Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Until I was 4, we lived above our shop in Ruislip. I used to look out of our first floor window and down at Ruislip Manor High Street. Across the road there was this ice cream window, and sometimes I would see people buying and eating a double-cornet. But I never got to have one of these.

When I was 6, after we'd moved house to a residential neighbourhood across London, the ice cream van used to come down my road and park right outside my house. Father used to give me 5p pocket money a week, so when ice creams went up to 6p, so did my pocket money.

There was this one time when I wanted a 99 - the ice cream with a Flake stuck in it - but I couldn't remember what the brown chocolate thing was called. So I told the ice cream man that I wanted one with "some of that brown stuff in it." He gave me an ice cream with brown sauce or something squirted all over it. It wasn't what I wanted, but I took it and ate it anyway. What I'd really wanted was a Flake.

Today I stood outside Mr Hippy's van (at half-past midnight). I watched as he took a double-cornet, filled both halves with ice-cream and stuck a 99 Flake in each one before kindly handing it down through the open window to me. "There," he said, "is that what you wanted?"


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