' 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.


40. 40

“We moved on from the Stone Age dad said Matty as he came into the living room.

“Bloody lazy ways I tell yer said Jack.’

“Leave Matty alone Jack; you come here picking fault every time we come. No wonder we never get invited very often.’

Matty stood in his tie and dye red tee shirt with short sleeves and a pair of brown coloured flared and his black platform soled boots that made him look taller than he was.

“What the hell are you wearing son’ you look like a bloody circus clown.’

“Where’s your proper suit.’

Jack had a pair of black pinstriped trousers on a matching waist coat and jacket on and a white starched shirt and a tie on.

Brian had a blue suit both wore black oxford shoes that you could see your face in.

Jack stood next to the fire by his wife as young Tom came out.

“Hello Tom, lad how are you doing asked Phyllis?’

“I’m fine, I went fishing with my granda Davis last night; we caught eighteen fish didn’t we granda.’

“Aye we did that; it were a lovely night out last night as well there was a bit of a sea running wasn’t there Tom?’

“Aye it was a big tide an aal.’ Granda and I were pulling them in two at a time.’

I hope you’ve kept me a couple of fillets then I like a bit of plaice said Brian.’

“Mam will wrap you a fry up granda.’

Tom looked at his Granda Davis then cocked his head towards his father who was sitting in the arm chair.’

“Oh Aye; Matty there’s summick I want to talk to you about whilst I’m here.’

“Oh aye, an would that be about like?’

“It’s about wor Jackie; I’ve been thinkin’ and your mother and I want to know if you would like to go and live in Australia.’

“Australia, what on earth would I want to go and live there for dad?’

“Well I was telling Tom last night that wor Jackie left me a fair bit of money and his house in Wagga, Wagga.’ Now if you want it you can have it. It’s no good to your mother and I. We are too old to go twelve thousand miles across the other side of the world so I’m giving it to you.’ Now you can only have it if you decide to go and live out there as there is a clause in the will. “You cannot sell or transfer the property over to anyone else. So if you don’t want it I’m giving it to our Tom and Irene. They can go over there and make new lives for themselves. There’s nothing for them here and it would be a great opportunity for them.’

“But dad Tom isn’t even sixteen yet.’

“He will be in September he will be old enough to start work. “ What if he doesn’t want to go?’

“He does.’ I’ve already asked him.’

Matty looked over at his son and asked him; is this true would you go to Australia and leave your mother and me?’

“Yes dad, I want to go; like granda says there’s nothing here for me and me and our Irene could do well in Australia.’ Would you let us go dad?’

“I… don’t know I mean you would have to get a passport each.’

“What’s all this talk of Australia asked Jenifer?’

“My Cousin Jackie has left property in Australia and my dad wants’ to give it to us.’

But if we don’t go we cannot sell the property; it would go to Tom and our Irene.’

“Irene would not go I’ll tell you that much.’

“How do you know you haven’t even asked her?’

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