Archive for the ‘NeverSeconds’ Category

BBC Scotland: Martha and David Payne discuss NeverSeconds

December 30, 2012

Martha’s Story broadcast BBC Radio Scotland, BBC at its best, a pleasant change from the usual air-headed presenters.

The focus different to Martha, Meals and Malawi. This time not on Malawi, but on what was going on behind the scenes of NeverSeconds. In essence an overview of what you will find in the book NeverSeconds, co-written by Martha and David Payne.

Absolutely amazing, NeverSeconds achieved 35,000 hits on the first day.

Jaw dropping listening to the lying council official blatanly lie about Martha. What sort of low life life bullies a nine-year-old schoolgirl? What action has been taken against this dishonest jobsworth?

Appalling the way Argyll and Bute Council tried to paint Martha and her family as a bad family.

When there was a crude attempt to shut down the blog, Argyll and Bute Council once again blatantly lied, putting out a press release that was a pack of lies in a crude attempt attempt to discredit Martha and her blog. Then to reinforce their dishonesty they replaced overwrote the press release with a second press release. But not before the first press release was grabbed.

What made this disgraceful council think they could get away with it?

Martha was made of sterner stuff, and stood up to the bully-boys at Argyll and Bute Council, went on to raise money for a school kitchen in Malawi.

A Freedom of Information request served on Argyll and Bute Council would be quite revealing. Heads should roll, not only the lying official who tried to blacken the name of Martha.

Sally Loudon, Chief Executive of Argyll and Bute Council, has yet to issue an apology.

Martha’s Story broadcast BBC Radio Scotland 1030 Sunday 30 December 2012 and 0703 Tuesday 1 Jan 2013.

NeverSeconds co-authored by Martha and David Payne goes into more details the story behind Martha’s story.

Shame on Waterstone’s, the staff not a clue NeverSeconds, not on display either in store or in the window. How can you claim to a be a book chain and know absolutely nothing about a book that has had more media attention than anything this year?

NeverSeconds is for 12 days available for download from Amazon at 99p. Double good news, it will still pay for 25 dinners in Africa.

Amazon e-book download is a propriety format. Download and install Calibre to manage e-books, which can also be used to convert format to ePub format which is an Open Source non-propriety format used by e-readers such as Kobo.

Please do get get too carried away. The bargain download on NeverSeconds is thanks to Cargo Publishing. Lest we forget, Amazon is a tax dodger for which we all pay.

Pay Your Taxes by Asher Gowan is available for free download from Amazon until 1 January 2013.

Get downloading, pass to your friends, let’s get NeverSeconds and Pay Your Taxes into the Top Two places on Amazon.

BBC produce an excellent documentary and once again only held on-line for seven days!

Martha Payne and NeverSeconds top news story of 2012

December 29, 2012
msn heroes of 2012

msn heroes of 2012

Bad things can sometimes turn into good things. I am glad I didn’t give up. — Martha Payne

Just swapped present with my Mom. We both bought the book, we laughed we hugged we fed 50 in Malawi thank you veg. — Robert Hird

Martha Payne and her food blog NeverSeconds have featured up there with Pussy Riot, Malawa and tax dodging Starbucks as top news stories of 2012.

BBC recorded the crass stupidity of bully-boys at Argyle and Bute Council trying to shut down NeverSeconds as the second most requested news story on Scotland.

BBC also recorded Martha and NeverSeconds as one of the top viral news stories of 2012.

Daily Telegraph named Martha as one of the Top Ten Britons of 2012. Yesterday she was featured on the front page.

Nor was it only the UK media, the international media also featured Martha Payne and her food blog NeverSeconds in their reviews of 2012, up there with the man who fell to earth, Aung San Suu Ky, Pussy Riot, Malawa.

For msn, Heroes of 2012.

Huffington Post called 2012 a people powered year. People can and do make a difference, it does not have to be apathy rules ok.

Seven months ago, Martha Payne was an ordinary nine-year-old from a tiny Scottish village – Lochgilphead in Argyll and Bute – who started a blog about her unhealthy school meals. When the local council banned Martha from writing her blog, she made headlines around the world and gained millions of fans, including Jamie Oliver, who campaigned to get her blog back on-line. To date, it has recorded nearly nine million hits, raised over £127,000 for the charity Mary’s Meals. In October, Martha visited the school kitchen in Blantyre, Malawi, which was built with money donated by her fans.

Martha has now opened up her blog to guest blogs from around the world, has inspired others to follow her excellent example.

