So far the northerners we have met live up to the stereotype. They speak a strange dialect in which the definite article is reduced to a clicking sound, and are friendly, welcoming, and uncontrollably chatty. Graham, the lock keeper who shepherded us through our first lock and swing bridge, kept coming back to our boat to tell use about World War II reenactment and stuff he had bought on eBay. I suspect it is all a front. It was less than six hundred years ago that clan rivalries between York and Lancaster plunged the whole of England into a morass of battle, bloodshed, and betrayal that not only inspired George R R Martin’s Game of Thrones, but (impossible as it seems) lasted longer.
We now call this conflict the Wars of the Roses, though that name was picked by later historians. At the time they just called it “Getting Rid Of That Foul Usurper <insert name here>”. People fighting wars very often don’t know what they were called. I mean, what did they call the Hundred Years War when they were half way through? Probably “The War That Is Going To End By Christmas.”
But I digress. The point is that the whole friendly, down to earth northerner thing is just a facade they have been keeping up for the past five hundred years, and it will only take one dysfunctional jam butty to set them off again. Perhaps I should mention that many of the nobles of York and Lancaster actually came from the Welsh Marches, which is a fine demonstration of the epic Welsh ability to blame other people.
Yes, we are on the move. We picked up the boat in Thorne, and spent yesterday setting her up with some of the things we missed on Pegotty: microwave, vacuum cleaner, toaster, etc. She also has a washer/dryer installed, so no more treks to the laundromat for us. This morning spent some more time settling in, then went to see the local park which has a model railway that doesn’t run on rainy Fridays…
… and an infestation of ducks.
That huddle of ducklings may look fluffy enough now, curled up like a nest of vipers, but in a few months they will be reading The Sun, and supporting UKIP. They have already terrorized the local cafe into serving them.
How you are supposed to enjoy your medium sized slush with a family of ducks quacking and farting at the next table I don’t know.
They are bad tippers, too.
On the way back we passed this building.
Apparently it started out as a church for Primitive Methodists…
… and is now a lumber merchant…
… so if the Primitive Methodists know where to go if they ever need to crucify anyone else.