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peter.howden
My Chronicles,28/03/2020

Selfish

This vital nationwide lockdown gives me the opportunity for intimate reflections, how ‘She who must be obeyed’, is a clear winner within my life. For 53 years we have been lucky to have a private learning curve… being in love, but far more important, cared for each other while reworking thru jaggy situations in our relationship. Almost all my life has been a ball, described in dictionaries; ‘Joy’, a vivid emotion of pleasure, or as wee Jimmy of the Krankies shouts, “pure dead brilliant”. It doesn’t take much to realize how magical it is still. Countless people helping in one way or another, especially Family, close friends and China’s. The goal posts have changed quite a few times, but I can still see the route… without squinting.

I need a certain level of boredom, even doubtfulness to gain the simplicity of pleasure. But for total rapture, bursting at the seams is music, dispersing all desolation waves, so even the most misery of all emotions cannot help but notice and vanish. With eyes closed, single minded clasping around the tempo, until I’m literally living the part of the composition itself…pure dead brilliant.

Via vibrating earphones, classical music is my concealed drug … just for me. The super tones connect with the inner ear, pulsating right out the socket for all their worth. When the tenor (personally, Mario Lanza) reach the almost ultimate crescendo in “Student Prince”, or more “ La Donna e Mobile”; though I have not a clue what he is actually singing, my whole body is emotionally tense, while my voice roughly harmonizing with the last vocal gesture. One magnificent harmonious rendition the ‘flower Duet’, from ‘Lakmé’, release’s an aftermath plus, floating on a different plateau. Another marvel for individual attention; “The Hebrew Slaves”; just sublime

Joe Cocker with “Delta Lady” accompanied by “The Letter”, almost anything of the early Stones, directs me into a paradise which is seldom shared with anyone. Wearing a huge set of headsets, attempting to follow the electrifying native throb is way out… something else. If ambrosia is the food for the Gods, then music must be the pulse? Listen to Ray Charles, blues or country, is just astounding. For me, it matters not the chic tune, or instruments playing, I’m willing to be transported to a music prism heaven… or simply go with flow.

I have no wish to peep into tomorrow, knowing what may happen with unsubtle hints, for it would spoil the surprise, good or bad, which keeps us truly alive. The blues melodies are right, for around every corner, are glimpses of slightly tedious moments are bound to become pointless, yet worth every agonizing moment. Remember each day, the world is a wonder, and a truly rewarding paramour.
peter.howden
PARIS AGAIN;(old Story, in two parts )

Flying into Beauvais, France was for me, stepping directly on the scene between Paris and Orleans. My Scottish soles felt Musketeer ground, along with the Auld alliance. If I have ever read ‘Alexandre Dumas’ words, the three musketeers, Athos; Porthos; Aramis and of course; D'Artagnan, for me, somehow these tales represent Paris, even today’s…Vie la France. Paris itself, pulled my eyes out of their sockets, trying desperately to observe all around on the left bank. Uncontrollable imagination whispered, ‘all for one and one for all’, as my mind visualizing duelling in the park, in the lower parts of the amazing city.

Parisians, we noticed obvious hold immense pride in public buildings, cherishing what they stood for, belonging once to royalty and nobility. A hint of haughtiness from the folk utilizing them now. It is hard to go anywhere in the French capital, without its origins coming from regal background… or Napoleon, which to most Parisians seems to be the same thing. The greeting "Bonsoir", is essential with meeting anyone ,whether in a café, or shop, or asking for anything. also, polite Paree social decorum

While Rebecca and I were staying in Toni/Fergus apartment, roughly four blocks from famous landmark, Sacre-Caur, hallowed rain fell only twice through the night. The water from the heavens, if not so blue, encourages the masonry used on the building to weep, temporary bleaches the stone to produce whiter than white. Quite good for a chapel overlooking most of the capital, which in turn produces stairs, and hills up and down. The Artisan boulangerie where I bought the breakfast "baguette" each morning ,was just around the corner… though up 112 very steep steps upward to reach it.

The first time attempting the flight of stairs proved a significant struggle to complete, having to halt quite a few times before reaching breathless at the summit. Entering the establishment, I was lucky to “bonsoir”, then pointing in the correct area, using single one finger. The following early morning, the ascent took less stops but still breathing in gulps and gasps. So much so, I went into the shop, used hand signals, in case they mistook me for a dirty old man, practicing my telephone obscenities. From then on, each time I arrived in the shop, juggling my understanding of verbal French, after “bonsoir’, both my asking and my climbing had improved, though needing my full concentration, along with luck. Most times either breathless or forgotten the words… I’d point.

My last day, felt confident, enough to be able to totally outstrip any previous performance. From bottom to top of the stairs in one near effortlessly ascent, then sauntered into the shop, and in one, almost flowery flow to the end , asked; “Bonjour, madame, s'il vous plaît puis-je avoir une Baguette, merci beaucoup ?"

The lady and the gentleman worker of the shop clapped…then smiled profusely
peter.howden
The tales of Hector and ‘The Bruce’

THE THREESOME


To some readers, this tale might classify as racy, or an old fashioned “X” certificate, so please either read it with your eyes closed, or forgets the contents straight after finishing browsing the loose scribble. Thank you.

Hector and his wife had been married four years, however, for the duration of the last two-year period, managed to be blessed with 3 children. First and last new-born landing in the exact same birthdate two years apart, with one infant in the middle. They certainly enjoyed the repetition of intimacy delights the basics involvement produced, yet felt worried enough, they had to do something to stop the recurrence of children. They talked, and talked, of ways to prevent the inevitable end result of mother nature. The coil, the newfound pill, a vasectomy.

Hector having heard people taking about the old days, when after the torturous ordeal of a haircut, asked by the kindly barber, “Anything for the weekend, Sir!”. The couple held no catholic faith, or indeed any religious persuasion, finally agreed for a trial period only, condoms. Best known French letters at the time, Durex, came in packets of three(double pun). Taking on board, the fact Hector had never laid hands, or used such samples; it is not really surprising he looked for instruction...none where found

His first stab so to speak, failed miserably and frustratingly fumbled around with unskilled hands, attempting to place the apparatus on the subject, at the right time. In Hector’s haste to remove the wrapping, his thumb nails tore the protector. The second time he pre unwrapped the article and left it handy ready at arm’s reach. Now sweating profusely, in total impositions to assign to the proper quarter, he failed to consider of the size of the project, as feelings were completely aroused. Hector failed again.

This last of the valuable three, he noticed the old chair in the room had curved wooded arm rests. In blind faith, placed the plastic shield over one of the arms, ready with quick reflexes needed to succeed this endeavour. Sensing everything was in place, the condition arose again, he quickly darted to secure on his person, but this time, to his amazement, the now flabby condom stretched to such a degree, it was no longer suitable for its purpose, finding it exceedingly too big for his needs. He sobbed.

His now impatient wife, just looked at him… squarely in the eyes, hollered unsympathetically … “you might as well bloody toss it out the window!”

Caution…They should put four in the packet, for practise reasons alone.
peter.howden
PARIS AGAIN;(old Story, Second Part)

It was hinted how Parisians could be sair put oot nippy sweets, if you did not communicate in French correctly. However, I believe it goes a long way giving a polite ‘Bonjour’ and ‘Merci’, even when stumbling around the language. A Parisian monsieur, stopped to ask if assistance was needed, merely because we were standing, awkwardly holding a map of Paris, probably giving the impression of being lost. When he realized we were Scottish, we were not only shown the way, but personally taken to our chosen destination, a hidden gem of a flea market, …the Auld Alliance…pure dead brilliant.

Paris, as all major megalopolises around the world, along with the rich, the plight of the poor, often next door, frequently not noticed at first glance. Among the French ‘gentlemen of the road’, a class system of its own exists around the outskirts and lower metro lines they do become obvious. The Metro follows most major Boulevards and Rues, blasting hot air vents positioned evenly around the Rue islands, A roaming Monsieur set up a permanent tent on one such island. Outside his canvas abode was two chairs, for visitors apparently. Each time we passed, a different group were poised, either sitting or standing drinking the local wine, totally oblivious to any mayhem around. All types of buskers playing a variety of melodies, throughout central traditional metro lines, warm music vibrations wafting ambiance through exits into the Parisian air.

French driving is scary on good days, terrifying when normal, especially coming to a massive climax at the "Arc De Triomphe". From the top of this colossus, witnessing near misses as cars kissed, by whacking other cars with their bumpers. It appears to be not an option… but mandate. Piloting through this mayhem was praying for a miracle…but this wasn’t Lourdes.

My major regret happened along the from the "Moulin Rouge", where un red light district meets tourist coming down from "Sacre-Coeur". Loads of trinkets shops mixed in with lap dancing, nude performances establishments and the like, hawking homemade champagne. ‘She who must be obeyed’, saunter’s into one souvenir shop in between such clubs, spent a long time scouring for a bargain while I stood outside having a smoke. I observed young show ladies, with free entrance tickets, trying desperately to entice blokes into the premises for expensive drink if not bubbly.

They asked everyone on that part of the Boulevard, with a tenacity of a dog worrying a bone. The scantily dressed ladies held loads of giveaway pamphlets, advertising ridiculous reduced prices for the first flagon. Persistently soliciting anything in trousers, even invited a guy in a wheelchair, but… not one of them felt I was the right calibre to approach or bother asking….I' lost my sex appeal in Paris…if I ever had any?
-=-=-=-=
peter.howden
The Message

The purpose of this objectionable communication will become plain and obvious, even to dimwits dunderheeds as yourselves. This message is to substantiate how my family can possibly deal with this wholly unwarranted mortification, which created everlasting shame embedded at our doorstep. The justification is unclear as to why, or indeed how naively one of our kith and kin could have been persuaded, or drugged, to run away somewhere secretive, with a close member of your pariah clan

Being upstanding pillars of the community within this neighbourhood, , I’m compelled to tell you, it came as a blow, as to how low Bert would stoop, acting in such a uncharacteristic fashion. 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, the "plat de résistance” Line Dancing’. Regrettably, this creates an outside chance of competing in the radio programme, ‘Ballroom’. This will unfortunately lead into dark depravity of associating with someone outside his class. Now isn’t that something unwarranted

We are not saying our Bert is completely innocent, though being rather shy, he is after all, just a man…with male needs. but laying the table with cutlery, our concerns are, is undoubtedly not what your misnamed Angelina reveals to the world. She is certainly no angel, no doubt about that!... 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, enticing unexpected males into her carnal trap… I’m just wondering if the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree?
….
I am not a primsie by nature, however, the humiliation of this situation, which we can’t grasp, or fathom why or how it manifested itself. We must be brave by 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 deal 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 01/04/1925
peter.howden
My Chronicles 07/04//2020;

Aunt Becky is still the same, though unfortunately a little more weight loss reported, by the hard-working staff, employed in the Dementia home, endeavouring to secure safe passage through this worldwide tragedy. All we can do is keep our fingers crossed they achieve their shaky goal. Dom is still in Victoria hospital, in and out consciousness. As all public in general, Janet is not allowed to visit her hubby, but managed to gain some necessary rest bite, from being totally worn out.

