I remember thinking that pronouncing the I N G in words ending in I N G was a betrayal.
That it really mattered what time you had your dinner.
There’s no such thing as lunch. What’s for tea, Mam?
I remember distrusting people that said ‘yes’ or even ‘yeah’ instead of ‘aye’.
Or ‘no’ instead of ‘na’.
I didn’t want to go ‘over the water’.
Didn’t want to support a football team without geordies in it, never mind one that had a foreigner for a manager.
I was that football stadium, its banners and songs.
I was that river, those bridges, that coast.
We used words that weren’t words anywhere else but here.
We never exaggerated our accents; there’s two syllables in ‘beer’.
The villages and roads never gave me any reason to doubt
That Newcastle ran through me, but eventually it ran out.