Letter: In defence of the family meal

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The Independent Online
Sir: As one of the lucky people to grow up in a healthy and stable family environment, family meals and dinner parties formed a strong part of my growing up and my education. Some of my happiest memories are of long evenings with friends or family sitting around a dinner table talking about everything from the weather to politics. Admittedly, I don't think we put the world to rights and the majority of the time we agreed to differ in our views. None the less, it gave us a chance to air our views in safe and sociable surroundings and, as a result, I feel pretty well equipped for anything that might be thrown my way.

With so many distractions in life, having a sociable meal in a congenial setting provides a calm haven in which to get one's thoughts in order. Forget clinging to our dinner tables like survivors of a shipwreck clinging gamely to our rafts, we are standing proudly at the helm of our tables ready to face whatever life throws at us.

Yours sincerely,

SARAH CONWAY

London, W8

29 July

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