Thursday, February 5, 2009

Eating Outdoors .. Its Enjoyable .. and Good for your Health !!

Previous Blog Entry from May 1st 2008

Occasionally, under certain atmospheric weather conditions, my car radio sometimes magically picks up Radio Four ... it fades in and out a bit ... so trying to follow ball by ball commentaries of Test matches can be tricky .. but hey ho ... at least some of it gets through. ( a friend of mine once tried to enlighten me with a metrological explanation ... something to do with sun-flares and static and the length of the radio waves ... but I have to confess that the science went a little over my head ... but its always intrigued me to this day )

Anyway, I was driving into Angouleme on Friday last week sort of "half-listening" to one of our local French Radio Stations - France Blue La Rochelle I think it was - when I became aware of the interviewer talking about the effects of Sunshine !!

Mon Dieu !! , I thought, has he been trying to tune into Test Match Special ?? . No .. surely not ... I know we have a couple of Cricket Teams in the region, but they hardly make headline news !

So I turned up the volume and concentrated a little harder. It soon dawned on me that he was extolling the virtues of sunlight and outdoor living ... and .... this was the really interesting bit ... the beneficial effects sunshine has on the digestive system when you eat outside.

Now again, don't expect me to justify the science, but apparently eating outdoors has a major benefit on your health.

Although much of the technical "Scientific French" was outside my knowledge (granted, I can hold my head up quite well in Building Terminology ... "au chantier" .. and discuss the correct mixes for lime mortars and the various elements of Wall and Roof constructions, in good french, with Monsieur L'Artisan ... but discussions about bio-chemical reactions and photosynthesis ... in french .. are something that, to be totally honest, completely elude me )

However, as I said earlier, the subject of the effect of Sunshine has always fascinated me, so I screwed up my brow and listened really hard !!

I soon realized he was talking about not just quality of life, but also longevity of life !! I picked up phrases such as "increases absorption of vitamin D and C" .. "Improves Liver Function"... and boosts the ability of the body to deal with toxins.

It also apparently lowers the resting pulse rate and increases the cardiac output ... Just at that point I arrived in La Place des Halles on the entry to the Plateau of Old Angouleme. .. and guess what ... it was "packed out" with people eating their lunch outside in the sunshine !!

The Suns Out .... and so are the Locals !!

Naturally ... I just had to stop .. and take a few photos ( to justify stopping to join them for lunch of course !!) ... and as I sat there in the glorious sunshine, tucking into a nicely prepared steak and green salad, I raised a glass to "Monsieur France Blue La Rochelle" ... and quietly smiled to myself.

Its nice to know that at least some things that are ENJOYABLE are also GOOD for your health !!

Outdoor Eating .... City of Angouleme , South West France, 25th April 2008

John West dip Arch ( Oxford)
sarl Charente Gems

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