Friday, 25 September 2009

The little sweet shop

There is a little unit just up from the High Street where we live that had intrigued me for a while - ever since we moved here three years ago I suppose. When you walk past it you can see big bags and boxs of sweets. The sort of sweets that I remember as "penny sweets" from my childhood, or "pick'n'mix" as my son would call them. I presumed that it was a wholesale warehouse that supplied shops etc. The windows have shutters up and there is no sign across the building or "open" sign on the door: nothing to suggest that it is the sort of place that the public could just walk in off the street into. Anyway, one day I was passing it as we were on a late-afternoon walk - boys both in the buggy as they were tired but refusing to nap. As I approached the building I noticed children running in and coming out with little paper bags of sweets. So I got the boys out of the buggy and in we went. I have just finished reading Roald Dahl's "The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me" to tot and it sort of reminded me of a Dahl novel. Tot's eyes lit up as he saw the vast array of penny sweets sitting there in little tubs. There were shrimps; white mice; fizzy bubblegum bottles; fish n chips; cola bottles; jelly babies; flying saucers; beer bottles; midget gems; wine gums; cherry cola bottles; fried eggs to name a few! There was an old man with a long grey beard and bizarely a baseball cap who was very friendly and helped tot pick out "50 pence worth of sweeties". It took me back to my childhood when our Dad used to take us to the corner shop in the next village (as our village shop didn't open on a sunday in those days) and he would let us get 20 pence worth - which meant 20 sweets, I think it was the highlight of our week! It has made me realise that it is the little things that matter as a child: the fun things that they do as a routine - weekly trip to the sweet shop; weekly swimming session; afternoon in the park; playing with friends in the back garden; a trip to McDonald's; stories at bedtime, it is these little things that I remember from childhood more so than big events such as birthdays or summer holidays. So even though I don't really want to encourage my boys to eat lots of sweets I just love the sentiment behind this little "sweet shop"!

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