Today, I want to talk to you about.....chocolate. In particular, favourite chocolate. No, wait, this is important, because all writers need Writing Fuel. It's the thing that keeps us going when... well, yes, when we're writing, but sometimes, during those Writing Moments, writers can have horrible Blank Times. Hours, sometimes days, when there's nothing playing on the screen behind your eyes except a small list of things one must purchase from the garden centre when one is allowed out next and the question 'why is the dog barking in the garden when we a) we haven't got a dog and b) we haven't got a garden. And it's hours like these when chocolate really comes into its own.
|This picture is from The Telegraph. Yes, a mainstream newspaper thought chocolates were important too!|
But there is chocolate and, as I am sure you will agree, there is chocolate. Now I don't want to offend anyone of an American persuasion, but someone once attempted to feed me Hershey's chocolate. Oh, it wasn't deliberate, it was a well-meaning attempt to introduce some alien culture into my life and anyway they'd been to the States and thought that bringing back some American orientated sweets might be a good idea. And it was horrible. Everyone who has tried some has corroborated this, so it's not like it's just my opinion either, although I do concede that different people have different tastes so, you know, your mileage may vary. But seriously? They tasted like sick.
But I have just had a conversation with someone (The Mysterious Mr Q, actually) who takes chocolate almost as seriously as I do, and I was surprised to find that he enjoys the odd Flake, while I find Flakes oddly sicky too, as are Twirls. And don't get me started on Galaxy versus Cadbury's debate. And then we have chocolate with bits in question - should chocolate be 'pure' or have added...things. Sea salt or chili or.. I don't know, artichokes or something.
I am going to give a purely personal opinion here, consisting of three words. No, you're all right, those three words aren't anything horribly judgemental like Eat More Lettuce, or Just Say No. They are: Giant. Chocolate. Buttons.
What? You don't understand about Emergency Chocolate? It goes like this.... You know how you often sit there, brain freewheeling harder than Lord Bradley Wiggins descending Mont Blanc, and your mouth draws your attention to its desire to nom something. You smack your lips for a moment and finally your brain alights on what it is that your mouth is trying to say - it wants........ You may fill in the blank for yourself, but it is always, and I cannot stress this too much, ALWAYS something that, not only do you not have in the house, but is something that you will probably have to drive a round trip of around 30 miles in order to obtain. Always. Go on, try it yourself....
You've found yourself wanting sugared almonds, haven't you? Covered in gold leaf? Or those hand-finished crisps that you can only buy from that little farm shop that's only open on Thursdays? Anyway. My point is... I only really want chocolate when I haven't got any. So keeping an large bag of Giant Chocolate Buttons on the shelf in the bedroom is my way of preventing myself from ever wanting chocolate. If I could only work out how to do this with all the other food groups, I'd be really thin...