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peter.howden
Termination

This is certainly an accurate and true story…only the names have been changed to protect the innocent

Monday December 6th, 2010, on a double decker Edinburgh/Glasgow intercity bus… packed to the gunwales with commuters, Sam was a passenger with a recently broken leg, on route along the M8 for 21 hours. The motorway was frozen underneath, with temperatures 15-degrees C, covered with massive amounts of snow, however the main problem being jack-knifed HGVs, abandoned cars scattered over all lanes, including the official emergency rescue lane, exits and entrances stowed-out with trucks wedged in heavy snow.

Sam was fortunate in one respect, due to cadging a lift, to start his shift in Glasgow… the bus had an extra driver, which later proved vital enabling the vehicle completing the journey. In Edinburgh, there was commotion in Waverly rail station, cancelation signs popping up on nearly every platform.

Before deciding to head for the bus station, because Sam had been newly issued with a Scottish wide bus pass. He then purchased a big bag of crisps, (you rarely can buy a normal bag size of crisp at these outlets now!) and the comforting bar of chocolate (reduced because proof of purchase for the big bag of crisps)

All went well, as the bus made its way through the old parish of Corstorphine, cruising towards the slipway for the M8, passing a Christmas card scene, with the snow concealing any blips or greyness, projecting pure white wonderland, giving a warm cosy feeling inside, while gliding along the highway, day dreaming of castles in the skies. No timely warning something horrible was around the next bend…but something certainly was. Once on the highway, the bus quickly slowing down…shuddering abruptly as it stopped.

After some grinding hours or so, the transport had not moved more than a couple of hundred yards, from then on, the trials and tribulations of constant uncertainty, took a dark toll overcame everybody’s minds, as the idyllic winter scene…screwed turned… becoming custodial. For Sam, an extra feeling of guilty took over, for having some ginger and crisps left, as not so silent murmurs implied a lack of water or nourishments from the rest of the passengers

As time drag unmercifully, the bus had moved 100 of yards rather than any credible distance, while the uses of mobile phone became less, then dead, as batteries and signals prevented any proper use after time had passed… personal necessity for the toilet started niggled Sam darkened mind. Within minutes later it had now become the most important thought on Sam attention… it was not a pee he was desperate to discharge

Necessity is the mother of invention, or so it is said, for in-between these instants of anxiety, it was becoming perfectly true. The bus privy was utterly disgustingly reeking, and overflowing, for it was never equipped for such abuse or so much usage through perpetual times, so something had to be worked out…somehow? Sam figured, having a huge bumper sized empty crisp bag would accomplish his mission…when no other avenue was available

The plan was simple, though telling it now sounds crude, crass if not despondent. He would go to this wee space of a latrine, complete his business… holding the big crisp bag underneath. Rap the late result carefully, leave through the emergency door with some excuse of needing air, or a fag or something. Whilst out, cause diversion attention, cast night soil bag into the blizzard wilderness.

Now; for this strategy’s success, depended entirely on the bus being stationary. Sam presumed ‘nay problem china’ as for the last 12 hours this was mainly what passengers had grown accustomed to. You can imagine Sam surprise…and dilemma, when suddenly, the coach moved with more speed than witnessed throughout this unwanted ordeal so far.

The double decker speed like a bat out of hell, without warning while Sam repentantly whimpered in disbelief …holding tightly with clenched cheeks…. with overpowering tears in his eyes…


How long could Sam hold out… without dishonouring himself….
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peter.howden
Termination2

The surprise velocity of the double decker intercity bus was short lived, for as soon as it took off, it came to a dramatic stop giving the unexpected passengers a jolt. Sam just sat there, with little awareness of the incident, as he held breath and body in limbo, frightened to interchange, just contemplate on his intimate predicament. His mind slipped away back many years, when the entire family were forced to use the public lavatory, at Gorbals cross, because of a plumbing problem in their home next to the Clyde. His mother warned him about catching something unhygienically atrocious, if he dared use the seat.

Another memory hovering in his brain, instructions to always make sure he had clean underwear on…just in case of an accident, ending in attending hospital. ‘Two plausible worries in one’ thought Sam…Obviously he was inwardly pleased though terrified he would unwittingly offload… without warning.

The coach ploughed its weary way forward, as silent prayers drifted upwards, as gears threatened to halt, but apparent our two brave drivers were determined not to allow this to happen. Then out of the blue, sort of mystically as one of Sam’s recall was reading, or hearing about mind over matter working while going to sleep, with concentrated thought, ‘I will awake at seven… and it always worked. Sam used all his mental power absorbed in one thought…’Please don’t release’

A brief welcoming sight when the bus was met by generous inhabitants of Harthill, just after two in the morning, who had heard of the massive problem in news broadcasts. They were loaded with homemade hot soup, bread, tea coffee…even biscuits. Sam had to forgo this splendid offered sustenance…in dread what may occur…even with a tiny bite.

Now, perhaps it was the movement of the bus, or the expectation at last heading in the right direction called home nevertheless Sam primary problem seemed to ease. People in all situations of emergency often act honourable and thoughtful, yet… some with deeds of total disgraceful selfishness. We had now been reliably informed all highways were gridlocked, Glasgow was mayhem with stranded commuters.

The drivers had been instructed to head straight for Glasgow’s Buchanan Bus terminal yet were swayed by a perilous case, from three fibbing passengers, to stop at Baillieston. Certainly, a thorny manoeuvre because of the snow, ice, and vehicles ahead blocking a through passageway. One driver upstairs, stamping the floor for left or right directions for the actual driver.

This suited Sam as it was just a mile or so to his home. The time was 04.00 am Tuesday morning. Reaching the branded landscape of Morrison’s, Sam joined the other three to embark from this refuge of some 21 hours and thanks to the selfless drivers. Slipping a few pounds to the drivers, express thanks positively, whilst the other three looked on puzzled. An instant anger came over Sam, these were the very ones who pleaded with these guys, just twenty minutes ago, to make the unauthorized detour. He shamed them into dipping into their pockets.

The bus roared away Sam stood utterly alone in an eerily white wilderness. Suddenly Sam problem from the bus reared. Sam needs seemed to have weird radar qualities, as his big crisp bag was missing, the steel bus shelter was there. It was so bitterly cold he was frightened his bare backside would stick frozen to the steel bar. The mere thought he would be stuck like super glue, for god knows how long, defeated the urgency of the situation. Sam decided to march on fully loaded.

He imagined It was like Siberia, with a deafness of silence, and a complete absence of a living soul, person or otherwise. By now Sam leg was really bother, but the idea of being trapped out in such a frozen wild spurred him on. Reaching his front door just in the nick of time to comply with two wishes

He quickly poured out a wee double/double half of Highland Park, for medicinal purposes, then made his way to the smallest room in the house, sat on the seat, bugger the consequences, enjoying two of the most precious reliefs and joys. Shortly after all needs were satisfied, up the wooden staircase to the comfort of a warmed-up bed. The clock struck quarter past five in this glorious morning, as he attempted to slink in-between the sheets.

Sam’s lady opened one eye…murmured ‘had a nice trip’? She never even waited for an answer Goodnight;

The End
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peter.howden
My Chronicles 19/08//2018;

I reckon most people’s lifetimes are a roller coaster, which in most circumstances are not planned, or even wished for but as the old sayings goes…If you don’t have sad periods, you can’t appreciate happy times to the hilt. However, sometimes the pleasant and good times are vailed with mixed emotions, so personal and secret, you have no real grip how they will display…to yourself and other people. This week has been rather strange, with three totally different events, filled with diverse sentiments, for their own reasons… give sensuous pleasure.

We were dog watching last week, for a charming couple, Yvonne and Tony, wishing to visit York, along with the rest of their family, but the regular pooch keepers were unavailable. ‘She who must be obey’ and I have had a few dogs and cats, through the years, so we agreed. Each person’s dog is a member of the family and if parted anxiety creeps in, leaving certain instruction to follow. It was strange at first, but a sort of routine formed, along with a sense of satisfaction. On the couple’s return, Rebecca was given chocolates, while I received a bumper ‘Buffalo Bill,1951 Annual’…I know who got the best deal…to bed, under the covers with my torch

On Monday, after phoning to check, I arrived at the Dementia old folks’ home, to find out if Aunt Becky is O.K for taking a wee hurl around the Kilpatrick hills, I was glad to see her walking out the lift with one of the extremely helpful carers. It certainly was obvious, Aunt Becky had no idea who I was, her brain has altered due to this progressive illness, but she did look fine and alert, plus seemingly keen to take my arm… saunter to the old jalopy.

Who enjoyed the trip more…is hard to tell, but now and again, between the Scottish music, Aunt Becky, smiled a most generous smile…hit a spot for me. We both called after ‘Flower of Scotland’…’get the claymores out’…and laughed…magic

On returning to the home, one of the male carer’s let us in, immediately it was noticeable., Aunt Becky had a distinct relationship with him. This gave me confidence it was a bonus for her, to have someone special within the premises.

Attending my last ‘Glasgow West of Scotland Forum, Board meeting, and A.G.M, holding various frame of mind for several reasons. For me, this is the core of the movement, and I had been fortunate to be part of it, with such dedicated comrades, but sadness mingled aimlessly, with memories of losing our daughter ‘Toni’ during the duration of participation. It is almost an impossible step to overcome. A special director of the host housing organization at this grieving time, went out of her way to support me…which I will never forget.

At the A.G.M, a surprise presentation with thoughtful gifts…a pleasant reminder just how smashing people can be. Asked to say a few words, proved hard as all my emotions took their turn to enter my thoughts…however eventually I did manage a couple of lines…such as…’I have been fortunate to meet a lot of enthusiastic people who have made a difference within their own communities … During my time, met a few bloody armholes as well…but heck’

I should have added…’I came to a movement meeting, surround by comrades…but left a whole bunch of friends and fantastic persons…. thank you very much…you made a grumpy old man, happy’
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peter.howden
The last Reckoning

It’s bloody funny how life can just fade, creeping away to far reaching nowhere, devouring my existence…without knowing the clock is still ticking…but the hands, refusing to move…before disappearing from time itself.it doesn’t even happen in a sneaky manner…it just trickles somehow into your deepest choices…there to find…there is no choices…no way out…no reason I’m in middle…somewhere appalling… cast off like a old useless button…I’m forty one for Christ sake

What went wrong? I studied hard at school, did my sums, the three ‘R’s’…before choosing an apprentice fitter. Five years’ time served in a secure, well capable firm, well paid and secured by working towards a pension.

Wonderful loving wife Rose, two braw kids… a loving bed of roses with holidays every year…some in Portugal and the like…all the family over regularly including the annual big bash at Christmas…turkey, complete trimmings, beer and wine, laughter flowing through of the walls, plus a regular bonus at the works…. overtime making life just a bit sweeter

Then that bloody morning, waken up to no job, in a firm everyone knew would never in a month of Sundays go belly-up down the pan…but it bloody did, no warning, no redundancy…no bloom all…just pack your tools and bugger off. How quickly a bed of roses turns into a bed of nails. No work at anything, anywhere, all sucked up. It’s who you ken…not what you know.

Like a set of standing dominos…one unexpected nudged, the lot are gone…what is it fate...I never believed in destiny…but now the hand of destiny is slowly turning the screw on my self-respect, lower than the pits. …the lies…the fibs …pretending to go out the door looking and knowing it’s not worth a f--- …all our yesterdays…with no todays… a feared tomorrow…

The wife has become a banshee second hand Rose about getting a job, for the dole money isn’t enough to pay the bills, or even the bloody necessities. The kids are ashamed of me, and the ‘buroo’ tickets for free school meals, hand-me-down cloths…it’s not the song…its living purgatory… scorned as sub human scrounger…a low life.

I bare no religion what so ever, but festering in my mind, how the old phantom banshee hag…’Scotia’. is in league with ‘auld Cloutie’, together these creatures are casting humiliation and excruciating retribution

Well-meaning people saying, ‘there will be flowers tomorrow’ but I can’t wait…I’ve lost control of my life, being sucked down in the quicksand of nonexistence. The sun may shine any day but still the chill in the very bones of dissatisfaction and worthlessness, what’s the use…where is the purpose…have I burnt all my barges…and bridges…or is life just a horrible allusion…and presence is all that is left…is it a concealed disease with your card marked at birth by kelpies

I’ve changed my mind, it’s not bloody funny…its tragically beyond hope. Whatever will be…will be…but self-inflicted end is coming…
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peter.howden
Jim stepped down from the train.

Jim stepped down from the train, into a swarm of static peoples, listing attentively to a broadcast bellowing through tannoys amplifier system, giving the impression to be situated, in every knock and cranny, around the hectic railway station. Though loudly broadcasted, Jim’s ears found it was difficult to make out what the message was…though the motionless crowd were apparently orally hypnotic to a standstill. In the brief pauses in-between spoken communication via the speakers...you could hear a pin drop as the masses stood perfectly stationary.

Looking around the powerfully crowded platform Jim’s eye caught a sight of numerous enormous posters. The one nearest boldly stated;....... ‘Vote today, it means your life’. This was quite a poignant message, thought Jim…as the attendances at any elections is met with near total disinterest by the public at large… the world’s population have sheepishly wasted, giving up their most precious duty, and responsibility, for the hard-fought right to vote. Due to apathy inattentiveness.

Murmurs afterwards begin with, ‘no one would have thought such a fool would be premier of the entire world?’…we have the cheek to yet complain bitterly about the numpties in charge of the governments, the regions, the communities…this so-called civilized planet at large, has a dense logic, as long as someone else makes the internet work…they don’t care.

Slightly larger additional poster, with a single message in massive print; ‘History has forced voting compulsory’…for Jim, this message as confusing, but concluded about the past structures of power. Through the world’s time, power lay in the hands of the strongest tyrants, blood thirsty hordes, reputed divine kings and religion, independent financial politicians, pepper pot radicals…Chancers… and now, career minded boogied politicians…very rarely stood the individual…with a passionate motive for the good. For all peoples.

Just at that moment, Jim became aware of an eerie deafening stillness took over the whole massive railway station, when not a single breath took to the air from the large crowed surrounding him. A loud, now clear message came booming over, quavering through every single tannoy…’...'Go now and vote’. It was if a ‘Deity’ had spoken, as the immense throng surged headlong, in excessive enthusiasm, towards the nearest distinctive voting cubicle.

Jim stood his ground, in utter amazement… it was obvious everyone not only intended to vote…but in such panic as if their lives depended on it.

Within seemingly seconds, the entire platform was emptied of any living soul, other than Jim. It was only then… he spotted an absolute obnoxious graphic poster …with another, but ultimate sinister message…’Vote today…or be executed by the state’
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peter.howden
Not soberly Gallus

“Aw ye’re dancin?”” Naw it’s the way ay staunin” and “This tram gang the Barra-land? “Aw Naw; this tram canny dance?” are well known jives at the expense of the dancer and the ballroom in turn. A rather uncertain future in the early 80s, but saved… thanks to Simple Minds, plus world class rock bands since, turning nearly as famous as it was before. Yet, in the early 60s the celebrated ballroom was thee place entertaining romantic rendezvouses for a multitude of couples…and unattached girls wishing for a quixotic chance, while fellas looking for a lumber, (a close encounter with the opposite sex)

Styles have changed over the years, but the outcomes remain the same. The now mostly gone dace-halls of Glasga, were the talent shops, in more ways than one, with certain halls had alternating cliental. The Barrowland, for groups such as ‘Stones’, the ‘Kinks’ along with ‘Long John Bawdry’ in their early days, booked before gigantic fame came their way.

"The Dennistoun “Palais glide"; marvelous for people who liked serious smooches. The ‘Plaza’, with its indoor fountain, for the old-time regimental modes. The intimate ‘Maryland’ was grand for strict jazz, went on to Rock and roll, and the ‘Locarno’ slightly older patrons up west.
On the city boundaries they varied just the same, ‘Stamperland’ to hear the ‘Clyde Valley Stompers’, posh ‘Whitecraigs’ disc music, or the very popular ‘Coopers Institute’ for an all and all utter ball.

On one cool evening, cheeky Hammie, along with wee Bert, after leaving the majestic Saracen Bar, a tad inebriated, chose Barraland because it suited their chat up lines, but mainly it was just there…across the road, ventured up the steep steps inside Barraland, slipping past the bouncers without being questioned. The dance-floor was hoachin with uncommitted ladies, as Hammie, with his Robert Redford smile, while wee Bert gazed in admiration.

Hammie& Wee Bert highlighted the pickup rule…for Hammie’s chances would prove more favourable, if his china was ‘appearances challenged’, or not nearly as agreeable in the looks department… as wee Bert was. Hammie’s secret weapons being old spice…a whiff of this sealed the pact….and his unique banter.

With a sharp pushback of the shoulders, Hammie then a lock forward of the neck (something like a chicken movement when it walks). This was vital before chancing a step on the floor, demonstrated so beautifully by Jack and Rikki’s videos of Scotland’s favourite double comedy act, ‘Francie and Josie.

