I come from Salford and I lived in Salford and surrounding areas for about 32 years, then I came on a training course in London, met my beloved and 2 years later I moved down South. I saw all this as a new adventure, but my dad never quite got over me moving passed Watford Gap and staying! I learnt what colloquialisms not to use (ask me when you see me), I learnt to talk slower and slowly my accent changed to the point where, as my beloved says: “I’ve got all the flat vowels I’m ever going to need but the edges have been knocked off”. When I went ‘home’ people would ask where I had got the daft accent. Years passed and slowly the number of people I kept in touch with reduced to the point where I hadn’t gone back for about 10 years.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, my beloved was at a conference in Manchester and I decided to go along and meet some Christmas card people, all of whom I hadn’t met for about 40 years. I also planned to visit some of the houses I had lived in, and go to Bury (said with a flat vowel please) and buy the best black puddings in the world, proper link black puddings. I went to one of my past homes and didn’t recognise any of the areas and spent most of my travelling time thinking “Where am I?”.
I had a lovely couple of afternoons catching up with my contacts. We spent quite a lot of time doing that “Whatever happened to…” and “Do you remember when…” All in all, however, I came away feeling slightly sad, because I realised that I no longer fitted into the place I had known so well. Coincidentally, a couple of days after I got back, I had to drive into central London and I suddenly realised that I knew that area well, I knew shortcuts, found ways round traffic jams, and knew where there were parking places. In fact, it all felt comfortable, familiar and like home. My home is here, my friends and contacts are here and my life is here.
I think it is true to say that cut me in half and I’ll have Made in Salford at my core. That being said I have come to the conclusion that I may now be a Southerner, so I’m off to buy some vests. There might be a cold snap this winter and I might start being less hardy. I’m not prepared to chance it. BTW I also now have half a freezer of link Black puddings if anyone wants to try one cooked the correct way i.e. boiled.
So where were you born and, if you moved as an adult, where do you call home?
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