Deciding he might be able to limp into town, my husband after a few days at the hotel joined me in a slow walk across the park where we halted in front of a walled structure. The park attendant eagerly spent much time telling us about the old fort and its layers representing the Romans, the Vikings, and the Normans. From there, we walked through Old Town, and while I went into a store to pick up a pair of reading glasses, Max sat on a bench to rest. When I returned to him, I saw he was in terrible pain. I asked someone where I could get a cab, and they pointed me in the direction of the cab rank, a few blocks away. Sprinting as fast as I could, we got the cab to the invalid and sped off to the emergency services at the hospital where he was admitted and treated. During the exam, I was standing by, and an amusing interchange took place. The doctor asked how he had gotten the injury, and Max said he’d caught his leg on a “limb” while on a riding mower. The doctor looked at us with a confused expression and repeated “limb?” My husband said, “Yes, a low-growing tree limb caught my leg.” Whereupon the doctor’s face cleared and he said in a posh accent, “Oh, yes, I see, a braunch!” Apparently, the word “limb” in England means “arm or leg.” We appreciated a moment of levity in the midst of a difficult situation. I must say that like others we met in York, the employees at the hospital were wonderfully efficient and helpful, even supplying my husband with a cane before he left with the admonition to “drop it off at the airport before leaving the country.”
Maybe because I am a confirmed Anglophile, having enjoyed many an English movie and a preponderance of English novels, the people of York and the employees at Castle Howard seemed quite familiar to me as if I’d known them for years. In fact, the most outstanding impression of that visit was that I felt no culture shock at all. Furthermore, it seems a very happy coincidence that my favorite show, Downton Abbey, takes place in my favorite place in England--Yorkshire!