When I was tiny, my mum used to play a game involving a wooden box. She’d get me to open it – it would be empty. Then she’d spin around and ask me to tap the box while saying a spell, and then on opening again, there would be a box of Sun Maid raisins. I didn’t even know what sweets were yet, so this was the height of indulgence. I was OBSESSED with the damsel on the front holding her basket of grapes, and was desperate to know about her life in California – wherever that was. Most importantly: would she be my friend? I relished the moment of opening the box and smelling the sticky mass of fruit inside, that molassesey, resinous smell that reminds me of sunsets and skin in very hot climates. Even now I think I prefer the scent of a clump of compressed raisins to their taste, and there’s something about those cardboard boxes that teases it out. Sadly I never met the Sun Maid lady.
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