The people, who strive to keep the whole of National Health web functioning, so it can, protecting patients as best they can, deserve the highest praise the entire population can give. Also, the unsung hidden supporters of near normal life, such as Bus drivers, postmen, binmen and midden men, and those way beyond our ken…Well done …is all I have.

‘She who must be obeyed’, and I are more fortunate than some, having |Nikki and Chris, shopping and delivering our essentials to our door. We do manage to talk a little ,but always many yards away, keeping to the country’s vital instructions, for the sharp invisible virus claws, spread on physical contact. In this age the telephone, computer and the internet are one heck of a boon, though I do not quite grasp how it all works…blows my mind. On Saturdays now , the contact method is via the web, which allows visual contact with three family homes …but it is a strange connection, because underneath, a worry current run.

I personally miss them all around the old wooden kitchen table, where personalities flourish spontaneously and the odd touch and contact, freely given. Having a garden is another benefit, allowing we two to have tea and toast each day, sitting on cushions on Aunt Becky’s garden bench, good as new. Over the last 20 years, painting it nature’s green each couple of years, plus having replaced all of the wooden slats, just three times.

How long will this lockdown be…no one knows… but, it will end. Meanwhile, although sometimes the darkest of the virus creeps into our minds, we can manage to close that unwanted chapter… by being comfortable and happy to be together

Take careful steps

peter.howden
Dear Diary, date unknown

One dark night, just before the lockdown came into voluntary effect, I dreamt of having a senior moment, by forgetting to close my front door, being arrested for flashing, however, the case was dismissed due to lack of physical hard evidence. Awakening from this strange scenario, wondering if it had been manufactured from some trash, glanced at before dropping off asleep . Perhaps my brain borrowed from hidden depths of inner compassion, battling to learn my true level of serious knowledge. There and then, I arose to look for something simple to read, alas, no noteworthy suitable fiction material could be found.

The following morning deliberately visited the up to date college in Easterhouse, which houses a grand library inside, called ‘The Bridge’. Entering the teaching building was awesome, giving me hope to Improve my literature status. The written word is the best way to lose yourself into another world. Yet at that moment , having wonderful childhood joyful memories of browsing through various ‘Classic Comics’, surface my simple mind.

I began to search for deeper philosophy by offerings from Amalgamated publishers, by writer John McCaill, or some religious guidance by ‘Anvil Parish periodicals ‘author Marcus Morris to no avail. Changing course to lighter works called ‘Kartzman’ for Alfred E Neuman, or Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi’s “ Adventures of Tintin”, however once again no luck . No Triumph, or Eagle comics with Britain’s interpretation of Superman, ‘Dan Dare’, pilot of the future. No crazy ‘Mad’ magazines to be seen… no dust collected where they should be . No ‘Puck’, no ‘Judge’ or high-class witty cartoon stories to ease the psyche.

Moving my way into the children’s department, for such as ‘Dandy’ ‘Beano’ ‘Rover’ ‘Wizard’ ‘Hotspur’ ‘Skipper’. These renditions of words and art, parents often poured cold waters over, including The Broons and Oor Wullie’. There was ‘Charlton and the Wheelies’, along with ‘Thomas the tank engine’. I would have taken them out on loan, not caring about leaving the children’s section , on the other hand…I had read those deep books… just a couple of weeks ago .

I exited the building housing ‘The Bridge’ knowing less, if that’s possible, than when I entered their automatic doors… But It’s really lucky I’m cultured…with a dash of class !
peter.howden
Hypocrisy
If you enter our town in any direction, an instant numbness catches the breath while taking steps further into the circle, which represents the centre of this community. It becomes obvious something terribly odd about the house on the right, unable to be hidden, having bright yellow front door and red painted windows, situated in the middle of a quiet row just at the far end. It had been the scene of appalling madness of any society, beyond a man-made hell.

Not so long ago, wishing to live entwined behind their decorated buttery door, two young people, who fell deeply in love, set up home together. However, the supposed pious neighbourhood were horrified at any such behaviour and just could not let it be. The young blameless couple’s cardinal sin was, to openly treasure the forbidden passion…of the love we dare not speak its name. in addition, being born of mixed race and religion.

Almost without warning, groups of protesting cliques stood at the doorway of the home, jeeringly chanting religious verses, cursing the frightened couple. In such a short space of time, the factions formed an ugly hypocritical mob, set on destroying any trace of this abomination. With half-hearted motions, the police department of the town managed to hold the hordes back. The law enforcement superintendents, together with the council, feared this situation was becoming uncontrollable, called for the reputed pillars of the communities’ spiritual organizations, to deal with this now unholy affair

They came from separate pews, with feeble attempts trying to appease the now hostile throng. Each faith in turn, quoted chosen verses from their Bible; Koran; Torah; Tripitaka and ‘Guru Granth Sahib’, to no avail. The incensed rabble, all possessed hypothetical ears and outraged minds, staging this cohabiting was against man’s divinity laws.

What happened during that appalling night, became apparent once daylight broke, the utter shame befell on the authors these atrocious actions. No honest human being alive would dare tell…for it would remain a personal infamy amongst those who acted in mob rule. An infinite stain of the city’s history.

Will it happen again, here or somewhere else? I personally have no reason, or justification to ask… as I’m an atheist, minus faith in any deity, but…I threw the first stone…
peter.howden
Up North Twang

Every city, town and village within the British Isles, may speak a form of English, as ordered several centuries ago, but, not in the same vernacular, or indeed what is termed as proper Queen’s English. Thank god! Who wants to speak with a load of toffy Jorries, wobbling around the mouth, as if someone made up the speech a few hours earlier? Speaking, but more important listening, should be a relaxing pleasurable affair while giving or gaining information… or just passing the time of day.

In years gone by, Scotland, particularly the Highlands, and the Western Isles, held the unique reputation of pronouncing words of English precisely and clearly, though now it may be different. Having travelled up to Dundee and Aberdeen, my experience was cocking an ear more, intently listening to what a Dundonian may be saying. Heeding to peoples born and breed in Aberdeen, this tactic proved practically impossible, if not invalid. What a transformation in oration that 66 miles makes… Not route 66 which the Stones sing

If asking the way to ‘Union St’, they smile broadly, proceed with ‘Doric’ dialect which they guttural express in great haste, losing peculiar vowels coughing and spluttering, causing confusion for five odd minutes. , Then you suddenly realize…it was directions all the time they were trying to convey.
Weird words such as ‘Rummlieguts’ Clart; Thrawn Fa's, or ‘Bydand’ which means ‘Steadfast’ the proud motto for the ‘Gordon Highlanders’, or is it the Gay Gordon’s. I do recognize, ‘Deoch an Dorus’, having enjoyed Aberdonian company with a dram or two. Strangely, powers of understanding the local tongue grows easier the more alcohol I consumed. In one of the many local taverns, the subject of frugal Aberdonians carefulness with money, sneaked into the conversation.

The following tale was related.
A lowlander came to Aberdeen, setting up a grocer’s shop across the road from a local general store already there. The near Sassenach brought out the traditional blackboard, wrote with chalk, ‘Sugar 2/- a bag’. Seeing this, the Aberdonian put out his blackboard, writing in chalk ‘Sugar 1/-11d a bag. This spurred the new arrival to wipe his board clean, then scribble in chalk, ‘Sugar 1/-9d a bag’ Each time the stranger placed his new reduced price, the Aberdonian slightly lowered his further. This procedure carried on until later on in the day, when eventually the stranger marked up in big letters , in chalk; ‘ Free Sugar’.

With a smirk on his lips, wandered across the road to boast …you can’t beat that? The Aberdonian in a cool droll saying “Ken Telt nay …Aye dinna roup sucarr’ Start a'thing ower again, gin I was God” …translate….Don’t you know… don’t sell sugar… Start everything over again, if I were God !”

My small miracle… understanding the joke…told in Aberdonian patois …hope I spelt it correctly
peter.howden
A dilemma

We are a mystery to ourselves and mysterious to others, however, I may be slightly older, recalling many more things than when younger…but it does not make me wiser! One thing is cryptic, the group calling me ‘Walter? I don’t know why, except their old and flighty in hating the smell of mothballs…but who knows what I hold to my bosom, who can tell, but hopefully, change will come through development. Up to now, I’m visibly unique, an outsider, sticking out from any crowd like a sore thumb…because I’m bloody white. One and all else around my comrades are of dark persuasion.

When any danger threatens, nervous whims overcome the neighbourhood , making certainly as day and night, I’ll be pressed away from the group, treated as a hazard, and they will bugger off. it is f---ing inevitable they will not come to my aid, bloody left as an averse martyr to whom, or what is above the skies. Is it too much asking to be like everyone else, live my life, grow older pecking out a meagre living where allowed? Being different is a bloody awful burden.

How I would love to fly off somewhere, anywhere out from here, maybe visit some relatives who stay in sunny climates, take it easy but if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride. It is rumoured that I, and my cousins, represent peace, love and honour . The reality is I’m stuck here, my fate will fly away with the wind…all because being born as an Albino pigeon
peter.howden
Dear Sir or Madam…to whom it may concern…please restrain from the urge to visit our home…even well after the ‘All Clear’ has at last been announced. It is not out of disrespect, or our fear of the naughty virus….but the use, or abuse of our treasured toilet paper.
Please bare this in mind
Yours truly
A Well-wisher
peter.howden
The black cat

In a spiritual town holding a catholic ‘All Saints Day’ mass, a group of young people aimlessly loitering at the rear end of this main chapel, smoking naughty cigarettes. Drifting mentally until they spotted an exquisite black cat, majestically strolling around the holy statues. What was obviously striking about the panther like creature, it’s dark shiny perfectly groomed short fur, so smoothly delicious it could be mistaken for silk. Stealthily winding within the inner grounds, a supernatural spirit shone through her coat at the slightest twitch, or direction the cat sashayed. Her large pupils mirrored deep green eyes, while her stiff whiskers suggested military obedience as a successful predator.

The white-cassock robed youngsters were members of the chapel choir, caretakers of the consecrated relics during the service. One innocent lad stared and pointed while calling to his peers; ‘Look… Cats hold luck’. Chomping over 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, brutally scorched the flawless coat, cause severe pain for the unfortunate beast. Her feral eyes flashed with fury as her ear-piercing squeals of agony, borne like the plague, silenced only by the deafening organ music coming from the chapel. The cruel sneering boy, just laughed before he entered the holy place to prepare for his religious obligation

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

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

The young boy stood up to sing directly under the ‘Tabernacle Lamp’, appearing 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, the contents of inflammable oils spilled unrehearsed onto the boy’s head. It splattered across and through his bright white robe, instantly igniting into uncontrollable flames throughout the petrified boy’s attire.

