“The Tupperware contained chocolate. Lots of chocolate, in appealing child-sized bars, nothing fancy but always compelling. And it was here, over this rectangular plastic box, that Mold and I did a great deal of communing. We both loved chocolate. Our taste in the stuff was similar. Cadbury’s Flake, Aero, Curly Wurly, Crunchie, Kit Kat and the Dime bar, a Scandinavian crunchy concoction that Mold delivered to me with great ceremony after a book tour in Sweden. Maltesers, Rolo, Fruit and Nut; a mutual horror of the Creme Egg. We were partners in a quest for the ultimate bite (light, airy, possibly featuring almonds). His knowledge of chocolate was encyclopedic. He could recall specific dates and years of invention with the glee of a patriotic child recalling the kings and queens of his country.
Mold grew up fatherless, in an era before chocolate was readily available. His father died of pneumonia when he was three – a few weeks after Mold’s sister Astri died of a burst appendix – leaving their Norwegian-born mother to care for four young children on her own in Wales. Sweetshops peppered his boyhood and boyhood writing: lemon sherbets, bootlaces, gobstoppers and toffees; hard-boiled sweets served by boot-faced proprietors. Chocolate was later, the stuff of dreams, exotic and faraway.”