Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Sweet Discipline Tests the Spirit

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Sweet Discipline Tests the Spirit

Article excerpt

THIS week marks the start of another season of Lent and from Ash Wednesday many of us will be forgoing a luxury or two in the lead up to Easter.

Whether you have Christian beliefs or not, Lent is a good opportunity to put a little self discipline into your life and do away with something - usually a vice like chocolate, sweets, smoking, alcohol or nagging your partner or work colleagues - for the six weeks before the Easter Weekend.

For the uninitiated, the official version of Lent is 40 days of fasting, repentance and spiritual discipline - a time when Christians reflect on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Lent of my childhood was always a harrowing time because we had to do without our daily sugar boost of lollies, one of the few vices a kid gets to enjoy.

Any sweets that came the way of the Hardwick kids during Lent were placed into a large glass jar until Easter Sunday.

The jar was kept on the top shelf of a tall cupboard out of reach of those who might be tempted by the devil himself to break the lolly fast.

It was tough because some of my mates didn't adhere to Lent fasting and happily chomped away on jelly babies, choo choo bars and Big Charleys right in front of me.

Remember the Big Charley? A long, pink bubble gum strip that used to leave your jaws aching by the time you got through chewing it all.

It used to take a full afternoon at the footy to get through a Big Charley, although the biggest thrill for cheeky young blokes like us was heading up to the footy canteen and asking the young girl behind the lolly counter: "Have you got 'Big Charlies'?".

The lass would invariably give us that look of disdain as we retreated giggling among ourselves, figuring we were so clever and that she was oblivious to our youthful sexist jibe.

But I digress.

Many a time when left alone in the kitchen at home I was tempted by the devil himself.

Taking the form of my favourite sweet the "chicko baby", Satan would tempt me toward the cupboard housing the Holy Grail - the lolly jar. …

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