There followed uncontrollable screaming bedlam, echoes of excruciating pain, screeching within the old walls of the medieval chapel, shaking its very foundations. The cat 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 petrified lad in blankets to stifle the flames, saving the lad from first degree burns all over his body.

The boy will never sing another note due to the injuries to his vocal cords, enduring 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?
peter.howden
My Chronicles 18/04//2020;

Late yesterday afternoon, our daughter in law, Kirsti, tripped over a pavement, breaking her wrist. Kirsti was taken to Stobhill, whose medical staff reckoned it was rather problematic, but sent home. This morning Chris phoned from Victoria Hospital, where X rays will determine how complicated Kirsti’s situation is, to be able for an operation sometime today. We will be Informing Fergus when he phone’s this afternoon. Rebecca and I will have fingers tightly crossed that all will go well in the operation.

Aunt Becky is settled in the home, where the carers are working tirelessly to keep the residents safe from the immediate danger of the Corona virus…they have our deepest gratitude…these unsung heroes. Dom is in the Victoria infirmary, still lapsing in and out of consciousness, while poor wee Janet worries at home. Fortunately, or sadly unfortunately… time will tell its tale for both of them

‘She who must be obeyed’, rescued a rainy beetle scuttering along the floor, which becomes larger each time related on the phone to her friends. In great detail, the female hunter describes her movements of using tissues to corner the beast, then more to secure it. Finally, loads of more tissues, wrapping around and around, then carefully placing the probably confused beetle in the garden. Proud of taking personal care of nature, yet, one thing bugs me…does ‘She who must be obeyed’ think I’m made of toilet paper?

I’m unsure if its age, or this lockdown is causing advancing forgetfulness, also acting with ludicrous behaviour. Mislaying things is becoming normal, like putting my wallet somewhere …but have not one idea where it could be. Trying hard to place things regularly in the same location, but somehow, I still am baffled where the hell it is. As for craziness, after removing my underwear, used the utensil in the smallest room, Toilet flushed, cloths in washing, and hands appropriately washed. 10 minutes later while gathering all garments from the laundry container, for the washing machine, no sign of undergarment in the basket.

For some reason I looked in the loo toilet …and there were my now wet underpants
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
peter.howden
My Chronicles 19/04//2020; Update

The terrific news is, Kirsti is back home, safe and well, still marginally groggy from an obvious ordeal having 6 pins and a plate implanted within her fractured wrist. as far as the couple are concerned., being home is ‘what the doctor ordered’. The whole family but mostly Chris, has high hopes Kirsti will heal well. Always having a warm personality, and a smile to catch a star, it will do the cockles good, just to see her, gleaming and beaming again .

Due to the circumstances placed on us via the lockdown, foods and goods are carefully and precisely used, as there is concern, they will be difficult to have again. A small note of personal success, I’ve been acting canny while eeking out a soap pad, now over five days, and still going. As for the naughty virus, If only we would learn from history and change direction to a fairer system…and not return to the rich will survive with scratches, while the poor will pay the ultimate price .

I know so little about the state of affairs within our government, never mind the world. What’s obvious is mistakes have been made by our legislators, however, more concerning allegations of wrong equipment delivered, to all working at the over-driven hospitals around Britain. Care homes been given ill-advised varied instruction, leading to tragedies which with care could have been avoided. Luck has been with me, having a china, who has a mass of experience in political behaviour , plus a degree in economics and universal monetary awareness, which keeps me posted…and thinking, sharp claws of expectations are needed.

The world must unite, working to the edge, to beat this calamity threatening ever person on the planet. Parliament has told us, there will be an end, but when is uncertain and unclear. It will not be like the movies, or old television’s ‘ Perry Mason’, where… at the very last minute, Paul Drake, will make a triumphant entrance into court, holding the vital parchment, containing how to beat the virus…protecting the world.

As for the politicians ….The last important piece of paper was supposed to give the nation…’Peace in our time’
-=-=-=-=
peter.howden
My Chronicles 21/4/2020

I was going to write yesterday, however, , though not hell of a busy, I inevitably became delayed as just things pop up in my brain, needing attended, and if I don’t do it there and then, I forget . Things are fine and dandy, slightly drifting from day to day , keeping an eye on Rebecca’s health problems, and as for my arthritis, I take Uncle David’s philosophy, you grow accustomed to pain.

Apart from when it’s raining, lunch is always served out in the garden, very pleasant, though when the wind whistles up the glen, it can bring water to the eyes. Also, regular breaks from cores or activities helps a great deal staying focus, plus pretty well content, though losing what actual day it must be…

I have no clue if my current absent mindedness is in any way due to the lockdown, or its growing old disgracefully, except here is increasing the blanks in simple thinking and remembering, and reserve energy and personal abilities, seems to be waning. When asked even a straightforward question by ‘She who must be obeyed’, sometimes my mind is nigh blank… but I’ve not quite lost all my marbles.

Both of us can be sitting watching a film, halfway through to discover… we have seen it before. I still enjoy and love Rebecca’s company and the amazing thing is…Rebecca still feels the same about me…even though I can rabbit on a bit. Well Rebecca has not threatened mischief… yet!

For my birthday, Rebecca bought a ‘Revitive Circulation booster’, as advertised by Ian Botham, Somerset all-rounder. For some considerable time, while in bed of a night, my feet pumped heat and aching. The apparatus has a weird sensation, even in the lower settings, yet it may be doing the business…the steps in the future will reveal if it does…but one thing I do know … if it’s vital for the programme to work…I’m crap at cricket
peter.howden
The tales of Hector and ‘The Bruce’

There is a saying doing the rounds, ‘if you can remember the swinging sixties, you were not there?’ Hector can remember the very beginning of the 60”s, but he can’t recall much about the middle, or the end of that fantastic decade. Hector and ‘The Bruce’, as China’s, always put it down to too much booze, not realizing they were just out of their minds… with pure enjoyment…Hector may have extended it….just a tad?

Hector and ‘The Bruce’ entered the Brookland Cafe at the corner of Minard Rd/ Frankford St joining up with the rest of the hoi polloi. Encouraged by the Cliff Richard fan, faithful to the edge of hell, waitress Helen, who stole the idea, to start a youth club, from his recent film, ‘The Young Ones’… in Scout hut, Titwood Rd, just down a bit from the old Crossmyloof ice rink. Like the movie, the club was a great goer right from the start, Games of cards, a few illicit beers, and if you were lucky, several Moonies to slow playing records, to round of the entertainment

No matter what, stoned face ‘The Bruce’, never landed lucky, and Hector felt it was his duty to inform him, the female company whispered he was a wet blanket. This actually meant he was slobbery like a great Dane…and a face akin to Buster Keaton. Amazingly he took it quite well, though the part about facial expression, was deliberately left out. ‘The Bruce’, asked his china if he knew any way to remedy this affliction. Softly, Hector instructed him, he should practice, with determined lips on his pillow, each night, plus constantly suck mints to aid the aroma. (actual it was to control the drooling

A few weeks later, following the general triumphant measures taken, the end of the evening many musical birds, (is it allowed to write this, as its politically incorrect). The music began, much to the total glee of Hector’s china. Sadly, after ten minutes into the lippy game, ‘The Bruce’, huffily once more gazed into a record sleeve, obviously looking a wally, having been rejected by one girl, after another, time after time. Hector asked the females if it was the same problem, they answered No! they had not even got around to winching. They all replied, once he had in a clinch so tight, he would not let them up for air.

Hector reckon ‘The Bruce practiced to strongly on the pillow, to hard and for too long?
peter.howden
A class of her own

From the start of early dawn, it had been certainly a hard-long walk, because of her age, it was more like a cross country hike ordeal, than her usual stroll around the countryside. All this commotion to catch a train, with little or no amenities and packed to bursting capacity, which broke all decency regulations. As for crowd control…this steam engine ride was bloody inhuman. In her past, treated like a queen unequipped dealing with such anxiety. It was her first experience with these traveling methods, but little could be done, due to a schedule beyond her control. there was no time to take stock .

On this mystery expedition, some were a tad tetchy, having their own theory, of why being regarded worse than commoners, though no first-class lodging to spare, expected by her, associated with upper breeding. All the others on board, had no idea where exactly the terminal would be. She assumed honest simple thinking would suit the mood, feeling now was a good time to relax, ease the tension ever so slightly. .She wished hard, to rid of the constant clacking of steel wheels, rolling over the traction and cross lines multiplied with and bells and horns warning of brakes suddenly screeching.

Tiredness was beginning to take its toll, having been on her feet all day, with little food to nibble on or digest. On the other hand, she was more than pleased when the voyage, at last, came to an end, then allowed medical treatment if needed, or stroll around stretching their legs. She had expected something, what it was, she knew not, but having left rolling hills and green meadows scenery, the present picture was desolately drab, if not grey. A forlorn pounding noise, reverberating, making it impossible to tell the origin.

Encourage for something better while strolling along with the rest of the ladies, she could not help pricking up her ears, hearing constant loud thuds, and an obnoxious odour which frightened her. Still, since the rest of the group were moving towards the warm glowing entrance, happily embrace the clandestine ambiance, blissfully ignorant she was being rather apprehensive. Coming closer to the wide doors, the throng pleasingly formed a natural tapering V shape, allowing one at a time to move forward into the building.

Daisy, for this is what she was politely called, no matter her royal blue privilege upbringing in younger years, she had not the ability to read, and so tragically failed to see, which was in large lettering, spread across right above the thick black rubber doors …‘LOCAL ABATTOIR’.
The constant echoing thudding was…. captive bolt electronic stunning gun.
peter.howden
The tales of Hector and ‘The Bruce’

It was both last year in primary and first year in Shawlands Academy, when Hector and ‘The Bruce’, visited Ken, the best builder of home-made boogies. He could always lay his hand-on the, ‘creme de la crème’, Churchill pram wheels, for superior speed. Ken’s big house was on top of the hill on Ravenswood Drive, behind Shawlands Primary, perfect to test out Boogie’s. His father was a university lecturer, who doted on two Siamese cats, named ‘Si and Am’, from the Walt Disney’s ‘Lady and the Tramp’.

Hector took first shot down the hill on Ken’s latest boogie, but unfortunately, ‘The Bruce’ whizzed down, crashed into a garden, took a moody, limped homeward bound. After a few more ‘trips down the amazing hill, Ken brought Hector into his dad’s hut. The two lads looked around at the various old crumpled packets of fertilized, and the odd weed killer poke, brownish baking powder and a rusty tin of antifreeze. Out of the blue came the subject of how those items could be basic materials to improvise a rough detonation.

