Tag Archives: childhood

Why Was Milly Always Given More Sweets Than Mandy and Me?

Sweets… treats… yummy… gummySprinkles… choco… rocko… sugar plum… raisin rum… fruity gel… caramel…!!!

In moderation…all fine and fun and fabulous. Especially as a child…if we had been good…sweets.  If Mum and Dad were proud of us…sweets!  If we went to visit our Nanna’s home…sweets!!  If we had to go to the Doctor’s surgery or the dentist’s practice…sweets!!!

Oh yeah!!!!

However…I have always wondered why was Milly given more sweets than Mandy and me?

I have my favourites, I have to admit.   However, I am not overly fussy when it comes to naughty sweet treats…I am just not a big fan of those chalky fizzy sweets – you know the ones I mean?  Except Love Hearts…even though I don’t really like eating them…I applaud the concept.  One of my friends had a wedding cake which was plastered with love hearts and had sticks of candy rock as the supports to each tier of the cake.

However…I have always wondered why was Milly given more sweets than Mandy and me?

My own personal favourites were white chocolate mice.  Amongst the highest echelons of sweetie perfeChocolate Micection!  I liked the brown chocolate mice as well.  But as a little one, the reward of white chocolate mice after being a good girl for mum when we went on an errand with her was epic!  I would do a little celebratory dance to show my gladness. When the sweet shop man handed us our paper bag with our treasured sweeties, I would say “thank you thank you thank you with sugar sprinkles and a cherry on top”.  Utter exquisite happiness…all for 10p!  Thanks Mumma…for all those delicious white mice you bought me throughout good days and bad.  The mice you bought to cheer me up during my trials and tribulations.  The mice you bought when I had done something you approved of and you wanted to reinforce in me that I should be a good good girl.

However…I have always wondered why was Milly given more sweets than Mandy and me?

bournville with choc

I found two favourite chocolate bars.  I would save my pocket money (when I was old enough to be given pocket money) and these were my two favourite chocolate bars for many many years.





However… I  have always wondered why was Milly given more sweets than Mandy and me?

When I look back (retrospectively…ha ha – still in the habit hey!!!) I have to admit I was never without sweets.   Of course if I had been naughty, then naturally sweets were withheld.  Once we started high school and my parents gave us pocket money, they no longer bought sweets for us.  It was up to us to choose how to spend our pocket money.

However…I have always wondered why was Milly given more sweets than Mandy and me?

Mum used to take us all the way to a dental practice in a seaside town about forty minutes drive away from where we lived.  There were lots of closer dental practices. However, Mum took us to the dental practice where she had registered atBoiled Sweets the age of twenty-one when she had a little bedsit and had just left her nurse training course.  (That is another story I will tell you about one day.) Most of my family still travel there after all these years. 

When we were little ones the dentist gave my Mumma a right telling off!  Why?  Well, he blamed my mum for the state of our teeth.  Mum had been training us to brush our teeth sure enough  However, she would buy us boiled sweets.  The dentist could somehow tell that we had been walking round with a boiled sweet slowly dissolving within our  little mouths.  It was dissolving out enamel and apparently ruining our teeth.  The dentist gave my Mumma such a lecture that she wept.  I was only around six at the time.  I would never see, let alone taste another boiled sweet,  From then on, every time we had sweets they were soft.  Phew!  That meant chocolate mice were safe, chocolate sprinkles were safe, even my favourite chocolate bars were safe!  However, Mum would insist that we drank a glass of water after we had any sweets.  After that trip to the dentist, Mumma was much more zealous with supervising our dental health.  We were introduced to floss, mouthwash and we had the snazziest toothbrushes.

However…I have always wondered why was Milly given more sweets than Mandy and me?

I remember one of my very first school trips…you know…it is such a long story, I think I should save it for another post…let me tell you now though, I ended up with a huge shopping bag full of sweets to take with me onto the school bus that was going to take us to our destination.  You know, my Mumma had to reason with me, until I finally accepted that I should tell the teacher that they were for everyone to share.  I thought they were all for me.  Before Mumma won me over, I was thinking of how jealous my school friends would be when they saw how many sweeties I had.

However…I have always wondered why was Milly given more sweets than Mandy and me?

