Don Hewson Bulldozes
In this third novel in the feelgood “Don Hewson” series the children continue to develop skills and expertises. Opportunities come their way.
David becomes a TV chef. Dennis develops a relationship with sanitary towels. Janine punches a bully. Abdullah has a difficult moral dilemma.
Mark becomes a hero. Charlotte sings to her President. Tohur gains a deeper relationship with Islam. Ali applies to Cambridge University.
More children join the Hewsons.
Don Hewson takes on more challenging children.
In this novel no social workers get cross with Don Hewson. Only the Director of Social Services and the Director of Education!
Don Hewson Bulldozes
(The third book in the “Don Hewson” series)
CHAPTER 1: Dennis Wilkins
I like the high life. I like dressing well. I like looking good. I like being with a pretty girl who is well dressed.
There is no romance between Amy Waters and me, but there is a lot of respect both ways.
If I was to get romantic and it went bad our dance partnership would break up. I do not want to take that risk. There are lots of pretty girls in Tryton and Meldon if I want a girlfriend.
Also I think Mr and Mrs Waters would not be happy about a romance between us. I think they would like their Amy to do better than the son of two unsuccessful drugs criminals living on a Council estate.
I like nice hotels and good restaurant meals. I see how the hotels and restaurants cook dishes and that gives me ideas for what I could cook if the opportunity arose. People are surprised when I talk knowledgeably about food. They do not expect someone like me to know these things.
Most of the parents are well off. Normally they would not want to see a working class lad like me even talking to their daughters. But because I am a respected dancer it is acceptable for me to talk to their daughters. They are very polite to me because if Amy Waters and I were to split up they might be able to snaffle me for their daughters.
Some of the rich people are just naturally polite. There is one couple who are nice to me and Abdullah for no reason. Their daughter is only six or seven, so they don’t want us for their daughter. They are just nice people. The husband, Mr Hudson, works in an advertising agency.
I suppose if my parents had been well off I could be have been there naturally. I am supported financially by the Sal Hewson Memorial Fund. If I behave badly the money will stop suddenly.
Amy Waters and Diana Green are down to earth people who are fun to be with. So is Abdullah Daar. The four of us enjoy our own company and sometimes we sit with other people and there is lots of laughter. We are all competitive but there is no friction between us two couples.
One couple will always do better than the other in the competitions but it is not the same couple every time. Abdullah and Diana usually do better than us in the tango. We normally do better in the waltz. The quickstep and the freestyle can go either way. There is very little difference in the total points each couple receives.
If they do better than us it’s because they got everything perfect this time and we were not quite perfect. Or sometimes we were both perfect but the judges chose to give more points one way or the other.
People are amazed that we four can be so relaxed and comfortable in each other’s company. We do not scratch and backbite. We are friendly to the other dancers. If they score better than us it is because on the day they were better than us. We watch them closely to see what they do well. Sometimes they have good ideas that we take into our dancing.
Mrs Foster is often there. Listening to Mrs Foster’s analysis of performances is very interesting. Very often Mrs Foster has filmed the performance. She can slow the video down to frame-by-frame for the tricky movements or for the fast movements.
Mrs Foster is a real dragon if you slack or relax. She is really nice most of the time.
Sometimes Mrs Foster has us couples swop partners in the practices. She says we are fortunate to have the opportunity to do this, so we must use our opportunities.
Diana Green is an excellent dancer. She is about five or six pounds lighter than Amy. Abdullah is a year older than me, and a few inches taller, so Abdullah has no difficulty lifting or swinging either girl.
The gyms in the hotels are good. Abdullah and I work hard in the gyms. We use all the equipment and we work hard.
I went to a hotel gym on my own once and I had a bad experience. I was doing a bench press and suddenly I felt a man’s hand on my thigh. I had to punch the guy before he accepted that I really was not interested. I warned Abdullah and the girls. So now we never go alone to the gym or to swimming. We use the gyms and the hotel swimming pools a lot for staying fit.
The hotel bedrooms all have en-suite bathrooms. Many of the bathrooms have bidets. Abdullah and I had never seen a bidet before. I had to try one. I got a jet of cold water up my arse. Abdullah laughed when I swore.
After a while I found the temperature control. But what is the point of a bidet?
Amy said that if I was a girl I would appreciate a bidet three or four days a month.
The hotel buffet breakfasts are good. I stack up on bacon and sausages and eggs. Abdullah has lots of eggs because he can’t eat the bacon or the sausages. Abdullah has got into the habit of talking to the kitchen staff when he arrives at a hotel. Very often they will do kippers or smoked mackerel as a special breakfast for Abdullah, sometimes with mashed potatoes. This is because Abdullah is a Muslim.
I told Abdullah that I might turn Muslim but I don’t fancy being circumcised.
“Any excuse for a party!” Abdullah said, laughing.
We were quite surprised when we learned that Mr and Mrs Hudson had approached Mr Hewson seeking a partner for little Olivia. We said that the Hudsons are nice people who will treat Olivia’s partner right. Eventually Max and Peter decided they did not wish to commit themselves so young. Amal is willing, so well done, Amal!
