' 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.


32. 32

“Yes,’ when I was about thirteen I didn’t know then what I was and went out with this kid called Mickey Douglas, we kissed and he had a bit of a grope but that was all.’

“I just didn’t like it.’

“What about you?’

“There was this boy when I went to the special school who tried to kiss me at the school Christmas party; Bobby Woodbridge you called him; he was older than me but he was rough and he hurt me when he squeezed my breasts outside.’ I slapped his face pretty hard and he ran off.’ I knew right then that I was not attracted to boys. “I had this massive crush on Sophia Atkinson another girl in my class at school; she was very pretty and clever too. She moved away when I was fourteen and it took me ages to get over her.’

So have you never had a relationship with another girl before?

“No Iris.’

They walked through the Mill Gate Shopping Centre looking at some of the jewellery shops and other shops. Then they passed this cake shop with all of these Fancy cakes in the window.

“Oh don’t those look gorgeous Margaret?’

“Can we go in and have one?’

“After dinner maybe; we’d better head over to Yates and have our lunch first.’

“Do you know where it is?’

“Yes said Margaret it’s around the corner, near the library; I noticed it when we were coming in.’

They walked through the mall of shops until they found an exit once onto the street Margaret got her bearings then pointed up the street. They passed a café recommended by one of the other women on the coach then crossed the road.

There was a menu outside which looked good and they walked up a short flight of steps and went inside.

Margaret looked around then saw her mother and Elsie Higginbottom looking at a menu.

“Hi mam; have you been in very long?’

“We’ve just beaten you in actually; where have you been?’

“We went to the arcade didn’t we Iris then we had a look around the Mill Gate Shopping precinct. There’s this cake shop to die for isn’t there Iris?’

“Yes,’ it’s expensive but really nice.’

“We will have a look later on then.’ Do you want to look at the menu?’

“No we looked outside and we’ve decided that we’re going to have a chicken curry aren’t we Iris.’

“Yes Margaret.’

“I’m undecided, I don’t know whether to have the mixed grill or have the scampi.’

“I’m having the mixed grill said Elsie.’

When the young girl came over to take the order Margaret asked for two chicken tika curries.’

“Can I have a mixed grill please, said Elsie and then Rose asked if she could have the scampi.’

“Would you like a drink Iris said Elsie as she ordered four pints of soda water with lemon.

“Could you get me a pint of lager please?’

“Me too said Margaret.’

Margaret I don’t think you should be drinking alcohol.’ Maybe lemonade would be better.’

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