' 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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Australia they had been travelling over two days and they still weren’t at the place where his father’s cousin had lived.

As the coach sped along the long never ending road where vast farmland stretched for miles and the sheep wandered around freely along the high fenced areas. Tom called out as he saw his first Kangaroo’s, or so he thought until the driver of the coach pointed out that they were wallabies the smaller cousins of the kangaroo.

They saw eagles and buzzards bigger than any birds in England. There was also deer and cattle in the fields. And as they passed farm houses, goats could be seen and chickens. Nearly all the farms had range rovers and horses in the paddock.

The driver told Tom that they used the horses to round up the sheep and cattle.

After travelling over a hundred miles. The driver pulled in at a Red Rooster drive in café which had a motel next to it. What they all would have given for a few hours in a proper bed. They walked into the café and Matty went to the counter to order something for them to eat and drink.

They were all thirsty so Matty ordered cold drinks for everyone.

“Hi said the woman behind the counter; what can I get for you in an Australian accent.’

“Can we have five of those burgers there with chips please and five large cold drinks.’

“No worries, you pom’s on holiday here?’

“No actually were going to live in my father’s cousin’s house in Wagga Wagga.’

“You’ll love it here in Australia, there’s so much to do out here.’

“It a great life for young folks just starting out. Mind you your missus will be scared shitless to begin with.’


“Well there’s the spiders, snakes, frogs, and other wild life here to get used to. Have you any friends in Wagga Wagga?’

“Yes, someone called Michael Flannery.’

“Oh Mick, he gets in here from time to time. He will keep you right.’

My name’s Aggie by the way.’

“Pleased to meet you Aggie.’ I’m Matthew but my friends call me Matty.’

“That will be six dollars’ eighty then Matty.’

“Matty took out a ten dollar note. He’d exchanged nearly all of the hundred pounds that his father had given him into Australian currency at a Thomas Cook travel agents.

The money was meant to tide him over until he got his first wage.’

“Just take a seat and I’ll bring you your grub in a minute.’


“You having your usual Shane?’

“You know me Aggie.’

The driver paid for his meal then served the next customer from the coach. There was only eight more people going to Wagga Wagga, Shane told them that he would have a bus full by the time they got to Wagga Wagga because he had others to pick up in Ecula. When the burgers arrived they were huge compared to the ones in England and they came with a mountain of fries and salad. The soft drinks were big too but they drank all of it because it was cold.

Tom bit into his burger then exclaimed that it was the best burger he’d ever eaten. The others had to agree with him as they tucked in.’

Aggie came over after serving Shane with a steak and eggs and fries.’

“How do you like your grub then?’

“It’s delicious, it tastes better than our burgers what type of beef is it?’

“Aggie laughed and so did Shane.’

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