Is it old age (and its moaning tendency)?
I don't know. But this morning I opened a plastic 'tub' of Ovaltine. I ordered it on my Tesco order. I don't have milk in either tea or coffee and often think I should drink a little more milk - I occasionally have Horlicks but tend to make that with water and the same goes for drinking chocolate so I picked up the plastic tub - immediately thinking - 'not as tactile as the tin used to be - but at least its orange '(remember 'we are the Ovaltineys, happy girls and boys'?
Miserable dull day here - elevenses time came round - spotted the tub in the tea/coffee corner of the kitchen, read the instructions, poured the set amount of milk into a jug and popped it into the microwave to heat up. I opened the tub, peeled back the shiny cover on top of the Ovaltine - what a disappointment. I didn't remember it like that at all. Didn't it used to be little brown crystals (can't think of a better word)- my Mum used to tell me off for sucking my finger and pushing it into the crystals and then sucking them off into my mouth.
Well it was a dismal brownish powder. But I put the requisite 5 heaped teaspoons into the mug, poured on the hot milk, stirred well, pushed the mug through to my chair and sat down ready to partake of 2 finger kit-kat and mug of Ovaltine.
It just wasn't Ovaltine as I remember it. Pleasant drink but not as I remember it.
A month ago it was Shredded Wheat. I remember the first time I asked my Mum could I have Shredded Wheat instead of Cornflakes. Shock horror - 'you won't like it', well my friend Margaret has it every morning. 'Well I'll get a box, but you'll have to eat it all. I'm not wasting it - so remember that. Make your mind up.' I adored it and had it every morning for years.
I bought some a couple of months ago. Anticipated fat wheaty 'cushions'. What a disappointment. Smaller, thinner, not at all like I remembered. I ate them but they somehow didn't taste the same.
And then there's Cadbury's Chocolate Finger biscuits. Oh the bliss of big, fat, chocolatey fingers. They seem thinner now, more fragile, only a thin layer of chocolate and half the length I remember.
And the Victoria plums straight off the tree a few weeks ago when I fought with dozens of Red Admiral butterflies for the priviledge. Delicious indeed - but not that mind-blowing deliciousness I remember the last time - many moons ago - when I had access to a plum tree in an orchard (stolen fruit's always the sweetest).
I intend not to put Russet apples on my Tesco order - just can't bear another disappointment.
Off now to make a cheese and pickle sandwich for my tea. Shall try to eat it without thinking about the past.
Could it be the fading of the old taste buds - or the enhancing of a perfectly ordinary wartime childhood.
Answers (to quote John Going Gently) on a postcard please.