Is there something from your childhood that you’d love to bring back? I don’t mean being able to run around a shop being an airplane (although I am adding that to my list too) or making dens in the front room out of blankets and cushions (that’s just gone on their also). I was thinking more of food; sweets and snacks, in particular.

For some bizarre reason, this week I was talking to a friend about the ideal wedding cake. Although mine always has been – and always will be – a big battenburg cake, the conversation suddenly conjured a memory out of nowhere. Actually, if I think about it, it probably conjured a memory out of my mind. That’s how the brain works, isn’t it? Not that I suddenly expect you to start calling me a scientist or anything. Oh, go on then…

The thing that suddenly came to mind from the annals of history was this: The Ovaltine Chocolate Bar!

I have mentioned this to friends; none of whom remember it. In fact, so convinced was I that all it would take to jog everyone’s memory would be a photo, I searched for one. Well, that was the plan. Thing is, I tried to find one on Google and… well, there wasn’t one.

I was becoming slightly worried that I may have just imagined this, that it wasn’t real; yet I believed it to be true. Even more disappointing was the thought that if my imagination was this powerful, why didn’t it recreate a date I wanted to have with Emmanuelle Chriqui!?!? I Googled her too.

That wasn’t really necessary…

Paranoid that my paranoia was wasn’t being used on something more worthwhile like a conspiracy theory about aliens or pandas being used as government spies – albeit cuddly, impotent ones – I decided to do something about it. I wrote to Ovaltine. I emailed them the following:

Good evening,

I have just been talking about wedding cakes and I got onto the subject of Ovaltine chocolate. I recall it from when I was a child and, I have to say, it was the best chocolate ever!

I was wondering, would there ever be a possibility of bringing back the Ovaltine chocolate bar? It tasted amazing and I would love it if a whole new generation got to share the joy!!

Thank you for your time,

Al Booth

I must admit, I didn’t hold my breath for a reply. As a rule, I only really hold my breath if, and when, I’m swimming. Or if a lady walks past with particularly cheap smelling perfume (I’d never make it obvious though, I wouldn’t want to hurt her feelings). Although I was really curious to know if Ovaltine bars were coming back, I expected that I would have to do more than email to find out. I was wrong. Here is the reply I received:

Hi Al,

Thanks for your email.

She needn’t have thanked me but, already, I felt a sense of optimism. The email had started warmly, thankfully. Maybe they had been sat waiting all these years for just one person to remember; to care. I read on…

I’m afraid the Ovomaltine Chocolate bars are only available outside the UK.

The what, sorry? Ovomaltine!?!?  It’s all very well being polite and thankful but at least notice what I have asked about. Especially if you have been sat waiting all these years for just one person to remember; to care. I read on…

There are no plans to introduce these within the UK however, we do appreciate consumers comments and suggestions and I have forwarded these to the relevent department.

Well, at least my email was appreciated. Even if it was about something completely different. Of course, the down side was that now my email was being forwarded to a department not dealing with the thing I was first asking about; The Ovaltine Chocolate Bar. The one that they had been sat waiting all these years for just one person to remember; to care. I read on…

If you have any further enquiries please do not hesitate to contact me.

Well, I do have just the one enquiry. In fact, if you read the email which you are replying to, my only enquiry is still about the Ovaltine Chocolate Bar. You know, the one that I used to have at my Nana’s when I was a child (although I have just realised I didn’t add this fact in my initial email. This may be where the confusion has occurred…). I don’t want to labour the point, but that was what I was enquiring about. You know, the bar that you have been sat waiting all these years for just one person to remember; to care. I read on…

Kind regards

Thanks. That’s nice.

Stacy

Ovaltine UK

I was tempted to write back to Stacy. Firstly, because I like that name. Secondly, because I wanted to know why she was trying to entice me outside of the UK? Had she seen my house? Did she want to buy it? Maybe she thought we could start a life together in the Algarve. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t ready to commit to the sort of relationship Stacy wanted. Not so soon. After all, we’d only shared two emails between us.

So, Here’s What I Have Learnt Today: If you, like me, remember Ovaltine Chocolate Bars it could well be possible to bring them back. It may take more than an email; I may have to avoid cuddly, impotent government panda spies along the way and I may have to spend less time Googling Emmanuelle Chriqui – although not much less time – but they could well come back!

I realise that some people may think I should use my powers of protest – for they are powers – for better purposes. Sure, I could try to help find a way to gain world peace. I agree, maybe I could work towards ending poverty. Absolutely, I could campaign for all cars to talk just like KITT in Knight Rider. However, when all these things are achieved, what are you going to sit back and eat by way of celebration; my battenburg wedding cake? I don’t think so.

After all, do you really think Emmanulle Chriqui would want to marry a man who failed in his mission to bring back the Ovaltine Chocolate Bar? No, me neither. The quest continues…