Thursday, November 10, 2011

God's Own Country........

....... or Yorkshire as some of us call it.....

Hello Everyone. It's Deccy's Mum here. I thought I'd take my chances whilst the man of the house has a snooze on his sofa!

I've been taking a look at some of the comments Deccy has received on his posts, and one in particular made me stop and think. Jasmine at The Wild Life said something like Deccy's walk in Yorkshire looked much more interesting than where she is in Texas. My immediate thought was that I'd much rather be in Texas than here, but I guess that's human nature; most places are more interesting than home. When it comes down to it, everywhere is different but maybe we should appreciate what we have a little more. That's why I thought I'd tell you a little bit about our home.....

Before I say anything else, I'd like to make something very clear (and I don't want to be sued for libel either...) I like Yorkshire, I like the people, I live here. My partner is Yorkshire born and bred; clearly I'm a fan!

Although I've visited this fair county on and off for many years, I've lived here permanently for just over four years. I can now get away with walking down the street without people pointing (that was probably because I wasn't wearing clogs and a flat cap) but I'm still an outsider. I imagine in 20 years time there will still be an old chap who says "you know t'lass that lives up t'road; hasn't been here long....." I don't suppose I'll ever be in a position where I don't have to show my passport when I cross into Yorkshire from one of the surrounding counties. If you try and cross from Lancashire, armed guards will shoot you. You think I'm joking don't you?

Yorkshire folk are fiercely proud of their county and its heritage. Take cricket for example. Cricket is a religion in Yorkshire, but much more important. Up until as late as 1992 you had to be born within the boundaries of the county in order to play for Yorkshire County Cricket Club. This led to some quite ridiculous scenarios involving men dragging their heavily pregnant wives half way around the world in order to ensure that, should she have a boy, he could play cricket for Yorkshire. For our American friends, you must understand that this is MUCH more important than getting into an Ivy League college or becoming a Rhodes Scholar, or President of the U.S.A!

All you need to know about the U.K.

There are advantages to living here. I can now say with a degree of honesty that I  have a second language. When someone tells me to "put wood in t'ole" I now know they want me to shut the door. I have learnt not to look confused when asked if I want "scraps" on my fish & chips. ( Weeks old bits of burnt batter that are fished out of the fryer.. why would you?!) I now know that a "teacake" is not a toasted current bun, as served in Ye Olde Tea Shoppe, but a large white bread roll the size of a dinner plate, sold in fish & chip shops and used to make Chip Butties. When I go to a sandwich shop, I no longer ask for wholemeal, granary, bloomer or baguette. What I order will come in teacake or a flatcake (even bigger!) and will require two grown men to lift it.

When talking about food, it wouldn't be right not to mention the famous Yorkshire Pudding.
In the rest of the U.K. Yorkshire Pudding is traditionally eaten with roast beef. Not in Yorkshire. It's eaten with EVERYTHING! I'm convinced that one day I will see someone dipping a pudding into a boiled egg for breakfast. For example, Christmas Lunch is as follows:

  • Starter: Soup ("We don't like owt fancy") 
  • Pudding Course: A dish of Yorkshire Pudding with gravy. 
  • Main Course: Roast Turkey, Potatoes, 27 different root vegetables and Yorkshire Pudding. 
  • Sweet: Yorkshire Pudding served with sugar and jam.

Yorkshire people are economical. Not "short arms un deep pockets" (mean / tight) just economical in all that they do. To a large extent they have had to be. It's traditionally a land of Haves and Have Nots going back to the Industrial Revolution when the great wool merchants lived in their mansions and everyone else lived in a "back to back" sharing an outside privvy (toilet) with 6 other families and working a 16 hour day in the mill. It probably accounts for the economy with words too; not much point in speaking when no one could hear you over the din of the weaving machines. It still holds true today though. Telephone any company in the world and you will find yourself slightly irritated by the sing-song voice of a receptionist saying " Good morning, Smedley & Smedley Ltd. My name is Janice, how can I help you today?" Ring a company in Yorkshire and, assuming anyone can be bothered to answer that damn new-fangled contraption called a telephone, they will say "Nah then?" Essentially, this means exactly the same as what Janice said, just in a more succinct way!

So.. should you ever find yourself walking down a Yorkshire street, remember the following. If you meet someone there is no need to smile or make eye contact. Simply mumble "Nah then" and expect a reply of "'appen" (meaning maybe I am / maybe I'm not) There is no need for any further discourse. Simply touch the brim of your flat tweed cap and with the barest nod of the head be on your way, whippet at your heels and quite possibly a ferret down your trousers...... but maybe that's a story for another day!

Below is a fabulous video by the comic duo Hale & Pace entitled Yorkshire Airlines. It sums it all up brilliantly. Look out for the whippet and ferret!!

By the way, thank you all for voting in Deccy's present poll. Baseball cap and Pigs Ears were joint first and so with the casting vote I'm awarding him Pig's Ears. No son of mine is walking around looking like a right numpty in a baseball cap, I don't care what his Other Mum says!!