Following a period of enforced exile in Poland, I find myself returning to York with much to hector about. But alas, this column only has space for me to speak on only one topic. So enough prevarication, let me enlighten you, dear reader, on the greatness of Yorkshire.
First, it is useful to advise the uninformed on what exactly Yorkshire is – to the non-Brit, or indeed to the Southerner, it is an unheralded concept. In the simplest explanation, it is the largest constituent part of England, stretching almost from coast to coast (blocked from access to the Irish Sea only by the badlands of Lancashire), bordered by meandering rivers at both ends of its hallowed ground. It has rolling hills, lush landscapes and gorgeous coastline – even the Lord himself could not ask for more.
Yet I fear some poor misguided folk may not quite be convinced. They may be strange city dwellers, fearful of breathing clean air for the first time in their time on Earth. They should fear not, for Yorkshire has them covered – Leeds offers the big city experience, Sheffield gives you a taste of the real North, and York turns into the Venice of the North each and every Christmas.
Now as for the natives, they are perhaps the best part of this all (in my relatively biased opinion). They are all kindred spirits, happy to come to your aid, never absent of benevolence and cheer. Indeed, at times you may struggle to understand their vocalisations – translation guides are plentiful – but there is never even a hint of malice about them, as you will find should a drunken Yorkshireman ever engage with you out in public.
So let this serve as a welcome to Freshers (and a reintroduction for Returners) to God’s Own County, the greatest place you have been, or indeed will ever go. Av’ a good’un!