Friday, 29 June 2012

World Tour Begins!

VEG is away camping now at the start of her school holidays and I am sure we'll be having some amazing adventures! NeverSeconds has just been award Blog of the Month by Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. VEG is thrilled!

Many of the emails and comments we have received express how much you have all enjoyed reading about children and their dinners from around the world. So for the coming months of the holidays NeverSeconds is embarking on a world tour to hear more from children and their daily dose of school dinners. From Monday to Friday each guest blogger will share their stories and do something with Mary's Meals as VEG has for us all to enjoy.

The World tour starts in Wales, heads to England then travels on via Texas, Tokyo and Brazil. VEG will also blog on Fridays to share her developing Malawi plans and to pass the blog on. We still have some available weeks if your school would like to get involved.

First stop, starting Monday, is Ysgol Kingsland, Anglesey, Wales. Let us know how long it takes you to find it on a map! Ysgol Kingsland will be blogging in their home language Welsh, with English underneath. I know they have great ideas and I am looking forward to hearing them.

Thanks again everyone for your support. Keep your photos coming and let the World Tour begin!

VEG's Dad


  1. VEG's Dad: I would just like to say that I am thrilled she has a father like you. All the underlying tones of you being supportive and encouraging this whole time. It helps me know that decent parents still exist on the planet. You are raising a world-changer, Dad... we can all sense it. She is an enigma: a child who cares more for others than herself. Thank you for being a great father... and we look forward to many more months if not (hopefully) years of pictures and ratings. Truly a unique and fascinating blog.

    -Grace, from Iowa, United States (0 seconds haha)

    1. Thank you, Grace. You said it all.

      NeverSeconds has become a part of the lives of so many people all over the world in a strange and magical way. It reinforces the interconnectedness of us all so naturally that one feels - despite everything - there is hope for the future when there are people with the simplicity and nobility of VEG and her inspirational family.

      "Only connect..." [E.M. Forster]

  2. It took me just under 10 seconds but I was trying to time myself so it might be less than that lol. Anglesey is pretty easy to find when you know where it is.

  3. Congrats on the Jamie Oliver award - very well deserved! Looking forward to the Never Seconds World Tour!

  4. I'm looking forward to the world tour! This blog is one of the few things that made me wish I was still in school - I want to share my school lunches too! :)

    Congrats VEG on winning blog of the month!

  5. Well done on the award - so deserved.

    Have a really great break!!!

  6. Dear Veg's Dad:

    Indeed, thank you and Veg's Mom for providing such an encouraging and learning environment! If we don't ask questions, we will never be provided answers, and if we don't stretch our boundaries via sleep-away camp and the internet, how can we find the fodder for our questions!

    I look forward to reading from the NeverSeconds Guest Bloggers, it sounds grand.

    Best regards,
    Santa Barbara, CA

  7. 1minute 19seconds... But I did have google maps zoomed right out so it took a while to orientate... and Anglesey is quite a big place to find quite a small school! I hope VEG has a very happy holiday, she deserves it after all her hard work photographing and writing - and raising over £100K for charity! Thanks to you both for such a great read, it'll be interesting seeing VEG's blog travel the world in the next few weeks :)

  8. Grace from Iowa took the words out of my mouth.
    Martha clearly comes from a loving and supportive family.
    We don't hear much about 'mum' but she packed a lovely, inspirational lunch the other day. I thought the chrysanthemum was a super touch and Veg ate it. I didn't know you could eat chrysanths so I'm still learning at my ripe old age (71).
    I hope the Payne family has a lovely summer break and I look forward to hearing from Matha again when the new term starts.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Actually, dandelions have another edible use. They've been called "poor man's morels."

      As you said, be careful of where you pick them. You don't want them loaded down with pesticides (or where animals have been peeing on them).

      Pick just the blossom off, no stem at all. And they're far better if you pick the ones that have just come into bloom. (But they should be fully open.)

      Take them inside, rinse them off, shake off the excess water, then dredge them in flour and pan-fry them up in a bit of butter (or olive oil or margarine or whatever) until they're golden brown and a bit crispy. Drain them on a paper towel. Optional: sprinkle them with just a tiny bit of salt.

      You'd be surprised at how much they honestly do taste like morel mushrooms! It would seem natural to assume that they'd taste bitter, since anybody that's ever gotten any of that white "sap" in a dandelion plant in their mouth knows full well. But they aren't!

  9. kids stopped from seeing the olympic torch in Basingstoke

    1. Martha well done, your an inspiration to everyone
      Looking forward seeing details of your trips, maybe you could start a 2nd (personal?) blog telling us about your days? and keep this one going as it is.
      To Kenton Mann keep the posts on topic, please don't paste links to things that aren't relevant or are political

  10. Sounds like an interesting & unique idea. I was in school many decades ago here in Ohio, USA, and it's been fascinating to see how different school lunches are now, both in Scotland and around the world, from when I was in school.

    All the best to Martha & Dad, and to the kids who will benefit from this unbelievable effort. It is a joy to read and a miracle to behold. Keep up the great work!

  11. dear Veg and Family, what a fab blog and a lovely idea.
    Well done on all the fundraising, have a great school holiday.