Over Christmas, BBC broadcast an updated edition of Martha, Meals and Malawi.

During the year, Martha has picked up numerous awards, including Campaigner of the Year on Freedom of Expression from Liberty.

Together with her father David, Martha has co-authored a book NeverSeconds, which tells the story of her blog, standing firm against the bully-boys at her local council, the trip to Malawi. For each copy of NeverSeconds sold, 25 meals for Mary’s Meals.

What is unbelievably perverse is that a chain like Waterstone’s, that masquerade as bookshops, the staff have not a clue NeverSeconds, have never heard of it, it is not on display either in store or in the window. They had on their hands what was a potential best seller for Christmas, a market they have now missed, a book that should have been on display, piled high. No surprise Watersone’s is one of the High Street chains predicted to go under in 2013

NeverSeconds in Lincoln

December 21, 2012
Waterstone's Lincoln former Corn Exchange

Waterstone’s Lincoln former Corn Exchange

WHSmith not a clue NeverSeconds, not on their system, not on the shelves.

Waterstone’s market not a clue NeverSeconds. Guy was helpful and did agree they should have more in, and on display. One on the shelf.

Waterstone’s High Street (sick joke staffed by people who LOVE books and love talking about books) not a clue NeverSeconds and girl got quite stroppy when it was pointed out had loads of publicity. One on the shelf.

What is wrong with these chains that masquerade as bookshops, that employ staff who seem to know nothing about books, that have on their hands what was a potential best seller for Christmas, a market they have now missed, a book that should have been on display, piled high?

The problem is, chain ‘bookshops’, only display what they are paid to display by the big publishers, not display based on merit.

NeverSeconds has now recorded over 8.9 million hits. Through NeverSeconds Martha went on to raise over £120,000 for a school kitchen in Malawi called Friends of NeverSeconds, and was invited to Malawi to inaugurate the kitchen. Now over £126,000 raised for Mary’s Meals.

With the help of her father David, Martha has co-written a book NeverSeconds, which tells the story of her blog, standing firm against the bully-boys at her local council, the trip to Malawi.

Over Christmas, will see a re-broadcast of updated BBC documentary, Martha, Meals and Malawi.

The story of Martha Payne has inspired a woman to support a school in Malawi. A pity it has not inspired our useless bookshop chains to have NeverSeconds on prominent display in order that more would be inspired.

Merry Christmas from Taste Communications

December 20, 2012

Taste Communications, instead of sending out corporate Christmas cards this Christmas, decided instead to set up a stall and give away free food. They also made a donation to Mary’s Meals, which will go towards feeding school kids in Africa.

Through her blog NeverSeconds, Martha Payne has now raised over £125,000 for Mary’s Meals. Her book NeverSeconds co-written with her father David, for each copy sold, 25 meals for Mary’s Meals. A pity bookshops do not have NeverSeconds on prominent display as it would have been a run away Christmas best seller. An update of Martha, Meals and Malawi, will be show over Christmas.

In November, Covent Garden Soups had quite literally a soup kitchen. Where else other than Covent Garden!

I noticed the other day in a fairly run down area, where even a charity shop had pulled out the shop then sitting empty, the shop is to re-open as a food bank.

Banks are on the decline, the future may by peer-to-peer lending as the crooked corporate banks are no longer trusted.

Banks may be on the decline, banks that steal our money, food banks are on the rise due to the ConDem government waging war on the poor and disadvantaged.

If the ConDem government thought they had public support for their viscous attacks on the poor and disadvantaged, they made a big mistake. According to an Ipsos Mori poll, only 27% think benefit cuts were ok or should be deeper, while 69% think benefits should rise with or above inflation.

What people wish to see is a fairer society, the rich paying higher taxes and tax dodgers dealt with.

Taste Communications is a PR company promoting Scottish food.

If you do not ask

December 4, 2012
The @RedMagDaily photo of Martha is so her! -- NeverSeconds

The @RedMagDaily photo of Martha is so her! — NeverSeconds

If you do not ask, the answer will always be NO. — Paulo Coelho

A truism if ever there was one, I learnt from my Father.

In NeverSeconds, an almost impossible book to find (but a must read), David Payne tells of seeking help from his neighbours in running his smallholding.

He felt he was seeking help too often. On the contrary they told him, you do not seek our help often enough.

But I am giving little back in return.

It does not matter, they told him, we are more than willing to help you, and all we ask, is that you in return help someone else.

