' 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.


3. 3

Matty heard his wife coughing as she went into the bathroom to use the toilet.

It was now 11.50 a.m. Matty sat reading the Sun Newspaper gazing down at page three where there was a topless picture of a model. He remembered when Jenifer looked like that. Since they had been married which was 18 years ago, Jenifer had let herself go. She looked more like a fifty year old. Her hair was now dyed to look like Brit Elkland but the home perm she had used made her hair turn to frizz. She walked past him in the kitchen and looked for her cigarettes that were left on the window sill. She picked them up and took one out and placed it into her mouth; she screwed up her eyes as she lit it then coughed some more before sitting down at the table.

“Is there any tea in the pot?’

“I’ve just made some.’

Jenifer picked up the pot and poured herself a cup of tea leaving her husbands cup empty.

“Is there any post this morning she asked as she raised the cup to her lips then took a sip?’

“There’s only bills.’

“Well they can wait an aal she said as she took a long drag from her cigarette.’

These are red letters Jenifer they have to be paid or they will cut off gas supply and electricity.’ what on earth are you doing with the money I give you.’

“You try managing this house on what you give me.’ I don’t think you realise where the money goes.’

“Oh but I do though, you see because I’ve worked out that you spend £3.36 pence a week on cigarettes then another fiver on bingo every week.’

“Well the shopping comes to £25.00 per week and then there’s the rent, the electric and gas bills to pay.’

“What about the money you spend going to the Rex Bingo every week; stop going for a while and you could pay the bills?’

“I use the money our Irene gives me for her board on that.’

“No wonder you cannot pay the bloody bills then.’

“Oh shut up Matty you’re like a broken record.’

“I’ll remind of that when we get evicted shall I?’

“The bills will be paid Matty, shut up and come and drink your tea.’

“You haven’t poured me one out.’

“You’ve got hands haven’t you; pour yourself one out.’

Matty sat down and picked up the pot and poured himself a cup of tea then noisily spooned sugar and stirred it banging down the spoon.

“What is there to eat for dinner?’

“How the hell do I know?’

“Well I’ve looked and there’s nothing in the cupboards.’

“I will have to go out and get some shopping then wont I; if you give me some more money.’

“I have to go to work at two thirty, I’m on a three to eleven shift.’

“So what, I’m going to the bingo tonight with Christine Smith from Oakwood Avenue.’

“You must have won then last night did you?’

“I won a house last night I got five pounds so that’s how I’m able to go out.’

“What about my bait for work?’

What about your bait, get something from the canteen? Its not as if you haven’t got money is it.’

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