Northerner or Londoner?

I couple of days ago, coming back from my usual trundle, I bumped into someone I knew in Charlton. We hadn’t seen one another in a while, but we used to hang around quite a bit, especially in the early days when I was still settling in to life in London. Back then, he addressed me as The Northerner. It was kind of his nickname for me, and having moved down from Cheshire so recently, I suppose it suited me. The other day, though, he referred to me as a northerner again, yet this time something about it didn’t feel quite right: I’ve now lived in London for well over a decade, and I know London, particularly South-East London, far better than I ever knew any northern city or town. I now feel at home here, among the red busses and black cabs, skyscrapers and intoxicating cultural vibrancy of the metropolis, so if anything I’d call myself more of a Londoner than a Northerner these days. Mind you, that is not to say that I don’t still occasionally yearn for the fields, streams and oatcakes of the place where I was born.

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