' 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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He brought one back so they could all place their cases on it and helped his father load it up and then push it towards the terminal building. Once inside he looked for the ticket office. Irene pointed it out and they made their way over.

“Good morning said Matty to the young woman on the reception desk I’ve come to collect tickets to Australia in the name of Davis.’

“Just a moment Mr Davis I will just check for you.’

The woman looked on a screen as Matty read off the names on the sheet he had with him.’

Yes we have you up on the system Mr Davis, There will be five of you travelling to Canberra is that correct?’

Yes,’ that’s right.’

“Have you all got your passports?’

Matty took Carol’s from her then handed it over with the rest.

After a quick check Matty was asked to place all the luggage onto the conveyor belt.

Once that was done Brian said goodbye to everyone then headed back home.

“Where do we go now dad?’

“Jenifer kissed her father and told him she would ring as soon as they arrived.’

“We might as well head to the departure lounge Tom we have to go up those stairs.’

The airport was fairly busy with holiday makers making use of the café. The walked up the stairs and joined the queue putting any valuables into a tray on a conveyor belt and taking off belts and shoes before being searched. Once they were all safely through and they had retrieved their valuables they were allowed to use the duty free shops. The three women looked in the perfume shop trying on different scents by spraying a little onto the wrist then sniffing it. Of course when they tried the Channel no 5 it was like taking a bath in the stuff as they poured it all over themselves. Next they went to the clothes shops but even at discounted prices it was still too much for them to pay.

Tom was annoyed at not being able to take his fishing tackle on the plane; instead it would be sent over by his grandfather at a later date. All of his rods would go into tubing to protect them his fishing reels were in his hand luggage. His hooks and weights could not be sent over. His grandfather assured him that there were plenty of weights and hook traces at the back the tool shed in the new house. Tom couldn’t wait to get out there and fish for some of those monsters of the deep his grandfather had told him about. He hoped that Michael Flannery who was his father’s cousin’s best friend would teach him how to land the big ones. Tom had read a fair bit about the big fish in the books that his geography teacher had loaned him.

He needed to gen himself up on the baits to use and the habitats of where these new fish species could be caught. He also needed help in learning how to steer the boat. Once he knew where the best marks were situated he could take the boat out himself.’

Or so he thought.  They sat in the departure lounge for nearly two hours until their flight was finally called and they made their way to the gate to get on board the jumbo jet. Walking down the aisle after showing their boarding passes they nervously found their seats. They stored their hand luggage in the compartments above their heads then sat down and fastened their seat belts before being asked to do so.

It took a good ten minutes before everyone was seated and the air hostess went through the safety procedures before the huge aircraft taxied up the run way.

Both Irene and Carol wondered it a plane this size would ever get off the ground.

The captain gave the final instructions and the air steward walked along making sure everyone had their seat belts fastened securely and that all the luggage compartments were closed. Once that was done they took their seats at the front of the aircraft ready 

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