Now on the floor, Hammie, bursting with patter, requested two girls to dance… to his amazement, the females waved dismissal to this crafted advance. Their actual words were muted in the volume of sound within the hall… but it was obvious…the ladies were not in the least attracted by the repartee.

O.K. they had been turned down before, and by better looking colleens, so moved on instantly tapping the shoulders of the next available ladies in arm reach, however, outrageously…these wenches repeated what the first ones did… but with more vigour…with sign linguistics to boot
The music stopped, allowing the twosome to take stock, analyzing they only sipped a few beers, they had not forgotten to brush our teeth, checked their flies (can’t be too careful) were closed. So, reassured…on to the affray.

To their horror the same happened repeatedly to the point of predictability. they started to lose whatever cool they thought they had…by just stomp up to any female, gesturing a wish to dance…with the answer being always dastardly the same. Without a word between them it was decided to return to the safety of Saracen bar

One thing was for sure, they retired defeated and totally despondency. They counted how many times declined a step, amazed to find out… no matter how they did the sums… in a row…seventeen times refused dance, by a whole range, and types of girls.

After a few more beers, Wee Bert blamed flashy Hammie, since he was supposed to be the handsome one to pull the birds…this just proved how much a cad Wee Bert had become…. Hammie never cast any onus or castigations.
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peter.howden
Northern Dialect

It has been quoted, each area of the British Isles speaks English, however, not with the same vernacular termed as the Queen’s English by the old B.B.C.…thank god…. Who wants to speak with a load of jorries wobbling around the mouth, as if someone made up a speech a few hours earlier? Speaking and listening, should be relaxed, a pleasurable affair while giving or gaining information… or just passing the time of day. The dwellers around the islands of Scotland, speaking the English have a special unique attractive pronunciation, clear…almost singing.

In years gone by, Scotland had a reputation of uttering words that England demanded, with preciseness, though now it may be different. Having travelled up to Dundee and Aberdeen, all I can say… it was my experience having to cock an ear more to listen attentively what a Dundonian was saying. Then travelling north, this proved practically impossible with people who truly was born in Aberdeen, known as Aberdonians. What a transformation 66 miles makes… Not route 66 which the Stones sing

If asking the way to ‘Union St’, they smile broadly, proceeding with Doric dialect which they guttural express in great haste, losing, or switching peculiar vowels in confusion, for five odd minutes or so, when you suddenly realize it was directions all the time they were trying to convey.
Weird words such as ‘Rummlieguts’ Clart; Thrawn Fa's, or ‘Bydand’ which means ‘Steadfast’ the proud motto for the ‘Gordon Highlanders’.

I do recognize, ‘deoch-an-doruis’ having enjoyed Aberdonian company with a glass or two. At a certain select soiree, oddly my powers of understanding the local tongue grew easier the more whisky I consume. My host proved to possess a charming dry wit, as the refreshments freely flowed… while this tale he told… straight faced.

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

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

My small miracle was… I understood the joke…told in Aberdonian patois…thanks to Scottish ‘us·que·baugh’
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peter.howden
Anecdotes from the auld Steamie

At the end of 19th century, and the very beginning of the 20th, many purposely built Victorian structured amenities, giving much needed aid, and social comforts, to the working-class peoples, experiences extreme crowded living conditions existence around shipbuilding, heavy engineer, foundries, massive warehouses throughout cities and towns, in the industrial expanses of Scotland,

These specialized buildings, consisted of wash-house facilities, locally known simply as ‘The Steamie’ also extra attractions, and functions, due to the massive steam produced by large boilers housed within. Such extras were Horse driers, Swimming pools, Hot baths, and the suave Turkish suites, to rid the industrial oils from the skins of working man. In one such premises, in one such area, of one such metropolis, an attendant named Alex was employed as a bronze medal swimming attendant.

Alex’s generous brother-in-law, having just aquirred a wee ‘But and Ben’ by the sea, offered him, and family, to have a holiday the following week, although previous occupant had striped the abode entirely. His Brother-in-law furnished the abode with bedding and the like… the only fly in the porridge… the lack of cooking facilities. There is something special about a ‘Butt and Ben’ holiday…or was it being free which urged in Alex one prime objective, the necessity for a stove…

Time was the essence and he was no slouch…. So, a quick gander around the premises store room, a solution was just sitting there… an extra unused baby belling, a small type of oven/grill and hotplate. On his day off, very early in the morning entered in the building, told the acting inexperienced manager, he was picking up the cooker to take it elsewhere…the raw gaffer assumed it was to another area, although in reality he was taking a loan of it for private use. These baby belling’s are reputed to be portable, however, carting it for some thirty-five miles, Alex found is bloody hard work, very sore on the arms.

The grand holiday over as a couple of months passed by, with Alex intentions returning the said cooker unfulfilled, Alex learned, through the grapevine, of an inspection by Area superintendent Kirker, and the teensy snivelling sneak Andy Pandy, was planned before the end of the week, included scrutinizing the store room. Alex was left with one prime objective…return the stove post haste….and it would not be as easy as obtaining it.

That very night, he made his way to the ‘But and Ben’, stayed through a chilly night, returning by the first train to arrive, just as the boiler man entering through the building’s back door. Taking the now ‘dead weight’, through to the store brought Alex a unfortunate surprise…Kirker and the nyaff Andy Pandy were at the end of the passage…with clip-boards.

Nark Andy Pandy noisily pronounced with intimate glee; ‘I knew I would catch him trying to steal something’. Alex just stood there, unable to speak when unexcitingly Kirker moaned; ‘don’t be an arse, I asked Alex to collect the extra cooker from the staff room’. It was obvious, the shifty wee man was pure vexed about this statement but could not retort such a senior figure’s account.

Andy Pandy slinked away in the huff as the superintendent whispered to Alex…
‘When we are finished…take that useless bit of junk back to where it came from this morning …but bloody ask the next time…I was in here yesterday…alone?’
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peter.howden
My Chronicles 06/10/2018;

Last week I drove to the dementia Old Folks home wondering how, if at all, Aunt Becky would recognize me or wish to step outside and go for a hurl in my old jalopy. She did come down by the elevator, supported by one of the dedicated carers, wide eyed as if she wanted to see everything at once. I’m not sure if she did identify me, however, she was keen to take my arm after telling her, ‘I’ve knocked a car, so we can see the hills!’. Perhaps there is still a bit of devilment within her…she smiles accepting my arm

Inside our wee banger, she usually taps her feet to the usual Scottish music, sucking away with a sweet, then sing along in a very low voice. I must try to be firmer in accepting how things are circulating in Aunt Becky’s mind and deeds, dictated by the illness named dementia, causing unknown stress which she can’t relate to us. Now and again there are minute verbal droplets into the past which connect in her mind but hard to decipher. I do enjoy our trips to the Kilpatrick hills, especially when seemingly Becky’s eyes sparkle watching out for cuddies…and walking lamb chops.

My own memory wanders off now and again, like blotting paper, smudging my ability to remember names of friends, acquaintances, films and T/V, though at the moment it can be an advantage watching programmes and our old D.V. D’s. I can’t recall them until well into the episode…and still incapable to grasp the endings.

A short time ago, ‘She who must be obeyed’ wished to visit a store, which I deem being an updated Swedish Viking mental torture establishment, adapted totally to wipe everything from a sane mind…then transfix only on Ikea goods. Two and a half hours, to buy one thing, trooping around a strict arrowed zig-zagged path through modified enclosed windowless unconceivable experience which would crumble the strongest of men’s resistance.

Worse to come, once down stairs you travel through a Woolworths style area, full of knickknacks, the now mind conquered punter makes up feeble unqualified reasons why to purchase unwanted items. The real torture is uncertainty…there are no exit signs…until past the pay desk.

Tuesday’s journey down to Ayr, for a selected appointment with Jim Hendry, was more than pleasant whizzing past some outstanding countryside, plus famed golf courses. A once majestic hotel, closed for some years now, is incorporated in the railway stations operations. The building is a danger of collapsing, forcing trains to terminate on two platforms and a ban on through trains journeying to and from Stranraer.

Although we are ‘chalk and cheese’, china Jim Hendry and I regularly met up for a slight refreshment, shooting the old breeze. It is good to loosen up. Jim has straight paths, while I jump from one thing to another…but we laugh a lot…mainly at ourselves.

On the return home by train, the whole couch became witnesses to the troubles and woes of a young girl around 25, travelling to met up with a ‘Martin’ whom she kept phoning a deteriorating progress report, when arriving at each station from Irvine and Central station. I could not tell if she was slightly tipsy, but with her trust mobile and her loud, loud voice, the whole carriage was well aware of her fate. It seemed ‘Martin’ had promised a romantic tryst at the end of the journey, however by his tones, the girl became increasingly anxious she was being deceived. At one stage, attempting her makeup and lipstick, while hanging on to every word ‘Martin’ was spouting looked really awkward to say.

Repeatedly the maiden said with increasing tension…’But Martin, that was not the plan…I’ll get lost’ and threatened to return home. Obviously, uncaring Martin was not moved by her pleads, as he was giving instruction where she should go after she enlighten from the train. The last I saw of the girl, she still had her ear glued to her phone, struggling to make her way through the jostling crowd.

In my courting days, we had no means of instant communications…so we headed for the infamous ‘Boots Corner’ …to see if we were lucky…or had a dizzy…. that’s progress for you…
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peter.howden


Locating cabin

Gaining consciousness, recalling my name was Dan, then, it was obvious pre-conditioning for a considerable time, before entering the gateway to anywhere in our conception of the entire universe. The experimental ‘Arch’, dubbed ‘Igloo’ for obvious reason, inducing dormant hibernation condition, nearly the entire trip into unidentified vast vacuum of space, towards the limits of our knowledge; ‘the last indefinite frontier’… even Earth’s computers cannot phantom.

Almost immediately, my awareness of duties, needed accomplished within this experimental craft, was first and foremost. This came instinctively, due to months of extensive training in a testing simulator, exact to the letter of the outward-bound greatest space vessel of our age. Now, how could I… dare I say it…’go where no man had gone before.

All responsibilities completed, now aware of the purpose, and why, this hazardous mission, desperately urgently complied by the nation presiding force of Earth. For more than many decades, uncontainable catastrophic atmospheric happenings, in weather, seas and air, the vital soil for sustenance, changing the life as we know it…our basic survival is dubious. Or beyond our minds.

The main function of the ship’s processers, being programmed to search for a substitute planet, in other galaxies, for the whole population of Earth to evacuate. Now, info from the ship’s supercomputers was… some 46.6 billion light years away from the planet. This would place, as far as I could calculate…at the very edge of the entire visible universe.

All systems go, the data collected, the findings on the computer, although in forward thrust, the capsule immobilized by invisible foreign energy. Looking through the observation screen, total torpor emptiness ahead, though familiar interplanetary combinations behind the craft.

Data warnings on the screen, invisible membrane detected… indestructible… unable to penetrate… Ribosomes comprising D.N.A…inner nucleus rouge cells… source infested beyond standard repair…must delete… further information…waiting for response…data… behind forward barrier… self-contained protected organisms exist,

The grim reality of the status quo, no matter how incredible it may be…I…and the total existence of the world, based inside an additional alive unconceivable entity.

I awoke, in a state of saturated chilled sweat, wondering if this was a terrible nightmare … an omen…or possibly so…?





or simply, before sleep...reading Annual 1953 ‘Pilot of the future’
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peter.howden
Explanation;

Modern technology is the ‘Bees knees’ to most folks, unquestionably essential to commerce & banking and almost every single enterprise, science, medicine, you name it, it depends almost entirely on computers. This is an everyday fact for the up-to-the-minute generations right around the entire world…except Wee Malky!

The speed of the internet’s development has taken most of the populace by surprise, even the boffins of our lands where caught, ‘on the hop’… but narrowing down quite a bit to an individual … such as a man named Malky. up-to-date scientific knowhow completely boggles Malky, although he can just about use his phone for functions other than just answering it like a land line. Usually bewildered, dumbfounded, disappointed, for sometimes, modern apparatus can’t achieve what it states on the box.

Malky and spouse, are now of the age memory plays unfair tricks on them and simple day to day actions, did not bring enlightenment, due to now possessing a memory like a sieve. Trying to find lost keys caused confusion, sometimes a hot exchange of a word or two slightly emphasised between the loving couple.

His daughter decided to purchase colour coded battery-operated bleepers alarms, fitted on each of their keyrings. Stress free main button controller homing device placed in a convenient part of the home. One morning, the lady of the house, called up to Malky, to find this finding gadget…as her keys had been misplaced Malky physically acted immediately…nevertheless a wasted effort as his brain cells weren’t even awake. The brass fact was he could not remember where he had put the slim-lined device

Malky’s brain jolted, thinking he should search for his keys, more than likely they were close by to each other. Such a sharp thought for first thing in the morning…but no dice, Malky could not evoke where any keys were, Yale or otherwise, never mind the location of the battery locator. Now strongly urge to look everywhere for the practical apparatus… which eventually did bring moderate success. He found the slimline article…but the wee circular batteries were debunked.

Bearing in mind, Malky purchased spares quite a while ago but just could not put his finger on where he put them, nagging him while his wife echoed the same, inducing amnesia. Time cometh the man…with a ‘Will of steel’ Malky decided to rush to the shops, purchase new wee batteries… and be back in a jiffy

Perhaps not a jiffy, Malky exulted… returned home with vital batteries, feeding the slimline apparatus but no sound rebounding from the lost keyrings. The lady of their abode, murmured in hearing range, “lost my keys as well as your own” …it was more a statement than an innocent question. Leaving the abode, she added, “you’ll need to stay in”, shutting the door behind her.

Whiling away the time confined within, Malky made half efforts in finding both sets of keys. They turned up in one of his wife’s shopping bags…further investigation indicated, with flat batteries. Malky felt it was prudent not to communicate data to his wife…for unity reasons. [size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
The black cat


A group of young people, smoking naughty forbidden cigarettes, loitering at the rear end of this main chapel of the spiritual town holding a catholic ‘All Saints Day’ mass. Unobserved, an exquisite black cat majestically strolled around classified holy statues as the cat stalked around the inner grounds, her coat sheen alerted in the changing candlelight, or any slenderest twitch of its darkest black perfectly groomed pelt, so deliciously smooth, it could be mistaken for silk.

Her exaggerated pupils set deep in tawny eyes, while stiff whiskers suggested military obedience of a successful predator.

The white-cassock robed youngsters were members of the chapel choir and caretakers of the consecrated relics during the service. One innocent lad stared and pointed while calling to his peers; ‘Look… Cats hold luck’. Crunching a very unchristian couple of words, the biggest of the boys, a tormenting bully deliberately flicked his red-hot burning cigarette right at the cat’s jet-black pelt, which not only brutally scorched the flawless coat but cause severe pain for the unfortunate beast. Her eyes piercingly flashed as her ear-piercing squeals of agony was only inaudible by the music coming from the massive organ in the chapel. The cruel sneering boy sniggered before he entered the holy place to prepare for his religious duty.

The dutiful service followed its strict code of practice, performed and conducted by the visiting bishop, wearing Dalmatic garment, from the chasuble alter, reading from the Roman Missal in celebration of the Eucharist. Meanwhile, due to the pious obedience from the awaiting congregation, no one noticed the black cat prowling stealthily towards the sacred tabernacle area of the all-embracing Church. As a wild hunter, she used the pews shadowing her existence of purpose as if stalking a particular prey. The only detection was the distasteful lingering odour of damp singed fur.

The tormenter of a lad was the main solo singer, stationed just under the Sanctuary lamp, awaiting his celebrity appearance and recital. It was justly noted he had the voice of an angel and would be a professional chanter in later life. Each other adolescent was prepared for the holy order, with Chalice paten and Purificator while the dark cat crept accurately closer to the stone alter… as if on a deliberate hunt.

The young boy stood up to sing directly under the ‘Tabernacle Lamp’ looking ever inch angelic in his white cassock robe when… out of nowhere… leapt the frenzied cat, knocking the oil full lamp from its safety on the stone wall. It unceremoniously fell from its insecure holding as the contents of inflammable oils spilled unrehearsed onto the boy’s head, then splattered across and through his bright white robe, instantly igniting into uncontrollable flames throughout the now petrified boy’s attire.

There followed screaming bedlam, echoes of excruciating screeching within the old walls of the medieval chapel shaking its foundations. The cat just sat sedately quiet… watching the mayhem her actions had created, while she licked her coat of jet black. The alert priest had the presence of mind to rap the statue-standing petrified lad in blankets, to stifle the flames which saved the lad from first degree burns all over his body.

The boy never sung another note, due to the injuries to his vocal cords, endured while almost becoming a horrific human torch…and the cat…. never seen again after it casually strolled out of the chapel…
Cats can bring luck…. but what kind?[size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
-=-=-=
My Chronicles 16/09/2018;

Last week, taking a chance the weather forecast was true and reliable, I headed for the home Aunt Becky resides in. An inner sadness overcomes me, seeing so many older folks, in different stages of dementia, and other illnesses which alters their view of their surroundings. The common denominator is simply incomprehension of where, why, and what. This affects their reaction to either strangers, like me, or the carers, who sometimes are strangers to them, even though they have day to day contact. Rebecca and I feel fortunate Aunt Becky is seemingly content but confused by…where other poor souls are hurting and angry.

