Dinner-table Blues

At each Four Spaces event, we invite participants to share their own One Minute History – either about them, or something they feel passionate about.  We decided these would make great blogs. This is our first OMH blog, from Fiona.

table-setting

The demise of the dining table

The dining table is an endangered species. Yet it’s played such a major role in our culture:

Social – at the table, we learned the art of conversation. And sharing, and taking turns, and consideration.

Economic – to put food on our dining tables, we learned household management, the basics of running a small enterprise.

Politics – at the dining table was where we might have had our first debates, winning and losing arguments.

Creativity – who amongst us has not used yoghurt pots and sticky back plastic or used the table to create a den?

But only about a third of us now sit down to share a meal. Most of us eat alone, or on our laps in front of TV, killing conversation and the potential for social interaction. At a time when the television broadcasts more than 400 hours of cookery programmes per week, most of us only know four recipes. And we consume over 1.6 billion ready made meals per year in the UK. Hardly good for our culinary skills and certainly not good for our health.

So, my thesis is –  use your table, it’s good for you, your relationship with your family and your career.

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