I tend to think the way we gather around the table defines the sort of family we are.
When I was young the table was noisy and crowded and there was always discussion – of books, of politics, of school and friends and days out and adventures planned. Our family was hectic and our meals were, too.
When I left home, I embraced the chaos of mealtimes in flats with friends – at lunchtime, it was often salted popcorn bought in bulk at the Indian grocery, or instant ramen noodles on toast. But dinner was always more of an event. We’d all just learned to make spaghetti bolognese and there were endless dinners with girlfriends, washed down with bottle upon bottle of red wine that I doubt would make it into any sort of good wine guide.
These days, mealtimes are mostly about me and Flea. I try and avoid using the dinner table as a place to talk about school or our to-do lists. Rather, I’m more inclined to chat about the ‘what if’s’ of life – what if we went on a boat, where would we go? What if we could buy a dog, what would we call it? What if we moved to a new country? What if we were to make up our own rock band, who’d play guitar? It’s a nice space to get to know each other better. Which might sound odd given we’re related, but life’s a discovery process and my daughter changes every day, so there’s always something new to know.
Birds Eye are currently showcasing a series of photographs on their website that document the British family at mealtimes – photographer Martin Parr has captured families of all shapes and sizes at the table (and elsewhere), and the best images from the exhibition can now be seen at the Birds Eye website. There are picnics in yurts and roast Sunday lunches, and many more things in between. If you visit the site this week, and Tweet your favourite photo using the hashtag #BirdsEyeMartinParr, you could win a meal cooked by a private chef in your home for you and five friends.
That’s not all though – to help you capture your own family mealtimes (and other memories) Birds Eye are giving away a bunch of smart Samsun WB350F digital cameras, and I’ve got one to give away to a Who’s the Mummy reader. All you need to do is complete the Rafflecopter widget below, and a winner will be picked at random from all eligible entries received by 5pm GMT on October 19, 2014.
Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding employees of the promoter (Iglo Food Groups Ltd) and anyone else connected with the competition. Winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries received by the closing date. The name of the winner will be displayed on the website within 14 days of the closing date. The prize is as stated, no cash alternative is available. The promoter’s decision on all matters is final, no correspondence will be entered into.