Lawyers of Yorkshire, I have a confession. After 32 years of living in the south, east, north, west and south (again) regions of God’s Own County, I am moving to London to seek fame, fortune, employment and streets paved with gold. Failing that, a wealthy banker will have to do.
Having been raised well on a strict diet of Yorkshire Water, Yorkshire puddings, Bettys’ Fat Rascals and fish and chips from Whitby I will from now on drink only champagne, suck on jellied eels and my tea shall come from Fortnum & Mason. Slowly, my endearing Yorkshire drawl will be replaced by cheeky-chappy ‘barra’ boy’ cockney and I’ll be forced to re-mortgage just to go to the cinema (even on an Orange Wednesday).
It’s early days, but I’m sure London will just be like a home from home. Leeds is, after all, the ‘Knightsbridge of the North’ and Sheffield is only two hours away should I get homesick. There are some easy replacements to be made too. I’ll have to settle for Tower Bridge as the poor man’s Ribblehead Viaduct; Westminster Abbey will make up for York Minster and St Pancras could almost be Bradford Interchange if you squint hard enough. Who needs Sheffield’s Supertram when there is a whole subterranean network of electric tubes? A walk through Kew Gardens when it’s sufficiently cold and foggy will be just like the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and I’m sure Hampstead Heath is as sprawling as the North Yorks Moors.
One thing that I will miss is the sense of community that still exists in the North, especially within the legal community. I’m fortunate to have made some wonderful friends and worked with some fantastic people as I have made my way through my career to this point. I am prepared for future commuting on the tube, however: I have perfected my dismissive glare and invested in some noise-cancelling headphones. With that, I am set for a life as a true Londoner – I might even maim a few American tourists as I stride through the streets with purpose. Now, where did I leave my bowler hat?
So long for now, Yorkshire. You’ve been good to me. I’m sure it won’t be long before I breathe your pure and fresh air once more. Until then, sithee, tha knows it’s been reet good fun.
This article was first published in the Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer in April 2011 (issue 100)