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It was a Wednesday night and I was back at school. Now I have to say that during those years which should have been my formative years I merely went through the motions of learning, somehow the goings on behind the bike shed were much more interesting.

But let us not expand on such things, because in the intervening years I have somehow managed to become interested in many of life's wonders and mysteries. Regional accents fascinate me, although there are some that I find immensely irritating. We tend to think of accents in large, general terms as in the different accent between north and south Wales. But it goes much deeper than that, there are differences within these large areas, many differences in fact. Swansea is different from Port Talbot and Neath is different again - and so it goes on. These differences are not always apparent to an outsider for some strange reason.

Now where was I? Oh yes, I was back at school and it was a 'free thinking lesson' - we were free to study and consider whatever we wanted. I had chosen, if you are unable to guess, regional accents, particularly those of Yorkshire and Lancashire. Think of it as 'George Formby meets Last of the Summer Wine'. I had put on my most effective thinking cap and it has some strange magical powers, if I wear it my mind completely relaxes leaving it free to process all kinds of complicated theories until the culminating 'Eureka!' moment. The cap is believed to be the very same one worn by that great thinker - Trevor Pythagoras.

My own 'Eureka' moment was not long in coming and it was indeed brilliant. So often the obvious answer is the one most difficult to see and even you will kick yourselves when I tell you this -

The Yorkshire accent is spoken in a backward sloping italic while the Lancashire accent is spoken with a forward sloping italic.

And isn't it so obvious!

I wrote copious notes and took them to the teacher, I was very excited and bursting to tell him but unfortunately he was testing a lunch with the domestic science teacher so all I got was -

"If you don't mind Evans, go away and come back later."

I went back to the class and, on entering, gave the usual greeting "Good morning, girls." The girls giggled, the boys glared. I sit at the back and added a bit of polish to my theory before heading back to see the teacher. On the way someone hands me a pile of leaflets and a yellow jersey.

"Here," he said "get these out! And if you can stick this broom handle somewhere you can sweep the floor while you're at it!"

It was chucking down with rain and the jersey was soaked. I am in a panic.

I must get it dry, I must see my teacher.

I can't do everything.

I panic again

I wake up.

It was such a vivid dream and, unusually, I remembered the detail so I wrote down notes to remind me. Have you ever tried to grab the memory of a dream before it slips away? You desperately try to cling to whatever you remember while even that slips from your grasp. A brilliant welsh lyricist once described it as two walls covered in slime and very close together, the dream is a tangible object and it is slipping down between these walls away from your grasp never to be recalled.

They say that dreams are caused by your mind tidily putting things away overnight so what was it that prompted this one?

I can't honestly say why Yorkshire and Lancashire cropped up and certainly I have no longing to go back to school. The girls, well yes, shouldn't they always be included in your dreams! All this was probably just a background for the stuff that can be explained.



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