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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“Okay then I will take an hour at lunch time, we can talk then.’

“I’m exhausted Norman; I cannot be bothered with arguments.’

“Well we are going to have to talk about your work commitments because we cannot go on like this.’

“You mean you can’t go on like this.’

“I cannot pack my job in Norman and it’s not my fault that the health service is on its knees.’

“Well they are going to have to get cover because I’ve had enough Marina. It’s been two years now and I’m fed up with it. I come into an empty house and I go to bed alone each night. It’s just not fair.’

“Life isn’t fair Norman; do you think I enjoy working all the hours I do?’

Given the choice I’d rather be here. But they need me.’

“I need you too.’

“Ah I see,’ so it’s not really about us is it it’s about you and what you need.’

Marina picked up her cup and went into the bedroom and undressed Norman followed her in and he feasted his eyes upon her as she got down to her underwear and slipped into bed. “Look Norman I do my best that’s all I can do.’ I will have a word with the hospital manager and see if I can get a couple of days off. We can go away somewhere if you like. “What do you say?’

“Alright; I will see you later then he said as he went out of the bedroom. Marina turned on her side and closed her eyes. Norman put on his coat and hat then went out the door closing it behind him. He passed the news agency and bought the racing papers he ordered everyday. Norman took a slow walk to work. He felt like running back home and taking all his clothes off and making love to his wife but he knew she’d be asleep when he got back and it would be one thirty before she would get up again. Marina would prepare him another meal and would be gone by 3’clock.

He felt better for coming out and telling her how he felt at least now she knew and hopefully would do something about it. He reached the shop then went through the ritual that he did each morning before Brian walked in.

“Well.’ said Norman.’

“Well what?’

“Did you get a bollocking off your mother then?’

“She wasn’t happy until I told her about the clowns that we get ringing up the shop just to annoy us.’

Pop the kettle on Brian we’ll have nice cup of tea before Trevor Potter comes in.’

Brian went into the back and filled the kettle and plugged it in then emptied the teapot from the day before and rinsed it out. He washed the pots out then dropped a tea bag in each.

“Don’t forget to put three sugars in mine Brian and see if there’s any chocolate digestive biscuits left.’

Brian looked in the cupboard and found some biscuits that his mother had given him and he opened the barrel and took some out and placed them onto a plate. Norman switched on the tannoy and the days racing conditions came up and some of the early prices for the York and Ripon card. No sooner had Norman took a sip from his tea when Trevor Potter walked in.’

“Have you made tea Norman, two sugars in mine please?’

 You must have smelt the bugger coming up the road did you.’

“I’ll have a biscuit an aal if you’ve got any spare.’

“This is a bookies yer na not a bloody café Trevor.’

“You had enough money out of me over the years; I deserve something back off you.’

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