I want to move back North – I have been bleating on about this for such a long time, but I now can tell you why!
It is not only because the scenery is out of this world, it is, it is not only because the people are fab – they are – it because the social nuances that separate the rich from poor, educated from uneducated, and the north from the south.
Someone lent me a book and in Yorkshire that means that I can keep that book for a couple of years, it is traditional, it is almost like giving the book to me. I can keep it, forever, I cannot sell it, I cannot give it away, and I cannot lend it to someone one, but they have lent it to me. Even if that seems extreme, it means I get to keep it for more a few minutes, well a couple of weeks being badgered every few days. Ok I have read it, but still the principle remains, it’s a northern thing.
The strongest cultural indicators, as in many cultures is how we break bread together.
Breakfast starts the process which consists of cereals (not muesli), toast – cut like doorsteps and dripping in butter (not ‘low fat spread’) – beans, sausage, and things you really do not want to delve too deeply into, but things that make your cholesterol rise with expectation – in other words a good fry up!
Dinner occurs around midday, now this is a movable feast, Sunday dinner can start around 2pm, normally after the traditional closing times of the pubs / Working Mens Club, but cannot be any later, though on High Days and Holy Days – such as Christmas – it can be extended to 3pm, though Tea starts at around 4 or 5pm, so you run the risk of the two merging into one; but being ‘northern’ I know theses things, such things were observed and learnt.
Yorkshire Puddings the size of a Dinner Plates are the entrée of choice served with Onion Gravy – Aunt Bessy obviously came from Lancashire ‘cos her puds are way too small! Main meal is something you can get your laughing tackle around, but will contain Meat, Mash, and vegatables (Vegetarians are, like in France, are an obscure species that are an object of curiosity and pity; by the time ‘Pudding’ is served you will be stuffed – but dutifully, manfully, stoically, you are expected drown the offering in custard (try calling it ‘Cremè Anglais’ and, my friend, you will be outcast!).
After a ‘decent interval’ Tea will be served around 5pm which is only marginally less in both calories and mass.
Supper is served at around 1030pm, as someone said ‘it is perfectly acceptable to find your guests in Pyjama’s if you have invited them around for supper,
Entertaining, being invited around for any meal, especially on a Sunday, means ‘for the duration’ when living in Southampton I soon learned it was ‘turn up, eat food, leave – I actually gave someone the food I had prepared for them to cook at their house because they expected to turn up, eat, and leave! On the other hand, in Yorkshire, if you are the host you can leave your guests the key and go to bed, perfectly acceptable !