Taking her out for a hurl along Strathblane road. passing Ballagan Burn, she was in foot tapping mood, and at one stage singing along with the auld Scottish tunes, played quite loudly during every hurl. Returning to the home, we met up with one carer, she seems to respond with in a friendly nature. She is content with him because he stays in Possilpark, and he pays special attention to her. The carers have a difficult job with so many residents, fickle in their motions and wishes…but are safe under constant professional observation…

Her home had to be sold, to pay most of the fees for residing in the Dementia care-home, however, before the abode was bought, we asked Becky’s neighbours, if there was anything they could use since the house was to be emptied. They had been a vital help over the previous years to keep Becky in her own wee place.

Rebecca and I have a few souvenirs, holding varies memories down through the ages. Proudly, the main one is a hand wound, pendulum spring clock…tick-tock-ticking away since Uncle David’s time. it has always been admired by family and visitors, sentimentally more than in value.
It keeps faultless time, tick-tocks away…as long as I don’t forget, to move the hands on a couple of minutes each morning as I switch the telly on.

In our back green, a huge tree is growing which has some bird feeding wire holders hanging from it. Because one was almost empty, the lid lay at an angle. Yesterday, somehow a sparrow managed to get inside. I noticed a black cat was patiently sitting at the foot of the tree, looking up at the bird’s dilemma.

The very young kids next door, witnessing the caged bird, asked if they could have it, as a pal for their budge. I explained this was not practical, as wild birds need their own outdoor surroundings, which unexpectedly they understood Taking the now cage away, removed the lid, letting the terrified creature fly away.

This morning, believe it or not, a small sparrow flew towards me, landed on my finger…twisting its head from side to side, as if thanking me…lifted its tail…and shat all over my fingers…wonder what it was communicating?
-=-=-=
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peter.howden
[b]The tales of Hecror and ‘The Bruce’;[/b]

BRUCE’S PUNCH

The sum of Hector’s early years, filled with potential for learning, and making mistakes…but years alone… do not make you wise, if you fail to learn from these mistakes

Hector and ‘The Bruce’ were inseparable, at the time when mates were mates no matter what, though now these times have gone, while the reminiscences lingers in certain places. Memories do not hold any time limit, whereas the mind, in some cases, the brain. It can bunch all irreverent actions and conversation into one big happy plan, with mundane spaces blocking out reality… where some unhappy situation survives.

With two stints of closeness, firstly, school two buddies … lost contact in a short break, coming together again, forming the infamous four, already and willing for fun. It is not correct politically, morally today, however, ‘The Bruce’ one failing was… being a true-blue protestant bigot. In some ways congenitally raised, nurtured in this mould, but sometimes the hint was there that he accelerated his own make.

Hector had no such predispositions as an atheist, yet… in some way, he was just as bad, for it seldom bothered his inner being or indeed tickled his conscience or troubled him to evaluate any consequences. Prejudice was there, for unlike today’s mythology of correct intolerance, we accepted it as being part of life’s rich tapestry, dogmatists on both sides was rife in this age, especially in Glasgow.

Hector vaguely had first-hand experience how the vicious crippling virus, bigots on both sides, installed to a neighbourhood, in the guise of a cult reputed faith. It just made it very difficult at a party or dance, for ‘The Bruce’ open gambit with the opposite sex, was predictable. “Do you kick with your left foot?”. He truly believed it was wrong to be intimate, or even associate with the Catholic creed.

The strangeness was “The Bruce” had no prejudice against Arabs, Chinese Jews, any coloured person who found themselves brown or black, only Catholic. He had a jagged track record as you can imagine. He could be talking to a pretty girl on minute, then she would storm oft with embarrassment. Hector knew his gambit had struck once again.

When the Ramsey’s parties ran notorious weekend flings to die for, by the time Monday morning came, that’s what you believed you had done. ‘The Bruce ‘was not successful in the girl’s department, consoled himself with a mixture of alcohol, which was not a delicate cocktail Whatever kind of booze lying around, a fruit bowl or any apparatus at hand, mixing pot luck. A glass of this instant nectar, without fail blew the mind. So many times, we just became helplessly drunk and crawled into the empty night thinking they had a whale of a time.

The girl Helen came from a seaside hamlet, met Hector in the city. Both had a great couple of weeks, then the last night in the amusement arcade, she played over and over, the Ray Charles hit of that Summer “I can’t stop loving you”. Holiday romances are really hard on the couple who believe the pain from parting will last forever. Hector’s mistake was to use “The Bruce”, as an agony aunt.

Six months later Hector receive a letter from Helen, cursing my name, informing him their passion had indeed bore fruit. The letter continued, she did not wish her child to grow up labelled out of wedlock. The end of the scribbled correspondence threatened, if he did not take care of his responsibilities… then be it on his own head. Meet her at the main railway station the very next week, and if he did not… she would let her father and two big brothers, both amateur wrestlers, take it from there.

“The Bruce” did ask if there was anything worrying Hector, who put it down to concern, as he could not hide this emotion very well. For the whole week he tried to think of ways to get out of this terrible situation…to his shame, never once thought of the girl or her predicament.

Helen was right, he was a selfish bastard… while standing in the railway station, for three frightful hours, imagining almost every girl being her, as his mind was clogged with total confusion and fantasy. Hector returned to the café and just sat there. The man himself came in supporting a huge smirk on his face, a tale on his tongue. ‘The Bruce’ told Hector, he had written the letter; his father had posted it as he went through Dunbar, on business as a commercial traveller.

Hector was relieved, remained seated, releasing inside every emotion within trying desperately not to let it out. All stoned faced ‘The Bruce’ whispered “she was catholic…she would have made you marry her, point proved?”

He did not pull his punches
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peter.howden
The tales of Hector and ‘The Bruce’

PILLOW TALK


When you give your word …you keep it, regardless the cost to yourself or someone else. It’s knowing when to give it…especially to yourself. Never let anyone tell you, what it is, for you should always know.

Hector and ‘The Bruce’ were fluky being teenagers, right from the beginning of the swinging sixties, with openness on sexuality and honesty. The reality was how just some people swung, while most of the world’s population just got on with making a living…some just scraping by surviving.

Most young people growing up around this decade, believed they were liberated from the apron strings of their parents…but more important, experiencing at first-hand what had not been known before. a feeling they alone were going to change the world…

Parents generally didn’t appreciate this deliverance within youthful minds, as their kids were naive to think everything revolved around them… and what they did. They danced, held rallies against the bomb, argued politics, parties and sex when they liked. Go to the cinema where the films were screen censored by initials ’U’,’A’, or ‘X’. French films with the ‘X’ meant sex scenes, or so some unexperienced teenager boy’s thought, the actual sexual act was more of a fumble.

Hector’s mainly learnt from French films, if being surrounded and outnumbered, have a fag in the mouth, when the leader of the gang challenges, spit the lit cigarette at his face, giving you the surprise edge…then grab them by the nether-regions, hold on tight… may come in handy as the years pass!

‘The Bruce’ was sadly no hit with the ladies, hampered by a stone face and being well kent, if feminine circles as a wet-blanket, (salivating wincher). Being his mate, Hector told ‘The Bruce’ the fact of the predicament to his annoyance and denial. Hector called for a test… sure enough when, ‘The Bruce’ osculated the glass mirror, it left a messy moisture stain.

Seeing how self-conscious he was about the whole affair, Hector suggest each evening wipe his mouth with a towel, pucker his lips on his hand, approach on a pillow as a substitute for a female. The following Hector said with a straight face, “may raise your standard and technique…to be ready, willing and bloody able as a stoater of a lover, for the following weekend’s party at the notorious Ramsey’s.” these notorious revelries were held, on a regular basis, at the posh end of the city.

Whether ‘The Bruce’ wasted his efforts due to unsupervised exertions, not trying hard enough…or what, but once again he was alone at the ball of a party…minus any partner…making punch …drunk… peevishly muttering …it was all Hector’s fault…. but he was nowhere to be found…
-=-=-=-=
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peter.howden
Best man Tale

Oatie and the whirlwind;

At one time long ago, Ben and Oatie (a playful nickname derived from his employment as a delivery driver for famed Nairn’s oatcakes) for a considerable time, shared digs situated within a Scottish city boundary. They both trotted the emotional journey, through thick and thin times, of female companionships. Without warning, in a fit of madness, Ben was asked to be best man for Oatie, who plighted his troth to a nurse, angelic face, rumoured taking evening classes, to graduate as a ‘nippy sweetie’.

Most people who knew her, thought she would pass with flying colours. It’s said, ‘Love is blind’, but with him… it was deaf as well. Oatie was away most of the week, delivering products of his firm, seeing, and hearing his beloved primsie nymph only at weekends.

With the nuptial ceremony booked for the end of the following week, arrangements were made on the hoof. Sort of following a stag night tradition, the very next night in the well kent hostelry, Oatie, his workmate, Ben, plus girlfriend, did partake in a few wee ‘Water of life’, till the last bell, to celebrate with empathy…. the future of Oatie, a kind and honest comrade…. ready to have his seeds sowed for him.

He invited the cosy company back to the small flat, boasting a grand job, having just finished decorating. His heaven for eternity, was on the top story, of a posh wally close, situated close at hand. Oatie categorically stated, his honey bunch was working night-shift. A decision was taken to buy refreshments, meagre though they be…quite a few refills taken till the final bell rang.

Leaving the drinking establishment, the company felt a tad hungry, crossing over to the crowded chippy, carry-out in hand. Ben stuck up a conversation with two fella’s he knew, who were off to a big party. The adequate fish suppers bought, the group left for Oatie’s abode, when he noticed Ben, carrying a brown carrier bag. Asking an obvious question, who’s purchase was this, “ours” came the quick reply…” No, I have ours, small as it is” replied Oatie, holding up another brown paper carrier bag.

Ben realized he had accidently picked up, the other company’s accommodating booze…and it was much more than theirs. Anyway, the boys were too far away… so…it stayed with him.

The happy group arriving in a high-class wally close, climbed four sets of stairs, to reach the rather uniquely designed miniature room and kitchen, plus bathroom with a sliding door, to save space. Carefully distributing portions of the fish& chips banquet, to each individual, before toasting the fine fellow Oatie...wishing him well…more in hope than anything else.

The cheery party were totally unaware…utter hell would break loose…without warning
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peter.howden
JIM; 20; Meaningless

Jim stepped down from the train, weary, but aware of what followed defied all logic or raw physics, nevertheless, the plain truth of the matter was… what followed actual did happen. The Pullman, the platform, the very structure he was standing on…just vanished. Not only did the entire thriving depot just cease to exist, but existence itself was lost. Jim’s courage spiralled overpoweringly as fear took a vice grip. Not only did common sense just vanish, he his mind lost any foundations, by galloping in all direction like wild horses pulling on his nerves.

Judgement on the spot, zipped solutions through his burdened attention, taking a planned long extended blink, thinking, perhaps it was a bizarre dream …or a vicious allusion. Jim opened his eyes to hollowness, though conscious of a disconnected sensation of nightmare proportion, just dangling in nothing. Time did not exist until a moment appeared in his head, echoing communication rising stronger until his keeper, wished contact. In one slender jiffy, though no scholar, surprisingly understanding the whole, filtered through his brain. An outer body experience began

The lecture contained visions and commentary, pitiful sights of untold misery caused by man’s eco footprint on earth, man’s greed no matter the era displayed. Each stage of theoretical civilization was no better than the last. One particular fact was common right through the unplanned encounter, but so fascinating was from the ‘Homo-sapiens’ era, so called mankind cockiness of being the Supreme Being, destined for higher things.

With no explanation, it was obvious ‘Man’ thought well of himself but little else. Disregarding it was just an accident, within millions of accidents taking place every passing second, never mind decades. If the ice had not reflected light, or the atmosphere had change minutely, he would have not existed, yet Jim concluded something had made it so but for what purpose eluded him.

Jim realized superior different dimensions of sorts, without question measured everything within the known universe, soups of universes far beyond humankinds’ capabilities of understanding in a million years. Jim could see it all.
Jim was left to contemplate all he had observed. He had a foretaste of an idea something of real importance was just about to come. A deep intuition dramatically bubbled just beneath his concept, though it was perfectly plain it was there. Was this the answer why he was there, where ever there was or was there everywhere but who could tell. Certainly not Jim as his curiosity rose, he strengthens himself to listen to a brutal message from an unspoken voice giving warning.

This was not the first time as twelve empty planets in this galaxy will testify as part of it all. Each isolated time, it started so promisingly, where all creatures had a purpose, reaping life was a gift. Every attempt was dwarfed by mankind’s limitations intervention, with great expectations totally invalid to his capabilities. Time after time, the cosmos healed itself in a rebirth to the next planet…unknown motivation

Jim was left in no doubt the cosmos, or keeper, had decided this was the last time for intrusion… if this was total oblivion… then so be it. Was the keeper the God the religious people talk about, fighting viciously over the past many millenniums over interpretation, or was this just a wild illusion. Why would God, or any deity what to talk to him… who knows… for Jim did not.
Alone on the silent stairway leading to the station’s platform, where the train was just about to pull away from, Jim found himself running like hell… to board the moving locomotive.
peter.howden
Benghazi Mice; Amsterdam

In 1987, somewhere in the safety of a Scottish metropolitan boundary, amongst a bunch of mellowed males, within a renowned Turkish Suite, wee Dom decided to revise his personal-memories, offering chosen illusional memoires in the early fifties R.A. F, wearing a W.A. Fs uniform on parade. In this episode, he explains being on jankers, lugged off to the colly, for an unspecified time. Inside he swore an allegiance, with a comrade nicknamed ‘Bungalow’… lights were on…but nothing on top, who evolved into Bengunn

How the following was decided, is in the land of good fortune and fairy tales, but somehow, within the steam suite, in competition with the legendary ‘Desert Rats’ 12 stout men, all good and true, voted and became the infamous ‘Benghazi Mice’. With an adventurous mood, one of the field trips planned by the ‘Benghazi Mice’, was for four just men, travel through foreign territory, boarding the two day ferry from Hull to Amsterdam… and back. The chosen company where, Deaf John, Big Jim, Fancy Archie and Bengunn.

As instructed in all military manoeuvre, arriving at the terminal, boarding the sailing ‘Bivouac’ inspecting the individual bunk cabins, plus amenities at their disposal. The group became aware of the privy danger, where false wallies could unexpecting drop down the pan, disappearing forever via the high-pressured water down to infinity. Of course, this menace is only present after a few ‘waters of life’

Secure and ready for a rare night as the ferry sailed onward into the unknown. The lads enjoyed the ‘NAAFA’ facilities, some light entertainment made rosy with many slight refreshments below their belts. Time for lights out, the company, fleein and walking careful, as if on a causeystane path, to their allotted billets, Deaf John, Big Jim in one, Fancy Archie/Bengunn in quarters 2.

Next morning, Archie and Bengunn, rising from individual pits, relaxed to meet a brand-new day, headed for the prearranged rendezvous, though no sign of their buddies. Then, two ying-yang bodies appeared, bleary-eyed lost souls who sat down with mugs of apparently coffee. but probably enhanced with a good ‘hair of the dog’ They complained excessively about the sleeping accommodations, partaking little sleep in the one and only bunkbed provided…due to Big Jim’s restlessness and John snoring.

Asked why they did not pull down the other bunk, on hinges, they both replied…” what bloody bunk ??. John added aggressively… “that big bugger widny stop farting like hell…you’d need a F---ing gasmask to survive”
Next stop…10 hours in Amsterdam
peter.howden
Unholy Garments
.
A much-cherished Scottish comedian, often referred to when being a young boy swimming in the seas surrounding the coast of Aberdeen, the perils when forced to wear a pair of knitted swimming trunks. The dangers, discomfort and embarrassment this dreaded single garment triggered. In the dark past there was another terror lurking in the wings…so to speak

One weekend, Tony caught a cold while staying with Aunt Molly, a sweet spinster friend of Tony’s mother. The kindly lady insisted he should wear underclothing, which belonged to her military father when he was a boy. This will be a constant guard to keep creepy crawly disease at bay…she caringly said. Her father had been in soldierly service all his life, now a retired general, insisted the items were as good as spanking new, served well when he was a lad.

With great enthusiasm, presented Tony with a veiled home of suffering, perhaps the lair of ‘Lucifer’ himself… masquerading in Khaki coloured knitted underwear. “See you next week in the church”, Aunt Molly called out graciously as he left, taking the brown paper wrapped items home. Once in his abode, His mother opened the parcel, gave a noise of pleasure, adding she would have to thank Molly on Sunday next, insisting Tony wearing his gifts, as a dignified sign of appreciation.

