By eleven o’clock Norman Archer’s stomach was making peculiar noises and he was beginning to get cramps. Norman began to curse himself for over indulging the night before. Nelly his wife had made him his favourite meal. The fried liver and onions went down lovely; so much so that he’d had another helping.’
Tom! Shouted Norman wincing in pain, here take over will you; I’ve got to go to the toilet. Norman took off his overalls then dashed out side into the yard to the toilet and shut the door. But the sound of his plight could be heard inside the bakery as his bowels voided.’
Norman was stuck in the toilet for over half an hour unable to move in case he shit himself. He looked decidedly pale when he returned and told the staff that he was going for a lie down upstairs. Nancy had to have a little chuckle to herself as she saw him come running down to the toilet again and again throughout the day.
It kept Mr Archer off work all day. Tom was able to practice the skills that he had learned and he’d shown that he was quite capable of running the bakery on his own.
The staff liked Tom who never shouted at them but was able to get them all work hard. They finished the shift that day and they all gave Tom a pat on the back.
The next day Norman never said a word to Tom but gave him more responsibility and allowed him to make the pies and pasties. Something that Mr Archer would have done himself.
There wasn’t one complaint so Norman knew that Tom was a capable baker. Later that day he took Tom to one side and showed him how to make Battenberg cakes.
They all went home with a large bag of buns, pies and cakes when Norman was in- capacitated.
Tom gave some of the buns to his gran and a rhubarb tart and biscuits that he had made.’
She was his biggest critic, if he could please his gran then he was half way to becoming a good baker.
She told him to add a little ginger in his rhubarb tart and that would enhance the flavour other than that the pastry was excellent.
Tom gave some buns to his friend and a plate mince pie. There was still plenty for his father and mother to eat.
They had steak and kidney pie peas and chips for tea that evening and then Tom put on a pair of his Newcastle United shorts and top. He placed his shin pads and Gola football boots into a haversack. The black with two white striped, six studded boots were worn by all the Newcastle United team.
He ran over the road to Mickey’s house who came outside wearing the same attire.
“Ready then Ugly?’
Better lookin’ than you Quasimodo.’ Mickey stuffed the size five case ball up the back of his shirt and began to imitate Victor Hugo’s character. “The Bells they made me deaf he shouted.’
“What asked Tom laughing?’
“Come on you dickhead replied Mickey as he ran over the road and the two of them made their way along to Charlotte Street. They could hear raised voices as a kick about was in progress. They ran towards the field on Dockwray Square where they saw some lads chasing a plastic ball.’
Mickey took his football out of his bag and began to play “keepies up” with it.’
“What’s the teams then asked Tom?’