Witherspoons tavern. I would say it is an opportunity to let my hair down, but with the few strands I have left I must be careful. Jim, having an uncanny knack to switch my insignificant problems or woe …to laughter, made my train visit, more than worthwhile.

‘She who must be obeyed’ and I attended a 50th birthday party last night, held in a bowling club this inviting décor, dance floor and D.J. We both really enjoyed the company we keep; however Rebecca was exhausted with the happenings over the last 4 weeks and just worrying about Becky. Tiredness overtaking her, we left early, just as the wonderful display of the buffet was opened during the interval. Happy Birthday Mary… [size="4"][/size]
PEEWEE’S , 'Little Jerusalem;

Strolling along the bank of the famous river Clyde, with each step, taking in the history of this famous river, I decide to sit next to the boathouse. Across the river, new Gorbals stretched magnificently before me. I had been a guest in the local renowned tavern named ‘WhistLin Kirk’, giving me a thirst which only one liquid could satisfy. Taking out Uncle David’s flask, swigging a couple of sips of the golden ‘Uisge-beatha’ (water of life) … just the right buffer to keep out the cold of Glasgow’s seasonal breeze.

A familiar, but surprising voice called out, of course it was Peewee, Glasgow’s mysterious magical pigeon, whose inherited onus is to watch over ‘this fair green place’, since script was in monks’ domain.

He personally counselled each and every Lord Provost since the birth of that prestige office. if a pigeon, even an enchanted pigeon, can look, laid back, is exactly how Peewee’s posture was as he made a statement; ‘it’s always good to see progress, especially in our wee area of Gorbals, once known as 'Little Jerusalem.', however tradition held as a living law… is a straight-jacket… but progress always comes at a price!”

Taking a swift sneaky nip from Uncle David’s flask; I made the mistake of asking, why? I replaced the treasured cap gingerly but before I could correct myself, Peewee’s bearing changed to his pious lecture pose. Seriously he stated; ‘The place in civilization for poor peoples have marginally changed since the dawn of time, it’s just what we are willing to tolerate which force shifts in our conduct, but there is always someone who believes they are superior than others’. This was a hard statement to follow with any meaningful response, but Peewee, in all sternness, managed woefully, ‘people look back on the past with pensiveness, blocking out the terrible injustice within Society

It was obvious Peewee’s feathers were ruffled as I was about to offer him a swig from Uncle David’s flask but remembered his abstinence from alcohol. Silence followed for a few seconds, then Peewee, slightly more collective added; ‘Glasgow was once the second city in the empire, along with Liverpool, but the working class lived in the most appalling circumstances imaginable …while the rich became unbelievable wealthy on their misery and dearth existence of others’

Peewee read my mind as we both looked on the fantastic New Gorbals across the Clyde, then changing his tone, carried on with the lecture; ‘gone are ricket ridden bowly-leegits, bugs, flees, plagues of rats festering in grimy sanitary, abuse of laudanum was rife, blocking out reality… Razor gangs…and Billy Fullerton, for years in the 30s, ran through the slum housed streets, leading his gang, in fascists style, causing mayhem and misery’. ‘Yet did you know?’… Peewee asked sincerely, ‘when he died in the early 60s... 1,000 mourners came to his funeral!’.

The magical pigeon of Glasgow looked pooped and rested, while I took a nip from the old flask, gazing across Glasgow Green and beyond. Peewee sighed then expressed softly, how privileged he was to see how ordinary Glaswegian were making great alterations in their living conditions, with the helpfulness of their chosen staff. Then… with sadness in his eye, Peewee spoke carefully, ‘do you know in some areas of Glasgow, over a period of the last 30 years… the true measure of deprivation the locals face, has not change one little bit…the rich need the poor more than the poor need the rich?’

I looked around at the Clyde walkway…I tried hard to fathom what my friend was telling me as I turned where Peewee was…and he was gone… I walked home alone
Anecdotes from the auld Steamie;

The crunch of the matter with C.C.

The Victorian buildings, constructed to house Steamies, baths and Turkish suites, where not only land marks throughout the manufacturing cities of Scotland, but were proof against keeping the Baltic winds, rain stoatin off those community monuments walls, preventing Scottish bitter weather from coming within. However, there was one thing they all failed to keep at bay, was cockroaches…they thrived in the damp heat…unseen by the public…but they were there…watching every move.

