The girl next door

Maxie Forster is a binman who carries out ashes from the coal fires of North Shields the holes in his leather soled boots are letting in water from the rain and he cannot afford to go and take the boots to the cobbler shop in Billy Mill. He tries repairing them with some old lino and cuts the shape out with a stanley knife and glues them with some evo stick then places cardboard in the insides. Looking over the road on his round he spots a family being evicted by the bailiffs - the wagon is loaded with furniture and the woman and her five children stand in the rain as the barrow with everything she owns is pushed down the street.


41. 41

“Whey aye, I gan up the morra afternoon Max.’

“Thanks Sarah; Look I’ve got to go now, I have to sort a few things out for Shirley then get back to the hospital.

“Give hor a big hug from me and tell hor al se hor the morra.’

“Okay I will Sarah.’

“You could have come in for a cuppa tea and some dinner yer na, I’ve made some pan haggerty.’

Thanks anyway Sarah but I’m just going to get some Fish and chips later on my way back from the hospital.’

“Alreet; but it you want owt yer na where t’ come.’

Maxie left then went on to his mother’s house where he explained everything again.’

His mother was less sympathetic than Sarah and he made his exit soon after.’

He entered his house shortly after leaving his mother’s which seemed very empty without his wife there. Even if she was bending his ear it was more welcoming than an empty house. He went into the bedroom and grabbed her robe and some night wear and clean underwear. Then went into the bathroom and packed a toilet bag with things she would need. He looked at his watch and it was already twenty past six. He changed his shirt for a casual tee shirt and a pair of jeans and his slip on shoes.

They were clean enough he thought as he put on a light weight bomber jacket then headed out to his car. The Cortina started straight away and away he went.


Sitting at his desk Russell was making some adjustments to the design of the hotel that he was working on. That would be sited further up the river. He had completed the designs for three buildings that would host twelve people in each.’

He had incorporated some of the suggestions that Annabella had made and added a few ideas of his own.’ It had been nearly two months now since Annabella had left to go to work as an au pair and nanny in Austria.’ He had not heard from her in that time he decided to let her have her own time and space.’

This was the advice Mrs Belsham had given him and he was listening to the word of the wise.’

He had reserved the penthouse suite at the top of the second building at a cost of one hundred thousand pounds but it had three rooms all on suite. There would be a fully modern kitchen dining room with a spacious open planned living room with a huge window to look out onto the river. All the floors would be made of wood or tiled to a high standard. The apartments would ooze class and would only be sold to people who were in a responsible job and could afford the mortgage payments.

His bosses were pleased with his results so far and he knew that there would be other work for him to do. He would go to oversee the project to make sure everything was being done to his specification. The building would commence in a week and the site was being cleared and the foundations put in as he sat at his desk. He could actually see the work in progress from his office window as he looked through a pair of binoculars. Russell made progress reports to his boss regularly to keep him up to speed. Russell worked early each day and didn’t leave until nine o’clock each night.

The project would take two years to complete as the hotel was being built first.

The New Marriot Hotel would have three hundred rooms, a ballroom and a restaurant and cafeteria. There would also be a small shopping mall inside the hotel on the lower level. There would be a multi story car park next to it to accommodate all the guests. There would also be on site security firm hired to patrol the area and it would have a twenty feet wall and Iron security gates that would only allow guests who had either booked or had a pass card to prove that they were residents

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