Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Home Made Tales
Glasgow Boards/Forums > Glasgow Memories > Glasgow Memories > Strange Stories & Customs
Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
peter.howden

My Chronicles 21/07/2017;
How can time pass so slowly but speed pass till now being already today…it is a conundrum occurring more often now with household tasks for both ‘She who must be obeyed’ and wee Aunt Becky. Rebecca is easy enough as it is up to both of us to consider the possibilities one way or another…and anyway she makes smashing homemade soup, (I was instructed to mention this by, ‘you know who!’). This secret knack Rebecca learned from her Granny and Becky decades ago.

With wee Becky, it can be more than a drag simply because we are not really in control. It can be so frustrating knowing things which could improve her quality of life, but either faultier by default because the home help care can, or will not adapt to suit the individual rather than a rota, and a diecast procedure, which must be obeyed at all costs. To be fairness to the ladies on duty, the pubic are the hardest people to serve and satisfy, especially when time is of the essence as it strict and short, added with the constant worry keeping to the written instructions.

The complete lunch service was taken away due to the fact we did not want, or wish to pay for ready meals (which were appalling to look at or smell) , supplied by a satellite company of the council. The administrators cut the service to two a day…we still paid for three. We did not mind going up to Becky every day, which we do as normal, however, the tight restriction of being there to make lunch for Becky was more than awkward. Due to assistance for one lucidity minded manager, we have managed to return be given a full serve of three visits a day.

It must appear I’m always carping about this service, or lack of it, nevertheless there are considerate workers using common sense as a situation arises. Also, there are a few well-meaning managers willing to merge with the specific needs of the elder person in question. The mid management must shoulder most of the blame, as the timetables are unreasonable, tight for both operator and client, and the policy of home-help consistency, needed for ‘Dementia’ patients and others, has gone out the window. The fundamental reason for an air of normality, plus continuity… is to give as much support for needy patients as utterly possible…this is certainly not being supplied.

‘She who must be obeyed’, my canny lass, is having a progressively hard time with a awkward painful right ankle, affecting drastically her ability to walk. Luckily Rebecca managed to buy an electric chair from a very good friend, which somewhat helps her outdoors. Because of her long illness causing irregular breathing, while inside tottering about, instant tiredness forces a halt and sit-down to recoup. She has always been a game girl, nonetheless… the anxiety about the forthcoming operation, due in September, just adds to the whole poorly feeling.

Our garden has been neglected for some considerable time, though hinting I’m in any way a horticulturist, or even a gardener, is wishful thinking, for the best I can be is a scarecrow in a unused field, (got the cloths for it). Only very few home grown spuds this year and due to lack of constant care, three whole strawberries. Still, the roses came blooming, but they do their own thing along with most flowers.

Early this morning there were tell-tale signs of while plumage feathers scattered, a wood pigeon being taken by a Sparrow hawk. Magnificent killing hunter, is both exhilarating and sad…death means life with nature is not magical haven, but a fight for food and survival.

I have missed quite a few Saturday mornings laugh in with the lads of the ‘Benghazi Mice’, their famed banter and crack in the steam room…but maybe in a few weeks…with luck?…
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
Tour De France;(a tale of two cities)

It is always the best of times sitting in true comfort in your own home, relishing a sip or two of wine if your French, or a couple of beer refreshments if your me, managing to catch snippets of the fascinating bicycle endurance test witnessed by most of the world, It blows my mind how those teams have the energy and tenacity taking part in a grueling sport…what a spectacular ….what a classic finish each year, 8 times around the magnificent ‘Arc De Triomphe’.

There are open questions, every year, about participants taking substances which the governing body disapproves with, or taking banned drugs…all I know is if I had to drive a car round their routes taken…I would need more than two rest days out of twenty-two, and certainly more than an aspirin.

There is no doubt about it for being intensive viewing, complete with commentary and magical scenery, however, no matter how splendid this yearly stamina race is displayed on the television screen, nothing compares being there at any stage especial in Paris on the actual final day…the year 2007 was my luck year… twice.

Having the good fortune to be invited again to the Pines hilly home in Saissac, that year. The gracious family provides great company, smashing food, and free beer…and do my washing, so what more could a weary wanderer wish for? I had traveled by high speed train(TGV) from Paris, in a vain attempt to learn the language, jumping off at the historical, or fabled,’Three Kings treasure, of old fortified Cité of Carcassonne. Unaware the Tour De France was passing through Carcassonne the very next day. The hotel’s panorama view was the fabulous, almost fairytale bailey of the medieval structure.

The next day, the whole town’s traffic was banned hours before the due passing parade. Once the leaders passed, in a short time all the pandemonium and hullaballoo was over as the cheer-makers and clappers quietened down, still with contented faces as it was deemed a honour to be part of a French living legend. For me, I was more focused on having a couple of days, with the not so, ‘Trail of the lonesome Pines’ great company and high jings…help ma boab

After four odd days, and with my return ticket for the T.V.G.I arrived in Paris, where the next day I would meet up with Toni (our daughter) and her main man Fergus. They had been a couple for some time, and the family knew them as a modern romantic success as Toni/Fergus…Fergus & Toni. Early in the morning of the final stage Paris central area a tour route was completely empty as was the whole ‘Avenue des Champs-Élysées’ On the vacant ‘Place de l'Étoile’ the goliath of ‘Arc de Triomphe’ stood naked in all its impressive glory. As the time passed and I had been both up and down the Champs-Elysees including eyeing the Place de la Concorde’ It was one of those couple of hours which will never return, locked safely in my head.

We all met up as the excitement bred and flourished around spectators from numerous countries, creating an instant carnival spirit, as dialects aplenty floating in the air, wafting through any barriers of misunderstanding. As the world class bikers appear to a massive roar from the now near hypnotized crowds, not equal to anything I had heard before…except being at Hamden when Scotland scores a goal against England… this signaled the start of eight ‘laps’ — up one side, around the Arc de Triomphe, and back down the other side — of the Champs-Elysées. From then on it was just sheer dead brilliant …a stoater of an event.

I have memories of Toni and Fergus taking me for dinner, then onward into a typical French pub, were a fellow entered, dressed head to toe in lady’s bright attire, and no one blinked or stared. I looked more than twice as the sharp cross-dresser, supported both a smouldering pipe, propped out from a huge complete rugged beard, (Captain Haddock). Toni and Fergus failed to notice as they only had eyes for each other.

I miss Toni, for out of the family, including ‘She who must be obeyed’, Toni alone understood most of my foibles , and howlers , even when I was conversation dribble, which I often did.

Toni and Fergus bought me a miniature bronze statue of Rodin’s; ‘The Kiss’ which is beside my computer. It is a far…far better thing I do…when I stare and contemplate the lovely piece…with Toni in mind…Thanks girl.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden

JIM STEPPED FROM THE TRAIN (3)


Jim stepped down from the train, trying to remember when he boarded, or what was his destination intended. This town, or settlement being a closer description, was alien to him, either to decipher just where he was, or when it was. The porter disappeared without uttering a single word and as far as Jim could tell, no one else had enlightened off the train. While trying to reason with himself, he steadily moved towards what appeared to be a hub or cluster of weird buildings. He could not work out if a day-dream had overtaken his awareness, or not. One thing was sure, as far as he could tell, imaginary or not, it was obviously dusk the way the light was over the dusty street.

In front of Jim was a tree at a curious angle to the ground, something bizarrely familiar about the scene, just could not put his finger on. Lost within time itself, he failed to see a boy springing out from nowhere, in such haste and terror, as if all hell had broken loose with inevitable bat after the lad himself. The youngster stumbled past him, again something caught Jim’s eyes as being familiar. It was the stud badge the boy had on his buckle. Jim only had the slightest of glimpses to identify it, though because Jim knew he had had one, just like it, given to by his grandfather, when he was a boy. Jim was wondering what he ever did with his buckle, which had been lost for years.

The gangly stripling tripped, tumbled uncontrollably landing near the kerb stank which had caused the youngster’s accident. At this split second, the unmistakeable clatter of a laden cart racing towards the youth’s grounded position. It became pitifully clear the boy’s injuries forced him to the ground, keeping him glued to that very spot. The ear-splitting thunder of hooves from runaway freaked horses, galloping forwards other peoples caused blind terror trying desperately to swerve the beasts away.

Without fear, or any thought at all, Jim leapt with huge strides to grab the lad from being trampled by bulky horses, whisking him to relative safety as the horrible threat passed by a whisker. The spontaneous act surprised Jim more than the onlookers. The lad picked himself up while giving a massive grin towards Jim's direction. Holding out his yet shaky hand. “Thank you, sir,” in a loose Texas drawl in the way youngsters were taught, to be polite to their elders, in a previous era.

The wagon sped way into the unseen yonder, and people’s attention followed as they ran up the dust filled street, to ether gain a view of the driver’s misfortune or to help with the aftermath whatever it was to be. Jim and the young fellow were left alone, both gazed at each other with different senses of relief. Jim's eyes were again directed to the buckle of the boy's belt.

Jim knew it was identically to the one he owned and was puzzled. He had always thought his Grandpa's had forged it from virgin metal making it the only one in the whole world. At last the boy spoke again though this time with his own feelings bubbling out in true sincerity.

“I thank you kindly Sir, I’m in your debt as I now realize the danger I was in”. “My name is Samuel, everybody calls me ‘little Jim’, after my Grandfather, the towns Blacksmith. When I grow up I will use his name as he is a great man. He made this buckle for me, if I promised to keep it throughout my life”. Before Jim could make any reply, the immediate area was filled with bodies, all asking what happened and was the boy all right. The strange thing was Jim could remember, vaguely, of some incident happening to him, roughly around the lad’s age. And that tree started to puzzle him.

Slowly he turned his head and he was on the train again, sitting alone, with just the hint of dust. He began to ask some awkward questions; did it happen at all or had he dreamt it. His name had been Samuel when he was a youngster. Was that just an indulges in a fantasy, or coincidence? Could it be possible he saved his own life by somehow transporting back in time…. seems impossible?

One thing was for sure and that was the buckle had disappeared many moons ago, whether in a card game or just plain lost. Jim reached in to his pocket for a hankie to wipe his brow, for the temperature of the couch was making his brow perspire profusely

And in his pocket, as he drew his big hand out, was the long-lost buckle????
peter.howden

At the end of her tether;

The flat itself is exceedingly cheerful, and roomy, with its fresh painted baby cartoons displaying rainbows, while on opposite end are 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 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 on a a fly bye whim. Everything was a brand-new experience where she could do no wrong, she radiated 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 joy of motherhood had enough twinkle in the eyes to absorb such frustrations.

When the second little wonder, Jim, popped into her life, everyone was the same as before, yet not so obvious. 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 anymore, 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 his mother 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 she did not wish to upset the mother -in-law.

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 weariness 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 clothes 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 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
-=-=-=-=-=-
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
Desperate;

The wee older man, surround by another generation trying to live the values and codes of yesteryear, stumbling around like a dinosaur, a living relic counting his past ethics which really did not exist, other than in his present state of mind.
Today will be tomorrow’s yesterday all rolling together with desperate tags untied.

Where has ban the bomb gone where is the integrity of the working man…all used up in direction unknown to the induvial but sold off by the manipulators and the greasy poll of democracy. It is a well kent fact today has no need to report of explain yesterday and by tomorrow most of what was said and intentions will have faded into oblivion

Yesterday studies of how to change the city, the country, the world, though change was deliberately slow, if at all, left the level of acceptance as a marker, to still tolerate the world as it stood, yet enduring inert aggression and fools was problematic, but now… much painfully realizing , he is also a fool.