C.C (nicknamed ‘Close Call, never quite did anything right) was a young Bauchie, with skelly-eyes to boot, but nursing a burning ambition to be a life guard. It was not all to do with extra wages in his pay-packet…but the uniform glamour of the position, tee-shirt and shorts, white socks and brand new sannies…. yet most important of all…a whistle. All this instead of a dingy old overall, and industrial weighty boot. Unfortunately for him, all prospects were delayed when he was sent, unwillingly, to a special unit hot baths premises, inked to men’s refuge models, dealing with unfortunate’s men of the roads.

This was punishment because, while passing through the pool, he suddenly grabbed and used a large 12-foot scoop apparatus, coming to the pointless aid a seasoned competitor swimmer. C.C. strongly protested of witnessing such action, from attendants with Bronze medallions. It was pointed out to him. he was right, but it was the shaft lowered down to aid…not to be hit over the head with the enormous spoon…nearly bashing him senseless.

The public never came into the hub of this structure, for health and safety reasons, as it also housed three massive washing machines, able to wash and spin 800/1,000 towels in one super-computer operated. At first C.C. thought this was his job, but sadly, he was only the ‘enterprising person handyman’ and not even a boiler-suit. Each morning C.C. had to open the premises, walk through in the pitch blackness some 100 yards to the mains-board, switching on the computerized washing machines and of course…the lights

Underneath in the basement, there was a maze of tunnels holding pipes of a descriptions, and of course the large boiler-room, which had its own outside entrance door, and an independent source of power. With the boiler starting up, the steam blasting in expression and uncomfortable noises, tons of water and almost instant heat, the humidity was just right for those special beasties. Apparently; it has been quoted, these wee creepy-crawlies, would even survive a Nuclear mushroom exploding Bomb.

One day the specialist exterminator chappy, under contract, came to the building, sprayed lethal intoxicating mixture, assisted by C.C. (mask and all), to make every naughty cockroach demise during dusk, when the premises were closed for the night.

Next morning C.C. wearily opened the shutters, began, as usual with instinct radar, walking towards the electricity the darkness of blackness. Each step, each stride hears a grinding noise, coming from the ground which in the gloom, sounded denser than the previous step. The exaggerating reverberations, produced by the acoustics, created through the revolution Victorian inner design started to worry poor C.C. but his courage did not falter, if he could see the open entrance as a means of escape. At last, he reached the destination and switched on the mains.

All C.C. could witness was a black sea of insects, obviously Cockroaches, a lot still wiggling while the majority with their legs up in defeat. There must have been thousands, if not bloody more…and C.C. could see without trying, the path he took by his footprints those crumpled bodies of these nasty creatures. The mixture could have been to fault, or the actual spraying had not been professionally handled, but no one was blamed…even if it took days to clear the whole building…including the dunny tunnels.

C.C. was still called by his nickname, but the meaning had changed…C.C. stood for’ Cockroach Cruncher’! [/size][size="4"]
Foretastes of a 60s adolescent

Mate is a real China

In the late fifties, Harold Macmillan, pan faced (or poo faced) quoted “most of our people have never had it so good” a grand con where only the chosen had.

Given the circumstances the swinging 60s, it gave good excuse for a party at the drop of a hat, with conniving teenagers grabbing a chance of “empties”, or rarer still, a certain type of parent, out for an evening’s entertainment, or the bumper prize, while they went away for a holiday, trusted their offspring had grown-up attitudes. There was a certain ‘empty’ in a posh Toff’s bungalow residence, situated over Clarkston way, with obliging owners who were of such parentage needed. The wing-dings lasted all week ends into early Monday mornings, firstly whispered…then became legends of their own right.

The swinging 60s were either a myth or swung right past Hammie, though this did not prevent him believing he was a player while dressed in very tight sky blue jeans…but in truth, a bit of a chanty-wrastler …a fart in a trance. Hammie’s mate ‘the Bruce’ was staunch Rangers fan, exceedingly critical of anyone who was not, and strange in his manner with the opposite sex…both trickster best chums, behaved, and acted, as wally chancers.

