What are words anyway?

My mother says that I learned to speak before I learned to crawl. Passers by would look into the pram and wonder where the words were coming from. I guess that I must have continued in the same vein because ‘chatters too much!’ was often the theme of my school report. Oh and I also had an opinion about everything apparently, and wasn’t afraid of sharing those with my teachers. (I expect those of you who know me well will be unsurprised!)

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A rose by any other name?

A rose by any other name...

A rose by any other name…

The nature of a thing is indeed more important than its label.

I wore round-framed National Health glasses, very much in the style of John Lennon, from the age of two until I was sixteen. Worse than that, as a very young girl a plaster patch was placed over one eye in order to train my wandering pupil to focus. I felt neither stylish nor accepted. I simply felt different. Helpfully, this was pointed out at regular intervals by my classmates. Well I certainly hope they were trying to be helpful- at the time it seemed very nasty!

‘Speccy four eyes!’ and ‘Pirate Pete’ all may have been well intended but I can assure you that by the time I was twelve my response to these frequent jeers was less than polite.

You may have heard the oft-told fable, ‘Sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you!’ Those of us who were victims of vicious taunting as children know that this simply is not true. Name-calling can hurt very much indeed – in fact its effects can be life long. Continue reading

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The first question I am always asked is ‘How long have you lived up North?”

As someone who has spent more of my life in the North of England than time elsewhere I am always disappointed to be classed as an ‘oftcumden’ (as they say in Lancashire).

By accident of birth I am an Essex girl. And there I leave the stereotype. I don’t possess white stilettoes and am rarely to be seen dancing around my handbag. I do like jewellery shops and ‘bling’ however but that might just be genetic.

I refuse to believe that destiny is always determined by origin or accent. Mine incidentally is now much softer and full of borrowed war of the roses intonation, living as I have in both Yorkshire and Lancashire for the past forty plus years.

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