Crack Back

Finished watching ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ last night plus special features.  I had thought the director Danny Boyle was Irish, but he sounded Lancastrian, though I’m not sure from where.  I’m pretty sure he wasn’t a Yorkshireman, though if I’m wrong I’m bound to piss off the entire population of that county – or at least that portion of it which is reading lizardyoga’s weblog.  Just Hench, then.  I once miffed Hench – who is from Rotherham – by referring to the poet Ian Macmillan as ‘a professional Yorkshireman’ as he seems to exaggerate his Yorkishness so dreadfully; since Hench has lived for so long in Derby I had forgotten his origins.  Apologies and I hope you’re feeling better.

I used to be fairly expert in Lancashire accents: I could tell Wigan from Bolton and Leigh (where I lived) from both.  Because of the hills between the towns, every place has a different accent: Blackburn is as distinct from Oldham as Preston is from Lancaster – and don’t get me started on Oswaldtwistle..  I love the names of places Up North.  Where else could you find a name like Cleckheaton?  It sounds like a textile factory in the midst of an industrial dispute.  Or Oswaldtwistle, which sounds like a flowering creeper?  Or Rawtenstall, which brings to mind a shed on a moor. with young cattle in?  And speaking of Blackburn, I have yet to hear back from Chris.  Where are you?  You have not replied to my email nor to questions on this blog.  Perhaps you’re on a Dickotours spectacular?  But back to Lancashire place names.  Now I once briefly and unsuccessfully taught at a school Up There, and one Friday night some of the teachers went out selling an alternative newspaper, called ‘Leyth, Bent and Bongs’.  Named for the dialect version of ‘Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley, this paper was a socialist-leaning collection of alternative news and comment about local politics: a bit like Private Eye but much less fun.  I wasn’t particularly interested until they said they’d be selling it round the pubs.  ‘Count me in!’ I said.  What they didn’t tell me was that they weren’t intending to stop for a drink in any of them.  I mean, I ask you!  Having hawked the magazine with scant success in about a dozen places and been smartly ejected from several, we did finally manage a half in the last port of call, but that hardly compensated me for an entire evening of unprofitable boredom.

The title is because I am reading a Val MacDermid from a series about Lindsay Gordon (a dyke, of course) who gets involved in murder mysteries.  They all have titles like Crack Back, Kick Down, Blast out, and Dig Deep.

Dammit!  I got that wrong – it’s the Kate Brannigan series that’s like that.  The one I’m reading is called ‘Union Jack’:

Kirk out