Even though his English was fantastic, certainly good enough to get him his PhD in maths here at Leeds University, Rodrigo had a thing or two to learn about Yorkshire. And we were the ones to teach him, tha’ knows.
We’d got to know him through parkrun and the friendship blossomed from there. But sometimes there was a communication problem. Sometimes he didn’t understand plain old Yorkshirespeak.
When he turned up for a parkrun on a very rainy day, I pointed out to him that it was ‘coming down like stair rods’, but that it ‘would soon burn off’, and before long, it would be ‘cracking the flags’. Rodrigo looked perplexed, he’s very polite and hadn’t yet come across the retort ‘well, that’s about as clear as mud!’ Once I’d explained what stair rods were (long metal rods to hold down stair carpets) and that as Yorkshire folk were were eternally optimistic about the sun coming out, eventually, to burn off the rain and clouds and be so hot as to crack the very paving stones (flags) beneath his very feet.
He took to his new dialect very well, so much so that when he popped back home to Sao Paulo, he let us know that the sunshine, during his 10km jog, was indeed ‘cracking the flags’. Grand, like.
He’s been living in Leeds a few years as he studied, so naturally has tasted our Yorkshire cuisine, fish and chips, pie and mushy peas, the finest beer the Kirkstall Brewery can offer, and of course Yorkshire Tea, made with the finest Yorkshire water.
But with just a couple of days to go before he returned to Brazil, we discovered that he had never had Yorkshire pudding, nor tasted mucky fat, our great delicacy made from the fat and pork meat juices left in the bottom of the roasting tin. It was too late to put t’pinny on and give Rodrigo something to see him through his long flight. So we had to agree to postpone this treat until his return in October.
He’s never run a marathon, so you’d think he’s choose his home town and country to run his first. But no, he’s a Yorkshire lad now and there’s only one place to make his debut, that’s the Yorkshire Marathon. If he’s lucky, there will be a huge plate of mucky fat and bread for when he crosses the finish line. That’s if he’s lucky!