Sunday 17 June 2012

George Orwell, “Never Seconds” blog by Martha – pot-luck ...

Read on if you would like over 5 million page views ... or 2,338 comments on one post and you’ve only been blogging since April ....

Martha with her website "Never Seconds"

Surprisingly - this is not Jubilee orientated ... but a couple of things caught my eye and though perhaps they are not obviously linked – pot-luck took over ... and who knows when success will strike – even if you’re not looking for success.

Martha Payne, aged 9, started a blog “Never Seconds” – taking a photo of her school lunch every day and commenting on them, rating them as part of a campaign to get them improved – entrepreneurship at a young age.

Kilmory House - home to Argyll & Bute
Horror upon uproar, bureaucratic officialdom kicked in and generally all hell let loose – the papers picked it up, those twittering types picked it up – Members of Parliament, journalists et al ...  food authors sent their support ...

...  success comes when it does ... sometimes when we’re not looking for it as happened to  Martha, for other authors posthumously as in Orwell’s case – we never know, but as bloggers and particularly authors we must write ...

Even if authority shuts us out and bears down with closure ... public pressure will prevail and she will be blogging once again ... while Orwell too continued to practise his craft, until TB took his final curtain call.


I have just had a look at Martha’s website “Never Seconds” blog .. and it is just clicking up visits as I sit here typing ... I think it started at 5,451,490 or something ... it’s now a over 600 .. in other words views are going faster than seconds!! 

Want to save time – stop watching Martha’s pageviews!! Over 720 now ... 20 minutes or so later .. she’s clocked up over 3,000 page views – success or what?  I’ve been gone about 3 ½ hours and she’s now added over 100,000 page views in that time!

An Israeli school lunch - see Martha's blog 7 June 2012
love the plate, as does Martha ...
Most importantly – in writing the blog she is raising funds for Mary’s Meals – a charity that feeds 600,000 school children in 16 countries ... 

Here’s Martha with “My Story” for the charity where she explains how she became involved ...

I found a quote too ... “If the Wi-Fi isn’t working, it’s ok.  Most people don’t have fresh water!”....

Feeding children and reminding us most people in the world don’t have running water or fresh water for that matter ... brings our own challenges of the financial crisis, slightly into perspective.

I subscribe to Julia Hones’ blog “My Writing Life” – where she’s posted about Orwell’s Essay: Down and Out in Paris and London ... I was intrigued ... clicked over and was taken aback.

She starts off “If history repeats itself, reading Down and Out in Paris and London can help you understand the effects of the current world financial crisis.” ... just drew me in to read the rest ... the last paragraph alone is of great relevance in today’s world.

I then looked at Orwell’s page in Wikipedia to find out about his life ... and found a link to the Orwell Prize, which carries an article by Gordon Bowker entitled “Orwell’s London” ... fascinating stuff – as I had no idea about Orwell .... the fact he was called Eric Blair, he went to school in Eastbourne, went to Wellington before gaining a scholarship to Eton.

Sleeping Rough
He embraced the down and out culture he was writing about ... living in kips and spikes – doss houses, under bridges, work houses etc ... walking from Lambeth, east London down to the hop-farms of Kent to find work in the fields ...

So this medley of thoughts is an interlude before normal service will resume ...

Well if they come looking for the crumbs of penmanship under my table I will be suitably extremely surprised – Jubilee posts will recommence shortly ... as I have realised that there will be plenty of glossy photos, magazines etc out there ...

... but these posts, will in the coming years, offer  .....  a ‘conversation starter’ or talking point to stimulate interest .... with some eclectic oddities tucked away for added extras – memory joggers.

Life is a blur at the best of times – but with this year ... it is positively racing by ... and I’m sure that most of us have not realised the significance of our Jubilee year – sixty years on the throne and the impact on history that this year will make.

Having the Olympics in a few weeks too – 2012 is certainly one for the British history books ...  so normal service will be resumed – this post probably is part of normal service .. it just sits amidst Jubilee and Olympics ... while the tennis is on – which I have not mentioned!

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Diane said...

Great post and what an amazing blog this young girl has. Not only has she high lighted the school meals she had done an amazing job of raising money for a very worthy cause. Well dome Martha.