  12. hay mary . i have a blog to . my blog is a diary
    please look to the blog . thanks

  13. Took about 4 minutes. Used Google Maps and then zeroed in to the school by swicthing from the map setting to satellite. School is at the intersection of Tyn Pwll Rd. and Cyttir Rd. Can just see the white roof through the cloud cover surrounded by an enormous green space. Cool! I also agree with Grace and Neesargon that you have a wonderful family giving you such enormous support. I hope if you do move on you will groom a replacement and pass the camera if not the torch. This is such a charming endeavour for all of us all over the world!
    -Bill from Nova Scotia, Canada

  14. Hi VEG! Eversince I saw your blog featured in a news article, I see to it that I visit NeverSeconds daily! Your blog will always be an inspiration to many people, young and old alike. And I just can't help my eyes to get misty and all everytime I read your posts and watch your 2 videos.

    Cheers to a great world tour! Keep on putting smiles in our hearts (and faces as well!).

    Meiko from Manila, Philippines (0 seconds!)

  15. Veg, congratulations on The Blog of the Month award! I am so excited about your upcoming travel blogs, I will feel like I am traveling with you! Thank you, and safe journey!

  16. BIG congrats on the award Veg! Very well earnt!
    Wonderful idea for the holidays too. Can't wait to read! :)

  17. Veg,
    I am so inspired by your efforts that I am starting my own page for Mary's Meals. I am currently writing an article about your blogging phenomenon and once published you will be able to find it at
    I will post on here once it is live.You will be able to click this link to view it.
    My Mary's Meals page will be

    Have a super holiday, you deserve it.
    Congratulations on your blog award and keep up the great work.

    Kind regards

    Steve Mitchell - Peterborough, Cambridgeshire


      Article published today.
      Check it out and let me know what you think.

  18. That is fantastic news you have been awarded Jamie Oliver Blog of the Month. It is well deserved.

  19. I notice someone has posted about eating dandelions. This is true. You can pick the leaves and eat as you would lettuce.

    There are many wild plants and nuts you can eat as well as the obvious: hazelnuts, blackberries, cranberries ...

    The book to get on the subject is Food For Free by Richard Mabey, but also ensure you have a very good field guide.

    I was only thinking of Richard Mabey a couple of days ago.

  20. A special treat for me on Friday was to visit Guildford and have lunch at the Guildford Institute where the food is always delicious.

    A lady brings in her own home-cooked food.

    A meal deal where you get main course and desert (free fruit juice) costs £7-95. Tea or coffee is extra.

    Food-o-meter- 10/10
    Mouthfuls- too many to count, a lot
    Courses- main/one dessert
    Health Rating- 10/10
    Price- £7-95
    Pieces of hair- 0

    We also usually have artworks on the wall as used as free exhibition space for local artists. Artists pay a commission if they sell anything.

    On Friday watercolours, but not easy to see as covered in glass or plastic sheeting.

    If you go out to eat you may wish to write about it. If the food is good, ask the chef for the recipe (that is what I do).

    Enjoy your school holidays!

  21. Just wanted to tell me that you have inspired me with an idea :

    As much as I hate to admit it, I'm a bit overweight ( should lose about 15 kg ).

    Which just makes me feel horrible if I see all those hungry children.
    I looked into it a little bit, and I noticed I could actually save a lot of money, just by eating less
    ( I could save almost 2 euros just having a healthier lunch , and a lot more if I stop eating snacks ).

    What I propose is the following : all the money I save just by eating less , I will donate to your Mary Meals page.

    So you can expect a regular donation from me, it won't even cost me anything more, it will make me healthier, and help fight hunger.

    Just wanted to share this idea. I know I'm not alone.

    Still have to work out the details, but I plan to start tomorrow , and donate at least every week.

  22. Interesting. Really looking forward to this.

  23. Congrats on the Jamie Oliver award! You must all be excited. X

  24. Good for you, Martha! Who would have thought a simple blog (and a little bit of controversy) would have kicked off a grand adventure. And thanks to you, Dad, for bringing all of this to life.

  25. I have nominated Martha and NeverSeconds for a Food and Farming Award, will you?

    I cannot think of a more deserving recipient for the Derek Cooper Award than Martha and NeverSeconds as a writer who has raised awareness of food, especially with children, and raised more than £100,000 for a food kitchen in Malawi for schoolchildren, to be called Friends of NeverSeconds.

    1. Yes. Most certainly. I have added a second nomination.

      Congretulations on the Jamie Oliver Blog Award VEG (and VEG's dad).

    2. Also voted and emailed some friends the link asking them to do the same.

      Keep voting and pass it along to others.

  26. Listening to the Food Programme lunchtime today on BBC Radio 4 (repeated 1530 Monday 2 July), it was said writers of food blogs have greater influence than food writers!

  27. I can't wait for the world tour to begin! Congratulations on getting Blog of the Month as well. Very well deserved.

  28. I can't WAIT for the next post!!!

  29. Wooh! You just passed 7 million page views! (7,001,150 as I write this)

  30. This break will likely be different than any you have every had. You have so many things to celebrate and so many reasons to be pleased with your efforts! Congratulations to you, but more importantly thanks for showing us that one person with a good idea and a team of supporters can still make a difference in this cynical world. I've shared your story at

  31. Congratulations on you Jamie Oliver Award :)

    Ludo from Orange, France ( how many secs ????)

  32. took me quite a while to find anglesey on the map as I was scouring the coastline rather than looking inland. Big mistake! I'm excited to read the guest bloggers and learn more about their dinners. Really happy for all of the neverseconds crew for their great success!

  33. you are doing a great job on this blog. nice information sharing. Dubai Desert Safari