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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were making ready for more customers that evening. On the billboards outside they were advertising the “Taming of the Shrew.”

She had never been a fan of the theatre but liked to go to concerts. She was looking forward to going with Margaret to the Rockcliff Arms tonight.

Her bus was late but she didn’t care; all she wanted was to get home have a nice bath then go out for a couple of hours. A man wearing a black overcoat and carrying a briefcase asked if she had been waiting long for a bus.

“I’ve been here about ten minutes I think. There is one due any minute.’

“Thank you.’ It’s such a lovely evening don’t you think?’

“Yes it has been a nice day today not that I have seen a lot of it.’

“Oh how is that.’

“I work in Whittingham house; it’s a care home.’

“I know it actually, I work in the Freeman hospital.’

“Really, are you a male nurse?’

“No,’ I’m a doctor there.’

“Sorry, I should have realised with the briefcase.’ Iris looked down embarrassingly.

“It’s alright don’t worry about it.’

How long have you been working at Whittingham house?’

“Too long; I’m hoping to get another job tomorrow.’

“Do you have an interview?’

“Yes,’ it’s a different field but I will still be working with people.’

“Well that’s good; I hope that you are successful.’

“Thank you; at least it won’t be shift work.’

“Iris saw the bus coming up the bank.’ She held out her hand and the bus stopped. She got on and went upstairs after saying goodbye to the young doctor.’

The bus was fairly packed with commuters who had just finished work like herself.

She took out her fare then waited upon the conductor.

Iris was thinking of what she could wear tonight, she had a new top that she could wear. She didn’t want to over dress, it was just a buskers evening and the vast majority of people would only be wearing jeans or hippy flower patterned dress.

Some of the artists wore hats and dark glasses. The conductor took her fare then she looked out of the window until the bus came to her stop and she got off just outside the Mauritania then walked down Denbigh Avenue which would lead her to her to Monmouth Gardens where she lived. Iris wanted to get a flat of her own she felt now was the time to move out of her parent’s home and find a place where she could really be herself. Her parents didn’t know that she was a lesbian. They kept asking when she was going to get herself a boyfriend. In fact Iris had many boyfriends that she talked to but they all knew she was not attracted to them. Iris wanted to tell her parents that she was different to other girls but she didn’t think they would understand or approve.

One day she would have to tell them but for the time being she would continue to just go on as she was. Some boys were playing football in the street not far from her house and young girls were running around in their mother’s high heels and pushing prams with dolls inside. Some of them talked away as if the dolls in the prams were real.

Then fed them with bottles and changed nappies on the curb then put the clothes back on the dolls that their mothers had knitted for them. The make believe world of a child was so innocent so pure she thought as she walked up the path and let herself into the house.

“Mam I’m home.’

“Have you had a good day love?’

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