Growing up in Yorkshire, you learn things a little differently than in other parts of the country. Dialect is the main difference, even people in Yorkshire don’t know what half their own words mean, like mafting (hot). I grew up in a smallish town where my family have lived for several generations, so we’ve got our roots pretty deep, and these are the things I learned from them.
1. Look after number one
Sounds a bit selfish right, not as much as you think. You just have to prioritise. You look after yourself, then your family, then your friends, then your town, then your region, then your country and then, only then do you bother with the rest of the world. In a crude sort of way it could be translated as mind your own business.
2. Remember where you came from
You see it all the time. Someone comes into fame, fortune or success and suddenly they forget who they were. It’s almost as if they were never poor and they take their wealth and success for granted. They start to think they’re better than those they left behind. They forget that they were poor once and should be humble. They forget, or maybe they just don’t want to remember. Never forget who you are and where you came from because they’re what made you.
3. Old people know everything
It’s true. They know what you did last summer. They know who’s died, who’s in trouble, who’s cheating, who’s pregnant, everything. They bring you new gossip, old gossip, possible future gossip, everything. Of course, sometimes you have to take it with a pinch of salt, but more often than not they know exactly what’s going on.
4. Everyone over 30 knows who you are
My granddad was fairly well known in my home town. When I was little it was the kind of place where everyone knew everyone and everyone knew my granddad and, through him, my mum. So I’ll be walking down the street with my mum and she’ll stop to talk to a woman I’ve never seen before and then it happens. “Haven’t you grown? Last time I saw you you were only tiny. You don’t remember me do you?” No. Who are you? Why do you feel the need to tell me this. They probably just want to voice their surprise at how much I’ve grown and how much older I am (although according to my sister, 5’5 is short), but it’s a little bit creepy. They might have been watching me through a telescope after all.
5. Yorkshire is a very efficient way of speaking
My house mate disagrees, but I find Yorkshire to be both efficient and straight to the point. Why say three words when you can put them together to make one? We haven’t time to stand around talking all day (although it seems to happen a lot), we need to talk fast and put words together to save time. A lot of the old people in my town are also quite blunt, for want of a better word. They say what they mean. They don’t sugar coat it, it is what it is. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go down well with a lot of people and it’s a trait I seem to have picked up somewhere along the way.
So there are 5 things I’ve learned while growing up in Yorkshire, the best place in the world. Except maybe Canada.