Thursday, 7 February 2013

Fruit Salad

   Pocket money, none,
   but I know where
   there is    
   a shiny
   six-penny piece…

   Sixpence will buy
   an awful lot of goodies,
   fruit salad, black jacks
   just a farthing each,
   that’s twenty-four
   sugary confections
   to delight my taste buds,
   chew to high heaven,
   stick in the gaps
   between my teeth. 

   …will I?

   Tis summertime
   as the four of us
   in gingham dresses,
   catch sticklebacks
   in glistening stream;
   blow bubblegum,
   suck sherbet lollies –
   tis all the stuff
   of childhood dreams.

   But then
   there is my conscience…
   oh there you are
   trying to hide amongst
   the flying saucers,
   pineapple chunks
   and liquorice sticks;
   fruit salad luscious
   brings no pleasure,
   leaves a sour taste
   upon my lips.

   Anna :o]

   Victoria’s prompt at dVerse is to write of childhood memories.

   When asked what my most vivid memory is – it is always that of the above.  During my childhood sweets were not everyday expectations rather a Christmas, birthday, Easter egg or an occasional treat thing.  Of course, well-earned Saturday pocket money could be spent on them along with a comic or a little toy – however pocket money then was not a fortune – but enough for us and gratefully received.

   One Saturday saw me without any as I had been naughty (can’t remember how) and I so wanted some sweets to take along and share with my friends.  I knew my mum saved sixpences in a long narrow tube painted as a pillar-box, specifically designed to accommodate forty and thus a pound (and they were calling me, oh how they were calling me).   So I stole two. 

   My pleasure was short lived and I was overcome by guilt, a guilt which was to burden me for years to come.  I attempted to ease my conscience by buying my mum extra special birthday, Christmas or ‘just because’ presents – but it never worked.  Some thirty years later I confessed – mum had never realised, never missed the shilling – but I knew and that was important, important that I knew it was wrong.

   Why do we remember some but forget most of our childhood – I don’t know and I don’t think scientists do either.  Why did this particular memory become crystallised – was it because I first experienced the emotion of guilt then and couldn't let it go?

   On a lighter note -does anyone remember the original wrapper of Fruit Salad?  In my (?false) memory it was light coloured pink and green stripes with a picture of fruit at the centre – certainly not that gaudy orange stuff – do you remember?

  (Can't explain the white background  - although Blogger is tell me I/it is experiencing problems...)


Claudia said...

oh nice... the taste of childhood...we too didn't get much sweets and used to buy ahoi brause when we got a few scents...loved how it prickled on the tongue...thanks for sharing this and thanks for stirring the memories..smiles

annell said...

What a sweet memory!

Brian Miller said...

smiles...for me i saved up my pennies for ball cards and comic books....candy has never really held a huge fascination for me...there are a few though...and those moments, yeah...really cool piece anna

Frank Watson said...

Cool poem, enjoyed the memory. Wish that was the naughtiest thing I did as a kid :P

Anonymous said...

Yep, I remember the old fruit salad as stripped.
What a superb ramble through the delights of childhood sweets [candies to those over the pond] my mouth is salivating so badly I need fruit to keep me away from the chocolate!!

Raivenne said...

Enjoyed this! I used to save up for the weekend, because I knew the candy man delivered new batches of goodies every Friday. Brings back some really good memories. Thanks!

Laurie Kolp said...

Guilt is something that eats away our conscience just like candy.

Anonymous said...

Fruit Salads and Black Jacks were a halfpenny each when I first remember them - and that's new pennies too. Sixpences had been phased out by then :-(

Lovely writing of a rich memory - and guilt certainly takes the sweet taste away ....

Heidi said...

You completely reminded me of the only time I ever tried to cheat in school, except that I got caught. I the battle between the guilt of stealing ang the pleasure of the candy. (Although, I have no idea what a fruit salad is.)

Mary said...

Very interesting question about why we remember some of our childhood and forget most. I have the same question about the poem I wrote for today. That is always a vivid memory....and I am not sure quite why. It was interesting how the guilt lived with you and you had to confess 30 years later. Amazing really, but I am sure that even though 30 years had passed you felt much better having 'come clean.' I enjoyed your poem.

Cressida de Nova said...

Beautiful rich coloured candied poem of childhood resulting in numerous visits to the dentist for those of us with a sweet tooth:)

Anonymous said...

A lovely memory and well written poem...funny how our conscience will always keep a knocking...nice!

Nico said...

I like this! I filched a thing or two when I was a kid--got caught every time. I also enjoy the elaboration after the poem--nice writing, all of it.

Gretchen Leary said...

Sweet words :)

Victoria said...

So delightful. I can relate to that guilt that hangs around and tarnishs pure joy. Now, I going for a handful of Jelly Bellies!

kkkkaty said...

oh yes, the candy..the guilt...I think this is common but how you write about it is not at is sweet and sad at the same time;)

Dominic Rivron said...

Ah! Triggered thoughts here of the wonderful real sweet shop (there aren't that many these days) in Heaton, Newcastle. I wonder if it's still there?

Dave King said...

Scrumptious. I didn't do so well in these particular stakes, it being wartime and sweets on ration - but I did have an illegal source, the local corner shop, the lady made her own -- from what, God knows! -- OFF RATION!

Great write. Thanks for it.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Thanks for your welcome comments folks.

Despite stealing from my mum to buy sweets - as an adult I don't have a sweet tooth.

The important lesson I learnt was a real understanding of the meaning of right and wrong. Although I attempted to rectify a wrong by replacing the stolen sixpences in the money-box - it didn't work, didn't clear my conscience nor did the 'special' presents bought in later years. And so eventually I had to come clean.

Dominic ~ did a bit of googling and found Clough's on Heaton Road. Presume this is the one - and it is still alive and kicking.

Anna :o]

Frances Garrood said...

That piece brought back so may memories! And I think you're right about the fruit salad. I can taste them even as I write....happy days!

Tigerbrite said...

Your words disolved the years as you described the sweets. My favourite was the sherbert with licorice sucker. Sixpence seemed a fortune then, but I will confess to stealing a three pence piece, heavier than sixpence with straight edges.

Old Ollie said...

Great share - it is good to go back to cherished memories - makes it authentic. And well worth sixpence!

S.E.Ingraham said...

good poem and nice use of juxtaposition between love of sweets and feelings of guilt for stealing money from Mom's pillar of pences ... interesting how some things stick in our memories, as you say, and others are just gone...

Kelvin S.M. said..., lush, champi, choco-choco, monami, pintoora bubble gum, bazooka, yuuckie were just but few of what i put to bed from some saved pennies back when i was li'l... ha, i know sweets are pretty much hated by moms for their children for it ruins their tooths... hihi... cute memories... smiles...

Jyoti Mishra said...

the things we do when we nothing but small things to worry about... Golden days

lucychili said...

when i was in grade three i used to save my lunch money from school and go to the petrol station on the way home and get mixed lollies. mum caught me and from then on i had to walk the long way home so i did not pass the petrol station.

at home while mum was out sometimes we would look in the cupboard for chocolate drops but mum had an amazing sense of smell and could smell if we had tasted some as soon as she got in the door.

i hope your mum gave you a big hug when you told her.

Jenny Woolf said...

Can't remember the original wrapper but it was certainly less gaudy. I never liked them much. they were pink and yellow weren't they. I was always one for sherbert flying saucers, myself.

Fred Rutherford said...

beautiful flow here, love the way it reads. Vivid imagery as well, really shines. Funny, just gave up sugar for lent, definitely a good test of the willpower:) Definitely enjoyed the piece. Thanks