Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON
The only thing better than a kid in a candy shop is an adult (who is also a big kid at heart) photographing the shelves in a candy store. All but one of the shots for this week’s Photo Hunt theme of ''candy'' were shot at a Melbourne Suga store, thanks to the staff member Lachlan, who was more than happy to give me permission.
You say candy, we say lollies. But when I was little, we just called 'em sweets.
And y’know what? We weren’t allowed to eat them as and when we wanted – because they would rot our teeth. Rot ‘em rotten. I remember being allowed one sweet after lunch – if I finished all my vegetables and all my fruit. It’s not that my parents were tough on us. Nothing could be further from the truth. But dental care was more important than munching on sweets.
I also remember how, when you used to board our flights to and from boarding school each year, the Indian Airlines flight attendants used to bring around a tray of individually wrapped sweets, as well as packets of cotton wool for our ears. I would ignore the cotton wool and always ask if I could have two sweets. I was never refused.
After I finished university and started in journalism and began travelling extensively around India and overseas, the tray of sweets still came around before each flight – much to my delight. I don’t know if it is still corporate policy, but I guess the idea stemmed from the days when Indian Airlines operated Viscounts and Skymasters.
I suppose the action of sucking a sweet for landing and takeoff actually compensated for cabins that were not as well pressurized as they are on modern airliners. Having said that, even when Indian Airlines began operating their Airbus fleet in the late 70s and early 80s, I would always take two sweets when the tray came around.
When I became a parent, we noticed an interesting trend with the Authorbloglets. None of them are really into sweets – or lollies, as we call them here in Australia. When our eldest was a toddler and used to come home from birthday parties with untouched bags of lollies, we started putting them into a spare kitchen drawer. It was christened The Lolly Drawer and all these years later, that is exactly how it is still referred to.
Since not one of the Authorbloglets is interested in the contents of the drawer, their friends come over and automatically home in on the drawer, like bees to honey. Some years ago, the daughters of a friend of ours were so enamoured with the concept of a Lolly Drawer that they declared they were going to start one of their own.
A week later, we asked how their Lolly Drawer was going. ''It doesn’t work,'' they lamented. ''As soon as we put something in there, we eat the lollies immediately, so the drawer is always empty. We want a full Lolly Drawer, just like yours.''
On the other hand, our Lolly Drawer fills up so rapidly that it has to be emptied every few weeks. And there is a set procedure here. The youngest Authorbloglet has been under strict instructions to ring a friend of the eldest Authorbloglet The information is passed on that the great ritual of The Emptying And Cleansing Of The Lolly Drawer is about to occur, and the friend appears – as if by magic – to take delivery of a sackful so large and so heavy that even the Tooth Fairy would be rubbing his or her hands with glee.
Finally, here is a true Australian staple. Caramello Koalas (above) are part of Australian culture. So too are another Cadbury product - Freddo Frogs, which get my vote any day of the week. The Freddo Frogs were invented by the late Harry Melbourne, who was an 18-year-old moulder when he had a famous conversation with his boss at MacRobertson Chocolates, back in 1930.
The boss wanted to make a penny chocolate and mentioned that he was thinking of moulding the new product into mice shapes. But the teenage Harry piped up, saying that many people were afraid of mice and that maybe a frog would be a better product. Today, they are a confectionary icon in this wide brown land.
And when the appropriately-named Harry Melbourne died in January last year, his coffin was draped in a Freddo Frog flag.