Real success on a plate!

Nine-year-old Martha Payne has done everyone a favour with her photo-blog, NeverSeconds, of her school lunches.

Martha would take a photo each day of her school lunch and post it on her blog, called NeverSeconds. Under a repellent picture of congealed macaroni cheese nestling with mashed potato on a plastic lunch tray (of the kind used in prisons), she wrote: “Lunch was really nice today and it helped cheer me up.” For this meal too, a regular category recorded encouragingly: “Pieces of hair: 0” The blog won a wide following, Jamie Oliver applauded it, and Martha logged more than three million page-views.

But then Argyll and Bute council over-reacted. It was not quite armed police at midnight, more a knock on the door during Thursday morning maths. Council officials had ruled that the photo-blog was banned. In the next 24 hours they were astonished by the storm of protest at their action, and, despite a ritual reference to the need to protect catering staff from “distress”, rescinded the ban. Argyll rejoiced. Bute cheered.

Parents often inquire in vain of their young offspring what they had for lunch, being met with baffling responses like: “Custard. And chips.” Martha Payne has done everyone a good turn with pictorial evidence of the reality. Perhaps in future years she will turn her camera elsewhere, to equal effect.


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