Friday, February 28, 2014

Food and Memory at UWL Ealing

Sadly Universities do not reach out more often to their host communities and celebrate the chance they have to create dialogues for residents to take part in. An initiative in  Ealing means that there is a semi-regular session of public lectures where guest speakers have a platform to speak on  matters of the day, last year I went to see Torin Douglas speak about Commercial Radio and I have subsequently registered for further talks there,

On Wednesday evening I went along to the former Ealing college where these talks are held  to listen to local resident  Yasmin Alibhai-Brown speak about 'Food and Memories' as one would expect the talk referenced her own book The Settler’s Cookbook heavily, the book sounds intriguing with its' mixture of ethnic recipes, 'repaired UK dishes' (where her mother would bring life to bland dishes like Shepherd's Pie)  and the evocations from the smells left on her Mother's Cooking Cardigan likening them to the recollections that Proust's Madeleines triggered.


The UWL flyer
Yasmin who came to the UK from Uganda in the 1970s spoke about the food of her childhood the effect of an African upbringing on her as an part of the dispersed  UK colonial  diaspora. She spoke about how food affected her second marriage (helping her to win the heart of Colin Brown) and how food affects  her children as well as the connection with food with the loss of her mother. 
Other things that were touched on but not fully explored included her mother's attachment to Princess Diana, the sadness around the fate of her Brother and Sister, her brother being a victim of alcoholism and her sister still alive but living with problems of mental health. 
Next Talk

The next talk in the series at the UWL is scheduled for the 20th March it will be given by  Professor Nick Braisby and is on the subject of  Making sense of our world (a big subject).

On the subject of Making Sense of our World -BBC TV's Horizon this week  How You Really Make Decisions this programme took it's lead from Nobel prize winners' Professor Daniel Kahneman  analysis of our biases  The thesis he has is that we have  two ways of thinking, it threw light on the way the brain works quickly  with out clear logic (method 1) and then justifies with the reasoning method 2 .
-It was  very interesting and further information to add to philosophical musings.

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