I’VE been enthralled and appalled to learn that there were unseemly scrums in Aldi stores across the nation this week as shoppers fought to get their hands on a cuddly carrot character called Kevin.

How had the existence of this covetable vegetable passed me by? I’m baffled. I must live in a parallel universe.

Carrot kerfuffle was reported in Bootle and Skegness. I don’t imagine there were similar scenes in sensible Salisbury but do let me know if you saw any!

I gather this all has to do with Christmas TV adverts. Kevin’s charms hadn’t impressed me as I don’t watch a lot of ITV, and when I do want to see what Kirstie and Phil or George Clarke are up to, I just record it and fast-forward through the commercial breaks.

Kevin, for those of you as ignorant as me, is a ‘must-have’.

As in ‘must-have’ dress, or – yes, really – this year’s ‘must-have’ toy, a unicorn that poops jellybeans.

This isn’t about being a killjoy. I’m as partial as the next woman to a new handbag.

But. The world is full of people trying to sell us complete junk that we never knew we wanted, and that we won’t want in six months’ time.

More fool us when we fall for it.

Given that most of us could do with a bit more cash, why on earth, when we get it, do we spend so much of it on utter rubbish?

Think of all the world’s natural resources devoted to creating tat that’ll soon end up on the tip, or floating around as plastic ‘nurdles’ polluting our oceans and poisoning our kids, our seabirds and our fish – which we’ll then eat, plastic residue and all.

So much for fish being a healthy meal!

I made a policy decision this year to ignore Black Friday – a nonsensical sales gimmick wished on us by the Land of Donald Trump. And do you know, I didn’t even feel deprived.

I just got on with living my humdrum life and looking forward to one of those rare evenings when you’ve got both your kids and their wives coming round, which is the best present I can have.

I’ll go shopping when I want or need to, not when some ad-man tells me.

The other thing that struck me this week and reminded me why we all need to cultivate a sense of proportion was the Panorama programme about the Novichok tragedy.

I hadn’t realised (who had?) that Det Sgt Nick Bailey and his family lost all their possessions after he became contaminated.

Literally everything. Their house, their cars, their clothes, their kids’ toys, precious family mementos …. the whole lot.

Just pause and imagine that for a moment.

We are accustomed, almost hardened, to watching lives blown apart in Middle Eastern wars. Every day we see news footage of terrified, bloodied children lying on makeshift beds in pulverised hospitals.

But this was England. This poor family had their lives totally taken apart by callous, careless Russian assassins who would have regarded them as collateral damage.

And grown-ups fight in the aisles over toy carrots.