I did some more work today, sent out more pleas for quotes I can use for articles and tried to organise myself for the Big Push (I have to hand the whole lot in scarily soon). But that is not very interesting, so instead I bring you shrimps:
I went to the shops for toothpaste and other exciting little errands today (mostly to get some fresh air and fend off muscle wastage) and ended up buying shrimps as well. 50p for a quarter. I remember when a quarter of sweets was 25p! Inflation in my lifetime!
I had thought these foamy little crustaceans were a sweetshop staple everywhere, but when buying pick'n'mix with Normandy when we went to see Black Swan I realised how wrong I was! She'd never heard of them, and dubiously added them to the tub on my assurance that they're really nice (and Bob's assurance that they're perfectly normal and edible). She didn't take to them in the end (more for me!), but it made me realise just how weird shrimps are. The closest sweet to them in texture is those foam bananas, but at least they're shaped like what they're supposed to taste like. Why shrimps?
I can't believe I've never thought about this before. I remember when I was quite young, I would look forward to going to Alien Rock (the climbing centre) as much because of the delicious shrimps available there as for the climbing (I never really took to climbing as a child. My father thought I was just terrible at it until he saw me climbing out of a ditch on holiday. I think the presence of ropes and chalk and funny-shaped plastic handholds at climbing centres just didn't do it for me) and running around with other kids.
I suppose a lot of the sweetshop staples I know and love haven't made it overseas (aniseed balls! Humbugs! Murray mints! Strawberry laces! Sour worms! (Actually they do have those in South Africa, and they're much better) Cough sweets! Pear drops! Barley sugar! Those amazing burny cinnamon chews! Rhubarb and custards! Chocolate eclairs! Are any of these sounding familiar, non-British people?), but then they don't have those amazing Italian lemon ice lollies on liquorice sticks over here, so swings and roundabouts, I suppose.
I'm going to stop rambling about sweets now.