For over two decades I’ve been meeting new learners of English in the classroom nearly every Monday. It’s a time for introductions, when both teacher and student get to know each other. In these 20 years, one recurring question I am asked is, “What are your hobbies?” Invariably, my answer has been, “Running, cycling, reading, backgammon and photography.” Talk about being consistent .. or unadventurous!
The past couple of Mondays though, a new activity has joined the list while at the same time a new word is being added to my students’ vocabulary – sucrology. It all started very casually and, I must admit, minha magrelinha is partly responsible. Both of us enjoy the cafe experience of cappuccino, cake and book, with one of our hangouts being Melita Gardens Cafe at the Salini Park in Qawra. Accompanying the beverages were the usual sugar sachets but, unusually, these had charming portraits printed on one side. The magrelinha immediately took a fancy to them and started a small, informal collection. Then, the day of our wedding, when we went for drinks with the family after the ceremony, the cafe we were at had a set of four, EXPO 2015 sachets. These I liked and so they joined the portrait ones.
The final step which saw me graduate as a sucrologist was a few weekends back while surfing the net. I came across the site of the UK sucrologists club, read a bit about this hobby, saw the wonderful sugar packets that exist and, having consulted my wife, we decided to sign up.
Whether this is a pastime worth pursuing is open to debate. Clearly though, the word itself arouses curiosity, even an element of awe. I mean, as a word, sucrologist is up there with neurologist, astrophysicist and geneticist. Besides, after all these years, it’s a most welcome conversational upgrade.
Meanwhile, if you would like to see the collection (still in its infancy), send me your email address using the form below and I’ll give you the database link. Oh, don’t throw those sugar sachets away. Two collectors on this little rock will be more than happy to receive them!