The forthcoming Holy day brought unpredictably intense temperatures for the season, as Tony and his mother arrived at the foot of the Church’s stairs, near the corner of Renfield street, Adjacent to the famous Empire Theatre. Now in those days the children, completely still, stayed in the congregation, for the first hymn, then led into their own tiny worship hall, giving praise to Jesus…and the wee black babies.

With the huge congregation in the church, the erratic temperature, for the 15 minutes Tony endured the growing discomfort, itching in places you don’t discuss in public, while mother had that harsh look, meaning the end of the world.

Worse was to come as Tony had no resistance to forcibly scratch, almost every step towards the big wooden doors of the small hall, much to the growing curiosity of the worshipers. In the children’s recess, each moment that passed only became pricklier for Tony, whereas the Sunday School teacher was showing sings of losing her patience. Final she expelled him from the class. The problem was he only knew one way to leave, through the people attending worship.

Tony had enough sense to make his own way home across the River Clyde. Returning home after the service was over, mother, displaying an anxious expression, said not a word until much late. She softly spoke how she would never live it down, she was mortified for apparently, nearly everyone believed Tony had fleas.

The subject of the garments, or the wearing of them, never arose again, in fact… the pyxies took them…it must have been them…mother would not lie…
-=-=-=
peter.howden

SPECIAL BREAKFAST;

Mother’s Day had arrived at Peter’s home, whilst the couple’s children, had flown the coup far afield, so much so, they posted cards to their Mum, dutifully arrived the previous day from the much honour day of history

Peter’s first thought of the day give his partner in life breakfast in bed. He was excited because this would come as totally unexpected. After all, Rebecca did it every day, so it’s bound to be easy peasy. They both felt blessed with each other’s feelings, stronger than ever before, however Rebecca confessed, she has seen, at times, Peter being a bit of an eejit?

The preparation was quite simple, considering the way things turned out. The toast was only slightly burnt, as he scrapped scorched bits off, though if he followed the rule precisely, little would have been left on the plate. The cornflakes were no problem, just poured out from the packet though somehow too many came tumbling out. The milk’s freshness was dubious, but heck, without surprises, life is rather dull. His porridge turned out perfect as the microwave is a God send, saving the maker cleaning out the pot. Peter put a couple of carnations in the tiny vase, displaying near artfully attractive.

He had difficulty balancing the heavy tray, no thought to equilibrium whilst pilling on the breakfast treat quickly, before the tea and coffee cooled. Entering the room in triumph, moving around the bed, beaming a grin which almost touched his ears. Observing a drawer open which could cause a catastrophe, with panache closed drawer with his knee, chuffed with his ostentation act and preceded as planned to honour his love one.

Unfortunately, Peter failed to notice his dressing-gown’s belt, had lodged in the drawer just closed, surprisingly stopping him moving forward. he decided to give a tug which meant only using one hand to balance the precise cargo, threatening a stumble or forcing him backwards

To save being scalding by the tea, flung his arms forward, causing the tray to fly uncontrollable high into virgin air. At the same time; the tier tore free from its unwanted restraint, tripping him fleeing forward. He landed in a praying position at the side of the bed, the tray and all its contents came tumbling down, sprawling right across Rebecca’s mother’s new gifted eiderdown. For a brief second, he was curiously pleased escaping relatively unscathed… forgetting about the bloody porridge.

Somehow his breakfast oats had forgotten about the rules of gravity, for though the bowl had returned to earth, its contents were still making a different route downwards. Most of the now gooey substance landed on his forehead and face. Now it had cooled from when it was first made, however; the hair on his head has thinned drastically over the years, resulting Peter’s scalp was sensitive, even hurt with raindrops.

Promptly, as this substance landed on his almost bare scalp, it solidified, instantly heating up far beyond its original temperature. The biggest mistake made was, when he grabbed the corner of the gifted eiderdown, attempting to relieve his head of this awfully hot breakfast.

Whether it was history repeating itself, though now at opposite ends of his shameful cries to be released, I do not know but “She who must be obeyed” just smirked and remarked “Not quite breakfast in bed but almost”. He could not work out if she was being sarcastic by continuing; “wait till Father’s Day…One monkey won’t stop the show”
-=-=-=-=-=
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peter.howden

Liquid Gold;(1)

Through a swarming depot, two immaculate dressed strangers edged closer to each other, pushed and pulled among the hordes, by the tide of arriving impatient passengers, these individual strangers were professionally surveying the teeming public area, for prying eyes, or any lackeys who would sell their grannies if the price was right.

Within the hubbub of rushing human traffic, a final scrutiny check before a quiet, but stern voice asked, “Did you get past the stringent checkouts without suspicion…Mr G?”. These dapper agents had programmed code identifiers, capital letters instead of names, so no one could name names, or give away titles when subjected to all forms of torture. Compromised

Mister “G” did not answer, his stone-faced silence made it abundantly clear …failure to follow ridged practise of the movement had compromised the mission...and Mr ‘G’ did not trust anyone.

As a further security measure, the underground organization dictated physically ‘Sign Language was used by all agents as an introduction, twice their coded initial, validation in as ‘Mr C’ (with C&c) reduced the tension between the two couriers. Mr G(G&g) hand spoke back, although he well knew his collaborator…Mr G would certainly dispose of him, there and then, had he not complied with the code.

During the previous months, the authorities had pick up many of their best operatives, what happened to them before, once in the clutches of the diabolical ruthless dictatorship’s henchmen... before subscription death…anyone’s guess… but grimly predicted.

Once the vigilant Mr “G” was satisfied every risk had been complete analysed as best they could, he replied “Yes, I trust so, without one single drop being discovered”.

Cautiously, both moved into the shadows, to be less conspicuous, offered to them by the honeycomb of the half-demolished building. Only the previous week there had been desperate horrendous fighting, ended by mortars being used by the overzealous government forces, killing three operatives.

“How did you get by the detectors without a bar code?” enquired Mr ‘C’, to the now more relaxed other man. “In these fraught times,” replied Mr “G, picking his words carefully before continuing, “since 2060 nothing gets past the protection corridor without one unknown markings, so I created some of my own”. “As far as the authorities believe, their detectors picked up I was carrying loads of experimental contaminated rare sperm, extracted, the old fashion procedure… from bulls” whispered the dark Mr “G”
.
“But is it the genuine article” Mr ‘C’ croaked displaying some anxiety in voice and posture; “Will it convince the doubters?” “This;” replied Mr “G” with a built-up authority in his voice, “Will blow their tiny little minds and will prove even to the harden sceptics, our beloved leader and his cronies, have been deceiving our nation for such an incredible long time”.

Suddenly… an unusual clatter, from beyond the dim lighting, had both men automatic crouching instinctively.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-
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peter.howden
The Desultory fellow;

What’s in a kiss


Some voices ask, what’s happened to this world an aimless excuse for what is happening nowadays, which they disagree with. The world is the same as it has always been, just roughly tolerated, with a slight glimpse of trendy alterations ever few years or so. Because of extremely poor living conditions, one such desperately needed, but accidental trend, began some 40 years ago, with the introduction of tenant self-controlled local housing associations

The living tapestry within the housing movement, directors and committee members, mirrors life itself, mainly determined to make a difference in their homes, surroundings and neighbourhoods. The movement consist has found a couple of rogue directors’, pompous senior staff, some self-opinionated chairs of housing committees, a few conceited witches as office bearers …but completely outnumbering those naughty lemons, are dedicated staff with ordinary committee members genuinely working each day, constructing neighbourhoods to be proud with… through hard work, have surpassed beyond any measure.

Shug and Old Tam, innate horses at the diplomacy game, attended quite a few network Conferences, organized by advisory establishments, such as S.F.H.A.., E.V.H..and S.H.A.RE, conveying important legal information, Business plans, work ethics structures and changes in the government’s attitudes. Perhaps it’s Shug’s wavering memory to blame, but there was quite a bit of carefreeness and fun collectively between the serious business at hand.

Donkeys ago, one such weekend conference of E.V.H, was held in Perth’s prestigious Railway Hotel, apparently slightly overbooked, no room at the inn for the two olden lags. The Director of E.V.H. at the time, offered to share his spacious apartment (apparently used by pole taxer Maggie Thatcher regularly).

Shug rose very early next morning, having been disturbed by old Tam’s constant snoring echoing throughout the massive room, each wheezing sounding like a death wish. Standing in the total buff, opened the curtains and window wide, with vigour started to exercise both arms and legs. Tam woke with bleary eyes, grumpily protested about Shug’s weird actions. Shug turned around, headed towards Tam, calling out ‘Tam what you need is a big morning kiss’

Tam was out of his bed, and like a rocket into the bathroom…closing the door with a banging stramsash. This slight kerfuffle…the Director opened his private door…revealing his own nakedness… other than Flash Harry boxer shorts… A sight to beyond at any time of the day?

To this day…he still coughs nervously…recalling the memory.
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peter.howden
Liquid Gold;(2)

Remaining motionless, apart from scrutinizing everything in all directions conceivable their squatted position allowed, spotted ambling along a battered girdle, came a manky rat scampering past, seemingly unperturbed by their tumult. Mr ‘C’ slowly turning to face his comrade, without a word passing either person’s lips, signalling to move deeper into the darkness. Once tenable, they exchange notes as Mr ‘C’ took hold of the valuable cargo.

Before moving separate ways, Mr “G” looked at his counter partner with cold eyes, instructing him; “Be bloody alert, real vigilant; many a good man has died so you can do your part”. Standing eyeball to eyeball, gripping hands in a twisted manner as old comrades do, “Whatever your clan, we are one in our hearts, …so I salute you?” Mr ‘G’ slinked towards the light as almost running, Mr ‘C’, sprang in the opposite direction, towards some darker buildings further on.

Only a few minutes passed, Mr ‘C’ heard the familiar noise of sub machine guns blazing. These bastards had silent laser armaments, but favoured to make as much clatter as possible, warning everyone what will become anybody who disagrees with the brutal regime of law enforcers.

Silence fell once more, Mr ‘C’ moved even swifter to be as far away from the scene as possible. He checked his precise cargo was whole, knowing he had a long road ahead.

Forced to seek some sort of protection, with sleekit movements, he penetrated into the deepest section within the putrid globe city. Creeping towards the darkest corner of a building, no longer used for purpose it was erected, but secure from disturbance. For too long, he had been everchanging from one dead end to another, he had forgotten how to be human. Mr ‘C’ urgently needed to recuperate and rest…. even sleep for a short spell.

Relaxing his tensions, but still on instant guard, Mr ‘C’, wondered why he joined this cause. ‘This was mankind’s future’ it was said. Those words, had been enough encouragement to battle against authority at the beginning… but now, his honesty was lost, this was just a run of the mill going nowhere

Allowing his mind to wander into seldom surfacing thoughts, predict there would always be hunger, underprivilege, the downtrodden, the inevitable poor, however, they should have a sense of dignity, not mindless bondage drudgery… with no hope.

Almost all of the inhabitants of the four covered dwelling areas, had bugger all clue, other than being simplified by drug inducements inducing no reason to fight for anything else One thing had been constant…fear. His dread was, If caught, his life would not be worth a nickel, and the bloody torture; but then again, it was too torrid to think or dwell over.

Revived from his self-pity, he rallied…This mission was vital…if his countrymen were to be free from dire oppressed existence.
-=-=-=-=-=-=
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peter.howden
Liquid Gold; Penultimate, (9)

It may seem strange how dapper agent Mr ‘C’, remained motionless, except for an almost untraceable smirk, while peculiar bizarre discussions, and hostile pronouncements were being made …still, something in his in-scene tranquillity, which may be conceited knowledge of the full state of play. Just a couple of stingy blocks away, with the protection of near darkness Minx, disclosing her top covert code while releasing the bonds from her captive. He nodded, she nodded as he added extra communication code which has to remain a secret…even to the reader.

Speaking softly to Mr ‘C’, explaining her code name ‘Pandora, like the myth, her heart was black for revenge, but now the time has come to annihilate the traitor, through deserved excruciating pain. She gave Mr ‘C’ a firearm, and without another word, they both knew they were going back for evil Mr ‘G’. once close to the makeshift camp, Pandora and Mr ‘C’ moved apart, positioned himself almost an arm’s length from the ruckus

Is a very short space in time, Mr ‘G’ face distorted, showing plain fear unfolding, now he had lost his command, leaving him almost near psychotic. He refused to relieve the task force as instructed by a superior, instead set up a makeshift brazier… stoking red hot rods wretchedly inflicted on the four remaining prisoners’, ear-piercing martyrs entertaining a single deranged delusion. Mr’C witnessed these poor wrenched humans’ limbs, naked bodies and crumpled feet had lost movement other than painful shuffling when ordered. One poor crumpled soul was called for by the now crazy lunatic

The pistol packing quisling’s brazier grid opened swinging right back, squeal let out by an inhuman voice could never be match by anything living or dead. The man just stood frozen yet terrified beyond reason. His eyes never lost their gaze going straight into the centre of the stove. The terror mounted as his stare could not alter, the dread could be seen by all because of Mr ‘Involuntary trembling. Without warning or any visible sign of aid or help, the grid slowly shut… suddenly it was closed.

The turncoat good hand fell to his side, releasing the grip on the threatening weapon. It dropped clumsily to the floor. Then as a memorized soldier Mr “G” fell to his knees and let out a final wail of utter disbelief. No one moved until Mr ‘C’ rushed around grabbed the revolver from the floor. Without any feeling Mr ‘C’ crashed the weapon against the kneeling man’s bare scull, sending him crumbling to the floor.

Total void of sound emptied into the musky air, as the feral conclusion was hesitantly held…while Mr ‘C’ mentally considered if he should shoot dead Mr ‘G’…or not.

-=-=-=
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peter.howden

I am extremely sorry for making a naughty mistake…putting the second last episode before 3 to 8
Hope it was not to confusing but now I will have to rectify my error…nearly all at once

Liquid Gold;(3)

The cold, always an enemy, seeped and creped over him, causing his bones to beg for warmth…any kind, but daren’t risk an open fire, even if he could find something to burn. A memory flaunted his mind, of a hot cup of steaming brew, though he could not remember if he actually had tasted this nectar…or if his imagination had made it real.

Checked his precious container’s seal was unbroken, no cracks visible. For Mr ‘C’ the crucial goal from espionage was reaping uncontrollable vibrating thrills, each time lady luck lent a hand outwitting inhuman suppresser of his ancient Celtic country. Snatching this container away from the country’s tormentors. was the edge of existence, no way out but death?

The movement had discovered how these bastards substituted drinking water, with a selection of chemical liquids containing drops of Methanol into mixture of what is deemed purified liquid. This was the shit put into probation booze, by the hoods in the twenties last century, killing thousands of putters while more were blinded and crippled.
Almost the whole population remained walking zombies, unaware of the diabolical reality within all four dwelling areas. Mr ‘C’ recalls a quote, reputed from Galgacus the Pict chief in early Alba history “They make a desert and call it peace”, no truer than today.

A constant ear-splitting din from high up tampered air flues, normal in any of the four-globe covered metropolis, making pinpointing any another sound almost impossible. Other than the isolated elite, in fancy fresh aired sealed apartments, and official working areas, no such luxuries existed for the majority of the populous, who had never had one breath of fresh air or had seen a leaf or a blade of grass.

Just at that moment, an unexpected dim light flashed far left of the corner which Mr ‘C’ had not checked. A noise followed which sounded deliberately made. A tacky cold drop of sweat trickled down his back, dripped little by little…constantly Was it a trap? Could he evade it and still contact the purple group?
peter.howden
Liquid Gold;(4)

A dancing light darted across to the corner wall, reflecting onto the grim tarnished partition., isolating the source Mechanically he braced his body ready for action, focused both sound and sight. As always, his mouth dried up by intense nerves reaction

Out of the dimness, echoed a voice, not hollow acoustics but a low quaver of uncertainty. Slowly an unclear mirage of a child emerged into the half-light. Curiously stirred Mr ‘C’, still alert to avoid any threat, as the unidentified form came closer, he realized it was no child, but a petite girl, grimily weak, awkward forward

A little spark of mawkishness lit inside Mr ‘C’, slightly lowering his guard, to assist the young fragile female. Within a second, he was whipped around with his arm right up his back, a converted tin lid exposing the vulnerability of his throat. Not only had he been taken by surprise, but grossly humiliated as other miraculously bodies appear from all sides.

Mr ‘C’ did not move for it was unquestionable the female cat would complete her threat, without hesitation. The leader of the hidden group stood right in front, then firmly uttered the secure code of the freedom fighters. Finding himself quoting the next line, then repeating the first, as protocol insisted. The giant of a leader nodded to the vixen, who lowered the sharp homemade weapon, relaxing her grip
In a show of communal trust, they shock hands… Yet…there was something not quite right, Mr ‘C’s’ instincts worried him.

Slowly, but deliberately, the vigilant leader informed Mr ‘C’, their main hideout was recently raided, totally destroyed. All members caught, were taken up in front of a wall, murdered by old fashioned machine guns. The rumpus carried thru the global city, long after the catastrophic action, as mental torment, warning anyone who dare defy the authorities.

