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Blog: A Londoner in East Lancashire
I am a born and bred Londoner, a true Cockney according to legend, and before I met Clare I had never been this far north in England.
We met on a dating website of a well known newspaper. All seemed good; she was funny, sharp and good looking. Brilliant! Then I looked at her location, East Lancashire. Where was that?
We agreed to meet in Preston on a warm Saturday. She told me she was from Oswaldtwistle: “Yeah, I’ve heard of that place, is it just round the corner from Narnia?”
Not a good start really, but she seemed to warm to my London ways and within six months I had moved here. We were making Richard Branson a richer man each week with train tickets and parting was very hard - it was embarrassing for Clare as it would take me half an hour to stop crying.
Being a fan of Peter Kay I thought I had quite an ear for the East Lancs dialect, accent and phrases.
On my first solo visit to Blackburn a pensioner beckoned me over, obviously needing my help. Having just got off the bus I did not have a clue where I was.
“Can you tell me where th’opticians is luv?” I apologised to the old dear but I had a little smile on my face. My first contact with a native and she came out with that corker.
I remember at the time Ian McKellen was appearing in Coronation Street . We popped into M&S for a cuppa (sorry, a brew) and heard a mum and daughter talking about the show: “Well, I don’t miss it as a rule but I’ve not enjoyed it since that wizard fella has been in it”.
Clare and I both looked at each other and laughed, quietly.
“I’ve got to pop to Ossy later”, Clare said.
“Going to see Bilbo Baggins at the Shire are we?” I replied, and then I got a reply I’d have to get used to very quickly: “GIVE O’ER WITH THAT!”
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