No matter where I live, the North will always be my home. It’s woefully misunderstood by (a large number of) southerners, who take one look at faded seaside resorts like Blackpool and subsequently tar everywhere north of the M25 with the same brush, but for me, it feels like home in a way the south never will.
I love the gritty industrial cities, the friendly people, and the absence of Greene King pubs. I love the scenery: the rugged fells in the Lake District; the rolling hills and crumbling abbeys of the Yorkshire Dales; the North York Moors’ expansive plateaus. I love the fact we have so many words for a bread roll (baps, batches and buns, to name but a few), that tea is both a drink and a meal, and the short vowels (there’s no r in laugh or bath, I tell you).
I love the abundance of local pubs and the fact I can get change out of £2 for half a pint of Coke (that just doesn’t happen down here). I love the markets (a special shout-out here to Leeds’ Kirkgate Market), where meat, fish and veggies are dirt cheap; down here, the word farmers’ is added and – whoosh! – up go the prices. I love feeling like I belong. You can take the northerner out of the North, but you can’t take the North out of the northerner.
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