This is a big year for me as it is the date I officially become a cockney.
Well I say Cockney, but I have now spent more than half my life in London so I think I am entitled to a large helping of apples and pears.
I am quite happy to be a Londoner, but don’t ever call me a southerner.
I am northern through and through and love where I am from. London called when I left University and was the only place I could go to get the job I was qualified to do. I love being a Pearly King.
My birth town, Middlesbrough, is constantly derided as the worst place to live in the UK. This is tosh created by the southern press, marketing companies and that baldy bloke from Location, Location, Location.
Ok so it has places that could be considered ‘shit holes’ but, where I am from, you can walk out in to the hills in a matter of steps or take a 5 minute trip to beautiful coastline.
I also still have the accent but get accused of being a southerner when I am up north, and a northerner when I am down south. So basically I am somewhere around Newark!!
My accent is a mess to be honest. You can hear it here on this video for Arla that was filmed at blogest15
My wife is BBC (not the TV station or an acronym you might know if you are a member of a swingers site looking for a certain type of man) but British Born Chinese. She is not Japanese and will kick you in the testicles if you are one of the men who say ‘konichiwa’ to her as she walks down the street.
She was born here, brought up here, but still says she is Chinese. Even though Chinese people criticize her London accent when she speaks Cantonese.
Last week I had to fill in a school form and put my daughter’s nationality on it. I was at a loss as I never had never really thought about her national identity before.
For a second I nearly ticked Caucasian (wherever that is) but then noticed the White/Asian box. Indian Asian or Far East Asian? Just seemed a big general sweep of an identity to me.
My kids were bred (by me) in London. They have a very north London RP accent. I also think they look very mixed race so not immediately do you think they have Chinese in them (which means they will look gorgeous when older.)
So, where we are from and who we are offers up a very confusing predicament. I am afraid to go on quiz shows in case they ask where I am from and I have to say London in a northern accent.
Do you struggle with your own identity? Or do you have mixed race kids that happily don’t conform to a tick box? How do you deal with Daily Mail idiots?