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Champagne lifestyle, lemonade budget – the reality of a Northerner moving down South.

A few years ago, a Northern girl made a big decision to move 179 miles away from home, and live in Bath to attend uni. A few years later, she is firmly in love with the place and hasn’t looked back.

Of course it’s hard being away from family, friends and home comforts, but it makes the time you have with them all the more special. The independence gained and life lessons learned are invaluable, and now I feel very at home in Bath.

Also, work with people that feel like family! My Relish colleagues have helped me through everything I would have leaned on local family for - when I almost lost my home to a fire, when I broke my knee skiing, and when I just need a wine and a relax.

That being said, it hasn’t come without its adjustments. From the constant mocking of my soft northern accent to the working class references, you have to put up with a lot when you’re a Northerner living in the South. Here are the top 10 things I’ve learned from my move below the border (Nottingham)…

Top 10 things learned being a northerner in the South

  1. It’s not BaRth – it’s Bath. There’s no R! The frustration doesn’t end there, it’s also glass, grass, class, etc. The list goes on.
  2. Visitors will not BELIEVE how much you spend on rent or booze. Be prepared for a lot of ‘how much for a one bed flat? That’s triple my mortgage up North’ and ‘oh my days you could get a full bottle up North for the price of that double’. Just smile and wave politely, but it still stings.
  3. Your accent gets thicker when you go home for a bit. ‘How was your weekend at home Livv?’ ‘Ooooh it were right nice cocker, bloody buggered from the travel though’ … ‘what did she just say?’
  4. Despite being from the North, I do not know of or know everyone in all of the Northern territories. ‘I’m going for a meeting up North Livv, wanna come and see your family on the way back?’ ‘Oh sounds lovely, whereabouts?’ ‘Sheffield.’ Right. Nowhere near where I’m from then.
  5. There’s a LOT of localised slang in your vocab that you never knew was localised. From ‘nesh’ (being delicate and fragile, usually wearing a lot of layers) to ‘baltic’ (absolutely freezing), there’s a lot of translation that goes on in everyday conversation. It’s not rocket science is it?
  6. Contrary to popular belief, I do not live on Coronation Street. Nor do I live on Emmerdale farm, nor do I live in Hollyoaks village. I have been to Penny Lane though.
  7. Southern chippys just sell fish & chips. Stick with me here, because this is weird and I stand strong with the Northerners on this one. 180 miles away, a chippy sells cod, battered sausage, chips etc, AS WELL AS spare ribs, fried rice and salt and pepper chips. Southern chippys, take note!
  8. Lunch/dinner/tea/supper debate. Fair enough, this is an age-old debate that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I can manage people calling it lunch, and I have been known to slip up and refer to my evening meal as my dinner (blasphemous), BUT SUPPER? That’s tea and toast before bed, that is not the candlelit dinner with friends. No way, Sir.
  9. Southerners still thinking ‘it’s grim up North’. Some people still think Manchester looks like Corrie from the 60s, or that you can’t see your hand in front of your face because of industrial factory induced smog. Yes my hometown may be known as Stinky Widnes, yes Simon and Garfunkel wrote the famous ‘Homeward Bound’ at Widnes train station as they couldn’t wait to leave, but please don’t let those old misconceptions ruin your current opinions of the North. Visit Leeds, see the Albert Docks, capture the Yorkshire dales, go on a night out in Liverpool and meet some of the most vibrant personalities you will ever know – make the voyage up, then tell me how grim it is.
  10. Having to specify what kind of tea you want when you request a brew. Who is Earl Grey and what does he have to do with the price of fish?

Despite my moans and groans, it’s great being a Northerner in the South. Polite small talk is an art we have mastered, our humble senses of humour have become strengthened to the gentle teasing, and family will always keep you grounded if you come home and ask ‘what’s for dinner?’. I thoroughly enjoy living here and have no plans to move on, even when I have to get 3 different trains to get home, always listening to Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Homeward Bound’.

‘Homeward bound, I wish I was, Homeward bound’

 Olivia (19/08/2020)

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