Hilary thanks for bringing this to our notice. Diane

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,
Apologies for not commenting lately. You know me, have been doing the blogging tour and um delighting some rather unknown bloggers with comments. I think it's good to give such encouragement to them.
Anyway, what an amazing young girl Martha is and full credit to her.
I shall endeavour to check out your links. Speaking of the Olympics, I did an article about one of the torch-bearers and she very kindly commented on the posting. A very positive outcome.
Quite the momentous year we are experiencing. And in tennis, "love means nothing at all :)
All the best, Hilary and thanks for another informative and entertaining posting.

Birdie said...

That girl is amazing. What a clever blog. Thanks for the link! Now I am sitting watching the numbers go up and up.

Rosaria Williams said...

What a precocious child!
A writer doesn't know how far his/her words will go, or what effect those words will have years, decades later. George Orwell is still beloved and appreciated today.

Anonymous said...

Jolly good for Martha!

Wonder when adults are going to accept that the younger generations are so much more evolved.

Repression is based on fear! Let's support initiative such as this.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Diane - I agree her blog is amazing ... people around the world have taken notice - China, Finland, Canada and Israel to name a few .. thanks for the thumbs up ..

@ Gary - no worries I'm miles behind with my commenting .. Hope you enjoy Martha's links .. and a look at her blog - as you say full credit to her.

I thought I'd commented on your first torch post .. but it's not there is it! I see you've done a 2nd as Rhian left a comment for you .. and I'm commenting in a minute!

I'll be doing an Olympic torch post at some stage .. tennis - love means nothing ... when it's still raining. Glad you enjoyed the post ..

@ Birdie - ah .. she's nearly at 5,800,000 page views now .. they just keep on clicking .. as you say a clever blog.

@ Rosaria - Her main aim was to raise funds for Mary's charity - a feeding trust in Africa .. I'm sure no-one at the school or her parents ever expected this kind of global appreciation .. just shows what can happen.

I had no idea about Orwell's other writings ... or his background - so was interested to learn a little more.

@ Amy - exactly: Jolly good Martha. She certainly knew how to tie in her school dinners with blogging ... and with the comparison ratings set out on April 7th post her posts have relevance.

The public weren't repressed thankfully ...

We're losing our democratic legitimacy ... as officials tell us what to do per government legislation.

Thankfully Martha is back on the map and today will be blogging away as before ..

Thanks Diane, Gary, Birdie, Rosaria and Amy .. have good weeks .. Hilary

M. Reka said...

Great post Hilary. What a beautiful blog this young girl has. Love her work
Thanks for bringing this to our notice.

Lots of love
Marinela :)

Short Poems

writing and living by Richard P Hughes said...

Never Seconds is amazing. Your posts are right up there too.

Davina said...

Wow, this is an incredible story about Never Seconds. Innovative idea and I'm sure she just thought this would be a simple blog. Imagine her surprise! Wonderful to read about this, Hilary. Thanks for sharing. Encouraging.

Lynn Proctor said...

good for her!!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Marinela - it's an amazing story isn't it and I wonder how far and where it will lead ...

@ Richard - thanks so much .. appreciate the thought for the blog & for Martha's Never Seconds blog is just taking the world by storm!

@ Davina - sounds like exactly that a simple school blog showing her lunch everyday - except when she forgot her camera and others from around the world sent their photos of their lunch ..

Encouraging - as you say .. just loved reading about it ..

@ Lynn - you're right = good for her.

Cheers Marinela, Richard, Davina and Lynn .. thanks so much ..

While I know Julia has got her comment - which is another of those blogs where comments go AWOL .. who knows where!?!? It even posted when I published my comment on her blog .. where on earth to after that is another matter ..

Thanks - Hilary

Lynn said...

I'm am so impressed by young Martha - her blog truly went viral and for a good cause. Now I've got to link to her blog to find out what happens next!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

What a delightful little girl. Her parents must be so proud. They've obviously done something right. Thanks for sharing Martha's story, Hilary. I'm inspired.

Robyn Campbell said...

What an inspiring blog! Thank you so much for bringing this to my sight. This girl is totally awesome. What a kid!

Nick Wilford said...

Good on Martha, just goes to show that there are kids out there who are not just enterprising but want to do something to help others. Boo on the authorities, if she gets her own school meals improved it'll be a bonus!

