Regular readers of this blog know I fall back on re-reading my 1985 diary for inspiration when all else fails. Two entries from October 1985 I find interesting.
'Tudgie' was a much loved uncle who influenced me greatly in my fatherless formative years. He had many health issues in his life, including cataract operations when such operations were far more traumatic than today. You had to suffer a blindfolded existence for several days after an operation, with no certainty that an operation was to be successful. 'Tudgie' was a patient in what I believe was called The Birmingham Eye Hospital, the date would be not all that long after the war. (1945-50?)
'On one occasion the frequent theft of sweets and chocolates was traced to a nine year old patient. Tudgie's answer was simple but effective. Laxative chocolate was attractively wrapped in silver foil and placed in full view on a locker top. As expected it soon vanished. The young suspect was located and encouraged to participate in strenuous games within the hospital grounds. With grim satisfaction Tudgie and friends waited for nature, with help, to take its course, relenting only as far as to inform matron of the possibilities. It came to pass, literally and one little boy spent one busy morning more or less permanently upon a toilet seat, ruminating on the fact that, whilst crime might seem to pay, one also has to pay for one's crime.'
I make no comment as to the rights and wrongs of such actions. Suffice to say it was probably indicative of a bygone era and certainly not 'PC' by today's standards. I would love to hear what you think.
'I pay one of my infrequent visits to town. Ten amusing minutes are spent answering the banal questions of a pleasant South Wales lady involved in market research. I watch a brief video and am expected to answer, intelligently, questions concerning the product, Terry's Moonlight chocolates. My feeble efforts are rewarded with a twenty pence bar of chocolate!'
What a simple, unexciting life I lead in1985, that I recorded such matters! Out of interest, can you still buy Terry's Moonlight chocolate?
Finally, a 'choclaty' story', as Kenny Everett would say, 'In the worst possible taste'.
A chocoholic old man lay dying, drifting in and out of conscientious, dreaming of chocolates to the bitter end. So vivid the picture of luscious, creamy, chocolate, Thorntons Continental Limited Edition, Burdick's Handmade and Harrods Marc De Triumph Truffles that he mustered the last of his strength, arose from his bed and staggered downstairs in search of chocolate. His breathing was painful to behold, but, driven on by the dream of chocolate, he approached the lounge and opened the door. And there, a spread to rival all spreads. Plates of chocolates: After Eights, Ferrero Rocher and the full Kshocolat Collection. Surely, he thought, I must at last be in heaven. Summoning the last of his strength, he staggered towards the table. He reached out for the plate with the best selection. His eyes fell on a dark chocolate orange thin and his hand, clawlike, lovingly reached out for it. And as he did so, a crazed smile lit up his ancient face, just as his wife's voice boomed out of the kitchen, 'Leave them alone, they're for the funeral.'