The girl next door

Maxie Forster is a binman who carries out ashes from the coal fires of North Shields the holes in his leather soled boots are letting in water from the rain and he cannot afford to go and take the boots to the cobbler shop in Billy Mill. He tries repairing them with some old lino and cuts the shape out with a stanley knife and glues them with some evo stick then places cardboard in the insides. Looking over the road on his round he spots a family being evicted by the bailiffs - the wagon is loaded with furniture and the woman and her five children stand in the rain as the barrow with everything she owns is pushed down the street.


45. 45

Shirley got in then Sarah pushed her along to the day room where there was some expectant mothers puffing away. On the walls were posters warning people of the dangers of smoking and how it was bad for your health. It seemed so insignificant now as Sarah took the box of Embassy Regal and handed her one and lit it with a Ronson’s silver and blue lighter.

“Here Sarah said keep these one’s and you can buy me a packet when you come home.

“A want me lighter back though when you do come oot.’

“Here’s me thinking I’d got me sel a lighter an aal.’

They sat in the day room for half an hour and smoked three cigarettes before Sarah took her back to the ward.

“Well hinny as much as a would love t’ stay and chat av’ gotta gan cook me husband his tea.’

“The lazy sod will not get off his arse yer na. Yer would think his bum was glued to that seat. He sits watching bloody racin’ on the telly all afternoon.’

Sarah put on her coat and then kissed her friend on the cheek.’

“Mind how yer gan noo Shirley and al see yer in a couple of days; divent worry a will come around t’ yor hoose so make sure the kettle’s on.’

“Thanks for comin’ t’ see me anyway.’

“Nae bother hinny; bye.’

“Bye Sarah.’


Catherine Forster had made a beef casserole and left it on top of the cooker for her father she packed a clean nightie and some underwear for her mother before leaving for the hospital.’

When she arrived they were serving tea; she pulled up a chair after kissing her mum and putting her things into the locker.’

They are going to let me come home Cath’ in a couple of days; so that’s a good sign isn’t it.’ Again she lied to her daughter.’

Yes it is, but you are going to have to take it easy mother.’

“Yes, this new medication will make me feel tired for a while until I get used to it the doctor says.’

“It must be the Chemotherapy mother.’

“I’ve tidied up for you mother and done dads shirts and smalls that will last him for a week.’

“Thank you Cath’

Maxie turned up shortly after and kissed both his wife and daughter.

“How are you keeping love he asked his wife?’

“I’m coming home soon Maxie aren’t I Cath.’

“Yes, Father its true.’

“Well that’s good, it will be good to have you home again pet the bloody house is empty without you.’

“You will be wishing that I was back in here shortly and visiting Bedspring Street.’

“Where said Catherine?’

“Nothing love; it’s just a joke your father and I made.’

“I’m going to ask if I can have a bath later; I feel like a loppy dog.’

“I will tell the sister on my way out.’

“Sarah came up this afternoon to see me Maxie; she’s a right funny bugger you know.’

She had me bad laughin’

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