As you can probably gather, I’m a chap and I’m from the North of England – originally I’m from Manchester, but I currently live in Bradford, West Yorkshire. As any true Northerner will know, that means I am no longer on the correct side of the Pennines. Alas, I have now been a resident of West Yorkshire for almost as long as I lived over on the other side, so much like Saddleworth I am forever torn between the two counties, never fully embraced by either. For that reason, I don’t consider myself as either a Mancunian or a Yorkshireman. I am of the North.
I like cooking, reading, music, cars, walking in the hills and eating flapjacks. I work in I.T. although like many people, I still believe that my true calling has yet to reveal itself. I toy with the idea of writing screenplays and novels, sometimes I think about running a restaurant, other times I am convinced that classic cars are the way to go, or perhaps I should travel the world and live in a van… yeah, you know how it goes.
I decided it was finally time to have a personal blog because although I’ve done other sites before, they’ve always been related to individual projects and haven’t been the right place to put some of the fragmented ideas that rattle around in my brain. I mean, if there’s one thing that the Internet lacks then it’s self-indulgent blog posts, right? Got you covered, don’t fret. So, that means that you can look forward to hearing about my recipes, books and films that I’ve recently read/seen, places that I have visited, and anything else that I decide to share. No complaining, you don’t have to look if you don’t like it. If you want to get in touch about anything at all, feel free.
About The North
Between 1843 and 1846, a young German contempary of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels named Georg Weerth lived in Bradford. While Engels was penning his famous ‘The Condition of the Working Class in England‘ in nearby Manchester, Weerth wrote in his diary:
“Every other factory town in England is a paradise in comparison to this hole. In Manchester the air lies like lead upon you; in Birmingham it is just as if you were sitting with your nose in a stove pipe; in Leeds you have to cough with the dust and the stink as if you had swallowed a pound of Cayenne pepper at one go – but you can still put up with all that. In Bradford, however, you think you have been lodged in no other place than with the Devil incarnate….If anyone wants to feel how a poor sinner is perhaps tormented in Purgatory, let him travel to Bradford”.
Now the factories and mills have mostly closed as in the rest of the country, but what remains are the incredible architectual legacies of those days in places such as Little Germany and Saltaire to remind us of just how prosperous this area once was. Not only that, but the beautiful countryside of the Yorkshire Dales and Bronte Country are a matter of minutes away.
So why does any of this matter? Well, consider it like this – many people define themselves by their cultural heritage, whether conciously or not. The way you were raised has a great deal of influence on the rest of your life, such as the foods you eat, the music you listen to, the way you perceive others, the way you dress, etc. I was raised Northern, so naturally I have an inbuilt and inviolable sense of superiority over anyone further south than Sandbach. I also feel uneasy if I spend too long somewhere where it isn’t raining and where they don’t understand what a barm cake is.
I love to travel, but The North is my home. Wherever else I go, part of me always misses it – even if only a little. It might seem strange to those raised elsewhere who believe The North to be a barren, desolate wasteland, but it is certain to ring true with fellow Northern souls wherever they may currently reside. It is grim up North, yes – but we like it that way. It keeps the riff-raff out.