Hammie had previously mentioned to his best mate, through chat with the girls he knew, how ‘the Bruce’ was a wet blanket (sloppy kisser) which answered why he missed out when at previous Soiree’s. Hammie’s solution was for ‘the Bruce’ to practice kissing his pillow. This he did as instructed, but with little or no success, so felt a right eejit for doing so in the first place. Revenge lingered in the air.

By the time Hammie and ‘The Bruce’ arrived at one of the famous rave ups, all the solitary talent had been spoken for, snatched away from intellectual conversation. This gave time for naughty trickery to surface within ‘The Bruce’. Being adolescents’ mates, the idea of playing tricks on each other was always bubbling just underneath the surface. ‘The Bruce’ dodged unobserved into the kitchen, grabbed a big bowl, deciding to mix up one of his surprise cocktail’s…turned out to be a lethal punch… liberally laced with ginger to disguise its potential. Hammie had no sense of danger.

The mixture had the appearance of ‘Dandelion and Burdock’ but it was named correctly as a ‘Punch’ all its own vocation. This defied any rational person, voluntary, to precede down a road’s only destination…. steamin drunkenness…even for a seasoned Glaswegian. Hammie drank through a kamikaze journey to near forgetfulness, while ‘The Bruce’ sipped real ginger and so was immune to his creation.

Within a short particle of time, the effects were not only obvious because Hammie, talking gibberish through his newly fitted white false choppers, gaining an implanted massive grin because his mouth refused to shut. All at once, the liquor blend was giving him the uncontrollable boak, manufacturing the urgent need for any bog, and its lavatory seat.

Swaying with rubber legs, heading nowhere, but then, with surprising aid from his best mate, (feeling rather sheepish with his prank), they made it to the smallest room in the house. ‘The Bruce’ opened the door …and the very lid of the pan leaving his friend free to let loose, disposing the lot Hammie had swallowed that evening at the improperly dressed saturnalia… and more to boot.

Hammie was still groggy with drunkenness, but could pull himself up to a standing position, of sorts, standing stride of the shanks pan, in total confusion and oblivious he was minus his brand new braw white dentures. The nasty deposits were blocking his view and anyway ...he was totally pissed…

With no thought to his own safety Bruce plunged his hand into the unknown, swirling the dark mixture then successfully grabbing, and rescuing, Hammie’s precious wallies. What a man. He proceeded to rinse them slightly and then and only then stuck them back into his muddled mate’s gob. Hammie graciously said afterwards, that that was an act way beyond any duty of a mate, and he owed him, not only a debt of undying gratitude…but his natural smile to this very day.

Anyway… he will think of a revenge worthy of…’The Bruce’?[/size][size="4"]
At the end of her tether;

The flat itself is exceedingly cheerful and roomy, with its fresh painted baby cartoons, also displaying rainbows, while on opposite end is bright clean walls. This is not the despairing point for the young mother of two. It is the walls themselves, acting as a barrier, or ramparts, or a modern-day stockade. The plain matter of fact is she is a prisoner of her near own making.

She adores her children; ‘loves them to bits’ as she often says, however, they can’t help but add to the problem. It had was so beautiful with her first gorgeous child, Anne, the fuss made by everyone else, the novelty of calling “Mamma- Dadda” whenever the scene warranted it…or just as a fly bye whim. Everything was a brand-new experience where she could do no wrong, she was radiating a crisp gorgeous persona. Even when things did not quite go to plan, or jobby nappies whiffed the already scented air at the most awkward of times, for sheer motherhood had enough twinkle in the eyes to absorb such frustrations.

When the second little wonder, John, popped into her life, everyone was the same as before, yet it seemed to wear off quicker. Even her chuffed husband was not quite overboard as he had been before. Now with double helpings all the way, in everything, it has started to wear down her resistance to mood swings and frustration. No one comes around any more, perhaps because of the constant nappies on the pulley, or they are scared they might be roped into babysitting. When outside they met her by accident, the instant excuse was always the same, they had no wish to disturb her routine.

The magnificent pram her mother-in-law insisted in purchasing for them, far too big, and awkward to direct around the narrow staircase of the wally close. In days gone by, a Churchill pram was the bee’s knees but times have changed yet they did not wish to upset the mother of their father.

