As somebody who is geographically confused in general (and I’m not talking about my my sense of direction although that is non-existent even with a sat nav)I get quite envious of those rooted to village, town or city.
When people ask me where I am from they tend to get a vaguely blank look while I process what, actually, they want to hear.
Those who can claim to be Sandgrown’uns, seventh generation Scousers or good Lancashire stock don’t know how lucky they are.
Us unrooted types, born somewhere, lived somewhere else and boasting parents from disparate locations lack the self assuredness and sense of belonging that comes with that.
Obviously I’m English, which is a start, but my dad’s family was Scottish,originally from Ireland, which explains my pasty complexion. My North West claims are boosted by my mum’s family, hailing from Wilmslow/Manchester although strictly speaking they were all born in India as cotton-mill running ex-pats.
I now do consider myself a Lancashire lass, though the purests have been known to argue that as I was born in London, then brought up in Anglesey (Wales), Shropshire and Wiltshire before decamping to the Red Rose county, which I then left again to head down south to university, considering myself a county native is a bit strong.
But nevertheless, a couple of years travelling across the world aside, it is Lancashire to which I return again and again, live, work and where my greater family have migrated.
Of course my accent doesn’t help. Non-committal at best and under the influence of well-spoken parents,I have a habitof slipping into the accent of those around me completely unconsciously.
But even after years living and working in Lancashire, I veer between ‘grass’ and ‘gra (r)ss’ , plimsolls, daps and pumps, baps , rolls and barmcakes. You get the general idea).
I was quite taken aback at how southern I sounded on the radio recently.
But do not be deceived, I have chosen Lancashire and Lancashire has adopted me.
I’m a northern lass through and through.