Thursday, 28 July 2011

Opposites Attract

I'm a Southerner and I married a Northerner. We've had to work even harder at our marriage to overcome the differences that result from being raised at opposite ends of the country. We've managed to adapt and respect each of our respective heritages and associated attitudes.

As far as our children go...
Missy was born in South Shields yet is decidedly Southern. She speaks like the Queen and corrects her auntie's poor sentence construction. This pedantic use of the English language and articulate expression is one of her more southern qualities.
The A-Bomb was born in Milton Keynes General Hospital yet displays a host of Northern characteristics - he is gregarious, boisterous and loud.
Oxford born Shemily is in the early stages of construction and we cannot determine at this stage any indication of her character preference. We will refer to her simply as 'The Hybrid' for the rest of this entry.

Having only just relocated to the Durham the differences between the North and South are that much more perceptible...

Although Down South we have regional accents, someone from Welwyn Garden City can still understand someone from The Big City (London). But up North, living more than 10 minutes away from someone can render them incomprehensible. 
Since arriving in Durham, Missy with her 'posh' pronunciation, has encountered her own problems in understanding the local dialect - she starts school in September and this will surely help her to become more fluent in what she calls 'Durhamish'. The A-Bomb on the other hand has already adopted the use of 'mam' rather than 'mum'. The Hybrids infantile mutterings cross all langauage boundaries and she continues to melt peoples hearts regardless of their faith, race or origin.

A common trait of people living this near the Scottish border is how friendly they are to strangers. Southerners are admittedly a bit more reserved; appreciative of one another's privacy we are more cautious in our conversational gambits. As refreshing as the camaraderie is, it takes a bit of getting use to. Whenever addressed, it takes me by surprise, my only response is to stare back with a blank expression. If the addresser maintains eye contact long enough I can usually manage a smile.

As you can imagine such friendly people produce great customer service. It's like having your own personal shopper in every store I go into. Friendliness is part of every job description up here -  to be a checkout assistant requires that you be able to hold 10 minute long conversations with people you don't even know (All very well and good unless your the next person in the queue and in a rush).
The A-Bomb fits right in- the little socialite revels in the attention he can get from total randomers.

Another major difference is the price of stuff, especially food. Not good for my waist line! Down South a large bap for £4.00 will satisfy only a toddlers appetite. Whilst Up North a  medium sized stottie filled beyond any Southerners imagination for the modest price of £1.60 can keep an active adult full from lunch until supper. Bargain.

Houses are more affordable Up North


  1. Oh how I love your posts! I hope that Missy NEVER loses her Southernness. There's nothing wrong with being pedantic about our language being used correctly! ;-) But I fear that she'll lose it in time... I remember she used to have a little Gordie accent when you first moved down here. Miss you all. Can't wait till we can come and see you in a few weeks! xxx

  2. i love the multi-cultural family!