Chapter 32 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part II

If you have recently joined my blog and wish to read from the beginning the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story, simply click on the menu tab  ‘Klopp Story’  then again on ‘Book One’ to select the starting point.

Biene’s Plunge into Life’s Reality

Lande's House at the Corner
Lande’s House at the Corner of Parkfield Road in Didsbury, Manchester, UK

What a pleasant surprise unfolded before her eyes, when the taxi stopped at a large house with a friendly appearance. Immediately all tiredness disappeared. Mrs. Lande received her with open arms. The two became instant friends. That night Biene slept like a log. And it was good, because there was a lot of work waiting for her the very next morning. Mrs. Lande had just returned from her vacation in Spain and needed all the help she could get with the children. There was little baby Paul, who was being potty-trained. He was not too eager to cooperate and constantly climbed off  his tiny chair. While Biene was putting him back, where he was supposed to do his business, Caroline and Simon were pinching each other and screeching like howling dervishes. Gradually Biene was adapting to a totally new routine in her life. A 7:30 Paul woke her up with his crying, because he was wet and the diapers needed changing, all the while the older siblings were hanging on to her skirt and were hollering for attention. They wanted to get washed, dressed and fed breakfast all at once. And when at rare occasions a little bit of peace and quiet reigned in the Lande household, a pile of children’s clothes, the entire gamut from diapers to pants, were waiting on the ironing board. So Miss Panknin was on her feet from dawn to dusk seven days a week, during which she had altogether one half-day off. But even then Mrs. Lande occasionally brought Paul into Biene’s room, because she could not handle him any more.

Nearby Park Didsbury Manchester England
Lots of Green Spaces in Nearby Parks

In spite of the hard work Biene was happy. Every night, when after a relaxing bath she sank into her bed, she fell asleep with a sense of accomplishment she had never experienced before. In her letters she would often mention to me that through her work with the children, as challenging and arduous it really was, she was able to draw herself out of the darkness of idleness into the light of meaningful activity with little children. It was heartwarming for me to see that she too was going through an important trial period albeit quite different from mine. By dealing so intensely with young children she was in a much better position to decide on a small or large or no family at all. She learned first hand how much love and labor one needed to invest in raising a large family. Being an au pair girl was a real eye opener for her.

The same could be said about the best way of preparing young people for the teaching profession. They should experience the rigours of practice teaching in the first year of University to see, if they are fit to withstand the stress and be capable of mastering the challenges of a classroom teacher. Very much  like in Biene’s work with children I found that love for the students was one of the most important requirements in this venerable profession.

Leisure time had become a precious commodity for Biene. Whereas back home at Velbert she had often idled away her time, she now began to appreciate every free moment that she had at her disposal. What allowed her to truly enjoy her time off was the heightened awareness that what she was doing in Mrs. Lande’s household was not drudgery she needed a break from, but deeply satisfying service to others.

On one of her half-days Biene took little six-year old Caroline to a nearby cinema. Mrs. Lande had recommended the movie ‘Sound of Music’, which had gained the status of a box office hit not just in England, but also in translation practically all over the world. Completely enraptured by the picture and the music Caroline cozily sat on Biene’s lap. She was proud that she had been allowed to go out with the new so amiable au pair girl in the family.

Sound of Music

Little Paul also brought much joy to Biene. Barely two years old he had already turned with his cute baby talk into a real chatterbox. One of his favourite words to express his admiration or approval for something she suggested to him was ‘nice’. When she played on the harmonica I had bought her in Schotten, he dropped all his toys and looked at her with his big dreamy eyes as if a fairy had just arrived to play for him on her magical instrument. Then he clambered up into her bed. Every time she stopped playing, he would nudge her to play some more by tapping with his fingers on the harmonica and by humming and crooning a melody of his own. On another day in the evening, when the kids had all been put to bed, Simon, the middle child, sleepy-eyed with drooping eyelids, stepped into her room, snuggled up to her on the bed and like an affectionate little darling laid his head on her lap. She stroked and caressed him, until he finally fell asleep.

IMG_0928
The Original Harmonica – Banged Up but still Functional

 

Autobiography Book Germany The P. and G. Klopp Story Writing

7 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Biene scheint sich ja sofort in ihrer neuen, ungewohnten Arbeit als au pair girl
    zurechtgefunden zu haben, obwohl doch so viel Neues auf sie eingestürmt ist!
    So wenig Zeit für sich selbst zu haben war sicher anfangs besonders hart, aber sie hatte ja sichtlich gleich ein liebevolles Verhältnis zu den Kindern und genoss das Vertrauen von deren Mutter. Und außerdem mußte sie sofort viel Verantwortung tragen..
    Es scheint bald so, als wäre Biene schon dort für ihre spätere große Familie vorbereitet worden!😉👍
    Ich bin schon gespannt auf die Fortsetzung!
    Herzliche Grüße aus Sottmar!
    Edda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Liebe Edda, deine Zeilen zeigen wieder mal ganz deutlich, mit wie viel Gefühl und Verständnis du dich in Bienes Leben hineinversetzen kannst. Ja, es scheint mir, als ob du dich selbst als Biene in England siehst und somit mit ihr alles miterlebst. Es freut mich, dass diese Geschichte, obwohl sie schon über 50 Jahre alt ist, so auf dich einwirkt, als wäre alles erst gestern geschehen. Auch von mir aus dem fernen Kanada die allerliebsten Grüße!

      Like

  2. It’s really interesting and moving to read how Biene could cope with all her new tasks from the very beginning. I’m always looking forward to your next chapter, dear Peter. Best wishes from Hamburg, Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess for Biene it was twice as hard as her mother would never allow her to help with household chores, as she had loftier plans for her daughter. Thank you, dear Mitza, for taking part in our life’s journey!

      Liked by 1 person

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