Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Crime and nourishment

Sherbet dib dabs, Fizz Wiz, vintage sweets
Sherbet dib dabs, remember them? I'm sure I could incorporate Fizz Wiz into a recipe somehow.

little white mice made from chocolate
The whitest mouse is made out of pure sugar. It takes a while to get used to these, but it can be done. The other little white mice are made from chocolate.

treasure chest full of sweets
Local food Advisor kindly sent me a treasure chest, yes, a real one, full of sweets, from the Oldest Sweet shop in England! At one fell swoop a childhood fantasy was fulfilled.
I was going to take pictures of the Fruit Salad, Blackjack and Refresher chews, all childhood favourites (but I think the Refresher chews were lollies before?). But I ate them.
As a child I was such a sweet addict I shoplifted these sweets, along with 'Fizzers' and 'Parma Violets'.  To fund this habit I even, along with my best friend Donna, stole from my teacher's handbag in primary school, a shameful episode. That day after school we bought so many sweets we literally filled a shopping bag. Proud of our haul, we took the bulging shopping bag to school the next day. We were the stars of the playground. Kids were sucking up to us to get some sweets. We were royalty, dispensing favours. Then we went into class. The teacher, a woman with a grey beehive, sat us all down and stated solemnly:

"Something very upsetting happened to me last night."
A fearful feeling rose in my stomach, I sensed what was coming.
"I went to the shops to buy some tea for my husband, reached into my purse and my money was missing."
The class started buzzing with noise. A few heads swivelled towards Donna and I. Although we hadn't told anyone that we stole from the teacher, the amount of sweets we had bought into school basically amounted to the kiddie version of winning the lottery. I tried to shuffle the still bulging carrier bag under my desk with my foot.
The teacher asked a child to distribute small pieces of blank paper to everyone.
"Now what I'd like you to do, children, is write down on this piece of paper, any information that you know about the theft".
I wrote nothing. Handed it in.
Strangely, Donna and I were asked to talk at break with the teacher.
"Nope, I don't know anything Miss", I said stubbornly.
We had to return every break; morning, lunch and afternoon, while the teacher repeatedly interrogated us about this missing money. I was silent, giving nothing away. The Gestapo couldn't have got me to admit the theft. Eventually, Thursday lunchtime, as Donna and I were about to go in for our separate questioning, Donna said to me, with a weary air:
"Look, I told her Monday afternoon it was us, so you might as well tell the truth."
While I was digesting this shocking news, which put me in an even further bad light, she said brightly:

"Then we can have playtime again!"
I had to pay it all back, both my share and Donna's because, as my mum and dad said, Donna had an excuse, coming from a single parent family with seven kids (this was rare at the time), and I didn't. 


  1. Ooooh, naughty!

    I never stole as a child, after my mum made such a fuss about me bringing a gold crayon home from nursery (making me take it back and apologise). Just goes to show the importance of nipping these things in the bud...

  2. Gold crayons! they were sooo coveted.
    The stuff that kids desire... I remember my first set of Caran d'Ache felt pens. I so lusted after them.

  3. You can still get the Refresher lollies, saw them in the shops the other day with my nephew.

  4. MMmmmmmm.... parma violets and blackjacks - lovely memories!

    Sherbert fountains were good too, with the thick hollow liquorice to suck the sherbert through.

    And jamboree bags.....

    I was rarely allowed sweets as a child, which is probably why I have such vivid memories of these sweet treats!


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