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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Jenifer had to laugh as Matty tried to act as though he had money when he hadn’t two pennies to scratch his arse with.

Both Matty and Jenifer savoured the tea and scones; not that they were any better than what she could bake but because they felt like they were having a taste of what it must be like to have money. “It must be nice not having to worry about money mustn’t it Matty.’

“You’re telling me; but one day that will be us.’

“If only Matty; I would love us to be rich so we didn’t have to worry where the money was coming from.’

“Now when we get over to Australia I will look after the bills okay; we don’t want to end up like we are here at the moment do we.’

“The money is different over there isn’t it?’

Yes, they have Australian dollars, but we will soon get used to It.’ we got used to decimalisation didn’t we.’

Let’s hope that this government doesn’t rob us the way they did when we changed over to the new money.’

Matty squeezed the last of the tea from the pot into their cups then added milk and sugar.

He looked at his watch which told him it was now ten past four.’

“We can meet Irene from work said Matty then she can tell us what Carol’s mam and dad said.’

“Yes and we can pick up some bargains as well.’ We have some chicken and mushroom pies that I made yesterday; we can have that with some chips and peas tonight.’

“That sounds good to me Jenifer.’

“Matty finished the last of his tea and asked if Jenifer was ready.’

They thanked the woman in the shop before leaving and crossed the road to the station where they bought a ticket for the train and found a seat. The train was already in the station. At four thirty precisely the train pulled away from the station and headed towards North Shields. Graffiti on the walls and bridges met them as the ever increasing signs of vandalism swept through the country. Britain was changing alright and Matty was glad in a way that he was leaving it behind him. The clackety clack of the train’s wheels beat out a steady rhythm until the train slowed down then stopped in Byker to let people on and off.

The whistle quickly went and the train started moving again as the doors were closed behind them.

When the train got into North Shields Matty and Jenifer walked up the bank to the turnstile and showed their tickets before they were allowed through. They walked onto Bedford Street then crossed over the road past T&G Allen’s shoe shop and the Electric shop. Matty went inside then paid them the bill that was outstanding.

That was one thing off his mind he thought as he came out again. This week he would pay off the rent that was overdue and then they would only owe the milk man. They still had a gas meter in but God knows how many foreign coins were in there.

Jenifer picked up a trolley and walked down the aisle to where the reduced to sell food was on the counter. There were two cooked chicken’s reduced to a pound each and Jenifer snatched those up along with some chopped pork and black pudding. She also picked up two loaves of bread cheap and some Philadelphia cheese spread with prawns in a tube.

Matty did a quick calculation and the total bill came to £2.50p.

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