Hot Chocolate in Ipswich

My friend Poppy and I used to go to the Buttermarket shopping centre in Ipswich and order Hot Chocolate Deluxe with a mountain of cream and a chocolate flake on top. It looked like a 99 ice cream. It was not the sort of café my mum took me to. In fact, I was first taken there by a babysitter called Abby. She lived on a small rural council estate in a village near my house and took herself to college after school and did her A-levels and got As. She did English and taught me about feminism for the first time, before I knew what it meant. I idolised her and asked for purple Dr Marten boots for my birthday because she had them. She spoke seriously about the painful endurance test of breaking-in Dr Martens. I could never wear them like she did. I never even broke them in: they lived in the cupboard under my sink for a while. In truth, I sold them several years after my mum bought them for my birthday, leather still smooth. Also, it seemed to me that I had very large feet and I didn’t know how to wear my feet, especially made to seem bigger by purple Dr Martens. My body couldn’t carry them at that time. Recently I learned to wear them comfortably, fifteen years later. Anyway, the hot chocolate at the shopping centre was so sweet it did something weird in the back of my throat that made me cough. Usually we felt sick after having it, but we always had it when we went there on trips buy clothes at MK-One for school discos, because the first few sips were so good.

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