Sometimes The Village needs a little sugar (a #1000Speak post)

Wednesday. *sigh* Unprepossessing and laying claim only to the distinction of ‘hump day’ – that one in the middle you need to get over, get through, get past, to achieve the mental decline (and relief) afforded by being that little bit closer to the weekend.

I heaved myself out of the torpor induced by Office Work At A Computer, and shambled over to the kettle, eyes unseeing, mind full of professional jargon, and announced to the three other beings-glued-to-screens that I was making a cup of tea, and would anyone like one.

There was a lag, as there always is when a voice breaks the bonds of concentration and a Real, Live Person makes themselves audible beyond the quiet nonsense and pop music of the radio. I let them gather their thoughts whilst I shambled over to the water cooler, filled the kettle, and got their replies.

Three solid “No”s.

I shambled back (it being (apparently) a shambly kind of day, having had insufficient sleep or caffiene to underpin any kind of motivated effort at movement) and plugged it in, standing with my hands on the edge of the sideboard, idly staring at nothing as I checked that I’d flipped the switch right and it was actually beginning to boil.

My eyes swept along the surface of the sideboard past old cups, stained teaspoons and the clutter and detritus of an office of intermittently present teammates.

They stopped, widening suddenly, arrested by a novelty – a bag full of bright, colourful sugar mice! What!

“Where did these come from?”

One of my colleagues turned around with a sheepish grin playing about her lips “I brought them. I fancied some sugar one night and found myself on eBay, so I bought 50 of them (as you do) and now I don’t know what to do with them. My mum’s taken some into the school where she volunteers but there are loads left, so I hoped that they might get eaten here.”

WICKED! Sugar mice! Sugar mice are AWESOME!

…and made of sugar. Which I’m currently off, in the middle of a 30-day no-sugar-treats challenge (which has been stuck to COMPLETELYexceptonce)


…and they’re going to sit there and play on my mind, with their bright, lovely sugar-mousiness and the way they dissolve on your tongue and make your eyes sparkle and your tummy happy with their sweet, sweet, artificial-dye-infused wonderfulness…


But…NO! Most people like sugar, right? And there’s all this sugary goodness to be got rid of. And a whole hospital full of people out there…

Sometimes The Village needs a little sugar

…there’s the dental receptionist, who I walked past for a year in mutual unacknowledgement to use the toilets (cos the ones in dental are better than any of the others) before deciding that I was being ridiculous, and stopped to introduce myself. She’s a sweetie.

…there’s the doctor’s surgery receptionists, who I’ve walked past for just as long, locked into that same mutual unacknowledgement. I don’t know them yet, but…no reason why they wouldn’t like sugar, right?

…there’s the woman in the transport office, whose reputation precedes her to almost legendary distance – she could *really* do with some sugar.

…there are the maintenance guys who haunt the corridors like maroon-besweatered ghosts, getting their jobs quietly done. Bet they don’t get noticed much.

…there are the information desk ladies, who deal with a constant influx of the same questions over and over, from behind their glass barriers. Must be difficult to smile at that many new people all with a variation on a query. Sugar might give them a boost.

…there are the receptionists in x-ray, who always seem to end up talking to my patients, because one of our clinics shares a waiting area and patients are easily confused. They’re friendly and helpful and it’s nice to acknowledge that.

…there are the cafeteria ladies – I wonder how many times a day they get unacknowledged while people shuffle past, grabbing their food, paying coin, and leaving again without sparing a thought for the human opposite them. Someone should do that. *I* could do that.

My brainwaves spiked into a blurt “I bet I could get rid of them, if you want – I could take them around on a little jolly – I bet LOADS of people would like a sugar mouse…”

Work stopped. Chairs swivelled. I was surveyed with mild surprise by my colleagues, and (to my fancy) a slightly bemused indulgence. I was given the go-ahead, and at the appointed hour, sallied forth with the bag of bright treats in my hand, very much wishing I wasn’t totally undermining my allegiance with All Things Diabetic by the presence of that half kilo of sugar, and hoping that all the people I had in mind would be pleased at me interrupting their day for this.

