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.


46. 46

Oh aye, I bet she was flirtin’ with aal the doctors was she?’

“Whey if you had seen the look on Doctor Adam’s face when she put her arms around him and asked what he was doing for the rest of his life.’

“He couldn’t wait to get away from hor I expect.’

“Yes, how did yer guess?’

“I’ve seen hor gan on wi the rent man that’s enough for me.’

“She’s harmless is Sarah.’

I think the rent man would end up in here though if Sarah sat on him.’

“Father really.’

“Sorry Cath’ Coronation Street finished on the television in the ward and the nurse came in to ask the visitors to leave.

“They don’t give you long do they?’

“Well you were half an hour late father.’

“Aye but I have to jump in the bath shave and everything before I can come here yer na.’

“I’ve made you a beef casserole for your dinner when you get in; please wash out the dish for me and I will pick it up tomorrow.’

“Thanks; and yes I will.’

“Right mother I’m off to see the sister about your bath. See you tomorrow. Bye Father.’

Bye Catherine.’

Maxie stayed for another five minutes before kissing his wife and leaving.’

Shortly after the ward sister came with a wheelchair and told her that they were taking her for a bath.


A game of football was going on in the street when Maxie got home and he couldn’t resist tackling young Tom Toby’s son and then launching the ball in the air towards the goal area. Mickey Henderson got on the end of it to volley it past Peter Taws to score.

Maxie was a centre half for The Ridges Inn and played at Smiths Park in his day.’

He missed those Saturday afternoons when they would end up covered in mud if it were raining and kicking lumps out of each other on the field. He liked to go and watch the kids kick the ball around on the field on Waterville road near the Collingwood Youth Club. Oh to be young again he thought as the game continued in the street and he went into the path and opened the door and let himself in.

Maxie put the oven on gas mark four then placed the casserole on the middle shelf.

He put on the television and just starting on BBC1 was “Only Fool and Horses”

Maxie loved the comedy show so he sat for half an hour watching the sketch where there were playing cleaners in this big mansion and cleaning these glass chandeliers.

Rodney and Del are up on the ladder waiting for his uncle Albert to unscrew it well Dell and Rodney Tell Albert that they are ready holding a big sheet to catch the chandelier. “Brace yourself Rodney says Del as Albert knocks the bolt holding the chandelier up through only it’s the one further back and the thing crashes to the floor smashing it to smithereens. It brought Maxie out of himself as he sat laughing.




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