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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Ring him,’ there’s nothing that either of you can do mam we are both consenting adults.’

“I suppose you’ve been filling her head full of this crap have you Iris; I thought you were a friend but you are just taking advantage of a venerable adult.’

“Mother I told you I’m not a child anymore can’t you see, I really want this.’

“It’s bloody pathetic that’s what it is.’

“Is it Rose, or is it just that you cannot get your head around the fact that Margaret is gay.’

“She does even know her own mind Iris.’

 “Then I’m sorry to say that you don’t know your own daughter.’

“You cheeky bugger, don’t tell me that I don’t know my own daughter.’

You have only known my daughter for a short while and you’re telling me that I do not know her. I have brought her up on my own, dealt with the bullying at school she suffered because of her Down’s syndrome. I have nursed her through illness and now you tell me that I do not know my own daughter.’

“What I am saying is you didn’t know that Margaret is a lesbian.  You cannot change what she is Rose, just as I cannot change who I am. The sooner you come to terms with that then you will get on better. If you try to stop her then you will lose her forever.’

I’m sorry but I just cannot get my head around this at the moment.’

“Well maybe you need time to think.’

“Do your parents know that you are a lesbian?’

“No they do not and they do not know that I plan to move out either. I am going to tell them when I get back.’ I expect the same reaction from them as I am from you. This is really hard for me to come out and admit something that is regarded less than the norm. My father hates gay people he calls them queers.’ So you can imagine how tough this is going to be to admit that I’m gay. I think a lot of Margret, as she does me I will look after her you need not worry on that score.’ Margaret is very capable of looking after herself.’ She can learn a lot about herself by living with someone other than you.’ She needs her independence Rose; you are not going to be around forever and if she cannot look after herself, what will happen to her then?’

“Would you see her going into some care home?’ I work in a care home Rose, it is no place for a young woman.’

“We had better go; I will drop you off Iris.’

“I want Iris to come around tonight mam can she?’

“I think Iris will be busy tonight Margaret; she has to speak with her parents and it will not be easy for her.’ Plus we need to talk.’

The drive home was done in relative silence and Iris thanked Rose and said goodbye to Margaret before getting out of the car. She was uncertain that she would see Margret again after what had happened that morning. Now she had to face her own parents and tell them. It was going to be the hardest thing she had ever done in her life but it had to be done. Iris went into the house the door had been left on the sneck.

She wondered into the living room to find her mother with the ironing board out doing one of her father’s shirts. She sprinkled water from a cup with her fingers then ran the iron over it.

“Where’s my dad asked Iris, taking off her coat she told her mother that she had gotten the job at Asda.

“Your dad’s just slipped out to the betting shop.’ When do you start your new job then?’

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