In exactly the same ways as some corner of a foreign field is forever England, the same can be said for Yorkshire. This is because, wherever we end up, we take a bit of it with us â€“ normally the slice which finds bars dangerous places for money and people a bit mouthy for their brains.
And the reason for this is that everything and everyone is compared unfavourably to some utopian vision of where we were born but couldnâ€™t wait to leave. Hypocrisy is narrowly relegated just behind grumpiness in our rambling hierarchy of regional traits.
One of the owners of our Devonshire holiday retreat is a â€œWestyâ€ hailing from the Ridings on the border of Lancashire. This is a much disputed hotbed of geographical angst, where Yorkshire overspills into our hated neighbour much like an extreme case of middle age spread.
At school, this bulge into the wrong side of the Pennines was considered to be of similar importance to Alsace-Lorraine being repatriated back to France from Germany after the treaty of Versailles. I kid you not
Before GPS, we found out where people lived by their accents and this old persons skill can still range fellow Yorkies to about thirty miles. So once bonded on county grounds, we fell back to easy regional stereotypes as if happily ensconced on our own virtual Ilkley Moor.
Ted: â€œNice camera you have there, mustâ€™ve cost a few bobâ€
Al: â€œGot it 2nd hand off a mate. Wouldnâ€™t pay full price for one, thatâ€™d be softâ€
Al : â€œThat 4be4 in the drive, is that yours? Looks newâ€
Ted: â€œWell, it is but I beat tâ€™dealer up until he gave me five grand off and first use of â€˜er indoors. Anyroad, you need a proper off roader hereâ€ [ waves hand indicating motoring hazards not immediately obvious in the soft rolling countryside.]
Al: [nods sagely]â€œRight thee are. Reckon youâ€™ll be needing it with all this rainâ€
Ted: [scanning the cloudy sky]: â€œAye, looks like itâ€™ll be proper wet again. Still not like my days as a boy. Most years, we swam tâ€™school in our duffle coats and wellies, spent first hour draining playground wiâ€™ leaky buckets and then drank what were leftâ€
Al: â€œknow what tha means. In tâ€™winter, we sledged to school on family dog and tâ€™weak bairns were left to die in tâ€™snowdrifts. One lad, came from so far over yonderâ€ [ huge sweep of arm for emphasis ] â€œhe were generally found riding his Paâ€™s Yakâ€
Ted: â€œYak? Bloody â€˜ell, where did he park it?â€
Al: â€œBit odd really. He used to rent it out at break for soft lads who couldnâ€™t find wimmin for.. well you knowâ€
Ted: â€œAh well good to see it being put to good use. Surprised tho young boyâ€™d be ready for a Yakâ€
Al: â€œWe were surrounded by bloody great cows wiâ€™horns. We trained, trained I tell thee on Yaks before moving ontâ€™ rough stuffâ€
[Short pause while we considered whether bestiality could ever be a good thing]
Ted â€œWhat happened to yon yak then?â€
Al: â€œWent tâ€™donkey sanctuary. Proper mental it were by fifth yearâ€
Ted: [cautiously]: â€œWhyâ€™s that then?â€
Al: â€œPoor bugger had itsâ€™ brains fucked outâ€
Ted [strokes chin] â€œAye, well fair dos, guess it had a good inningsâ€
We parted amiably not sure if weâ€™d been speaking out loud. Being proper Yorkshiremen, neither of us would admit to actually dreaming up huge whoppers for the sole purpose of trumping our regional colleague.
Still Iâ€™ve noticed theyâ€™ve kept their dog on a short leash ever since.
* other nonsensical dialect is available including the pithy â€œthaâ€™s not as green as tha cabbage is paintedâ€ and the almost Shakespearian â€œbloody â€˜ell, I couldnâ€™t get me â€˜at onâ€