Wednesday 5 February 2014


Sweet rationing ended shortly before I was born.

And after that, we couldn't get enough of the stuff.
Two sugars in tea, sugar on already sweetened cereal,
sugar cubes pushed into blood oranges to suck,
a little paper twist of sweets each morning for a snack,
sixpence to spend on sweets every Sunday,
pineapple chunks, Smarties, Jelly Babies, chocolate ├ęclairs,
Spangles, Refreshers, Fruit Gums, 

Cadbury's chocolate, two lumps for break at school,

Turkish Delight, Maltesers, Rolos, sherbert lemons,
Lucozade to pep you up after an illness,
(doctors and nurses recommend it)

a Golden Delicious apple every night in bed
after I had brushed my teeth,
Mint Polos,
(the sweet with the hole/s)

and a mouthful of mercury fillings.

I have endured many hours in so many dentist's chairs,
often at the hands of a dentist called I.Screech,
sometimes without anaesthetic.
I am not convinced that all of those fillings were even necessary
despite the sugar onslaught, 
because dentists were paid per filling and would even fill milk teeth.

The latest programme of repairs to old fillings
has just finished and I am nursing an empty wallet and a sore jaw.
But now, I am going to watch this
to see if I should wean myself off sucrose and glucose, 
which still lurk, in admittedly more respectably disguised forms, 
in my diet, even if it is too late for my teeth.

Well I've watched the programme and, how interesting,
it's not just fat, and it's not just sugar,
it's the fatal combination of the two that lies at the root of the problem.
Luckily, I don't much like doughnuts,
but it looks as though meringues and cream
are off the menu and I'd better prise myself out of this chair
and build some muscle.


  1. I loved Spangles! Do you remember the "Old English" ones?
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

    1. I think so, but if they were liquorice flavoured I wouldn't have liked them.

  2. Spangles. Navy fruits. (Which became Polos, of course.) Oh this brings back memories. Of course, virtually all of my teeth are now crowns and bridges too!

  3. Oh I remember all of the above and and still have a sweet tooth - although some of the sweeties now taste too sweet and set my teeth on edge - what teeth I have left, that is.

  4. Remember them all as my parents had a general dealers (with a big confectionery section) when I was growing up and we lived at the back of it. Naturally, I was the envy of my friends but I didn't have a sweet tooth at that time. Much preferred a Bird's Eye frozen dinner to a quarter of Lucky Numbers.

  5. Your "Navy Fruits" are what we call "Life Savers." They were always a bit too sweet it seemed.

  6. My first mother-in-law always had sugar in her mid-morning coffee . Apparently the BBC doctor had once advised it " to keep one's strength up , dear " , in one of his broadcasts .

  7. I can't stand doughnuts either, but I've heard of a new product:
    Cronuts - a combination of croissant and doughnut.
    It hasn't made it east of California yet, but when it does I'll certainly do a taste test so I can share the results with my web friends!

  8. It was fun to see all the vintage graphics inviting us to the sugar party. I've never added sugar to my tea or coffee, and am not much of a fan of candy...other than dark chocolate. It's getting close to the time when I do my Lenten denial of chocolate. These weeks get easier every year.


  9. My childhood was like that too, and my visiting grandmother placed 4 squares of Dairy Milk each on the end of our beds for us to wake up to, every day for a month. The Gardener says he lived with a lollipop tucked into the side of his mouth. My mother only took us to the dentist when we had toothache! Now we are reaping the consequences big time - I feel compelled to explain to new dentists that I had years of dental neglect until I was old enough to take responsibility for my own teeth, but all far, far too late. I shall follow your link now, but I fear it will be depressing.....

  10. We used to get Lucozade after having a tooth out.

  11. I was six years old when sugar rationing ended but I don't recall any sort of sugar frenzy. Perhaps because we had little money to spare for sweets anyway. I do recall all of the sweets you show, with the exception of the Navy ones, I have always known them as Polo. I was so sad when Spangles stopped production.

  12. Over here, your Navy Fruits are called Lifesavers. We used to get a book of twelve flavours in our stockings at Christmas when I was little. We can still get the books, but now they only have six rolls!
    I ate a fair bit of candy when I was little, and have a mouth full of amalgam to prove it.