Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Bastille Day

Pastille Day
Fantasy Bob noted that the French celebrated Bastille Day at the weekend.  In his younger days, not knowing what or who a Bastille might be, FB misheard the description of this celebration on the BBC News as Pastille Day.

He did not know why the French should deem Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles worthy of national rejoicing, but he saw no reason to decry their enthusiasm.  They are French after all.  They do not play cricket.  That seemed explanation enough.  If they wish to celebrate Fruit Pastilles, let them.

Another assist for Murray Mints
FB has nothing against Fruit Pastilles, they are perfectly fine if you like gelatine and hard sugar around them.  But he is not sure whether they should be the cricketer's sweet of choice.  That place seems to be reserved for Murray Mints.  For in Marcus Trescothick's autobiography he revealed how sucking these sweets gave his spit that added extra which shone the ball to perfection. According to Banger Murray Mints did more to win the 2005 Ashes than any of the players.  There should be a national Murray Mint day to rival Pastille Day.

There was of course then a bit of a tizz about whether Murray Mints should be banned as a result but the ICC thought better of it.  If they banned Murray Mints they would have to ban every other sweet and gum - indeed they might have to ban spit altogether.  FB is unsure why they didn't do that - the spit ball is illegal in baseball.  

FB has never tested the impacts of Murray Mints on his own bowling.  It would be a waste of a good sweet, for his bowling is beyond help.

But this brings to FB's mind another sweet from the distant past which directly celebrated cricket. Sports Mixtures, small chewy things in the shape of various pieces of sporting equipment, were a feature of his childhood and serious addiction was a significant risk among his classmates.  There were two cricketing pieces - the bat and a set of stumps beside which was a ball. FB is of course referring to the original Lion Sports Mixtures, not the more recent versions by Maynard which has kept the bat but not the stumps. Cricketers should hold out for Lion.
Lion's Sports Mixture - showing the bat (yellow) and stumps (green)
Although the sweet market these days seems to be wholly dominated by Haribo, there is a market for retro or even heritage sweets which can make available all the treats that FB remembers. All the treats that explain why he is the dentists' friend and why he risks metal fatigue when eating a large meal. Here is FB's Sweetie First XI (not in batting order).
Sherbet Fountain
Liquorice Catherine Wheels
Love Hearts
Fruit Salad
Rhubarb Rock
Milk Chews
Flying Saucers
Tooty Frootys
Rainbow Buttons

Let the French celebrate Pastilles - FB will continue to campaign for a national day in honour of these delights.  Vive le Rhubarb Rock!


  1. Pastille Day has a certain ring to it but how about Refreshers Week?