It’s about ‘Sex, violence, betrayal and leeks and growing up Geordie in the 1950’s he tells us in the email.
Well with that kind of introduction how could we not give it a mention, as well as checking it out and giving our visitors a flavour of what it’s all about 🙂
It was Robbie McBride’s habit to get up early so he could have a tab and a cup of tea in peace. He lit up a Woodbine, put the kettle on and went to get the daily bottle of milk from the front step. He pressed his thumb gently into the middle of the silver foil cap so it came off without tearing and decanted the milk into a white tea mug careful to get all the cream in the neck of the bottle. He put the foil cap back on the bottle, poured his tea and stirred in four heaped spoonfuls of sugar. Then, mug in one hand, tab in the other, he stepped out the back door for a breath of what passed for fresh air in the coalfields of East Northumberland.
Short set with a sinewy build and untidy black hair he wore work pants and vest, galluses dangling at his sides. The cement path was cold and damp under his bare feet but after six years in the dungeons of the Doctor Pit he barely noticed. He took a sip of tea and pulled on his tab till he’d filled his lungs and, with a sigh of pleasure, exhaled a plume of smoke into the grey air. There was nothing like the first tab of the day and it always tasted best before breakfast. His gaze wandered over his scrupulously tended garden till he came to his leeks. He tensed at the signs of disturbance.
He hurried down the path spilling hot tea on his hand but not noticing. When he saw the extent of the damage he groaned. He threw his tea and his tab aside, dropped to his knees and shuffled along the first trench, taking the wilted green and white ribbons tenderly in his hands. He’d planted two trenches, each with 10 leeks, and they were the best he’d ever grown. Fat barreled beauties with creamy flesh and broad bladed leaves. He was going to pull them for the show at Netherton Club two days from now but there was nothing left. Nothing at all to show for a year of toil. There’d be no new furniture for the house this year, no trophies to join the gleaming display on the sideboard. And worse – no new seeds to carry his prizewinning strain forward.
An upsurge of anger carried him to his feet and to the back fence. “Ye bloody bastards,” he shouted. “Ye cannit beat is fair, can ye, ye dorty bloody bastards…”
Available from Amazon on the kindle … check out – The Leek Club
Local author Paul Mann will also be talking about his semi autobiographical novel about growing up in 1950’s Northumberland at the Newcastle City Library on Newbridge Street on the 26th of April 2012 at 6.30pm … read more