I love the way important people in our lives influence our relationship with food. A recipe that didn’t originally call for cardamom but sure, Kate did it once and suddenly no other way will suffice.
In college, I associated fondue and late nights with Ian. Mac and cheese with Laura. Visits to Abbeyleix and apple pie with Margaret. All sorts of meat and a curry chip with Fiachra. It’s funny how these food relationships occur, but they do- a recognition of time spent together with the promise of more to come.
Today, we celebrated PG Tips and the Big Lunch - an initiative from the Eden Project to bring community and neighbours together over a shared meal. We’ve been lucky to have met our beautiful neighbour Mary-Jo quite soon after moving in. 79 glorious years of age, and in the short time we’ve been here in this apartment we’ve shared stories over a roast dinner, cuppas together with ginger cake and now a barbecue in the sun.
Since moving to the UK, the loneliness epidemic has been circulating our news feed and conversation frequently. Five percent of British people say they feel lonely 'often' or 'always'. With 68% of people in a poll describing their neighbours as ‘‘strangers’’ and more than half having barely said a word to their neighbours.
Another article highlights the aging population of over 12 million people (aged 65 and over) with nearly half of them considering the television their main form of company.
And surprising still are that sixteen to 24-year-olds are three times as likely to be lonely as those over 64, with women more likely to feel lonely than men.
I often wonder why loneliness is so tough to talk about. I wonder even more how we bridge the gap of identifying and finding ways to connect with those who may need it. Projects like The Big Lunch do just that and we couldn’t be happier to take part in our own little way.
While we may not have changed any statistics this Sunday afternoon, I can definitely add one thing to a list.
Dairy-free ice cream and raspberries with Mary Jo.
Wishing you a sweet weekend and sharing a wish that you find a little way to find a connect to your own neighbour or someone who may need it this week- sending lots of love from afar sweet friends x