Now we go round in an eightsome with the Hudsons. The little ones go to bed early. One Hudson stays up in the bedrooms with Amal and Olivia and the other chats to us and to Mrs Waters, Mrs Brown or Mrs Foster – whoever is there. Then we go to bed and the adults carry on chatting for a while.
Don Hewson has said that when I am sixteen I can start flying lessons. I will be fourteen soon. I am almost exactly the age my brother Alan was when he had his car crash. In three months time I will be older than Alan ever was. I am leading my life, not Alan’s. Sometimes I feel Alan with me, encouraging me.
I am so pleased for David having this TV cheffing opportunity. I know he will be good.
Mr Hudson has asked me if I would like to be in a TV advertisement for feminine hygiene products!
The idea is that Amy and I will be doing a really ambitious freestyle dance where I lift Amy and I throw her around a lot. The voiceover will say how happy Amy is to be wearing the sanitary towels because she can do anything she likes, any time in the month. I would be there as a dancer and as eye candy.
How many lads have the opportunity to appear in an advert for sanitary towels? I have to go for it.
Amy is happy. Mr Hudson said that he cannot offer the opportunity to Abdullah and Diana because with Olivia being a partner to Amal. It would look like Mr Hudson was favouring Abdullah because Amal partners Olivia.
The younger kids are getting all excited about the Christmas carol singing on 12th December. I will be visiting Dad in prison that Saturday so I will miss it. Mum is going into Meldon specially to see it. Peter and Max are both really good on the guitar. They are going to play the guitars together to lead the choir. It is too difficult to take the piano to Meldon so the guitars will have to do.
David and his agent have agreed contract terms with the TV company. For each ten minute segment David will be paid £200. The contract expects David to make four ten minute segments in a day. If David and his film director can get a better rhythm up and make more segments in a day the company has no objection. David and Sahid will do the editing in the company’s editing suite. David does not get paid extra for the editing because it is part of the process, but Sahid will have some payment. They are both very excited about it.
David and Sahid went to a pre-production meeting where they met the film director and the producer. The producer is not the big-shot they saw before, Mr Vincent, but a woman in her twenties. She and the film director were pleased and surprised by how much preparation David had done.
David gave them some sketches of how he wants the kitchen laid out, and where the cameras should be placed. David gave them an equipment list and a shopping list and the recipes. David had even prepared a shooting script setting out the order in which the filming is to happen. This is so while one dish is cooking in the oven they can be working on the next segment. David has allowed twenty minutes for each ten-minute segment. With thirteen segments to do he reckons to film the lot in one day, and then to come back the following day to edit.
David has built up a few catch phrases.
“Stop the clock” deals with how you cook for forty minutes within a ten minute segment. It really means “stop filming”.
David never says “This is one I prepared earlier” because he just stops the filming until something is cooked. He always cuts a piece out of a cooked dish to show the cross section, and he says
“This is for the cameraman”.
David tells the viewers that if they wish their mothers to let them cook again they need to clean up and wash up after they have cooked. Usually in the “stop the clock” section one sees David, enormously speeded up, washing up, drying up, and putting dishes away and wiping down surfaces.
David finishes each segment with,
“Remember kids. Cooking is easy. Even a child can do it”, – and his lovely smile.
For each segment Sahid Daar has prepared an overlay to run down one side of the screen listing the equipment needed, the ingredients needed, and the actual recipe. David operates on the left of the screen and the overlay runs on the right. They are also going to have a stopwatch on screen, speeded up, to show the passage of time.
Apparently the two women were very impressed with the professionalism demonstrated by David and Sahid. They had some ideas, too.
The Daar girls have prepared a “Dave The Chef” apron for David to wear with a photo of David and the words “Dave the Chef” embroidered on it. The plan is to produce aprons in different sizes at a cost of about £3 each, and to sell them for £15 including postage and packing. David will earn £3 commission on each sale.
Baby Angela is a sweetie. Angela is now a year old, and she is great fun. Andria is working hard on her GCSEs.
Andria says she has no time for boys. I suspect most boys are not keen on a girlfriend who already has a child and who is really a woman.
Andria is now talking about going to university and working for the Sal Hewson Memorial Fund to pay her way through university.
Helen and Daisy work well together, always helping each other out. Sometimes Rebecca Johnson travels with Helen just so they can have a natter. The trips taking Amal to Lancaster for example give Rebecca and Helen the chance for a really good natter.
With school and dancing and gardening and stock car racing and visiting Dad I do not have much time for anything else. I don’t even have a girlfriend at the moment. I have girl friends, but no girlfriend.
Don has told Elizabeth Mountford the social worker that after the Daars leave him in December, and the Sachs leave in January, Don and Emma want a quiet time with just their own children and the Johnsons. They do not want any new children until after their summer holiday in the USA.
This year on 28th December there will be seven Wilkins children, five Miahs, ten Daars and the Famous Four making twenty-six ex-residents and only ten residents plus the Hewson children. The ex-residents will now always outnumber the residents. It makes me smile that Don soon will “only” have nine children in his house. Most people would think that nine children is a lot of children.