#47 Jolanta

I recently bought a used copy of Isabel Allende’s ‘The House of The Spirits’. Inside there was a tiny card for Jolanta, the card simply reads: ‘Dear Jolanta, Happy (belated) Birthday. This is the book that I was telling you about. I hope you enjoy it! With love from Jane x’

I don’t know who Jolanta is, but, i hope she enjoyed the book too and i’m just writing to tell her that i now have it, safe and ready to read, and i also hope to enjoy it.

As for Jane: thank you for giving this beautiful gift to two people.

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#46 swirly pop

The humble swirly pop. A pinwheel colours so engaging and so magnificent that i can’t help but always expect about a million tastes from them, combinations that aren’t achievable and have questionable suitability: a cinnamon laced strawberry, vanilla-ry, blue raspberry-ish, sour apple concoction, a wonka’s everlasting gobstopper in lollipop format. This expectation manages to kill all the excitement of the swirly pop as soon as i start to eat it and i realise it’s just sugar, sugar flavoured sugar, slowly rotting my teeth and throwing my insulin levels out of whack, which, to a child, isn’t unpleasant, but for me, just wasn’t what i expected

The first time i tried one, i could hardly believe that something so wonderful looking and wholly inanimate could lie to me so convincingly, i took it back out of my mouth and just looked at it in disbelief, and as if mirroring my disbelief the fantastical colours of my swirly pop had start to run and stripped the lollipop of all it’s status. It made me long for a whether’s original or murray mint out of my dad’s coat pocket, and so i traded it with my brother for a rolo.

I think i misunderstood the nature of the lollipop i had before me, the purpose of the swirly pop isn’t to taste as magnificent as it looks, its a gesture, it divulges your imagination and teases you senses with it’s sweet, yet surprising, taste. The swirly pop fandango of ’96 was probably one of my first memorable examples of things that aren’t always what they seem to be, and what came as a shock to me then now serves as a comforting thought and allows to step back and appreciate the swirly pop, and things in general, for what they are.

Although i still expect a swirly pop to taste like magic, whenever i buy a swirly pop now it’s purely for decorative purposes, a girl just can’t take that sort of disappointment over and over again. if i want something strawberry flavoured, i’ll eat a strawberry.