The Big Lunch was a nationwide event that was recently celebrated, and was intended to bring people together to meet each other, share food and celebrate the communities that people live in.
I was very lucky to be invited to the Grangetown (Cardiff) community Big Lunch, when the Friends of Pentre Gardens held their own Big Lunch celebration, which included a fabulous selection of play sessions for the younger people, as well.
My husband made a lovely picnic to get us started, including sandwiches, fresh vegetable crudites and dips, thick slices of sponge cake and, (of course), a huge plate of cheese and pineapple on sticks! This is a firm favourite at our picnics and they were eaten very quickly. We put up more tables and, as we did, more and more people trickled out from the neighbouring houses, bringing tasty cakes, drinks to share, more delicious sandwiches and lots of nibbles for children to enjoy.
The most wonderful thing was the variety of food that we were able to taste and enjoy from different cultural backgrounds. We had homemade spicy onion bahjis and pakoras, polish biscuits and cakes, middle-eastern cheese scones and sweet pastries. There was such a variety of tastes for everyone to sample and enjoy, and it was a great way for children to see what other cultures eat. This was such a positive aspect of the day.
With all the great play activities freely available, parents sat, chatted with friends and watched happily, as their children got messy with the paint wheel, played and created pieces of art with loose materials, played friendly team games with bats and balls, and then took turns to relax on the homemade swing and the hammock.
It really was a lovely afternoon. We counted about seventy families, all enjoying a shared lunch in the sunshine, and all the children of the community enjoyed the opportunity of playing together in the park. Food and play are great media for uniting people in equal harmony.
I really enjoyed being a part of this event, and I really hope that we get to do it again next year!
With a normal household bin, a spinning wooden plate on the inside, then just a sheet of paper and a little paint, we were able to make the most colourful creations at a local outdoors play scheme recently.
All the children loved this simple, but brilliant creation! This is one of my favourite and most colourful pictures!
I recently noticed an interesting tweet from Brecon Carreg, who asked “How much water are you drinking”?
I clicked onto the link to learn more, and was quite shocked to read that some experts calculate that a large percentage of people think it’s good enough to just rely solely upon tea, coffee and soft drinks to achieve your daily intake of water, and also that additional data shows that poor drinking habits contribute to adding a further strain onto the NHS in various forms, not least in poor liver and kidney function, and circulatory issues, to highlight a few.
The article went on to state that tiredness was a major concern and, (from a survey of some 300 GP’s countrywide), they recognised that symptoms were accelerated by dehydration.
I must admit that when I’m feeling a bit tired, or need an energy boost, I’m the worst offender for putting the kettle on and making a coffee, (in fact, I’m sipping a cup as I type this). I’d never have thought to drink a refreshing glass of chilled water instead. I really have started to think about how much water I drink, and is it really enough?
It’s quite ironic, because one of the main problems when teaching to Duke of Edinburgh candidates, is trying to get the young people to understand the importance of drinking enough water. It’s an uphill struggle, as they all want energy drinks and fizzy drinks but, when walking for long hours outdoors, water is the best option. I also hate seeing young children glugging down cans of energy drinks, because the sugar content in just one can is scarily high. As a parent, one would never let a child sit and eat up to 9 teaspoons of sugar, and that’s why I’m not a fan of energy drinks.
Also, I’m not sure why, (at aged 9 and upwards), they’d need extra energy. Looking at my daughter, she has enough energy for the whole family!
Further reading showed that official guidelines suggest that adults should drink between 1.6 and 2 litres a day, and poor drinking habits even create a £4 billion per year market in sales of energy drinks and fizzy pop.
I don’t want you to think that this post is preaching, because I realise that there’s always some “latest” scientific data proclaiming that too much of one thing is bad for you, or that not enough of another thing will diminish your health. Try things, but in moderation, I guess. Also, some people prefer bottled water over sweetened, flavoured, carbonated drinks, while others are equally happy with tap-water. It’s all a matter of habits and personal taste.
But, with all this interesting data stimulating my thoughts, I’m going to challenge myself to drink (at least) the recommended 2 litres a day. I’ll check my progress by drinking from a bottle of water, so that I can keep a record of how much I’m drinking in a day. I’ll also monitor any health benefits to me. Notwithstanding the health benefits, it makes economic sense, as well, considering that a 330ml bottle of branded cola costs more than double the price of a large 1.5 litre bottle of refreshing, cool mineral water.
I also think it’s a great challenge to throw down to the whole family, because it’s a challenge we can all try together, with no real effort at all. CHEERS!