I write this piece ensconced within a home in the village of Gawthorpe. This area, famed for it’s imposing white water tower, sits on the outskirts of Ossett. The West Yorkshire market town which gave us the band Black Lace, who in turn gave us the novelty ‘classic’ tune Agadoo.
The much maligned refrain which, if nothing else, taught us the actions for pushing pineapples, shaking trees and grinding coffee. Not to mention urging its listeners to come and dance every night sing with a hula melody.
Although not au fait with Gawthorpe until a month or so back, early impressions are it’s a decent enough place to reside. Within it’s boundaries lay a couple of good pubs, an agreeable food takeaway outlet and a population boasting the least cases of rickets per village capita in Yorkshire.
The house where I’m penning this prose lays around 200 hundred yards from the care home where my mother spent her final few days prior to passing in autumn 2021. In fact, so close is this house to the room where mum died on that dreadful October morning, if you’d have stood on its doorstep on that fateful day you’d maybe have heard my siblings and my sobs as our beloved mother departed.
According to the signs greeting you upon entry to Gawthorpe, this domain is the home of the ‘World Coal Carrying Championships’. I’ve no idea when this strength showing shindig plays out or, after all Yorkshire’s pits were shut down by our Tory overlords, where they procure the bleeding coal. My guess is India or China, though.
Gawthorpe can also claim to be only one of two villages in Yorkshire still displaying a permanent Maypole.
Maypole celebrations occurring annually courtesy of the pharmaceutical company creating Viagra (Pfizer) whose sponsorship money pays for the poles upkeep. Of course, any inference Pfizer have a financial input into this yearly clambake is a lie of such proportions it’d outstrip the serial porkies prime minister Boris Johnson’s liable to spout.
That being said, if I were a Pfizer advertising copywriter I could think of worst ways to grow their brand than sponsoring Maypole celebrations.
The reason I’m currently in Gawthorpe is I’m dog sitting my friend Sarah’s dogs Zella and Deano. My two new canine buddies asleep as I write; hopefully reading this narrative won’t have the same affect on you!….. Oi, you in Burnley, wake up!!….. After all, why should I be the only one to suffer?!
With Sarah working long hours (her role as a cuckoo in a very large cuckoo clock is exceptionally demanding) and yours truly being retired, I stepped up to the breach and offered to keep the dogs company to avoid them laying asleep all day……. With them both snoring as I chronicle this, perhaps GJ Strachan needs to up his game and show the furry duo a bit more attention.
Deano, the curmudgeonly male Lhasa Apso, even growls moodily in his sleep; the miserable little sod! I don’t know what he’s dreaming of, but the night visions plot line appears to require him embarking on a little pack protection. Yours truly wishes he’d cheer up a bit as the local pub allows entrance for customer dogs, but as he’s so bleeding miserable Sarah can only take him in when happy hour’s finished.