Sunday, 3 May 2015

How do chromosomes make love?

I read last week that children in the UK were suffering from Vitamin D deficiency because their parents were covering them in sun block or they were glued to computers rather than being outside in the sunshine. He ho.
Had my 85 year old dad staying. We talked about, football (He’s a Chelsea fan and thinks Jose' Mourinho was a Yorkshireman in a past life), gardening, more football, music (Pink Floyd or Dire Straits) cars and money. Sound familiar with your dad, different bands maybe?  We talked about  our family line, my dad is a proud Yorkshireman.
Sorry Dad but I’m not.  I looked it up!  I am in fact a mixture of Viking, Derbyshire and Lancashire.  Somehow that enables me to live by the title of Yorkshireman.  It is true to say there have been many famous Yorkshiremen throughout history.  Indeed, Richard III was given a state funeral in Leicester a few weeks ago, as his death in 1485 ended the Wars of the Roses and the Yorkists rule of the country.
I have a dear friend who is also proud to be a “bloody Yorkshireman”.  It actually turns out his father came to England from Poland after the war, changed his name and married a Yorkshire lass.  As I mentioned my own roots can be traced back to the Vikings who in turn came from Scandinavia, who in turn came from Eastern Europe, who in turn came from Italy and Greece, who in turn came from North Africa. The other half of my family originate from Holland via East Germany and Russia and guess what?  North Africa.
As a lad I just presumed everyone came from Yorkshire and even when I didn’t I  assumed Yorkshire ruled the world.  It does doesn’t it?  I’d never read a paper till 14 (News of the World), black and white TV and ‘in-t-net’ was something that happened on a tennis court.

The first of many battles during the Wars of the Roses (the wars lasted over 30 years) took place in St Albans, Hertfordshire in 1455.  Lancashire were firmly encamped and playing a defensive 4-4-2 within the city.  Yorkshire adapted a more attacking 4-2-4 system and deployed wingers on either flanks. The wingers delivered hundreds of crosses into the box which was packed with Lancastrians.  In this war the wingers crossed with bows and arrows!
Yorkshire won and went one up in the series.  The victorious warriors wanted to party.   Why else would a bunch of blokes, with Viking genes, march from Leeds, carrying loads of armour, rubbish food, a blanket to sleep under if they were lucky, not want to party? Oh and they also had to kill a bunch of other blokes, claiming to support Lancashire, first. These were lads (young lads at that) on tour.  We all know of course; what happens on tour stays on tour. Especially with no YouTube to record events, or journalists checking they weren’t having the odd whiff of laughing gas. 
I have had two fights (as in the fisticuff stuff) in my 60 years, one aged 17 and one at 20 both over the same girl!  Engaged at 18 but lost her at 20 to a drama student just after I had pinned him to a condom machine in the loo and kissed him.  A ‘Glasgow kiss’ that is. Quite apt considering my contribution to her becoming pregnant two years earlier. That’s drama enough isn’t it! She thought otherwise and my engagement was off.  She also wrote my essays (I was in year 3 at Loughborough) which left me with a different problem.  That’s for later.
Oops back to the Wars;
“The victorious Yorkist troops were causing havoc …… rampaging through the streets, looting as they went and leaving behind a trail of destruction”    (Alison Weir - the Wars of the Roses)
They had discovered that the girls of St Albans were feisty, the beer was plentiful and it was considerably warmer than Castleford on a wet Thursday in January.  They wouldn’t go home, why should they, they were boys in the sweet shop!  In the end the Duke of York had to order them out so they turned it into a tour (no different to today’s rugby tours) of towns on the way home.
The Goddess is from St Albans.  Clearly the Viking in me knew where to look.   My Grandchildren are true Vikings and they’re just yummy.
So it is safe to say my family’s genes, and probably most of yours (I do have some readers in Thailand but that’s for later), originate from North Africa where the pigmentation of the skin was much darker to cope with the heat and blazing sun.   Migration moved north through Italy and Greece into Eastern Europe. Sadly it still does and thousands are dying daily when their boats capsize in the Mediterranean. As they moved north the sun shone less and the climate became colder.  The skin’s pigmentation became lighter to adapt and by the time it reached good old England, we couldn’t travel south without covering ourselves in factor 25.  I did try the package holiday to Greece stuff in my 20’s but just resembled a beetroot as you do. I even tried false tan a couple of times hoping it would improve my pullability. It didn't! 
Sorry Dad but we are all part of one big family.  You me and the rest.
Oh, I nearly forgot;
How do chromosomes make love?
They take their jeans off, of course.
And the point I am making is:
Our politicians really should check who their own ancestors are before slagging them off, or making political pawns of them.

Have a good election week.
P.S.  The genes of our most patriotic English Royal family would make an interesting study!

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