Aaaaah…now I come to the main issue that played on my mind for many years.  It was not my imagination.  Milly truly was given more sweets than Mandy and me.  We both saw it and we both felt keenly the injustice of the situation.

Finally my parents explained this mystery that had long provoked Mandy and I.  Why was Milly given more sweets than Mandy and me?

If Mandy or I were given a bag of sweets, we would gladly start munching them and convey our thanks to our parents or whoever else had kindly rewarded us with a treat. Mum or Dad would often say, “Why don’t you share your sweets with your friends, or with your brother and sisters?”  Mandy and I would object.  Under duress, we would finally be moved to offer our last few sweets to others.

But Milly was different.  Milly was special.  I mean that with every hint of respect for my gorgeous littlest sister.  If Milly was given a bag of sweets…this is what she would do. After expressing her thanks, she would open the bag and peer in gleefully.  Milly had the same joyful appreciation on receipt of a sweet treat as Mandy and I did.  However, Milly would look into her bag and immediately offer one to whoever had given her the sweets.  She would then rush around to everyone else present offering them one of the treasures from her goodie bag.  After everyone else had a chance to take a sweetie, Milly would dive into the bag and take one for herself.

Sharing sweets

When I finally comprehended why Milly was given more sweets than Mandy and I…my heart swelled with love and pride for my littlest sister.  My parents told us that noone had ever told Milly that she should offer sweets to others before she helped herself to them. That came all from Milly’s own little heart.  The best way to make sure that everyone had a treat was just to give the bag of sweets straight to Milly, who would  of her own initiative run around and make sure everyone had something and then finally take one for herself.

Surely you agree…Millly…is gorgeous!!!  Utterly gorgeous!  I am so proud of her.  I clap my hands and congratulate my parents who noticed this beautiful trait that Milly had manifested.  They made sure Milly was always given more sweets than Mandy and me.



Precious Lace-Like Memories

This week’s challenge from estherchiltonblog is to write a story, limerick or poem on the subject of:

Favourite childhood memories

conquer.jpgRecently Goldfinch and I walked across Richmond Park in South-West London.  We passed a horse-chestnut tree loaded with conkers.

I started to tell Goldfinch about a precious lace-like memory that I have…one of my first memories in life in fact.  It’s a memory that is full of holes like lace, and yet it is such a pretty recollection in my mind and I have clung to it.

It is a special memory of a time before my brother became a troubled teenager and started to drift away from our happy family. For that reason all of my memories of him when he was younger and happy have remained like precious treasures to me. I have always longed for him to be happy again, a part of our family once more.

I am not ready to tell you the painful story of how my brother’s forging his own path in life has turned out for him. It has been a long and winding road for him. I am pleased that he is aware of how eager the whole family are for him to COME HOME! He is taking baby steps to get back on his feet. I would like to share one of my precious lace-like memories with you.

My brother took me to the woods a few minutes from our family home. I remember the exact woods we went to. They ran along side my primary school. Only the trip to the woods was before I ever started school. I may have been three of four years old. My brother was eight years older than I.  So he would have been eleven or twelve.

My memory of those woods is that they were very dark. I was frightened but I trusted my brother and kept tight hold of his hand. We were there to find conkers. We must have found them, because from the woods my memory jumps to our kitchen. Dad was helping us with the next stage of our task.

I remember the conkers being baked in the oven. I remember Dad helping my brother to drill holes through them and feeding string through those holes which were knotted securely.

Then came the action!

My brother was brilliant, spot on with his aim.  He kept on encouraging me to have another turn.  But it was completely beyond me to aim my conker and hit his.

I remember his excitement, his laughter during the game of conkers. But I also remember his affection for me as his little sister. I looked up to him.  I was so proud of my older brother. I remember with fondness how safe I had felt holding my older brother’s hand when we were traipsing through the muddy woods, climbing over broken branches and tree roots.

I have precious early memories of my brother before his troublesome teenage years which he never seemed to recover from.  But it is frustrating that those memories are full of holes like lace, though exquisitely pretty. Favourite childhood memories of my dear brother – happy, full of smiles, full of laughter.  My brother who was so fond of me, and whom I was so very proud of.

I cling to those precious lace-like memories.



