My grandma used to keep a little paper bag of boiled sweets tucked away in the front pocket in her apron. Occasionally my brothers or I would be slipped an Army and Navy or an Everton Mint, it seemed to be arbitrary whether we got one or not, and sometimes the sweet had some fluff stuck to it, but being awarded one was a very cosy feeling. These days my daughter, La Gidg, hankers after some terrible sweets. Kids’ sweets just don’t have the same innocence or simplicity now, and I am quite fed up with Hello Kitty and her many and varied ways of trying to part my six year old from her pocket money in return for fabulous packaging and a rubbish biscuit. Or the incessant demands from Gidg for ‘Chiclet’ which to you and I is chewing gum. I’d rather have fragrant Turkish Delight, or lurid gobstoppers. So much more fun to eat and so many memories attached to them.
So it was with much anticipation that La Gidg and I went along last Saturday to the opening of That Sweet Temptation in Portals Nous. We were right to be excited though as it’s quite an emporium that the owner, Andrea Collier, has created: row upon row of jars of old fashioned boiled sweet favourites lined up like soldiers, piles of handmade Belgian chocolates, and stacks of new and unusual confectionary that I’d not encountered before which is saying something, believe you me, as I count myself as a bona fide sweetie expert. Gidg dashed about the shop gasping at the choices (so many more than the usual poor selection in our local petrol station) and I had a rapid trip down memory lane.
When I was a kid there was a sweet shop opposite my primary school where, if we were lucky, we could spend 10p on a bag of penny sweets. Making the decision about what to buy was agonising, but eventually I would normally choose a combination of Refreshers, chocolate mice, bananas, Fruit Salad and Black Jacks. Sometimes I would buy a little packet of Parma Violets if my pocket money stretched to it. The sweets would be handed over wrapped up in a logo-less white paper bag, ready to be savoured, but not often shared, I have to admit.
So, of course, La Gidg and I had some difficult purchasing decisions to make, and I apologise to anyone who was behind us in the queue, as you can’t rush this sort of thing you know. We left the shop with several little white paper bags full of goodies. Good luck to Andrea with her new venture, here’s hoping you will be contributing to happy memories for a new generation of kids in Mallorca, and jogging the memories of the big kids too.