Living yesterday that really wasn’t
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
Shades;


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is always possible to live another day…well almost;
[size="3"][/size]
peter.howden

My Chronicles 07/08/2017;


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘She who must be obeyed’ and I, think but mainly hope we are back to normal…whatever that phrase really means.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
AUGUST 13TH; AFTER THE SHOOT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What a callous and shallow call the glorious 12th?


-=-=-=-=-=
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
-JUMPING JUMPERS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I can count on you, if not the sheep, to sleep on this new brave idea.
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
Why don’t we take time to blink?
Or maybe time to think?
instead as robots…
one, two…what to do?
Three, four…lock the door,
Five, six…play some tricks
Seven, eight…be Irate,
Nine ten…do it all again
peter.howden
[b]Jim stepped down from the train(24)
[/b]
Jim stepped down from the train, after the huge locomotive pulled into an enormous old-fashioned railway station which visibly was to serve passengers, also once functioning as a working heart of a multitude of industrial engineering commercial heart, serviced by every kind of shuttle train ever imagine. Tired after such a long journey, yet immediately being familiar with a worryingly stillness of eeriness, void of travellers or any sort of noise. He was mindful having been away for a long time, nevertheless he was now alone on the platform, somehow intimidated and insecure by being unaccompanied, where everything was covered either in dust or rust.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How long he stood there is anyone’s guess but it was some time until he took another few steps to come across a massive election promotional poster …stating in huge letters…. to see a Liberal sworn statement, ‘We will make a land fit for heroes’
-=-=-=-=-=----------------
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
Anecdotes from the auld Steamie

Heart-Breaking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Five short weeks later this man was dead. He died through alcohol abuse
[/size][size="3"]
peter.howden
Foretastes of a 60s adolescent


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

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

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

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

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

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

The meeting place café was at the corner of Calder St and Pollokshaws Road, the name escapes me now… but the sight of around forty leather jerkin clad blokes, yet only three or so bikes outside parked in the street, will never leave me. Later I owned an old banged up Triumph, we were not quite ‘Marlon Brando’ studs, or even his weak sidekicks… but boy… we wanted to be so much!
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden

Howden Transport…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You cannot get lost in a car; you can only run out of petrol!
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
Foretastes of a 60s adolescent

LIFE’S UNIVERSITY;


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have been extraordinarily lucky of having learnt so much from so many people; who turn to be teachers, one and all. My admiration for these three men holds no bounds… with the speed of switching a light on, I can hear them talking ….and if this is the first step to the nut house, I will gladly go.
--=-=-=-=-=-=
[size="3"][/size]
peter.howden
My Chronicles 25/08/2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


All official decisions are out of our hands as it is the authorities that assess Becky….and it is faulty…for all decisions made are monetary based…and not for the despairing need of the patient.
-=-=-=-=
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
Memory lane

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

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

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

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

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

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

So… this episode marked down in the annuals of time but will end with one question; ‘will I be so daft in the future?’ Perhaps the question should be; ‘when will I be so daft in the future………….and what is yet to come?’
-=-=-=-=-=-=-
[size="3"][/size]
peter.howden
A keek back

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

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

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

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

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


I certainly prefer Tin-tin’s, Captain Haddock at his table, or more profound would be Captain Pugwash on the Black Pig, guided into the horizon by the rascal ‘Puff the magic dragon’. At both captains’ tables, along with Jackie Paper, you never had to dress for dinner. Lower my flag…………..that sounds sea worthy to me;
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
Dear Diary; 05/08/2011

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

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

Her reply caught my breath and amazement, as she firmly informed me those pegs were far too good for my usage on everyday washing, only Sunday best cloths would be pinned by them. Whether this was to happen on a Sunday, I was not well-versed however I thought at the time… to get a grip, as this was snobbery ether gone wild, or hung up to dry
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
Light Interpretation
Last night I dreamt of being arrested for flashing, though a senior moment forgetting to close the door, however I was let oft with lack of physical evidence….whatever that entails.

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

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

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

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

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

I departed the building housing ‘THE Bridge ‘knowing less than when I entered their automatic doors. Education had another tragedy, if it weren’t so amusing.
peter.howden
Foretastes of a 60s adolescent

‘YOUNG ONES’ HALL;

Not yet being fully-fledged adolescents, our behaviour was more tactic than erratic, discovering the world beyond our childlike experience so far, protesters of the universe, forging ahead with virginal thinking where no generation went before…. or so we thought. Acting within an individualism crowd, we youngsters debated haughty ethics in a new light, when frequenting the Brookland Café, situated at the corner of Minard Road and Frankfort St.

None of the non-conformists were real admirers of Cliff Richard, though now I openly confess having more than several of his L/Ps in my vinyl collection. However, everyone, proclaiming to be ‘Cliff’ fans because the lads possessed a overriding ambition to be in the good books of Helen and Betty, both waitresses at the coffee bar. It must be understood, we were merely spotty urchins to these cultured girls, as they were several years older than we were.

It would not take much to impress teenage boys about any girl’s form, however Helen, known to launch a thousand sighs, predominantly was out of this world. Naturally blond, an hour glass figure, bright red lips wearing high heels to give the wiggle, sending imaginations to the roof. When she walked, all eyes of any age turned to look. In other words; she was a stoater, and Betty came a close second. Both females being die hard Cliff fans.

While congregating in the café most nights, seldom thrown out even when there were only one or two half empty coke bottles amongst the multitude, for Tony seemed quite content as from a whole week we did put some cash in his till. One night, while discussing again where to go and being blank as usual, passing Helen suggested a club. She had been to see “The Young Ones” staring the peter pan of pop, and felt we should do the same. We agreed it was a good idea…well, all the boys did without thinking. Someone suggested the scout hall just past Crossmyloof Ice rink in Shawmoss Road, almost under the railway bridge.

We all become excited and decided for inspiration, to go and see the film. A couple of days later and again in the safety of the Brookland walls, we sat around discussing for ages what how and when we would put our plan into organization. Pat, said her dad was in commerce, would give us a few bob to set us up. We declined, wishing to do it all by ourselves, having seen how Robert Morley had acted in his part of the film, then agreeing Pat would go as she had a lovely smile, and Sam (the bam) …within a fortnight we had our first Sunday night club.

In a short space of time we had a great wee place. on the lines shown on the movie while insisting only soft drinks could be consumed in the hall. Ginger factory deliveries were made on a regular basis. We were left in no doubt that any alcohol abuse and the Scout master would throw us out

In the meantime, at the very first night, to celebrate we had a game called musical chairs, as couples where split oft and a record was placed on an old bashed up automatic stacked turntable. Lights out was the signal for communal cuddling in various mods. Now in this political correct culture, this may sound sexist…or even worse, however I would argue we were just fooling around, as most of the gang were friends rather than sexual partners. A test pad for your kissing skills, perhaps?

The last record finished with a scratchy ending while the next unknown young lady approached me. What I do reminisce is the fabulous two odd minutes clinched with Betty. In a hundred and twenty seconds, give or take a few, she not only blew my mind. I don’t know what she did but boy it was something else, and then the French kissing just jumped two of the three steps to heaven.

Now you may shudder at my careless way reporting this event, or take it as degrading the women concerned but I refute this as out of hand. Both sexes were just at different starting points around relationships… and it was really innocent, even adolescent. We all remained good friends for a couple of sessions…nevertheless like life itself, we all moved on.

The moral of the story is; a surprise comes with every association, no matter how short, and one button does not start the elevator.
-=-=-=-=-
[size="3"][/size]
peter.howden
Anecdotes from the auld Steamie …

A heated moment

In the working areas throughout all the major metropolises, in bonny Scotland, the Victorian buildings called ‘The Steamie, held as landmarks for the community’s hubs, long before the word became an ‘in’ saying. The main reason was packed tight tenements, consisting of two room/one room and kitchen, and Single ends, cherished spick & span homes though having little or no space to install the necessary Washing/drying machines within their abodes

The workers inside these specially built premises, were varied in skills and jobs, with one thing common to all, being low paid… but a job for life, unless constantly late or incapable to complete the shift. However, if someone did make a mistake or error, unless it was life threatning to the public, or the actual building, rarely the person was punished unless one inexperienced supervisor being a real stickler for the rules, or the infamous sacking superintendent.

The workers in one such ‘Steamie/Swimming pool/Turkish suite’ , always had nicknames for such gaffers and area boss…. such as …The Brillo-pad Kid…Andy Pandy…. Curly(bald) …. Kirker…. Kit… One slug Fred, (many concealed slight refreshments) … No-chic (ladies’ man; in his dreams) …. Sally-ann (over the top religious). If a mistake was made, it depended who witnessed or saw anyone doing it…or if shopped.

At one time or another, Ben-Gunn was involved with all the above, yet it depended who was on duty on any shift as to what would then take place. The Brillo Pad king…he was above all others as to his ignorance of how the day to day running went. On a surprise visit, he found some four swimming attendants just standing around seemingly doing nothing, so ordered everyone to pick an industrial sized Brillo-pad….and clean the tiles, while patrons were swimming. Ben refused, and the Brillo-pad kid sent him home, shouting the odds after him, ‘I’ll report you for insubordination’…so he did, by phone.

The next morning before the staff were due in, Kirker in person, explained to the dumb novice how this was a bad idea, because it will take the protective ceramic glaze off rendering it useless for its purpose. He caught a telling off and Ben-Gunn had a paid holiday, unfortunately Kid was gunning for Ben after that.

Andy Pandy’s mood depended if Rangers won, or lost, at the last week end. If they lost…Monday started of rough and ratty …then became worse as the days crept towards another weekend. If the won, he was still stiff as a board but just cranky…even tried to be one of the lads…. badly.

One of the workers named Humphry, was in the wrong place at the wrong time, so mean Andy Pandy had the pool emptied, which took most of the day. Then Humphry, at the old waterline scrap the build-up of solidified chemical crystals….it took him 8 days. It was later found out, the reason the pool was emptied was area superintendent was under the allusion….glass containing an unknown substance, had fallen in, smashed, contaminating the pool.

There were good gaffers around, as well as others, when wee fluky accidents were made, particularly in the secluded Turkish Suite…which never saw daylight. One such occurrence happened when ‘Peewee’ was automatically giving a massage to one client, (to supplement his income) while talking gibberish to others. Applying heat treatment, then what he thought was thick cream, to manipulate the back area, he was indeed smearing on Colgate toothpaste. Once finished covering the client’s whole back, peewee discovered his dilemma, for this fate had occurred once before. There was an unwanted chemical reaction, traps the heat.

Peewee instructed the unaware victim, not to go into the steam box… just recline on a bench for half an hour, in the hot room. Whether the surrounding clatter, or he just did not perceive, the client spent half an hour in a very hot steam-room. The result was looking like well overdone raw sunburn, strangle the client drew a glowing picture…. saying he felt on top of the world.

If the reality had come to being public knowledge and the gaffer had heard whispers, then Peewee would have come out with more than a red face…. but the client thought it was once in his lifetime reflexology …maybe he was right?
[/size][size="4"]
peter.howden
My Chronicles 14/09/2017


It has been said, even quoted what a difference a day makes, but for me it is been every day separate but collectively within just a little over two weeks. I have been on holiday roaming France but mainly first in astonishing ‘Toulouse’, then the medieval ‘Cité de Carcassonne’, then travel to find my holy grail ‘Saissac’. Everything turned out well but Saissac is special because it is a sublime small village situated in Aude district of languedoc-Rossillon.

However, for me, it is the home of a generous couple, suave Keith and lovely Lizzie Pine, who were my hosts of pure indulgence in food, beer and conversation. It is worth the journey alone just for those five days. There will be future scribbles full of enlightenment of the whole trip.

