Whilst we were all in lockdown, I began to get nostalgic about breakfast cereals, the cereals I ate as a child. I found myself craving for a bowl of Rice Krispies or Shreddies, especially Shreddies. Really it was all about the Shreddies. After much deliberation, weeks and weeks of deliberation in fact, I was ready. I visited the supermarket and, as we needed to stock up on muesli and porridge, I made my way to the Cereal Aisle.
There I was confronted by boxes and boxes of Shreddies. It was all a little confusing to me as I hadn’t realised that there were quite so many different types of Shreddie. I immediately dispensed with the possibility of the supermarket’s Own Brand and I quickly deduced that there were, in fact, just five versions of Nestle Shreddies (in this store at least): Frosted, Coco, White Chocolate, Simple and Original. I was a bit troubled by the packaging but I supposed that, back when I was a kid, Shreddies had just been…Shreddies and the words The Original emblazoned in massive letters on the front of the box was all for the benefit of someone like me.
As someone returning after a lengthy hiatus of, let’s say, thirty or forty years or even longer (damn, had it really been that long?) since I had enjoyed a bowl of this fine cereal, I grabbed a box excitedly of The Original. Home again, I ripped open the packet and filled a bowl poured in milk and I wondered if I should add sugar.
‘Do you think I should put sugar on them?’ I asked Christine.
‘I don’t know,’ she shrugged. ‘Did you when you were a child?’
‘I don’t know, I can’t remember.’
I helped myself to a spoonful and thought, yeah, they definitely needed sugar and after adding a fairly liberal sprinkling I sat at the kitchen table and started to munch them as Christine put away the rest of the shopping.
I’ll readily admit getting through that large bowl of Shreddies was pretty hard work. But I persevered and when at last I put the empty bowl down on top of the counter Christine asked, ‘Well?’
‘Not as nice as I remembered.’ was all I could manage to say.