Saturday, 24 September 2011

My chocolatey heaven

Yesterday I walked for hours around the Chadstone Shopping Centre Melbourne with my daughter. I was fulfilling the promise I'd made to her after her sister and I had our city trip some time ago, and as she had a student-free day, I took the day off as time-in-lieu and bundled her off for some spending.

Working to a budget of $200, we enjoyed exploring the fashion shops, avoiding the ones with one or two eagle-eyed sales-women breathing down our necks and instead heading to the more open, bright and cheerful shops, particularly the ones were the marketers have gone to the trouble of creating a teen-friendly atmosphere. She has a good eye for value, and was happy to search for cheaper options of dresses she liked and to try on a range of clothes. I took it pretty easy, trying on only a couple of things every now and again and providing a positive commetary on her choices when required. I was attentive to staying calm amidst the hustle and bustle, noise and lights, and made sure I sat for a rest on the odd occasion.

By 2.30pm I was getting pretty tired- we had done a lot of walking by this time and the noise and stimulation of the centre was starting to get to me a bit. So was I excited when I spotted the Lindt chocolate cafe? You BET!!!! Heaven just made for me! We feasted our eyes on the range of brightly wrapped delights, before I sent her on her way to finish her shopping while I lost myself inside.

Although I am following Weight-Watchers at the moment, I am allowing myself the enjoyment of good quality chocolate every day, knowing that this is good for my general well-being. Lindt, to me, is the epitome of deliciousness when it comes to Chocolate. I took my time and chose a few delicious, hazelnutty, creamy delights and ordered a skinny de-caf cappuccino to have alongside... mmmm, time to find a seat and day-dream about chocolate!

I have a lot of memories of chocolate. The first ones would, like many of use, be related to Easter ... that glorious morning when you get up to see if the Easter Bunny has been - and get to over-indulge in chocolate - thanks Mr Bunny! Mum, Helen (my sister) and I lived in Puckapunyal for a short time when I was in grade 2. We would have had very little money, with mum still studying primary teaching and I think she was on her teaching rounds while we were there. That Easter the Easter Bunny left me a beautiful egg shaped like a chicken, with full detail on the wrapper. That stands out to me, for some reason, and I actually savoured that one gradually - unusual for me, they usually went down the hatch pretty quickly! My grandma, when we were a bit older, began to buy my sister and I Ernest Hillier Eggs and chocolates - delicious and very memorable. All Easter eggs, though, are very yummy.

The movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a great favourite with us as kids. We only ever saw it on television, usually screened once a year, and it was a real occasion, as inevitably there would be some chocolate to enjoy while we watched the movie - making it a multi-sensory experience! I still think the original movie is a million times better than the more modern (and more creepy, I think) version.

These days it is much better for me to eat little bits of chocolate at a time and really savour it - the temptation is far too easy to scoff down bars and blocks and boy does my body become a tell-tale sign of my greed! Lol. So easy does it now, but I plan to enjoy chocolate, in its myriad of forms, for many years to come.