Not for the first time this week, I was just one of many voices remarking how easy it was to transport myself to the wizarding world of Harry Potter. This afternoon, for example, after chasing down my sushi lunch as colourful plates rotated around a conveyor belt, we wound our way back to our lodgings which are a good 15-minute walk from town. That might as well be Hogsmead to Hogwarts.
En route, we passed Hardy’s Confectioners and had to explore. Dylan’s Candy Bar be damned, this is what a sweet shoppe should be! Floor-to-ceiling glass jars filled with boiled sweets that are as much eye candy as the other kind. I was almost paralysed in making a decision regarding humbugs.. humbugs! When was the last time I had some of these? Possibly 30 years ago. So a jar of Golden Humbugs made their way into my wicker basket.
We wound our way down the spiral, cast iron staircase to a world of walls of toffees. You cannot imagine the variety of toffees there are to be had. What’s more, they come in those brilliant, pressed tins, with wonderfully detailed images and lushly saturated colours. It’s true, the tins of my childhood *were* more vibrant — and here is the proof. I selected a carousel-shaped tin of Churchill’s toffees and fudge — I expect my work colleagues to empty the contents efficiently so I can spirit the tin back home to a boy who loves both carousels and tins.
Finally, I was delighted to make off with a lucky packet. Do you remember those? Filled with sugary treats (No Calvin, that candy is definitely not for eating, pass it here :0) Actually, the boy is Olympic gold-worthy in his choice to avoid sweets.) I remember our Christmas family tradition of getting a lucky packet and an annual. Does anyone remember annuals? Beano? They were endlessly entertaining, as was the surprise of what one would discover in the lucky packet. Given the sophisticated goodie bags available at children’s birthday parties these days, Calvin will probably be underwhelmed by this simple, harks-to-the-past piece of Britishness, but I’ll enjoy reminiscing in the present.
As for Hardy’s, it is doubtlessly the closest thing to Harry’s Honeydukes Sweetshop I’m likely to experience. (Thanks to SLF for the inspired suggestion, and the kind boy we cajoled into taking the photo.)