‘Eva, are you there? I have something to tell you.’
Eva looked over her fence. ‘Morning Muriel, what news’
‘I’m having it, I’ve decided. But of course, won’t be arriving for a little while so this should give me plenty of time to make space.’
‘Oh, I am pleased for you Mu. Secret’s safe with me.’
No sooner had Muriel retreated back inside her house, Eva spotted Gladys hanging out her washing.
‘Good drying day eh, Glad?’
Gladys moved across to chat to Eva. ‘Bloody right there luv. Now what’s all this from Number One. G’on you can tell me. I won’t tell a soul.’
‘Mu is having it after all!’
‘Having what luv?’
‘Really, but not for a few months.’
‘At her age! Well the saucy minx. D’you know I thought she was up to somethin’ that one. My lips are sealed, I don’t gossip as you know.’
‘She’s been seeing that accountant. Ooops, gotta go. Tarahh Glad. Off to town.’
‘Righty ho luv.’
Gladys heard Sheila belting her rug in her yard.
‘Psss, Sheila luv, I got some gossip for you.’
Sheila stood her broom up against her fence. ‘I’m all ears. Now what’s this Gladrags?’
‘Her, snooty at one. She’s in the club. I bet it’s that flashy accountant. You know, the one with the jag.’
‘He’s a looker, I’ll say that about him. Nice suit. What would he want with the likes of her?’ said Sheila with a smile.
‘Eva says due in a few months.’
‘Can’t be him luv, that accountant has only been coming and going for about three months. It must be trucker John. You know, the one with the handlebar ‘tash, string vest and sandwich box.’
Both ladies laughed.
‘You are a one Sheila. Now, mum’s the word. Best you don’t mention this to Beryl, d’you ‘ear.’
‘Not mention what to Beryl?’ came a voice from number five.
‘Well, it’s a bit delicate.’
‘If it’s about John Lacey, I’m well over ‘im.’
‘Well, Beryl. I’m not sure how to put this.’
‘Spit it out lady or I’ll rinse it out of ya.’
‘Well, floosy chops at number one is having a kid by your John.’
‘Yer talkin’ cod’s wallop. My John’s been away for over six months. And while I’m at it, it wasn’t his fault, alright.’
‘It’s true! Floosy told Eva. Eva told Glad. Glad told me.’
‘Right, I’m going to see her Majesty and give ‘er a piece of my mind.’
Beryl, pinny, rolled down stockings and slippers, marched to number one and thumped on the front door.
‘Oh, it’s you. What d’you want Beryl.’
‘What’s this I ‘ear? You’re having a delivery?’
‘Who’s told you?’
‘Never mind lady, is it true?’
‘Oh, yes. Not arriving for a few months.’
‘You got some nerve I'll give ya that.’
‘My new Draylon suite. My boyfriend’s paying for it. Anything else, Beryl? Oh, if you’re thinking I’ve ‘eard from John, well I ‘aven’t and good riddance to ‘im.’