Something for the Tea-break

by Victoria Madden

When trying to find a word last week to describe the delightful medley of Wodehouse reviews I’d discovered at The Aroma of Books, ‘gallumifray’ occurred to me. Unsure if I’d made this up or not, and unable to find it in Chambers, I ran a Google search and stumbled upon this endearingly bonkers site.

Devoted to the celebration and importance of Biscuits in Daily Life – did you know a survey had found that the varieties of biscuits on offer at business meetings can affect how the meeting goes?? or how many biscuits etiquette requires you to take, when offered with your cup of tea? – it’s a splendid illustration of British eccentricity – although others across the world appear to be joining in too.

As well as advice on what actually constitutes a biscuit, for the flummoxed – including American readers for whom, I understand, a biscuit is what the British would call a scone – there is also news on the latest biscuit developments. In addition, readers are invited to send in reviews of their favourite varieties, some of whom go into grave and considerable detail.

These people are serious about biscuits.

Perhaps it’s something to do with biscuits as the markers to certain epochs in your life – the transition from Malted Milk to Bourbons to Chocolate Hobnobs and higher still. Readers of my generation may also remember the McVitie’s Digestive and the KitKat adverts, from the TV of their youth.

This is a Christmas Stocking filler of a site – they even have a book if you want to do the thing for real – just the thing to look through today while you’re having that tea break – with biccies, of course.

A postscript:

Trying to find the site again for this post, Google *now* informs me that the word I was looking for was ‘gallimaufry’ and Chambers agrees. (A lesson in what happens when you’re too lazy to go over to the book case and rely on computers instead – you may save time not getting sidetracked by other bizarre words but you don’t get led to the one you really wanted in the end.)

I like ‘gallumifray’ much better, though, and shall let it stand.