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Happy Yorkshire Day! Celebrating with some photos and a novel set on the Yorkshire moors

August 1st is Yorkshire Day, so today I thought I’d share some photos and a post about my county.

White roses, emblem of Yorkshire (Image by Wendy Priest from Pixabay)

Many years ago I spent a week in a hostel in the middle of the Yorkshire moors with a group of teenagers from an industrial city in Germany. They were on an exchange with a group of English lads from a similar cities in Yorkshire. All had spent their teenage years in difficult, sometimes extremely tough circumstances, and were from various cultural backgrounds, ranging from Turkey to Korea to Pakistan. One thing these lads all had in common, though: they’d all been born and bred in a city.

As we sat in the coach on the way from Leeds/Bradford airport, gazing out at the rolling heather, the moors stretching into the distance, all greens and purples, with not a bar, or a café, or a MacDonalds in sight, one of the young men murmured, with his face pressed to the window: ‘Ich habe Grün-Schock.’ Literally: I’m suffering from green shock. What a great expression!

Over the years I’ve thought a lot about that week on the moors, and a few years ago I began to turn the experience into a story. I thought up a heroine who is a Londoner. Kate Hemingway, born Katerina Rudecka, spent time living homeless as a teenager and now volunteers with teenage girls, helping them in their turn to mend their broken lives.

I wondered how it would be if I took Kate and her group of London teenagers away from the city and into the middle of the Yorkshire moors. And then I wondered how it would be if they had a journalist accompanying them – someone from a completely different background; male, upper-class, and (outwardly, at least) appearing to have all the advantages a public-school education can offer. So, a completely random group of people, brought together out of the city and surrounded by sheep and moorland for a week. How would they all get on?

One of the teenagers in my novel is from Afghanistan, and I took the theme of my story from an old Afghan proverb: ‘There is a way from heart to heart.’

Image of Afghan mountains by Erik Tanghe from Pixabay

My story is filled with differences in culture: between town and country, between East and West, between rich and poor. And yet despite all these differences, where basic emotions are concerned, the human heart is the same the world over, with the same capacity for love. At the core of my novel is a romance (of course!), but it also deals with the love between best friends, between families, and with the intensity of teenage love.

helena fairfax, freelance editor, author

These have been troubled times for all of us this year. ‘There is a way from heart to heart’ is the positive, uplifting message I wanted to leave readers with at the end of my novel, The Summer of Love and Secrets.

The cover reflects the lovely greens and the purple heather of the Yorkshire moorland, and the bright blue skies of summer, as the story is set in a heatwave.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my virtual trip to Yorkshire. Happy Yorkshire Day!

16 thoughts on “Happy Yorkshire Day! Celebrating with some photos and a novel set on the Yorkshire moors

  1. Happy Yorkshire Day!! Yes, what a change for those city kids. Love that term–green shock. When my hubby and I went out west touring the Rocky Mountains, we saw gorgeous vistas. But after a couple of weeks we decided we were on “mountain overload” and ready to get back to our Midwest with flat fields and rolling hills. I too love that thought–a way from heart to heart. And yes, we need to use our hearts to reach out during this difficult time. This book of one of my favorites. Beautifully written. I should re-read it after we visited the moors! Delightful. Now celebrate Yorkshire Day with one of those delicious Rascal cookies!

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    1. I would love to visit the Rockies one day, JQ. I know what you mean about the mountain overload, though. I worked in the Alps one summer and I did start to find it oppressive. I was glad to get back to the rolling hills, too. What a great idea to eat a Fat Rascal!
      Thanks so much for your great comment!

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  2. I love this book and its message. You put it perfectly: “despite all these differences, where basic emotions are concerned, the human heart is the same the world over, with the same capacity for love.” I believe that love will overcome the fear currently filling our world.

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    1. I sincerely hope so, too, Heather. So many good things have come out of recent months, and communities and neighbours coming together. If we learn anything from this, we’ll surely learn we need to work with each other. I hold on to the hope that something positive will come from this terrible year. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Marsha, I love the new cover, too. I especially wanted the purple and green of the moorland. I’m so glad you like the pics. Thanks so much for your lovely comment, and for dropping in!

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  4. Two thoughts…
    A disappointed friend urgently needs a present – Your new book sounds just perfect.. Loved their time at a great university in Yorkshire… Disappointed, because they’d planned to be with us, but are suddenly back in lockdown.
    Secondly.. Yorkshire, Germany, school and workers exchanges, just before WWI….
    Leeds newspaper reports..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. I feel all your disappointment, as it’s the same for me with my friends and family – back in lockdown again. I’m wondering whether this will ever end, and trying not to get too down. At least reading and writing helps a lot, and I’m very lucky indeed to be able to work from home. I do hope your friend finds my book an uplifting distraction if they do try it! Thanks for suggesting it!
    Your pre-war workers’ exchanges sound intriguing, and another fascinating idea for a story. Are you going to write it up?
    Thanks for dropping in, and for your comment!

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