' 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.


36. 36

Iris waved as the taxi pulled away.

“Just a few minutes now and our taxi will be here.’ It was almost ten o’clock now and both of them were wary from the journey.

“You will sleep tonight with all the fresh air and walking around Elsie.’

“My back is playing up as well as my knees.’ I hope the home help has been in and got my dad ready for bed as I don’t think I could lift him tonight.’

“How long have you been taking care of him now?’

“It’s been over nine years now; and its starting to tell on me. It gets harder each year because my dad has dementia; I have to keep reminding him to do just about everything and he can’t do anything for himself.’

“You need to get your dad into a home Elsie where he can be looked after.’ This is no life for you at all.’

“Since David, my husband died of cancer, I feel that my life has come to an abrupt halt.’ “It is good to get just a few hours away from my dad where I can be free and socialise with my friends.’

You need a complete break away from your dad.’

“I was thinking of going away to Bamburgh for a week.’

“Well don’t just think about it; do it.’

“I’m sure that here must be someone who will come in and see to your dad.

“I have two brothers Iris; one who works abroad and the other a waste of space who won’t work. He lives in Howdon with some mad woman and his son who has mental problems, which is hardly surprising living with that old crow.’

You want to see her Iris; she looks about fifty; she has no teeth, her hair is multi coloured. She has tattoos and wears outrageous clothes.’

“I feel trapped Iris, really I do. I love my dad don’t get me wrong but the bind of having to look after him day in and day out is just too much.’

Have you spoken to your brothers about this?’

“I’ve spoken with our Brian; but not our Michael; he just doesn’t want to know.’

“They must all take some of the responsibility Elsie; it is not fair on you.’

I’m lucky if I get one night off a week. I go to the bingo with Rose and you know what when I’m out I don’t want to go back.’

“I understand Elsie I really do.’

“I wish that I still had my own home Iris but when David died I was forced to sell it and move in with my father.’

Maybe you should look at the possibility of buying or renting a small flat.’

“I couldn’t at the moment Iris; one day maybe.’

“How old is your dad now?’

“He’s eighty seven this June.’

“If you don’t do something now Elsie you will be old before your time.’

“You need to make a life for yourself away from your dad; until you do that you will never move forward.’

“I know, I keep saying I will then I feel sorry for him and can’t do it.’

“You have to for your own sanity.’

The taxi arrived and Iris pulled the trolley to the back of the cab where the man opened the boot and lifted it in.

“Bugger me; have you got a body in there he laughed.’

You could say that it’s about thirty pounds of meat and another twenty pounds of vegetables I bought.’

“Iris got into the back and let Elsie in the front. “ Right then ladies where can I take you?’

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