He did, he helped his daughter Martha set up a food blog called NeverSeconds, in which she wrote about her school meals.

Argyll and Bute Council were of a different view, some may say on a different planet. Rather than praising Martha for her excellent journalism, they decided to shut her down, before that, they tried to portray her as a liar, accused the family of bad parenting.

When Martha heard of the lies, she was upset. She then fought back, she wrote on her blog the truth. When her blog was forced to close by the Council acting like playground bullies, the Council was forced to back down.

Martha has served as an inspiration to others, who have set up blogs to fight injustices. Through her blog she has raised over £120,000 for a school kitchen in Malawi, which she was invited to inaugurate.

Last week Martha was the youngest ever recipient of Red Hot Woman of the Year. The week before, recipient of a Human Rights Award for standing up for free speech.

It is surprising what can happen when you ask, and when you are willing to help others.

NeverSeconds only found in one bookshop!

December 1, 2012
 Martha reading NeverSeconds

Martha reading NeverSeconds

Martha with her book NeverSeconds

Martha with her book NeverSeconds

After three weeks of trying I have finally found NeverSeconds in one bookshop!

I found it on Tuesday in Waterstone’s in Guildford. They had one copy! I displayed it on the shelf. It was still there on Friday.

Does this mean NeverSeconds is now readily available, not that one copy in one bookshop counts as readily available?

I thought I would inquire today in Farnham on a cold winter afternoon.

WHSmith not a clue NeverSeconds, cannot even find on their system.

Waterstone’s no idea NeverSeconds. The system says we have one. No idea where it is. We only stock one. If we sell it, we will order another one.

Waterstone’s did at least have a special anniversary edition of The Pilgrimage on display on the shelf.

Bullying of a nine-year-old girl is not acceptable

November 29, 2012

It wasn’t easy time for us. Amazed council still believes it has done nothing wrong. — David Payne

Growing increasingly annoyed reading NeverSeconds by stance of council trying to blame Martha. Poor show. — Bryan Gregg

The bullying of nine-year-old Martha Payne by a worthless jobsworth at Argyll and Bute Council and trying to silence her blog NeverSeconds, then compounding the wrong by lying and then when it could not get worse, defaming the family by accusing them of bad parenting, it totally and completely unacceptable.

The council has yet to formally apologise, or even accept they did anything wrong.

The editor of the Oban Times, is giving you the chance to have your say and via the paper question Argyll and Bute Council chief executive Sally Loudon who was responsible for this disgraceful behaviour by her officials.

I would though dispute the view of the editor that Argyll and Bute Council chief executive Sally Loudon is a person of influence, she is an overpaid public servant accountable to the public. Nor does she have overall responsibility for running the local authority, that is down to the councillors who exercise that role on behalf of their constituents. Though I accept like all overpaid public servants, she has an overinflated view of her own worth.

A few questions I would like to see answered:

If it is not acceptable for a playground bully to bully and intimidate a nine-year-old school girl, why is it deemed acceptable for a worthless jobsworth to bully a nine-year-old schoolgirl?

Bullying is not acceptable in the playground, bullying is not acceptable in the workplace.

What disciplinary action has been taken, not only for the bullying, but the subsequent treatment meted out to the family?

What made you think you could get away with it and brazen it out?

Why did the council lie? Why were the lies then covered up?

Why was it claimed this was an example of bad parenting?

Why have you yet to issue a formal apology to Martha Payne and her family?

Freedom of expression is a basic right enshrined in the Human Rights Act. For each decision taken by a public body, it has to be shown that the Human Rights Act was complied with, failure to do so is in itself an offence under the legislation. What steps were taken when bullying a nine-year-old school girl? In trying to silence a nine-year-old school girl was you not aware a breach of the Human Rights Act was taking place, namely denying freedom of expression?

What steps have you taken to improve the school meals your local authority serves? Was you not aware of the minimum standards recommended by Jamie Oliver? If not why not? And if you were, why were they not acted upon?

I have looked at the school meals your local authority serves and I find them disgusting. Should you not hang your head in shame?

Have you not looked at the blog NeverSeconds and seen how poorly the meals you serve compare with school meals around the world?

I wish to see published all internal memos, notes of meetings, e-mails that took place within your local authority surrounding this issue, the initial bullying of Martha Payne, treatment of her family, how media was to be dealt with and that surrounding the fall out. Please regard this as a formal Freedom of Information request.

Have you ordered copies of NeverSeconds such that every school library, every public library in Argyll and Bute has copies?

