Saturday, February 21, 2009

The last Pick'n'Mix bag....

So, it's the end of an era.

The last Woolworth's Pick and Mix bag is being sold on Ebay. Bids have so far reached £13,000 and the money is going to a charity to help retail staff in trouble. I'm wondering if I'm honour bound to make a bid, to make up for all the little sweets my 'friend' might have, ah, 'found' in 'her' pockets when we were kids.

Here's an extract from my alphabetical novel, Something Beginning With... and as I write this, I'm wondering if I should be updating my book now? Will people still know about Woolworth's Pick'n'Mix in five years time?

Hmmm...the end of an era indeed.


After the success of our last shopping expedition, Sally and I now spend Saturdays shopping in town. Last weekend she said she wanted to take me out for a special treat, and then took me to Woolworth's. I was surprised. WHen we were kids, during the summer holidays, we used to pretend to our mothers we were just going to the park near our estate, but then we'd jump on a bus and have baked beans on toast in the Woolworth's in the centre of town.

For pudding, we'd steal sweets from the 'Pick'n'Mix' counter. We weren't the only ones. Even nowadays you get adults looking at the sweets in Woolworth's with a nostalgic look on their faces. They buy selections for their own children, but you can tell they think there's something unenterprising about this. Something unnatural about just handing over the money, but then children these days expect everything to fall on their plates without doing any of the work, don't they?

I was about to point this out to Sally, when I saw her face. 'I want you to get me a candy shrimp, a fruit chew, two pear drops and a coconut mushroom,' Sally said For a few seconds I thought about refusing but there would be no point. I know Sally too well.

We ran down the streets afterwards, whooping and shrieking with joy. My hands were sweating so much that most of the sweets had disintegrated but I didn't care. I kept looking into the faces of everyone passing me by, and just at that moment, it was if Sally and I were the only ones who were truly alive.

See Codes, Danger, Kindness, Women's Laughter, Zzzz