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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“She’s what!

“Iris has got herself a flat and is moving in next week.’

“Whatever for she has a good home here.’

“She’s twenty two next week John, she’s a woman now and needs her independence.’

“It’s a bit sudden though isn’t it; I mean she could have given us more time to get used to the idea. Anyway I don’t like the idea of her being on her own.’

She won’t be she’s moving in with Margaret the girl that came here the other night.

“What that Mongol?’

“Don’t call her that John, she has Down’s syndrome and she’s not mentally retarded before you start.’

“I never said that she was but all those sort of kids look like little girls don’t they.’ I saw her last week and her mother had yellow ribbons in her hair and a dress for a twelve year old. How old is she anyway?’

“She’s twenty two John, not a child. Her mother dresses her like that but now she too wants to live her own life and I can’t blame her.’ I was married at twenty one and I had our Iris before I could turn around.’ Iris wants to experience a bit of life John something I never did. Not that I regret getting married but I would have liked to have had a few years to maybe travel and see a bit of the world.’

“Are you having a midlife crisis or something Eileen?’

“No I am not John Deyton and don’t make fun of me.’

“So when is she going?’

“Next Friday night because she starts her new job on the Saturday.’

“How can she move into a flat with no furniture, carpets or anything?’

 “It’s fully furnished already John; all she needs is some bedding.’

“Where is she anyway?’

“She’s gone to North Shields to buy some sheets and new pillows. She can have some of the blankets I have spare. It’s a double bed you see.’

 “She’s going to be sharing a bed with that… John corrected himself then said that girl.’

“Yes they are; and don’t say anything because you told me that you and your brother Kenny shared a bed for years.’

Aye but that was because there was eleven of us in a three bedroomed house.’

“The house is going to seem empty without her here.’

“She’s moving to Whitley bay John not the other side of the world. She can be on a bus and here in an hour.’

“Well that’s a comforting thought at least said John with a hint of Sinicism in his voice.’ Seems like you have become accustomed to the idea already.’

“I will never get over her leaving John, she is my child and I love her terribly.’ “I will miss her more than you will ever know; but I have to let go and let her be who she really is.’

“I’m sorry love I didn’t mean what I said; I will miss her too.’ She has more courage than I had at her age because I could never have left home.’

“Things were different then John, attitudes have changed and people are more broad minded. They know far more about life than we ever did. Women seem to know what they want and how to get it.’ “They have careers now whereas when I was young I didn’t have a clue what or where I wanted to do.’ My life revolved around the home and in some ways still does.’ I am very proud of her and what she is doing.’

“I am proud of her too Eileen.’

Eileen went to her husband and placed her arms around his neck and kissed him.

He instinctively moved his arms around his wife and drew her to him.

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