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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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You’ve got a friend…

twins

As a twin I have never really been alone. I was born with a partner in crime and shared mum and dad right from the start.

My sister and I are fraternal twins- non-identical, we barely look related these days, I also claim to be taller and wiser. Funnily enough our teachers really struggled to tell us apart, a challenge made even harder because mum chose to dress us in identical clothing. Our junior teacher had great idea however and made us wear different coloured ribbons.

My sister was good at maths and hated writing, I loved writing and struggled with maths. You can probably already guess what we conspired to do. Yes, we swapped our coloured ribbons regularly and conveniently throughout the day, to capitalise on individual talents. We delighted in confusing ‘Miss’ but had to become adept at answering to each other’s name. (Sorry mum.)

Looking back through my highly refined teacher lens I have one question:

How on earth did we get away with it?

Was she myopic or did she simply never look up from her desk?

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