Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Curable condition

April 2nd, 2011

Chocolate addiction. Hardly intravenous drug use I admit. Undermining the very fabric of society. Addicts turning to crime to feed their habit. Actually, that might be said of both. In Australia. For, whilst the first world is never cheap, the cost of living here is eye-watering. And, even allowing for the strong Aussie dollar, this is an expensive country. Compounded by the lack of free lunches. You pay. For everything. Inclusive notably absent from the Australian lexicon.

Never mind the basic necessities. For which, to be fair, the savvy shopper can keep down at a cost broadly comparable with that of the UK. But take non-essentials like confectionary. Wide variety of well-known brands. You’d be lucky to get much change out of the equivalent of two pounds for just one small bar of chocolate. So, if you do need encouragement to quit the sugary stuff, try Australia. Especially the tropics. Turns to liquid in minutes.

[With especial thanks to Claire in Cornwall for the inspiration to write this piece. Teasing mention of After Eight mints]



Day dreaming…

September 30th, 2010

"Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: you find the present tense, but the past perfect!" – Owens Lee Pomeroy


Vindicated. For many years my assertion that there really was a 70s "Amazin’ Raisin" confectionary bar always met with flat denials amongst friends. Mention its colourful wrapper and suggestions of psychedelia. Well, they would politely suggest, it was the 70s, wasn’t it? I’d counter by pointing out I was barely into double figures by the end of the decade, wearing flares and cagoules my greatest misdemeanours.

Truth was it did exist. Cadbury had confirmed this. Found myself salivating in the saddle. Thoughts of delicious chocolate, nougatine, and raisins of course. Imagining the texture, biting into the bar. Felt tearful, but that was down to evoking allied memories of family holidays. The plentiful supply of dried fruits east of the city of Urumqi had sparked the day dreaming. Thought the bar more robust in the heat than my other old favourite, rum and raisin flavoured "Bournville Old Jamacian" chocolate. Rumours are it’s back…

But don’t think we’ll ever see chocolate filled cigarettes returning to the High Street. Consigned to history, a social aberation. Unless you know where to look on the web. If they fuelled addiction, it was for chocolate, not nicotine. Or that was my experience. Suppose I’ll have to settle with imagining "Space Dust" tingling on the tongue.

[With especial thanks to Cadbury Customer Relations Department for permission to use the "Amazin’ Raisin" wrapper image. The famous Cadbury script is a registered trademark and must not be reproduced in any form]

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