• The Tenuous Purpose

    This Blog is built - not, as some might expect, on a flimsy whim but on a strong and single minded principle.

    That principle concerns Biscuits and their position in the world.

    We are really very keen on biscuits.
    As are many of you out there.
    We think.

    We wish to create an archive of Arrowroot, a backlog of Bourbons and a catalogue of Chocolate Fingers. Anybody can contribute an entry - or dispute somebody else's - provided they are not dull.
    Even Americans who perhaps don't really have the heritage of biscuitry that we are fortunate to have here.

    Or maybe they do and we are unaware of the full glory of the cookie.

    We realise that this whole subject is admirably and concisely dealt with by that excellent and unbeatable website A Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down. Our feeble efforts will be as the kicking of a gadfly in the face of their wisdom and experience but we hope that we may have a small contribution to make.

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    James Alexander-Sinclair of Blackpitts
    Gardener, Blogger, Journalist, Lecturer etc, etc. Much of his life is spent loafing around other people’s gardens issuing directives and generally cluttering up the place. However, like the great Mr Kipling, he does (occasionally) make exceptionally good gardens. (Although even Mr Kipling messed up a bit with the Carrot and Walnut Mini Classics.)

    Mark Diacono of Otter Farm
    He does sterling work growing many inappropriate plants in Devon. He dedicates a great deal of time and effort nurturing a plethora of plants that are (mostly) totally unsuited to our climate. His is a life of such extreme eccentric dedication that to start a Blog about Biscuits seems perfectly normal. He treads gently in the footsteps of people like the great William Buckland,a professor of Geology who claimed that he could tell location by tasting the local topsoil.

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The Wagon Wheel

The wagon wheel.

Already those three short words may have stirred controversy. A biscuit? A cake? Confectionery even? I can accept an argument that they straddle they mid-land between a biscuit and a chocolate bar but being as they don’t possess one of the key determinants of chocolate bars, ie being wrapped individually, I hope they’ll be afforded the same latitude as a striker through on goal who’s level (rather than behind) the last defender. Perhaps this can pride an element of case law? The case of Diacono Wagon Wheel v The World established the principle of ‘Biscuit until proven guilty’.

We’ll see.

The wagon wheel.

Once one of the cornerstones by which I defined myself. Approaching my teens I could fit a whole one in my mouth. Not only that, I could remove it again intact without the use of fingers, just by a form of gurning. In much the same way as anyone who does something slightly unusual becomes known forever (or at least the rest of that month) by that uncommon ability, I became the Wagon Wheel Boy. Ergo, I loved Wagon Wheels all the more.

I was in the habit of watching the Monday night 9.25 BBC1 film every week with my dad. By such means I learnt all a man needs to know about the power of the fairer sex from that scene in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. I also recognised that cowboys were magic. And having a wagon wheel-related speciality somehow imbued me with something of the ‘cowboy’.

Like puberty, the change seemed to come overnight. Suddenly everyone could do it. Did they sneakily reduce the size without telling anyone? I never knew, but one thing was for sure – I was no longer alone with my gift. Everyone could do it. Once more I became unspectacular, regular and unremarkable. I miss you Wagon Wheel for you gave me fleeting greatness.

Mark Diacono


4 Responses

  1. my goodness i am completely unprepared for all this. all i have in the cupboard is a packet of Nice biscuits. Honestly! and the top ones got broken in a minor fall last night. i shall have to arm myself before returning to this fine new blog.
    But i really want to say, Mark, dont let the sneaky decrease in wagon-wheel size fool you. i dont know why they did it, but everyone knows wagonwheels used to be vast. You used to need two hands to hold them for goodness sake! You were unique in your incredible gift.

  2. Point of order.

    I seem to recall that you could actually buy individually wrapped wagon wheels.

    This was back when they were the size of dinner plates.

  3. You could indeed, back in the day before they changed (it still hurts) the music to Starsky and Hutch. Im still not sure if this size thing is one of comparative recollection – my hands have got bigger, did the Wagon Wheels really get smaller or just appear to? I take comfort from both your observations

  4. Not only were they individually wrapped but the wrapping changed from simple foil to a sort of vacuum packed thing like a crisp packet.
    Somebody needs to talk about Wagon wheels and the part that they (and Bovril) play at football matches.

    Also I am sure that Wagon should have two ‘g’s. Otherwise it becomes a bit French: like Wagons Lits. And the waggon wheel would be mortified to be considered at all French.

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