THE RAGMAN’S SERENADE

' 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.

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“Mother I am twenty two years old not six.’

“I’m just worried because you never drink and it may not agree with you.’

“Mother please don’t embarrass me in front of Iris, I drink when we go on holiday so why not now?’

“Please make that two pints of lager said Margaret with a smile.’

“Your meal will be with you soon as possible.’ The girl walked into the kitchen and gave the chef the order then came back out and poured the drinks.

“Have you bought anything nice then mam?’

“Yes I bought these lovely bird feeders for the garden; we get a lot of blue tits, and bull finches that come to our garden.’ Tim built a bird table at the bottom and we have a water feature where they all congregate.’

“We have a Robin redbreast who comes every year who I feed. It is very territorial and fights off all the starlings.’

The pigeons came and raid the bird feed I put out on the table so this is why I have bought the bird feeders. She took one out of her bag to show Margaret who laughed and said it was nice. It was in the shape of a bee and had a bee’s head and wings where you could hang it up. I bought one for Elsie as well.’

“I got you these lovely feet warmers in the shape of a hedgehog.’ It’s at the bottom of the bag. The girl came with the drinks and Iris and Margaret took a sip from the pint glasses then wiped the froth from their mouths with the back of their hands. Margaret had to giggle though as she looked at her mothers face.

Margaret you should have got a half pint glass to put it into; it’s a bit unwomanly to drink out of a pint glass.’

“Iris is drinking out of a pint glass.’

Iris is not my daughter; you are.’

“Mother you are so old fashioned.’

“I’m just saying that I wouldn’t be seen drinking beer from a pint glass.’

“Mother you are drinking soda from a pint glass what’s the difference.’

“It’s not beer though is it; I mean I would look s common as muck drinking beer from a pint glass.’

“Iris doesn’t look as common as muck and she’s drinking from one.’

“Oh just forget it Margaret; said her mother angrily.’

“When the food came both Iris and Margaret shared a bowl of chips that she had ordered and they ate the pompadoms then used the naan bread to soak up some of the curry sauce before pouring what was left over their rice. This is really nice said Iris.’

The scampi is, well its not as good Alberto’s restaurant is it?’

“Well mother you get what you pay for.’

“The chips are frozen as well.’

“Stop moaning mother and just eat your lunch.’

Elsie cut into her steak and she gave a piece to Margaret to try.’

Margaret dipped it into the curry sauce then placed into her mouth and chewed.

That’s lovely Elsie she said finally when she had swallowed the piece of meat.

The mixed grill looked really nice with steak, gammon, chicken, chips mushrooms grilled tomato, and garden peas and rose looked at it and wished she’d ordered that instead.

“I wish I had gone for the mixed grill now said Rose as she ate her scampi in sufferance.’

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