Ken proudly spoke of his dad’s duties in Burma during the war, he brough back a filthy brown bag for mosquito control called Organochlorine… plus manky old durex’s, used by soldiers covering their gun barrels through the infection diseased swamps.
Ken methodically organized the items, with Hector watching memorized how he appeared in a wizardly fashion, protected by gloves, carefully extracting what was needed onto stretched cotton wool, adding simple earth, plus powdered fluorescent, to cause a chemical reaction. This finished as a porcupine shape, sticking out was lots of last year’s bangers. As he lit the lead fuse, he shouted “ F---ing Run

Hector and Ken scarpered like hell, as far away as possible, taking immediate refuge behind a massive old tree. The two household’s cats were preening themselves undaunted, until… a bloody loud explosion collapsed all over the place. Damaging most of the hut …and no sign of the cats as Hector took instant flight. The next day, meeting up with Ken, who told him, he took the whole blame by saying it was a terrible accident. His pocket money banned indefinite …only one cat came back…the family did not know if it was ‘Si or Am?’…but it was timorous from that day on?
peter.howden
Twa Worlds.

It was the time of despair, sheer hopelessness spread panic throughout the civilized planet, shocking peoples to run havoc, creating disorder in disbelief. Every boffins/ scientist, in the four corners of the world, concurred there was no hope, nothing to stop the calamity, Armageddon was upon the earth just hours away. Universal Politicians nervously endorsed evacuation for the leaders and key people. This was paramount, but unfortunately, they could not agree who those selected individuals were to be.

About a hundred rockets were available to be sent out to space, but, how robust would untested missiles function, more important, where they would reach, or if so…was it just pure conjecture. The preicious moments and minutes ticked away, unused and undecided, until one lone country, chose to save who they could. An electronic lottery was cast, collected with the diverse ticket holders arriving at the space station and boarded.

Almost at the second of approaching absolute doom, the feeble crafts were launched, total blackness fell worldwide….as the object of doom was nigh to collision.

Somewhere, perhaps in another dimension, a bunch of youngsters decided to play rounder’s, while temperatures were the highest ever recorded. In fact, the tarmac on the road was melting beneath their feet. Reaching the huge grassy sports park, they placed themselves ready for the innings, while slugging ginger.

The pitcher’s normal practice to bowl within the homemade rules, was underarm, but, for some unknown reason, this time he changed his tactics. From a spacious glass display cabinet, he had smuggled out a special hand-crafted ball, reputed from Stuart times, handed down through his family. All the boys gawked enviously at this extraordinary orb. This was his first delivery, in a unintentionally spur of the moment, why he did not know but he strenuously hurled it overhanded…with all his might.

The auld stale ball hurtled towards the batter’s head, like a missile with a death wish, leaving no choice for the batsman but to swing wildly at the oncoming sphere. As contact was made, the whole globe disintegrated into disastrous smithereens, leaving all the runners in a stooshie. Strangely, one boy’s keen eye observed what appeared as if wee solid shaped bits, supposedly from the inners of the auld sphere, projected out straight into the blazing sky…but unseen where they landed…no matter intense searching.

Were both events on the same globe, but in diverse time frame, or velocity? ….or poles apart, happening at the precise same moment on another universe entirely …Or two separate planets, but ,at that precise moment… both orbits fused in collision…running-together in parallel dimensions… or same cosmos with fractured distorted timeframe

Or remarkably simple coincidence?
peter.howden
Threesome /(1/ 3)
John; Borrowed Dapper


Why men wish to go to a Turkish bath, is a hard question to answer, for some just wish to meet up with business contacts, others to relax in macho company, in the last stronghold for a male club(until recently). Others, to take part in socialising, while a few, who’s routine was, the place, the same time and day each week, while many to dodge one thing or another, then the one or two, just out of sheer habit. Finally, believe it or not some came to use the steam room to wash themselves, remove the day’s dirt.

Ben Gunn was the Turkish attendant in Glasgow local Baths by accident, simply because he held lifeguard qualification; ‘Bronze Medallion’. He felt lucky to have the exceptional experience, where a variety of clientele’s, who’s words and manner, were mind-boggling poignant and entertaining
. .
Always suavely dressed, John was a regular because his wife wished to have those afternoons to herself. Sounds a tad selfish, but she keenly looked after her husband to a fault. Each day she laid out what John would wear, as in suit or casual, dressed shirt or t shirt, right down to the socks and underwear. Some may say, this echoes a ‘Hen pecking disciplinarian’, but not so, as Ben’ knew them socially, as deeply entwined to one another. She saw he needed a woman like that, so she provided herself in such a way .

Sadly, for John, his beloved wife died suddenly, leaving him heartbroken and empty, a hard belt to take for anyone who had known him as a grand entertainer, and talker, who liked a burl around the dance floor. While at the phenomenal turned out funeral, Ben was standing with him when his sister came and suggested, a hot cup of tea would help. This miracle cure was always a brew weed used for all occasions in certain circles in Glasgow, if not Scotland, which could mend all, if only. Over the crowd, she carried on asking how many sugars he took…however, poor John had not a clue. He was so used to his darling wife taking care of everything, right down to “how many sugars he took in his cup”. ,John was lost, but came back on his regular timetable, not-so-well turned out…just for human security
peter.howden
Threesome,(2/3)
Graham Record Artist


Within the populous of the Turkish suite, while working up to a cool douk, John’s usual chosen company was Graham, and Hammie. Both men would attempt to ease his pain, with Glesga whimsical patter, as he solemnly spoke with little enthusiasm, of ‘the book not yet open’, meaning his own demise. While in their company, they had the talent to amuse John, but had growing concerns as to his state of mind, when isolated in his home.

Graham was a conscientious employee in the ‘Daily Record’, a burly man, often mistaken as every inch a rank bajin, however in truth, being an amiable dude, who over-enjoyed a wee hauf…or two while off duty. People automatically believe the Turkish steam will sober the drunk instantly. This is a missed conception, as the steam dehydrates a body.

His other ideal relaxation was playing blinders in a three-man band, around the clubs and dance halls. There was talk, by Graham’s agent, cutting a record, to succeed becoming quite famous. This news circulated like wildfire in all the joints, and clubs they performed in. The group did not mind the tongues waggling, eager for extra monies due to the oncoming projected celebrity status.

One night, just at the interval break, a man, slightly fu, came up to him and asked, “do you mind if I give you some constructive criticism “, and Graham replied no. The stotious man went on… “Yous are bloody crap…aw in a cludgie ...cut a record…yous couldn’t deliver the Daily Record”.

Ben had a strong feeling this would not have been said, whither right or wrong, if the guy had been sober….Graham’s reply to the individual advice-giver… was never recorded?
-=-=-=-=-=

peter.howden
Threesome,(3/3)
Hammie
Coloured Extension


Graham: looking all of a heavy in gangland movies, was slightly fue, attempting to sober up before going home, however, failing in his feeble attempt. Walking past him was a Glaswegian, down to his boots, Hammie, who owned the wee red corner shop in the heart of the Barras for thirty years. He was a typical friendly, true-blooder Scot, that just happened to be born a very darkened skinned born Pakistani. He asked Ben if the sun bed was available for his use. Graham asked why, Hammie replied in his sly humour how the previous day, only two people had called him a black bastard, and he was feart he was fading into a white person?

Perhaps Sigmund Freud might have given an explanation as inverted joke to reverse the turmoil within built… but the company all just laughed at a simple joke, as the man himself pulled over the curtain to fry in privacy. Hammie amongst company was no doobie,

Graham and John were both sitting right opposite the sun bed being used by Hammie. Some 30 minutes later, reopening the curtains in majestic glory, for all and sundry to see, Hammie totally surprised and shocked Graham. Graham growled to Hammie, “where did you get That?”….Thinking it was the tan, Hammie pointed to the debunked machine. “No” shouted Graham… “ I mean your manhood tackle….I wish I had one just like it”

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

“Will it make my manhood the same size as yours?”, Graham asked eagerly.
“I don’t know about that”, Hammie replied, “but it will be just as black!”
peter.howden
Tales of Hector and ‘The Bruce’(part 1/of 2)

PLASTIC MAC

There are some places experienced once in early life, have a habit of mentally calling you back, creating a warm cozy memory of any time, or occasion. Hector holds many varied late visions, stretching a good 65 years now, including North Berwick, but most prominent, ‘Dunbar’. The east coast seaside town has instant recall, though not included are, old ironside battle with the Scots, or the amazing John Muir, no matter how rightly he deserved his fame.

Within the Pandora, a Glasgow oasis drinking establishment, Hector managed to persuade, ‘The Bruce’, plus two old pals, Ross Grant, and Graham, to visit the picturesque seaside settlement, for a planned long weekend camping break. This alcohol prompt conclusion left just a couple of days to prepare. Being the mid-60s, the pals thought they were the bee’s knees, what they did not swing…had already swung

The company made plans rather loudly, arguing who was responsible the gear and the like, plus departure time for the Edinburgh bus. They all drank praising the trips success, rather more than usual, leaving hazy Hector vaguely recalling, Ross and Graham sitting next to a guy, who looked closely, if not the spitting image of Keith Moon, the mad drummer of the super group; The Who’. Exceedingly early next morning, everyone turned up, including ‘Keith, who undoubtedly was either eccentric…or slightly off the wall.

When preparing for camping, the trekker should be ready for any kind of weather, however this guy was wearing a plastic-mack…and a hard-hitting bright sports jacket. However, he wore is dull gray old-fashioned Mackintosh… down to the ankles of his sannies. On top of this old mack, was the dazzling sport’s jacket…with one button closed. What was more worrying was…a permanent smile…rarely speaking. He was an inborne natural comedian, who appeared not to know he was so, but he was entertaining to have around
peter.howden
Tales of Hector and ‘The Bruce’(part 2/of 2)

HOT PIES

On arriving in Edinburgh, they boarded a local service bus, snapping glimpses of coastline as the jalopy trundled along. On the way, Hector persuaded the bus driver, the necessity to stop at a forthcoming country Inn, due to sensitive medical difficulties. The old bus stopped, though outside its timetable for several minutes, while he and Ross dashed into the wee boy’s room in the watering hole. While Hector, and Ross made their way back to the transport, stopped at the bar, to enjoy a double Water of life, for medicinal reasons of course.

Disembarking in Dunbar, in jovial spirits, to watch the bus rumble down the road, until the weary group realized, vital equipment was left on the bus, the tent, stove and odds and ends. Fortunately, someone had the wits to check the bus tickets small printing, stating the phone number of Eyemouth terminal. Hector was informed the bus was due back in 1 ½ hours and would drop off the gear…at no extra charge. They were under the impression, locally made beer was good for you, with natural hops, yeast, and the like. A doctor will subscribe a sweet stout, or Guinness, to build up weak patients, so, the more going down the more building up. Sounds O.K… who really wanted to argue. So, when it came to a clear choice, between essential food or beer, accompanied with a few glasses of ‘the water of life’… there was no contest.

