Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sweet Thing

My auntie Thea was a skinny thing; I have memories of straight hair and thin arms and legs, emerging often from baggy jumpers.  So it always tickled me that the thing that has always reminded me of her is chocolate.  And not just any chocolate, but Fry's Peppermint Cream. I'd never even really noticed its existence until Thea said it was one of her favourites.  I cannot remember how old I was when we discussed it, even.  But the next time I saw it in a shop, I purchased it, and delighted in it  - a thick bar equivalent of After Eights, this is a crisp, dark chocolate bar filled with stiff, minty fondant; I adore it.  Since, although I don't see it often, and certainly not in the states, when it's there I buy it. And, without fail, it makes me think of her.

She loved liquorice allsorts, too.  A real sweet tooth, Thea.

I can hear her voice so clearly.  Strong brummy accent, with laughter in it.  I'll never be able to hear Van Morrison without thinking of her. 

Last time I saw her - which was too long ago - she had dyed her normally brown hair blonde, and she joked about it being frivolous and a bit of fun; she looked great.  She would often slip out to smoke one of her ever present rollies; she danced away with us as we celebrated at my cousin's wedding.  It was my birthday, too; a rare treat to celebrate with so many members of my family.

Yesterday, flying back from her funeral, I searched WH Smith's in Heathrow terminal 3 for Fry's Peppermint Cream; they didn't have any.