' 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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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.’

 “You think so.’

“Jackie spent a lot of money on it; you will be amazed when you see it.’

“How far away from the town is it? It’s only six miles out.’

The land you have is marvellous, Jackie used to like to go on his horse and ride around.

“He had a horse?’

Jackie has six of them which I have been looking after since he died.’

“Where are they kept?’

Jackie has stables and a paddock for them. There’s plenty of grazing land for them to run around on. The girls will love riding them I’m sure.’

Can you ride?’

“No, we’ve only been on the backs of the donkeys on Tynemouth beach where we live.’

Mick gave out a belly laugh, “looks like you greenhorns are going to have to do a lot of learning and pretty quick if you want to survive here.’

“Is it dangerous?’

“It can be Jenifer if you don’t follow the rules.’

“Rules, what rules?’

“The rules of nature, even the smallest of creatures here can kill you; I don’t mean to scare you or anything, but there are deadly spiders, snakes, crocs, and sharks that can kill you out here.’

“There isn’t any where we are going is there?’

“Well there’s no crocs or sharks, but there are snakes and spiders.’

“The red back is the most deadly.’ One bite from one of those can put you into a coma.’

“I will show you how to prevent getting into contact with them.’

There are traps we use and nets at night around your bed for the mozzies and flies’

“Mozzies what are they?’

“Mosquitoes Jenifer replied her husband, as Mick took a sharp right into country road.

“Look on the left there that is Shieldsland. All the land that you see from here to the house is all yours.’

“Shieldsland is that what Jackie called it?’

“Yes, he said it was something his father came up with.’

Matty smiled and looked at Jenifer.

 “I can understand why my uncle called it that since we just left North Shields.’ I guess he wanted to bring a little of home to Australia.’

 The fenced off grasslands stretched for four miles.

“Did Jackie not keep sheep?’ he allowed farms to use his pastures for a fee which I suppose you could still do if you wanted. It brings in a steady income. Plus a few spring lambs for the Barbie.’

“What are the average bills for gas and electric here Mick?’

“About forty dollars a month.’

“Do we owe you anything by the way?’

“No, Jackie left a few bob for me to take care of the place and so did your father.’

“There is still some left over.’

“Just keep that Mick for your trouble.’

“It was no trouble Matt.’

“It’s the least we could do for you for taking care of the place.’

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