She had dreamt, nay prayed, for motherhood, envying anyone, and everyone who had a child, only to find her wished paradise had spiral echoes that never spoke…whose silence became louder…and the utter tiredness never ceases.

How she longs for adult conversation, just a short chat, hating herself for not giving all attention to her adorable babies. The walls may be crystal clean but that does not stop them from caving in to suffocate a lonely person. For nigh on most the day, she spurts this and whoopee’s that, asking her weans repeatedly ‘who is a clever so and so?’. She tries to have a settle down period every day when the little tykes are laid for a lunchtime rest, but this precious time is swallowed up by tidying up or washing cloths or taking jam out of the carpet.

The television is a God send with ‘Andy Pandy’ or their favourite “Tellytubbies”, keeping them amused while it is on… but holy mother of Jesus, it sends her brain around the bend. Almost all children always like a programme or action or story and then want it repeated, word for word… again…and again and bloody again…. despondently caught in a daily triangle, void of human company

The lady can only glance out the window and marvel at the freedom of all passer-by’s and again retreat slight deeper into her own little world and more helpless than the day before.

Her front door is green but no Frankie Vaughan behind her door…. only wash day blues…every day….and a consuming desperation
Foretastes of a 60s adolescent

[Preparing being an Adolescent

Wee Hammie was just a short gasp away, from his dream, putting aside childish things, following new code of behaviour, a sort of apprenticeship to becoming an adolescent, better known in the swinging 60s as a teenager. This elevation gave Hammie a fighting chance, to find, and live this illusive McMillian badly quoted …’you’ve never had it so good’.

Hammie’s visions were simpler in yesteryear’s golden society, being allowed to stay after the bells at Hogmanay, having a taste of beer with the men…but the best was cycling his trusty bicycle, anywhere, whenever or when, if the mood.

Hammie was to have one last summer, six week break from school, in an old coal mining hamlet, a world away from the big city boundaries. Six weeks with the local ‘Clan’ he knew from the year before. The ‘Clan’ consisted of; Blair, Dougie, Tub’s, and wee Beanie…then Archibald and Mary. Of course, Mary was a girl, as Archibald was, yet oddly she was never named anything else…at least by the ‘Clan’.

There was an old skipping rhyme, with the words sung; “Archibald, Archibald, king of the Jews, Jews, Jews, bought his wife, wife, wife, Shoes, Shoes, Shoes”.

The previous year, Hammie was nominated into the ‘Clan’ fraternity, after completing the ultimate test of running along the brick dykes, leaping across the washhouses out in the backcourts. Most days he ‘Clan’ aimed for the formable forbidden Glen, so called by the parentage around the hamlet. The mere fact it was prohibited, was a magnet enough to give courage, even to a mamma’s boy like Blair.

Having been an old mining community ‘Shale Bings’ were a common sight, and the Glen had quite a few. The main reason mothers and fathers strictly forbade, was simply when returning home, the ‘Clan’ were pure mawkit, no matter how much Hammie and the boys tried to disguise the fact. The girls never seemed to have that problem.

The glen was covered in green during the summer months, with foxes, rabbits and unidentified wild life roaming around. Also, a rambling stream gurgling through the now woodland ending up in a big dark pool…where the boys den was built in the open outback. Skinny dipping was a regular occurrence, but failed to touch the bottom, never finding out how deep it was, or where the brownish water came from.

Of one of these trips, the ‘Clan’s’ decided to camp the full day in the great den. A small tent was taken, as the girls stated quite severely, they would not enter the dirty old den. Pieces made from Pan bread, plus bottles of ginger, ‘Dandelion & Burdock’ packed. A familiar game, dare or promise, was struck up after the tent was fixed, and the usual things near adolescents do, when they don’t know they are near adolescents, were done.

Hammie’s turn came, was dared to kiss Archibald, for one whole minute…she seemed willing but Hammie had a riddy (blushed profusely). Jeered on by the rest, they went under that tent together, for the double dare, but the deed was truly done.

