shed stacked up neatly. It was a tight squeeze getting in and out the toilet but no one complained.
Mickey made sure that Tom and his mother got all their fruit and veg free every week. George came over and showed him how to keep the books also how to fiddle them so that the taxman wasn’t getting all the profits.
Within six months Mickey had established himself and he was making enough to save to pay back the money that George had loaned him.
Shirley had come home with the baby on the Friday and they were pleased because all the trips to the hospital meant that his business was suffering. Now he could get on track again. Liz Hopkins and Nancy Carter had been doing a great job each morning when the cakes were ready they were placed in the glass cabinets where customers could see them. There was a special cabinet made for the Christmas and birthday cakes then the window in the front of the shop were his speciality fruit cakes were placed. Tom was buying his fruit fresh from Mickey each day and they were prepped and placed into the cakes with care. Fresh cream was added to them which customers found hard to resist. When in season Tom had other shelves made and his Rhubarb, Gooseberry, Blueberry, and apple tarts were placed on display.
Tom was always asking his customers what they liked and even pinched the recipes from some of the elderly women who frequented his shop.
He learned how to make American styled Muffins which proved very popular with children. His biggest seller was his chocolate fudge cake in the trays.
Tom found it hard to keep up with demand.
Each night he would go home to find Shirley and the baby playing on the carpet.
Jeffery was now paying complete attention and he was sure that he recognised his voice when he came in.’
After tea Shirley asked if Tom could drop her and Jeffery off in the van to her mother’s house.’
I have to do the book keeping tonight love so I will pick you up around ten thirty okay?
Yes that’s fine Tom, oh by the way we have a new neighbour. Apparently Mrs Jackson passed away and there’s an old man moving in.
“Well at least it’s not a noisy family coming to live there.’
Tom got all the books out ready to start auditing when he came back as Shirley changed Jeffery then applied some make up to her face.
“Do you think I’m getting lines Tom she asked?
“Don’t be daft; you look beautiful.’ Tom kissed her cheek so that her lipstick wouldn’t smudge. He picked up Jeffery and handed him to Shirley who packed a spare nappy, and other baby things she would need into a bag. He picked up the small portable crib and placed it into the back of the van then opened the door for Shirley so she could get in.
He quickly ran around to the driver’s side then got in and slowly pulled away and headed towards Billy Mill.
“How was work today pet?’
“Same as usual, hectic; we never stop.’
“Don’t complain; it’s those customers who keep you open and keep coming back.’
“Yes, you’re right. I just wish we could get away for a weekend together.
“I would like to go over and see my friend Pat Devlin in America next summer.’
“Would you come over with me?’