An Ode to Orange Squash
The glyco-synthetic flavour that grounds even in the most terrifying times
There is nothing sweeter, more wholesome or more enjoyable to me than a tall glass of squash and ice.
My housemate used to laugh at me when I first introduced her to the phenomenon of the squash and ice ritual. But, it wasn’t long until she too was converted. Later when I moved in with my boyfriend, it took a little while to catch on, but we haven’t looked back since.
Orange squash and ice is a staple comfort of mine, it’s refreshing and cooling with all the nostalgia I could hope to imbibe.
Got a hangover? Squash and ice. Feeling sad? Squash and ice. Broken leg? Squash and ice. That last one is only a half joke, because although I’ve never broken my leg I know I would feel a whole load better if I had some squash and ice on hand to sooth me.
The funny thing is I didn’t grow up with squash in the house, but wholesomely enjoyed it at friends houses and I think that therein lies the beginning of this love affair. My friends’ houses were always much more ‘normal’ than mine, or at least what I perceived to be normal. Perhaps traditional is a better word here. I used to long for immunity that ‘normal’ gave to people. I had an unconventional upbringing, as most millennials do I’m sure. But, those houses that were home to Robinson’s, Vimto, Ribena and my favourite which is just the bog standard supermarket own brand, sugar free orange squash smacked of normal. A home that had squash to me was a home that had everything. It was grounding. It was peaceful.
Moving through my adult life, squash became a cupboard staple because there are so many happy memories I can attribute to the synthetic, bitter-sweet flavour.
Scraped knees, grass stains and the remnants of rules from a made up game still echoing in my head as I gulp down a glass before rushing off out to play again.
Brownies, community halls, bouncy castles and birthday parties.
Lying in bed laughing with my best friend with red wine stained mouths. Our heads doubling in size with every earth shattering pulse, all made better once one of us would be brave enough to slink to the kitchen to poor us both a cold one, with one eye closed to ensure concentration powers were enacted.
Sat on the window sill, a little high and hazy in the summer. Tackling my dry mouth whilst listening to the heady London style white noise zip past my flat filling my ears with chit-chat, sirens and pirate radio.
Finding myself entwined with pals on the bathroom floor, keeping each other together with ‘the cure’ to hand in case one of us got a little nauseated after too many sherbets.
Being consoled by my housemate over another Tinder fail, the condensation from the glass making my hands a little numb as I listen to her tell me time and time again how incredible I am and how lucky anyone would be to have me.
Late night conversations with the love of my life as we settle in each other’s company before turning in for the night. The residual orange flavour turning the toothpaste a little sour after I brush my teeth.
Squash an ice to me is a reminder for my fondest, most normal memories. Memories of fairly mundane moments that would have passed me by if I hadn’t have had a flag to plant in them to remind me that finding my own definition of normal is such a huge achievement. Orange squash grounds me, comforts me and reminds me that there are normal and nice things to look forward to and it isn’t always such a roller coaster.