I’ve only just realised that June is Candy Month, which must surely be the happiest time of year. Even more so than Christmas, as we don’t have to wrap anything up, carols aren’t required, and there’s none of that ridiculous “it’s better to give than to receive” nonsense.
Now, I’m tackling this celebration from a British perspective, so “candy” can mean anything from traditional boiled sweets and mints, to chocolate, toffee, fudge, and little rocks that pop. Basically, anything that has a high sugar content and will probably give you a mad rush followed by an enfeebling crash counts as candy in my books.
I’ve always had a sweet tooth. When I was a kid I’d spend just over half of my pocket money on things that would spoil my appetite, and the rest on the latest fad toy that would ultimately end up broken, lost or forgotten about. (All except Pogs, they were a damn fine investment, or they would have been if I’d actually kept them. I had so many slammers; such a waste.) Over here in England, I’d eat the ’90s sweets that every kid loved, like Drumstick lollies, Sherbet Fountain, white mice, Wham bar, Refreshers, Curly Wurly, Rainbow Drops, plus I’d always get a few gobstoppers from the ice cream man to go with my Feast, Calippo or Zoom. I’d like to say that I’m healthier these days, but if you were to offer me some bubblegum sherbet I’d snort it right off your palm.
When I went freelance in 2012, I took on a part-time job working in a retro sweet shop to supplement my income from copywriting. It was perfect for me, sitting there surrounded by jelly eggs and foam turtles, chocolate Brazil nuts and liquorice Catherine Wheels, plus a hundred or so other delectable temptations staring out at me from within plastic jars. Needless to say, I put on a bit of weight during my first few months of self-employment.
These days I try not to indulge too often, especially seeing how I work at a desk and have this phobia of exercise bikes and rowing machines. It doesn’t help that they’re now saying that eating two chocolate bars a day can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, as I really don’t need another excuse to buy a Mars Bar when I actually went shopping for fruit and veg. Plus knowing my luck I’d follow that advice fervently, only for it to be utterly debunked a year later.
So it’s probably for the best that I discovered Candy Month twenty-five days in. If, due to being on a diet, you’d like to celebrate it only by sight, below are some snaps I took for my Instagram account back when I worked around candy all day. It was like a saccharine, fattening, E-number-rich Valhalla!