Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Cadbury World

We're doing home ed today. This involves a train trip to Cadbury World chocolate factory to meet an organised group of home educators, some of whom look like they know what they're doing and probably do it properly too. instead of mucking about like mummy Grit desperate to get in some maths somewhere, and asking things like 'How many hairs do unicorns have?' before Shark, Squirrel and Tiger all run off to play.

Actually, I don't want to go to Cadbury World, being more posh than that and determined to lose weight from around my British Museum* by tomorrow, but Dig is insistent. Two days ago he starts off with the long-face routine, whining 'Why can't we go to Cadbury World?'

At this point I don't even know there is a home ed trip organised to Cadbury World. Unlike Dig, Grit has not seen the email telling everybody there's a trip to Cadbury World. But Dig has. And Dig says it is very educational knowing about chocolate. In fact he says this several times over the next few hours in about two hundred different ways, most of them in the whining voice that Squirrel uses, until I eventually give in and go and book five places.

And so today can find us hurtling across the shire by car, bound for a train station. Dig says he doesn't want to sit in a traffic jam in Birmingham and is prepared to have me pay the ridiculous cost of five tickets to Brum and back to spare him the anguish. At 70 mph we make it to the station with seven minutes spare. Just enough time to buy the tickets and consider the cost of a portable defibrillator for Dig who has once more got himself into such a state that a portable defibrillator will seem like a bargain. Anyway, he needn't have got so wound up because inevitably the seven minutes ticks on to 37 as the Virgin train is late.

Once aboard, I notice that everyone shuffles about to give us chance to sit together. This is mostly a common experience for us. I reckon that one glance at Shark, Squirrel, Tiger, miserable Grit and a red-faced Dig clutching his chest is enough for Mr and Ms Going-to-a-Meeting to size up what's in store for them, and clear off sharpish. Indeed, the man who gives up his seat to me even suggests he's 'getting off in a minute'. This seems impossible given the fact that the next stop is 45 minutes off, but he may be about to throw himself out of a window. Who can tell.

When we arrive at Cadbury World and meet the rest of the home ed group, I am pleased to say that the Grit and Dig family is not late. In fact we are slightly early, and there is much gloating all round.

Then we go in. Oh dear. Oh dear. Why didn't someone warn me? Cadbury staff start handing out chocolate bars hand over fist. Mummy kill-joy shouts 'Don't eat it now! Save it for later! Give it here, I'll put it in my handbag!' This is, of course, lost on Dig, who's consumed two bars by the time we're ushered past Montezuma in the waxwork display.

And the chocolate never stops. We get a bar for walking along a corridor, a packet of buttons for looking interested, and a bucket of the stuff just for standing upright. By the end of the afternoon, mummy Grit has had enough of Cadbury to last a lifetime and starts shouting about vegetable fat, fair trade Divine, Green and Blacks and Lindt's 80%. The children are no better. Since some irresponsible person has been feeding them chocolate all afternoon they're just at the point to start swearing, staggering and swinging punches at the staff. We have to lead them off to the playground to get some of the sugar out their system before they take on the bouncer who patrols the kiddie area, chucking out the Business Studies GCSE students.

Finally, Cadbury closes to us and we're pointed at the direction of the train station where we have to wend our two-hour journey back home. Grit declares it all very educational in terms of our Explorers project, and for understanding trade patterns around the world. Squirrel says she likes Buttons the best, Tiger demands to know why there weren't any Stars, Shark says she's fed up with eating chocolate now and Dig says he feels sick. And Grit's got two bars of Caramel stashed in her handbag for a rainy day.

* Since the incident with Grit's bum at the British Museum, that delightful body part is now known in family circles as 'the British Museum'. This is quite acceptable on the grounds that the British Museum is filled with wonderful exotica. In considering anything else in there, we may have to draw a discreet veil.


Michelle said...

Tragically, Green & Blacks is now owned by Cadburys.

grit said...

i remain hopeful that fair trade values will soak up into the practices of large corporates ... in this model i can hope that eventually kit kat will be fair trade too.

Allie said...

I have a serious Cadbury habit. Sadly, Green and Blacks has too much actual chocolate in it for me to consume a large amount - it brings on a migraine. I suppose I should settle for eating a small amount of the good quality stuff but I can't.

s.j.simon said...

lol. did you know that chocolate was banned in switzerland for many years. read this

Phoenix said...

Kit Kat is now "fair trade", but Nestle is still evil. Boycott!