Hammie had truly past the test but on arriving home… received a thumping for being manky -=-=-=-=-=

Not again...There’s that knock again....can’t think who it can be... I bet it’s the same pain in the ass* as yesterday whoever they are.......well I’m staying put.... just in case it’s the television licence detector van... turn down the sound on the telly.... he’ll think I’m out.... bugger this... it’s the re-run of ‘Wagon train’ with Ward Bond........ I’ll need to guess what he’s saying.... he played a Texas Ranger/preacher in the ‘Searchers’ ... Their knocking at the bloody door again. They might have the wrong it’s a waste of time getting up.

Poor old military men like me, should be left alone in peace…not knocked up whenever anybody else appears willy-nilly… I’ve done my bit …Am I being targeted? The bampots*.

I don't know who it can be but they are obstinate ...could be Littlewoods... they must hand the winning cheques over personally. but with my luck. It’s not the Football Pool company but the blinkin shop...I’ve lost my Irish luck ...anyway I stopped doing them last year… so, unless there’s been a late goal? Tried spot the ball once...could not see it...even with a magnifying they left it out on purpose...

Might be goody-goody Misuse’s Grant, Sadie to her friends which I’m not one, sounds like it could be her knock... she has a demanding thump.... wonder what she wants, Trivial or important…Oh heck…it’s getting louder.... she’s staying there would think if no-one answers.... after all this time, she would presume I’m out and go away. She may be round with the cake she promised last Christmas...I’m this is Monday....bake day is Thursday...... Jing's, my slipper has a hole...

It’s just come to me, it could be that Dairy owner, he’s a brute of a guy ... come to complain about last week shenanigans.... if it is.... I’m defiantly staying here... did not pay the bill ...£3 for three weeks owed .... I think I’m barred for insulting the milkman. I answered the door when he was looking for gratuity, standing in his Co-op uniform, told me he was from Pakistan… I said, ‘must have a big milk round, so that’s why your slow?’.

There they go again; rattling the panels off the letter box…hanging on by a thread. Wonder what they want? must be in a hurry.... Impatient bugger whoever it is....on the other hand...might be from the social Security, wanting to cut my money again. All these long forms to fill up... and I fought in the last war for the name of freedom. Do they show appreciation.... no way.... they know bugger all what self-sacrifice is.

Wait a minute; there at it again. Getting a bit ratty are they not. If they think I will jump...they’ll another think coming.... More than likely it’s those young thugs who shout out and call me an old Bampot. A short sharp shock is what they need. Have no respect for king and country. I’d shoot the lot if I had my way... swing for them I would. Anyway, it can’t be them for there is no hullabaloo, no shouting. I’m sure it was them who peed through my letter box last week ...then again... I couldn’t be sure. We were poor in the old days but happy days. They don’t know their born these days. That knocking is getting irritable but I wonder what they want. Why? Could it be the fancy tart from ‘56’…Naw; I’m not that fluky. Not much use anyway.......past my sell bye date.

It might be her from ‘21’, looking for a subscription for wee black babies in Africa. She is a nice wee woman but is a pain in the bum when she talks of ‘Finding God’. She is a bit of a prude....wonder when she lost him. Stuff this… I need a pee... can’t go or they will hear me. These people are so inconsiderate. Can I hold it… bugger it, I’m dribbling? It sounds like the same knocking as yesterday but they gave up quickly before I had time to make me mind up. Is it’s a telegram ... can’t be....surly they stopped doing them some years ago. Last one I got was call up during the war and I floated off to stay with my auntie in Eire... or Eriu my Gaelic Goddess

Still… I would like to know who it is. I hear footsteps walking away …. trouble with people today... they have no patience, no time for others, Just selfishly, me,…all the time [size="3"][/size]

In the last century, what could be deemed more Glaswegian than the single end. Such accommodation stretched throughout North-South-East and West of Glasgow. It’s the single end, better known to the rest of the world as a one room flat, in a tenement building. The prosperous areas abodes in posh tiled wally closes… with residential solo apartment

Romance was blooming, when Geordie and Agnes married rather swiftly, leaving little time for ether gathering up savings or finding a home. Geordie was given an address of an abode in what the privileged named a working-class area, a slum district, where the affluent became richer collecting rents. The couple’s own wee rented retreat, with a bed recess, shabby wallpaper, and a sink by the window. It needed more than a lick of paint, more like a miracle but the couple were oblivious to the one room’s disappointments, Geordie and Agnes accepted all, to start their lives together, for love was in the air and well into the night behind their closed door

