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16 October 2014

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My Sunday Lunch

By Tracy Pallant
June 2003, Cardiff
A digital story from Capture Wales

Tracy's Sunday ritual

Tracy's five hour Sunday lunch is very important to her. After finishing the meal and catching up on the week's events, Tracy's already dreaming of next week's lunch.

"Like the ingredients of my main meal - we belong together.

It's become a tradition. Every Sunday for the past seven years, we meet at the same place, the same time... to settle down for a leisurely five hour lunch.

"Fish and chips for me and a large Chardonnay please." Donna takes ages to choose. Helen has 'Dish of the Day', while baby Martha devours a large piece of cheese. Niki, toxic free and glowing with health, settles for a mineral water, which leaves Jane, who pushes her plate away, to enjoy a liquid lunch, "I'll have another Lager."

Between courses we piece together everything that's happened to us during the week, the highs the lows and the bits in-between.

Like roast beef and Yorkshire pudding... and apple pie and custard, we make the perfect meal. We laugh, we talk loudly, we cry and we argue. Then we sit back and digest it all.

Are we sad? Are we obsessive? I don't think so. Some say we're strange people, people talk about us at work, hushed voices, eyebrows raised. Secretly though, I think they're jealous, as I watch them lick their lips with envy.

Our lives change, people come and go, and things happen that turn our worlds upside down. But our Sunday lunch is constant. As we feed ourselves, we feed off each other.

So as the plates are cleared and the glasses clinked, we move away from our table. I'm already dreaming of next week's Sunday lunch."

Tracy Pallant

Please tell us about yourself.
I'm 42 years old and I work for Community Service Volunteers Wales where I teach groups and individuals how to make their own programmes. I also work at a local college and on a video project. I love Cardiff and it's my home now.

What's your story about?
It's about my Sunday lunch or more importantly my friends who make up the ingredients of my Sunday lunch. I wanted to tell this story as a tribute to my lovely friends. Our Sunday Lunch has become a ritual, our routine. It's not about what we eat, although the food and drink we choose reflects our characters, and how we complement each other. I get withdrawal symptoms if I don't have Sunday Lunch with my friends, it makes me feel out of sorts if we go for a week without meeting up.

What did you find the most rewarding aspect of the workshop?
Being with a group of new people, sharing ideas and stories, and being given the incredible support and encouragement from the digital storytelling team to develop our ideas. During the five days I enjoyed watching everyone smile more and more as the days progressed and our stories came together. I don't think any of us quite believed it would happen so smoothly. I'm so glad that I was put on the spot and had to record my voice - something that I would normally shy away from. The workshop was challenging and fantastic and I ended up with a story I am very proud of. It was a life affirming, very emotional experience. I learnt new technical skills, and ways of telling accessible, engaging stories. I feel quite evangelical about the whole process. Thank you to the team.

Your comments

"It's a good way to continue the friendship rather than communicate by phone or email in this so-quick society." Yakpan, China. Sept 2007

"I enjoyed your story Tracy and can't wait to try Sunday lunch myself. A bientôt et bon appetit dimanche prochain ... " Karine Moinier, St Georges du Bois, France. Sept 2007.

"I think this video is great. I only wish I had a large group of friends so that we could experience a 'Sunday Lunch'. I found this programme to be funny and entertaining and would be interested to hear more programmes from this film-maker. Excellent!" Sean James Cameron, Manchester, England, Sept 2007.

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