The Sunday Natter: the perks of living up North

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Being a born and bred Northerner, it’s the norm for me. Common dialect, country roads and a whole lot of Yorkshire Puddings are all I know and am used to, but the fact I’m a not so mere 4 hours away from London becomes a realisation when A) the weather is forecast warm, B) the opportunities and events arise and C) no matter how hard you try you cannot escape trees and a group of chavs rocking their Umbro tracksuits blending into your outfit photo background. This week saw a glorious few days of sunshine and high temperatures… but not up North. This was when the delusion really hit and is the sole reason I thought of developing this post. How we can be bustled up indoors with the heating full blast whilst the lucky Southerners sunbathe and have picnics on the beach is beyond me. When you look at it like that, it’s totally not fair but when you turn it around and view the bigger picture, you discover it’s not all that bad. Afterall, this is my hometown (okay so I’m not the further end of the North but Yorkshire is still pretty northern). I may miss out on the cliche London antics and be forgotten about by many sources but there’s also many perks to living in the land beneath the M1.

1) It’s a friendlier place up here. It’s proven the North is a more friendly environment with a laid back approach and an instinctive sense of humour. With a Northerner to Northerner conversation there’s an instant bond. Meet and ask a question to a stranger, you don’t have to worry about them reacting in alarm. Smile in public, and you’re not welcomed with a frown. The air just seems to be less tense and less busy up here.

2) Everyone knows each other. I don’t know whether it’s just me and my ability to get into a random conversation at every hurdle but it seems the people that cross Northerner’s paths become people you know forever. The post office expect you at the same time every day, the supermarket staff save you their best grub because they know what you like, and if you take a trip on the bus, it’s guaranteed you see half of your local area on there.

3) It makes a holiday abroad a more pleasant experience. I don’t think there’s a better feeling than being greeted with a fellow Northerner as you arrive at your holiday location, and usually that means you become friends and make plans throughout the entire time you’re there (and furthermore). Cue chats about the local football team, whereabouts you live, and what your favourite pubs are.

4) The food is better. Chips and gravy, Sunday roast dinners, Yorkshire tea, pie and a Greggs wherever you turn a corner. Who wouldn’t want easier access to that? It does no justice to any current diets but by god, is it good. (We also serve a mean beer but being an avid non-drinker I’m only going by the stereotypical old men in flat caps’ opinion)

5) We have the nicest seaside resorts and countryside. Being in Blackpool on a donkey in the summer, visiting the stunning Yorkshire countryside and visiting Dracula’s cave in Whitby. There’s something utterly traditional about Northern seaside places and there’s some serious hidden gems lurking in there. It’s where a childhood should be!

6) You can say words without them being offensive. Ey’up, duck, love, mate, canny, you name it; some of the greetings and general chatter may not be taken as sweetly down South as they are up here. It’s all about those certain phrases, sayings and the way you pronounce words but I feel it’s only a Northerner to Northerner understandable click (seriously, how can you not call a narrow alleyway a ginnel?!)

7) We’ve created some of the best famous people around. Especially the comedians. Peter Kay, John Bishop, Johnny Vegas, Sarah Millican… I could go on. Our TV shows and musicians aren’t/weren’t bad either. Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Heartbeat, Arctic Monkeys, and have you seen Neville Longbottom lately? Hubba hubba.

8) We’re made of stronger stuff. We’re used to hearing about cloud and rain, our bodies have become immune to the freezing temperatures. We have no choice but to accept the fact we will encounter winter all year round which is why we’re tougher when it comes to the weather. Walking around with no coat and a mini skirt on a snowy night out is not even questioned.

9) It’s inexpensive. It’s no secret that life today is expensive. Living alone takes up half of your income, so I struggle to imagine how the people of London afford to rent/buy a property, and stock up on their daily necessities as well as treating themselves from time to time. There may be a lot more going on in and around London but it’s safe to say we can eat out and jump in a taxi without the fear of daylight robbery.

10) We tell it how it is. You know you’re going to get the truth when you’re speaking to a Northerner. Northerners (especially of the older generation I’ve found) seem to be so outgoing and forward that they won’t be afraid to tell you your bum does look big in those jeans or that you are making a huge mistake. Apart from me, obviously, because the awkward kind are an exception.

How about you? Are you a Southerner or a Northerner? Do you think there’s a big difference between the two or have you found some of these things actually apply to both? Let me know your thoughts!

Also, just to mention; this isn’t meant to be offensive in any way. It’s just a jokeable piece of gabble expanded from my overriding brain and I can assure you, there are lots and lots of people from the South of the country that I love, admire and have huge respect for. Where you’re situated has absolutely no relevance to you as a person (although I still stick to the fact Northerners are better all round).

Bridie x