Vent Your Spleen – The North/South Divide

Now of course, everyone here knows that The University of Nottingham is inundated with people from The South; people that always answer the question ‘where are you from?’ with ‘London’ whether they are from Surrey, Buckinghamshire or any of the surrounding areas. It just sounds cooler doesn’t it? But what do you say when people ask you that question and you’re from The North? Do you give the honest answer and watch people recoil away from you, mouths agape whilst enquiring cautiously whether your dad is a miner? Do you then put up with a year in halls where everyone quips any time gravy is served that surely it is the only thing ‘they’ eat up in the dark depths of The North – I might point out that no, it isn’t, and when you ask if I have gravy on my cereal, no, I have milk on it like everyone else, you maniac.

I should point out at this point too, that whilst yes, there are some differences in accent, this only proves the faithful friendliness of the northerner, who says ‘bath’ the way it is spelt, without adding in the deceitful trickery of the ‘r’ mid-word. The friendliness of the North is a time old tradition, whilst walking both in the country and the towns, you can be sure to receive a smile and cheery ‘good morning’ or ‘hello’ from a passing stranger, which makes everyone all round feel a little better. I have made this mistake before when visiting in London. A smile on the Tube is akin to offering the tramp across from you a dirty night of passion, so I find myself behaving like a horse in blinkers, terrified that should I make eye contact with anyone, I will be raped on the spot or perhaps I will be one of the lucky ones and just get swiped with a flick knife and my bag dragged from my trembling Northern hands.

I know there will be those of you well travelled, who have seen lovely spots in every corner of the country, but to those of you who are yet to venture above Cambridgeshire, except on your journey back to the warm enclave of campus, I implore you not to make judgements on the minority of Northerners at Nottingham, instead perhaps you could do as they do and offer them a brew.

Emily Goodyear

3 Comments on this post.
  • A
    1 December 2009 at 17:39
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    Judging all aspects of the south by what goes on in London is a little closed-minded. Almost as closed minded as asking if you have gravy on your cereal, perhaps. Maybe this article should come with a disclaimer warning any unsuspecting reader that it comes with a large spoonful of hypocrisy. Maybe on second thoughts a title such as ‘vent your spleen’ is a suitable disclaimer.

    As you were.

  • Dave Jackson
    1 December 2009 at 19:43
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    Well how do we define ‘south’? Anecdotal evidence it may be, but I have heard a few Londoner claim that anything beyond of the Watford Gap is ‘north’, and that anything west of Greater London is Wales. The North/South divide is really more of a ‘London/Rest of the UK’ divide, it seems.

    And what about the Midlands eh? Due to our inherent self-deprecating nature, we make the mistake of banging on about how rubbish where we live is, and slowly get squeezed out of the picture by jingoistic northerners and Londoners!

    I’ve always felt that ‘the north’ is some kind of proving ground for Londonian youngsters. They have a few years in the strange and unforgiving wilderness of ‘northern’ universities, following which they return to their rightful homes as grown men/women. Rather like the Aborigine right of passage ‘walkabout’, except it’s in Birmingham.

  • A Miner
    2 December 2009 at 18:36
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    The north is reet good and I’ve heard that London place is a bag of shite.

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