George Osborne did his much anticipated budget speech today but to be honest it has been anticipated so much for so long I couldnt be arsed listening. Wimbledon holds few attractions and watching bald blokes analyze the World Cup is my idea of dying and going to hell so I buried myself in a book.
Some things will never change, budget or no budget and one of those things is the North South divide. This is the subject of Pies and Prejudice by Stuart Maconie. Though I missed this book when it first came out about three years ago I am finding it is essential reading and should be on the national curriculum under literature, geography and sociology. Three text books for the price of one, that ought to appeal to the government.
Pies and Prejudice is essential reading for everybody. For northerners it is an affirmative experience, for southerners who seek to understand the psychology of the north it is an education and for southerners taught we in the north a ignorant, violent lardarses whe left schhol at six to work in grime mines and conditioned to react with fear and loathing when they hear a flat vowel or see a flat hat, a palliative drug. Seeing as these people must ever live with the knowledge that The North is less than two hours away (or five days if you travel by Virgin Trains) they need all the palliative drugs they can get.
Here are a couple of gems from the book to whet your appetite:
It was my dinner, not lunch. Gordon Gekko in Wall Street sneered that lunch is for wimps but it would have been more accurate to say lunch is for southerners. Up north we have our dinner in the middle of the day and our tea at night. A little defiantly my scouse agent and I will still talk about going out for our tea even if were going somewhere terribly chi-chi in the West End. And dont get me started on supper. A TV producer once invited me round for supper and I was genuinely flummoxed. Supper means something very specific in the north and I was rather bemused by the prospect of going round to her house in Chiswick at half ten at night in my dressing gown to have digestive biscuits and cheese off my lap while watching the telly.
Crewe has a Greggs and like every other Greggs in the UK it is packed. Greggs tasty, home baked fare has become synonymous with that other contemporary phenomenon, the chav, a tasteless, pallid, Burberry wearing, jewellery encrusted prole usually found as freakish exhibitions on mid morning TV shows after they have married their probation officers mum or some such.
Pies and Prejudice by Stuart Maconie. (Amazon) It might not make you love the north but it will make you laugh.
Will Pastygate Bring Down The Government?