Later, at the allotted time, collected gear from a fleeting bus, then sauntered along the shoreline, to Whitesands, striking up camp, just steps away from a water. The fact they had precious little to eat, apart from a couple of packets of crisps, peanuts, and the odd choc bar, made them famished. Once the campsite was settled, back to town for fish and chips…and more beer for later. The next morning rose long before they did, with only the rolling majestic rush of the waves tampering with the natural silence…apart from the constant huoh-huoh-huoh of seagulls


They all got up and different speeds and heavy heads then, try and shave in cold sea water suffering from a hangover, then attempting to eat cornflakes swirling in suspect milk, with wee black things appearing at will within the plate. A volunteer was needed to go the 3 miles, there and back for urgent supplies. The “Keith Moon”, volunteered, boldly striding forward towards the town, still dressed the same as the day before, though that is not quite true, wrapped in a bright yellow Rupert the Bear scarf, and golfer’s bunnet. The township of Dunbar lay about 3 miles north of Whitesands, giving walking time, there and back, two hours on a bad day for a young pair of legs.

Six hours past, while waiting for the messenger returning with untold goodies. A shout came from a lone figure, could be seen coming just over the brim of the hill, appeared to be running as if the very devil was chasing him, with the bright scarf, it was not difficult to know who it was. The closer he got to the camp, it was possible to pick out, even at his running speed, he was not carrying any large supermarket bags, but appeared to be clutching something to his chest. Almost upon them in person, he called with all glee; “HOT PIES, HOT PIES!, but the truth of the matter, what once probably were pies, but now a glimpse of pieces of pastry, cold fat entangled into a gooey mess.

It was then Hector learnt a valuable lesson… natural comedians, no matter if they know it or not, after a very short time, can get on your F---ing wick ?. As usual, ‘The Bruce’ and pals, met Hector in the Pandora, later in the week… and it turned out no one knew who the impersonator was, for he disappeared from whence he came, never to resurfaced again and wasn’t he fun?

They all believed he was a friend of the other guys. Maybe he was the real ‘Keith Moon’ but naw… he would have eaten all the pies for he was really crazy that way.
peter.howden

The choice today, Number 10 on my list of memorable L,Ps.


The near forgotten long-playing record; Walt Disney’s Soundtrack; ‘The story of Robin Hood, and his Merry Men’. Which arrived via the U.S.A in 1953. This was given to me, however it could only be played when my brother came home from University, before mother came in from Maryhill Barracks. I cannot recall why…but this was the rule.
God knows when the tides of time took the original disc. Still, we managed to purchase one copy in 2000… which I played, making memories back to Gorbals St, at the Clyde much… to the bemusement of the family.
-=-=-=
The choice today, Number 9 on my list of memorable L,Ps.

Again, this L.P was sent from America, solely my brother John’s personal property, Frank Sinatra’s classic album; ‘In the Wee Small Hours of the morning’. John owned quite a few old Blue eyes records; Frank could sing anything… but this beauty hooked me. Also, I was grateful to John…he let me listen to, ‘Dan Dare, pilot of the future, on Radio Luxembourg, via his Cristal set, which he built himself…. Both 10 and 9 remined me of my family in 8 Gorbals St
peter.howden
The choice today, Number 8 on my list of memorable L,Ps.

At the very beginning being taught within Shawlands Academy, by an amazing gifted music teacher, who, lucky for me, introduced to the class, a variety of melodies around the world, including classical experience. Without thinking, the words spring to my mind to the Irish melody; “Trottin' to the fair. Me and Molly Molony”, sheer delight. On the classical side, a obvious favourite, “Peter and the wolf”, described by Sterling Holloway., gave my starter to a complete lifetime enjoyment of all orchestras, and quartets . For my 12th birthday, Aunt Molly gave me this L’P, which sadly, through the sands of time is lost…however, now I have a copy safely stored on my IPod, narrated by Peter Ustinov, touched by genius

A bite of information…in 1962, the Clyde Valley Stompers, reached 25, in the pop charts with the jazz version of, “Peter and the wolf”
peter.howden
The choice today, Number 7 on my list of memorable L,Ps.

Way back when I was 14, during summer holiday from School, luck appeared each year, in finding payed employment. First year was with a dental supplier, in West Nile St, delivering their stock (false teeth) by bus… all over Glasgow.

Second year’s holiday job was with a famous insurance company in West George St, as an office tea boy/ relief switchboard operator, at lunchtimes and breaks. It was an old-fashioned exchange, the kind you see in old movies. I had to say; “Good morning/afternoon, Forman and staff mutual benefit society---can I be of assistance?” I do remember ordering a brown Wheaton scone each day, from the upmarket bakers across the street…magic

The director constantly played, through the canteen’s ancient crackling tannoy system, the same Jimmie Rogers L.P each day while having lunch. It was his last session in 1933 “Yodeling My Way Back Home"; …Jimmie died 10 days later. I managed to download that session onto my iPod… my favorite is #Waiting for a train#
peter.howden
The choice today, Number 6 on my list of memorable L,Ps.

Our gang of teenagers met up in the Brookland Café, corner of Minard Rd/Frankford St, with bottles of coke, each uncultured night… then came the movie; ‘West Side Story’. The gang had seen the film the week previous, however I was unable to go to the Waverly Cinema. They all said it was a waste of money, though I’m not sure now what the girls in fact said…but the boys loudly testified, very non P.C in today’s society, quote “just a bunch of fairies floating and prancing around…real keech.”

I managed some days later, to see the flick, which blew my mind way out. I thought then, and still do, the music, the dancing…the film is a masterpiece. So much so, I wanted to attempt dancing all the way home, in a weird fashion. Gene Kelly would have been proud, but passing peoples gazed at my shabby attempts, as if I were a nuttier.

I did not challenge the gang about the film until several weeks later, to little comeback, as everyone was praising the movie. Safely in our home is the valued soundtrack of both film and stage performance…plus, the DVD bought for me …and we have even been to the Ballet version.
peter.howden
The choice today, Number 5 on my list of memorable L,Ps

A dreary Monday evening in 1962, Traveling on a public bus, around 9 in the evening, from Glasgow to Tannochside, the site of the mighty Caterpillar tractor factory, where I was fortunate to be employed, as a tool investigator. The wages were way above any equivalent British firm, but the only fly in the ointment, flash striking instant walkouts.

Left work on Friday morning, straight over to Clarkson, to join one of the legendary Alan Ramsey’s all weekend parties, returning now rather fatigued, from such a special endless event, laced with floods of alcohol. Today’s is No 5, the groovy smuggled L/P; ‘The Genius of Ray Charles’, over the 3 days, and nights, just played his tunes, over and over…and over.
He is a master at his craft…my personal favourite; ‘I can’t stop loving you’

So important was my position as the lone tool on nightshift…I fell asleep for 4 hours, hearing a distant Ray Charles deciphering ; ‘Come rain or come shine’… singing in my mind, while on the loo….when I awoke…my bum was numb and no one missed me…or even asked for me …
After being diagnosed having Dermatitis from the oils in machinery, it warranted an end to my lone tool position. At the time I believed I had made the silliest of mistakes, turning down a desk job…but now, what the heck, I would have lost out in a hell of a lot of way out fantastic times, what a ball?
peter.howden
The choice today, Number 4 on my list of memorable L,P’s

During the early 60s, scorching a young imagination influenced by all kinds of music entertainers, Paddy Roberts, , blues, Sonny Boy Williams, Chuck Berry, Elvis…being involved with the unbelievable great Matt McGinn in the folk scene. Then, at the world famous Barraland Dancin, personal appearances, Long John Baldry in his Hoochie Coochie men, The Kinks …and the everlasting Stones, before their fame, possessed a rawness about them, which bloody hit my bones and filled my socks.

No 4 memorable L.P must be…. The unique long player album; “Crying” Roy Orbison; ready to burst forth magic powers, reaching where other singers just could dream. This record takes me back to 23 Marywood Square…when haunting Ross Grant, my China, sharing a flat. We pooled finances from being in a basement flat, with two windows looking out to a steep grass verge, leading up to the public pavement. Those frames were used as an entry regularly, when behind in rent. So many ludicrous times just waffled by, like when reading a Dennis Whitley book, attempting to draw a chalked 7-foot circle, and the essential seven cones of incense, towards north at midnight…to keep the devil at bay.

A quandary arose, with the lack of the essential substance, so seven cups and tumblers, with dashes of Old Spice was the Sacrifice, to ‘Lucifer: Lord of the Underworld’. Lying there for quite a while, in the nude, and in the dark, as waving shadows of outside trees emphasis by the streetlights, … spooked us. Due to alcohol consumed was a contribution to our growing concern…until we shat ourselves… hastily rubbed out the circle on the wooden floor…while playing the Roy Orbison L.P. I have the original

So many more memories about we two…but this particular one lingers…in the shadows
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 within Scotland, one such desperately needed, or accidental trend, began some 45 years ago, with the introduction of tenant self-controlled local housing associations.

The living tapestry within this revolutionary housing movement, were chairs, directors and committee members, mirrors life itself, mainly determined to make a difference in their homes, surroundings, and neighbourhoods. The growing movement 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 supporting ordinary committee members, genuinely working each day, constructing neighbourhoods to be proud with… through hard work, have surpassed beyond any measure ever dreamt of.

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…G.W.S.Forum, conveying important legal information, Business plans, work ethics structures, and inevitable 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 regularly by pole taxer Maggie Thatcher).

Shug rose exceedingly 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.
peter.howden
The choice today, Number 3 on my list of memorable L,Ps

‘She who must be obeyed’, and I up to this date, via Nikki our daughter, gave us grandchildren, named, Lauren, Andrew, and Emma, with Emma now just about to enter university. Lauren was a baby when I took over daytime supervision during the week, then working nights and weekends cleaning carpets and suites, To say I enjoyed the experience of childcare, would be an understatement, regularly taking Lauren with me to most of Calvay committee meetings, and around Easterhouse. When Andrew became on board, I found it slightly different, and difficult planning for two because of timing.

Limited where we could go, unorganized and acting on impulse, now experiencing staring at four bare walls. The Teletubbies’ was the answer, giving 30minutes of peace, as both tots watched intently memorized when the title tune came on. My bright idea of taping the programs, extended the comfort zone. Even the shocking news, 11 foot, ‘Tinky Winky’, was gay propaganda, because of the ownership of a handbag, did not deter my minutes of near sanity.

Years later, we were driving down to Salty’s cabin, (my brother in law), for a week’s holiday, with the grandkids. Lauren wanted to hear, Tony Christie’s; “ Is this the way to Amarillo?”. At first… not so bad, however…it was played over and over, and over many times, grinding nonstop, I could not erase it out of my head. Even now it pops up from the wilderness of my mind, as a uninvited guest.
Today’s nominated number 3 album is…Tony Christie; ‘I did what I did for Maria’ reminds me of the kids and how precious they are …thankfully…the song; ‘Is this the way to Amarillo’…is not on it
peter.howden
Demise of a blue plate

If someone utters how your version of thee auld folk song; ‘Don’t pee in the fireplace granny…grandpa is heating his willie’, is at the very least misrepresentation of the true literary written word….then beware of someone without imagination, for, like a seed…a poem, a song, a selection of words must grow within individual minds as they see it, without causing offence. but then again, has there ever been a normal?

