' 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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“Did you hear that Lucy said Elsie to her shiatsu puppy – it was a toffee brown colour with the most adorable face? We are going on holiday.’

The puppy leapt up onto the bed and began to lick Elsie’s face then tried to run off with the magazine.

No,’ Lucy here’s a chewy stick for you.’

Elsie went into one of her many bags and found the packet of chewy sticks and gave one to the puppy who took it then went to her basket and sat with it contented.

Elsie found the first puzzle and sailed through it and then onto the next. She felt a lot happier than she had for years. This would be her first time away from her father in nine years and she couldn’t wait to go.





It was six that evening when there was a knock at the door and Rose Stewart answered.

“Hello Iris,’ come in; Margaret is in her room if you just want to go up. I’m just getting ready to go to the bingo with Elsie. Can I get you a drink of anything? We have cola or juice if you wish.’

“Cola will be fine thanks Rose.’

Rose took out two cans from the fridge and gave them to Iris.’

“Give one to Margaret for me; would you like a glass for that.’

No we will just drink it from the can if that’s alright.’

“Of course it is; just make yourself at home.’

Iris went up the stairs she could hear the dulcet tones of Rod Stewart coming from a bedroom down the hallway and Margaret joining in.

“Iris knocked on the door and popped her head around.’

“Iris; you came.’

“Did you think that I wouldn’t?’

“Well I had my doubts but I’m glad that you’re here come and sit on the bed next to me.’

Your mam gave me a can of cola for you; here.’

Iris was wearing blue flared Levi’s and a pair of boots.

Take off your boots and you can lie on the bed with me. Sitting on the edge of the bed Iris took off her Dr Marten’s boots she had on, then hopped up so that her back was against the headboard.

“Your bedroom is bigger than mine Margaret.’

“Is it?’

Yeah, mine is tiny; you couldn’t swing a cat in my room.’

“So what have you been doing with yourself since Bury then?’

“Not a lot really, I went to work at the care home came back and got ready to come here like you asked.’

“Yes, I had another boring day at REMPLOY.’

“Well I did ring the new Asda and they want us to both come up for an interview this Saturday.

“Good; can you imagine us working together?’

“Well they might put us in different parts of the store but we can have lunch together.’

“Yes that will be nice Iris.’

Rose shouted up that she was off to the bingo and would see her when she got back.

“Right mam; bring us some chips in.’

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