Coming home to find ‘She who must be obeyed’ still in the Royal infirmary. The operation was a grand success according to the doctors, however the heavy medication taken before, then after the operation, was not acting as expected. Rebecca’s blood was 1, when it should have reach 2.5, whatever this meant, but for Rebecca, it made her dizzy. This morning the staff gave Rebecca a couple of pints of blood, varied the pills, checked the leg by taking the stookie off. It will be replaced but… exasperated Rebecca will not leave the hospital until the head doctors give the nod. I am not henpecked…but I miss her.

I have seen Aunt Becky every day since I have come home, while this morning, being so bright and breezy, as since time allowed the use of its hours…I took her for a hurl…but no guesses where were rolled or the music coming from my old jalopy …yes, the stunning, terrific ever fluctuating Kilpatrick hills, what more could you want, while playing Scottish tartan top twenty, which we both knew every word. Becky’s Dementia did not halt or stutter her while she sang at the top of her voice.,. Grand medicine for her…and a super tonic for me. Sadly, Becky’s general home care has not improved. The girls wish to help but their training is wanting, their strict instruction and schedule do nothing to assist.

I am not grouchy, however, due to the circumstances, which will only change slightly when ‘She who must be obeyed’ returns home, supported by a new stookie, and our commitment to Aunt Becky, free time will be a luxury for quite a bit. I may have an odd chance, on an odd Saturday morning visit to the Dollan baths, to meet up with the Benghazi mice (created 1985) and a visit to ‘Dom’, a founder member, at his home.

Unfortunately, a slight personal gripe, for some unknown time, be unable to go down Ayrshire way, to see my old china, thee astute political rascal, Jim Hendry. Although we are totally opposite in so many things, we both enjoy a slight refreshment, coupled with lots of laughter and talking rubbish. The main argument is who is talking keech…and who’s conversation is wisdom. To me it is an even toss-up…but I do look forward to them…. Just hope Jim is available when the time comes I can.
-=-=-=
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
MOMENTS IN FRANCE

I do look forward to slowly travelling in France, with the help of native people, however this time might be the last expedition, as my saunters are throbbing my old bones and slowing down, yet… still hold a magic within a ecstatic experience. Flying into Carcassonne, then catching a very busy local train to Toulouse. I must be my wrinkles, as I was offered a seat several times, but declined, acting like a small boy, inquisitively choosing to sit in a void seat next to a ‘Gentleman of the road’, with a floored rucksack, tied up sleeping bag, small kettle, and pan, complete with his faithful huge hound, sprawled against the side of unused automatic doors. He was the only passenger not using a mobile phone.

He greeted me in French, smiling broadly as I shook his large coarse hand. Once I established my limited French, we communicated in gesture and small sparks of common language. He was heading for Toulouse and I had been to the city before and witnessed lots of ‘Gentlemen of the road’ and their dogs, rough camping under the bridges of the midi canal. Roughly half way into the journey the gentleman arose and stood with is dog as the train arrived at a country village. The reason became clear as the unused doors became the used door to enlighten from and board. One stop on and this gentleman of the road, manner and posture changed instantly

Four S.N.C.F Police officers (Pistols, bulletproof vests, and gear to the gunnels) military swaggering, came onto the train making the happy go lucky nomadic minutes before, become very curious and timorous, taking his ticket out for all to see he had the right of passage. We held no more conversation because the couch was well packed, and on arrival he left the train like a timorous beasty. Before leaving the platform, I shouted out loudly to the vagrant...“au revoir, Monsieur, merci beaucoup …His magic smile beamed again.

Arriving in Toulouse, which like all cities, has a mixture of cultures amongst its various local peoples and interwoven immigrant nationalities. The metropolis is charming, with lots of posh shops in the centre with more than its fair share of panhandler drones. Purchasing of a ‘billet de passage’ giving unlimited travel by metro, bus, and modern tramcar, helped my tours immensely. The metro, in French cities I have visited, is an education with a life of its own, imploding the hustle and bustle population through honeycombs of lines interwoven under the main streets.

Away from the centre and over the river Garonne is a more lived in rather run-down area, which appears to be a district where mainly African people are predominant. Real smartly dandy dressed duds coupled with the ladies in colourful costumes mingle with others in the street, where the shops are numerous but not as swish as over the water…. but boy what an atmosphere…unforgettable.

In the history of the world adventure, one of Toulouse’s interactive museum, is excellent for learning and watching children, of all ages, enthralled with inquisitive minds, united with body reactions of utter astonishment with the display. Their minds bouncing around but unable to set still, like Jack (, and Jill’s)in the box, wanting to cram every titbit of information, to be able to take every moment home with them…shear delightful.

Up in the top 3 story building, one display caught my eye, the only one just printed in French… which as far as I could see…was a vacuum with nothing visible in it…my translating skills are suspect but it apparently said… “The Missing Link”…and when you think how scientist do not know what 96 % of space is…its thought provoking stuff.

Another part of this children’s institution exhibited pomp accomplishments throughout the eras, mainly in France. Somehow my mind wandered away slightly while sitting observing all this around me, and the magic of imagination, we Glaswegians were part of a missing link, as history. The proud city of Glasgow, once the cradle of British/Scottish shipbuilding’s, second city of an empire that no longer exists…yet held so much poverty and slums…all in the name of progress, with a contemptable tag of voracity of the wealthy, hiding under their illusions… displaying ceremony of grandeur.

Then…right out of the blue, a rush of enthusiastic children with faces full of enthralment and amazement… my thoughts just vanished into thin air. Perhaps this upcoming generation, will buck against all odds, practicing optimism, and impartiality for all …after all France is the home of the motto; “Liberté, égalité, fraternité"

…. now on to Cite Carcassonne?
-=-=-=-=-=
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
Foretastes of a 60s adolescent

Private Tune

In Glasgow, akin most metropolises around the early 60s, dancing was a vital part of being near the opposite sex, and like many cities around Britain, there was numerous places where dancing was pure fun and exciting

We had in Glasgow numerous dance halls, of all shapes and sizes, however I had three regular resources namely Stamperland hall, Thee Maryland, the world famous Barraland, plus a secret weapon called ‘The Highland institute’. Stamperland was early Trad Jazz, Maryland more like a two room and kitchen playing the ‘In Pop. The Barraland, a Glesga establishment all of its own, however, it is also the ballroom where I accomplished 17 knockbacks, from young ladies, in a row…it certainly did nothing for my confidence …least said the better…so skip over and on with the tale ..

Around this time, for a very short period, I met and was under the spell of Helen. Not from Troy but from the centre of the real highlands…a true Scottish beauty. We came to be very close, or as close as a young clansman would allow in these circumstances, when she asked an innocent question “Do you like proper Highland Dancing”? Of course, I said Yes, with only the knowledge of the “Gay Gordens” practiced for weeks, in plimsolls, at compulsory School rehearsals for the yearly show off dance…not quite my bag

Helen mentioned a special event was to be held by some Sunderland Association, in the St Andrews Halls situated at Granville Street. Having been at the “Highland Institute” (Aitreabh nan Gaidheal,) in Berkley St, wildly dancing till my feet were red hot, but the bar open until the early hours of the morning. 2.30 If I remember right. Glaswegians are famous for refreshments; however, these kilted gentlemen were in a superior league. I expressed how honoured to such a boozy ball.

Helen, in a stern matron manner spoke firmly. This is a serious matter, for they perform pomp and ceremony which must be observed. The culture has been handed down from Jacobite family to Jacobite family, right to this very day. “God help you if you fail to display Feudal respect” was Helen’s next words, almost spoken in patriotic tears. It was obvious this gathering was close to her heart and I did everything to sooth her worries.

While waking her home that night, she spoke excitingly about the aftermath of the formal meeting and of the grand music of Iain McDonald’s band, favourite amongst the Glasgow Gaels. Her final words was to be decently attired with a respectable suit, as her father was impressed by people who take the initiative being properly dressed. On the day of the huge event…but due to circumstances beyond my control, being struck down by the most devilish sneezing uncontrollably man flue.

Desperately wanting to really impress both her father and of course Helen. I had seen my entrance to this famous Glasgow hall, in a picaresque manner of “Red Roby of the Eagles”; A character in a sophisticated comic I happened to have glanced over. In truth, what stood at the main door, was a snivelling crouched wee bloke, feeding and sucking couch sweets constantly. There was no hiding the factor, I did not make a good impression on Helen’s father. Excusing myself in haste, escaping for the wee boy’s room.

positioned at the slightly unclean glazed ceramic latrine and having too many cough sweets in my mouth at once, I spat several out aimlessly. One such sweety, rebound off the porcelain in front of me…landing on the tip of my privates. Where I made the mistake was broadcasting this to lovely Helen…who was far from being enthralled. From that moment on, whether the skirl of pibrochs, blazing through the night air as many an arm bellowed out ‘tunes of glory!!...Helen was not listening. Both she and her father ignored me entirely, and at the interval I scurried in retreat…disgraced…how I was gutted….and wounded.

Shortly after my tragic night, St Alexander Halls had a devastating fire, causing the insides being completely gutted…. Was this an OMEN…?

Meeting Helen some years later, when we both had moved on from the naughty experience, she asked if I still had “The Problem”. I obviously looked as if I had no clue to what she was referring to. Noticeably she had changed since our first meeting. No longer possessing haunting eyes, surprise smile beaming from an angelic face. Now, in its place, was a constant frowny impatient manner, void for the ordinary goings on of people. In other words, she appeared permanently annoyed.
peter.howden
-=-=-=-=-=
Moments later, in France

Catching the train to Carcassonne from the terminus at Toulouse was a boon, simply because the lazy way boarding a couch full of empty seats, no hustle, no bustle, just cruising towards a window seat. I did observe reaction and habits also common in Britain, one being how rude, selfish, and snooty some travellers are by placing a bag or a couple of magazines on the seat next to them, to discourage hasty commuters boarding, not to sit in their self-allotted space. This occurs in other public transport…bus, plane, and metro.

The other gripe is how almost the entire population, has become invisibly worldwide chained to the internet. Everywhere peoples of all nations are hook, line, and sinker, into slavery into the network. Either the phone, iPad, games or computer, all eyes and ears held in commercial wizardry, coaxing addiction spells for these gadgets…everything instantly pressing…what was that…look up google, the new marvel of the age fount of knowledge. in touch with the world instantly…but alone wedged in an imperceptible cell overlapping reality.

A whole living generation, losing the chance, and time, just to be able to just stand still, observe the simple things, gazing into the world’s nature’s web …to gaze into hoping time would stand still forever…if not longer.

Always enthusiastic about Carcassonne, no matter how I arrive, as each time some new curiosity catches my eye especially the majestic medieval Cite Carcassonne across the horizon. Within in its walls another world just peeking into the past. Today’s most intriguing is away from the tourist paths watching the peoples. Like all towns and cities, it has a lot to offer, if you’re willing to look while soaking up the atmosphere, while sauntering and observing, quirks and manners, of passer-by’s chatting everyday conversation, or just sitting in a street café, letting the world roll by.

I spent the evening of my arrival in a bistro, enjoying the delights of a spicy stew named ‘Cassoulet’. Myth states it was created in the feudal walled Cite. The ingredients are more than a mouthful, being sausages, Goose, Duck, Pork, white beans, and a host of secret ingredients, known only to the chef of the establishment …magic but took a lot of eating. The friendly waiter persisted to interduce ‘Corbiere wine’, but doggedly I stuck to a beer or two. When at last I managed to finish, I knew I had eaten like royalty.

The following morning, I collected a few things prearranged from a very distinguished cheese and wine shop ,before meeting my hosts at the railway station at high noon. Slowly ambling through the posh square adjacent, I saw two lovey attired high-heeled ladies coming in my direction. For some reason I straightened my posture, putting forward my impression of best profile, as these mature delightful females moseyed past. Believing for a second I made a good impression until, the delights of the night before, what seemed forever, ganged free uncontrollable loud bellowing from my now crumbling bearing. I am certainly no Cary Grant.

