I have a new love of rural Yorkshire , its people and the accent. There is a stereotype and it usually comes from the old boys I like to call ‘ The Flat-Caps’. We met one just the other day when we were hunting for a dining room table. Mum tipped us off at an antique place she had found online, and ‘antique’ was the correct term. After driving around the arse-end of nowhere , and after what seemed to be a lifetime of sheep filled fields after sheep filled fields, we pull up to what basically looked like someone’s abandoned farm. Think if the apocalypse met a Hollywood set-designer. We follow the signs, that read ‘ Antiques’, and start to walk towards the large, wind battered storage space, with an old dog sat tied up on a plump dog bed next to a heater. We hear a hacking cough from behind us, and we instantly turn around to see a man. But the most Yorkshire looking man I think I have ever seen, and probably will ever see.
He must have been well into his late eighties, was in full tweed expect the wellingtons on his feet. He had legs more bent than Neo’s backbone from the Matrix, and a face like a smoked raisin. He was wonderful. I tried to tell him that we wanted to look around his establishment, only to be looked at with a puzzled face. He threw up his gnarled hand up to his ear, cocked his head towards me and shouted ,
‘ Ey Love? Sorry, haven’t ‘eard a thing since ’88! ‘
He proceeded to throw back his head in laughter, and revealed a partially gummy mouth with ‘teeth’ that resembled a broken piano. He lit up a partly smoked rolled up cigarette which he had at this point removed from behind his ear, ( well hidden from his rather small flat-cap), and gestured for us to follow him. The old dog blinked slowly at us , and then drew itself up at once to hastily start barking , nothing ferocious, more the act one would do when your boss is walking about the office, and you must look incredibly busy suddenly. The space was vast, draughty and filled with rich mahogany pieces, definitely dating back to before the old boys’ time and us being uncultured swines, hadn’t the faintest idea on what was good or not. There was only one other inside the building with us. Another Flat-cap, sat atop a large chest of drawers, smoking a rather perilously placed cigar, just hanging causally from his lips. We got a curt nod in greeting, but nothing more.
We looked around, and couldn’t find anything in particular that we liked (or could afford), and made to leave, I waved goodbye to the old boy, and got a gummy grin in return, the dog at this point had given up trying to look like a good guard dog, and let us pass with nothing more than a vague bored sigh. We drove off in silence, sort of grinning to one another. It may have been a very short part of our day, but it almost felt like a wonderful introduction into Yorkshire and its inhabitants and for the future memories to come. Safe to say, I will be returning.