What compensation will you be paying Martha and her family, for bullying, defamation, and the stress you have caused?

I look forward to a prompt response to all my questions.

In the meantime you may care to note:

NeverSeconds has now recorded over 8.8 million hits. Through NeverSeconds Martha went on to raise over £120,000 for a school kitchen in Malawi called Friends of NeverSeconds, and was invited to Malawi to inaugurate the kitchen.

With the help of her father David, Martha has co-written a book NeverSeconds, which tells the story of her blog, standing firm against the bully-boys at her local council, the trip to Malawi.

NeverSeconds found in a bookshop!

November 27, 2012
 Martha reading NeverSeconds

Martha reading NeverSeconds

Martha with her book NeverSeconds

Martha with her book NeverSeconds

Wonders will never cease, after a long search, NeverSeconds found in a bookshop. Yes, hard to believe, NeverSeconds found in a bookshop!

Last Saturday, Waterstone’s and WHSmith in Farnham. Not a clue, did not have, Waterstone’s one on order, WHSmith unable to find on system.

On Monday, WHSmith in Aldershot. Not a clue, unable to find on system.

WHSmith Godalming: No NeverSeconds, cannot find on their system. Tried on another system, found 500 in a warehouse, but that works out at less than one copy per shop.

It is worth holding off purchase of NeverSeconds or any book until 2 December. Currently WHSmith have vouchers which give 20% off any book, even books on special offer, from 2 December. This would make NeverSeconds cheaper than buying off Amazon. And remember Amazon are tax dodgers.

Waterstone’s Godalming: Is NeverSeconds by Paulo Coelho? None in stock, did have one, we sold it. One on order. I suggested they may care to order more, put on display. Helpful guy checked system, lots in Scotland, one in Guildford.

Waterstone’s Guildford: Yes, we have NeverSeconds, it is in Biography. I spotted it before the girl did. But only one.

Miracles will never cease, Waterstone’s Guildford has one copy in stock of NeverSeconds!

As I had time to spare, I sat down to flip through and read little snippets. A interesting format. Extracts from Martha’s food blog NeverSeconds coupled with Dave giving the background.

As only one, I did not buy, left for someone else to buy, but what I did do was put on the shelf on display with the cover showing.

I suggested they got more in and put on display.

On display Aleph. Only one year after publication, but I guess better late than never.

NeverSeconds, the story of Martha Payne and her food blog NeverSeconds, as told by Martha and her father David Payne, is currenty selling 300 copies a day, published two weeks ago, is already on its second print run.

Every copy of NeverSeconds which is sold provides 25 school dinners for children in Malawi through a donation to Mary’s Meals.

Why Martha Payne was honoured by Liberty

November 24, 2012
Martha putting finishing touches to Friends of NeverSeconds

Martha putting finishing touches to Friends of NeverSeconds

If you wondered why a ten-year-old schoolgirl was honoured by Liberty as Human Rights Young Person of the Year or why in the same week the Scottish Herald named her Campaigner of the Year, this TED talk recorded at TED Global in Edinburgh June 2012 and the TED interview with Martha Payne will give you an inkling.

What made them think they could get away from this? — Clay Shirky

Martha Payne may only be 9-years-old, but she is already a world-renowned food blogger.

In a preamble to his fascinating TEDTalk about what governments can learn from open-source programming, Clay Shirky told Payne’s inspirational story.

In April of 2012, Scottish schoolgirl Payne started the blog NeverSeconds.blogspot.co.uk, which documents her school dinners (otherwise known as school lunches in the United States) with ratings like “number of mouthfuls” and “pieces of hair” found in food. The idea was to raise money for the charity Mary’s Meals, while at the same time showing the world the low nutritional value of school meals.

The blog quickly picked up fans. But on June 14, readers of NeverSeconds were greeted with a distressing post.

“This morning in maths I got taken out of class by my head teacher and taken to her office. I was told that I could not take any more photos of my school dinners because of a headline in a newspaper today,” wrote Payne. “I am sad I am no longer allowed to take photos. I will miss sharing and rating my school dinners.”

While Payne’s school supported the blog, it was reportedly the local Argyll and Bute Council that had decided its fate. Fans of the blog swung into action, flooding the council with angry messages. The outpouring was so extreme that the council quickly reversed its decision. By June 15, Payne’s blog was back.

