Sunday, 29 April 2012


Apologies yet again for being a day late.

Although I don't live in Yorkshire or anywhere near it's the area where The chauffeur's mother is from and I've been to visit. It's beautiful, rugged and wild.

It's the location of my very favourite book - Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Emily was the daughter of a Curate and led a simple quiet life. People often wonder at the passion shown in her book not understanding where she could have found it, but surely the area she lived had some hand in it due to the wild land around, the space and the rugged Dales. I have been to her house and walked those Dales, it is easy to imagine a passionate Cathy and brooding Heathcliffe wandering around there.

  More history of Yorkshire is the War of the Roses, the name of which is so contradictory if you imagine roses to be harmless, sweet smelling flowers. The reality is the House of York was represented by a white rose and were at war against the House of Lancaster, represented by a red rose. This war went on for 30 years before Lancaster won and the Tudors took the throne from the Plantagenets.

Yorkshire's most famous culinary dish is the Yorkshire pudding. Not a sweet or pudding dish at all, it's savoury and made of flour eggs and milk, very similar to a pancake but cooked so it rises, the higher the better. The correct Yorkshire way is to serve it large with gravy, but is usually eaten nowadays smaller with a roast meat dinner, preferably on a Sunday. No roast dinner is complete without a Yorkshire pudding!

 This area had also been taken over by the Vikings who invaded the territory during the 10th century after arriving on the Cumbrian coast in their Longships . It was they who gave the capital of this area the name York, though spelt Jorvik which was Scandinavian for 'Camp of the Cheiftains. There is a legacy for the invasion in the red hair sported by a large number of people from this area, including my mother in law. A recent DNA test of many from here showed a high genetic link back to the Scandinavian countries showing that their ancestors came from there more so than a genetic link to the the UK, even after all these several hundred years. If anyone gets the chance to see a bit of Viking life you can visit the Jorvik Viking Centre where you first watch a little video of the history of Yorkshire, then you get into a sort of trolley which moves around a reconstruction of a Viking village all the while moving along above the village as you look down into it. There are sights, sounds and, quite interestingly, smells that may have been around, nice Viking food smells counteracted by not so nice public toilet smells with sound effects to go with it!!

I have included a link to the website of the centre - warning, you may feel in need of your own shield if you click on this.


Sarah said...

Add that to places I'd like to go - looks wonderful!

DayDreamer said...

The Yorkshire people are also famous for their hospitality, so if you ever get to go you'll be treated wonderfully.

Laurie Peel, RP-CRA said...

I'm envious of people who live in areas with such a long, rich history. I'm sure something interesting must have happened in Canada once. If only I had paid attention in history class....

Sonia Lal said...

it looks like a good place to visit!

DayDreamer said...

Laurie - everyone always has such good things to say about Canada, it's space, cleanliness and relative safety for starters.

Sonia - it is a nice place to visit.