I was born in the East Midlands, though my parents both hail from south London – born within a few tens of yards of each other. My roots go back to North Wales, East Anglia and (apparently) the Hugenots (though I’m less than wholly convinced about the last, despite my extraordinary marks on French tests in the late seventies).
I live about as far south as is possible, well without taking things to a foolish extreme and relocating to the Isle of Wight or a life maritime, but somehow my heart belongs to the north. The scenery, the accents, the geology: all call me north – though the softness of some of the water is a slight negative (I always prefer to obtain my RDA of calcium direct from the tap).
So, why I wonder have I lived so much of my adult life south of my point of origin? I fear I must blame work and my parents (for not setting me up with a substantial trust fund) – but also, sadly, my terrible laziness. Lacking an independent income, work seems to have sited itself in the south and I have lacked the vim (or indeed vigour) to seek out northern employ. I am, in many ways, that most despised of folk, the economic migrant – if not in body, then (perhaps worse) in soul (though, to most 6Music listeners, northern soul means something entirely different). This could only be worse if I were to use my ill-gotten southern gains to retire to the north.