04 February, 2011

Sarah’s contribution to Liverpool

I am not Liverpudlian, until I worked for Ithaca I had not been to Liverpool, but there was a Liverpudlian boy in my life when I was 15. I did not go to school with him, but I met him on a week long First Aid Course on an Army base in Aldershot.  He was a nice boy with a strange accent that I hadn’t really come across before. There weren’t many Liverpudlians in Holland and for my year or so in England I hadn’t come across a real one either. I say ‘real one’ as there used to be a soap opera called ‘Brookside’ on TV that was set in Liverpool, so I was familiar with the accent.

The school I attended in England made you join the Combined Cadet Force from the ages of 14-16. You basically had a choice between joining the Army, the RAF or the Navy. My friend B promptly informed me that the Navy was the best as it was the easiest.  Seeing as I had never heard of the CCF before, I was still in shock from having to wear school uniform and call my teachers sir or miss, never mind the idea that I had to wear the Army, RAF or Navy uniform every Wednesday afternoon for 2 years of my life, I was easily persuaded. It was the best decision of my life. It turned out the RAF and Army CCF were quite hardcore. They were clearly not meant for me. I was much more comfortable in the Navy, where we occasionally had to practice how to march in rank and laughed away 2 years worth of Wednesday afternoons.  There was a serious side to it and I am quite the dab hand at tying knots!  They also made you go on a course in one of our holidays. B and I looked at our course options and quickly realised that a week long first aid course was for us.

We packed our bags and jumped on a train to the army base and this is where we met the Liverpudlian. As it turned out, there were two other boys from our school who had opted for the same course. It turned out that the two boys as well as B and myself were all Welsh...what could this say about the Welsh? All the other courses were all about the Navy and quite serious. We Welsh clearly prefer life skills and saving lives.

The first day we started with the basics, where to find the pulse. The aim was to introduce yourself to your neighbour by feeling their pulse. I was sat next to the Liverpudlian. I found myself a pulse and a new boyfriend. Sadly, throughout the week it turned out we were not meant to be. I felt we had too many differences;
• He opted to dress up in the navy uniform, I was made to.
• He was really into sailing, I wasn’t.
• He wanted to study medicine, I wanted to study fashion.
• He loved spending his summers in Southampton, I needed a map to locate Southampton.
• He had a Liverpudlian accent and I liked Scottish accents.

The Liverpudlian and I remained friends for about 2 years and he even came to visit me on his way to Southampton one summer. Just think, if it had turned out that we were meant for each other, I could be a Scouser who lives on a sail boat or in Southampton.

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