Nicking a well-known opening line; ‘it’ was the best of times…it was the worst of times’ …but now, has it come to be the normal of times?

Since Toni died, as a whole family, , practically every Saturday, it became an necessary time around our old kitchen wooden table, strengthening our resolve by banter, and as foolish conversation as possible…matured into normal

During the Saturday preparations for the family gathering, the table was casually laid out with mugs, teaspoons, and knives. Because Toni’s main man Fergus, was usually first to arrive, three clean dark blue plates laid out first, when the throng arrived, other cutlery and tea plates would be placed on the table.

Noticing the other day, only two dark blue plates, where once there was three. I sadly surmised, somewhere during the lockdown, one very particular plate had been broken, laid to rest in the bin. When or how this occurred was unknown, due to the enforced tedium of circumstances…I was not surprised. The missing plate developed into mourning the ending of a superior normal.

Just last night, three very blue plates left drying at the sink. Rebecca informed me the plate had been at the back of the fridge…and I had not noticed…is this the age of foolishness?

Will there be a new normal?
peter.howden
The choice today, Number 2 on my list of memorable L,Ps

I can’t say I was the best of fathers…or indeed average, yet I have the cheek to be immensely proud what our children accomplished, by being good people, with the odd foible here and there…but I had scarcely much to do with the end result. I do recall their fun and ‘High Jinks’ each time it snowed in Easterhouse.

We had just moved to Rachin St, with little furniture to fill the spacious home, when it snowed heavy. This gave me the excuse to take, Toni, Chris, and toddler Nikki, Titch the mutt, plus the wee blue baby plastic bath, to unknown adventures on the slopes leading from the chapel down to the playing fields. Staying out for donkeys, we had a ball, with each child squealing all the way, burling down the slope…with ‘Titch’ franticly trying to catch snowballs. Appreciating all soaked nearly to their skins, grudgingly we slide back home.

Rebecca ran the bath for all three, to be in together. We played submarines, each out with homemade water pistols frolicked around in the steam and hot water. The last out was Nikki, but we had run out of clean towels. The smashing sight Rebecca saw, was Nikki in the skud, wobbling down the hallway with her bare near pink bum, trailing the sheet provided for drying in front of the living room coal fire.

I have been told by all concerned that most of the music heard on that day…and apparently most often afterwards, was songs by Cliff Richard,

The choice for the 2nd on my list of memorable L.Ps, is “Me and my Shadows”
peter.howden

My Chronicles 29/05//2020;


It has been quite a while in between reports from the Chronicles, mainly due to the tedious routine from day to day, plus the inability to visit Aunt Becky. Without doubt, scrapes rub slightly on my naughty sanity. We trust the staff implicitly working at the unknown coalface, through this period of dodgy safety guidelines, and the residents in the home. This particular fall this week has put us on fretting mood, though assured by the caretakers, imagination can sneak in unease thoughts, concluding the fact wee Aunt Becky is shrinking, and fragile…Our fingers are tightly crossed!

Although Chris and Nicki and Fergus keep in contact via the internet, yet, the inability in person to laugh, argue or simple brush by their chair around the old kitchen table, makes both of us oversentimental on the phone. Hidden memories drift around, almost at the moment they say hallo… still, when on the computer weekly gathering… with just mundane news…we dry up very quickly.

The day will come when we can meet…we wish it speed. Rebecca and I are fortunate having a garden, sitting on Aunt Becky’s bench, watching our own wildlife, though the sunshine can be a two-way mirror…a touch of freedom, with moments of aloneness, bordering on woe creeping into my inner consciousness, where the sunshine is a hinder… rather than a boon.

There was a touch of guilt last night while clapping for the Health Service, we as the collective public, let them down two-fold. The government’s emergency virus laws, deliberately broken by the inner cabinet adviser, they covered up this intentional personal crime, then so obviously allowed to go without punishment. The prime minister had a solemn duty to protect the public, but chose not to keep such a pledge…Why?

The collective we in the U.K, failed in demanding better pay, better conditions, more trained staff in the hospitals, care homes throughout the past 30 years, while the governments constantly drained all services of vital monies, attempting to blatantly transfer ownership away into privatization.

Tomorrow the sun will shine…optimistically
peter.howden
The choice today, Number 1 on my list of memorable(3)L,Ps

I don’t believe anyone has any real control over their emotions, or as people in my age group call, falling in love, because it has to do with genes, scent and mysterious body vibes, but, staying together is another thing. After some 53 years, I declare; ‘She who must be obeyed’, was, and is, the corner stone, through my quirky furtive ways. I also confess wishing so often, being able to sing; ‘Deep in my heart dear’ in the same mannerisms as Mario Lanza…who’s voice was something else, marvelously transforming Opera and popular music. We had a old L/P; (the title escapes me), although I played it until the groove disappeared. I have the very song on my IPod.

Being a jammy guy almost all my life…but genuinely appreciate my main good fortune, was certainly is wrapped around Rebecca. due to my taste in music, the Rolling Stones played a big part in our relationship, before we were wed. The Strathclyde Students tavern in John St, was the cheapest in town. The main entrance security guards were rigidly strict, always seeing a Student’s card, before anyone was allowed in, yet, not having one… every attendant always waved us on, with a smile, because I wore a student’s scarf. “Aftermath” was thee Long player…. It is playing now!

Our first date was the Cinema in Victoria Rd…the Film ‘Deadlier than the male’. The following date was to attend the Art Galleries. After browsing around, we missed a 57-bus, in Clapslaps Road, the shortest Rd in Glasgow. An old-fashioned café at the corner of Sauchiehall St/Argyle St, suited our needs while the record, by ‘The Mamas and Papas, played more than once.

The memorable Song: “Monday, Monday’’…To this day…transports me back to that very moment we sat across from each other…I have is earmarked on my iPod.
peter.howden
Tunes of Glory

In the long distant past, Smithy had been attached to the boy’s brigade, when he was disciplined for sucking a fisherman’s friend while on church parade. This was a melodramatic, near military experience for the lad, as he struggled unsuccessfully to blot it out from his memory, along with the unique technique he established while performing the Indian clubs display. Perhaps for reasons of his idiosyncrasy behaviour, the name ‘Smithy and all other names following are non-De plumes, protecting the innocent

In later years Smithy, was courteously invited to a Provincial army dance within military established headquarters, situated in Crow Rd. Smithy’s spouse Senga was related to charming, but flirty Doris, who volunteered a stint of training duty in the Territorial army. This dire stroke was taken while desperately trying to impress Dougie, her new soldier beau. Therefore, this marshal affair intitled Doris, not only to attend the military twostep with a uniformed partner, but also invite two guests of her choosing.

Due to suffering from a serious bout of man flu, snotter’s everywhere…and loose, Smitty had no wish to attend, but Senga let it be known clearly, insisting he attend this classy ‘Do’. So, his taut drainpipe sky-blue jeans were stuffed with many paper hankies and assorted lozenges the tight pockets could take, while Senga dolled up in her finest finery. Smithy’s only comfort was the thought of a slight refreshment, and perhaps a wee hauf…or two, then slugged some cough medicine before leaving the home.

Arriving at the hall, the dance was in full swing, but unfortunately Smithy was not. His medical condition dropped drastically, as Senga’s nagging caused a draft in his brain. The situation deteriorated beyond question, when he realized there was to be no alcohol refreshments, the army forgot to reapply for a liquor license. Smithy steadily became worse fitness wise, continuously sucking lozenges while forced to sit with only a glass of ginger, surrounded by tedious company, incessantly talking over each other. Groggy and perspiring profusely, headed to the loo, sucking Eucalyptus pastilles.

Standing, as all men stand under the same circumstances, leaving nature taking its course, Smithy became scunnered sucking red menthol lozenge…lacking enthusiasm spat it out. Yet oddly, a hidden force projected the sticky sweet against the stainless-steel sheet, spinning and rebounded to landing tackily on Smithy’s glory… which was still peeing. Several times Smithy tried to relieve himself from the tricky predicament, then, a slight snigger, followed by a laugh out loud, thinking it was apt to where he was… the packet of lozenges was named ‘Tunes….so…”Tunes of glory”!
peter.howden
The tales of Hector and James(1/3)

Wanting power corrupts….having power corrupts even more


Jim.H, and Hector, twa china’s midway through the swinging sixties, planned rough camping somewhere along the east coastline during the fair fortnight. Hector had visited North Berwick seaside town before, remembering little except the continental swimming pool, surrounded with blue and light-yellow Perspex, giving an impression of sun-baked tropical waters. The reality was an open icy pool, with water coming straight from the North Sea, chilled the very marrow of any swimmers. You had to keep swimming, or you thought you would freeze your monkeys. The china’s arranged to hitch hike for two weeks, during Glasgow’s Fair, however their original plans had to be “put on Hold”… because of illegitimate George!

At the very beginning of that particular year, Jim, and Hector, were sauntering down Allison Street. In front, walking roughly at the same speed was two casual boys. Across the road were two sneaky gazing men, one well known locally as “George”, a rank bajin. Unexpectedly the two boys in front began vindictively heckling George, as persons wrongly done too somewhere in the past. The two sly men gave chase, but George, being fat, totally out of condition to be a danger to the youths sprinting away.

Catching their breaths, the devious men stopped short of Jim, and Hector, asking if they knew these lads. George muttered it be all right, for he would snooker “these two”. It took no time at all to work out what he meant, proving stories did not overstate George being a f---ing illegitimate person. The dodgy men marched the pals to the police station, fabricating a pitiful story. Jim and Hector were charged in Cragie St cop-shop. This was not major league stuff, but Mr and Mrs Hamilton were not pleased that a waif like Hector could draw their son into such events, bailed Jim alone, leaving Hector in jail

Arriving at the court the next day, George hinted it would be better to plead guilty. however, his partner definitely looked ill at ease. Both pleaded,” not guilty” to Breach of the peace and the “Honour” pronounced the next appearance before him, right in the middle of their intended holiday. They no choice but wait for this day to arrive.

George swore in evidence, stating they were off duty policemen, in civvies, observing the accused who appeared on high jinks, causing a public nuisance, when the stramash offences arose, not a dicky about the real culprits, though George’s partner was hesitant to say the least. Jim and Hector were called, and straight after that they were admonished. This meant the court believed the police…not the innocent… so pop goes the theory; “truth conquers all” unless they are in blue.

