Influences and Accents

It’s funny how people can influence your life. They may not be aware that they have. I remember as a child around the age of eleven or twelve, this particular person, a lady named Lilly, doing just that. We couldn’t afford extravagant or, as my friend would say, ‘posh holidays abroad‘ like some kids had. Our holidays for many years were in a caravan in north Wales – Caernarfon, to put it on the map.

Lilly was a good all-rounder you may say. She lived in a bungalow in the middle of nowhere with her husband, John, and their parrot, Polly (original if nothing else). They had a grown family and two grandchildren who had sadly moved away, making it difficult for regular visits. Lilly could cook and I mean cook. She made her own wine, beer and her favourite ‘sloe gin’ which was also my mother’s favourite. Unfortunately for my mum, who would take a small sherry at Christmas, this was to prove to be a big mistake. She fell under the influence of its 15 percent alcohol content after three glasses. Needless to say, she spent the next day in bed!

Lilly and John were from Yorkshire and had retired to Wales. She had the broadest accent you could imagine. Instead of saying ‘bottles’, the name changed to ‘buckles’, and ‘right’ changed to ‘reet’. She was a lovely lady.

I copied her accent for Phoebe, one of the dogs in my stories. Although I described Phoebe as being dipsy, Lilly wasn’t. We got on very well; she spoke to me like an adult, not as a child. Her accent would come in useful at times when my mum was feeling low as Mum would ask me to speak like Lilly. She would laugh like a drain when I phoned any of her friends and pretended to be Lilly wanting to buy the sewing machine that wasn’t actually for sale!

I love accents or dialects. When repeating a conversation I have with someone, I will use a different accent just to brighten it up a little. The Yorkshire one is my favourite followed by Liverpool. Anyway, I won’t go on! Till next time…

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