Monday, October 08, 2007

Pies and Prejudice

Living in London, as soon as you mention in conversation you're a Northerner you'll usually get the "Eeeh ba gum it's all flat caps and whippets oop there intit...ho ho ho" so Stuart Maconie's latest book, Pies and Prejudice: In Search of the North, is a welcome response to the flat cap and whippets mob. A funny, passionate hymn to the North. Loaded with references as to why the North has so much to offer it'll probably only appeal to expat Northerner like myself because anyone who's not from the North who reads it simply won't believe it's true.

I don't have a problem with living in London, I choose to do it and I like it but ill-informed, cliched criticism grates after a while and trying to defend your position to someone who's never been there invariably ends up making you just sound like you've got a chip on your shoulder or something.

Written as part travelogue, part humourous and good-natured polemic, it made me want to go and visit the places he went to that I don't know. And being of Yorkshire /Lancashire extraction I've visited quite a few - but not all - of the places he talked about.

Good on you Stuart. I think it's a vain hope that you think that non Northerners will buy/read it unless they actually know something about the North of England but it's helped remind me of why my heart skips a beat when I hear a brass band, why at least half dozen people I went to school with over 20 years ago I still count as good friends, and why I know, that one day I will return.

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