Home Town Hair Trim

IMG_20180702_134037I slept all the way through my first day of holiday.  I was so wonderfully organized with my packing and left my little abode in plenty of time to catch my train up north, but as soon as I sat down on the train (which had no buffet car – which is what you would expect when you buy a rail ticket to take you over 200 miles for £6) I realized I had left my water bottle in the fridge.

Aaaaah – “the best made plans of mice and men”!!!

The hottest weather we have known in England since before I was born (apparently 1976 was the last time England had a heat wave like this), and I had no water.  So when I reached my destination five hours since my last drop of water, and had lunch with my parents, I was suffering!  I tried to re-hydrate myself slowly, but I was already wilted.  I had to lay down on the bed in the cool guest room.  I slept for several hours.  Then we headed to my sister’s home where I stayed the night.  I was so tired.  I slipped into bed at around 8pm and slept for thirteen hours.  I think it may have something to do with the crazy ache in my head also.  But I feel better after going to hospital on Thursday and being reassured that there is nothing to be concerned about, just “unusual swellings”, which seem to be not so unusual in my case because the last four CT scans have shown the same thing.

ironingMy second day of holiday, I wanted to sort out my things before I went out.  So I ironed all the clothes that were looking rather crumpled after being squished inside of my suitcase.  I love ironing.  Love it!

Now I was ready to start relaxing and enjoying myself.  We have spent today catching up with friends in the town I grew up in.  I am going to prepare another post about this town as I borrowed a tablet so that I could take photographs at the same time as I gad about to see friends and places I have grown up with.

During the course of today, I also managed to squeeze in a hair appointment.  I was hoping to have my hair trimmed at some point this week.  The cost of my cut and blow-dry today was exactly half the price of any of the salons in the pocket of London I live in.

I went to a salon that has been around for decades.  I remember my mum was a faithful customer when she lived in this town.  My mum had a few, let’s say “experimental” hairstyles that did not really suit her – the orange curly haired mum particularly stands out in my mind.  But on the whole, the team of stylists did a great job with my mum’s hair.

ear piercingMy memories are vivid of the day when Mum brought me down to this salon to have my ears pierced.  I had been asking for years and finally my parents decided I was old enough to have my wish granted.

I have another very vivid memory of one of the biggest temper tantrums my sister Mandy ever threw.  Mum had asked the hair-dresser to trim Mandy’s curly hair.  Milly and I had straight hair which was easy for Mum to cut herself.  But Mandy’s curly hair was not as easy to tame.  (My Dad had cut it once – maybe I should save that story for another post – it was so funny.)  Mandy threatened the hair-dresser that if she cut off more than half an inch she would “kill her”.  Yes – I know!  But these were the words my troublesome little sister came out with at times.

Well, it was an agony to watch what happened when Mandy felt that too much hair had disappeared.  She started screaming and smacked the hair-dresser.  Then she ran, she bolted out of the salon and we all ran after her all the way to the town library several minutes away.

Mandy stood there in tears, half of her hair had been trimmed before she had fled fromtantrums the salon.  The only way to calm her down and convince her to return to the salon to have the rest cut was to give in to Mandy’s demands.

I always thought it unfair that Mandy could throw these huge tantrums and the only way she would behave was when she received something she was adamant she wanted.  I was appalled by her behaviour as a small child to be honest.  I am very very glad she grew out of that and my parents found a way to tame her fiery spirit.  She was five years old on this occasion, but she knew what she wanted:

  • A pink lipstiick
  • A gold head-band
  • She wanted to have her ear’s pierced (this seemed very unfair to me because I had to wait until my parents thought I was old enough, but Mandy was going to have her ears pierced at the age of five because of her massive temper tantrum).

IMG_20180702_151947Sitting in the salon today brought back lots of memories!

The young lady who washed my hair told me she had never visited London.  She would love to go and see a musical like “Phantom Of The Opera”.  I was pleased with the stylist who cut my hair as well.  I think she did a great job.  The photo at the top of this post was the BEFORE picture (you can see how terribly dried out my split ends are), and here is the AFTER picture I took when I was back at my sister’s house.

Lovely feeling leaving a salon with that swooosh swooosh feeling of neat, tat-free and slightly too glamorous for a blisteringly hot day – hair.  No tantrums from me.  No, the penny-pinching side of me is delighted to have had my hair trimmed for half the price I have to pay when I go to a salon in London.