Misplaced northerner

The above title is my username for Flickr (although there’s nothing of interest on my account, so don’t go rushing to follow me or whatever.) It’s a name I’ve carried for about six years and it pretty much sums up how I feel living in Brighton sometimes.

Don’t get me wrong, I love living down here- it was a choice I made at a difficult point in my life and one that I have never, ever regretted. I have, on the whole, been very happy. (I’m not even ‘northern’ by birth, by the way. I was born in Cardiff and am half-Welsh. My mum is half-Irish. I moved to Yorkshire at 4.)

I don’t mind the gentle ribbing about the way I speak- I will always maintain that there isn’t a ‘y’ in cake or an ‘r’ bath. Benn swears my accent has got stronger over the years and it is apparently very noticeable if I’ve been home or if relatives have been down here. Working with teenagers meant that I had to get over myself very quickly and I think that having a different accent is one of the things I like about being here. I do often get wags asking if I’ll ensure that Fidget will “learn to speak properly”, to which I answer that of course he will be brought up in the ways of “my people”, if that’s what they mean. It’s not his fault his father is southern. For example, as soon as he can speak, he will be able to sing this:

(You can always tell whether a northerner is from Yorkshire if they understand this song. Bonus points if they can sing it with you.)

I don’t understand how everything is so expensive down here, particularly rent. Well, OK, yes I do- it’s a popular place to live, we have the sea on our doorstep etc. But even in a big, popular city like Leeds, rents are not so expensive as to make your eyes water. We’re looking at moving as there is barely space to swing a cat (we have two) in our flat and we need an extra bedroom to house the impending arrival. Which apparently is worth about £500 a month extra. Madness. But, Benn has lived in Brighton all his life and I have to be in an accessible area due to work, we have to suck it up. Doesn’t mean I like it though.

When I first moved down here, I was shocked to see bread at £1 a loaf. Oh, how naive I was.

Would I move back up north? I’m not sure. Probably not to Leeds, which seems to change alarmingly every time I go back. But maybe to York or Edinburgh. But Benn will never move, so while I’m here, I’ll be a good northerner and grumble. Although do be advised that ‘it’s grim up north’ only refers to the weather, not the people. We’re mostly lovely.



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