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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“No my friend Paul is coming soon that’s why I’ve kept another seat there.’

The guy playing the Northumbrian pipes finished and they all applauded.’

“Are you here to sing then asked Simon?’

“No only after ten pints of beer and even then I sing very badly.’

“What about you?’

“Me no,’ but my friend Paul is very good. The next singer got up to do a song. And they gave him a round of applause.’

“So how do you know each other?’

“We met on a bus trip with her mother and my friend; we seemed to hit it off straight away.’ Actually we’ve just decided to get a flat together.’

“Really that’s great.’ Paul lives with me; we are together if you know what I mean.’

Paul is a lot younger than I am but he’s madly in love with me.’

Margaret looked at Simon and said so you are like us.’

Well not exactly Margaret.’

“I meant that we both like the same sex partners.’

“I like the word gay that the Americans use.’

“Right,’ actually I like that word too.’ It’s better than saying queer, or bent.’

  “So how long have you and Paul been together?’

Just over a year now.’

“Do your parent’s know you are gay?’

“Oh yes I guess they had suspected all along that I was not into girls.’ No disrespect intended I have a lot of friends who are girls and they confide in me.’

“Maybe it’s because they don’t see you as a threat.’

“That’s correct Margaret.’ You are very smart for your age.’

“I’m twenty two.’

“I meant no offence by that Margaret I just meant that you look younger than you really are. I know about Down’s syndrome you see.’ I have an older brother who has it.’ He’s called Michael and is very good at art.’

Just then a man approached with a soft spoken voice and introduced himself as Paul

He set his guitar down then asked if he could buy everyone a drink.

“I’m okay I still have half a bottle of wine here.’

“Two pints of larger is it?’

“Could we have a splash of lime in them please asked Iris.’

“No trouble at all said the tall handsome young man who had a mop of curls on his head that Iris thought were wasted on a man. A lot of women were drawn to him with his piercing green eyes. He certainly turned heads as he went to the bar. He wore a red polo necked jumper that showed off an athletic looking frame. He was also wearing some light tanned flares and a pair of dark brown boots.

Two women approached him at the bar and began to chat him up until he happened to mention that he was with Simon. The girls just looked at one another and whispered “What a bloody waste.’ They disappeared to another part of the room joining a crowd of other men as a woman got up to sing. Paul returned with the drinks and handed them around before opening his soft guitar case and quickly tuning the Gibson acoustic with a tortoise shell plectrum guard. He then stood it up next to his seat.

“This is Margaret and this Iris said Simon to Paul.’

“Hi I’m pleased to meet you both.’

“Iris and Margaret are a couple Paul. Margaret likes Rod Stewarts music.’

“Well we’ve not long got together Paul, but we like each other a lot and have decided to get a flat together haven’t we Margaret?’

“Yes, we’re moving in next week.’

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