Story Told At Pilleth Oaks Breakfast Table

Inspired to think about oral stories by this interesting reflection on Short Stories vs Jokes (John Malone),  I was reminded of a brilliant story P and I heard on our big international trip in 2009.  We were staying at a little B&B in Wales and, while sharing a delicious hot breakfast, were regaled by another fellow who will have to remain anonymous as I never asked him his name.  I kept a detailed journal on the trip and when we returned we combined my journal and a selection of our photos in a book of just over 300 pages.  That is why I have the story written as near as I could remember it an hour or so after hearing it.

We were at a Liberal Party meeting once and a friend of our was there too.  News came up at the meeting that the ‘Tories had elected a new leader – Maggie Thatcher.  Right into the silence – you know how it goes – right into the silence our friend said,

“I ‘ad ‘er knickers off once.”

Everybody turned – you know – and they asked “What’s that, Fred?  What’d you say, Fred?”

‘E said, “I used ta babysit for ‘er Mum – you know – changing the nappies and stuff.”

Years later, when we saw ‘im again, I asked Fred, “‘Ow is it with Maggie Thatcher, eh?”

“An’ ‘e said to me, ‘e said, “If I knew then what I know now, if only I knew… there would ‘a’ bin another cot death.”


Perhaps the word for that kind of oral tale is a yarn.  A good old yarn.



(Pexel’s free image)


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