Since it was just St. Patty’s Day, and I have about as much Irish in my blood as Zaphod Beeblebrox, let’s talk about Bruce Springsteen.
(Sure, he’s Irish; Wikipedia says so.)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that anyone who wishes to survive long within the boundaries of New Jersey will demonstrate early and often their abiding love of Bruce Springsteen. America has taken him to her bosom, but he started, as the kids here are taught in kindergarten, playing at the Shore.
I love accents. If I had all the time and money in the world, I’d wander the country just listening (probably spending most of my time in Boston, because Matt Damon). I love that the U.K. has so many distinct accents and even dialects, packed into an island (and a bit) the size of Oregon. I love the history of accents in the U.S., the changing vocabularies as the settlers went west, the whole New Yawk thing. Dropping your r’s is upper class! No, it’s low class, stop doing it right away! No, it’s cool to have a New York accent! Start doing it again! So fun.
Back in England, I always picked up on accents and usually unthinkingly used them myself.
Bless you for coming to my site. Really. I’ll be rambling on about being English in New Jersey a lot, talking about reading and writing a bit, perhaps even posting some stories. To reward you for your time, I’ll start with the one where I’m a raging Goth (complete with shaved temples, more eyeliner than Adam Lambert and an inexhaustible supply of cross necklaces) and a blond-haired, blue-eyed Yank in pink madras catches my eye across a crowded bar. He bought me my first pair of 501s, you know, and the rest is history. My mum’s face lit up like it was Christmas when she met him. My brother heaved a giant sigh of relief. The crosses got smaller and smaller, the eyeliner was left for the boys, and the hair grew out, and four-and-a-half years of long-distance dating later, we were married in NJ, in the back yard of the prettiest house in the county.
Of course, if my daughters come up to me when they’re 18 and say, “Mom, I’ve met the man I’m going to marry,” I’ll be guffawing and Mr. A’ll be getting the dogs ready, but then again, you never know…
Kimberley Ash is a British ex-pat who has lived in and loved New Jersey for twenty years. When not writing romance, she can usually be found cleaning up after her two big white furry dogs and slightly less furry children. Her first novel, Breathe, is now available from Crimson Romance.