I was right.

They loved it.

Words of greeting were exchanged, then I explained my presence, and my colleague’s inexplicable surplus of sugar mice and watched with wonder as professional masks fell away to reveal shining-eyed individuals behind them, eager to engage with sweeties and a few words of just-human-level, mutually warm interaction.

I didn’t introduce myself. I didn’t have an agenda. I didn’t require anything. I just handed out the goodies.

When I got back to the office, with a solitary mouse left in the bag, everyone stopped as I gleefully described how happy everyone had been to receive the sugar. I rolled my eyes slightly at the accolades of bravery – it’s just extrovertism, and I felt slightly bad that I was going to take credit for the sugar, when the source had been my introverted colleague, but in the end I think this was probably just teamwork done right.

Sometimes The Village needs a little sugar…


When was the last time you were able to give with such abandon? What reaction did you get? Do you think this is something it’s worth doing on purpose another time, just because?



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91 thoughts on “Sometimes The Village needs a little sugar (a #1000Speak post)

  1. Pingback: The Liebster Award Challenge | Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

  2. What a lovely way to brighten up your colleagues’ day! And a really good example of making connections with people, not just treating them like objects that you interact with in order to accomplish your goals.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I won’t ask what a sugar mouse is now that I have read through the comments to an extent enough to have seen the pictures but I was sitting here in ‘Merica wondering what the heck is a sugar mice. I assumed it would be smaller like a sugar cube version but the real thing looks quite nice. I think sugar mice and I would get along quite nicely. Although I would probably end up making myself ridiculously sick on them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, love this.
    I have never heard of sugar mice, but they sound delicious and right up my alley.
    What a wonderful thing to do. Every workplace and educational facility could use this sort of thing. Hope the idea spreads.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. They are adorable. And yes – sometimes the village DOES need sugar. In a random related event, I was at a meeting this week where someone described to me how the Alumni of another Canadian university went around at exam time on campus handing out Hershey Hugs (and a few real ones) to stressed out students. Apparently it was a huge hit so they will do it again this year. I think it’s brilliant – as was this. We can forget how easy it can be to brighten someone’s day. You certainly achieved that for a number of people here.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Awwwe you have no idea how much this made me smile (and made me not only want a sugar mouse but know exactly what it is…I guess in Canada the only mice are the ones that chew through the wires in your house). I love this “Compassion” concept, and in a world where far too few people are acknowledge as being worthy of even a glance, consider me in! I’m ready to join this movement.


  7. Awwwe you have no idea how much this made me smile (and made me not only want a sugar mouse but know exactly what it is…I guess in Canada the only mice are the ones that chew through the wires in your house). I love this “Compassion” concept, and in a world where far too few people are acknowledge as being worthy of even a glance, consider me in! I’m ready to join this movement.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scroll down – I’ve put some pictures in the comments thread. They’re yummy.

      I love that you used to do this too 🙂 You’re awesome, so it makes sense that you would.


  8. Sugar mice. I learned something new today, and if I ever get over your way, I think I’d like to try one. 🙂 That’s a completely lovely thing you did, Lizzi. What a wonderful way to brighten the day for your co-workers.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Ten Things of Thankful 105 #10Thankful | Considerings

  10. Before scrolling through the comments to see that you’d posted a photo of them, I just googled sugar mice because I’ve never heard of them. Are they soft or hard? They look good – soft and yummy. How fun that you got to spread so much joy and sugar to the village!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hard but melty kinda. Not hard like sugar cubes but…dense and you can bite them. They’re really nice but you have to get a good one – the ones with strings in the tail are best.

      It was such gorgeous fun to share like this. Really brightened my day.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I love this! And now I want a sugar mouse. 😞
    However, I am not going to buy 50 of them and besides, I’d never see one. Things like that never seem to make it till I’m ready for it. LoL
    But, what a wonderful metaphor you’ve made. Everyone needs a little sugar, even if it’s just a simple hello and smiley pictures through a phone.😉

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ooooh. Got a real feel for your workplace here. I envy you your ability to set tone!