Today, NeverSeconds has been read by 8 million people across the globe. Payne has raised £114,840 for Mary’s Meals, and the charity has set up the Friends of NeverSeconds kitchen at a school in Malawi, which Payne herself will soon visit. Meanwhile, Payne is also inspiring students in other countries, like 13-year-old Isadora Faber of Brazil, who documented her school’s poor facilities, leading to many swift improvements.

We caught up with Payne to ask her a few questions.

What inspired you to start your blog?

I want to be a journalist and I asked my dad if I could write everyday. Dad suggested a blog and we looked at some. I like the fact there is a publish button because it’s like I’m a real newspaper writer.

Why do you think your blog posts resonate so deeply with people?

Everyone knows about school dinners. I love seeing what school dinners are like around the world. Children are sharing their photos and ratings. It’s brilliant and I have cooked some of their lunches.

How did you feel in June when you were told you couldn’t photograph your lunches anymore?

I was upset and cried because I had done nothing wrong. Some adults had got embarrassed and thought stopping me would stop them being embarrassed.

What reactions did you get after you posted your goodbye message?

There were so many messages — I couldn’t read them all. Dad said it trended on Twitter and lots of people contacted Argyll and Bute Council.

Were you surprised by the level of public support you received?

It was awesome. Although I was sad because it was unfair, I was also happy that other people thought it was unfair as well.

What does that tell you about the type of world we live in?

It says even a big Council can’t be a bully. They ignored me when I said it was unfair but they couldn’t ignore the world.

How has your blog changed since you were able to resume posting?

There are guest bloggers writing each week because I’m off school, so no school dinners yet. I am going to Malawi to visit the Mary’s Meals charity because the friends of NeverSeconds raised over £114,000 to feed children a school dinner in Malawi. I will blog everyday from Malawi if I can.

What have you learned from your blogging experience?

I don’t know why adults teach us to write and think then get embarrassed when we do it outside class. I love kids sharing their meals with me and I like sharing back. The internet isn’t just for adults — we can use it too. When everyone chips in, you can help children around the world like with Mary’s Meals.

—————————————

During her day in London, Martha visited Parliament, before the Liberty Award Ceremony in the evening. She later reflected: why do we need Liberty if we have Parliament?

We need Liberty, we need people like Martha, because there are always those who will seek to silence critical voices.We need people who will fight for what is right.

The Taliban thought they could silence Malawa with a bullet to to the brain. They were wrong, she survived, more determined than ever to fight for education for girls. Her cause was taken up by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. So far he has collected over 2 million signatures in support of Malawa, Pakistan has been forced to introduce compulsory free education for girls and boys, has doubled the education budget.

Vladimire Putin thought he could silence Pussy Riot. He was wrong. Only last week he was given a public dressing down by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

President Morsi thought he could grant himself executive powers. Those who have filled Tahrir Square in protest think otherwise.

A pathetic jobsworth in a local council thought he could bully a nine-year-old schoolgirl, close down her food blog NeverSeconds. With the help and support of her family and friends around the world including chef Jamie Oliver, Martha stood her ground. The council were forced into a humiliating climbdown, with the leader of the council issuing a public apology on BBC Radio 4 lunchtime news World at One (only that morning on the Today programme the council had tried to justify their action). The council even blatantly lied!

NeverSeconds has now recorded over 8.7 million hits. Through NeverSeconds Martha went on to raise over £120,000 for a school kitchen in Malawi called Friends of NeverSeconds, and was invited to Malawi to inaugurate the kitchen.

With the help of her father David, Martha has co-written a book NeverSeconds, which tells the story of her blog, standing firm against the bully-boys at her local council, the trip to Malawi.

For whatever perverse reason Waterstone’s in England is not stocking NeverSeconds, does not have it on display. Once again her friends are coming to her rescue, walking into Waterstone’s bookshops and demanding to know why NeverSeconds is not in stock, not on display.

The Quest for NeverSeconds continues with libraries

November 22, 2012

No joy with bookshops, today I thought try libraries.

Aldershot Library, a senior librarian.

NeverSeconds please.

She had not a clue what I was asking for.

No we do not have a copy, there is not a single copy in any library in the county, and no, there are no copies on order.

I suggested that an order was placed to give every library in the county a copy.

She suggested I might like to try Borders in London. Borders went bust end of 2009!

NeverSeconds, the story of Martha Payne and her food blog NeverSeconds, as told by Martha and her father David Payne, is currenty selling 300 copies a day, published exactly one week ago, is already on its second print run.

Every copy of NeverSeconds which is sold provides 25 school dinners for children in Malawi through a donation to Mary’s Meals.