Friday, 24 April 2009

Sweets I have loved..

At the pub quiz the other night, my friend Katie pulled out a packet of sweets. They were Fruit Salad.

My eyes lit up. "ooh I love these" I told her and she then said something which made my night..."I've got some black jacks at home, I'll bring them in for you."

Black jacks. I loved these more than I loved the Fruit Salad. Not only did they taste great, but they made your tongue black. When I was little my Mum used to hide them from me so I wouldn't eat them before my tea. However, I did used to find them and was forever licking my tongue out to her just to show her that I had been eating them! That's the kind of rebel I was when I was younger - I were reet mad, me! In't black jacks brilliant?

Anyway, true to her word, Katie bought me a packet of sweets in and I sat there and with them on my desk and once opened, I had passed the point of no return. I obviously offered them round to everyone in the office but I think I might have said it in a very low voice because no-one wanted one (YES!)

I am thinking of bringing out a book called "Sweets I have loved" and the Black Jack would definitely be in there along with Spangles, Tutti Frutti and the Milk Tray bar (you know, the chocolate bar that had seven or so different chocolates in the one bar. They don't do them any more) I also remember the Aztec bar - that was nice.

As I said in an earlier blog, my brother was very canny when it came to sweets as he knew that I used to gobble all mine down quite quickly and so he would save his and then sell them to me later - he was a right spiv.

I've just been speaking to him actually on the Skype thing. It's great to be able to see him and speak to him in real time. He was telling me something that I was absolutely shocked by... it is twenty years since he went to the US of A to seek his fame and fortune.

Yes, twenty years since I took him to the bus station in Hanley, Stoke -on- Trent and said my goodbyes to him and his two friends who were also going to try their luck in the US. I remember giving his friend, Phil, a kiss goodbye and my brother was quite shocked with the way Phil and I got carried away! I just reminded him of that... "oh yes, bloody hell!" was his response.

Back to my topic of the night - sweets. I used to go to Stoke market on a Saturday morning and buy a quarter of chocolate buttons with bits on - loved them. I also used to get sherbet from the shop opposite my Nan's house and it came with a stick of liquorice. Mmm, is it any wonder I am built this way? Guess not. Sweets have been a big part of my life.

I could just fill this blog with the names of sweets that I like - apart from those horrible sweets that taste of violets and anything with marzipan in it - I haven't met a sweet I didn't like!

When I used to work at the city council in Birmingham, I was fortunate enough to have a space in the underground council car park - it used to drive one particular radio presenter in the area mad to think that this parking space was there for the councillors and officers to use!

One morning, I parked my car there and bumped into a well-known local person who was on one of our Scrutiny Committees. I had met him on several occasions but never really had a decent chat to him and so I thought that as I was in the car park and we were both walking in the same direction, I would introduce myself.

I started off by thanking him for making me the shape I was....he was the reason why I was shaped like a barrel - the man in question was Sir Adrian Cadbury, no less! He probably won't remember this - we are talking well over 10 years ago and you name me one person who can remember a conversation with a near stranger in an underground car park from all those many years back. However, I remember it and that's all that matters.

I am going to nail my flag to the mast now and say, hand on heart, that you just can't beat Cadbury's chocolate. It is divine. It is the best tasting chocolate in the world. Who told the Swiss and the Belgians that their chocolate was the best? Not I. Only if I'm desperate would I eat their chocolate.

However, coming up fast on the inside lane is a recent find - ALDI chocolate. Yes, GERMAN Aldi Chocolate. My Dad would be spinning in his grave to think that I preferred German chocolate to British but even my friends at work had to concede that Aldi chocolate was nice and if you were to come into our office on any day of the week, you will find a general assortment of sweets, chocolates and cakes - we are connoisseurs.

Sweets are no good for you but why do they taste so good? Why can't the things that are bad for you taste horrible and the things that are good for you taste nice - you got it slightly wrong there G-Man but then if we all ate what was good for us, the Government would have a dickie fit at not being able to preach to us, so I'm doing them a favour by single-handedly keeping the economy going on the sweet front and helping the sweet industry to ride the recession.

