Children learning nothing about farming at school is a concern - Sarah Todd

Tennis isn’t this correspondent’s favourite sport. The Husband plays and this sporting widow has never quite felt at home among the tennis club set.Probably because the wearing of white presents too many laundry challenges; or maybe an allergy to the perfect poise and neatly-styled hair of so many of the female players?

Having said that, the weekend’s Wimbledon men’s final had this reluctant viewer transfixed. The match between former champion Novak Djokovic and the young Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz had it all.

There was drama, passion and more than a sprinkling of celebrity.

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Of course, the Prince and Princess of Wales’s two eldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, were the focus of much media attention.

Carlos Alcaraz in action against Novak Djokovic during the men's singles final on day fourteen of Wimbledon. PIC: Adam Davy/PA Wire.Carlos Alcaraz in action against Novak Djokovic during the men's singles final on day fourteen of Wimbledon. PIC: Adam Davy/PA Wire.
Carlos Alcaraz in action against Novak Djokovic during the men's singles final on day fourteen of Wimbledon. PIC: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

There was something so incredibly sweet about the way the eight year-old princess kept her fingers’ crossed throughout the match. What a charmingly old-fashioned thing to do.

Then, as for her nine year-old brother in his suit and tie. Critics who have said the Royals are outdated and he should have been in more comfortable casual clobber are wrong. Like so many little boys he obviously likes dressing up like his father and the Royals just intrinsically get the importance of showing respect through correct clothing.

Then, overwhelmingly, there was a feeling of absolute and utter admiration at how two young children (both under ten) had remained seated for nearly five hours.

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Just think of all the whining horrors that can’t sit still for half an hour to eat a meal? Then there are the ones that have to be passed a game on mummy’s mobile phone to stop them throwing a tantrum, or refuse to watch a film at the cinema without being bought buckets of popcorn to noisily shovel down their throats.

Talking of children and food, findings revealed the other day show that most young people have not learnt anything about farming from their school. This is something of a hobby horse and credit needs to go to the charity LEAF Education (Linking Environment and Farming) for continuing to bang the drum about it. This reporter’s generation got taken on school trips to farms and places like milk bottling plants. The requirement to jump through health and safety hoops has largely put paid to such excursions; along with an over-emphasis on pushing pupils parrot-like through tests rather than giving over any time to learning about nature.

80 per cent of the 2,500 youngsters asked said they wanted to learn more about sustainable food choices. However, the really worrying figure was that 65 per cent trust supermarkets and big brand restaurants to make the right decisions on their behalf.

Trust? Just this week Marks & Spencer was spotted selling garden peas from Kenya and Sainsbury’s had a special price of 60p for half-a-dozen eggs. Closer inspection revealed they were barn-reared from Italy.

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Our children are now grown-up but at times such as General Elections they always used to come home from school with tales of one teacher or another preaching politics. So maybe, on reflection, it’s not a good idea to have our educators more involved when it comes to informing the next generation about farming and food choices? There must be a very real fear that they would all end up vegans. As an aside, any pay rise for a member of teaching staff should be linked to a pledge to not indoctrinate the classroom with personal beliefs and opinions.

Many children are already on their long summer holidays and as temperatures rise layers of clothing will be stripped off.

There have been some super old photographs circulating on social media of holidaymakers from the 1950s and 1970s enjoying a day on the beach.

There isn’t a proverbial beached whale among them. The men are all svelte with naturally washboard stomachs and the ladies are trim, with curves in all the right places. It’s maybe rose-tinted spectacles but they all seem to appear active. Not one person sat slack-jawed staring at a phone screen.

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It’s fascinating to think that back then the population’s diet was probably a very simple meat and two veg. Memories of wartime rationing and a general waste-not-want-not mentality would mean smaller portions and only filling a plate with what could be comfortably eaten. Everything very simple, not smothered in sauces, processed or grabbed from a takeaway.

Something has happened in our world that we turn the other cheek and don’t state the obvious. It does nobody any favours.