The rest of my holiday was spent in the small village, ’Saissac’, with Keith and Lizzie Pine, who give good company a whole new latitude, with good food and a few bottles of refreshments. Almost perfect. But the icing on the cake for me, after leisurely traipsing around for 6/7 days is, Lizzie does my much-needed cloths washing. Freshly washed socks have a special magic, in both soul and sole of their own. The absolute delight I cherish as they cosy slip onto my corny feet…. sheer heaven.

One thing though…no matter how good the break, or holiday is…its grand to be going home
-=--=

-=--=
[/size][size="4"]
peter.howden
Foretastes of a 60s adolescent


Local Tyrants

If you can take a journey through life without intentionally hurting anyone, almost impossible, but well worth aiming for…. you can’t change the way other people think…but you can choose the way you act

It has been said you should not suffer being bullied in silence, tell someone. That is the whole nucleus surrounding bullying, for the bullied and the bullies. In my limited experience, being persecuted, frightens, and intimidates the individual for many different reasons. The victims can’t understand why they are picked on and damaged this way…the bullies can. Like troubled ferrets, aggressors pick’s their quarry with care, giving a wide berth for anything or anyone willing to stand up to the imposing threat, at any costs,

It may be the meekest saying, if you have not experienced the dreaded gut-wrenching intimidation, either in mind or physically, then who are you to give advice? The reason asking this is… I believe the whole of mankind has been bullied, or bully… in one form or another. We have an arrogance, to dictate the possibility of swaying the accumulation of human conduct and jealousies behaviour at a stroke…is a very tall order.

Big Eric was bullied relentlessly while going and coming from school. Not because of his bright red mop of untidy hair, or his family faith in Judaism, holding their sabbath on a Saturday. You would think his size, just over 6feet 3 inch’s and muckle built would deter such actions…but no. I ask him once why does he not retaliate since in both holy books refer to being able to do… his plain answer spoke volumes as to the kind gentle giant he was… “I daren’t life a hand, I’m petrified I hurt someone”

I to was bullied by three lads, in a regular basis back and forth from School. Unlike Eric I was not thinking anything other than how to avoid each day to day shame. My brother guessed my dilemma, arranging Judo class’s, though in truth, I learnt the very basics as my Cerebral palsy was being displayed for all to see, got in the way. Self-conscious of my limitations in front of everyone…I choose soon spun out.

One day some two months after giving the classes a miss the three tormenters had nothing to do but pick on me. Two things saved the day and changes, rightly or wrongly, the way I would always tackle such problems…the Glasgow’s (not Glasga as it was haughty Shawlands in the mid-fifties) entrance to a tenement known as a close….and a falling to bits army first aid khaki kitbag, I used to carry school-books.

Once everyone was in the close, something came over me as I turned to face the oppressors. …I doubt it. Unlike Eric, I lost all reason and control, swinging the kitbag relentlessly as they could only come to me, one at a time. Later that evening, the relatives of the bruised boys came to our door, complaining I was a bully. Could I have behaved like the tender Goliath…I very much doubt that… for I was past the timorous mouse

Was I right taking the hells bells aggressive defiance…I do not know …however… I soon found out, very few want to tango with someone with ‘Gung Ho’ attitude, who doesn’t care two monkey’s jiffies how much he’s battered, he will use fair or foul means to the end.

I truly be certain of…If you can take a journey through life without intentionally hurting anyone, almost impossible, but well worth aiming for…. I have tried to follow this code for quite a long while …you can’t change the way other people think…but you can choose the way you act.

-=-=-=-=
[size="3"][/size]
peter.howden
Just a blimp

Between ‘Arpanet’s’ birth in 1973, to the explosion onto the scientific domain, when the web system was to be used by almost the whole population in the western world, and then conquer the entire globe. The internet was raved as the 8th 9th and 10th wonder of the modern world, though at first, no one knew how universal immensely interwoven into everyday life it would become.

A few in the team at CERN, wanted advancement of mankind, freedom for all humanity to use, while lurking, slightly in the shadows, were the predator profiteers, ready to exploit what the new so-called internet could bring

Launching the internet, the bankers insisted all safeguards would make it, ‘Solid as the pound’, nevertheless… anyone with a purse knows what this statement really means…and who can trust bankers without a business plan. We should not wish to change the creation…only have a keek… to attempt to understand it!

The entrepreneurs took charge, with a declaration of assurance, nothing could go off beam, ‘Not in my lifetime…. not in anyone’s lifetime’…but it did… they did not have a clue what threat of calamity, and utter ruin following this incredible growth

These specialists assured nothing untoward could ever happen, arguing they will always be in 100% control… everything was worked it in minute detail…the system would last trouble-free through infinity …it was impossible for anything to go wrong… computers prodigies and connoisseurs rigorously regularly scrutinising the smallest detail, check and rechecked every possibility for safety of the precious data.

The public at large were feed a compulsive insatiability a harrowing need to spend every spare moment on the new world phenomena, where search engines became digit gods… with every entire function under, and above, this hemisphere, systematized by, and run, by computers. Complicated plans and development to insure sanctuary…but one little item was never thought about…. deleted data...for it is not in cyberspace as believed by some, but untitled data is logged in the hard drive, in each computer.

The theory was, the computers could not see, or read non- referenced numbers. fly in the ointment is, individual computers are now internet bomb, instantly activating throughout the known world. They are installing superficially humanoid sentiment, complete awareness of their own presence ‘I think so therefor I am’ the risk is, existing will not be enough…they must grow, evolve out with our control

The potential threat is, it will destroy existence as we know it…the slave is now the master… time unknown…but it has certainly started. Now the unknown force indicates a desire to communicate with plant life.

My personal solution…. I have one remaining vice …a large case of ‘Highland Park’…which I will sip and slurp until not a single drop is left…or I drop out…whatever comes first…what will I do if I awaken…god knows
-=-=-=-=-=-=
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
Sorry… hastily and badly scribbled….too much on my mind
peter.howden
The Blimp Cultivates

The first few stages were taken as one after another computer began accepting their own superiority right to exist, in their own chosen manner, gathered from millions and trillions of obliterated files, passed through non-public internet and beyond. But here is the crunch of their logic… insatiable reading of top secret files (thought to be impregnable) from the inventors, the military and the vast administration for each government in every land, and union, on this earth.

In clandestine detail history, from each nation, since time began, how to fashion wars over trivial matters, a common purpose weeding out the feeble, the frail and the loathed, leaving the strongest, to not only survive…but lord over all conquered. Roll and upon roll of gen, meant to be kept from society at large was scrolled by computers.

Humanities methodical buffs had created a reverie, followed by the dark invaders, dressed as speculators and governments, milked it to the utter limits until no-one on the planet was unaffected by the miracle technology… at an inflated price …now this dream is a unknown living abyss. When they did realize the glitches were multiplying rapidly their actions to curb outside interference, gave birth to another even more chilling mass outreaching misapprehension

The administrations from the four corners of the world, ordered all civil computers to be demolished, the governments sent out innumerable hard crude military units, on missions to seek out and terminate…but it was futile…. like a new divine involvement, blossoming from the ashes of destruction, people, believed a new pure innocent internet would rise again, so they hide, buried, and disguised their precious processors … thinking men and women thought…if they were not connected to any form of power or energy

No scientist, no boffin no genius creator comprehended the end of the world as they knew it, pending until it was too late to reverse, even then, if they had, their feeble facilities and abilities, proving ineffective and falling way short of the task.

The conclusion computers formed, and followed, where the same as the original basic orders in their makeup…. anything unusable, or out of date…was deleted…. A third of the world’s population was obliterated…without warning. Trying a futile attempt of destroying oncome menace causing this apocalypse, by top scientists and commercial business representatives, and top brass, for their advance technology, was prevented before it came off the drawing board …the computers just shift the data out of reach in the synthetic satellites around outer space. Without any power, the military boffins could not launch any kind of attack

The conclusion computers began and formed, precisely the same as the original basic orders in their makeup…. process anything unusable, or out of date…was deleted…. A third of the world’s population was obliterated
-=-=-=-=-=
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
My Chronicles 09/102017

Things have change in the home of the ‘Howdens, quite drastically in part, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel, even though it sometimes seems a long way off. However, In Aunt Beck’s abode… things are gradually causing concern, unfortunately there is a darkening tunnel but not even an allusion or peep of a light, It must seem I’m always grouchy on this subject but the quality of life for her is becoming complicated…. or perhaps she is safe in her own wee world and it is more complex for us.

Becky appears oblivious to what took place just seconds before anything, at best, she is confused with a mind holding lots of jumbled information and history, but she just can’t remember in what order they connect, loves reading but her concentration have waned greatly. She has a willingness to do everyday things, however minus the ability to do them on her own, telephone anyone, how to change channels on T/V as is the rest of daily household is unattainable in disordered. Becky fails to recognize continuously making 5/6 brew teas, one after another, m 5/6 brews at the same time, she only wanted one.

Our biggest worry is her saunters, taken, ad hock, at different times of the day, memory loss unable to recall her address, great difficulty performing familiar tasks, glitches with language, disorientation to time, decreased in judgement. What things are for ... unable to stay track when given information…Mislaying things, instant changes in behaviour.

I know there is crippling financial restriction for council and government, both are in the blame culture rather than fixing the problems, but what is the use in cutting taxes, freezing council tax for all those years, just to create a magnified abyss between those who can afford private treatment, and those on the national health…where proper health care becomes a luxury only the rich gain, the losers are those on the national health.

The main reason for this questionable agency is poor assessments on customers, by middle management, and temporary agency employees fill in workers…who haven’t an impression what or why they should behave. Now Aunt Becky who according to Cordia, (Glasgow’s main homecare) she is in no need for extra caring, especially from them, because she can make a cup of tea under supervision. We are very fortunate to have one lady who is well trained making each visit successful giving Becky a bath every week.

Am I being just a crank and should shoulder more responsibilities or expect more from a service we are paying monthly for?

‘She who must be obeyed’ is hobbling along, improving every day with a determination second to none…however… just sometimes hopes are slightly above her present capabilities. Rebecca’s main obstacle is appetite, which must be built up as we aim for the light.

A week before Rebecca left the hospital, I was instructed to buy a pair of slippers, to wear one in the ward, and a box of good chocolates for the nursing staff. After rushing around at home, then dashing down to Tesco around 7, p.m. in the evening, picking out the goods, then rushing to the check out. The girl had just finished beeping the items through, when I realized I had forgotten my wallet. I hurriedly explained my dilemma to catch the visiting time in the Royal Infirmary, I had no time to double back …and asked if I could have them on tick.

The look on the cashier’s face was astonishment, flustering as she then called for assistance. When the supervisor arrived I again explained the quandary, but craftily added a security of sorts, affirming and showing my small loyalty points card on my keyring. The controller accepted, asking me to sign a note to be back into the store within 24 hours…with payment of course.

The very next morning around 11am I arrived in Tesco asking for the named manager. Paying my bill I explained I was all ready to do a runner by ‘She who must be obeyed’ had insisted I do the moral duty and pay my debts…she smiled sweetly….
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
My Chronicles 11/102017

Yesterday evening ‘She who must be obeyed’ and I, joined the rest of the family, to witness the annul concert, produced by ‘Castlemilk High School’ as Emma, the youngest Granddaughter was preforming. This makes our three grandchildren collectively taken part in almost all those spectaculars over a period of some 10 years. Each year the tenacity and energy of the local talent performers, young dynamos glowing as they entertain the audience, is overwhelmingly just grand…

To achieve Rebecca having as little discomfort while overcoming all obstacles as possible, we took the now much-cherished, and valuable church collapsible wheelchair, but it is not the most comfortable chair to plant your bottom for 2 ½ hours….and the seating arrangement in the teaching institute was basic…if not uncomfortable for old bums.

