The Black Middens

A story of love and struggle to bring up three children during the war years.
Joe Donnelly, a coble fisherman from cullercoats meets the girl of his dreams when Emily Rose Higgins crashes into him on her bicycle whilst out with her sister Mary Jane. Joe and his brother George, a captain in the British Army ask the two girls out to a dance at the plaza in Tynemouth and they both fall in love. Alan Donnelly the youngest of the brothers is in the Northumberland Fusiliers. it is not long before they all get married. Emily Rose has two children but there are complications during the birth of her third child and she dies leaving Joe to bring up Marina, George, and Helen the newborn child.
After some attempts to try and hire a nanny come house keeper Joe hires a dutch girl called Alina Classen whose parents were both killed by the Germans in the first world war.
Not speaking much English Alina works very hard and teaches the children to speak Dutch and they in turn teach her English. What dev

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“Why was that?

“Because they said I had an obsession with Father Michael.”

“What kind of obsession?

 

 

“Well if you must know father Michael and I were more than just friends shall we say and I left after his sexual fantasies got worse.

“In what way Miss Jacobs?

“He liked to spank me and make me do things of a nature unspeakable.”

“However he did give me excellent references.”

“I bet he did.”

“Well Miss Jacobs if you leave a contact number or an address I’m sure I will be in touch with you in due course.

“Do you mean I have travelled all the way from Gateshead and I haven’t got the post?

“I have several others to interview Miss Jacobs.” Thank you for you time.”

“Well if that’s your attitude, forget it.”

“I will show you out then.”

The woman went scurrying down the road and another scruffy looking woman came to the door with a cigarette sticking out of her mouth.

“Is this the hoose where the kids are wantin’ lookin’ after?

“No you must be mistaken said Joe.”

“Whey I must have got the wrang street.”

 She turned then walked the way she had come.”

“Throughout the rest of the day Joe interviewed some nine women and not one of them was suitable.

Marina came back from school with George.

“Hello you two had a good day at school then?

“Yes daddy did you get your school dinner?

“Yes and the teacher took the money from me and said that it would be for next week.

Did they take Georges as well?

“Yes dad.

“Good, how about I cook you some sausage, egg, and chips tonight?

“Oh can we dad.”

“Right then you can both watch me and I will teach you both how to peel potatoes” 

George you go in the cupboard and fetch the potatoes and Marina can you set the table please.

“Yes dad.”

Joe washed his hands then set about peeling the potatoes whilst George looked on.

Then he cut some slices from a loaf that Joyce had given him the day before. Joe popped some lard in the frying pan and began to fry the sausages. In the chip pan he heated beef dripping then when it was hot enough placed the potatoes into a basket then lowered it into the hot fat.

When the chips were nearly ready Joe fried the eggs. The tea was now ready to serve.

This would be the children’s first meal without their mother. Their father never mentioned it he just let them enjoy the food.

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