Yes, Orwell had an interesting life. 1984 is one of my favourite books of all time, and one of the most prescient. (Is that the word I'm looking for?)

Anonymous said...

Hi Hilary! Thanks for sharing about Martha's story and her blog. Quite inspirational.

Looking forward to watching the upcoming summer Olympics!

Julia Hones said...

Hi Hilary. I think Martha's story is very inspiring, a seed for change. Thanks for sharing. I was also happy to know that you found my essay enlightening.

Deniz Bevan said...

Good for Martha! Jamie Oliver keeps trying and yet change seems to come so slowly.
I love Orwell's essays - there are still many I haven't read yet!

Susan Scheid said...

Hilary, I am breathless reading your post! There is indeed so much going on over your way, isn't there? My mate, who is a head of school, is very much in favor of Martha's "Never Seconds." Her own school is very big on locally grown, nutritious, and delicious school lunches, and the kids all love them.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynn - thanks .. you've reminded me - I don't think I've subscribed and need to correct that.

Over 6 million page views now! And it's another of those Blogger blogs I have trouble commenting on .. embedded comment boxes

@ Joylene - something right is going on isn't it .. as you say just brilliant and inspiring ..

@ Robyn - certainly bringing us joy into our world, and those kids in Africa, who are getting fed now ..

@ Nick - exactly as you say .. yesterday's meal looked better - I rather like meat balls!

I've never understood literature - that's probably my problem! So I must move my brain in that direction .. I love finding out - Animal Farm - A Fairy Story .. well I never knew that either (just looked in Wiki) .. and prescient seems a very good word for what's happening now ..

@ Susanne - Martha's blog just seemed incredible .. I'm sure others have written about it - just haven't got to my Reader much recently .. so glad to know you found her inspirational .. I agree ..

Gosh - we've got Ascot starting today, Eastbourne pre-Wimbledon tennis going on, the Golf is coming up I think, Silverstone Formula 1 Grand Prix, Wimbledon .. and possibly then the Olympics!! Henley too .. (rowing) ...

@ Julia - glad we got in touch .. and yes I enjoyed your Orwell posts - something I must look into ...

Glad you too enjoyed Martha's story .. definitely something we can aspire to and take inspiration from ..

@ Deniz - institutional food doesn't allow for flair .. I do hope the kids can have 'decent' food ... it's all down to cost isn't it ... and it so often (well from her pictures) looks so dry.

Orwell - I must find out more ..

@ Susan - yes - the world is disappearing fast under events over here .. the Jubilee is torch is making its rounds too ..

I'm delighted your friend knows about Martha's blog - but has already implemented locally grown fresh ingredients into the kids lunches ... giving them good nutrition for at least one meal - and hopefully influencing their choices once home. Good to know.

Thanks everyone .. so pleased I brought Martha's blog here and you're enjoying her approach to blogging ..

Cheers Hilary

Talli Roland said...

Martha is a great example of the power of social media to effect change - hopefully. No longer do we need endorsement from mainstream media or even the government.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I saw this story on the news a few days ago. What a great young girl she is!

Karen Lange said...

You are right, this is a year for the history books. And it makes for wonderful blog topics here. :) Thanks for the tidbits and info. Heading over to check out Never Seconds right now.

Have a lovely week,

Elise Fallson said...

What a fantastic story! Thanks for sharing. It reminded me (on a much smaller scale) of a person living in Cardiff who was fed up with the trash and filth left in the streets. He began taking photos, documenting location and tweeting about it. Very quickly it received a lot of attention from local officials and now the streets are much cleaner. Anyway, I'm off to check out Never Seconds now. (:

Chase March said...

Hi Hilary,

I've been following this story and it is very cool. It's nice to see how down to earth this blogger is. She got shut down and although disappointed, didn't rant and rave about it.

Then, thte public did and she is back online.

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing the story here as well.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Talli - I agree.. for simple change .. and good change .. then this method is just a great way of doing it.

@ Annalisa - I didn't see her on the news spotted it in a paper .. as you say what an amazing 9 year old ..

@ Karen - well I know you'll enjoy your link over to Never Seconds .. and history books this year as far as Britain is concerned will be full of books to buy!

