Whatever happened to .... smarties.
Firstly you notice that the good old tube is no more - smarties now arrive in a cylindrical packet. Then you realise that ... !!!Shock Horror!!! ... there is no plastic lid . Smarties, i am afraid, have become the latest casulty of environmentally friendly packaging (well 'friendlier' anyway). I am sure that the easier to recycle packet makes a lot of sense - but i used to love those plastic lids!! The idea to emboss a letter on each one was a stroke of genius by someone in the marketing department. I can remember as a kid trying to collect the whole alphabet - but of course there was always the one letter that you couldnt find so you had to keep buying more packs in the hope of finding the missing one!
Unfortunatly though the Smartie changes do not stop with the packaging ...
The third thing you notice is the colours. Think smarties - i am sure that your memory conjures up images of bright green, dazzling yellow, gaudy purple and of course the slightly later addition of that fabulous blue! But alas that is all no more ... Smarties have gone 'natural' with their ingredients . No more artifical colours to send the kiddies into hyperactive frenzies in the middle of the supermarket. The resulting colours now are all sort of ... well dull. Dull green, muddy brown, dusty red ... it is all very sad to see especially for a girl who used to love sorting her bright smarties into piles of the same colour before eating them .
Ah and now we come to the final point ... eating them ...
Have you tasted the new, environmentally firendly, natural smarties? They taste horrid!!! You put one in your mouth and the first sensation is sort of a powdery texture ... distinctly lacking in flavour of any sort ... and then you get to the chocolate part the taste of which reminds me of those really cheap chocolate advent calendars that you get - eugh .
I have to admit that the 'tube' of smarties that i opened ended up being fed to my children! (now just for the record i have to reiterate - this was ME ... TIGGS ... and i VOLUNTARILY stopped eating something involving chocolate!!!! I do realise the shock you are now probably feeling ... ). The biggest surprise to me however was that my kids were perfectly happy to eat these icky smarties!! Suddenly i realised that our children, fed on a diet of 'natural ingerdients' dont realise the difference - they have no idea what they are missing - poor things .
Are these changes really necessary i ask myself - i suppose if your children live on a diet of chocolate and crisps then maybe the answer is yes. On the other hand my kids eat a healthy balanced diet - with chocolate and sweets only featuring as special treats so i am pretty sure that the occasional original smartie wouldnt have hurt them. So do you think it would work if we tried lobbying nestle to change them back? ... well i guess only smarties have the answer ...
(sorry about that but i had to include the smartie tag line somewhere didnt i?!)
Whatever happened to ... supermarket trolleys?
Then came that new breed of trolleys, where the supermarkets seemed to be in competition so see who could have the largest selection of different designs going around their store at one time. They came in the types: normal; supersized; those little half depth ones; ones with a baby carrier on them; ones with two baby carriers on them; the ones with basket for putting the baby car seat in; the ones that attach to the front of a wheelchair; and any combination of the above!
After all of these incarnations of a fairly standard design you would think that someone would have come up with the perfect trolley by now ...
... well i have to admit that they HAVE managed to add a brake (the one on the top of the wheel that you have to stamp on to get to go on and off). This is indeed a huge improvement for those of us who regularly find ourselves in a windy carpark trying to hang onto a heavy trolley full of shopping with one foot while using both hands to strap a wriggling toddler into a car seat.
... however i am going to take exception with whoever it was who decided that a supermarket trolley should only have ONE toddler seat in the front!?! Which daft person thought that one up?! Do these stores really want my four year old running about loose - or even worse when he starts to complain that his legs are tired and i switch him into the seat - that leaves my three year old 'helping' by removing as many things from the shelves as he can ... and all i can say is that is it a brave person who takes a loose toddler along the 'wine & spirits' aisle .
This 'one seat' phenomonon seemed to begin in the odd store but the plague has spread like wildfire and now it is virtually impossible to find anywhere to do my shopping without it ending in me having some sort of nervous breakdown at the checkouts as i attempt to pack bags while my children see if they can 'hide from Mammy'!
I sincerely hope that this daft trend has not extended to the other side of the world - i have high hopes of being able to return to the good old days of shopping with TWO safely confined children - preferably held in place by sturdy seatbelts. While i am sure that i will hate supermarket shopping as much as ever (now that is a whole different blog entry!) at least i should be able to exit the store without leaving a trail of carnage and distruction behind me.
Whatever happend to ..... jelly and ice-cream and pass the parcel?
What did we actually get? 30 + kids, a full blown disco (including entertainer), party games included an x-factor dance competition and huge buffet lunch that could easily have fed a small third world country ...
... and this child is ONLY 4!
God knows how much this all cost (i didnt dare ask the birthday boys mam) but i'm thinking that if she had change from £500 she was probably doing well.
Just to top it all off when i got talking to some of the parents with older kids it turns out that this particular party is THE one to have at the mo. Apparently 'everyone is doing it'. OMG these are small children!! What are they going to want/expect when they get to be teenagers?!!
Well next Tuesday Rhys is 4. We are not having a big disco, and we are not spending a fortune. We are having pass the parcel, blue-tac the tail on the donkey (pins and 4 year olds are not a good combination), jelly and ice-cream and homemade birthday cake with candles. Do we think that Rhys is notice the difference? Of course not - he is only 4 - all he wants is a bit of fun and some presents to unwrap.
I hope to goodness that kids in Oz prefer good old fashioned parties - i know i do.
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