' The Ragman's Serenade tells the story of four families- one from North Shields and the other three from Wallsend. It is a story of relationships- The Davis family are up to their eyes in debt - The Stewart family have a daughter who has downs syndrome– The hagarths who’s husband owns a bookmakers shop and his wife is a midwife at the RVI- and the Higginbottom's have a father with the on set of Alzheimer's. How do they cope - read this fascinating story i'm sure you will enjoy.


111. 111

Their first night in Australia was a hot and sticky one. None of them could keep the covers on the bed and they tossed and turned most of the night.

Dawn came early and the kookaburra’s and parrots woke them up.

“Bloody hell said Matty,’ I thought the seagulls were bad in Shields but here is worse.’

“What time is it?’

“Twenty past five.’

“What in the morning.’

  “Yes, Jenifer got up and went down stairs she lit the gas and placed a kettle over it with some water to make tea. Before using the downstairs loo so it wouldn’t wake the others up.’ She opened the front door and looked across at the Flannery house. She could see movement so she knew that they must be up. Mick would start work on the farm around six o’clock. He mustn’t have had that much sleep as the Barbie went on until well after three in the morning.’

She sat on the porch looking out at the grassland when all of a sudden she let out an enormous scream. Matty, Tom, and the others ran down stairs to see what had happened.

“What is it Jenifer said Matty; he had Jackie’s loaded rifle in his hands.

“It was a giant rat.’


 “I don’t know it went around the back of the house.’

Tom followed his father as they walked stealthily around the back to have a look.

Then they saw it mooching around near the bins.

Matty raised his rifle and was about to shoot when Tom let out a great bellow of laughter.’

“What’s funny; look at the size of that bloody thing.’ 

“That’s no rat dad that’s a wombat, they’re harmless.’ People keep them as pets around here.’

They went back and told Jenifer who had locked herself in the toilet.’

The kettle was boiling away so Matty made a pot of tea and by that time Jenifer had calmed down somewhat. Tom ate some cereal before Irene and Carol wondered down after taking a shower.

“What was all that screaming?’

“You’re mother thought she saw a giant rat.’ It turned out to be a wombat.’

We are all going to have to familiarise ourselves with the wildlife around here.

“I already have I got the books and read them.’

After Breakfast we will go into town in the truck and see my new boss. “You two can go and see if there’s any work at the job centre.’

“Do we have to already dad; we only got here yesterday.’

“Yes, the sooner the better.’

“I was reading a book in Jackie’s library yesterday and according to some notes I found the soil here is perfect for wine growing.’

“What do we know about wine growing Dad said Tom.’

“As much as we know about farming animals but there’s an awful lot of money can be made from it.’

“Look at all of this land we have; Jackie didn’t buy this place for nothing. He was smart and he must have seen the potential this place had. I reckon if we learn everything there is to know about wine growing we can turn this land into a great business.

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