Thursday, January 03, 2008

Sweet memories

In conversation with La Grande Poobah the other day, I made the claim that I never eat chocolate except at Christmas. This is, in fact, largely true, although it would perhaps be more accurate to say that I never buy it, in much the same way as I never buy Hello!, but occasionally and reluctantly accept it if offered. I’ve always been fonder of a sausage roll or a cheese and onion pasty from that Scottish high street fatty-pastry stalwart, Greggs (the dough-faced assistants in the Greggs round the corner from the first office I ever worked in, in Queensferry Road in Edinburgh, once excommunicated one of my silly colleagues for asking for a cheese savoury in a funny voice, thus marking him out immediately as a) English and b), a deduction not unnecessarily unconnected in the dough-faced mind with a), a twat; this had the lifelong fatwa-style effect of disbarring him from ever being able to buy so much as an egg sandwich in there).

However, sitting at my desk on a somewhat jetlag-ridden afternoon, bathed in sunshine reflected from the Far East Finance Centre and eating a Lindt chocolate from a box I bought for the office at Heathrow airport and transported to Hong Kong, I mused that what I really, really liked to do as a student was buy a king-size Milky Bar and wolf it down with a cup of tea. The sickly sweet taste of the little white Lindt chocolate ball had sufficient Pavlovian impact on my memory that for a moment I was back there, at my desk in my flat in Glasgow, with the delightfully promising package of a whole slab of white chocolate goodness opened before me, forcing myself to focus on my ill-advised project of translating from German an article by Fritz Stark on ever-greater union amongst European states for my degree dissertation on European law, at a time before computers were taken for granted and no one could possibly dream of having one of their own (I cringe to remember that I wrote my first CV by hand). Not an altogether pleasant memory, to be sure, and one that will, mercifully, serve to keep me away from the rest of the chocolates.


Mummy said...

"The milky bar kid is strong and tough". Sufficient reason, if any were needed, that one should eat more white chocolate. It's a bit like Popeye isn't it?

LottieP said...

In the light of the obesity epidemic apparently sweeping the UK, might I suggest a contemporary update to this theme tune?

"The Milky Bar Kid is fat as hell/How he walks, who can tell?"

Alan Patridge interviewed "the first Milky Bar kid", now an adult with issues. It's on YouTube here: