Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sweet Memories

This challenge has prompted a small trip down memory lane.  First up, I re-read The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, a whimsical tale to an imaginary land reigned over by an extraordinary creature with a love of "wodge".
He held out a large box of candy..."Aren't they good?"  The Whangdoodle munched one happily.  "This is my favourite kind.  I have a very sweet tooth you know.  Would you like to see it?..."It's this one here", he said, indicating it with his tongue.  "See the little daisy on it?"
Apparently, there's a movie of the book but I have never sought it out, preferring the fantastical images I have in my mind.  However, I can just imagine Terri illustrating the Whangdoodles sweet tooth! 

I received The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles as a gift for my 9th birthday from family friends who had immigrated to New Zealand from America.  I vividly recall when their grandmother came to visit bearing gifts including American candy - cinnamon flavoured chewing gum; bright pink Hubba Bubba and cute Pez dispensers and lozenges seemed very exotic to a young child in small town New Zealand.

Growing up, sweets (or "lollies" in kiwispeak) were special treats.  These are same random memories:
  • sucking on homemade hard toffee watching fireworks on Guy Fawkes nights;
  • making home made honeycomb when I was babysitting - watching the golden syrup foam up when you add the baking soda;
  • going to the movies with 10 cents in my beaded purse - enough for a packet of slightly effervescent Fruit Tingles and a popsicle.  I like Fruit Tingles better than Sparkles boiled lollies;
  • chocolate fish, musk sticks and big bags of pink smokers;
  • trying to avoid getting any Harrogate flavoured Mackintosh toffees in Christmas lolly scrambles;
  • going to Jesus Christ Superstar as a ten year old at Her Majesty's Theatre on Queen St in Auckland and sharing an enormous bag of chewy Milkshakes  (Her Majesty's was a Victorian-era venue demolished when I was at university);
  • working as an usherette (my parents ran the local cinema) and intervening in Jaffa and Snifter fights; and
  • reading American books and not being completely sure what M&Ms and Mars bars are.
Today American candy is widely available and apparently Sparkles, Snifters and Tangy Fruits have been discontinued.  My last encounter with a Mintie (an idle impulse at a quilting retreat) resulted in a dislodged filling and weeks of dental issues.  I don't plan on eating lollies again (chocolates are much safer!) but I have enjoyed these sweet memories.

What sweets do you recall from your childhood?


Françoise said...

Chocolate of course, gummy bears and mice, liquorice laces, pink marshmallows,... That's it I think.

Nikki said...

During summer vacation, friends and I would walk several miles to the closest little store with a pocket full of change to buy as many 3¢ candies as possible. Smarties and Jolly Ranchers are what I remember, but there must have been more. I can't believe my mother let me do that when I was only about 8.

Brenda Gael Smith said...

One summer, I worked in a store at a caravan park and camping ground. Every day I was inundated with children clutching coins asking how many lollies they could buy for X cents.

reensstitcher said...

This sparked so many memories for me (I also grew up in New Zealand) that I feel inspired to post about it on my own blog with a link to yours. So watch my space.