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.