And the storms and power cuts continue. At times it’s felt like going old school. No tech, even limited mobile signal, no TV. It’s been a time for things like Lego, Board Games and Books. Even candles. Why do rooms look so good when all you have to illuminate them are a few small tea candles. I’m amazed that I found them and some matches as well.
It all brought out the inner Bear Grylls in me. Time to light a fire in the garden. Might give the hunting a miss. Maybe just hunt to find a few tins of soup and beans. Maybe brew some tea. Obviously I could have just used matches but no, the Bear was out. Almost felt like I should be putting face camouflage paint on.
Two hours later I was still trying to light the fire. Failed with the friction stick method. No sunlight so magnifying lens not possible -that method is never working in deepest Yorkshire. The flint and steel method was now proving as effective as my diet, useless. But here’s the thing. Madness had truly set in. Outside in the rain desperately trying to produce just one spark to survive. Madness because the power had come back on just under two hours ago….. Hawklad was inside playing on his Xbox and looking out, shaking his head at the nutter outside.
The nutter outside who had let self pride take over …..
Sometimes you just have to hang on. Just one leaf hanging on in a sea of wood. All alone. Looking at all the fallen brethren on the ground, now very brown and shrivelled. Feeling a little left out. Forgotten about. How long can it hang there for.
Somedays it does feel that way to me. Just hanging on. Trying to survive.
But just like this little green bit of life – IT CAN BE DONE. It is possible to survive against the odds. Even when the odds are seemingly stacked against you, there is always hope. If you look hard enough there will be a connection, something to cling on to. Something to keep you going. Something so precious to you.
A time for wooly jumpers, gloves and warm hats. Sliding on ice patches. Snow ball fights, sledging and snow angels. Steaming hot chocolate filled with marshmallows. Writing names of frozen car windscreens. Fires and hot water bottles. Crisp winter walks with stunning moody landscapes. Long dark night skies filled with the wonder of the cosmos. Warming soups and stews. A perfect time to cuddle close to those you love. A time to feel alive.
Winter is coming.
A cold, bleak time. When the frequent bad weather forces you inside. Cuts you off from the world. When the darkness and howling winds matches the mood. When loneliness echoes around the surrounding walls that makes your home feel like a prison. A prison where the sentence is solitary confinement. Memories filled with loss and grief send shivers down your spine. Counting the long days until Spring returns. A time to survive.
Winter is coming.
I have experienced both. I know the opportunities and the threats it can offer. Which one will this Winter be?
It is my civic duty to continue your enlightenment in the dark arts of being from Yorkshire. Think of it as a Public Service Broadcast. Think Bear Grylls and Born Survivor. One day you might end in deepest, darkest Barnsley – these help guides may just end of saving your life.
So here goes. Pay attention and digest the following Yorkshire list.
Don’t ever get into a discussion with someone from Yorkshire about how tough your childhood was. A true Yorkie will be compelled to outdo you. If you don’t believe me look up the Monty Python and the Four Yorkshiremen Sketch.
Queens English is not recognised in Yorkshire. You need to speak Yorkshire. It’s the only dialect which not one single voice recognition system has been able to crack.
To say Yorkshire you need to say YARKSHAR…
To say Hello you need to say OW DO or EY UP
To say Goodbye you need to say SE’THE
To say Very you say REET
To say ‘Can I Please Borrow’ you say CADGE
To say Nothing you say NOWT
To say You it’s THA
To say Yes it’s AYE
To say ‘I would like that one’ then you say BAGSY
Be careful with the word CHAMPION. In most part of the worlds it’s a fine shoe and sports clothing brand. In Yorkshire Champion means Excellent
Similarly in the rest of the world OK means I’m OK. In Yorkshire to say I’m OK you need to say ‘I’m fair t’ middling’
Someone approaching you and asking for a CROGGY is either a term of affection or they are asking for a lift on your bike.
If someone shouts ‘tha Chuffing ……’. That could mean you are being physically sworn at or it could be a warning that you are smoking and you need to jump into the nearest river.
You need to remember that the first Heavier than Air Manned Flight took place in Yorkshire over 150 years ago. I hear you ask WHY. The answer was that in the same year it became the law that Yorkshire Ferrets had to be kept in trouser pockets. Wouldn’t you be desperate to leave the county….
When you speak to someone from Yorkshire then you need to brace yourself. It’s only a matter of time before Yorkshire being the centre of the known universe is brought up. Quickly followed by the following line ‘which over place can claim to have a Captain of the Starship Enterprise, the first ever female Dr Who, the head of the X-Men and a member of the Fellowship of the Ring.
Never try to argue with someone from Yorkshire as this will either result in the Yorkshire Terriers being set upon you or you will have to endure the following words – ‘you do know that Wuthering Heights was set here.’
If you are offered a Yorkshire Pudding then you need to be on your toes. This could either mean it’s being served as a starter, main course or sweet – or probably ALL three. In inclement weather you might also be offered one as a protective hat.
If you spend more than 5 minutes in the presence of someone from Yorkshire then the subject of CRICKET will enter the conversation. Specifically Cricket and Rhubarb. Just nod and smile and let the following local expression rattle around your brain. ‘Me ol mum could ave hit tha’ ball witha stick o’ rhubarb’. Also don’t be shocked if you then here ‘tha’s got more edges than a cracked bedpan’ – *** please note I cleaned that one up considerably***
You will hear many references to needing a Yorkshire passport. Currently this is not the case but in certain parts of the county the wearing of string vests and knotted hankies is a requirement.
The word ‘Scraps’. Here in Yorkshire it can mean two things. It can mean what happens when people get physical as they fight over the last frozen chicken left n the shop freezer. But it can also mean food heaven. Ask for a ‘bag a scraps’ in a Yorkshire Fish and Chip Shop and you will get a portion of the deep fried batter leftovers which are at the bottom of the fryer. But be careful with how you say ‘scraps’ to the Chipman and don’t ever make eye contact. This might end up with the chipman attacking you with a frying pan.