I can’t remember the name of my first school teacher, but I remember the first shop I bought sweets in, it belonged to the Lowry family whose daughter was in my class.
One day playing in their house, which was actually behind and above the shop, her mother gave us 5 pence each so we could go into the shop and buy some sweets. Mrs Lowry wore one of those proper cover all aprons, it was brown, secured with two round buttons on her shoulders and had a big pocket on the front.
I was four at the most and mesmerized.
It was 1975 so you could still get halfpenny sweets. I may not have been paying too much attention at school but I managed to figure out that the little copper coin gripped tightly in my chubby hand had the potential to get me between 5 and 10 sweets.
To this day, I remember exactly what I bought:
1. 2 aniseed balls, the little red ones that lasted ages.
2. 2 flogs – yellow and pink swirls of yumminess.
3. 1 liquorice lace – red, not black, I can’t remember if they tasted better, but they looked fabulous.
4. A blackjack - I’ve always been a sucker for chewy liquorice.
5. A fizzle stick – yellow of course, it’s a classic and should be brought back dammit.
This is where I discovered cola cubes, my love for which has endured and surpassed my Morten Harket obsession of 1986.