Contrary to Catherine Pepinster's generalisations, even though I am from the South, I do think of the North as a place "where people might lunch as [she] did or converse intelligently". I have done so in Sheffield, but usually with people who, like myself, were not born and bred here. Yes, you can "attend the theatre [and] listen to fine music" in Sheffield, but this is a city that turns over its excellent Crucible Theatre to snooker for a considerable period. It is also impossible to sell all the seats for opera here - even for Puccini on a Saturday night. Yes, you can buy houses very cheaply, but you cannot sell them again because no one wants to move here. Plenty of people wish to move out.
I cannot wait to move south again and am prepared to spend quite a bit of money to do so because I want to be in a place that is alive; that has sophisticated audiences in its theatres and at its concerts; that is within easy reach of London and Oxford; that has a good choice of coffee and lunch places at its centre, and where there is an abundance of people to invite for the kind oflunch that Pepinster describes. I want to be in a place that is pro-active rather than reactive and that energises rather than drains me. For all these reasons I shall be leaving Sheffield.