Jim.H and Hector decided to hitch to North Berwick the very next day
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peter.howden
When young, I was too lazy to seek perfection, now being older, I still don’t seek it, with the theory when perfection is achieved, no matter in what arena, you are never satisfied again
peter.howden
The tales of Hector and James(2/3)

You cant tell a book by its cover

Jim.H and Hector, arrived and camped in a rough secluded area, right next to the coast in walking distance to the seaside town. Their first casual saunter along narrow pavement, in the narrow streets, was hampered while passing some local gawking youths, assembled outside cafes and chip shops, clad in leather gear, scraping fingernails with assorted instruments, but minus the motorbikes. Further on, other groups of adolescents, smoking fags, as in a French film at different stages, though just the area’s youths, protecting and rebelling within their patch.

Jim wore cool Buddy Holly glasses, reflecting a handsome disposition. Hector was rather scraggy, owning an obvious limp, while both were small in stature. Every time they hit town this harassment behaviour was repeated, irritating more than anything. The Glaswegians posed no threat to either the leather hardcases, or delinquents picking the nails with knives, although this stroll into territory of the native juveniles, thus allowed the home team to show off, flexing their muscles without danger.

The lads spotted a advert on a streetlight pole, exhibiting there was a dance, so Jim and Hector, decided to head into Berwick that night . They entered the harbour with suave and style, at least as best they could muster. Once again, the local team pushed and shoved, attempting to harass, with bumping them on the disco floor. The dance before the interval, the young lady Hector was with, asked where he came from. Hector was originally from the infamous , ‘Glasgow Gorbals’; and he told her so. During the break, a lot of chatter bounced around the hall, making the reaction afterwards quite amazing

Hector danced with a girl on holiday with her English parents, while Jim’s escort was a local girl. Hector had, for a short period, stayed in Gorbals Street in a large flat on top of a bank.

The effect of a name of Glasgow, in particular, “Gorbals”, was instant, for as they walked through the crowd, it spread open before them. Bodies would make all effort to be out of reach for any physical contact, squashing and wrinkling to do just that. To all outsiders we were wee Glesga heidcase’s, and no chances could be taken. They danced with our prospective partners and banged into all in reach…with immunity. Not even a growl was displayed, so they carried on.

For the duration of the holiday, while sauntering down the café route, all bodies in front of the establishments, like the red sea parted, youth delinquents dispelled out of view, allowing Jim and Hector past. .Jim could never claim to be a fighter, waif Hector, according to Mr and Mrs H, was a bit of a scallywag, but….everyone local thought they were both from…. you known where?

Notorious Reputation outguns reality.
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peter.howden
The tales of Hector and James(3/3)

Devout bafflement

As a 60s armature rock group, attempted to play higher decibels than required, so burying their inexperience, but everyone truly relished the buzz. After the dance, the couples went they separate ways, enjoying every crazy moment. The young local lass was seen home by Jim, while Hector’s dancing partner was taken to the family’s holiday carriage. It was clear to Hector, her parents, had a bob or two, hiring a whole railway carriage, totally refurbished for elite caravan status.

Arranging the following night, Jim agreed along with his date, to babysit for the young minister of St Andrews Blackadder church. Hector believed he had cracked it…but unsure in what he had actually cracked. Earlier, in the dancehall when the rock group had almost stopped twanging every electrical cord, and before powdering her nose, his English rose, in delicate tones inquired, “would you like to go to our Venetian party tomorrow night?”. Not to appear like a dupe, as did the Emperor with no cloths, Hector vigorously nodded, plus hollered Yes.

The boys prior to leaving, arranged to meet each other afterwards, in the ‘County Bar’, for liquid libation(having not mellowed to slight refreshments yet). Talking about events of this strange evening firmly, Hector tells Jim about being invited to a swanky, ‘Venetian party. With his mate looking puzzled Hector adds, “Possible a sociable upper crust get-together, showing slides from a Venice holiday, cheesy snacks and sipping rare wines…even water of life. While Jim gazed baffled to what ‘Venetian party’ actually was, Hector sneaked in, “you have no chance in a vicar’s manse, more like broken bread and water!”

Next night Jim and Hector were heading for the town, although with different destinations, each close to the country hotel. For Jim, a near certainty no beer appeared likely the highlight of his evening, while Hector was hitting the toff’s top table at a society do. Meeting his bird (not politically correct today} then headed in the opposite direction to Forth St. Coming across a rather tatty mission hall, populated by lots of people…Hector was about to pass when his companion beckoned him inside this rundown building. It turned out to be the name for a special ‘Vincentian’ information film, followed by one and a half hours of pious theory and teaching. The night before, due to the ear-piercing din in the hall, Hector heard’ Venetian’, not the actual word ‘Vincentian’ anyway he would not have known what the word meant either!.

Not an alcohol drink on site, or in sight… or even a dip stick, except Hector. Returning to their hidden camp rendezvous rather deflated , he found Jim, grinning from ear to ear, surround by cans of lager.
peter.howden
My Chronicles 19/06//2020;

“She who must be obeyed’, and I are still trudging along for the majority of the time, simply because we are each other’s shepherd and companion during the deadly disease which caused lockdown days. I find at best tedious, but now and then a hassle, continuously empty in lost days unable to break the cycle, but the weeks, just vanish as in they don’t, or didn’t exist in the first place. We must endeavour not allowing this naughty virus as concealed weapon against reality, disparaging our sacred thoughts, plunging innocence into a timeless wary quagmire …apart from that…we are O.K

In appearance, I sense I’ve grown older in the last 8/9 weeks, than the last five years, owing to the response by either people we meet while doing Rebecca’s daily exercise walk around the block, or to me by Tesco/Morrison staff, at 6 o clock in the morning. They all show over attentiveness, at the drop of an imaginary hat, due to my crinkly appearance, not long for this existence. Or probably its owed to my often-facial expressions, reflecting a personal frame of mind while enduring umpteen murkier sensations.

No longer can I classify myself as a man who’s in, ‘latter years’, with still sufficient vim, for it takes me twice as long, to do half the work, and even longer trying to start the chore. The mind is just depleting towards a uncertainty…even reading the odd auld ‘Beano, with bouts of acting like Peter Pan, ’ has not released me from this edgy sensation… secrets, thought locked away deep in my memory .

While washing(without dish plan hands, as I use rubber gloves) a plate with a blue Chinese decorative pattern, which scooted my mind back to the mid-fifties…and the Gorbals. As the youngest in the family, I had a duty during the week, washing and drying the dinnerplates, but certainly not on Sunday’s, precious plates and silver cutlery served up, for use and aired.

Recently, moments of Toni has invaded, and stayed for a while, odd darkish things being relived. On leaving her Friday, I promised I would buy a small tin of Vaseline, for her dried lips. On the Saturday, while driving home, a call on my mobile, to go to the Southern General hospital. On arriving, Rebecca told me she had died with cancer…and I didn’t have the petroleum jelly with me. The tin is still in my ownership…How I wish I had gone back earlier…to give her the tin of Vaseline
peter.howden
My Chronicles 21/06//2020;
Pay the price

‘She who must be obey’; has raw Celtic blood flowing through her veins, behaves like a true Irish tinker when it comes to monies, or simply purchasing goods…on the other hand, I’ve been gifted with part Nordic blood, conceivably more accurate would be Viking partisan behaviour most of my life. Yet, against such a vibrate inherit grain, I’m easy-going about money, if I have it, I spend it…if I haven’t, I’ll stoop to either scrounging , or tout, or obtain it by varies other means. There has been the odd accusation of living as a con man, which I can’t deny the allegation, on legal grounds…however, perhaps colourful imitative persuasion would be nearer the mark

Unfortunately, the monotonous lockdown, rightfully imposed on the Scottish population, has turned my finely tweaked instincts, closer to a perceived miser status. This financial cutback is shining on the humble Brillo pads, and the wee green washing up sponge/grinder. With ruthless determination, managed to conquer the throwaway attitude of such kitchen aids, to near continuous labour savers. Mixed with canny usage and proper separate drying of these said items, each industrious pad last well over 10 days of constant use, but the real pride is with the wee green sponges/grinder…reaching close to five weeks

With overall auld Scottish blood flooding my body, stepping up to the line, doing my bit, within this time which calls for the coupling prudence and action during the lockdown. A wily idea is my contribution which may allow a feeble place among famed Scottish inventors in the sciences. At the moment, unable to meet twa China’s for a slight refreshment of the famous; ‘Water of life’…brought on a surge to overcome such a tragedy, to prepare my stomach to become an elite prodigy. Over the next weeks, setting and educate a part of my abdomen, to be vacuum-packed airtight, only for controlled intimate short periods, foiling any serious consequences.

Accumulating within, a host of numerous fruits, varied vegetables, extra yeast, re-energizing sugar will be my goal. Left to ferment into alcohol by turning into ethanol. The cunning result, to drip produce a slightly course… but portable alcohol, casually seeping into my body …although, a problem remains…. I’m still marooned without China company…perhaps by then, I will fail to notice?
peter.howden

Above…and beyond

Due to the scary fact, we are in lockdown within our homes, living abnormal existences as best we can adapting our focuses. There are the most spectacular, magnificent, utterly out of this world glorious phenomenon sunrises, and sunsets, over the Glasgow sky, as anywhere in the world.

Before this horrendous virus, the population, allowed this potent enchantment, to go un-noticed, because of the tiresome tread board of life. The visible heavens, you can almost touch just above…normally does not get a look in, except when on holiday, and even then, it is in the backdrop of some trivial photograph. We take our sky for granted, while in our homes.

Even if invisible, the sun constantly shines every day of the year, as a natural advert to entice you to Egypt, and the like, but the sun always, every single day, looks down on Glasgow. This free daily event, has the power to challenge the very gods themselves…. go on, spoil yourself… stop and wonder …have a peek…
peter.howden
‘The Key’(1)

‘The key’ is international phenomenon commercial enterprise , extremely beyond any international institution, towering over global banks, Empires Nations and States. . Awards for humanity, from countless governments, endless peoples and universities, honourable societies rendering esteem scholarships hosted onto the magical enticing named ‘ The key’

It costs a mere £10,000 a week, sometimes keenly more, to belong to this elite society , where, without question, each individual’s whims are catered for, within luxury apartments, based all over their realm, throughout the globe. well thought out adverts, flamboyantly persuaded each associate ( never termed clients or customers) have no bounds apart from good taste.

No matter the difficulties in organizing, no question where, when, or how, every wishful sphere of influence, is but only a twinkled thought away from the fingertips of the payee. The desires of the extraordinary institution offer a magical once in a lifetime, worldwide overshadowed Disneyland, for the young, the middle aged, but most important, the elderly… all with money, of course.

