17 Comments
Oct 27, 2023Liked by Clancy Steadwell

P.S. beautiful post, I could relate to a lot of what you said.

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Oct 27, 2023Liked by Clancy Steadwell

- What’s the first purchase you ever remember making without your parents?

It was probably space raider crisps from the local store. They were 10p then.

-What’s the equivalent of ‘Andersen’s’ convenience stores where you grew you? Do you think most convenience stores are the same no matter where you go?

We had a Happy Shopper about 15 metres from my house across the road. “The brand name was used broadly for a convenience store franchise between 1971 and 1998” I was a shy, chubby 8 year old in 1990 and loved going there for crisps, sweets and a panda pop on a hot summer’s day.

- Who was your friend whose parents were more lenient than your own?

Most of my friends had more lenient parents than me. Mine were no means strict, but my mum was very anxious, one friend, Graham (name changed) was a child of a single mother who we later learned had schizophrenia. So G was very street wise form a young age, he’d go out at age 4 and wonder round the high street. We lived in a small market town so it was very safe. His mum let him go out and do whatever he wanted but he never really got into trouble.

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Feb 3Liked by Clancy Steadwell

Great piece. I'm sometimes unsure if your writing is memoir or fiction but it's always a fantastic read.

Us Brits are well schooled in the wonders of the Toblerone - they also come in mini sizes in different varieties - always get some for the Christmas chocolate rummage box 🍫 and people recently lost their minds over there having always been a bear in the mountain.

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Jan 7Liked by Clancy Steadwell

What a fine piece of writing, Clancy. You had me eight years old again on my hand-me-down, rusty bicycle, fenders scraping -- screek - skreek - skreek! I followed you, terrified, down that steep hill with only foot brakes, heart pounding. I remember buying candy called Abba-zabba, sort of sticky taffy wrapped around peanut butter. Tooth breaking stuff. I remember sitting on the floor reading the comic books that I never had money to buy. The shop owner didn't care. I remember stealing a plum and not getting caught. I hadn't thought about these things for a long, long time. Thanks for bringing back my own childhood for a few minutes through your inspired memoir and this beautifully evocative prose.

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This is going to sound snobbish but my first unsupervised purchase was “the secret garden” the book.

I come from a small town in Valencia, Spain. Back then there were no chain convenience stores. All of them were unique in their own right. I remember the smell of the one I used to go to- it was a mixture of charcuterie and Marsiglia soap.

Most of my friends’ parents had a similar outtake on life- go to the park, come back when I tell you.

That vision of the Queen Anne’s lace reminds me of these flowers my mum had in her garden- queens earrings. But they are as fancy as they sound. Picturing the 9 year old laughing and crying and wiping the tears away made my heart hurt a bit. Lovely story. PS I hate how the nutty bits of the toblerone stick to my molars. I have sworn off that stuff.

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My first purchase I remember making on my own was a big one, and an accident at that. I had just moved into my first apartment and the circa 1980’s washing machine I had just inherited went kaput before I could even hook it up. So, off to the store I went. I found the cheapest washer in the store and went for it. Almost gave me heart palpitations with the price tag but it was a good fit for several years thereafter.

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This story was giving me big Wawa vibes and I could smell the store's interior while reading...the stacks of TastyKakes...the soft pretzels...

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