"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."



('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)




Friday, June 15, 2012

Dinner time is resumed

Once upon a time there was a bright nine year old girl in a school in Scotland who decided to keep a daily blog about her school meals. It wasn't meant as a criticism of the meals at her school, more a daily record and comment on what she did and didn't like about them and with the added and very important aim of raising money for a charity called Mary's Meals which sets up school based feeding projects among some of the world's poorest children.
So far, so good but the blog was so successful and popular that it eventually came to the attention of the press and then the local authority, Argyll and Bute, got involved and decided to ban Martha from taking any more photos of her school meals as, they said, some of the catering staff  feared losing their jobs as a result of certain critical comments made in the press.
Fortunately, though, by the end of today, good sense had prevailed and the council had decided that to ban Martha from blogging about her daily school dinners was slightly akin to taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut, so they've decided she can continue.
Of course, it's also possible that they realised that they were not exactly showing themselves in a good light by behaving in such a heavy-handed way. Whatever the reason, another blow for democracy and free speech has been struck and Martha and her blog live to fight another day.
(And I hope the dinner ladies at her school are much nicer than the witches who terrorised us at mine, back in prehistoric days!)

12 comments:

  1. I've been following this all day.
    The best thing about it is that the amount donated is now almost £45,000, nearly all given today. Flighty xx

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    1. It's a fantastic outcome, Flighty. :)

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  2. I caught something on the news about this this evening and was intending to have a look at her blog, so thanks for providing the link. Bloggers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your lumpy custard!

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    Replies
    1. And who wants to hang on to their lumpy custard??

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  3. Some of the meals she has photographed look so paltry and uninspirational - demonstrating what happens when you pare funding for school dinners to the bone. And I just hate those sectioned plastic plates the kids are given - they belong in a prison canteen. When I went to look at her blog I noticed the hits counter was positively steaming as it surpassed three million!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, the publicity has certainly been good for traffic, YP and I agree, the plastic plates are horrible. They would put you off even a good meal.

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  4. I read the blog and think now she has stopped as no photographs can be used - council orders. A great statement for such a young girl - well done.

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    1. On yesterday's post she says she will have a picture on Monday, mrsnesbitt, so hopefully she will continue and she has raised a fantastic amount for the charity.

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  5. Entrepreneurs start younger and younger. That child will go along way.

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  6. The Scottish Daily Record have something to answer for. They did a successful job of stirring. The knee jerk authoritarian response played into their hands. The outcome of the national outcry that followed, has introduced moderation, common sense, increased fund raising, and a proposed review of the preparation facilities and school dinner menus.

    The child who has been at the centre of the exercise and the storm, has ability and a real talent for focus. She has parents who will be able to continue being supportive and encouraging in her development. What a great combination.

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