Thursday, September 28, 2006

I just saw the most amazing thing in the world and it involved tie-dye. Now, ordinarily tie-dye makes me want to kill people in the face, but when those wearing it are doing something called a Multi-Coloured Chocolate Swap for a delightful made-up thing like National Chocolate Amnesty Day, that's a different kettle of cabbage entirely.

Have you tried that really weird "mood" chocolate from NewTree? It's very thin, swish and called things like Serenity (very popular in the Empire office for obvious name-associated reasons) Cocoon, Forgiveness, Blush and other such Care Bear nonsense names. Oh wait, they seem to have ditched Serenity now – maybe it didn't test well. It had bitter oranges in it which was nice in a sour Christmas sort of way.

Tranquility is the best one. It's made with lavender which is not only one of the best but one of my favourite things in the world. When I was 8, me and my ludicrously intelligent friend Joanna used to pick lots of it, make it into bags and flog it to her neighbours. One of the neighbours, who called us rats and made me the Chief, used to make fudge and give it to us in exchange for not having to take a bag. It was some of the greatest fudge this world has ever seen, second only to the stuff my mum used to churn out in industrial quantities for my brother's school bazaars.

Back on the street, I want some of this chocolate. Do I have to adopt something in order to get it? Promise to actually buy one of these god-awful cardigans? No! Like the name suggests, you have to swap something.

"No papers, give us something original – something useful!" suggests the bouncy girl co-ordinating the whole thing (clearly a hockey captain at school).

I delve into my bag. Since the demise of both the Tardis and the Poppins bag, I've been forced into using my housemate's kindly lent but comparatively tiny black one. It's barely 30cm long, how the hell do people operate with such microscopic accessories?

Peering into their swag bin I can see that someone's handed over an umbrella. Damn, that was good thinking. Right. iPod, no, travel card, heck no, contact lens prescription…useful yes, but useful only to me. Aha! Generic Sainsbury's Lemsip equivalent it is. The girl is impressed, and I get a whole bar of Tranquility lavender chocolate to myself. Another lunchtime quandary is solved…

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