Abruptly and threateningly the leader curtly spat out “There is a traitor, I’m not sure it is not you?”. Mr ‘C’ was grabbed by two extra burly bodies, forcefully removed out of sight of the main gathering, quickly followed by the leader. Some minutes later, Mr ‘C’ emerged, looking rather roughed up, with blood trickling down from his mouth, obviously been asking some thought-provoking questions. For a moment… not a sound until the leader called out; “He’s O.K…he can be trusted…let’s move”

For some hours, the liberty troops scurried around the shadows of dilapidated buildings, avoiding copious camera security hotspots, trudging their way to some secret place. Out of the blue, a small clearing opened out from the aged battered structures. Only the irritating squeaking revealed a disguised door scraping open, just to the right of the group, silently wearily, all trouped in. Seemingly a huge maze of catacomb chambers, but only one semi large room was used for the troops, except for the guards and lookouts.

Inside the room was warm, but stuffy and reeking…no breeze to take comfort from, because the lack of city air condition system, (individually, can be traced, plus a danger from shaft spread narcotics drugging the occupants during civil unrest). In the centre of the main room, a pungent foul smell, from a large pot obviously cooking…the girl explained; “We have had no uncycled water since I’ve been here, but we make do”.

Within the glooms at the far end, a very old Morse code tapper, connected to ancient cabling. Mr’C’ informed by the leader, it was their communication system, to outfox the hated regime trying to spy on them.

Not another syllable was spoken while they quickly consumed the cuisine, tasting like pathetic grog, even so, Mr ‘C’ had not eaten for a considerable time. He just held his breath being grateful for limited nourishment…so to hell with taste
Unknown cusp ahead… Hell was about to be reborn… and the devil was just a heartbeat away.
0-0-0=0-=0-=-=0=0=0

Liquid Gold;(5)

Next morning, the small combat brigade moved out the makeshift billet, silently surveying the desolate area. No indication of either cat, dog, or any domestic animal… one obvious absence, scavenging vermin, mice or dreaded rats…. just an eerie silence. Unknown to the group, a dark abyss was to meet them.

Just ahead, inside a massive ruin’s large courtyard, they found a mass of mutilated human beings, pitilessly scythed to pieces after being murdered by zealots. Mr ‘C’ viewing this horror, his eye caught sight of a partial decomposing body of a child, looking hollowly innocent with dead eyes staring into space…her crippled sliced arms grasping her rag doll.

They could not care for the dead or bury them or raise a small cairn, in fear of being spotted by the spy cameras. Having to move away without caring for their dead…This was the cruellest rational cut of all. As a fighting force they were spent.

There and then, Mr ‘C’ motioned the leader aside, deciding to take him into his confidence, “I can’t give you assurance, but I can simply show you what you have committed your lives for”. He slowly brought out the small precious container; opened it with care, allowing a single drop to fall into the bottom of a small plastic cup. It was a distinctive clear drop of pure unadulterated water. “The original two atoms of hydrogen combined with one atom of oxygen; in other words, H.20…this is the beginning of your new world” spoke Mr ‘C’.

By this time, more of the worn-out activists gathered around while Mr ‘C’ strongly continued “Outside the globes, hulls and glens abundant, natural growth of a ‘Garden of Eden’ just waiting for bloody Adam and Eve”. Showing his disdain, he continued, “with greed, the bleeding regime bastards, deliberately deceived all of Alba, because it’s extremely profitable, to sell vast quantities of water , your generations inheritance, to every foreign land in the globe”

“I don’t believe it,” called a hidden voice from the middle of scuffed tashie men. “It’s been like this forever cause I’ve been at the edge of this dome, and there are no exits, to any lush country outside…” the voice caught short by a boomed retort

“I don’t care what the bloom you believe…but you should care because it’s your blooming world” Mr ‘C’ stopped there, looked around, seeing some disturbed eyes looking back which prompted him “the whole of Alba is green and blue with abundance of growth… water till you burst”

In a gentler manner he spoke “I have one more item to show …. Plants use water in photosynthesis?”. From another hiding place around his person, a singular clear plastic tube shows a green stoke with a most gorgeous yellow flower protruding from its delicate leaves. “this is the makings of rebirth by your people.”
-=-=-=-=-=
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peter.howden
Liquid Gold;(6)

“How can we believe you, just because of some trickery with a few drops of water...we have no idea how old those drops are?” came a lone hesitating voice response from the crowd “For god sake” roars Mr ‘C’ in bewilderment; “Water has recycled since long before the dinosaurs… cleanses itself via nature”. “Outside, a mountain’s wonderland range exists, with glens and wildlife, lochs, rivers and burns aplenty, cultivated reed beds, nature’s simple habitat purifying the waters, as far as the eye can see…more important than our miserable souls.

A bizarre stony silence crept over the exhausted troops as childlike dumbfounded faces stared back at Mr ‘C, lowering his head, realizing how this basic knowledge was far beyond their comprehension Over the past half century the tyrant regime dominated existence, robbing all and sundry of their legacy awareness. This crude resistance just wished freedom from tyranny. You could hear a pin drop in this unreal deafening stillness

From the rear of the group, a mysterious loud hand clapping carried from within the quarter’s make shift lights could not reach. The clapping came closer and everyone’s ears were training to pick up where it came from. Then out of the dark abyss stepped a man Mr ‘C’ thought no longer existed from the abstruse shadows appeared Mr “G”, clapping with disdain glee…unfortunately, he was not alone by any means…a small armed force surrounded the entire cluster of campaigners

Startling even Mr ‘C’, yet skilled not to show emotion, stood motionless, except lowering the precise flower onto its concealed duct, then turning to hide his actions, taciturnly spoke “Well… it had to be some grovelling worm, so it may as, well, be you?” No one who heard this knew if it was a statement or a question, which did not matter the bloody slightest, when totally surrounded by so many guns pointing directly to you.

The cagey weasel of a turncoat slinky moved, peering into the throng then scurrying a few steps closer towards the work table where the items laid “You bloody bampots, all of you , believing these wild myth ideas and words spouted by story-telling old men… but you had a mission ...to make anyone fight against the legitimate law and order, any way you could…is that not right Mr ‘C?”, sneered Mr ‘G’

“Unlike you, I was always only here for Wolf’s money…and that is what you and I are; for we eat all the wee sheep bleeping about freedom” came the words from a man, empty of emotion other than dark cold evilness.

The leader sprang for his revolver …to late receiving the butt end of a semi-automatic for his troubles, his minder was kicked in the face, left bleeding where he fell. Mr ‘C’ moved not a single muscle

Copying a sly rodent; edging his way around grim demoralized men standing like unkempt statues.” I could not have done this all by myself, heaven forbid; I had the assistance from the Girl… where is she?”
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Liquid Gold;(7)

Ugly menacing machine guns pointed at the freedom fighters as the regime hordes attempted to herd the surprised group as they looked all around for the girl. However, the problem for Mr ‘C, could not see her…and no one else responded. This unsettled the adversary Mr ‘G’, causing his agitated arrogance to boil over, lashing out at the nearest person with a spiteful pistol wiping, felling him to the ground. A couple of brave regime heavies kicked the near unconscious body mercilessly… almost playing football with him.


The rest of the authorised helmet wearing mercenaries stood ridged as he repeated, “Where the bloom is the bitch?” in a hysterical voice of a paranoid guy, starring into the mass with cold blank peering eyes. Unpredictably, he altered his physical stance, to inquire glibly, “Where are the test tubes? the table is bare is it not?”. now sarcastically muttered, “Never mind cretins, I know where to pick her up at her apartment, one of the best in this bloody dump”.

Mr ‘C’ came to an unwanted conclusion, she must be a collaborator, which explained the weird stuff around her…yet, something was nagging him…something just couldn’t put his finger! Mr ‘G’ snorted, “Now you wondered where your cargo is, it’s not where you left, is it? and that’s for sure, strutting and stumping around the empty table, like a bloody paranoid peacock, on heat. “Quick thinking Girl she is” he jeered, poising as the victor with an afterthought, “She has it in safe keeping in one of her unusual hiding places”.

No visual sign or spoken orders were given to those dark troops who systematically callously rounded up everyone bar Mr ‘C’, while the manic Mr ‘G’ squealed “We are going to revitalise that quaint old Celtic tradition called ‘First Footing’… but, with a quaint difference”. Smirking into himself …then the swine laughed like a banshee’s wail;

“For my lovely little precious… It will not be bringing in Ne’erday … but cancel all her years yet to come?”
-=-=-=-=-=
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peter.howden
My apologies for being a silly old twit

Liquid Gold;(8)

Minx Jarr
Several staunch protestors attempted to resist being coxswained as burden beasts, but were overpowered by machine gun guards, as all other eyes were intimidated by raving Mr ‘G’, wielding an imaginary sceptre. Apart from Mr ‘C’, no one noticed a sharply curved immaculate dapper female, entering the homemade arena, sauntered ever so casually up to the wooden box being used as a podium by the vocal turncoat. Silence fell as a robust undaunted voice hovering over the muddle; “Have you a problem with these troglodytes Mr ‘G’?”.

For a vague moment, the traitor was dumbfounded, then sulkily smiled, “Minx Jarr!” with a slight quiver in the tone, “why are we privileged with your presence?”. looking around in a distaste manner, the striking Minx Jarr responded…” They; are certainly not happy at all with you Mr ‘G’…but I’m here to make amends your failures!”. “Just a matter of interest” she enquired, “have you detained her, you know… the wee scraggy girl named ‘Hope’… and returned what she stole from here?” concluding in a higher pitch.

As a rule, Mr ‘G’ didn’t show any kind of concern , but…just a hint crossed his worried brow, he just couldn’t figure out how the hell she knew what just happened just 10 minutes ago, as casual as he could be said “sound as a pound, as the old saying goes” almost choking out the last word…”what I mean, it’s all in hand.” Almost mockingly, Minx swung around, “I really don’t think so, Mr, with twice the force, you have a group of ‘ten a penny’ pitiful reformers, plus the exclusive Mr ‘C’ … but you have not got the evidence of a new world …have you? because I have them here!” She pulls out the two, life changing Liquid Gold containers, to the astonishment of all…but more so Mr ‘G’

Hastily, and unconvincingly, he stutters, “Once we are rid of these cretins, there is no problem…no one will know, as for that wee besom?”, hesitatingly sorts of asks, rather than tells. “The news of its existence is already around half the dome…including the regime… stupid bugger you”, barks back Minx, with utter contempt and firmness in her tone, “I will take these containers, and the bothersome Mr’C’ to headquarters, and try to rescue this farce!”. “You may as well release these men, get rid of your task force, but you stay right here till I return...all right…can you manage that?” sarcastically rather than with concern.

With most of the activist away into the gloomy dark before Minx and Mr ‘C’ left the area.

Once they had gone, Mr “G” awkwardly pulled out his revolver, waved it menacingly preventing four wounded men’s leaving, who now beyond doubt expected to be shot, or worse still… to be tortured.
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peter.howden
Liquid Gold; Penultimate, (9)

It may seem strange how dapper agent Mr ‘C’, remained motionless, except for an almost untraceable smirk, while peculiar bizarre discussions, and hostile pronouncements were being made …still, something in his in-scene tranquillity, which may be conceited knowledge of the full state of play. Just a couple of stingy blocks away, with the protection of near darkness Minx, disclosing her top covert code while releasing the bonds from her captive. He nodded, she nodded as he added extra communication code which has to remain a secret…even to the reader.

Speaking softly to Mr ‘C’, explaining her code name ‘Pandora, like the myth, her heart was black for revenge, but now the time has come to annihilate the traitor, through deserved excruciating pain. She gave Mr ‘C’ a firearm, and without another word, they both knew they were going back for evil Mr ‘G’. once close to the makeshift camp, Pandora and Mr ‘C’ moved apart, positioned himself almost an arm’s length from the ruckus

Is a very short space in time, Mr ‘G’ face distorted, showing plain fear unfolding, now he had lost his command, leaving him almost near psychotic. He refused to relieve the task force as instructed by a superior, instead set up a makeshift brazier… stoking red hot rods wretchedly inflicted on the four remaining prisoners’, ear-piercing martyrs entertaining a single deranged delusion. Mr’C witnessed these poor wrenched humans’ limbs, naked bodies and crumpled feet had lost movement other than painful shuffling when ordered. One poor crumpled soul was called for by the now crazy lunatic

The pistol packing quisling’s brazier grid opened swinging right back, squeal let out by an inhuman voice could never be match by anything living or dead. The man just stood frozen yet terrified beyond reason. His eyes never lost their gaze going straight into the centre of the stove. The terror mounted as his stare could not alter, the dread could be seen by all because of Mr ‘Involuntary trembling. Without warning or any visible sign of aid or help, the grid slowly shut… suddenly it was closed.

The turncoat good hand fell to his side, releasing the grip on the threatening weapon. It dropped clumsily to the floor. Then as a memorized soldier Mr “G” fell to his knees and let out a final wail of utter disbelief. No one moved until Mr ‘C’ rushed around grabbed the revolver from the floor. Without any feeling Mr ‘C’ crashed the weapon against the kneeling man’s bare scull, sending him crumbling to the floor.

Total void of sound emptied into the musky air, as the feral conclusion was hesitantly held…while Mr ‘C’ mentally considered if he should shoot dead Mr ‘G’…or not.
peter.howden
A Date;

Pure excitement can’t help taking over his body and nerves, always happens every Saturday, having done so for well over a year when he will see, at Boot’s Corner, the most gorgeous girl this side of Scotland. Boot’s corner does not really exist now, but it is the place where true lovers met, where some poor soul had a dizzy, but not him, because she always turns up at the very same time every Saturday. As he dances and warbles like ‘Tony’ singing “Something’s coming” from the fabulous film ‘West Side Story’, he had a feeling tonight will be the night, changing their lives forever.

Just for reassurance, if reassurance was needed, he checks once again to make sure the ring is in its case, and the case is secure in his right pocket of his jacket, for tonight might just turn out be the most magical night ever to make his life complete. Love blossomed from the very first moment he laid eyes on her angelic smiling face, complete with her bubbling personality, however…he has never been able to enlighten his deepest desires, prevented because of his tongue-tied shyness when he becomes serious.

Every Saturday, straight after work, his schedule is a methodical timetable, shower then talc, aftershave, then dressing with carefully ironed shirt and tie… and cufflinks to match, his best light blue suit. His whole attire completed with immaculate shinny shoes. Phones the usual taxi company and travels into the city centre clutching the precious wee red jewellery box.

Walking towards the ‘Hielanman's Umbrella’ from Buchanan Street end of Argyle St, he is on time and he can see her standing there on the same meeting point as usual. He slows down and stops… for she has not seen him. He waits for a few moments taking a check on reality. Suddenly she is beaming, smile over smile while running open armed towards another fella and they intimately hug… walk hand in hand past him

He was hoping, as he has every time, that this Saturday the guy would not turn up and he could then introduce himself properly, but she does not know him…yet? If that other guy would just take a rain check, or give her a dizzy, he could step in and take her to the pictures or something. He knows she would fall for him, if introduced the right way just like he did for her, but this other guy makes it impossible.

For just that moment he is the saddest man in the world.

Turning around he is secure in the knowledge that fate will make their meeting…it’s just a question of when…maybe next Saturday?!
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peter.howden
Liquid Gold (10) The End;

The situation was dire as Mr ‘C’ slowly squeezing the trigger, badly wanting to kill the rat quisling, glancing for a second while looking at Pandora’s body language, her lips pleading to stop, he hesitated, then lowered the revolver, turning to face Pandora, he asked why she wished to give mercy to this smarmy bastard betrayer.

Pandora let fall her head as if in prayer, lifted her brow in seemingly enlightenment, saying softly, “to execute him would be mercy, as my name, I am vengeance…retribution gives opulence beyond imagination …this is my route for existence”. She pauses, turns around hiding her facial expression, as if in private; “unlike aspirational sister; ‘Hope’, the other side of the coin... I have no soul…It will do no harm to one’s of knowledge …but will pierce the very depths of the darkened peoples… where ever they are?”.

Unobserved Mr “G”, managed to his feet, made a dash to the open, pathetically screaming “Help I’m being …” not one more syllable left his lip, he fell unwillingly sprawled across the floor, with the help of an antique fire extinguisher walloped across his nut. “That will take the heat of the moment” cracked the leader, smiling as he added “That’s for him letting his vicious guards use me like a bladder” The leader had no such elusions watching Mr “G” playing the frightened prisoner whilst just waiting for an open opportunity to practices his deceptions and flees.

