So you call yourself a local?

Wondering if you're so grounded you've earned your 'local' stripes and are eligible for the benefits that entails? Here are some indications.

There's something to be said for the familiarity that comes with living in a small town, for the inside knowledge only locals are privy to, the solid connections that take years to forge, those little things that give you the edge over visitors and blow-ins. Wondering if you're so grounded you've earned your 'local' stripes and are eligible for the benefits that entails? Here are some indications.

1.       You speak at the signature local pace without even realising you're doing it, use the local lingo without questioning where it came from, and know precisely how much small talk is required before your agenda can be integrated into a conversation. You almost always pull this off.

2.       You know the back-story of each iconic landmark, which you're prepared to liberally embellish should the situation demand.

3.       You know exactly how many watering holes, churches and schools are dotted around town, and which people are inclined to frequent each.

4.       Whether you're after a quiet drink, a hearty feed, or somewhere to host a swanky celebration, you know the perfect spot. Or you know who to talk to in order to make it perfect.

5.       You know which events are unmissable, and have them marked on your calendar months in advance, but if anyone asks if you're going to one you casually reply that you'll probably make it.

6.       You can judge with a fair degree of accuracy when mate's rates might apply to a transaction.

7.       You know when to dress up or down, and to what degree, according to local convention and have a range of jeans to suit most of those occasions.

8.       You're on a first-name basis with your GP. And your checkout operator. And your postie. But you also know there are those for whom you can never drop the title-surname combination… by personal decree.

9.       You don't need Facebook to know who's friends with who.

10.   You're in the carton-in-exchange-for-a-favour program.

11.   You can match the number plate of each car on the road with a particular driver, regardless of whether it's personalised or not.

12.   You have devised the quickest routes to get wherever you need to go based on a series of customised shortcuts. You never divulge this information to anyone.

13.   You have your own car park at each of your regular haunts. Which is more than likely right out the front. And you don't expect to ever have to fight for it.

14.   You don't need a GPS to get around.

15.   Faced with a crisis of any kind - plumbing blockage, mechanical failure, baking disaster - you have the connections to get you out of trouble. Even if you don't know someone who specialises in your particular problem directly, you know someone who knows someone who definitely does.

16.   On occasion, you are that person for someone else.

17.   You don't really use the term 'community spirit' but you sure know what it feels like.

18.   You know how much credibility to attach to particular gossip based on the source from which it originated. You know how much weight your own chatter carries in return.

19.   You've memorised the schematics of complex family trees and are able to place almost anyone you encounter on a particular branch. If you can't, you're prepared to perform an in-depth interrogation about their ancestry until you can.

20.   You can count on being promptly informed about any births, deaths or forthcoming marriages within a reasonable radius.

21.   You know where all the official tourist attractions are, but don't feel any pressure to check them out. You figure you have plenty of time to get to them all one day.

22.   You're adept at forecasting the weather specific to your exact geographic co-ordinates. You know if you're in for a scorcher, a howler or a drenching, and will already be closing windows and pulling washing off the line as the first raindrops start to fall.

23.   You're in sync with the rhythm of your town - its daily groove, its seasonal moods. You respect that it can't be tampered with.

24.   Nothing happens in your patch without you noticing. If a tree comes down or a fence goes up, you'll be all over it and won't rest until you find out why.

25.   You have a finely tuned newbie detector but, because you're a local, you're all about making everyone feel at home, so you're prepared to pass on your local knowledge to help them settle in. Apart from your shortcuts, that is. They'll have to figure those out for themselves.