Home Sweet Home.
The view of the Dales has always captivated me. I love Yorkshire; it has become home and is a long, long way away from Bristol, the place I grew up, a place that held countless, unpleasant memories for me.
Yorkshire's gentle sloping hills give way to feelings of serenity for me. I love those undulating hills; the tiny stone back-to-back cottages with black slate roofs that nestle among tall oak trees, barely visible, now June is here. The Wild Cherry trees shed their blossom like wedding confetti thrown in celebration caused by each gentle gust of the warm breeze. The tips of the Silver Birch sway rhythmically, their slender branches reach out to finger the airs tender surge.
I often loose myself in the view. The hills, trees and stone cottages being a stark but welcome contrast to the industrial buildings so commonly depicted in Lowry’s finest art work. Keighley, my local Town, disperses itself at the foot of the valley.
The home I share with my husband and family sits comfortably on the opposite side of the dale in a peaceful, sleepy village among a mixture of old and new built dwellings. Cottages without garages cause the local inhabitants to park their vehicles along the winding country roads that lazily follow the contours of the hills. Impatient drivers honk their horns at slow moving tractors laden with hay that move their load from one field to the other.
I love the Yorkshire people, not the image I once conjured of men in string vests wearing knotted hankies or flat capped individuals brandishing giant black puddings shouting, ‘eh by gum.' They are a gentle, straight-talking breed with a lazy endearing dialect; pure folk with 'nout taken out. When I collect my eldest daughter from school, I observe the Yorkshire mothers who collect their own offspring. Women of all shapes and sizes, some large who bellow like market traders on Grimsby dock, some small who refrain from drawing attention to themselves whilst trying to retain some decorum grappling with their spawn by the scruff of their necks.
Both types of women preserve deep family values, making sure a plate is empty before moving on to pudding and if they are still hungry, fill up on bread!
Honesty, integrity and understanding the value of money, a lesson I too have learned. Southerners like myself, tend to be a little more reserved less welcoming and a little suspicious of strangers. They prefer to stand back and observe often-giving rise to the feeling of scrutiny to a newcomer. They tend to judge their book by its cover rather than taking their time and gently warming to its pages and reading a while. Me? I am an immigrant, a southern lass having now acquired a little Yorksher grit, or in English terms, a no-nonsense and never say die spirit whether in business, sport or facing a crisis!
Unlike my love for Yorkshire, my body has grown to dislike it and having no self-control has decided to head south. Yes the once slender size ten has given way to a voluptuous squeeze-in-my-jeans size twelve with post childbirth humps and bumps popping out exactly where I don't want them too. My husband loves my curves and so does my daughter.
‘I love you mummy, you’re not fat you’re beautiful.’
I wish I could share my daughter’s biased opinion.