The Welsh Girl tagged me for a 'seven random things' meme, so I thought I would give it a York twist. Seven random York/me things, then.
1. I went to a Quaker school in York. This included a requirement to attend a one hour silent Quaker meeting on Wednesday mornings, which was precisely the torture it sounds - a room full of hormonal adolescents forced to sit still and in silence for a whole hour. On one memorable occasion, a peacock's head appeared at a high window and tapped insistently on it throughout, reducing me and Violet to silent convulsing hysteria. Occasionally we would mix things up a bit by singing the rousing tune "Old leather breeches, shaggy shaggy locks, you are pulling down the pillars of the world, George Fox". I got shit hot marks on my papers on religious non-conformism in the eighteenth century in my history degree, despite spending my second year basically insane, speaking to noone and driving about in my much loved Renault Clio in a ginger wig. I consider I have Quaker school to thank for this.
2. Wednesday afternoon classes at Quaker school following the silent meeting included yoga, poetry writing, managing your finances (filling in cheque book stubs), recreating famous works of art (the bar at the Folies Bergere comes to mind) by dressing up as them and the notorious 'condom on a cucumber' class. There were no academic or sporting prizes given at school, however there was an annual prize for the best decorated egg cup.
3. I failed my cycling proficiency test by falling off my bike into a rose bed at the part of the test where you are supposed to look over your shoulder and read out a letter someone is holding up. I still can't be trusted on a bike. Or in a car. Or walking for that matter. I am fatally attracted to skips (the big metal ones you dump old mattresses in in the dead of night - no? Just me then) and have lost several wing mirrors being drawn unwittingly too close by their siren song.
4. I finally lost my virginity aged NINETEEN (yes) after a Christmas party in a corrugated iron Bavarian themed inn in Poppleton. There was a Yorkshire oompah band and large, stabby serving wenches in lederhosen. He was called Nick and we worked together processing data on families with severely disabled children who were applying for hardship grants. It was depressing and boring, and he and I were the only employees aged under 50. It was totally inevitable and entirely lacking in sentiment. In a good way.
5. After my first love (a trainee teacher at the Quaker school - bad man!) chucked me unceremoniously in "Britain's most flooded pub", I stalked him around the pubs of York, appearing wraithlike and accusing in the window of, variously, the Spread Eagle, the Lowther, the Punchbowl, the Cross Keys, the Black Swan, the Judges Lodgings, the Star Inn, the Blue Bell, etc etc. York has more pubs per head of population than anywhere in the world (I made that up but it could totally be true), so it was a true act of crazy dedication on my part. Bastard. I am still a little bit in love with him.
6. I used to look like this, at my most physically unfortunate.
Getting glasses was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I cried for a week when they told me I had to. Getting my hair cut short was definitely one of my better decisions. Pity it all fell out when I was twenty. Now I look like this (don't judge me, all the clothes I am wearing were borrowed from family members):
I also know a great deal about degenerative bone diseases in the Viking era, and the prevalence of various intestinal parasites, thanks to the Jorvik Viking Centre, where I got to try on, though not run away with, this helmet.
7. I don't have a York accent but the Space Cadette does. When she tells people from outside North Yorkshire where she is from, they ask her politely where "Yark" is as they have never heard of it. Is it, perhaps, one of the lesser known Channel Islands? I don't think I have any kind of accent, really. I have hard northern 'a's, mixed Scottish/Gloucestershire parentage and speak French most of the time. When I hear my voice I think I sound like I have some horrible sinus condition. Lashes sounds London and Fingers like Inspector Clouseau.
Ok. I tag la Belette, Lulu, Nappy Valley Girl, Katyboo and anyone else who wants to join in. It doesn't have to be about York, sadly.