It is not only the affluent clientele who benefit from ‘The Key’, around the world, as hundreds of thousands, if not millions of all grades, gain employment throughout their establishments. Many economies believe, ‘The Key’ is the miracle responsible for their financial stability, and employment success

Postcards displaying written excitement, sprinkled with absolute amazement, are in full view for relations and friends of the associates, to vouch ‘The key’ ‘are providing their precious loved ones, luxury beyond utopia. Unfortunately, when one’s final curtain has arrived, a gratuitous insurance policy is at hand, it will be organized with dignity and peace, completely without pain. Their bodies or their ashes, whatever was’ the associates’ wish, delivered to the families for personal devotions and final rest

Next…the Scheme
peter.howden
‘The Key’(2)

The Dastardly Schemes


Silent rumours have drifted in the wind, relating to the depths of depravity ‘The Key’ scheduled, and practiced schemes for, yet , almost every individual nation, regime, corrupt politicians and tyrants chose to obey impotently when ‘The Key’ demanded controlling status, total Immunity from investigation sternly expected, while most of the populations were ignorant of the sly facts . The exclusive worldwide unbreakable contracts with almost every state president , prime minister, premier, or ruler, were wholly privy to this being true… ‘The Key’, holds total control nigh the whole globe, honest and unethical organizations .

Although it may be ‘Chinese whispers’, allegedly, ‘The Key’ callously systematically ran through statistics, to send each month, 19 % of children in their care, into darken dungeon holes of illicit sweat shops, limitless servitude around the four corners of their venal empire. When the exhausted ,sick starving children pathetically died before their time, the demised funerals paid by avaricious companies and governments able to raise citizens taxes. Misinformation discharged throughout the airwaves, hiding appalling human behaviour, behind the tragedy of predicted broods running away from their homes, which already exists in all societies.

Mafia crime syndicate seven groups, Golden triangle, Khan, and heavies Ndrangheta, of the past, violently cease to exist, unless signing the silent clique code, that all traffickers in such a trade, henceforth organized, and turned by ‘The Key’. The gangs and peoples with monies illicitly gained, endorsed such deals, seeing such contracts a way to clean up dirty monies, but soon realized they were dead end pacts, costing exceptionally additional returns than what they put in.

As the law demands no unconfirmed testimony, Individual clients from international stock markets, led to the financial ruination by…’No get out’, without death agreements, via organized monetary slaughterhouses…no one complains… for above all… fear, coupled with no one can be trusted.

Next …Reputed, final solution
peter.howden
Granddad’s letter.

It is amazing to watch just how much our children change over the years, where we were lucky...and luck has a lot to do with it... our family held on to being good natured and decent people who respected their parents and Grandma, but simply idolized granddad. They were so impressed of his life story, which over the years his whole family reckoned they knew every step he had ever taken throughout his 89 years. Almost the moment each one of his family was born, he gently steered them, before bedtime, read ‘Fairy Tales’ holding a moral attitude. These ethical tales mixed up with events throughout his own long life, his grandchildren felt privileged to stay at his home.

On several occasions, with a wry smile he declared, when he had broad shoulders, because of dire circumstances, as he put it, he went down the pits shafts as a Banker man, among cursed Blackdamp… stole his best mate from him. Later, after the miners’ strike in 1943, witnessed and worked with Bevin boys… held them in high esteem

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

Unfortunately, even strong old oxen’ have a contract with passing nature, as did ‘Boxer’, the strong determined but ignorant horse from Animal Farm. Now his hour had come, quietly, with everyone he loved, and they loved him, being at his bedside. After the terrible shock and heart crushing loss, which would never go away, they had a wake, talking only about their recollections and wisdom of their much-treasured Grandpa.

Their warm memories sprung thick and fast, with every word uttered held tenderness from within the hearts of respective orators, until one family member caught a glimpse of the letter, on the mantelpiece, sort of glowing radiated from the coal fire. ‘I wonder what is in the letter’ said the inquisitive youngster, as he moved towards the fireplace…then unexpectedly stopped in his track by Granny…who softly spoke, ‘I believe it’s time the family knew your Grandfather’s secret’.
She calmly motioned all present, to sit down and pay attention, then continued. ‘we found out way back, your grandfather had ‘Alexia’ disorder. An unusual quietness surrounded the room, you would have heard a pin as their elderly granny continued in a low sincere voice.

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

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

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

The family sat there in total silence, but just gaping at this kind Nanna, with astonishment. The oldest son asked when they would open this letter. The mother smiled shyly ‘it was your father’s secret all this time; it will be buried with him’.
peter.howden
Infinity minus one;

Somewhere in Scotland....in a once proud, but now dilapidated building, a constant rubbing noise, relentlessly scrapping sort of din...a chilling hum, right behind the thin protection of the shaking walls of unknown strength. A exposed group of startled, near panicking peoples huddled together, due to space confinement rather than choice, forced to share intimate feisty responses and emotions usually hidden from any other soul. The pathetic group completely ignorant if human life existed elsewhere

The emergency battery lighting blinked sporadically, everything electronic was non operative. No contact could be made with the outside world, if there was such a thing left, as every computer, every phone, every apparatus, or anything relying of vital internet satellite worldwide web...was now completely defunct. No satellite no man-made contraption remained operative from that fatal period.

In a universal elapsed moment, an unpredicted powerful Steller flare-up “Super Nova’...fleetingly outshone the entire ‘Milky Way’ galaxy, radiating massively more energy as the actual Sun. This uncalculated collapse changed Earth’s rotating angle, against the right-handed rule of 23.5 degrees...to minus 1.34 degrees. Every 92 of the Earth’s elements instantly altered, as did the density of the once blue planet. The atmosphere just plunged.

With the moon completely off-balance, causing acceleration orbit and destroying earth’s tides and the so called atmosphere static without wind. Disseminated electric and atom tremors have turned the all-inclusive form of existence, every species of life on the entire planet, have become carnivores or blood sucking miniature vampires including; Parasites... Mosquitoes... Hornets...Black fly....Bees...wasps...Ticks...the list is endless throughout the world.

Within the crumpled building, the frightened penitentiary remaining occupants, huddle within the dark stale room. Lifesaving air condition bottled oxygen aeration, operated by battery, is lifelessly silent because they daren’t open the airborne vents leading from the crumpled structure...in fear what may enter....unwanted. Clamours from outside, constantly try penetrating the last defence off ill-practical walls shuddering under immense pressure...deemed to be flying swarms of killer midgies.

Over the past alarming weeks, while contacts over the old fashioned airwaves was possible, the dreaded news in Scotland of close total inhalation of human beings in every hamlet, Town, City... by these flying doom carriers... then the airwaves croaked......Now in isolation they may be the last of the human race... with the paradox...barricaded in the premises of Glasgow University...once biologically working on a serum… to prevent midgies biting indiscriminately!

Is it worth praying?~
peter.howden
There are some passages in this last episode, which some readers of a certain disposition, may find disturbing…the author apologizes in advance

‘The Key’(3)
Depraved key


Almost from the start, blackmail, fraud and drugs, people trafficking, all aspects in pornographic markets, were financially advantageous for this enigmatic firm, ‘The Key’, while operating as a upstanding fruitful legitimate company, monopolizing a wide field of enterprises. They organized under the theory, if you constantly advertise into the face, and ears of the populous, something so utterly ludicrous, becomes genuinely believed. Then, while this is so, with a slight of hand…do what they want. They inspired only absolute pleasure, beyond any humans imagination, could be yours if only the wanting of a full payment…or direct debit.

Almost all the banks, and the prosperous populace had invested heavily, plus nearly all the pension money programs for the workforce, and retirement proposals, were blind Associates. With vast amounts of wealth from all scientific ecologists, collaborating in the drugs markets, their private researchers, and genii, managed a miraculous phenomenon…to duplicate D.N.As, which could be injected into the body, masking the real genetic code. They enthusiastically sold this to individual criminal elements, to avoid detection for any crime committed.

Promoting a trumpeted dreamland for the elderly pledged to their loved ones, guaranteed luxury stay with ‘The Key’. The private announcement, regardless of age, the ability to release each associate, from all illness and pains, by huge advancements in health care, supplied by the scientific medical team. Their stay would be a walk along a constant sandy beach where every day was simply supreme. Their deception was second to none, for not one whisper of disaffection, not a single complaint had anyone in the whole world ever received.

An anonymous whistle-blower called, unfortunately midway, the communication was cut dead. The following “ The centre of this diabolical myth, ‘The Key’, built gigantic aeroplane hangars worldwide. Ring-fenced with highest Tec security beyond any country in the world. Inside, row after row after row, isle after isle, ally after ally of elderly people in rags, completely drugged with a tube in their mouth, sitting on wooden commodes, filth running wayward into connecting sewers. Three infusions, ether tainted with knock out drops, two, liquid food supplied three times a day, three, drugs a supercomputer determined medications, preventing any reality”.

“‘The Key….A human battery farm, with money being the golden eggs. They eat, sleep and latrine there …until they died, and their contra”…. Disconnected…the authorities fear the worse?
-=-=-=-
peter.howden
Fairy tale

The first meeting was not supposed to happen, but like all fairy tales… once upon a time it did. Mark was walking past a stores window in the fashionable part of town. Helen was acting as stand-in for her sister, the window-dresser of female lingerie for the large department store. Helen’s sibling become unwell, afraid she might lose her position, asked Helen to stand in. Helen’s code of sisterly duty came first, though not sure if she could cope, being a novice in art School where actual work was not quite her bag.

Mark yearned for something completely different from his dreary life, something with risk and action, not available in this small township, forcing him to make up his mind, that very day, to be on his way to sign up and join the Army. He stopped at the large window, standing almost motionless, staring …not realizing the assortment of underwear the window exhibited…for he could not help watching Helen’s angelic whimsical face. She turned around and heard music coming from outside as this guy was looking in. He tapped the window gently…motioning her outside. Dropping everything Helen instantly submitted. In pure excitement their first date was arranged for that very night

From that moment, very second, they danced, sang, and giggled into a whirlwind romance. Mark joked she was his Helen… launching a thousand slips. and she laughed. She cried at ‘Girl’s-pictures’ on the screen, he cared so much he held the tissues, popcorn, and coca cola. As a couple they would dance at the drop of a hat, swooning the moony along with old records, dancing without moving their feet or limbs, but so close together it was almost indecent. locked in a heaven all of their own, as Peggy Lee sang, ‘The folks who lived on the hill’, full in the knowledge it was written for them.

Walking home holding hands in the local park, dreaming sweet dreams, vowing it would last forever. They would grow old disgracefully together, collecting old age pensions at the post office, then that so endeared and warmed their hearts.

Just as swift as it had begun, she was gone, in a hint of a windless whiff, no letter of reason…just gone. All that was left was the bottle of perfume, Mark had bought to celebrate their togetherness. Not one photograph for him to hold...he reminisced with great heartache.

He never did join the army, but passed the window regularly, hoping above hope, his Helen would be there. While staring in the abyss of the window, Mark would mentally sing, though sometimes was caught out by a stranger as he mumbled a verse, or two, of Ray Davis song, “Thank you for the days”, because those precious days was a lifetime for him.
He knows men should not cry…but failed to keep the tears from falling.
The end
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