It’s not called God’s Own Country for nowt
In honour of Yorkshire Day, ten of my favourite things about being from God’s Own Country:
- It doesn’t matter how old I am/will become, when I am on home turf, I will always be considered a ‘lass’.
- Thanks to a load (or a lerd) of marauding Vikings I am the proud owner (erner) of an authentic range of very fine, east coast norse vowels.
- The Brontes, Bennett, Bean (Sean, not Mr, you southern idiots) and Boycott. I could go on but that’s quite enough national treasures for one letter of the alphabet.
- Motorway signs on the M1 just past Mansfield that start to proclaim ‘The NORTH’ in capitals, as if even the typeface is working itself into a state of excitement.
- The pure glamour of Yorkshire women, or ‘northern landlady chic’ as I like to call it. Hair as big as our hearts, lips as bold as brass, and a LOT of leopard print. Think Elsie Tanner but from the right side of the Pennines.
- Its wild places: whether a windswept beach, a craggy moor or an undulating dale, there’s always a place to be alone, and ponder, and breathe.
- Phrasing: I get to make the most pleasurable Nora Battyesque utterances with zero affectation: ‘up yonder’ (up there) ‘down yon end’ (at the other end) and my favourite refrain, ‘I’m off t’shop’ (I am going to the shop).
- You get 4 for the price of 1. North, South, East and West Yorkshire make it a veritable variety pack of a county, with each being so distinctly different from its neighbour, there’s never a need to stray to Lincolnshire or Lancashire (God forbid) for a change of scenery. To save you the bother of consulting the Lonely Planet, a quick guide:
North Yorkshire: posh
South Yorkshire: coal
East Yorkshire: flat
West Yorkshire: mills
- I am resolutely not going to mention the Yorkshire pudding as it is probably one of the most disappointing culinary features of the place. Instead, a celebratory doff of the flat cap goes to: Scarborough’s chippies, Hull Fair’s brandy snap, Barnsley’s chops, Leed’s pies, Bradford’s curries, and Harrogate’s tea-shops.
- And best of all, is going home.