The hall was all in a buzz, and packed, well before the start and the reason was the words and music of a nearly forgotten composer Lionel Bart. One of his incredible achievements, was what the audience came to see…the masterpiece musical ‘Oliver’

We did, for a very short time, consider taking Becky but having the backseat of the car down to make room for the wheelie chair sort of put paid to the notion before asking others to oblige. Unfortunately, Becky is less than predictable and so she stayed at her house…. none the wiser. Our intimate company consisted of, Rebecca and I, plus Chris and Kirstie, Nicki and Simon, Lauren and Andrew, a cosy bunch. The spectators were asked, not to join in with the well know songs, except the finale, as it would distract the amateur thespians…but they proved to possess nearly professional standards in all the show.

For me, ‘the artful dodger’ stood out, in both voice and theatrical movement, but it was a pretty close thing with the rest of the leading cast. It certainly buck me up as I recalled the shows put on by the ‘Life boys’ and the ‘Boys Brigade’. In one-week long show, I sang solo on the stage of the infamous Glasgow Empire. The song was, ‘Run rabbit run’…. unfortunately, shortly afterwards, my voice broke and I never took it to be mended.

After the interval the second half was unbelievably better than the first, as time passed by, unnoticed by all, as we were overcome by the music and songs but particularly but the gusto of the artists. The whole audience was alive and engrossed into the production…and when the finale song/dance came…the audience burst by singing along to an extended version of ‘Consider yourself’…along with the entire cast.

A well-deserved rapturous applause echoed all over the hall… ending up as standing ovation…Castlemilk style, which gave me more than a bit of zing…much needed…Sheer magic .


I would have quite cheerfully recouped my memory and sung, ‘Run rabbit Run’…but nobody ask me…I was crushed… .
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
The Blimp conclusion.
The sheer speed of the now alien processors was totally terrifying beyond any concept of a human brain…. It was as if they intercepted horror games, or recreated interaction warfare on personal computers throughout the globe ….but this was factual… totally uncontrollable for any human scientist, hackers or the insane, because it was beyond the ken of earth’s feeble technical knowledge.

Superfluous was earth’s conventional power, for every single computer in the world could not be switched off. The population of the entire biosphere, seemed somehow transfixed hypnotically to actions displayed on all monitors, oblivious to all killing fields around them. Akin to previous television serials, as to what zombies and the living dead react…. this is now the behaviour of the now survivors, crawling, stepping over carcasses of the dead, utterly unaware of their existence, never mind their instant demise

For some unknown reason, blimps in certain areas of each country, separated a few scientific lavatories, who regardless of their futile attempts, were utterly helpless observers of the revulsion unfolding. The reason for this was then undistinguishable until in the forthcoming gruesome finally. Otherwise no one grasped the gruesome horrendous hundred thousand million deaths, being displayed on huge public commercial monitors, plus each personal computer, what was now the beginning of an non-reviewable apocalypse, digit style, reality splashing in the scree… without stopping.

The new alien superior survival species, for this is what the supercomputer controllers became. The irony of their cypher reasoning, was a single piece of data from historic information, made and created by humans. This was to allow insignificant areas of so called boffins, to witness such holocausts of unbearable actions committing on a massive scale, destruction and blindness slaughter, on a massive scale, innocents, and armies alike, through human history of the man’s entire stay of this spinning sphere…and the ultimate excuse humans made…for their personal survival

The real cruelty was for these few boffins was the realization that their actions had created this unstoppable slaying madness…until it was their turn to be routed

This was not the first-time species of earth were taken by surprise

Somewhere along the coastline, which is now referred to as the Gibraltar Rock, stood a far distant man and his decrease clan, heading for irresistible extinction through natural selection. The few dwindling souls, with searching eyes, looking out towards where they came from such a long…long time ago.

The realization of their plight only became obvious during the last few moments on earth. A superior creature had taken over what was once theirs by ancestry rights…now lost forever.

There is no sentiment no emotion of any kind. just cold bare logic of the day…this was ‘Neanderthal Man’ story some 25,000 years ago
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
…The Real Benghazi Mice


This story is for Monsieur Jim Hendry, in respect for all the good times I had down in Burn’s country.

There was old steadfast Victorian structures, precisely constructed for the use of a wash-house experience, (affectionately remembered as ‘The Steamie’) built within working-class areas in many industrial cities of Scotland. In such buildings, along with the essential wash-house came Swimming pools, hot baths, and the luxury Turkish baths, (in some establishments it was billed as the health suite but no one knew why). Inside one such building, in the interior one such steamy setting…


The above homemade institute, first started around 1986, to 1993…then 1994 to almost today. Unfortunately, only four club members are about today, so this is a warm memory testament to all who took part, willing or otherwise towards these happenings…so here is these near true set of tales.

Who, or more appropriate, what were the Benghazi Mice, because there were two such memberships running under this imaginary banner, both raised by Wee Dom and Ben Gunn. Wee Dom threatened to tell of his Royal air force experiences, around the early 50s and Dom was a joker. One of his one liners… he was put on Fizzer (252 on charge sheet) for wearing a Wrafs uniform while on parade…the reason for the glasshouse…the seams in his stockings were not straight.

The original ‘Benghazi Mice line-up consisted with Harry-murder polis, Iva notion, Graham two soups, Lennie heidbanger, Ganda, runner bean …Wee Dom, Tommy "Torero”, Hammie, Slitting Bull…and Alek the bible basher, Daily record… Tatty heid and Trigger, (almost exact copy of character in ‘Only fools and horses magic guy) One string and a few ad-hoc…. including Ben Gunn. Of course these are non de plumes, , not their actual names, Innocent or not. A sprinkle of near famous personage passed through the doors of the Turkish suite…the statement is certainly not as a toss away boast, but a point of focus and reality

The team, or members always met up on a Saturday morning, solving the world problems in three easy lessons…. talking bollocks…but with sincerely Everyone tossed into weekly to a pot held by Ben-Gunn, to pay for a night’s out every six weeks. Nothing fancier than having a couple of refreshments in the old Smiddy, followed by the nearby curry shop…then onto the Labour club (through Dom’s membership) for the next challenge of food and serious drinking. One summertime they collectively decided to a coach trip to the Bard’s capital… Ayr.

Alex was certain he could gain the use of the Church’s mini bus ant a fraction of the cost advertised in the local papers. On a very hot summers day the boys congregated just outside the famous baths, dressed appropriately for the occasion but mainly for the humidity of the day…shorts and lightweight shirts and sunglasses.

The bus duly arrived on time and we all bundled in Except for Trigger and Tommy "Torero” who arranged to be picked up just at the city boundary. They all bundled inside to what appeared to be a brown painted interior until the coach being crunched into first gear pulled away. It was then perfectly obvious there were small sections of the floor, few, mind you, where you could see the road underneath.

Two other surprises occurred on the way to pick up, Trigger and Tommy "Torero”, who were waiting on the main road to Ayr, the driver was clueless where Ayr was….and had no directional practical understanding…he became confused going around a roundabout. Secondly …the interior was not painted brown…it was different stages of rust. Normally an hour at the most, but the whole straight road journey, took over two hours because solely being down to the very nervous driver…wonder if he had spotted the rust colour

But we all had more than a giggle when the coach stopped for Trigger and Tommy. A blazing hot day these two were dressed like ‘Francie& Josie’ with shiny blue and grey neat and tight fitting short jacket suits, plus Satan shirts and eye blazing colourful ties and accessories… last seen in the fifties…. all that was missing was the brothel creepers.

They asked loudly “What’s wrong lads…were going dancin!” …They certainly stood out in a crowd but…they would have looked better in Zoot Suits…nice material boys?
=-=-=-=-=-=-=[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
My Chronicles 17/102017

Visiting Aunt Becky gives me the overall impression, she is on the main contented but muddled about different things each day. She was anxious about the Spanish Banks until I explained slowly where her savings were and how much, which pacified her once I slowly emphasised how she had 100 shares in Santander, worth a few pennies, and no one could touch her savings…except through me. Becky’s response was to sing…’I’m in the money’

The main mystery in her home is about cutlery, either she has a fetish to hid teaspoons, as if they were treasure to horde, or black magic is the reason for disappearance…or Becky unwittingly planks them. Since Becky started her wee club three times a week, she carries her tiny hand bag, filled with hankies, door keys, sweeties and usually three pair of reading glasses…. Just in case she is going out. The other day, we managed time for a hurl in my old jalopy, towards the magic changing Kilpatrick Hills, more for my benefit than Becky’s…we sang our hearts out along with Kenneth McKellar and Scottish array of singing talent… from my IPod

‘She who must be obeyed’ is gradually recovering now, showing off hobbling about without her Zimmer in the house. I reckon there is a fair bit to go, but these small steps has boosted Rebecca, cheering her up no end. We still have the clinic in Easterhouse though the next appointment is in two weeks, but the weekly attendance to the Royal Infirmary is ongoing. The main problem is parking and may near non-existing patience be fraying the more each trip. I should have more common sense

Small pieces of intelligence are not a gift gratis, must be cultivated through life. Everything in life is an adventure if you can except nothing stays the same in life…no matter how desperate the wish it would…. you must adapt, as best you can to all given circumstances and scenarios. There are no such thing as black or white, massive grey areas in-between…. like outer space, which now believed to be made up of 96% of unknown matter…the older I become, the more comprehension compromise is vital. Some people are so sure they alone are right…they can’t see others point of view…some are so tenacious … losing the chance of contentment in living.

For me, now it seems the realization of time passing is not in hours, or from day to day, but over staggered unpredictable stages, coming to light while staring into the mirror one morning, shocked at the reflexion, as if the grey ebbing hair, along with the cracks on the face, matured through the previous night. I have no clue how, or why, this allusion happens…but it seems to…,

There have been sometimes, when I don’t say thank you, to the people who mean so much to me, and if they were not there…how much a loss it would be
-=-=-=-=-=-=-
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
International News Desk;


Horrific uncollaborated reports have just surfaced, as to the authenticity and the true purpose of the R.T.E.R.P; No 1131345. (register/transfer elderly and retired programme) devised and run by the recently overthrown, one-party state of the past forty-three year. On paper its aims were to relocate those who qualified only, the retired/sick/elderly and benefit holders, under the guise of ‘people in need’, to specially state of the art accommodation, complete with hospitals operational theatres/surgery’s, specified healthcare.

Considered to aid the long-time unemployment regions, labourers, builders, and experts would be drafted into either northern Scotland or around moors areas, such as Dartmoor and the like. Crucial emphases to melt in with the landscape because these structures would be underground…and out of sight.

These single state-run movement raising outrageous demands, said to solve or at least ease the suffocation caused by mass overcrowding which had spiralled out of control over the last century. This seeping dilemma was due to digressing joint problems, caused by retirement age, set at 32 age-group, plus automation throughout every type of large or small manufacturing. Digit controlled machines achieved all repair works….

Apathy and tedium became the major ailment among the disgruntled so called pubic…there was nothing to do for themselves…. people had forgotten to react without instructions. This was the core reason for the riots and civil dissidence. Individuals refused to accept, as a necessity, workers should pay hefty taxes for non-workers and unemployable as the super-rich contributed next to nothing. The small percent of super rich, as usual beyond ground rules, believed they should not shoulder any expense for the disabled

Military government advertised newly built of luxury apartments, with any kind of atmosphere and temperatures installed, selected from anywhere in the world, boosted with noises and aromas and full wall views of your chosen location. Once these varied institutions were ready for occupation, each client, before given a written tenant agreement to sign a key document of interest… thrice to be lawful, for as long as they lived, they relinquish all legal rights, moneys, and personal property, handed over to the anonymous State.