Will I get a mention in the Queen's birthday honours for my hard work? I doubt it but I can go to bed at night safe in the knowledge that over the years, I've kept the nation's sweet shops going when all other establishments sans bon bons have fallen by the wayside.

Recession, what recession -it's 2009, it's supper time and I'm 'aving a curly wurly.

This is Gene Hunt signing off.

Monday, 13 April 2009

My ideal wooden man!!

I have made no secret of my desire for this man. Paul Metcalf (aka Captain Scarlet). He is such a fox. I have always loved him from the first time I clapped eyes on him when I was a little girl.

There is something about him that used to make my heart race and that voice of his could melt ice in seconds - it was hot.

Captain Scarlet was the stuff dreams were made out of from his perfect skin, blue eyes, jet black hair and those lips that I used to dream about kissing (and if I'm honest, still do).

So what is it about this mini marvel that made my growing up years so special? Well, for a start, I always used to imagine myself as Mrs. Scarlet - I was a former Angel who settled down with him to a life of domestic bliss and while he was off saving the world from the clutches of the dastardly Mysterons, I'd be waiting at home for him him to mop his brow and scrub his back when lying in a well-earned bath after a long day of earth-saving.

He might have been indestructible (gawd knows he would have needed that skill if he was relying on me to cook for him) but he was still a man and I was merely Mrs. Paul Metcalf.

His Cary Grant like voice, his square jaw and perfect physique - I wonder if Gerry Anderson knew what he was doing inflicting so much manhood onto an unsuspecting world of adoring females? Well, the Angels were created for the boys to lust after and Capts. Scarlet and Blue (aka Adam Svenson) were the eye candy for the girls.

However, 30 odd years later, I'm still dreaming of this man with the wooden hands and imagine being whisked off for a romantic weekend in the country just as plain old Mr and Mrs. The other boarders in the B & B not knowing that the man in Room number 17 has just saved the earth from being blown up by Spectrum's arch enemies.

Oh yes, away from Spectrum, Capt. Scarlet had a whole new life with me. We lived in a rambling cottage on an equally rambling estate in the country, Cotswolds I think, we had a black dog (Labrador) and a King Charles Spaniel. We had several cats and two horses. Paul and I would go for long walks in the country and if the weather was nice, we'd take a picnic which would always end up with us lying down on the blanket on the ground in each other's arms looking up at the sky and making plans for the future.

Yes, his life from Spectrum was a whole different world but then, there was the time I would dread, something about his person would start to vibrate and I just knew it would be work calling him back to cloudbase. That's why our weekends together were so precious because they didn't happen very often, how could they? He belonged to the world and I was merely just a tiny part of it.

Our front door bell was the only give away to his life in secret service as it would chime the seven notes of Spectrum.

It would always end up as a tearful goodbye when he was called into work and I would always think that this just might be the last time I saw him. What if the Mysterons had found some way of reversing his indestructibily? What if life with Mrs. M in the country was getting dull and he fancied going off with one the glam Angels? What if he were to fall for a beautiful, enchanting alien and decide that he wanted to try life on another planet?

Yes, these dreams were real of mine as a young girl growing up and many a daydream have they been part of.

Now when I see the good Capt. on the TV, I often think about the life he had that no-one knew about with me all those many years ago and wonder whether or not he would have been happy with leading a double life?

Who will ever know? I am flesh and blood and living in the real world. He is plastic and wood and living in comic books, TV supermarionation programmes and has a new legion of fans following him now he has been revamped and bought up to date.

I thought I was sad to lust after a man I knew didn't really exist and for whom I had created a whole new life for but when I was told that a friend of my husbands (who is in her 50s) still has a poster of Virgil Tracy on her bedroom wall, then I didn't feel so bad about nabbing Capt. Scarlet for myself for a fantasy or two.

He may just be a puppet, but he knew how to tug on my heart strings!