SHAW THING: Home is where the heart is

I CONSIDER myself to be relatively well travelled for somebody who is just 18 and has nothing but a handful of qualifications and a burning desire to write to her name.

My decision to stay at home and travel to university rather than living in halls of residence like everybody else, probably seems a bit odd.

I am, at the end of the day though, a homebody.

My best friend told me that when we were just 12 years old and, as painful as it is to prove him right, I’m absolutely not ready to leave the house I grew up in to live in dingy student accommodation while I’m at university.

This means though, that I spend part of my week essentially visiting Sunderland and it means that the things I don’t really notice about Hartlepool - having lived her for over 10 years - stand out like beacons when I talk to people away from the town.

Localisms for example, many of which seem to be limited to the scope of Hartlepool.

The phrase ‘six and two threes’ had my friends from university completely baffled when they heard that.

They’d genuinely never heard things like ‘canny’ or calling somebody ‘our lass’.

There are things people in Sunderland say that baffle me too, and as similar as many towns and cities in the North East appear to the rest of the country - and even the world - there are in fact a number of big differences in the way our languages have developed and the history of each of the places we live.

It’s very easy to slap all of the amazing places and people who live in the region under the banner of ‘The Norf East’ and though I can’t say I’m particularly impressed by the number of people at uni advertising their clubs as the ‘best place to get absolutely mortal’, I am very proud of the region’s heritage.

The people I’ve met over the last few weeks in Sunderland while I have been up there at university are evidence that not only am I proud to be from ‘up North’, I’m happy to stay here too.

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