Sunday, 5 August 2012

Very British but my, are Times A'Changing.

    My wife and I (doesn't that sound regal) attended a 'food hub' Saturday afternoon.(I had to look up what it meant for a start. I really am a dinosaur in this modern,super duper technological age. Evidently it was stalls 'n exhibits 'n 'thingies' connected with food. Plus some of the weirdest scarecrows I have ever seen.)) It was held at a local agricultural college called Broomfield Hall. Very pleasant, very British. Or was it, very British I mean. ( Notwithstanding that one person I spoke to was French and three were American.)
     I couldn't help thinking back to times long gone; it's an age thing I reckon. Don't get me wrong, it was all very enjoyable, masses of lovely people but, at what was mainly a food 'festival, 'food' for thought.
On offer for instance, delicious hot food, incredible choices exquisite and exotic ( : bison, kangaroo, crocodile, camel, llama and ostrich, honest,  to name but a few.)
A Grumpy type joke.
This man went into this high class, amazing restaurant.
He said to the waiter, 'My man I'm going to have the rarest thing on your menu. I'm going to have the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat's testicle's on toast.
The waiter replied Sir, you' re not having the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombats testicles on toast.'
'Why not my good man' said the waiter.
'Because sir,' said the waiter, 'We've run out out bread.'
    I digress; I remember life when I was young after the war. Food rationed, including meat. Exotic food, you must be joking unless you count the whale meat/blubber with which they tried to supplement the ration, not a success.Sales of horse meat high when available. (1948 the bacon/ham ration was 2oz per person fortnightly.)

Another stall belonged to a delightful, knowledgeable young couple selling a vast range of tea. Most of their products 'went over my head'. All I can say is, they had an enormous range of loose leafed teas that seemed to include everything from flowers to fruit, blended by themselves, they seem to provide a 'cuppa' to suit everyone and my wife bought one called 'Bonfire Toffee'. Too complex for me, so I'll include a photo instead! (Bluebird Tea.Co)
    As mentioned the hub wasn't concerned only with food. A young lady was extolling the virtues of a local playgroup based in Broomfield Hall. Called Littleexplorers much emphasis is on outside play, using the woodland areas of the site. Evidently some children are almost losing the ability to use outside the home as a natural provider of experiences in growing up; an interesting and surprising thought. Contrast my own countryside experiences, admittedly not at the infant stage, though certainly from junior school onwards. We often left home early in the day, bottle of pop to hand. We paddled in the brook and 'swam' in the canal and river (see A Childhood Revisited).
     The point is, there was never an adult in sight, we did not need to be 'taught to play' in the great outdoors. Sadly we often learn of the dangers the hard way, for life is sometimes a cruel teacher.
    One other group caught my eye; they were teenagers who were enthusiastically concerned with 'saving the planet'. These youngsters were promoting the use of 'the Eco-Greenhouse', basically a method of building a greenhouse simply by utilising plastic bottles. A simple idea that has many possibilities; particularly in third world situations. These youngsters had far more 'planet awareness' than I had at their age. There is hope for us all yet. And as Mr Cameron suggests 'We are all in it together'. The youngsters had far more idea of this concept than he ever will. A pleasant, educational sort of day. Yes,'Times they are A'changing', though not necessarily for the worse. What do you think?


the fly in the web said...

I saw a large house 'built' from plastic bottles in Nicaragua....the bottom of the bottles face outwards and it's covered in an earth mix plaster.

And I wouldn't have known what a food hub was either

Ruth said...

Yes, times change. Sometimes good, sometimes not. I so enjoy learning new things and having new experiences. As my Mom used to say, how do you know you don't like something if you don't try it?

Valerie said...

I would have enjoyed the food hub,if only as a reminder of past delicacies. I do agree about children not having the freedom we had. If I saw my parents during the day it was a miracle... I was always out and about, mostly in the park.

Have finished your book, Ken, and enjoyed it immensely. It's a credit to you.

MeanDonnaJean said...

"These youngsters had far more 'planet awareness' than I had at their age."

Shiiiiiiiiiiit. The most WE knew about the planet when we were kids was that it wasn't really flat after all :-)

Julia Bentley said...

Although I do not have the same number of years here as you, I was also given a lot of freedom as I child and rarely saw my mother. However, now there is more awareness about the dangers out there. The same sex offenders, kidnapers, and drugs were around when we were their age but now we feel the need to protect our children from anything that could harm them. Including their feelings

As a mother of a 5 year old I feel it is my duty to make sure he is safe and always looked after. However, it bugs me that we pacify our children and do not tell them no. We also give them trophies just for participating in something. My son played t-ball this summer and they let all kids bat and all kids run the bases. No one ever got out... What are we doing to our children here??

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