in a perfect world i would buy a cold crisp bar in the winter from one of those wall mounted metal vending machines outside a chemist or a hardware store,where i’d enjoy every step of the purchase.i’d love slipping the coin into the slot, followed by turning the big knob at the side to retrieve my chocolate bar from the flap at the front…y’know i always found chewing gum a disgusting commodity,but i’d even buy that sometimes just to engage with a wall mounted vending machine.i can forgive cadburys for no longer having those contraptions,since the world is full of pigs who’d love nothing more than to destroy them,but i cannot forgive the company for what they’ve done to the wrapper. dear reader…surely you’d agree that the darling silver paper lovingly embraced by a second layer of purple was as heartening as the chocolate itself. as a child, having scoffed the lot, i would take the silver paper and flatten it out,then bounce it in the air like a leaf or attempt to do something creative with it. for a while in the 1960’s that silver paper was truly luxuriant with the embossed cadbury trademark all over it…easter eggs had the same,but don’t worry… i won’t get started on the pigs ear they’ve made of the 21st century easter egg.
as a child i found life unbearable…(feel free to laugh)…i dreaded break-time in primary school where we’d all be herded into a playground to either fight or run around in circles. that ten minutes of hell seemed to last forever.heaven was in the lounge…the adult room back home that was often out of bounds. in the lounge was a drinks trolley dressed with lovely coloured bottles of rum and brandy…harveys bristol cream sherry…babycham…advocat…and a jar of cocktail cherries..camp as tents really..but more importantly a record player with a pile of 45’s that my dad brought back from air force juke boxes.at the earliest age i was listening to the bachelors ‘i believe’.. rolling stones ’19th nervous breakdown’ with ‘as tears go by’ on the b-side….connie francis ‘lipstick on your collar’…’goodness gracious me’ by peter sellers and sophia loren…’the book of love’..’my boy lollipop’….all these pop songs of love…human promiscuity…depression and belief….. i scoffed a lot of cadburys dairy milk,opal fruits and rowntrees spangles while lording over that record selection.
bars of chocolate and gramophone records go very well together,and one of the loveliest things to happen recently is re-instating a gramophone player into our container (container is mary-speak for’house’).in san francisco last year i bought an original 45 pressing of the beach boys ‘don’t worry baby’,and only last night when i gave it a spin,my boyfriend came gently sailing into the living room from the kitchen, and danced by himself on the carpet, while i shyly watched and felt my heart near to explode with joy.
i have decided to curtail calling records ‘vinyl’..we never called them vinyl when they were our lifeline. vinyl was the plastic flooring in toilets and kitchens. one of my favourite things is to say “i think i’m going to put a gramophone record on”…or a *long player*…or an LP.
it occurs to me that rituals are,without us realising , a doorway into some sort of meditation…the two layer unwrapping of the chocolate bar….the coming away from a record shop with a purchase lovingly bagged, to be unbagged and played at the spinning alter of feelings…….i miss that almost sacred deflowering of a chocolate bar. i’m left cold at these new soulless plastic sealed wrappers on display…i wonder if cadburys google their shit and have little think-tanks where they invite twits like me to ponder over their product for an afternoon. if they do,they could do worse that avail themselves the privilege of my company for a few hours. they’d learn how crucial it is for their chocolate bars to look pretty and unwrappable.
dear reader..i think i’m going mad.
all my loving … mary of the wilderness.