Over The Hills…

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… and Far Away

From nearly Yorkshire to real Yorkshire in a couple of days. I might have excused myself the trip to Turf Moor, but there was no way of escaping today ‘s visit across the Pennines to somewhere that is either Barnsley, Rotherham or Doncaster, depending on which way you hold the map. Not that it matters mind, I ‘m bound to get some funny looks either way.

No, not because I ‘m dressed like a schoolteacher*, without a hint of geography field trip chic, it ‘s just a feeling I get every time I cross into the white rose county, a feeling that they can tell I ‘m… from Lancashire. I ‘ve no idea why I think I ‘m so clearly marked as a Lanky nor what my psyche believes the consequences of getting found out will be, but they must be dire.

The thing is, weather aside, I ‘ve nothing against Yorkshire. Squint your eyes and it ‘s just like a more dramatic version of Lancashire. I could joke about it being spoilt by Yorkshiremen, but, apart from Saville, I ‘ve not got many problems there either. Maybe it ‘s because I ‘m from a mining town rather than a cotton one, maybe it ‘s because I spent a year in Hull but, off the cricket field, I can ‘t summon anymore than a friendly rivalry.

That doesn ‘t help though, because, as soon as the train starts to slide down those hills and the names get that bit stranger I start to feel a little paranoid, a little queasy, like I ‘m going to get found out without knowing what I ‘ve done. I can overcome it as long as I stick to the main drag between Manchester and Leeds, keeping to the big cities where no one is really from anywhere these days, but send me via Hebden Bridge or towards Sheffield and I ‘m like a Scotsman approaching York, awaiting the arrows.

It ‘s completely inexplicable, but if anyone with a leather couch who charges by the hour (no extras) has any advice or insights, they ‘d be much appreciated.

*****stop press*****

After living through the experience again, I ‘ve realised what ‘s going on. When I go travelling I ‘ve got a terrible habit of thinking I can walk from any train station to anywhere should be going. This invariably ends up with me getting lost in a housing estate that doesn ‘t usually get much through traffic. I realised this after the 5th pair of curtains twitched to watch me back track after walking a mile down a dead end this morning.

So I think people stare at me funny because they do, and it ‘s my own bloody fault.

*I ‘m sure teachers are better dressed than they were in my day, but you get what I mean

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