Posted in Personal life

Mineral water meltdown

Feeling a complete victim of supermarket manipulation, I submit to a 2-for-1 offer in Waitrose and pick up two multipacks of a kind of mineral water I’ve never seen on the shelves before. I’ve found some wacky ones there in the past, most memorably the environmentally friendly one that guaranteed the bottle would biodegrade in six weeks. (I meant to keep one for seven weeks, to see if it worked.) They must have to handle their deliveries in a very timely manner.

My latest purchase is quite the opposite in terms of environmental impact. I feel positively guilty sneaking it into my trolley, packing it deep down in a carrier bag at the checkout, so no-one will see. For it claims to be Norwegian glacial meltwater. A handy new byproduct of global warming, I wonder? The producer wins top marks for optimism, with its commendable “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade” approach.

I wonder what it will taste like? Whatever the flavour, I’m half-expecting it to remain ice-cool even if I leave it in the car in the current heatwave, given its frozen origins.

Of course, I know that really it will be just the same temperature as a bottle of tropical Fiji water – another shockingly wasteful import. I was tempted to try that one, too, out of curiosity, but rejected it for its carbon footprint. Having read recently that it has become a major export for Fiji, I’m now torn between environmental outrage and the desire to support a developing nation’s industry.

But sadly, there is an even stronger argument for resisting it than environmental impact: it is reputedly the only beverage that Paris Hilton will give her pet dogs. Well, I suppose a bottle of water would fit neatly in her handbag alongside them.

On second thoughts, make mine a tapwater.


English author of warm, witty novels including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries, set in the Cotswolds. Founder and director of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival. UK Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors and for the children's reading charity, Read for Good. Public speaker for the Type 1 Diabetes charity JDRF.

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