Ah, the olden days as my kids liked to call them. When times seemed to be simpler, life seemed to be at a far slower pace. No social media, no blasting television, quieter streets and mums and dads who stayed together.
But of course, we cannot be naive, as the scourges of Domestic violence and child abuse were still among us, but they were hidden and only spoken about in hushed voices behind closed doors.
To us kids, life was black and white. School, obedience, set meal times and chores. But we were well fed and clothed and slept in warm beds at night, and although the word “love” was not mentioned in our house, we knew we had a mum and dad who cared.
Like most parents in those days, money was pretty tight, so treats were doled out sparingly, but one treat that was handed out more frequently was a handful of broken biscuits from a big cardboard box.
The biscuit factory took all of the broken biscuits (possibly off the floor, although I’m not going there) and put them in a big box and sold them very cheaply at the grocer’s.
When one arrived home, we would rip off the tape and eagerly search for any biscuit that had a chocolate coating. It was like winning the lottery when you got them.
And even some that had a marshmallow coating. We did not mind them being broken as we scoffed up a handful after coming in from playing outside.
Arrowroot and malt biscuits were plentiful and were always left until the very last. However, the box did not last long with four hungry girls always looking for something sweet to nibble on. Mum even discovered that you could get double-dipped chocolates which were seconds.
They were even more popular, and we did not question their provenance, and I suspect they were swept off the floor and recoated. Oh, that delicious explosion of sweetness as I bit through a double or even triple shell of chocolate to find the treasure inside.
Truly blissful to a child of the 60s, and probably where my addiction to sugar began.
In some ways, the production practices of then would not be tolerated now, but it was a great way of not wasting food by re-presenting it in a new way to be sold at a cheaper rate. Seconds can still be bought at some factories if you have the time to look.
Things are constantly changing in our world, but some of the memories of childhood are very precious indeed, and the arrival of a big box of broken biscuits into our sugar-addicted household is one of my favourites.