Glad you enjoyed both topics .. thanks Karen ..

@ Elise - yes I guess being nine, you attract more attention than your resident, who was irritated by the trash, ... yet they both seem to be having the same effect ...

I'm sure you too will enjoy Never Seconds ...

@ Chase - good to know you've been following this blogger ... I thought many would, so I blogged her links and bit of info re the page views and comments ..

over 6 million 728 thousand page views now .. quite extraordinary ..

Thanks for coming over ..

Cheers everyone - just what can be achieved via blogging .. she will make lots of money for her charity - and at the end of the day that is what counts .. thanks - Hilary

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Congrats to the young lady! She had a simple idea and ran with it. Maybe adults should follow her example.

The article on George Orwell is not surprising. Too often, the so-called luxury is nothing but a thin veneer.

Susan :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan .. that's a great comment 'she had a simple idea and ran with it' .. maybe we should do the same - I'm sure I should fall into that category.

Orwell's background was something I knew nothing about .. and it opened my eyes ..

Cheers Hilary

MorningAJ said...

Thank you Hilary for providing a break from the Olympics, Jubilee, Football, Tennis nonsense.

I love Martha's blog. Good luck to her!

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

I stopped by Veg's food blog, too. I'm so glad to hear that's not her real name. ha ha! What an intelligent young lady. I was so impressed with her.

Have fun with the Olympics! We were in China when they hosted four years ago. Talk about a crazy ride! That country changed overnight. But hey, that's China. :)

Southpaw said...

She's got a pretty cool blog. I got caught up reading it.

Unknown said...

I heard about this story. I'm glad she's used her fame for charity. That's great!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Morning AJ .. sorry are you fed up with all the British stuff going on - I'll be doing more!! From a different take though ..

Glad you enjoyed Martha's blog .. fun isn't it ..

@ Amy - isn't that name just great VEG .. I loved it .. and obviously coming from an educated family - they speak more Latin than I do!!

Being in China for the Olympics must have been amazing .. being in London I sincerely hope will be a huge hit for everyone ...

China is changing so much .. it's interesting watching the pluses and negatives ... and as you say 'hey that's China' ...

@ Holly - excellent that you clicked over to check her out ..

@ Clarissa - you're amazing what you pick up .. Martha had started her blog to raise money for charity .. and certainly wasn't expecting this much exposure .. it is great that so many children in Africa will have school food ..

Good to see you all .. cheers Hilary

Jenni Steel said...

Hilary.. What an inspiring story from a child of today and a young woman of tomorrow.

Well done Martha. Cheers Jenni

Anonymous said...

Happy Thursday Hilary,

A pleasure to always stop by. :) I heard about the young lady yesterday, and I read some of her blog entries and found them most interesting. Also the fact that the lunch varies from country to country is fascinating. I remember at school back in Portugal, we literally bought our own pans in from home, of food and it got heated on a fire for our lunch. (Our mums carried them in the morning)

Have the rest of a blessed June xx


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jenni - yes child of today - young woman of tomorrow .. glad you enjoyed her story - it's fun isn't it.

@ Ana - good to see you back ..

Interesting to know that your parents took your lunch in a cooking pan to school .. what a fascinating memoir to have - I've never heard of that before.

Glad you enjoyed Martha's site - she's certain around the world!

Cheers to you both .. and enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

Anonymous said...

Shows the power of blogging can bring about awareness and change. And God Bless MAry's Meals and other charities that help feed those in need. And have fun with the Olympics. I'll be watching as I always do.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Steve .. it's been amazing what Martha has achieved .. but as you say more importantly the blessings it will bring Mary's Meals is where it will really count ..

I'm looking forward to the Olympics - the excitement is building .. glad you'll be enjoying it too ...

Cheers Hilary

Liara Covert said...

Helping others is also helping yourself. One good deed is a stepping stone to another. Thanks for sharing this uplifting story.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Liara .. they look a delightful family .. and are desperately trying to keep their feet on the ground .. having already been courted by Hollywood ..

It was so uplifting and great Martha is doing what she's doing for others especially in Africa ..

Cheers Hilary

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

What an amazing young lady! I am on my way to check Martha's blog out. :) Thanks for sharing.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sharon .. hope you enjoyed her story, and her blog ..

Cheers Hilary