The Blog

The Great Divide

Today a work colleague made a rather funny comment when talking about the location of London. "I mean we are basically in the centre of the UK". Theoretically speaking, no we aren't. In fact, London is approximately 125 miles from the south coast in comparison to 500 miles to the north. It's clear we are, most certainly, in the south.

Ok, so this comment has been taken completely out of context, and I won't bore you with the fine details of a pretty useless conversation - however the comment came from a born and bred Southerner, and what a typical southern comment to make.

The north and south divide is something that still humours me after ten years of living in the UK. Southerners have made comments to me like "I've never been further than Birmingham, and never intend to" and "the only reason the north exists is so the country doesn't sink" (my personal favourite).

Northerners come to London and complain about how unfriendly their counterparts are. In fact, my flatmate's dad (Northerner), once tried to initiate conversation with a complete stranger in a restaurant and upon no response exclaimed, "now, this would never happen in the north". Well, it wouldn't really happen anywhere - sparking up conversation mid-mouth full of food with the table next to you is generally not the norm - the world over.

My best friend is a northerner and a typical one at that. She's loud, brash and in your face, but incredibly lovable. She's recently had a baby with a southerner and still, after six years of being together in a happy relationship, she loves to stress how much she can't believe she ended up with someone from the south.

Of course, they have their differences, he says facking instead of f**cking, and like previously addressed in last post throws the word c**t around a lot more freely, but aside from that - I'd say they are actually one in the same.

Of course, the great divide really does exist the world over. Take for instance my homeland - west coast folk are, in my eyes, a little bit warped. They run every day and eat sushi like it's going out of style. Everyone has their differences; it just seems you people in the UK make it much more apparent than anywhere else I've ever been.

Even my older sister, who is American, has a north-south opinion. "I know I will end up with a Northerner" she explains. She has. She's ended up with a 'lad' from Grimsby who used to work in a cod factory making fish fingers. He's a lovely guy, but well, Grimsby, I'd say is pretty grim (no pun intended). So, why the definitive 'I will end up with a Northerner' comment?

Trouble is, I've sort of fallen into the trap. I act ridiculously over-the-top when I am in a pub up north screaming, "What? This round was only seven quid? Drinks on me", and "What? This meal only came to a tenner? Meal's on me." I also love to stress to my southern friends how often I am stopped in the street by random people asking if I need help with anything. Yet, my northern friends come to stay with me in London, and when the standard "it takes so long to get anywhere in the city" comes out, I quickly grumble "well, then fack off back to the north".