During the period from 1939 until about 1949 Chocolate and Candies were not available in the UK to children because of the War and everything being rationed.
My brother Billy who was 2 years younger than I, first tasted Chocolate in about 1946 when I was 6 years old and he was 4. The reason how we got this Chocolate is because we stole it. We had a wonderful Irish family living next to us called O,Riordan, the youngest of them being Francis who was about 12 years older than me and who we addressed as Aunty Francis. All 8 of O,Riordan family were our uncles and aunts. Their home was ours, we just went in and out when we pleased. We were like family to them. When Francis was a child about 1930ish someone gave her this enormous chocolate Easter egg, which was bout 12/14 inches high and in a presentation case. There was only the front top half of the egg visible and it had a big flower made of icing sugar and words Happy Easter. This egg was stood on top of the piano in their small front parlour. The parlour was only used for guests or when the Catholic priest visited. Billy and I often used to go in there and just look at the egg. Then one fine day curiosity and the urge and necessity to taste chocolate got the better of us. So we decided to remove it from its case and take a small sample piece from underneath and return it back to the case then never ever touch it again. Well about a week after tasting this beautiful thing called chocolate we got up the courage to just have one more small piece each (Just a nibble) then promising and swearing on the Bible and our lives away to each other that this time would be the last. So after about 6 months we ate away the entire bottom of the egg. We never touched it again for a long time. We used look at it from all angles but still only the top front was visible and once again greed reared its ugly head. We thought it would be ok to just take a small piece from the back, which we did. Then after about 3 months the egg had no back as well as no bottom. So again after a long period of time we decided to just remove a teeny weeny sliver each from what was left and then move the case to dark side of the piano and no one would notice. In taking our slivers mine or Billy’s hand slipped and a huge chunk of the front came away. Well as you can imagine there was complete panic stations. Billy ran out. So after getting myself calmed down I decided that if I ate all the chocolate and left the flower and the words and the case being in the dark, I would be saved. So I did.
A few days later Billy and I were confronted by the whole family and asked had we touched the egg.. We denied it until we were blue in the face. I think all our aunts and uncles had great difficulty to stop themselves from laughing.
About 15 or 16 years later I was home from sea and Billy was home from working around the country. It was Xmas Eve and we went out pub-crawling in the afternoon. When the pubs closed at 3 pm we went and visited a couple of very old aunts and gave them their Xmas presents. On making our way home through town we bumped smack into Aunty Francis. She was thrilled to pieces meeting us, as we were her. So after much hilarity we dragged her into a perfume shop and bought her the biggest and the best bottle of perfume they had. So I presented this to Francis and said Francis this is for xmas and also repayment for the Easter Egg..
This year I bumped into Aunty Francis who is now in her late 70s and nearly blind. I told her this story again we laughed like hell. She said “The whole family knew what was going on and thought it hilarious. My sister Katherine and I were eating the egg too, but you and Billy got the blame”.
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