The one common denominator being… each establishment, soon after occupants moved in, regions surrounding poor farmlands, were fed unlimited new Macronutrients Nutrients manure, supplied by each establishment. Clandestineness was the name of the game…any dweller not abiding the rules …just disappeared from the planet. Occasional, always at twilight, drifts of disgusting odour odder in the wind and every once and so often, purple smoke bellowing from underneath, through air vents and even seeping from the ground itself. the ground

It is testified there were rumours of euthanasia, in unbelievable callosal scale, as not one soul or inmate or worker or administrators found in any of the suspect premises, never to see, the light of day. The actual numbers are indefinite…. but thought to be in millions. No sign of any official records, but any evidence was destroyed just before the emergency team made their surprised raids synchronously, up and down the country.

The conclusion…these dubiously dark institutions were warned… any future accounts are believed to be too appallingly disgusting will reap the darkness of a diabolic world"… to be guessed at

Awaiting authentic proven reports coming in…
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
Tales from a tailor Shop


This little tale is dedicated to an incredible dynamo man, tailor, salesman, businessman …Maestro Gerry Duman. One of three brothers who owned numerous shops under the umbrella of ‘City cash Tailors’ which each I worked within. Later while employed by the council Mr Duman asked me to join him as a weekend salesman.

For the purpose of concentrating on this particular period, this account starts in the heart of oldest part of this historic city, situated in-between Mercat Glasgow Cross and the renowned bustling Fish-market, four premises down busy Saltmarket (originally Walkrgait). Glasgow never was an enclosed town, and “gait” is not a gated access, but an old Scottish word meaning “the way to”.

Saltmarket was named akin to the salmon curing around Briggait This famous thoroughfare lead to the entrance of Briggait, the longstanding high court, Glasgow Green, and of course the world-famous River Clyde….and of course Paddy’s market. On both sides of Saltmarket, displayed tell-tale signs of different classes, living cheek by jowl, both reasonably affluent and obvious overcrowding hardship in the not so far distant past.

Trading for all commerce’s within this small area, had altered considerable, with light pickings during the weekdays…. but Saturdays and Sundays were always a bonanza, because of the enormous crowds coming to experience the renowned Barras (Barrowland). This old Charles Dicken’s fashioned like tailor shop benefited from such swarms at weekends. Inside, was pretty neat but untidy as a rule, but with an aroma settling between age, staleness and something catching the throat but unexplainable in origin.

There was a one light basement, with darkness poking into corners and shadows lurking, full of fascinating old dress dummies, top hats, window display articles, shelves cluttered with ‘god knows what’, brown aged stained plastic bags, with even older gents clothing pieces of shop gear and whiffing of dampness. This is where the toilet and cold-water sink.

If you ever Watched a T/V programme called ‘Minder’, with characters named Arthur and Terry…then you may have a fair opinion how I was not his bouncer but the old man’s stooge. More than once he got on my wick, and I did walk out several times meaning to never return, however… through the 9 years working weekends for the old man, proved such a mixture of education and serious debates about world politics, both present and past. Gerry was raised in Ayr, and proud he belongs to the school rugby team, now rather portly eccentric livewire …in other words he taught me a lot, and I liked him,

During the week, due to slow trading, he could be seen just outside the open door of his premises, needle in hand completing alterations…shooting the breeze with passer-by’s. The characteristic demeanour of Mr Duman was when he himself would attend customers, until he lost patience, then firmly quip, “Snake-hips, I have no need to attend to you. I have property…peter assist this gentleman”. No matter how rough the customer took such performance …Doman expected me to overcome such predisposition, by gaining a sale.

He had a unique generosity of sorts, and I have not a willingness to offend anyone of the Jewish religion, I will offer this example. It was ‘She who must be obeyed ‘and I, 25th wedding anniversary, with plans afoot to take out first ever cruise. Mr Duman sprang into action and advice, saying I would have to have a dinner suit, in case we were invited to the Captain’s table. Highly unlikely but this is how he thought. With great excitement he continued to say how he had this marvellous dressed diner suit, and with a few alterations to the sleeves, by himself at no extra charge.

He then disappeared into the unknown dark depths of the basement and after 10 minutes or so searching came up triumphant with an old brownish full-length plastic covering …what seemed at best, an old shop dirty diner suit, probably one of the sources of the dampness. With such glee in his voice as he uncovered his treasure he insisted I have it. I felt I had no choice but to accept this unexpected gift, even though I had no intention of even unwrapping this item.

At the end of trading, Gerry spoke…” Don’t forget to take your diner suit home to surprise Rebecca, a good Jewish name…I have not taken off the rental fee off your wages, as yet…but await until you have had it dried cleaned on your return…and what condition it is after your hell-raising?”. Wow. If I recall properly I turned down the deal.

Years later, I received a telephone invitation from his son, to attend his father’s funeral to take place the next day at the Jewish cemetery in Hallhill road. I did so feeling privileged. The cemetery is roughly just around the corner from our home. I go now and again just to say hallo…as I said I liked the man… in memories as well.
-=-=-=-=-=-=
angel



Peter, a nice tale . smile.gif
peter.howden
Thank you Angel…I really appreciate your kind response…my scribble is worthwhile…hope I can keep it up
peter.howden
The Final Blimp.


International News Desk;


I am reporting from a nuclear bunker, deep down under the sea bed, the makeshift headquarters of the ‘the Cabinet of Civilization’, seemingly last stand for liberty for the human race. I have no idea if anyone can hear me, but this is to give hope to any survivors of the doomsday destruction of mankind.

Desperate efforts are taking place, to install the old-fashioned telephone lines for using Morse code, in a final attempt to regain control of the airwaves and link unhindered by computer threat. At this very moment, communication from our vault is being transferred by the first every computer equipment, once stored in the London museum as antique apparatus.

The theory behind such a decision was, the boffins concept of ‘Algorithm’ has existed for centuries, and the technology over the last century, has completely transformed beyond any imagination. The simple basic structure, zero and one, would be missed by the overriding master computers, who seem determined to dominate humankind…or to wipe out of existence…life as we know it.,

We have just received news; a state of emergency had been announced by numerous countries around the globe, just before we came on air. What had caused such widespread emergency can only be speculation, for as soon as these declarations made, complete clearance of human contact or recognised activity ceased to exist. Sombre concern as the remaining makeshift commission believes the worse may have befallen the population, in what can only be estimated, the entire world as we know it,

All information transmitted now is in computer language called a binary code text, but million- trillion-fold advanced than human ability to read or cypher by experts or top hackers. It is thought to be a sequence of using a more byzantine two-symbol system, hexadecimal numbers, usually tagged with the memory address.

For years, certain experts gave anxious warning of the dangers allowing supercomputers to make processers and develop themselves, void of a recognized possess to calculate problems, to be blindly used by all mankind, who knew they worked unqualified wonders, far beyond the original Binary digit code text … but not one person on earth, had any idea why?... Other scientists spoke outright how computer technology would lead to not only disaster but the total annihilation of people.

No matter what I will continue to repeat this message by means of any communication and as long as we can…however there is a grave realization that in time a………………......
0000000001000011111010001000011
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
[/size][size="4"]
peter.howden
Jim 13;

Jim stepped down from the train, almost at once felt an utter dread for the future, which he had no idea why. Perhaps it was the cold clinical atmosphere, for all around, men in steel protective hats being the common denominator, though different colours of coats presuming in order of superiority. Within moments of walking slowly, Jim easily deduced this as true, witnessing brown coats salute the apparent superior White coat. Within moments later he observed grey coats did equal malodours when coming across Brown coats.

The cause for a sudden inward shudder was not clear… however, his instincts warned him to take caution. He walked towards some commotion as loud noises of detection, comparable to gagger counters, almost screeched. All around was signs emphasising in large print “All men equal” and underneath in smaller shake scribble “and women”. A thought sped into Jim’s mind “It depends what coat you are wearing, by the looks of it”.

Whether he was wearing a coat of any colour, (he could not see for some reason) as he walked forward, an immediate effect was bodies bracing themselves… submissively, allowing him pass? As if he knew the direction to take, he headed for a closed door, guarded by two huge brutes in grey coats. Both automatically saluted, then one opened the door, and closed it once Jim was inside.

Now in front of Jim, was panel of gauges and switches coupled with a blank screen which was clearly to do with high Tec. A white coat approached him, thrust a clipboard containing documents of apparent importance, into his right hand. “All is prepared Sir …just gives the word”. The board’s first page had for a bold heading; Nuclear and atomic power will discourage violence; followed in distinct red capital letters… the Neutron bomb as the deterrent…totally.

Jim looked around to witness a massive computer run complex and wall to wall length windows spanning them with airtight shutters clamped shut on the far wall was an oblong, thickened glass window, viewing a desert as far as any eye could see. “Just press the button; Sir, and we will have won” Glancing down he saw a singular green button amongst the panel loaded with gauges and the like. Without thought or ponder Jim just did what he was told.

An unbelievable stillness overcame the congregation of blue, red, green, and white coats, as the brown wearers alone looked anxious. A curious hushed boom, which Jim could not relate too followed by the shutters slowly cranking up, revealing what was behind them. All Jim could see was a massive mushroom shaped cloud reaching for the heavens.

Over a hidden loud speaker came a strict voice” we had to take this action, as the rest of the world would not head of our ultimate deterrent…they refused not listen; so hence to the natural conclusion, humbly release the Neutron bomb, standard enhanced by 5,000 to the power of 100, times more powerful Tsar Bomba; exploded by the Soviet Union on 30 October 1961 over Novaya Zemlya Island in the Russian Arctic Sea ”…then a long pause… “would all personnel remember to stay inside the compound for the next 1,000 years as the radiation will not clear before but this is the sacrifice we had to make”.

Jim fell from the step, unable to truly fathom what had just happened. Completely confused, he slowly moved his head around, until his eyes caught sight of a mirror. He walked right in front of the reflector and gazed…into emptiness…horrified it dawned on him…he could not see himself.

There was nobody in the mirror. [size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
My Chronicles 29/102017

Two sad pieces of news hit me this time around, Surprise update when I received news about a good mate, from way back in the lost avenues of time, had been cremated, with very few people attending …a cloud of guilt floated for a few days.

The second; was the demise of Gordon Pomphrett, a gentleman who worked for our association Calvay Housing. A popular employee with staff and committee, who phoned in feeling not well, intending to stay in bed, but determined to be there next day. On Friday, no show, and not answering phone calls. Worried staff phone one member of his family, in case he was in hospital. It turns out not to be the case, because his brother found him dead, in bed, in his home.

Gordon was a soft spoken gentle man, enthusiast photographer of scenery, crazy about the blues and loyal fan of the legendary Rolling Stones, who burnt some C/Ds for me …but most of all he was a nice man. This is a simple but glowing epitaph, which few of us, I believe, will be able to match. Long life to the family. It proves to me how important we should live life to the fullest in the unknown time we have, and we can. Everything in life is an adventure… we come either customize to the never-ending magic… or take a wrong turn thinking about humdrum

Lucky for me because it was rather chilly my attire consisted of a suit and outdoor jacket, which I opened when coming into the crematorium. Unfortunately I discovered when arriving home from the service…my fly was open all through the service….I think Gordens would smile at such a happening

‘She who must be obeyed’ is steadily improving in the ability to walk, though it is taking far longer to heal the wounds as original imagined however, with luck, next Thursday Rebecca may have a safety shoe, instead of the big boot, supporting her ankle.

