Today is Yorkshire Day! Rah! No, I had never heard of it either and I have lived here for twelve years. Apparently it is a rather big deal. Across the globe folks will be indulging in Yorkshire Puddings and Yorkshire Curd Tarts whilst waving their white rose flags proudly in celebration of England’s biggest county. I cannot very well let this day pass without comment, so today I take a moment to list a few of me favourite things ’bout Yorkshire.
• Yorkshire Accents. Before I ever dreamed I might someday live here, I remember watching The Full Monty and just marvelling. Not at the male nudity on display—I found their voices far sexier. There is something about Yorkshire accents that appeals. From the gruff way they slam against middle consonants to the twisted handling of vowels which defies tongue logic. Lurvely. Favourite speakers include Sean Bean (for no mysterious reason) and Kate Rusby, who makes everyone at her concerts pronounce the word “love” with Yorkshire accents. Go on, lass!
• Yorkshire countryside. I recently paid a visit to The Cotswolds. This southern area near Warwickshire is famed for its natural beauty. I found it rather underwhelming. Sure it’s pretty, but no prettier than Yorkshire. We have the Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors, miles and miles of beautiful coastland. You got coast land, Cotswolds? No, I didn’t think so. In your face southern nancies!
• York. Every time my mother visits me, she makes a pilgrimage to the city of York. She loves everything about York: the River Ouse gently drifting through, the ancient Wall winding around, the Shambles forming an architectural canopy leading the way to York Minster. It’s a beautiful city which has given me many memorable nights out (and some not so memorable ones).
• Betty’s Tea Shop. Though Betty’s originator was Swiss, Betty’s Tea Room is thoroughly British. I am rather disappointed the waitresses no longer wear the cute ruffled white hats and aprons but the atmosphere and gastronomic offerings make a trip to one of their five (at last count) locations an essential tourist stop.
• Ilkey Moor BahTat. The first time my husband and I met face to flesh face we stayed at a friend’s apartment in Brooklyn. Said friend was visiting Israel at the time. The only condition of our free stay was that we had to look after my friend’s dog Wheezie. Whilst walking Wheezie around Park Slope Mr Elmer (for reasons known only to himself) decided the most appropriate courtship activity would be to serenade with all five million freaking thousand verses of Ilkley Moor Bah Tat. Luckily for him, I thought it was cute. I still do.
• Yorkshire attitudes. When I first moved to the UK I was concerned about friendships. I had spent time around British people at University and, on the whole, found them difficult to get to know and even more difficult to read socially and emotionally. I have since decided this might be a geographical difference. Northerners are far more friendly and approachable than the Southerners I had met before—Yorkshire folk particularly so. Yorkshire often reminds me of my own home area of the Midwest and the people of Yorkshire have always made me feel at home.
Happy Yorkshire Day!