Why is it that I can recall inconsequential events from early childhood, but fail to remember to take my wallet with me when I shop? I often have difficulty in recalling my mobile phone number, passwords and pin-numbers or even the names of people introduced to me five minutes before, but an image of a simple bourbon biscuit helps me delve deep into my trivia packed brain, to pre-school days of tears, tantrums and bedroom confinement.
I’m not sure when the tantrums started, but before my first sibling came along, I had my parent’s complete attention. There is less than three years between my brother and myself, but I can remember the evening he was first brought back from the maternity hospital with clarity. I had been given a tricycle earlier in the day, and spent the day riding around the kitchen and dinning room. My first sight of my brother, framed in the doorway, staring with black button eyes has lived with me ever since.
I got on well with my brother from the start, but if I couldn’t get my own way I would let my parents know about it. High volume shrieking and head banging were my weapons of choice. The usual punishment was incarceration in my bedroom, where I would be left to cool off.
It was during one of these cooling off sessions that, having failed to attract my parent by banging the door with my fists, I started exploring the bedroom. I remember the old trunk next to the wall. Behind it, next to the damp skirting board was a bourbon biscuit. It wasn’t brown like the ones I’d eaten before; it was green. I remember biting into it. It wasn’t hard; it was soft. Once the sugar had been tasted, the rest of the biscuit soon disappeared.
Immune system kick started, I’ve retained an affection for the humble bourbon ever since.