This violent disorder centralized around the traitor as Mr ‘C’ turned to Pandora. He was thunderstruck for she had vanished…standing in the exact position…was the totty girl called ‘Hope’. Without permitting any form of inter-communication she swiftly uttered, “yes we are...both sides of the same coin?” The girl had a mystery gaze about her which Mr ‘C’ had not seen previously. He was about to ask an obvious question but once again stopped, as if she was under the influence of some kind of ancient spell

Delicately opened up her garment, revealing a small clear sphere; the added very delicately “The power points of this fragile planet; Shetland, Stonehenge; Skellig Islands; Serpent Mount and the Black hills, may now be impossible to reach… but I hold their gargantuan power within”. In a flutter an eyelid …she was gone, leaving Mr ‘C’ asking “What was that… a fairy tale…or an allusion?”.

The leader was going to say he had the wrong end of the message …. but thought better of it. He did tell Mr ‘C’ his fighting group will grow stronger to carry on with the cause… never give way to malicious for its own sake. Mr ‘C’ strongly with real compassion, shook both the leader’s huge hands, leaving his small group with the traitor in toe.

The weary agent departed to try and complete his mission, watching fervently, the leader thought Mr ‘C’…Mean…moody…but magnificent.

THE END
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peter.howden
. My Chronicles 01/12/2018

Aunt Becky’s birthday is on the 5th December and a sedate wee ‘Do’ is planned to be held in the residential home, simply because it makes sense. Aunt Becky is certainly not as nimble as she was and steadily more delicate as time marches on. The home will supply the cake, it’s a tradition on anyone’s birthday, a big cake is baked, then given to every resident. As long as I remember the prized ‘Irn Bru’ I will be O.K. also perhaps she may have a glimmer of who we are, however, the chances are low…but who knows.

I am quite fascinated looking in the mirror to shave this morning… have lost my man Boobs. This may sound awfully rude, but I have just realized this phenomenon possibly due to losing some weight, but the strange thing is…how did they get there in the first place. ‘She who must be obeyed’ in a cruel streak I must add, suggested some time ago, I should buy a bra…as they wobble…uncontrollable. How I’m so grateful, Rebecca can focus on my emotional points, allowing the ability that opens up her passions

Other bits are going too such as fading memory, squinty eyesight and hearing. Apparently, I’m not too bad in the sound department, quavering on the verge though with a loss of high-toned vibration, so…I’m now the proud owner of a neat hearing aid. All I need to do is to learn to listen…and hurrying on before ‘She who must be obeyed’ has more to add.

We were gong to Braehead tomorrow, though changed plans means this will have to wait. Instead my plan is to head for Dom and Janet’s house. ‘Dom’ is one of the original members of Benghazi Mice, back in 87, now has Dementia on top of his Parkinson’s disease which he has had for many a year now. His quip is legendary…” I knew I had Parkinson’s because I kept interviewing everybody!” …magic stuff…magic guy.

Good news on the phone…our Grand-daughter in Biggleswade, has a job kept when returning from celebrating Christmas and Ne’erday, with family in Glasgow
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peter.howden
A nomadic ponder

It’s not an auld Glasgow wives-tale, but raw fact, how uniquely celebrated Glaswegians are for being extremely friendly to strangers or wanderers or even vagabonds, especially at bus and tram stop queues. Before the silent trolleybus or rickety old tram arrived, almost all the inevitable line was chatting away as old friends, with portly elderly ladies almost knowing commuters intimately. Now regrettably, this no longer can be a Glaswegian’s claim to such fame…as this fascinating community talent is lost… locked away only in the history books…hopefully not forever …but don’t hold your breath

This is no slant on the auld alliance enjoyable experience over the years exploring France, and its fabulous wonders. Paris being the bees-knees, and other major cities…but particularly in southern district in a medieval village…magic. The speedy T.G.V, railway expeditions being a roving learning curve, attempting the French language and enjoying the French humour. Growing and festering in recent voyages, the French public feverously gained the universal need to wear earphones in contact anywhere elsewhere isolated me, regardless of any willingness just to pass the time

It is tragic enough this magic phenomenon…the internet, connecting anyone, anywhere in the for corners of the world, has made our last generation, choose to be locked alone in invisible separate cells, unable and unwilling to physically socialize around unknown people…by making idle simple conversation. Mothers hurling babies and toddlers, are constantly talking into the phone while toddlers over 2 have a tiny computer to keep them quite, taking the place of the nasty old fashion dirty dummy…

Early traveling along 38E bus, crowded with all sorts of workers making their way to work, standing bunched up, all shapes and positions, just so to use their phones

On any trip, I seem to be the only one looking out at the scenery. Traveling down to Ayr many a time, both by bus and train, wondering what will make fellow passengers on public transport, stop individuals raise their heads, remove their personal earphones for phones/iPad/ computers, to become aware of the fantastic life around them…. Which will not get me arrested by the authorities.
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peter.howden
Perhaps Last Trip;

‘She who must be obeyed’ and I, previously booked a room in Seamills House Hotel, with an eye-catching view of the ‘Isle of Arran’ in all its splendour. Travelling down was grand and sunny regardless being late season, giving an extra bonus of a pleasant vision. After visiting some well kent local surroundings, followed by a cosy intimate moment sharing an Indian meal, and for me, a few slight refreshments, then the slow drive back at the hotel.

Rebecca retired to bed to watch some Sci-fi movie on the massive T.V screen, as I took a saunter along the sands. The mixture of near total darkness, rhythmic beating waves, that seaweed fragrance, and grand image of Arran across the waters, was just out of this world. To increase the enjoyment, and perhaps to keep out the chill, I decided to partake in a few sips of the golden ‘water of life’ from Uncle David’s cherished flask, adding to my comfortable mood…simply sublime.

Through the mist of this inspirational disposition came a unique vocal sound. Turning around to find my mentor Peewee, in haughtily stance as the full moon shone majestically on his fine feathers, allowing him the air of grace he justifiably deserved.

“Hallo” he said; for he could talk, though seemingly only I could hear him, and if truth be told, I alone could really see him. Strangely, the grand master Peewee would appear when I was in Saltcoats, after my a few refreshments at local inns, explaining he took his holidays in around Saltcoats seashore areas… who was I to doubt him?

‘Hallo’ I replied, adding I was taking a quick break. Peewee butted in about his latest visited Paris. In the past I was well aware how vital Peewee to the 1295 Auld Alliance. This magical adviser/guardian to all its past Lord Provosts of Glasgow, and before such an office existed, flying to the French city, as a sort of Ambassador of the humble Glaswegian.

Peewee has no need for passports and the like, with an added advantage of being able to pick the best places to roost in Paris, depending what event is on.

He is welcomed with the same high-esteem he commands in George Square though he is not by any means perfect. After all this time, is still tongue-tied by the spoken vocabulary, openly admitted to me on this trip mistaken the language due to variable dialogs and emphases on certain words and instead of ordering a flightless journey (to give his wings a rest) received a waist vibrator to firm up muscles. The advert actually stated; ‘To fly away extra pounds and fight flabby fat’ and all it did was ruffle Peewee’s superb plumage.

His grumbling became tougher, “The one thing which is staring you in the face is how walkers are annoyed about individual bird droppings.” “Well… maybe not in the face, more on their soles”, crossly adding when realizing I was not about to interrupt; “it’s not ‘Oui-Oui’ in Paris, but Doggy Poo…by the ton” he remarked quickly.

Peewee was disgusted, not a pretty sight or one you would wish to wake up to…so I took another few sips out of the flask, for support while he frankly spoke, “I checked to see if the warning posters were in the correct written language, no jargon to confuse any breed of canine… so the only conclusion I can come too, the mutts of Paris are truly ignorant and they will keech Willy Nilly, regardless of notice or just maybe the hounds just can’t read!”....shit

Peewee maybe a feathered friend academic, but sometimes I think he is out of the loop, now seemingly sliding into a slight huff , so I attempted to insert a little hilarity, stating what I thought was obvious… the notices posted were not at eye level with the four legged culprits.

Peewee ignored my humourist remark with a sheer delightful statement “I had the best view in the whole of Paris, for the 1903 Tour De France final after 6 stages”. “some thought it was a rare tear…but I can’t phantom the fun cycling like the devil for three weeks, just to cross the finishing line around the same time” When pigeons race, we are miles in front as winners… all for an extra till of seeds” combined Peewee in speech and thought. “As for the complaint of drug taking during the competition; I cannot comment” said Peewee “for I myself have peaked at an aspirin”

Just then, I casually glanced up towards the sparkling millions of star and galaxies, in wonder way beyond my imagination, while taking another sip, or two of golden nectar… turning around to speak to Peewee… he was gone.
A tinge of sadness fell, then a warm glow manifested itself deep inside me, just as I took another semi gulp of the “Water of life” … for sustenance. The deep radiance within, allowed me to reason, Aw wheesht, there will be another time… or so I hoped... walking to the hotel… alone.
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peter.howden
A Knight Tale

Around the ending medieval times, stretching towards the beginning of the Middle ages, the origin of eternal tales of daunting heroic deeds protecting castle strongholds, inconsistent wars, and splendid attired royalty being on every passing minstrel tongue. A true knight of the realm, titled Paladin, took part in trial by combat, fought in tournaments, trained hawks to soar, but religiously endeavouring to live a chivalrous code of life…expecting the same from his squires, his family, cliques and tenants, while life for the serfdom was a fraught survival

On the other hand, as girls from wealthy families, either married very young or forced into a nunnery, while sibling boys, training to be a knight, was anything other than valiant, starting from age seven as apprenticed pages to older knights, trained austerely night and day, for up to 15 years. They were nothing but property to the ruling class, as was all within, and out with the walls of the citadel

In the interior of a certain castle, lived and practiced, a doctor who did not maintain pious duties such as monks in the monasteries, but was just as virtuous, upholding the Hippocratic oath, especially for the poor, and for the peasant serfdom, working the lands of the Paladin. Unlike plague doctors, or so-called quack sawbone surgeons hocus-pocus, with primitively mixed astrology, religion and magic gripping on to superstitions from before time was known to begin.

The doctor heard through the grapevine, one desperate serf was almost dying, needed a miracle to save his family from starvation. Several epidemics scourged the village and surroundings in the past, with horror instincts of the population boarding up the flimsy dwellings, with the family imprisoned, the practice in these dark days. Undeterred the medical man removed the barring obstacles swiftly, checked is near deluded patient. Within minutes the doc diagnosed a vomiting ailment caused by forced eating rankin rotten meat…there was a slow cure consisting of plenty fresh water supply, but vitally… radical herbs only known and owned by the abbeys.

Word got back to the knight who forbade the doctor treating the impertinent serf as he was the lowest of the low. Later just per chance, the knight began grief from severe stomach-gripes, thinking he was dying. The doc, being cleverly gifted, the chance to explain to his master in arms, how it would be prudent to experiment on the nave first, in case anything goes wrong …and if successful, it would be safe for him to use.

The now not so courteous knight gamely agreed, because to the Paladin, the serf was less than human, while the Physician, serving his inward pledge, fulfilled a humble ambition by gaining permission, and a permit for herbs, from the all ruling noble. Totally oblivious to his real reasons and devotion, the knight gave instruction to the priory, immediate issue of herbs to the medical practitioner…on the assumption he was a loyal servant… to him.

Within a few days it was obvious the real patient was recovering with the help of the herbs, also the dedication of the Doctor of Medicine selfishly on duty for 48 hours, seldom leaving the bedside. A bulletin was conveyed to the suffering Knight, that the Doc would be personally handling his medication…with the knowledge of a full recovery…totally guaranteed.

The royalty proclaimed Paladin Knight was unaware of two things…one, he was never in any medical danger, just a rather over active tummy-ache …two, what he received in his sickbed as a cure…had no medical qualities what so ever sore
peter.howden
The tales of Hector and ‘The Bruce’

Walking back

Queens park is the home of fabulous Hill Sixty, where generation after generation of fine courting couples, cuddled and coddled inside grass nests of all ages. For Hector, a distant past reminder of halcyon days for a succession of boys, devoted to acting as cowboys and Indians, around its top boulders. Most boys then also played football and for them to hear the famous ‘Hamden Roar’, gratis, was a cherish moment never forgotten

Hector very first Best Mate, ‘The Bruce’, who lived in Pollokshaws Road right across from the park. Both of them met up with 10 to 12 teenagers in the Brookland café, at the corner of Minard Rd and Frankford St. Two regular girls waited tables, Helen and Betty, Helen with a fine hour glass figure particularly sticking out for attention of adolescents. Above all else, they were good to our unofficial group, allowing them to sit, many a night, with just a few coke bottles on show for far longer that the proprietor Tony, would have wished.

The boy members felt liberated, free to conquer all before them, truly imagined all girls would melt in their acquaintance of worldly ways. The blokes thought they were in tiptop prime, discovering the glories of sex complete with all its hidden wonders, nevertheless they were novices at best. Knowing the basics through tell tales, or someone’s interpretation of the dictionary or to what they had been told by their enlightened parents or even better by slightly older teenagers.

Hector was lucky, his much older brother, had been liberal explaining facts as they stood. Everything from the proper names, diagrams and information could be used to educate the scholar of any degree. The trouble was that, although he had all the theory behind him in great abundance, but possessed just as much ignorance, as all the rest, to actually how to go about it. Akin to ‘Morecombe and Wise’…” the facts are all …but perhaps not in the right order?”

‘The Bruce’ and Hector were not really ordinary blokes when it came to the looks department, and according to early photo’s (pictures don’t lie) well below par. They realized quickly, there were guys better looking than themselves, such as a fella called Graham Love, who could have stood in for Cliff Richard when he had gone to Shawlands Cross Church for Christmas service, wearing pink socks, Cliff not Graham.

The fault in the looks department, didn’t really deter them from the Cooper’s Institute, a local Saturday rave, tying with the opposite sex, although ‘The Bruce’s’ immediate chat up line was strange, asking the creed they followed. It’s no secret, the faith of his would-be partner, was paramount to the success of the evening…which seldom happened. Looking back, both were shy, Hector managed quickly to re balance while ‘The Bruce’ stayed insecure and deliberate almost to an insulting point.

One night at the Cooper’s institute. Hector and ‘The Bruce’ managed to grab the attention of two girls. One girl Hector knew stayed local, the other he asked if he could walk her home. When the dance ended the other girl, and ‘The Bruce’ sauntered to the trolleybus stop. Hector’s date motioned to cross the road for her transport which was unfortunately a bus to Eaglesham. On arriving at her house, they were just getting comfortable when the father came out, in a grumpy manner.

The girl sharply informed Hector, they had caught the last bus, and he would have to walk. Hector had no choice but to react as a proper gentleman… started to walk back the 10 miles or so, when the rain burst open it’s almighty wants.

Arriving home drenched to the skin, while undressing, switched on his wee tranny, playing; Helen Shapiro, belting out…” Walkin’ back to happiness’…that certainly made his day?
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peter.howden
Up for a wee smoke(2)

Call it inexperienced bravado of cub lions, or simply a little over the top with liquor, when the two adolescent rascals began the assault on the rigging gear, an imaginary mountain. Almost immediately, the ice-cold straps of iron bars seeped through Shug’s courage, and hands, compelling him to stop short of his own height up the man-made shaft. “The games a boggy” he sputtered, then disappeared into the close. Bob, although he was no ‘Nepalese Sherpa’…dauntingly decided to go on


Having no clue how long, Bob achieved the top, looked round to breathe crisp air into his lungs filling up and bellowing freedom, thinking his must be how Sir Edmund Hillary felt. Instead of entering his shared bedroom, Bob climber across the slates onto the top of the roof, savouring the view and lighting a cigarette.

Alcohol logic induced Bob to believe, the back of the building was a good place to be, in the middle of the night, as the police after leaving Cragie St station, would patrol, Victoria Rd. At that height he could hide from this panther force. The naked truth was merely a naked glow was very easy to see, in the dead of a dark night… such is fate. Hardly any time had passed when Bob could hear gruff shouting, seemingly coming from down below. Slipping down the slates, onto the rear of the rigging, there was no black void because a mass of powerful beaming torches was cantered on him

Now the crotchety voice became audible, booming out instructions to return downward through the backs top close window via the scaffolding. This would be the stair’s heed window just below Bob’s landing. Even due to the amount consumption of distilled ‘Water of Life’ earlier, he knew right away he was in some sort of trouble. Then, and only then, he wondered where Shug was. Instantly, his mind sharply focused how this was the police and he should really do what they were demanding him to.


Bob made his shaky slow-motion way down, literary sliding into the many dark blue arms of the law, hauled into the top open window, straight into the landing. Interrogations started there and then with why he was trying to rob the off-licence and where was his accomplice. He could not think straight, or how he could break into the off-licence that was at least five closes away and on the ground. He challenged his accusers with confidence, stating his digs, top flat left-hand door.


While they hung over Bob’s small frame, another member of the force brought up this dirty old coat, saying, “This is your mate’s…where the f--- is he?”. The garment had obviously been rescued from the midden down stairs, and even in his blurry state, answered sharp as a razor; “I wouldn’t be seen dead with a guy who wore coat as mankie and mingin… it could walk by its self… if you don’t believe me, ask my landlord for that is his door up the stairs!”

He carried on explaining how he had only gone out of the close’s window, to enter his bedroom window, so saving disturbing his landlord, who was a baker with ‘Mothers Pride’ having an early rise in the morning, and this and only this was the reason for his somewhat peculiar behaviour.