Geordie was a lamplighter, even then a slowly dying profession with all the new modernisation, while Agnes worked as a shop assistant. She was proud of her position, complete with the smart turn out demanded of her employer, Geordie realized he carried a sieve-like fume from his occupation, no scrubbing or soap could conquer the whiff…he imagined his nose, unwillingly, carried the pong right through his life

Their own little home was such a boon, owing to sparkles in their eyes for each other, failing to see the harsh lessons in front of them. Unlike other residents in the district, they had an open space view other than other grey dark tenements. A football ground was straight across the street which allowed more light to penetrate through the only window. Some other places being ghostly and dismal, simply because of being overshadowed by many other abodes, crammed tightly together. Another hidden benefit for the couple was cool fresh breezes circulating through the cherished dwelling.

With one or two exceptions, all the tenants held a fierce pride for their close, almost to an obsession, especially for the individual doorway to each home, which they meticulously prepared for any scrutiny. Each family took it in turn to clean the landing, stairs and the shared cludgie. This multiple drafty closet had to be spick and span, rather than in a guddle, as many eyes other than theirs inspected it, with critical examination. Woe betides any neighbour who forgot their turn, they would be ‘the talk of the steamie’, as the Glaswegian saying intimates. Pipe clay blocks were used to bring up the whiting of the steps and bleach mixed with water to brighten the greyness of the landing.

Geordie and Agnes’s district, as with so many in Glasgow, had backcourts surrounded by run down property, mackit at best. Same place where weans, with exuberant pride played in mud puddles, and tea sets made from clatty old milk cartons and bottle milk tops as money. Cardboard, clanty pots, minging cans, pieces of mockit broken glass, stones for weights and lots of mud, plenty of it. With total innocence of their imagination for their hard work, all they wished was their Maw’s sharing in their delight of collected treasure. Many a shrieking swear word heard across landings, as mothers defended their well-scrubbed abodes…to the utter dismay of the children.

Most children either played in their own streets or the communal back courts, to be in ear short of their households. Jelly pieces, a staple diet, regularly flung from kitchen windows, to be caught by the urchins below. If they landed on the ground, picked up, cleaned by wiping them on their jerseys, to be eaten with gusto. Wee dens would spring up if spare wood could be found which were decorated with anything coming out of the rubbish bins, locally known lucky middens. Children played, kick the can, tig and chases around the streets or hopscotch, peever beds and belles ropes for the more athletic and of course football always for the boys

There were rats running around, even in broad daylight. ‘Chips droppings from drunks on Friday nights, sometimes Saturday, all manner of junk and clabber ready with infection. Flees and lice had a field day, with worried mothers reaching for the bone, or steel Derbac combs, to rid the little mites. Doctors would reassure parents, these little tics only picked clean heeds, but it did not stop lotions flowing like water, while red eyed kids complaining about the brutality of the sharp comb digging into treated scalps. It was normal for kids to play in middens and for tiny curious fingers to rumble through waste as it was their arena of play. .

The Salvation Army came around of a Sunday morning bashing away at drums and symbols and the brass giving full blast to all and sundry “Nearer to God are thee” or “The Hallelujah boat” not realizing some were closer to God than they ever guessed.

Many a summer’s night, local entertainment was dancers, singers, fiddlers, and instrument players or even an odd play, being performed in this central stage made of carboard in the backcourt. all the punters hanging out the windows enjoying the spectacular. Appreciation shown with pennies tossed down to the court the entertainers scrambling to pick up as many as possible, added to the fun.

Very few Tenants saw this as any kind of poverty surrounding them, many districts were in the same boat… sometimes worse, apart from the chancers. Dearth of amenities was just that, and with pure tenacity, the people just got on with the business of living.

To Geordie’s shame, they accepted it as normal. In their defence, they were totally absorbed within a private world, as most time hurrying to be on their own

Looking back with mixed emotions as many a friend and compeers from the past seem no more. There was bad and good as today though there was tightness within the community which certainly seems not exist in today’s modern society, poor or otherwise. It would be foolish to believe we can make everyone equal or eradicate poverty though we must endeavour not to make it be viewed as normal
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