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


37. 37

the sides of the tub just like him because they were so long that they would not fit inside.

“I’m sorry said Joe and went back outside again.”

Alina grabbed a towel and covered her nakedness and scampered into the bedroom with the baby.






Joe waited ten minutes before coming back into the house by then Alina was dressed.

When she came out her hair was now down, it reached to the small of her back and was wavy like golden thread.”

“I sorry Joo.” I take bath with Helen, you say back at six hour.”

“It’s alright Alina; I didn’t mean to barge in like that.” “It won’t happen again.”

“This your house not mine, I no mean to abuse.”

“Look Alina, I want you to treat this house like your own.”

“Thank you Joo.”

They both laughed and then Alina put on the kettle.

“You catch lots of fish; I make for tea yes?

“Yes; when Marina and George return.”

“Okay, Helen I feed already; she sleeping now”

I clean now; I wash clothes then make tea ya?

“We shall have a drink of tea first then you can wash the clothes. Joe indicated with his index finger and thumb as if he was holding a cup.

“Ah yes, drink first.”

“You drink lot of tea in England ya.”

“Yes we do; it is a favourite drink here in England.

“In Holland we drink Coffee no tea.

“Ah I see; then we will have to go shopping and get some. There is a shop just down the street just give me a moment.

Joe went out and walked across the road to the little shop on the corner.

He bought a large tin of Nescafe which would probably last six months and more tea which was sold by the pound.

When he got back Alina was doing the washing and using the posser to clean the nappies in the bucket before putting them through the mangle.

Joe tapped the tin then said “Coffee for Alina”

“You buy Alina coffee?

“Yes do you like it.?

“Ya Alina like very much.”

Joe was going to make the tea and coffee when Alina stopped him and said “I make Joo tea ya.”

“Okay she opened the tin of coffee then put her nose to the tin and smelled the aroma.

“This reminds me of Holland and my Moeder en Vader.”

“Do you miss your homeland?

“Ya; I long to see flower in field. In Holland there lot of tulip flower.

“One day I take my children’s to Akmaar.”

Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...