Jottings #7 – Walking, Whining and Wearing thin?


As you are reading this I will have either already started, be in the middle of or finished the Rowan’s Hospice Moonlit Memories Walk. I am only doing the 5 mile walk, but all the money goes to a local charity to me and I think nearly everyone knows some that has benefited greatly from the hospice.


I am not sure if you have read any of or been following the story of Martha Payne who started her own blog (with help from dad) as a project to record pictures of her school dinners. The idea being that she could share with friends and family what she had eaten that day. It also gave an insight for her family to see why she came home hungry some days. She took photos and gave them ratings. What was the harm?

Well apparently, a newspaper took up the story and the press coverage inferred that the dinner ladies would be getting fired! In step the council and Martha was told she was no longer able to take pictures. Bureaucracy at its best if you ask me. The council should have taken issue with the newspaper and what they inferred not banned the child. Not only is Martha educating others, giving feedback she is educating herself. Followers from around the world send in pictures of their school dinners with ratings. Martha’s challenge is to find where some of these far-flung places are on a globe/in an atlas.

Then the infamous ‘U-Turn’ the ‘egg on the face’ moment, the council have overturned the ban. Presumably because it  went global. The support of Jamie Oliver, Nick Nairn, being broadcast on BBC News was probably enough bad publicity for the council.

I despair at this country sometimes and those that we elect to run it or say they know what is best.

Please go and read the article that started this furore here and then if anything head over to the NeverSeconds blog and started reading and following! There is a link there to Mary’s Meals which is where Martha has been wanting to raise money, which started from her cake sale at school. It has surpassed the £7k target by thousands! Well done Martha, well done all that have donated and I think this story is going to run and run and I hope more inspired children with a little help from parents, friends and relatives take up similar mantles. These children are our future.

Wearing Thin?

I was never a great fan of Richard and Judy but I was of their book club. It got people reading, talking about books and introduced me and many others to some fantastic authors that I still continue to read. I was disappointed when they left Channel 4 as I did not have access to their new home.

Then when the programme stopped, what was to become of the book club and the books. It was without a doubt a great way of influencing the book world as such by their choices. And as this article in the Daily Telegraph this week says they might be losing their influence because of the media chosen to advertise their books. There is no major announcement they just seem to have slipped onto shelves relatively quietly. I do wonder why? Do we need TV book shows? Quite frankly in my opinion yes and I think that is the fundamental flaw. They reached a lot more people that way. I can see it being quite cheap television really as well.

In the meantime, I hope they continue to push and promote wonderful books and authors and that perhaps once their deal with WHSmiths comes to an end (I wonder how long it is?) there might be another opportunity for them to make more of a mark.

5 thoughts on “Jottings #7 – Walking, Whining and Wearing thin?

  1. Now that I live in faraway Beijing the UK book world sometimes passes me by, so a big thank you for your blog which I read regularly. It helps keep me up-to-date and has given me some new authors and titles to add to my TBR list (as if it weren’t long enough already!) I absolutely agree with you about Richard & Judy and it was great to have the link to the DT article.
    BTW I also have a blog, its about living in China – Jasmine Tea & Jiaozi – do please pay me a visit.
    Zai jian!

    1. Thank you or visiting & commenting.

      I much enjoyed your jubilee party, looks like everyone was having a jolly good time.

      Do pop back often.

  2. Fast turnaround, thanks for the link, interesting stroy and great publicity with eventually a positive result – not surprising that bureaucrcacy continues to try and squash and punish a dissenting voice rather than improve or resolve the problem, she is fortunate to live in this age of social media which is giving a boost to the democratic voice. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I hope the walk went well 🙂

    I keep meaning to show Martha’s blog to Mum. Mum is the sole cook for children at a special needs school and gets many compliments on her meals by the kids, staff and visitors. She would be appalled at the meals being served at Martha’s school!

  4. At least the extra publicity has led to lots more charity money going to Africa.
    I didn’t watch the Richard and Judy book programme and the one programme about books I did start to watch seemed to be a lot of nonsense chit-chat. There’s a gap in the market for a good programme about books, I think.

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