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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“It’s not beef, its roo.’

“Roo, what’s roo?’

 “Kangaroo burgers, we eat them here in Australia.’ There’s plenty of them that’s why they are so cheap.’ See Shane there, he’s eating an emu steak. Wait until you try it.’

“The croc’ burgers aren’t bad either.’ They taste just like chicken, but more tender.’

Mick will keep you right on the food here. Hunting is a way of life around here.’ You will find it a lot cheaper to hunt and grow your own food rather than buying it.’

“I’m looking forward to that said Tom.’ Especially the fishing.’

Mick Flannery likes his fishing so he will take you out.’

“Great said Tom.’

Matty introduced Aggie to his family and pointed out that Carol was a friend of the family.

How long will it take us to reach Wagga Wagga asked Carol Asiamah?’

“I will get you to Wagga Wagga at one thirty; depending how long and how many passengers we pick up.’

Do you want to ring Mick and tell him what time you’ll be arriving, you can use my phone?’

“Thanks Aggie, I will if you don’t mind.’

Matty got up from the table and Aggie showed him where the phone was.

He dialled the number that his father had given him and waited for an answer.

“Hello is that Mick.’ Hi its Matty, we’ve just stopped at the Red Rooster; yes,’ Aggies place.’ Shane the coach driver says we’ll be in Wagga Wagga by about 1.30 p.m. Mick.’ Right, we’ll see you then Mick thanks.’

“Mick will be there to pick us up when we get there.’

“Time to head off then said Shane Warner.’

You had better take a bottle of something to drink with you on the bus as the sun gets pretty hot around one o’clock.’

Aggie gave them all a bottle of chilled water but didn’t charge for them.

They all thanked her before leaving and taking their seats back on the coach.

Aggie stood outside the cafe and waved them off.

As they set off again they saw the motor bike go past them well exceeding ninety miles per hour. Shane told them that there would be a lot more of them by the time they reached Maude their next stop, some sixty miles away.’ Once again they all tried to get some sleep as the coach crept ever nearer to their destination. The sun began to get hotter as the day wore on. The beads of perspiration trickled down their foreheads and they felt it down their backs too. Jenifer handed out tissues so they could wipe the sweat away.

“Is it always as hot as this asked Jenifer?’

“No said Shane, at Christmas it gets really hot? “Another month and we will get what we call “The Wet” it’s the rainy season but not like what you get in England. Its torrential rain fall here. The streets can be two feet deep in places.’

“Is it like that in Wagga Wagga as well?’

“Yes,’ they’ve had their floods over the years. It dries up though and you wouldn’t think they’d been any rain at all.’

Jenifer was now wondering what the hell she had let herself in for.’

When the bus came to a halt again in Maude several people got on all the women had nice tanned bodies and didn’t need to wear tights. The young girls wore shorts, baseball caps, and sun glasses and carried these small ruck sacks on their backs. They looked at the Davis family as they got on. Which was hardly surprising they must have stood out like a fly on a sheep’s arse. They were as white as ghosts.’

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