' 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.


35. 35

By 8 p.m. they were well on their way back it was almost sun down now and the lights from the other vehicles began to light up the road ahead of them.

“Look at that sky over there said Rose as they looked out of the window. It was like something out of a William Turner painting as the red and orange mixed with the sun. It slowly sank lower, and lower until it disappeared and all that was left was a grey haze of cloud. Soon the cat’s eyes would light up the road markings so that drivers could steer more easily. Again the weaver birds of traffic moved from lane to lane. They were all in a hurry to get home. Slowly the traffic built up as the coach made its way mile after mile through a sea of traffic.

Margaret asked Colin to put the light on again in the toilet as she got up and walked to the back of the coach. When she returned she closed her eyes again and tried to sleep.

She gazed at the digital clock which told her it was still 18% outside. It was going to be a humid night by the looks of things. She was missing Patch her dog. She would normally be out walking him with her mother at this time.

“It won’t be long before we go to Spain now mam will it?’

“Four weeks time Margaret.’

They were booked to go to Benidorm a place they both liked and had been going to every year since she could remember. Rose loved the sun and the relaxing time they both had. The nights were spent enjoying the food and the entertainment. They always went all inclusive because it was easier for Margaret instead of walking for miles to find a half decent restaurant. The drinks were free so she could take advantage of the elaborate cocktails on offer.

Margaret loved to dance the night away and join in with the games that they had as part of the entertainment. It was always after 2 a.m. in the morning when they got back to their room. The one bedroom apartment was big enough for the both of them and fairly cheap too. It had all the amenities needed and had a nice balcony where they could sit out on that overlooked the pool.

There was a free shuttle service to take them into town which they used of an afternoon that took them to the beach and the shops. Her mother bought gifts and clothing cheaper than they would be back home.

The coach dropped off its first lot of passengers at Darlington after just a ten minute stop earlier. Many of the passengers wanted a longer break but Colin insisted that they had no time and that they had to be back on the coach quickly.

Rose was glad when the coach finally arrived back in Newcastle and they all got off. Rose and Elsie ordered a taxi to take them home. They sat on the bench and gave away some sandwiches they had left to an old homeless man. He thanked them and placed them into his large canvas bag, his teeth were stained as well as his fingernails. The finger and thumb of his right hand were also stained with nicotine from smoking rollups. He had picked up several cigarette buts from the street and then used what tobacco was left in them to make himself a roll up. He wore an old threadbare jacket and an old pair of tracksuit bottoms. On his feet was a pair of training shoes that had seen better day’s and a flat cap covered his bald pate. He looked about sixty but he may have been younger. The lines on his face told a story all of there own. The man looked like he’d lived on the streets many years and had suffered many hardships.

The bench in the station must have been his bed. Iris gave him some spare change she had in her pocket and so did Margaret. Again the man thanked the girls as they waited outside of the theatre. A live cabaret could be heard from inside the theatre and music from a bar further down the street as Roses taxi pulled up. Rose gave both Elsie and Iris a cuddle before handing her trolley to the cab driver.

Margaret kissed Iris on the cheek and said that she would see her tomorrow.’

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