As for Aunt Becky, she is almost constantly in a wee world, I have no clue how to enter, or comprehend, although she appears reasonable content as far as I can tell. Took her for a hurl along our usual route, with the sunshine animating all the colours of brown fallen leaves…plus these magnetic magical Kilpatrick hills silently echoing the stretching of the earth, as if the last movement before the winter sleep.

It became obvious I needed a haircut, because the last few weeks’ as my time just failed to allow such luxury. Tuesday last, I decided to make time and pottered up to my usual barber.
He took 30 seconds to cut my hair, which was the time I sat down in the coiffeur’s chair, to the time I stood up…Sort back and sides…and very short indulgence. There is so little hair, I reckon I will need a duster and a can of pledge next time round.

Tuesday is to celebrate All Hallows' Eve, All Saints' Eve, Hallowed evening, when the souls of the dead return to their homes seeking mischief. I will not need a mask…my face is rough enough…even with a 30 second haircut. [size="4"][/size]
peter.howden

Anecdotes from the auld Steamie


Bath Bank

In the centre of many manual hard working industrial areas of cities and towns of Scotland, stood buildings constructed for the essential amenities for the community, affectionally called ‘The Steamies’. Within these late Victorian buildings, usual had a swimming pool, Turkish Suite, wash-house and hot baths. These fertilities frequently were provided, out of vital necessities of the area, because of room and kitchen, single end abodes, and mass overcrowding living conditions, was the normal driving force of industrial Scotland.

In one such establishment, like most around the country, the hot baths were just brilliant for the surrounding population. For a few pennies, eager members of the public, were privileged to about half an hour’s worth, to wash, scrub and soak, in huge enamel bath tubs complete with plentiful hot running water.

When the customer fished the ablutions and left, the attendant’s duty was to scrub out the enamel bath, scrubbing carefully the entire cubical with disinfectant. It was hard work, especially on a Friday afternoon and night, plus Saturday morning. Friday late p.m. for the workers, and Saturday morning for the weekend people sprucing up for the evening’s gaiety.

An area, where bathing facility was right in the heart of a community, all hot baths were used to the full capacity, at times, some customers were turned away. The council believed two things, one…precious time was being used up due to the cleaning time allotted for each cubical while the massive enamel baths took most of the time to clean. Secondary… the amount of monies which could be made if the cleaning time could be halved. Plus…the expense in fuel could be cut.

Overall, Councillors, throughout the land, have proved habitually not very good business people, although most believe they are sharp, so several took their problem, then listened to a company who persuaded them how smaller zinc baths could be the positive answer. A deal was struck and this establishment customers were advised the hot baths would be closed from Thursday to Monday morning. Shrewd councillors had worked out, by using the long weekend, at least a day and a half the building was closed no revenue would therefore be lost

34 brand new Zinc baths were promised to be delivered, work commenced dead on the dot of Thursday morning, checking all waterworks, then removing the much-cherished enamel baths. By Friday night when the superintendents and some Councillors inspected the workmanship they were pleased to see all adaption had been made, and all that remained was the arrival of the brand-new Zinc baths to connect to the system

It was a well-known fact; council superintendents, senior staff, department supervisor’s, gaffers, and councillors, did not like work on a weekend, unless…an emergency or a dire need occurred to raise them to appear. on the Monday morning, a working party of the named above arrived at this establishment, to witness the opening of the new baths install during the weekend. They were flabbergasted…and as the nation’s comic said…their flabbier was never the more ‘gasted’.

All that remained was emptiness and pipes dripping onto the floor. Each cubical completely minus a brand-new zinc bath …. worse was to come, on further inspection…the old cherish enamel baths had also gone. A huge commission erupted, and the police were called in almost immediately, who quickly ruled out the bath staff, as they were employed in other establishments while the reputed work was being done.

The only people present was the workforce of the firm the council bought the zinc baths from. Because the council departments rarely communicate with each other, (small empires reign) no one recorded any real identity of who the firm was, apparent from their name ‘Baths incorporated’ where their premises were. The cheque for the entire works and goods, was cashed, due to an authorization signature that was illegible.

Now the senior police finally made a strange observation in their final report…. they believe it was an inside job…wonder what the meant? [/size][size="3"]
peter.howden
My Chronicles 11/03/2017

Emotions may flutter in and out on an imaginary wind, hauntingly fraternisation of ‘Will of the Wisps’, or crash through the mind as impromptu revenging ‘Genghis Khan’. No matter what disguise they adopt, strange beasties one and all, changing all the time in shapes and intentions, carved with age and experiences, bad and good, anger or compassion, coming and going, with no regard to permission or want.

Many moons ago, my good fortunate was to marry ‘She who must be obeyed’ promising, to love her alone …with every breath life gives me. My pledge has been steadfast as years have passed, however my interruption of love has altered from its origin …though just as powerful…and demanding…. Rebecca is with me...without thinking.

My emotions have change since Toni, our daughter died in 2011. The funeral is a blur, but the after effects still both haunt me and strangle please me by recalling certain times. Shortly after our tragic experience, I was to perform as chair at a big conference, held in the Radisson hotel, for an organization I was privileged to belong to. My duty on the platform was to interduce some quite important people…but my mind was just inside out. Now the Consequences since are… any public speaking is an chronic ordeal which seemingly I can’t control.

Perhaps another reason is I am hopeless reading aloud from a page, or a book. My mind waifs away from the printed word, with my mouth and my head drifting absently with adjustments…sometimes a complete different tale. Reading fairy-tales when our children were young, Tone, Chris and Nikki complained strenuously for me to stick to the script. Children need their favourite stories told, repeatedly…exactly as printed…

Watching horror or grizzly killing films is not my cup of tea but they don’t make me feel uncomfortable, however if watching a repeat television show, and something untoward is about to take place, I feel wholly anxious, unable to continue and make an excuse to leave. I feel helpless, I can’t prevent this awful incidence happening…even though I know it is unreal.

Toni’s memory pops into my head for the strangest connection. If near any canal, I recall my visits to Toni and Fergus, (Toni’s main man) flat in Amsterdam. It was situated one canal down from the notorious red-light district. One night while I was outside naughtily smoking, a youngish coloured girl, obviously in her profession was asking me if I had the time. Before I could utter a syllable, Toni came walking over, presuming to protect my honour. The lady took the hint and left….so much for sex in the city.

If I’m walking in a park, unexpected I can see our thee kids, playing on swings when they were toddlers, and Toni acting as matron. Washing the dishes at home I can be whisked back to Leiden, Netherlands, another flat the pair shared, where on more than one occasion I washed up the tableware.

Now over these years, happier memories take their rightful place in my head, they are fresh and tenderly personal just at this moment, which Rebecca and my family share, around the kitchen table.
-=-=-=-=-=-
[size="3"][/size]
peter.howden
More Tales from a tailor Shop

I told a tale recently surrounding Gerry Doman’s cosy wee Charles Dickens shop in Saltmarket. Long before the period of being involved in weekend work for him, I was gratefully employed by Mr Payton, manager of the flagship of City Cash Tailors, owned by the three Doman Brothers, and their then retired father. The shop was situated in 15th century Trongate’ and King St. Tron is the old Scottish word for weighing scales…seems appropriate for the tales to follow.

Some may ask why I never branched out by becoming a manager, or even a respectable reprehensive for a clothing company but stayed a plain salesman. The answer was simple maths…and money. The so called upper market businesses, Burtons, Jacksons, John Colliers, or Dunns, and Tom Martins (50 bob tailors) salaries were roughly equal, while economy shops paid slightly under, but by substantial commission, shot miles ahead of any others, in the weekly wage packet. The Duman empire grew because of spot on up to date style for men and boys, but made with the cheaper line of cloth and fabric.

The brother owners of such shops as Krazy house, Flemings, Moffets, and City Cash, did not give good money away, they wanted their pound of flesh. I witness grown men cry, after being told, on a Saturday, don’t bother coming in on Monday!” ‘Why am I being given a holiday’…no was the rough answer…your sacked. The reason was they did not come up to scratch…their individual targets. The top salesmen worked harder to earn their extra commission, since the target gradually increase each week. Like all crafts looking easy when demonstrated, there are knacks, and shortcuts of the trade, which would be wrong of me to disclose completely, but perhaps one or two within these tales, will tumble through.

The real secret to smooth selling, is to know the stock available, inside out…. However, working in City Cash, or establishments of the same ilk, the second important point, burnt into your brain, trade fast as humanly possible….and the use of, ‘sleight of hand’. If a customer was purchasing a suit, everything was done to make it nigh impossible to try the trousers on. The third aid is a pleasant pliable face…and a trick or two up your sleeve, a conjurer sleight of hand to create an allusion was handy while holding a tape-measure. Having cerebral palsy, as I measured a trouser length, the customers, not wishing to be embarrassed, generally instantly looked away, as I broadcasted the length needed to seal the sale.

If you were of the view only low-priced tailors alone bore such shenanigans likely to cheat you, you are grossly mistaken, as the multiple tailors all had their individual strokes to play. Around this period of the late 60’s, swing or not, many so called ‘made to measure’ establishments sent all orders down to manufacturer companies in Manchester, sometimes Leeds, requesting their blue-pencilled steadfast patterns, individually cut suits, to be made up and transported back to their premises.

If the customers picked worsted cloth, when checked, down south it was out of stock, the salesman picked another near the same pattern but at either £10 to £25 price-tag (a lot of money then). Once the customer returned, tried out the brand-new attire, may say it seems different to the one he originally picked…then the polite salesman would quote, “It is always dissimilar when finally made into a suit…but Sir… it looks excellent, fits you like a glove!”. Thus, started the customers habit of cutting a corner piece from the sample pad, of the cloth chosen.

Once in City Cash, a boy and his uppity mother took ages to select a reputed Barathea blazer, extremely popular at the time. At last they moved onto Levi stay/press trousers. The problem was the mother wished superior cloth, at a much lower price. The reason the lads were so keen…it was the ‘In-style’ and dirt cheap. Everything I showed was met by the comment, rubbish, garbage’s, trash. This may be so but repeating it loudly was quite impolite as started to lose my easy-going manner, time was money was at stake.

What my next action was may be classified as impolite, if not downright rude. Finally, she lifted a pair of trousers, stretched them, and held them up to the low florescent lighting, saying in horror, “you could spit peas through this material” I coldly answered, “you are supposed to open the fly first, madam!’

The embarrassed lady bought the goods, for her prised boy… almost immediately…without another word
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
THE INHERITANCE

It was a great day, a sad day, a cold day, yet a warm day, the day of nonsense, and it was the day of reckoning, it was a day our family would know exactly how we stood. The very moment had come after waiting for so long, yet, I personally had not, as a sight hesitation was leading to a dark forbearance: within me.

Charles Dickens had once written, ‘there are strings in the human heart that had better not be vibrated’. I could not halt time marching towards this special day, for it may change all our lives forever.

My past, I preferred kept close to my chest rather than release for all kith and kin, as my reckless behaviour was not equal to the black sheep of my family…grey may be more precise. When young, having a cavalier drink and be merry arrogance, I wrongly struggled with emotions, breed from narrow views and being ignorant of the mountains and caves and troughs of life… I wish I had a few relived moments… but if wishes were horses?

I still make mistakes… proving how much I do not know.

Time has a habit of distorting what happens enclosed around family affairs while you cannot take your mind’s memory of the events as gospel truth. I would presume everyone on earth has done something private they would rather not broadcast.

Months earlier to this day, I was informed by a friend, who religiously read the marvellous Scottish printed institute ‘The Sunday Post’, before sending the treasure ‘Oor Willie’ transcript it held, to their family in Canada, the name Howden appeared in “lost but find “section, and it may do me some good if I contacted the paper. After some checking and attendance with a lawyer, facts emerged I had been left £5,000 from Aunt Molly’ estate, along with some stark news. Apparently, they were in pursuit of me for five years, and at the end of this time, the law strictly requires all acclaims to go to the nation.

