farewell to the east end


Turnadette Tuesday

Turner Topics–Turnadette Origins

The Seeds of a Story

This week, I had some thoughts on a topic I’ve written about before, but now have some more ideas about. I’ve wondered in the past about why the Turnadette romance was put into the show when it wasn’t in the books, but reading more of the books gave me an idea that while maybe it wasn’t in the books directly, I can see where the seeds would be sown for this idea based on the stories in the books. More thoughts follow:

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Rules: Tag Nine People You Want to Know Better

Tagged by @weytani ( thanks bud!)

Relationship status: Single
Favourite Colour: Duck egg blue
Lipstick or Chapstick: Lipstick, gotta get them Peggy Carter vibes
Last Song I Listened to: ‘Santa Baby’ on the radio
Last Movie I Watched:  Paddington, but I don’t really remember a lot of it bc champagne was involved
Top 3 TV Shows: Jane the Virgin, Brooklyn 99, Parks and Recreation
Top 3 Characters: Jane Gloriana Villanueva, Peggy Carter, Leslie Knope
Top 3 Bands/Artists: Taylor Swift, Hunter Hayes, and atm Darren Criss
Books I’m Currently Reading: Farewell to the East End by Jennifer Worth, and I’m about to start The Swan Gondola by Timothy Schaffert

Tagging: anyone who wants to do it!

12. Farewell To The East End by Jennifer Worth

“Nuns were not my style. I couldn’t be doing with that sort of thing, I thought. I wanted adventure, not religion. I did not know it at the time, but my soul was yearning for both.”

This is the third of Jennifer Worth’s memoirs about her time as a midwife and district nurse in the East End of London. It once again focuses on the nuns of Nonnatus House, including the wise Sister Julienne, the ever-surprising Sister Evangelina, and the utterly eccentric Sister Monica Joan. There are tales of some fascinating characters, Meg n’ Mave, brash and bossy twins who share a (rather unfortunate!) husband, and the daughter of a ship’s captain who, since the age of 14 has been the “ship’s woman”, offering her services to all the crew, her father the captain included.
There are also tales of great sorrow. Tuberculosis was a common killer in days gone by, and families often suffered the loss of more than one child. Also, in the East End in the 1950s and 60s, housing was a big problem. Conditions were often over-crowded, dirty and unhygienic. Large families found it almost impossible to find council houses to accommodate their size, and were forced to live in cramped spaces. One such family that is discussed find that they are expecting yet another child. Full of despair, the mother resorts to a back-street, illegal abortion. This is horrific and unsafe. It is dreadful to think that these things actually happened.

On a much happier note though, there is also the tale of Chummy, the clumsy but posh and kind-hearted midwife. She FINALLY gets her nice policeman, has the wedding and moves closer to her ambition of being a missionary in Sierra Leone. Her story is so heartwarming that it just makes me smile. And also makes me think that the way to find a husband is simply to run him over whilst learning to ride a bike…!

I’ve really enjoyed reading these memoirs. Call The Midwife is an excellent TV series and the books the series is based on are very enjoyable. Some things are different, obviously, as TV nearly always alters things for dramatic effect, but there are plenty of fascinating tales that are well worth the read, particularly to understand how life was back in those days.