On a day when fresh news of record spikes in global temperatures is stoking our apocalyptic fears with shafts of cold data, the scale of the emotional trauma awaiting us is brought home by the shortages on our supermarket shelves.


It seems that in November, when Cumbria flooded, so too did the United Biscuit factory in Carlisle, which produces some of our most essential brands (notably, McVitie’s). And suddenly, certain biscuits are missing from our supermarket shelves. I haven’t seen a Bourbon in months, and people have been complained about the absence of Ginger Nuts. So grave is the situation that two plane loads of emergency biscuits have now landed at Doncaster Sheffield airport.

In truth, partial as I am to a bourbon biscuit, I had not noticed their absence from my life. The small things can slip away unnoticed. The old truism that one day your parents put you down and they never pick you up again applies. One day you dunk your last Bourbon, and never think of them again. Something is lost, and you do not realise.

It could be argued that, given the disappearance of entire worlds presaged by the rising global temperatures, the loss of a minor creature comfort to a nation lodged firmly in the temperate zone is of no consequence. And I don’t really have an answer to that, except to note that airlifts of biscuits would suggest otherwise, and wonder if there is something to be said for a Custard Cream after all.