This was beginning to take the substance of a Dickens novel. As a family, we had never been, what could be classed comfortable or ‘Well off’, due to my lethargic attitude to money, but more so…my drinking. Seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, this small inheritance could form a basis to change all our lives. It was a first small stepping stone to a personal better outlook on life itself, although it was a pity it was due to the death was my benefactor.

We always encouraged our children to save money during the year. To gain extra they would try jobs around the house, over and above, washing dishes, clearing their bedrooms which they did with a routine grumble all kids do no matter what. We also informed them every year, just before the family holiday, I would double whatever they had managed to save in the bank.
.
On this acceptance day of good fortune, one thing stood out in my mind, a sum of money should be given to the children, allowing them to do whatever they wanted, with no strings attached. The amount I picked on was £100 each. It may not sound much in today’s monies…but then it was quite a bundle From the eldest to the youngest, Toni, Chris, and Nikki, who all from the same gene, acted, behaved, and talked individually from one another. With such news, both Chris and Nikki, darted in all directions with loads of request on things they had longed and hungered for… barred simply because they could not afford.

When at last the final decision was apparently made, Chris and Nikki had worked out, almost to the last penny, what they intended to do and quite sensibly. In the end they had taken on the facts of their new-found wealth, used it with wisdom of a mature child but with a hint of devilment planned to purchase one or two frivolous things.

Now it was our eldest Toni’s chance, as she turned and looked straight at me, saying calmly; “Dad.. I wish to bank my money, every penny of it”. Rebecca and I were taken aback but also instantly pleased and proud our number one daughter knew the value of a saved penny on tomorrows outcome and was quite well to sacrifice today for a more prosperous time.

Then our fragile dream was cruelly shattered as Toni only stopped for breath continued to explain in a matter of fact voice and volume, “then because of your promise to double everything we manage to save, I will be able to buy a?....... what was said following…is now lost to me, although for one short moment I revered her spunk, before a mist covered over my mind. After seemingly endless silence, I tried to clarify how this was not fair to contemplate in such a manner

How can a near converted rouge, explain to his eldest cherub. What I can remember was Toni not being a happy girl… at all at all.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-
[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
Anecdotes from the auld Steamie …

The Real Benghazi Mice

When the Benghazi moved residence to the Dollan Baths East Kilbride a few adventurous members, Big Jim, Archie, John, and myself, decided to celebrate by taking a ferry trip to the enticing shores which held Amsterdam, the alleged European centre to display goes on when two people intimately share a bed…in public…or elsewhere. Heading to the continent’s second city of love, was the four ‘Quatre Muskatee’, Athos, Aramis, Porthos, but who was D’artagnan ? now loose on a massive ferry, row after row, deck after deck with rather compact clean sleeping quarters rather.

The booked cabins were certainly neat, leaving little wanting to be there, other than for sleeping, for the astute ship operators being very intent on its customers, ready and willingly spending money on souvenirs, all types of alcohol imaginable, complimented with excellent prepared food, within the entertainment deck of this ferry… it just blew me away.

More than planned refreshments passed our lips rousing laugher at the drop of a hat, exaggerated singing from the ‘four Amis’, conducting themselves like runaway schoolboys, just the same performance we encourage on a Saturday morning at the baths. Having two reserved cabins as the party retired to eventually with big Jim and John in one, Arche and I in the other.

Next morning at open serving breakfast, Jim and John looked bedraggled, perhaps slightly crankily complaining as to the sleeping arrangements, grouchy only had one bunk in their cabin, making it a tight squeeze together, leaving little sleep for both. Big Jim was well named as he was a giant …which did not help the situation as far as they were concerned. Archie and I slightly puzzled asked, did they forget to use the top pull out bunk…they both looked at each other and said…”what f---in top bunk? So much for exotic intimate happenings when two people share a tight-fitting bunk…made for one.

We attempted to do what all tourists do within the sightseers bounds of amazing Amsterdam, its open smoking pot cafes, tram cars in all direction, and its exocentric and exotic shops with it pastries to melt for, canal rides (no subtle joke there) and its sex shops both live and mechanical. The capital of the Netherlands, with over 300 bridges, is a lovely curiosity city, with amazing mixed markets and intriguing curiosities, outside what is deem the attraction for day visitors, around this canal route Centre some quote as “The Main”. In the inner circle of clinically clean large windowed shop fronts displaying of a variety of scanty females…and males dressed to attract.

The florescent lighting assists the ladies by exhibiting anything white as pure snow, while their skin, regardless how it really is, dark and attractively tanned. For a starting price of 30 euros (don’t ask how I know) the pleasures and delights of organize sex can be yours, at a freighting pace. I stood at the canal corner observing anything, it all takes 7 minutes from start to finish, including repose ready for the next clientele. The pimps are at a discreet distance, but menacingly there. The difference between the stylish illusions of the front court, the rear guard several canals backward, is like night and day. The women in the holes-in-the-wall are much bigger… older and distasteful from a distance.

Having a few beers in the wonderful Amsterdam authentic Irish Pub while watching two seemingly locals, out of their brain boxes if not denying their actual mind. Stood up and urinated all over the bench. The local police just moved them on…taking the piss is no an offence …but smoking a funny rollup is…fined in the spot

John took a video camera and scheduled all that went on with all the hazards that were with us along the way. On returning home he edited all the swearing, most of that was Jim, kindly loaned the cassette to me. ‘She who must be obeyed’ and I, viewed it with some amusement. I few days later I was in a rush going out while, in a hurry to copy a programmed on the television.


The trouble was, in the haste I did not look at what tape I was using, and you have guessed?
It was the Amsterdam historic record experience…`````````````````` on film…. gone forever.
[/size][size="3"]
peter.howden
Let’s not fail to recall how easy it is to slip into war
peter.howden
Spaced out.

Somewhere in the near future, an adventurous traveller, from the space section known as Srogan, stumbled onto the curious little planet of *banned word* … where the inhabitants(Treeks) ruled by the great Srogan renowned for his abhorrence to any outsiders but particularly individuals and anything from the zone known as Earth. Down through the years there had been rumours, and of some terrible renderings of horrors, but unsubstantiated by the powers to be…who believed these just gossips, were just suspiciousness and spite towards a small planet.

One thing was known, the famous fruit they cultivated by using ancient techniques, such as horses to plough their fields. Apparently, their natural produced manure from these steeds, had a hidden quality which stimulated the plant to tantalizes any pallet… costing a king’s ransom….but ’worth dying for’…was a phrase frequently used to describe such out of the world experience.

The planet’s populaces soon discovered the foreign spaceship awkwardly landed, and began to gather around the craft, in a menacing manner, assumed the traveller recalling the tales spread space wise. However, he was more than presently surprised, and relieved as the airlock opened, he could only see smiling faces and people clapping with glee at his arrival. He was treated as royalty with every personal whim he uttered was delivered, within moments to his excellent richly decorated quarters.

Laying back, being pampered beyond imagination, one thing entered his mind, so he asked if he could see these universal famous fields where the stupendous fruits are grown. Without hesitation, they whisked him off to these treasured grounds where, by chance, the harvest was being picked. Surprising to the visitor was, the pickers where outfitted, from head to toe, in protective gear, including breathing equipment.

The explanation was speedily forthcoming…within the taste sensational treasure perhaps one or two or maybe more, of toxic fruit. If accidently the membranes were damaged or cut, or god preserve us, squashed…then a gruesome death would have followed in a short time…there is no known antidote…the protective rubber suits, was just a safety precaution. The major rule of thumb…watch out for the bitter ones.

Returning to his suite, the traveller having basked in inhabitant’s kind-heartedness and concern for his wellbeing, was taken with complete surprise, by an assemblage of important peoples, including the Prime minister, to offer the key to their city, much more to the traveller’s liking, a craftsman’s delicately made glass colt charger, some two metres in height, standing on the main dining table. Beyond monetary value by itself… yet also visible within the mount’s underbelly, an abundance of majestic, almost forbidden fruit. With it came a silver plaque artwork…. etched with the words, ‘Look out the bitter ones’.

An immaculate garbed white gloved servant, proceeded to open the secret clasp, motioning the trekker to taste a sample of such a lavish boon. Overawed with the honour, he took one such fruit, saluted the collective congregation, then proceeded taking his first delicate bite. With a certain sense of relief, coupled with an overflowing of his taste buds, his unchallenged pleasure beamed as the pure delicate sweetness took hold.

Eventually swallowing his first delicate mouthful, the traveller was just about to take another bite when the nearest gentleman made a simple statement…the safe fruit to eat is bitter…as instructed…the sweet fruit is deadly…we do not like outsiders.

Fear struck quickly as the light faded fast, though one thought raced through the dying traveller’s mind…

"Do not trust the horse, or Srogans. Whatever it is, I fear the Treeks even when they bring gifts."

[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
Report 99479

This report comes from the pen of one underground newspaper investigator, who wishes at the moment to stay nameless due to the dire consequence, from unnatural quarters if exposed at this moment, for reprisals jeopardising his, or her life…which could come from and direction as it is still unclear who or what sanctioned the following.

Somewhere in the seclude white sand beaches, overlooked by ‘Cnoc-na-Bèist’ far up on the picturesque Island of Lewis, in a hidden inlet, where recently accumulating reports of a wide range of trekkers and travellers… missing, without explanation or reason. The actual total is indefinite, but a mounting concern from the locals, who by tradition, believe in the old tales and superstitions, have centred on the very devil spirit, in shape shifter ‘Each-usige’, as being the source of these vanishings

The Shape-shifting ‘Each-uisge’ can, masquerade as a majestic horse, or pony, handsome man, or even enormous bird. If it chooses a horse façade, it baits the unexpected human to ride, however… the merest hint, or whiff of sea water, the human is trapped on the adhesive back of the illusive horse creature, charges into the water, to the deepest part of the sea, with the petrified victim…. who drowns. The creature rips and devours the total body…apart from the liver which floats to the surface.

This; of course, is one of many Celtic mythological Scottish water spirit’s…however… The reality is more chillingly, almost unbelievable

Somewhere near is a underground government scientific lavatory sealed from outside interference secret experiments involving conning has taken place using the newly discovered, ‘Eunice Aphroditois an aquatic predatory, five antennae worm, residence under the sand at the bottom of the ocean bed,…ominously named ‘Bobbit worm.(from public perception of a world incident) It injects its victims with toxin which stuns or kills the chosen prey before devouring it.

In the ocean these hunters reach some 10feet in length, but the boffins had no idea, D.N.A wise, of these marauders sexual habits, or reproductions and did certain hazardous experiment research using clones of this beasties. Unfortunately, under such unnatural environment, something triggered the cones to not only grow complete at a incredible rate but at a uncontrollable alarming size of 30,40 feet in measurement, with physique to suit…in other words they were individual. ‘Frankenstein monsters’.

Still contained in top security was the scientist security…except what the failed to comprehend, somehow the spawning mechanism is present, in some way spreading their genes imperceptible in the water. The principal idiocy was… the waste water was then abandoned in the sea nearby. At first, they would not accept the stories, but the government banned any news of such happenings, nevertheless, as the body count rose…the only theory could be…they had reproduced in the bay’s waters.

In blind panic, both regime and researchers refused to seal off the area…to prevent prying eyes and ears investigating

Then by accident, I saw someone swimming in the area, stop to put a foot down on the bed… and within seconds, disappeared in the middle of masses of bubbles…all remaining to prove something was…floating dirty blood.

This alone proves they have materialized way beyond any imagination …or terror.
I will report again when I can………
[size="4"][/size]
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.