Rhodri Marsden: All those little things that make me who I am are not actually mine

Life on Marsden

Share
Related Topics

I've started lapsing into an Australian accent whenever I'm feeling mildly self-conscious or awkward. You'll be delighted to hear that this isn't because my frontal lobe has sustained a traumatic injury; it's because my girlfriend does it. And now I've started doing it, too. Get us both together when we're having an off day and it's like you've wandered into an introspective self-help session in Woolloomooloo.

I started thinking about this – the way I pick up mannerisms and tics from other people – and it seems that I've got precious few movements and speech patterns that I can call my own. They all appear to be filched from friends and acquaintances, past and present. The realisation that my linguistic and gestural furniture has been hauled out of skips belonging to other people is slightly unsettling.

I do this forceful movement with my left hand with my fingers outstretched when I'm making a point, and I know I get this from Tim.

Thanks to Katy, I frequently find myself pronouncing "vegetables" with four carefully-enunciated syllables. When I put an object in a box I refer to the box as its "pants" because Steve once said "let's put its pants on" when putting a stroboscope into a box and it made me laugh.

I say "Hello caller" when answering the phone to friends, because Jenny does. I walk around with excellent posture thanks to Victoria, who, unbeknownst to her, inspired me to reform my shambling gait.

They don't even have to be attractive tics. Instead of goodbye I often say "be seeing you", because I copied Darren in 1992 and I'm still doing it, despite it being massively annoying. Paul does an elongated "um" accompanied by a laugh that makes it sound like a machine gun, and I've started doing that, too. I even picked up a nervous cough from Neil. A nervous cough! I never had one before, but I must have developed it because I thought it sounded good. As Rose would say, witheringly, "You're an idiot." (A phrase I picked up from her, obviously.)

And now, again, I can feel my personality gently morphing, as I take on my girlfriend's mannerisms – the explosive emphasis of the "t" in "great", the faux-sexy Billy Idol pout, and the Australian accent thing. Hooley-dooley. It's like I've got kangaroos loose in the top paddock.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - 12 Month Fixed Term - Shrewsbury

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: World Wide PLC Service Engineer

£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...

The Jenrick Group: Project Manager

£35000 per annum + Pension+Bupa: The Jenrick Group: We are recruiting for an e...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

My Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent
African elephants in Botswana photographed by television presenter Chris Packham  

We've made incredible progress, but there's still more to do to make sure we save the elephant

Hugo Campbell
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'