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Kayleigh’s middle name was Rose. On my first outing to a supermarket for months I saw the most beautiful rose, I will call it raspberry ripple to give you an idea of what it was like. Obviously I had to buy it. There are many things associated with it. The ice creams we used to buy with the raspberry sauce on them that got dipped into hundreds and thousands that she loved as a child, the tubs that you bought and just that unctuous sauce that ran down the cone and on your fingers and tasted sublime (who cared about sugar content then), mixed with the melting ice cream. The sound of the ice cream van on its way not really knowing which street it was in but knowing that it was on its route and would be coming. The anticipation as they waited for it to arrive watching from the window or the gate, as long as there was enough money for them to have one.

Those days were filled with a love of food, of the shared pleasure of eating a meal together, going out for a meal, or even a takeaway. AN rips that away and it all becomes so stressful. Is it the right place to go, the right food to choose, the right or the wrong takes over the whole of the world it seems. Ten minutes standing trying to choose the right mushroom, was it cut right, was it the right shape, symmetrical etc etc etc. No one who has not been in the position of knowing what it is like can possibly understand the frustration, trying to hold on to your patience, ignoring the stares of people etc. Its not easy, it never was.

So today I think about raspberry ripple, of the days before when things were so simple and choice so easy. I laugh at the joy of the beach picnics and the sandy sandwiches, of picnics left in the sun for a couple of hours that never killed us, of the love and laughter we shared and at the end of a day full of this the falling into bed with hugs and cuddles to dream sweet dreams.

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