At this a policeman did knock at the McCall’s house rather loudly for the hour of midnight had well and truly passed…. he reached for a second round of chaps. Eddie the landlord, weary head peeped through a half ajar door. After the major question had been put to him… he answered in his usual understanding Highland way, ‘Yes’ the ‘Pratt’ stays here as a lodger, and if Bob was being arrested, he had no monies bail him out…and then he was gone.

The police looked around lost, bewailed and undecided as what to do, following each other to the banister, then down the stairs without another word or even glance in Bob’s direction. To his regret, he let loose words coming out defiantly… even mockingly “Well what about me then?”. These few desperate words were to cost Bob the prickly sum of £5, known notorious throughout Scotland’s badlands, as ‘Causing a public nuisance’…. but no criminal record,

Shug never owned up to his part in this dark affair and both Sybil and Eddy as land lady and lord never held it against Ben…Bless then.

The only way to personal salvation, as far as I can see, is to have cerebral toleration, within Thee.
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peter.howden
Hard to come by


Very early one crispy morning during the dead of winter, certain pivots shook the hinges on a door belonging to an isolated wee cottage, as a scrawny stranger constantly knocking kept abusing the pealing tainted wood of the old-fashioned entrance. Eventually, the creaking door opened ajar, freeing a welcoming light, complete with a waft of warm air flowing around the furtive visitor’s face. Just before the owner’s appearance came into view, a sort of forced smile, perhaps more an unnatural smirk expression formed between two lean lips of the caller.

Without allowing another breath to take place, the stranger rushed forward, then spoke spookily in a shrilled voice, “Your such a lovely couple, you must remember me, although it was nigh 50 years ago, while visiting with your Nephew Kenneth, you proved to be kindness embodied beyond measure, freely allowing us the run of your home” The old man looked dumbfounded, bewilderedly replied, "Sorry, I don’t recall…who are you?”

His sneer dropped slightly but added… “We stayed for more than a month, as you hosted with no expense spared…we skated on the frozen ice over behind the house, just as I noticed, it has iced up now.” “Before I left you insisted, nay actually pleaded… for us come back, if ever passing this way…it’s been a long time, but I thought it would be nice to see you again?”

“This is the very place I found my lucky charm”, producing from his pocket, a small flawlessly black piece of coal, which he held in an abnormal atretic hand; “I have it with me at all times…hard to find bits of coal these days!” “If I memory remembers right, you owned a friendly Labrador retriever, which came with us on the frozen waste, we would throw bits of wood, which it fetched…don’t recall seeing it later on!”

There was a negligible change in the house owner’s expression, which the caller failed to notice being invited by the host, to come into the warmth of a roaring fire. The elderly wife served the stranger a huge breakfast, washed down with fine beer, then for medicinal reasons, a large brandy to keep out the cold. The old couple produced a pair of skates, suggesting he could skate around outside, to bring back the memories of so long ago. The outsider willingly obliged, harbouring a wanting to take up free residence for about a month once again

Outside, in the middle of the ice, skating while looking forward to his fortunate luxury, he failed to notice the old man walking into a shed, returning with a sledge hammer, which he used again and again to break up the ice surrounding the unwanted guest. With one final blow, the now terrified caller realized the ice cracking all around him…there was no escape

The old man shouted out, “ I’ve detested the thought of both you bastards, throwing bits of wood for our innocent dog to chase…then for some debauched pleasure, you and that warped bully Kenneth, trapped my dog in the middle, using this very sledge hammer, cracked the ice open to watch the poor beast struggle for life, in vain…Kenneth came the following year…we had to wait quite a while for you?” The ancient hammer struck again…as the undesirable company gave a hellish chilling yell… disappearing under the frozen waters, without another sound disturbing the morning.

Back in his cosy wee cottage, smoking his favourite pipe, taking sips of lovely hot tea…he called through to the scullery… “Ma…he seems to have forgotten his lucky jet-black piece of coal, it’s there on our sideboard…do you know…it’s hard to find such bits of coal these days
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peter.howden
A Christmas miracle

Glasgow was indeed famous, or infamous, no doubt about that, for having a name of being an alcoholic’s dreamland destination as a city refreshment centre. At one time, the second city in the Empire, had a pub at every street corner of working-class areas, sometimes two or even three in the same walkway, though not in the posh districts, for their indulgence and depravity was behind well-kept close doors.

It was true, working. Glaswegians were renowned for being ‘Wee hard drinkers’, having no difficulty in a ‘Swally’, just a few steps away wherever they happened to be. Harry enjoyed a slight refreshment even more in ‘Yuletide’ , but…had a tad of a problem to know when, or even how, to call a halt to such merriment.

After this particular hard Christmas eve, occupied as a spooky in a gents shop,, he scurried around the famous Trongate, visiting taverns such as Crystal-Bells, Candleriggs, or renowned Blackfriars, meeting such men of the same calibre, swapping stories. This being thee Christmas Eve, millions of individual star-shaped snowflakes dropping to the earth creating an instant festival picture card scene outside. This encourages Harry to stay, in the last hostelry, ‘The Hangman’s Rest’, longer than first intended, with joyfully glee company.

Leaving the warmth of inside, but only after one step taken into the cold air, it started to play havoc with his water-works. The fact this hostelry lay in the complete opposite direction from Harry’s original journey home was pure chance, so he returned to ‘powder his nose’ in the little boy’s room.

‘The Hangman’s Rest ‘was an old man’s brown décor pub, (Known by Glaswegians as a ‘sawdust pub’, owning to sawdust spread over the floor to hide dirt or blood stains). Harry bought a couple of raffle tickets as he sat down once again with a wee Goldie. Minutes later raffle ticket numbers were called, and one number matched his…. the reward was one gigantic plucked…nude duck.

The next moment Harry was outside, askew with the extra weight, while the crowd inside were still clapping. Struggling through the snow, though severely handicapped with carting this enormous bird, he managed to find the bus stop. The journey home was uneventful other than nearly falling asleep and chatting to the odd passenger who sat next to him

Harry was the last passenger left, as he enlightened off the brightly lit bus, trudging home along the street, Harry felt like the little boy from “Christmas Carol” when Scrooge ask him to carry the turkey to “Bob Cratchit’s” humble home.

Puzzled to discover he held another plastic bag, containing a fancy shoebox, within, a pair of deep red Italian leather stylish shoes. Where it came from, or how he manages to be in possession, was an enigma … a miracle all the same, in the mould of Harry Belafonte’s festival song ‘Scarlet Ribbons’ …..

There is such a thing as magic in Christmas…

so… “God bless us, everyone!"
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peter.howden
Late Walk

Very early in the morning, the old man woke from his weary slumber to hear the dog barking, which meant his pooch needed his private privy, and a general sniff around for the latest local bulletins. The elderly man’s eyes were weary, and most of his senses were not what they used to be. He shuffled, fumbling around for something warm to wear as it was indeed, the dead of wintertime Also taking ages to find front door keys and a poop bag.

The sudden sharpness of the really chilly misty air caught his lungs unexpectedly, manufacture an aggravated cough, unusually exaggerated, which noisily reverberating along the empty eerie surroundings. The scène reminded him of the old black and white British movies of the late 40’s, which inescapably had fog swarming around the main characters. Turning up his collar while fixing his scarf tightly, then holding his favourite trusty walking stick in his gloved hand, since it was icy afoot, he strode forward, and beyond into the gloom.

The distant full moon shone as a galactic white torch, attempting in all its glory, to break through the ice-covered greyish clinging mist, but failed and uncanny acting as a beacon of uncertainty. Carefully rambling along, he noticed stunning silver iced tiny dome goblets, hanging underneath the steel rim of the handrail, as if natures musical notes.

Along at the corner of each support hanging down, as if just crochet, eye-catching spider webs, having been spun the day previously…before Jack Frost coating the winter-world scene.…possibly then far to ridged for the spiders to reel them back …in time. ’Where do spiders hide in the deadly cold?’ he thought, amusing himself.

What had been alien meteorological conditions to start with, where now opening up a near silent wonderland of amazing simple things, normally ignored due to the lack of time taken to actually observe his surroundings. It was then, it dawned on the old man, he had not heard his dog bark. Standing still with poop bag at the ready…the ageing man suddenly remembered…his faithful hound died some years ago.

Turning around, he walked back with a certain spring in his step…for he knew only too well…it was not a wasted experience…even though his memory was playing tricks…along with most of his sanities…. or was it his sannies?
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peter.howden
My Chronicles 23/12/2018

There is something about the coming of the season called ‘Xmas’, within my state of mind and physical manner, brings out hope, no matter how awful the year seems to have been, or the loss of friends within the recent past which can loom dangerously inside awareness. The forewarning of this apparently religious festival was almost upon us, long before the allotted pious dates, now it’s near common place to have decorations and commercial planning as early as November, almost clashing with Guy Fawkes. Each passing year becomes more extravagant than the one before, yet miss the very simple message, religious or not, just caring for people, starting with your own family and then further afield.

For me, to recapture old memories of Yule tide, does not have a ghost of a chance until the first renditions of Christmas carols, past, or present, to give me the childhood Dicken’s of a time, or ancient church hymns kept for such a season. Over the last few years, I have missed attending, for one night only, the Barlanark church midnight service, obtaining my fix for carols and timely hymns, though mainly because of a liking for the minister…Rev David Locke.

This year, scrounging up two old fashion tapes, from Readers Digest ‘Christmas through the years’, with an assortment of different artists, singing a selection of those seasonal themes. It’s not the same but will be adequate as I am playing it at the moment

A phone call from the Dementia home, informed us how Aunt Beck had taken badly, being ambulanced to the accident & Emergency, Queen Elizabeth Infirmary. On arriving later, I was told she was suffering from severe Pneumonia. Sitting grimly silent at her bedside, as the poor wee soul struggled for breath, her weak body constantly trembling inwardly.

My feeble response was helplessness, having almost no experience in such medical conditions. Fortunately, the following day, a significant regaining, allowed Becky to talk, although bewildered where she was or who I was. The following two days gave her a fabulous recovery, then just before leaving, Aunt Becky asked me for a kiss goodnight…first time ever in her lifetime.

While visiting the home the following day, it was obvious, although still rather weak from the experience, she is back in semi-familiar surroundings, safe… and being well cared for. Leaving in a state of relief, I delivered a Christmas card to one of her long-time neighbour’s in Haywood Street, giving her the good news.

On the way home, the sun was shining along roads, practically warming up the Christmas scene. Rolling along with the Rolling Stones playing inside the old jalopy, as I passed Kilpatrick hills again, so braw that the ‘Broons’ may well be, in their ‘Butt and Ben’… just over the hill

If this is not magic…………….then I don’t ken what is;

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peter.howden
28/12/2018

Perhaps there is a certain lingering danger by more polite friends, who may label ‘Eccentric’ attached to me…’maybe a crack pot’, by realists… ‘slightly touched’ by idealists…‘ No footprints in the sand’ by optimists; or plainly, ‘aye! a‘nutter, aff his heed’, by any true Glaswegian. The latter would be taken as a compliment. It is true I’m a tad unconventional, but having faith not being weird, even in the nicest sense of the word.

Looking around the room’s surroundings, where the ‘Scribbles’ are achieved, there is all sorts of L.Ps. records by the score, treasured books, pictures of the kids, my mother-in-law known as the ‘Voice’, and toys… lots and lots of weans toys, collected, because they were given to me by special people. Each time I look, or handle a dinky car, or the hula0hula doll, sings in a high-pitched annoying voice, and complete in a grass skirt, they instantly remind me of so many things gone by. My picture of a Dunbar girl called Helen, who pressed the breeks of my companions, and mine, so we could go to the dancing at the swimming pool, way back in the sixties.

Christmas may be over, with presents opened and hidden somewhere in personal cupboards, especially individual boons from ‘She who must be obeyed’, however, possessing one more gift from my lady, I tore open the flimsy wrappings. This revealed the extent, and trouble, Rebecca put herself through…as this special gift, turns out to be an apron, received gratuitously via the post, after saving cover top tokens from purchases of ‘Lurpak’ butter. Rebecca certainly has the quote down to pat… ‘It’s not the gift but the thought that counts?’. In the near future, while displaying this kitchen garment when visitors arrive, I will say…. I’m not hen pecked…I picked the colour myself.

I was planning to take Aunt Becky on a wee hurl today, around the main roads via Milngavie/Torrance, unfortunately she was fast asleep, so I left the gifts and rearranged for Monday…fingers crossed.

On the way home, the Rolling Stones were rightfully blaring away through the miles. This particular C.D placed on my IPod was the B.B.C.s own recording of the ‘Hamden Event’ from their tour of 2006. That very night, we joined in the jubilant crowd singing every word, every song, while standing, waving, and hooting and crooking through the whole spectacular. The famous ‘Hamden Roar’ was just a whimper against this musical soiree Bloody Shear magic?

As my wee motor ran along through all the puddles in the country side, the volume of the speakers in the car almost full pitch, I could swear on an oath, I could hear, over all the massive swaying fans, Toni singing as if her lungs would burst. It was a dreamlike moment where I felt cosiness remembering her so vividly…a delightful enchantment I savoured for some time.
peter.howden
Desperate

Imitation of life

One time the reputed Contessa, now living in a small apartment, was the talk of the steamie, with her hot-blooded Mediterranean exquisiteness just oozed out utter enchantment, for her appearances came from the unique mixture of Scottish/ Spanish blood. Her ancestors were survivors of the tragic Spanish Armada, through terrible storms, forced several ships to be breached on Scottish islands and were accepted into the Gaelic community. This tragedy played a major factor in Spain’s defeat against the English.

The young ‘Bonita sparkler, with the tempting smile, was very popular with the male of the species, but unfortunately, turned her head to bask in frivolous adulation, making a her vain and constantly craving hollow adoration for her extreme beauty, and elegant appearance. The golden era faded so fast, leaving a shell of femininity, fashioning a ridged unshakable cold vain element, sadly overlooking the necessity to culture a benevolent, and pleasant personality

The once chic ‘Senora’ is now a Mujer, with a mind which fails to accept reality. Her parents came to Glasgow in the 30s, but time has been cruel, leaving her all alone in the flat, with just the dated over-used ‘Peoples friends’, plus loads of well-thumbed penny farthing love novelettes for comfort, and her over-fed cat. Overindulging and pampered with the wrong kind of food, this more than slightly fat creature, she sees as her loving pussy, hugging, almost mothering affection, but the cat struggles wanting nothing to do with such mushy sentiment, darting away at the first opportunity.

The elderly lady reflects her feline as a loving creature whilst all the time the moggy is in the same class as ‘Sam the skull cat’ in the folk song. A large seat, tattered, pawed and scratched beyond repair, which is the mouser’s throne, is plain evidence to this…but blind to the mistress mind’s eye. The Spanish lady is old now, but her furniture and trappings are older still, left by her great grannie, and had certainly past best display. Her cat is her last tangible thing in her life

Clutching the hand mirror carefully, from different angles she squints and peeks to see through her now clouded illusion, the same ‘bell of the ball’, gliding by at a fancy ‘Do’, or dance, or special occasion, but in truth reflects a crinkly grey crouched old lady, with no trace of former attractiveness left behind. Her memory has blocked out this simple painful fact, even though no gentleman callers have called, for an indefinite period of time.

Over ripe with pride, there are glimpses spring intermittently, where she fears losing her wits, which would allow the unknown faces of authority, to lock her up in a home… or worse, in an institution where her privacy, and her situation, would become public knowledge, opened to ridicule. Combined with this dread… are very short spasms of genuine fright, when she jumps nervously at each knock on the door, or ring on the phone

Sadly most of the time is spent in yesterday, or the day before that, hiding in a make-believe world, darting always back to the past… actually staring into emptiness, not realizing…her quandary, had long before began.
peter.howden
Desperate 39;

At last our fortunes are changing Ester; I feel it in my bones… we are on our way to safety. For is it not worthy fortune, to be on this ship, with the added good omen, under Captain James Cook. For the first time in so many years, I woke up this morning without dread or fear.

We have just left a terrible place where people go missing, as if they never existed, while others have no respect for man, woman, child or anything. That very evil night, where no one was safe, and I’ll tell you this Ester, If God lived on earth, people would break his windows. How can human beings behave and torment so?

The dangers were there all the time, but the Rabbi told us to be calm, all will be well. He was such a good man…but authenticity naive… the infection is contagious… and spreading. Neighbours and reputed friends made all kinds of reasons, with deceitful eyes, but I tell you this Ester …If you sleep with dogs, you get up with fleas. In the refuge house the night before last Ester, a sincere man quoted a Scottish saying, ‘If you sup with the devil, you need a long spoon’. Now… just after the dawn this morning, I realize what he meant…

But we are safe now Ester, off to a new life, with clean adventures to tell our grandchildren, but how many will survive this doomed era. I cry for our people Ester. Now come and lay down, sleep for a little while, I hope your nightmares will gradually leave. We have a chance of a new life in Canada… big enough to swallow us up…where they will not be able to reach us…or find us.

