“Who would watch Jeffery?’
“My mother will if I ask her.’
“Alright then it will be nice for just the two of us to go out together.’
“Right I will ask my mother tomorrow.’
“I’m ready for my bed; I’m pretty tired after humping all of Mickey’s furniture around the streets.’
“Is there much left to shift?’
“Just a bed and his big oak wardrobe which will take three of us to get on and off the barrow; It’s solid and weighs a bloody ton.’
“I will have to ask my fatha I he can help on Saturday morning; it will have to be early on as I have to get into the bakery.’
Tom went to the outside toilet to relieve himself before going to bed.’
He took a box of matches in with him to light the candle. The heat from the candle was enough to stop the cistern from freezing as the cold North East winds bit hard into his body.’
His struck the swan vesta match against the sand paper strip down the side of the box and the match illuminated the toilet. He picked up the candle that was stuck to an old saucer and lit the wick then placed it on the window ledge where the flame flickered away. Once he was finished he opened the door quickly then closed it gently without blowing out the candle.’
He checked by looking under the gap in the bottom of the door to make sure it had not blown out before going back into the house.
Shirley was already in bed when Tom turned on the bedside lamp.
“Good night love he said to Shirley, as he kissed her gently then turned out the light.
“Get your fresh bananas five pence a pound, nice juicy pears four pence a pound.’
“We have some lovely Granny Smith apples for four pence a pound. “ Come on ladies they are going quick.’
“Today’s special buy a cabbage and cauliflower and get a pound of carrots free.’
Mickey rubbed his hands to try and get the circulation going. He reminded himself to bring his fingerless gloves that he sometimes used when he went fishing down on the quay with Tom. It had been a while since he and Tom had been fishing and now that it was the end of November the cod would be coming into the river. He reminisced about the time Tom and he nearly got swept away on a home made raft when they were only eight years old from the Black Middens. They spent all day lashing planks of wood to two old empty oil drums with bits of old rope. The raft even had a sail made from an old sheet that they had bought from Staggie for thrupence hapney.’ Tom painted a Jolly Roger on some cardboard from a Tudor Crisp box and nailed it to the mast. Now all they had to do was wait until high tide. Tom had his Nelson’s hat on and a plastic eye patch from the novelty shop on Saville Street and a plastic cutlass. Mickey wore a spotted bandanna an old leather belt and his wooden sword tucked into it.
They had stolen a no fishing sign from the beach and sawed it into an oar shape then nailed it to an old washing prop. Tom pushed them off and the current took them down towards the bar at Tynemouth. Mickey laughed as Tom struggled to control the raft that was just going round and around like a waltzer. Had it not been for the intervention of the pilot boat they would have been swept out to sea. It was just one of the many adventures He and Tom got up to.