    I once baked a colleague at Bournemouth Airport a birthday cake for his 30th. He said he wanted a chocolate one, and so I baked him THE CHOCOLATIEST BIRTHDAY CAKE EVER (chocolate sponge, chocolate butter icing, melted chocolate on top, bedecked with Maltesers and Milky Way Magic Stars). I remember the absolute, focused silence of everyone in the control tower as they ate a slice of the cocoa-infused masterpiece (it was a bloody good cake, even though I say so myself) and the many crumb-and-icing-besmirched plates and forks left on the various surfaces.

    I didn’t get many actual words from people, but that cake vanished pretty damn quickly. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • When you have cake that good, the silence is totally the affirmation you need.

      Handing out sweeties is one thing, but baking a colleague something shows much more care. So happy you did this, and what a lovely memory to have.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m still giggling at your sugar rebellion in the diabetic workplace. This is so sweet (pun intended) and I do think it’s the little things, like giving your coworkers candy, that makes a huge difference. And you spread sweetness even when there is no candy. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heheh it was accidental, and I guess it stopped MY team from scarfing the lot! *grins* There were seriously LOADS though. And thanks – I really do think it made a difference to people’s days, and I’m glad the opportunity was on offer, and that I didn’t mind taking it.

      And awwwwh *blush* fanx ❤


  14. When I was a physical therapist we hosted popcorn friday in the hospital I worked in… IT just meant we made popcorn every friday and the scent filled the hospital corridors … people came from every department with paper cups and mugs for the self -serve popcorn…I didnt know half of them but we always had fun with the quick drop ins ….

    Liked by 1 person

      • oh yeah… about thirty five years… I just stopped last year. I had to switch jobs for health about 15 years ago but kept doing it as needed with Volunteers in Medicine. Oddly now that I work in an area more proximally located on the body (ie between the ears) I get to sit on my butt all day.

        Liked by 1 person

        • LOL well slap my thigh and call me Dorothy! I never knew you were so new to the brain stuff! Or your professional history! Wow! But…I guess I must have known you when you were a PT…how long have we known each other?


          • not THAT long! I graduated shrinky school in 2000. I have only been blogging three years if that! I was a PT and still technically am liscenced I just stopped practicing last summer. I still do some volunteer stuff but not much. Its a horrible bias but having Cushing’s disease has made it more difficult than anything as people have a hard time with an overweight physical therapist pushing exercise on them. People can be biased pricks… I can say that as I too can be one! lol… I loved Vals compassion post today… I wanted to write Fat people can be so cuz of brain tumors but I didnt want to whine soooo much… I can do it here instead! BWAHAHAHAAHAHHA!

            Liked by 1 person

  15. Giving and getting a little sugar is always a good thing. I like sugar in the non-caloric form of kisses and hugs. Since you are off the real stuff right now, I am boldly sending you virtual sugary goodness in the form of kisses and hugs. XO!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thanks Lizzi… I’m sucked (pardon the pun) right in to my own sugar mouse memories… only slightly marred by (badly) wanting a sugar mouse, and there being not a sugary body in sight 😉 (I hope you ate the last one, I’ll be very disappointed in you if not! 😉 )

    I was gobsmacked to read Quirky’s comment… are there really people in the world who don’t know what sugar mouses are…and worse still, have never indulged in their sugar-mousiness?!… I had always assumed they were a global thing… they should be…………… Quirky, if you’re reading…you need to beg an English pal to send you one for Christmas 😀

    Right, I’m off… to write my Christmas list 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • HA! Sugar mice for Christmas! I COULD SO DO THAT!

      Used to love them. And no, I didn’t eat the last one, cos I’m still having no sugar 🙂

      Awwwh glad I took you into nostalgia 🙂 That’s awesome.


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