Until recently the streets of Tunbridge Wells and other towns I dare say all over the world were spotted with gobs of chewing gum. Squads of council workmen equipped with power hoses and scrapers have cleared most of it from the pavements in this town. Funny stuff chewing gum. Though as a child I occasionally used it until the peppermint flavour disappeared, I never became addicted. It did and still does amaze me though that a substance can persist for so long regardless of being pounded by continuous chewing. These thoughts are prompted by a reference to chiceros, people employed in the rain forests of South America to tap sapadilla trees. The chicle which they extract becomes the tasteless and harmless chewing gum. Sad to say substitute latex from other trees and artificial gums now sometimes replace the chicle. But I hope the connection remains.
In the supermarket, a mother calls "Strawberry, raspberry or gooseberry?" A small boy jumps up and down in the trolley, which serves him as a chariot, as well as a conveyance for spoils. "Strawberry," he repeats with every jump. "That's it then," says his mum