Rediscovering the 'Me' in 'Mumeeeeeee'

'I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways'. (Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861)

January 19, 2011

Sweet memories

I am obsessed with sweets at the moment; can't stop thinking about them, wrote a short story about them, felt the urge to blog about them, felt a bigger urge to eat a load of them...

But we're not talking about just any old sweets here. Not rubbish sweets like the free lollies the hairdresser gives to the boys or those awful things that come in tins with Ben 10 and Tinkerbell on the front at Christmas time.

I'm talking proper sweets. The sweets of my childhood. The sweets which still make me smile: midget gems, sherbet pips, pear drops, rhubarb and custard, floral gums...the things you bought a quarter of from the local shop and savoured every one until they started to stick to the bag they came in. I have vivid memories of the jars being lifted off the shelf and the contents being poured into a shiny metal dish on an old weighing scales.

Then there were the penny chews: fruit salad, mojos, blackjacks and drumstick lollies, sherbet fountains and sugar mice. Just fantastic, exciting sweets displayed in their proper boxes and wrapped up for you in a small, white paper bag.
I remember the whole concept of 'pick n mix' coming to the local Woolworths and it was all the rage - imagine, being able to just help yourself - to sweets! I look at those same pick n mix stalls now; plonked in the middle of the local shopping centre and at the entrance to the cinema and it seems such a rubbish way to get sweets. No magic. No atmosphere. No anticipation really. Just plastic boxes and cellophane bags and rubbish sweets to choose from.

Bring back the Willy Wonka style, 'olde fashioned sweete shoppe' I say, where 10p (or 10cent in my case) can get you a bag full of goodies and a smile from the nice lady/man who served you.

Who is with me??

Thank you to for the lovely images. Check their site out - it is sweetie heaven!



  1. ACE post! I'm lucky - we have a very old-school sweet shop just like you described on our high street (not 10p though sadly)x

  2. We have two "proper" sweet shops like that where I live and if I had my way I'd be in them every day! Although I never know what to ask for. When I was little we used to ask for a quarter of.... Not sure what that is in grams.

  3. We had a hucksters shop outside my school gates where we bought sweeties like this. Every Friday, my little brother and I were given 10p to spend - it felt like a veritable fortune way back then. (As I grew up, the same huckster solm me single cigarettes for 5p...)

    We have a sweetie shop near us now, here in Adelaide, that models itself on an old fashioned English sweet shop. Dare I tell you I love to go there so that I can stock up on English crisps? (The day I realised they sold Frazzles and Wotsits - oh my, my little corner of Adeliade got a little brighter...)

  4. Great post. I have never gotten over my love affair with Love Hearts, especially the green ones. I just adore them.

  5. I worked i a sweetshop filled with glass jars of sweets, which we weighed and put in paper bags, twisting them shut.

    I had fab toned arms... ate all day long & remained a size 12, although it appears to have caught up with me now!

    It was a fab job!


  6. Oh I love sweets too. We have an old fashioned sweet shop in Lewes which is near my doctors surgery so I have been known to treat myself.

  7. Yum yum. Sweeties from jars are the best with chocolate limes being the bestest of all of them.

  8. You've inspired me! I was reminiscing with my Dad yesterday about the 'witch' who owned the sweet shop down the road from my parent's house, with her nicotine stained hands and long curled finger nails. She had the best sweets but we were forbidden to buy anything from her that wasn't already wrapped.
    I already have a horror short story I wrote about the local butcher shop near where I grew up. Reckon this one needs writing too.

  9. I don't really have a sweet tooth but am salivating at the memory of Black Jacks. Loved 'em.

  10. Those sherbert fountains have changed! I was disgusted yesterday to find it had a screw cap! I enjoyed very much eating the paper (by accident of course) and getting in a rather sticky mess! :D

  11. How refreshing a post!! I am going to cry if I see just one more diet post. Thanks!

  12. I have good news for you lady! Whilst creating this weeks Listography I stumbled on I can't promise you'll get much for 10p, but I think you'll enjoy a bit of a browse!


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