Friday, July 30, 2010

Tales of Yorkshire: Rape Fields, Rolling Hills and Sheep

It was seven years after we started seeing one another that I finally got the chance to see what hubby had been describing to me, via many, many stories of his boyhood years growing up in the northern part of England, when he took me "back home".  I remember thinking, as I laid in bed at night being lulled to sleep by one of his tales, there must have been an exaggeration factor mixed in because in no way could the wonderful images he was conjuring up in my head be, in actuality, so grand.  Compared to my suburban childhood, his sounded surreal.  But, I loved listening to them.  In fact, to this day, I ask him to repeat some of his stories like a child does with his parents.   

When the day finally arrived back in 1997 and my eyes caught the first glimpses of England from my plane window, I immediately realized that maybe, just maybe, his tales were no exaggeration.  Even from the sky, I noticed the beauty of his homeland.  It was mid-May and so much was in bloom.  But, what caught my attention more than all the colors of Spring, was the lush green that expanded for miles and miles only to be  interrupted by patches of brilliant yellow.  

It was an hour and half drive from the airport to his hometown of Boroughbridge which gave me miles of opportunity to gaze at the lush green countryside dotted with sheep.  The green was greener than the greenest of pastures here in the southern U.S.  Little vignettes of farms and villages in the distance were a feast for my eyes.  Unfortunately, back then, the photography bug had not yet bitten, and I only owned a little point and shoot that stayed in my purse until the car stopped.  Nowadays, even from the interior of a car whizzing past at 65 miles an hour, I won't stop shooting.

North Yorkshire Countryside dotted with Sheep

Another image that will always make me yearn to return are rape fields in bloom.  Never heard of a rape field ~ click here.  This crop was what ended up being the brilliant yellow patches I saw from the air.  In May, the crop is in full bloom and every time we've traveled over, since then, has been during May (which also happens to be a wonderful month for more than normal sunshine and moderate temps).  On our last visit two years ago I finally had to tell hubby to pull over so I could walk through one.  

Jillsy Girl in a Rape Field in bloom

and even though the fields that Sting sings of in this song are barley fields,
 the following song always brings to mind the rape fields in bloom and being in North Yorkshire.
(which happens to be not too far from where Sting grew up)

This post just gives a glimpse of the beauty of hubby's old stomping grounds, but in coming weeks, i thought it might be nice to share some of his tales and adventures with you, using his input.  He has agreed, surprisingly, to do so.  Next up will be one of his most favorite places ~ Sutton Bank.  I'll try to sit him down within the next week or so.

and for those of you who may be, this is not the new endeavor I am working on!

Have A Great Weekend!