The English Summer Part 1: the North


The family walk on the Westwood: cow company welcome
The frustrating run on the Westwood: post-Escarpment runners knee unwelcome

The poring over family scrapbooks
The truth about my uncle

The new observation tower at the Beverley Library
The exhibition on the region’s history within

The recently discovered 2000 year old Roman scabbards
The headless skeletons recently found on an Anglo-Saxon execution site just outside the town

The fact that Beverley was Britain’s 11th biggest town in the late 14th Century
The fact that it has increased in size more than 50% in the last 20 years and yet is probably not in the top 500 biggest towns any more
The sudden and brutal thunderstorm while I was checking out the historic exhibit at the Beverley Library
The rainbow above the Minster once it cleared and the sun came back out

The ceaseless traffic in Beverley
The inability of the council to ever build a By-Pass
The intricate detail of the carvings and gargoyles at the Beverley Minster
The font on which I was christened
The view of the Pennines from the Trans-Pennine Express
The surprising beauty of Huddersfield from the Trans-Pennine Express

The pictures of Mancunian musical heroes at Northern off of Oldham Street
The mad-for-it crowd at indie-techno night Clique at Mint in Manchester

The back-to-back renditions of “Paper Planes” and “All My Friends”
The only songs I know

The meager advocado salad at Pizza Express in Manchester
The generous pours of decent rosé at Mint in Manchester

The massive rain storm in Manchester on Saturday morning
The massive rat running down the middle of the pavement on Manchester’s Curry Mile

The enormous (and fairly-priced) veggie breakfast at Trof/The Deaf Institute on Oxford Road
The Dandelion & Burdock at Night & Day on Oldham Street

The expensive designer magazines at Magma on Oldham Street
The inexpensive, perfect-fitting Levi’s at Ryan Vintage on Oldham Street

The thriving independent record stores on Oldham Street: Eastern Bloc, Phat City, Piccadilly, Vinyl Exchange and, I think, more
The way that Piccadilly apologizes for its crammed 7” singles racks but that “there is just so much great music coming out right now”

The reassuringly enduring quality of When Saturday Comes. (Thanks to whoever left the new issue on the Trans-Pennine Express)
The disappointingly poor quality of Meat Magazine’s Real Brittania (sic) issue. (An annoying waste of £3.75 at Magma.)
The majesty of Burton Agnes Hall
The modesty of St. Martin’s Church in Burton Agnes

The seaside town that they forgot to close down
The kids on holiday playing football in the street

The anticipation in Hull and Beverley leading up to Hull City’s first ever Premiership match
The annoyance that I am in London when they play it

The low price of Yorkshire Tea in Yorkshire
The rising price of French wine in the UK
The 70p half-pint of Samuel Smith’s Bitter at the White Horse, aka Nellie’s, in Beverley
The £10 omelet at Betty’s in York. (Chips extra.)

The closing of Manor’s wine bar-restaurant and Café Nowhere since my last trip to Beverley
The continued success of Tea Tree Bay: now in Lincoln, too

The parry and thrust with the waiter at Beverley’s La Scala to get something cooked to order
The waiter’s observation that “You’re not from round here, are you?” (Well, technically, I am.)

The whinging cynicism of the Observer’s female columnists (I’m especially looking at you, Barbara Ellen)
The excoriating forthrightness of Giles Coren’s columns in the Times

The throngs of tourists on the Shambles in York
The complete absence of them behind York Minster


The queue outside Betty’s at lunchtime
The quality of service inside
The Swiss wine (Chasselas) at Betty’s in York
The Brooklyn Brewery beers on display in York: Nice work, Steve, your home town is proud of you.


The quality of that chestnut mushroom omelet: maybe even worth the tenner
The waitress bringing a gratis birthday cake though none of us had said a word to the staff about it

The ability of the British to wear t-shirts in any weather
The shopkeepers in the north

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2 Comment(s)

  1. Geo

    22 August, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    Been netflixing “All Things Bright and Beautiful” lately; nice to see Yorkshire in all it’s past glory. Must must visit again one day. Otherwise it’s the new Byrne/Eno alternated with the new Orb (talk about an old new playlist) in between projects down here in NYC (not the north!).

  2. Geo

    6 September, 2008 at 2:21 am

    ” All Things Bright and beautiful”?? What was I on about — surely “All Creatures Great and Small.” is the correct title? You know, that series about a vet.

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