It was Shabbat yesterday, I prayed to Hashem, this will never happen to other peoples, anywhere in the world, no matter the festering woven manmade hatred … as an justification…sometimes I think, they will always be an excuse?

Ester; Thank you for my life, Is it not a twist of fate, but faith, to be helped fleeing the horrors, on such a good ship called ‘S.S Athenia’… after what we, and our people, have been through?

The S.S. Athenia set sail from Glasgow to Montreal; 1 September 1939, via Liverpool and Belfast, carrying 1,103 passengers, was the very first ship to be sunk in the Second World War. Ester, and her unknown husband died along with 119 who perished after being torpedoed.
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peter.howden
The Message

The purpose of this emergency communication will become plain and obvious, to verify how our families can possibly deal with this wholly unwarranted mortification, bringing everlasting shame implanted at our doorstep. The reason is unclear as to why, and indeed how our naive kith and kin, could have been converted into, running away somewhere secretive, with a close member of your clan. I’m just wondering if the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree?

During our residency within this neighbourhood, as upstanding pillars of the community, I have to tell you, it came as a blow, as to how low Bert would stoop, acting in such a manner. He had just become a member of the dancing club, run in the youth centre, which held events such as, Country dancing, the Gay Gordens, and, as the French may say, ‘Piece of Resistance, ‘Line Dancing’, with a outside chance of competing in, ‘Ballroom’, now isn’t that something. With all this wholesome inspired activity, laid on for free…how he was persuaded, to enter into dark depravity, associating with someone outside his class.

We are not saying our Bert is completely innocent, though being rather shy, he is after all just a man…with male needs, but our concerns are, laying the table with cutlery, is undoubtedly not what your Angelina, projects into the world. She is no angel, no doubt about that!... laying wherever, known locally as ‘slack Alice! It’s not the first lad she has set her cap on, with her provocative attire and her boudoir fragrance as erotic bait, to lure unexpected males into her carnal trap …
.
I am not a primsie lady by nature, however, the shame of this situation, which we can’t gasp, or phantom, how it manifested itself. We must be brave taking the true responsibility together, but believe me…with no insult intended, I’m certain… your…Hackit Bauchie, skerry-handit…spurtle-leggit… erse like a bag o' washin’, besom’s behaviour, must take the brunt of guilt, since she is a good few years older than inexpert Bert.

I will close to ask for some information as to the birthdate of your Alice…it will be for their record, when we visit the Police station. For your information…Bert was born on 01/04/1942

Yours…a well-wisher
peter.howden
A PEEWEE’ Adventure

PeeWee is no run of the mill pigeon, being a magnificent specimen, owning an astonishing physique. No stool pigeon, though he does gives invaluable advice. No relationship to the once silver screen Walter Pigeon, but possesses a fresh supernatural silvery plumage. He can talk any bird language you care to mention, and above all, he can talk to humans and Lord Provosts, though I believe, he only converses with me while on holiday… after a few ‘Water of life’ refreshments,

Dating back to the dark ages, where all magic was possible and plausible for Pee wee to exist, stretching way back to times where hours did not pass without counting the grains of sand, or the gaze at the stars and the moon. The yellow dwarf sun was indeed the main heavenly star, all blessed it as a god, hoping in prayer, it would deem to return the next dawn. The tree was the guide, and guider, between the Earth and the otherworld, known and witnessed. Mystery and magic were in infancy, were and when anything could happen, and often did, to the utter amazement to the young populous.

The nub of the problem for Glasgow, some past pompous ‘Lord Provosts’, having reached the ultimate powerful position, was simply they did not listen to his wise council…even some of them denied themselves of his existence. Also, Peewee had many other dynamic duties, care of the citizens’ being prominent, national and foreign affairs of state…and of course, his feathered friends.

The mere suggestion, the present lord provost would take advice from a mysterious bird, would raise many eyebrows, however… this pigeon can grasp not only political dealings, but with a higher intellect solve any dilemma, always been since memories remembered… ‘Thee’ number one guardian of all protocol, within the boundaries of Glasgow now Greater than before...

Pee Wee life span knows no bounds, his memory of the past was razor sharp while down through history nearly all Lord Provosts, would not only rely on him, but, depended on him utterly. From the very honourable John Stewart, through the reformation, and its aftermath, so named Lord Provosts, to this very day. Where he came from, is hidden in the unwritten scrolls of legends. The only hint was the very first Lord Provost was a nodding acquaintance at first, nevertheless, because of “the Incident” … became a total admirer

He has, and always had, at his disposal, the means to keep all other birds in check, regardless of their rank, or size. From swifts to the bully magpies, PeeWee’s call is law, obeyed even by his mischief cousins, the street pigeon, for under their feathers they respected PeeWee, in more than one occasion needed his protection.

In 1967 onward, Peewee tried hard to convince, Lord Provost John Johnston, unsuccessfully, not to use ‘Cameron Commandoes’, to unsavoury kill off sparrows. Their population had reached over 2 million mark, within Glasgow’s boundaries. PeeWee was unable to stop the harrowing process, however…. nature’s will to survive, along with PeeWee’s guidance, influenced these persecuted birds, to roost around Paisley, Eaglesham, and surrounding districts.

Also invited was the famous ‘Goon’, Spike Milligan, (a special feathered friend), to be involved by pulling at a reputed camouflaged Bedford van. This made the national newspapers print their views on the futility of the exercise

In short, Pee Wee’s patrol of George Square is recent, as the Grand ‘City Chambers’ was only built in 1888. His loyalty to Glasgow is timelessly, undying… and true. [size="4"][/size]
peter.howden
My Chronicles 10/01/2019

Ne’erday has turned its page forward, as I noticed, how many ways I’m slowing down…fast. Short time recall of actions, immediate memory, loosing everyday items, dependability, being sure of my facts and knowledge, spelling simple English language … but worse of all, repeating information around the Saturday family kitchen table. Most likely, all these, and perhaps more concealed faults have been sinking without my knowledge for many a year, however since dropping out, or retiring from almost everything, it increasingly becomes obvious…even to me. The good news is, having lost some overweight, returning to some old comfortable clothing.

Irregular uncontrolled wind unfortunately burst forward, the aroma is not to be sniffed at. So, I sneak to the loo, well after midnight, but this is the rub…because I fall asleep waiting for, ‘She who must be obeyed’ in slumber, I need the alarm of my trust phone, but either I forget to set it…or I put in the wrong instructions, so… ‘all laid plans of mice and men’ go haywire.

I do force myself to do daily walks, which vary in time and distance because of my leg rather annoying pain…but the benefits are not only better personal constitution, there is always something different to witness, with some of those early morning views... just ‘Fan-dabi-dozi’
The weather may have been rather chilly, or even cold at times, however, the welcoming sunshine over the past few days has been an excellent bonus, interwound around my already plans.

Visiting Aunt Becky on Monday proved, she had recovered well enough from her recent bout of pneumonia, to take her for a hurl. She is fragile, for even walking to the car, we must be careful. Our usual trip is around the glorious Kilpatrick Hills, while Kenneth McKellar, and others, belt their wee Scottish lungs out, as the light of the winter’s sun penetrated every nook and cranny of this natural wonder…is just out of this world.

Aunt Becky was certainly on top form, sing and stamping time with her foot to the gay music, yet sometimes, I wonder who benefits most from these outings, as it’s a sort of mental drug which always gives me a buzz. One little note is Aunt Becky being delicate, two outside steps at the front door cause her real concern while leaving the premises, then returning, even with caring support, we take them very slowly, one at a time, as her dread of tumbling… becomes instantaneous.

This must be instant knowing era, the once humble telephone as become an indispensable piece of equipment, not only a communication tool, but with so called apps, needed for every day mundane passengers. I occasionally travel on buses, or trains, it is a pity stimulating scenery wizzes by, unobserved by the obsessed gadget players… On Tuesday, first thing, the sun was braw when I took the train journey down to Ayr, to meet up with my China…Jim Hendry. I was in my element by being the only passenger looking out the window, to see the sunshine magnifying the splendour of the landscape, plus the lunar pull of the incoming rolling white horses’ tides of the sea…pure dead brilliant

Our meeting in Weatherspoon’s (Sandgate) is a tonic simply for shooting the breeze with old men’s wind. Although we have common reference points, it has mentioned before, the sharp political minded of Jim, is a far cry from the kangaroo brain of mine. We laugh at the drop of a hat, talk a lot of drifted nonsense, proving being daft…is the best of times. Jim often reminds me, we were both young and foolish at one time…I reckon we still are ?

Right at this moment, I just looked up to the shelves above my computer, spotting a small model of ‘Dougal’, the yellow dog from ‘Magic Roundabout’, I watched with my grandkids. The memory of ‘Florence’, and of course the laid-back ‘Dylan’, spring happily to mind without ‘Zebedee’ …small things amuse a small mind.
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peter.howden
An alluring allusion (in two small parts)

In the true sense of the word, it wasn’t a real haunted house, as displayed on the silver screen, or indeed on television. Mist did not mysteriously appear, then vanish, no rumours of quirkiness, or tales of bewitchment goings on, no one recalled dark secrets, no local kids had dares, or double dared, marked against staying the night… just a pokey, empty wee abode… within a vast potential plush development site. An astronomic bounty was asked, by a unknown titleholder, so an emergency compulsory purchase order was put in place by the local council, requested by a dubious businessman, who held an inner secret, once being an urchin of this one-time underprivileged area.

Possessing an irritable Scrooge compulsion for money, the snide entrepreneur unrelentingly demanded swift acquisition of the property, in the guise it was holding up regenerating the neighbourhood for the community. Unknown by the authorities, his dicey company…along with other dubious investors, building for pure greed, ignoring the district’s heritage with alternative unscrupulous tactics. Their plans were not materializing fast enough, so in his twisted mind, compelled him into taking underhand action.

His strategy, immoral to say the least, to sneak unobserved into the premises, toss petrol here and there, use a little Semtex(stolen from the manufactured in Czechoslovakia, by associates), light a match, and hey presto…fire brigade will believe the gas mains exploded, ring the area ‘off-bounds’, as now the building is classified unsafe, and demolish it. Nothing could be simpler.


In one dead moonless night, dressed appropriately in all black, he pointed a juvenile Wembley airgun, shattered the three remaining streetlights left illuminating the stand-alone structure. Unlocking the safety door, slyly slipping into the deserted house, closed the steel barrier, stood still surveying the bare damp lobby.

For some erratic reason, a feeling of foreboding, overtook the twisted tycoon’s mind, the instant darkness seemed to take possession of any rational thinking, his muscles involuntary all at once, ached, as he stood ridged. Forming within his confused mind, a dread of unwelcome of ‘Déjà vu’, being in this very spot…somewhere in his murky past.
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peter.howden
An alluring allusion (2)

For an unidentified reason, standing unconditionally motionless, in this dangerous isolation, with a confused attention, unable to see through the endless pitch blackness, or defend himself against the unknown, perhaps hiding in its own obscure ebony cloak. Deprived of movement, a chill factor encircled the cretin, as raw fear displays its horrors, with a trickle of cold sweat clinging, then creeping down his worried brow.

What must have seemed eternity, but barely seconds, movement mysteriously returned to the now cagey charlatan. Thoughts uncontrollably whizzed around the emptiness, remembering how he started, as the new upcoming, ‘Cock o' the North’ … then speedily propelled, through the ranks, into heavy despicable deeds, onward to the real McCall, the top of his chosen illicit profession, and the main bonus…outwardly clean. This involuntary guilt trip, triggered horrendous flashbacks, forcing his anxious recalls.

Though now grappling with his inner anxiety, the intruder reached cautiously into his jerkin pocket, brought out a nifty wee torch, switched on the illumines blue beam, moving vigilantly into the scullery. Here, he slowly poured out measured amounts of petrol, and bottles of alcohol, all around the pantry, especially around the filthy old cooker, particularly around gas pipes at the back. Lingering was an eerie sensation of someone watching his every move, which he could not shake.

The villain knelt down, made the necessary preparations for the vital Semtex, as he was instructed by a bent expert. Without warning, out of the darkness… was a clatter, or something moving, coming from the bathroom. He froze for a second, not immune to fear again…then bucked up the spunk for drastic action.

Smuggled from the States, a Colt M1911 .45 ACP in his right hand, torch in the other, like a cautious panther, slivers into the bathroom, but sticking closely to the wall, and the door…just in case. His cold steel eyes scurried around, until, on the opposite wall, they visionally transfixed on a cracked bathroom round shaving mirror, warping unfocused reflexions.

Not seen at the correct angle, the magnified mirror distorted images, but…he saw, also distinctly heard, someone he forgotten a long time ago. Shaking overpoweringly, the thug’s mire memory, flooded back to 53 years ago, his school mate Stan, in this very house, the blaggard ‘Cock o’ the north’, plundered the last 10/- note, from Stan’s mother’s purse… blaming Stan. Stan was branded a bastard of a thief, stealing from his own impoverished kin, shunted and ignored by family, but especially by his mother, who unrelentingly refused to forgive her son.

The poor woman died, and Stan swore on her bible, with the pain of blood, vengeance and retribution, on the true culprit. Stan was left the house.

Unable to move his head, transfixed on the distorted mirror, now seeing a shadow coming out of the wall, implanted terror, overloading the racketeer twisted brain, now turning into an instant imbecile, erratically talking gibberish, crying like a bairn…pathetic…even soiled himself


What happened next, no one will ever know, except somehow the premises caught fire, then exploded, with no tangible evidence for the truth of the matter. The experts agreed, perhaps, some wine-mopper down and out, or, or just an old Weegie bampot, broke into the premises, for shelter, and somehow blew the rusty gas mains, while pissed out of their mind.

The syndicate dropped their doubtful bid, somewhat due to the disappearance of the main bidder. One last thing…the owner of the abode died many years back
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peter.howden
Someone is Knocking at the Door.

There is a knock on the door, wonder who it can be. It sounds rather soft, even personal, though it can’t be a friend, for they would know just how to press the doorbell a special way. For some time, I’ve been meaning to fix that rusty bell. The manager at the rent office, promised to send a man round. It can’t be him, he’s an electrician, he’d know how to touch the bell to make it work. Right enough, tradesmen are not what they used to be.

Certainly not the postman banging about, far too late for him. If it was the special delivery mob, they would put through one of the cards, “Tried to alert you… you were not at home?”. I think they write them out before starting the rounds, to save time. One bloke gave me a hint once, of him having a second job, this is why he never wastes a second.

Maybe its kids playing “Ring bang Skoosh”, though I doubt it, never heard them run away. Lots of Weans are fat, but undernourished, it would be a surprise if they could muster to run. Isolated alone in cells, with many supercomputer games at their fingertips, but on their own, like little hermits unable to see the sun, with fake tans… and non-existent pen friends. They say you hear no clapping in cyber space, whatever the hell that is? I was told, cyber-space is a void up there, storing all information from every computer in the world, but it doesn’t exist…. sounds like my football winnings.

Ever cultivating processer telephones, are rightly the miracle of the age, everyday bit of equipment, yet…I feel sorry for today’s toe-rags, mainly unaware of open freedom, to explore beyond reach, discovering hands-on, through joy and error, their individual abilities. Sadly, in the main being chaperoned by over apprehensive parents, then at home, railroad into isolation under radar companionship

As long as it’s not these wee brats from the next close. Their maw is letting them grow up to be fully pledged bastards. She had the audacity, yelling she was reporting me to the police, how I verbally assaulted her little cherubs. If she was from India…she would be sacred…

Who the hell is now rattling the bloody letterbox, probably that pesky fancy tart, the one in No 56, always wears her Sunday best, chatters on persistently about ‘love thy neighbour’, it’s God’s way? I don’t think the almighty meant her to rattle my letterbox so bloody noisy. God’s work must have more magic for him in 33, in the wee small hours. God works ‘In mysteries ways’, but there’s bugger all mystery about what goes on in 33, while his missus is away. Jammy bandit!

Maybe ‘Meals on wheels’, Nae chance, since I told them “bugger off”, yes…Tweedle Dee, and Tweedle Dum, well! That’s their nickname! The food delivered was absolute crap, pig swirl. I told them, their better off shining their own grave stones. I think the matron said she would never darken my door again.

As for my kith or kin. My son, my only son, if he can be arsed, props up a bar, or too drunk being a numptie heid-banger. Anyway, only asks for a hand full, if he happens to come around. And as for ‘Madam’…after all I have done for her, she just ran off, without ‘by your leave’, or warning she was living with her fancy fella. I had a cousin in Durham, Pink panther country, but this was donkeys ago, anyway… moved since she knew me.


There they go again, knocking the hinges of the bloody door, they want locked away, banging like that. The trouble with people today…selfish nosy parkers, with no patience, no compassion, or consideration for other people’s feelings. Everything it’s all… go…go…go…my napper hurts, sounds as if they are walking away…. wonder who the F--- it was???
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