• 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.

  • Biscuit Encounters on Twitter

  • The Synod of Biscuitry

    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 Long Dark Teatime Of The Soul

In spending an inordinate and quite unjustified amount of time thinking about biscuits, alongside, it turns out, much of the garden blogging world lately, I have come to realise two important truths about myself.

First: I am a closet chav. You wouldn’t believe it if you met me as I speak quite posh and use long words from time to time. But the choice of biscuits cannot lie.

Second: a lot of my life has been defined, inexplicably but undeniably, by biscuits.

In explanation of the first: I realise that, try as I might, I do not like rich teas or plain digestives, Bath Olivers, Garibaldis, petit beurres, Choco Leibnitz’s or anything with plain chocolate on it. Or anything thin or excessively crunchy. In fact anything remotely civilised or refined.

I like, in the following order:

1: Milk chocolate digestives

2: Milk chocolate Hobnobs

3: Jammie dodgers

4: Custard creams

5. Oreo cookies

6: Those sandwich biscuits with pale (not too crunchy) ginger biscuits on each side and butter cream middles

7: Smarties cookies

8: Maryland choc chip cookies

9: Wagon wheels (and yes they do count)

10: Penguins (ditto)

Actually I like milk chocolate digestives so much I actually hide them from the kids. And my husband.

You see? Not a gram of sophistication among the lot of them. My name is the Constant Gardener, and I Am A Chav.

Second: biscuit-related memories of my life which bubbled up unsolicited, and rather alarmingly numerous, included the following:

– sitting on the dock in Split, Yugoslavia (as it was then) alongside a large rower with very smelly feet, eating a kilo bag of broken, dry biscuits between us (a Yugoslavian brand of Rich Tea if I’m not mistaken) which was all we could buy with the last £1 we had left on an Interrail trip around Europe as students. I think we’d blown the last of our £50 budget for the month on retsina in some sleazy Greek restaurant the night before. How we made it from Yugoslavia back to London on dry biscuits and no money slips my memory.

– my great-aunt and her High Teas. The great-aunt has long departed us, I’m sorry to say, but her teas live on forever in family legend. I remember a long table with not a scrap of tablecloth visible under toppling towers of cakes and meringues and sandwiches and – most miraculous of all – castles of iced home-made biscuits of perfect sweetness, butteriness and crumbliness.

– realising I’d eaten an entire packet of chocolate hobnobs on the way back from the supermarket while at college (about a half-mile walk). It wouldn’t have been so bad had I not already eaten the first packet before leaving to go shopping.

– finding out my stepdad had hidden a packet of chocolate digestives right at the back of the fridge behind a big plastic box full of liver (to throw me off the scent, you see). The worst thing was I nicked some and then put it back in exactly the same place. We carried on in that way for years: I have never confessed to this day, and I still don’t know if he knew I was taking them. And you know the worst bit? I’m doing the same thing to my own kids now. But I know they’re nicking them.

That’s quite enough of that. I’ve got some choccie digestives calling to me from the fridge and it’s nearly the kids’ bedtime. Over and out.

Sally (The Constant Gardener)


6 Responses

  1. I’m not sure that you can qualify as a proper biscuit chav if you have ever been in possession of a Great aunt who served not only meringues but home made biscuits rather than buying them from the “dangerously close to sell by date” aisle in Lidl.

  2. i agree with james – you are a want-to-be chav me thinks.

  3. I agree too – surely just comfortable with your chav-ish side….pint of Stella anyone?

  4. biscuits behind the liver, inspired!

  5. I’ve just been going through my bookmarks and found this:


    It’ll help settle the matter re Sally’s chavness or not?

  6. VP that is completely brilliant. Of course I had to get down and do it right away.

    Does it count if the Burberry check you own is an actual Burberry?

    And though one of my daughters is not named Chardonnay she is named Ruby Tiger. Though since it’s after the moth, rather than an alcoholic drink, I think it counts as hippy chick more than chav.

    In fact in most of the answers I appear to have slightly missed the point: one of my mobile ring tones has been a hit, but that was Sitting On the Dock of the Bay which was a hit quite a long time ago. And the whole ‘do you have tea as your evening meal’ question was a complete giveaway as I have this argument all the time with my other half: he calls it ‘tea’ which I find utterly offensive and am currently training him to call it ‘supper’ which is what I grew up calling it. Though apparently ‘dinner’ is the correct term if you’re Really Posh.

    And in case you want to know my results – you’re all right. Apparently I am a Potential Chav: and to quote from their analysis of my clearly deeply flawed personality, “you’ve still got a fair way to go yet but there’s definitely something of the chav in you.”

    You see, the biscuits never lie.

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