Grandma’s Poetry Book – the characters

Reading through the Type Set proofs of Grandma’s Poetry Book in September last year it seemed hardly more than a week or more since the ‘little ones’ inspired me to write such verse and yet it all started in 2000. Here we were getting published in 2014 and much was changing in Grandma’s family.

I wrote the following blog in October and reading back over it now I can hardly believe that all the children are now in their last term of whatever year it is that they are in at the moment.

Last year, 2014, was a big one for changes. The ‘Teenager’ started her two-year course for GCSEs, having chosen Media, Geography and Textiles. She has decided to keep drama as an out-of-school hobby despite her talent. In February I sat proudly watching her sing and act the part of Maid Marian in Robin Hood.

Accident prone ‘James’ arrived with a bandaged hand when the family visited at the end of the school holidays. A fall on some rocks at Hayling Island was the cause I believe. He also goes to secondary school and has already shocked his mother by spending more than an hour in his bedroom doing his homework, a phenomenon not previously seen in that household. Let’s hope he is inspired and challenged by the secondary curriculum. He was looking forward to DT (Design and Technology) so maybe he will find his niche there.

In the poem ‘Techy at Ten’ my second granddaughter gives me the low-down on the technical details of her new iPad and earlier this summer she tried to explain the limitations of my iphone and why I could not take a ‘selfie’. Apparently I do not have a front facing camera. She has also been excited at the prospect of going to Grammar School so a very proud Nanny awaited her first news which included being selected for the school’s B team at netball.

How different it is to when I started Grammar School in 1957. Then, we walked to the bus and assembled in the school hall on Day 1 not knowing a soul. These days there are tutorial meetings for both parents and new entrants starting in June and July with a social occasion held in a park on the last Sunday of the holidays. She has already made friends and couldn’t wait to start. I have to say I was rather horrified at the cost of the uniform which was in the region of £400 before the new shoes and trainers and the bus pass is another £500 at least.

Fewer changes are ahead for two of my grandsons with one going into Year 5 and another going into Year 4. Both love their football and other sport so many events lie ahead.

The major change is with the little one who is the subject of the poem ‘Brighton Babe’. She has just turned four years old and started ‘Big School’ two weeks ago doing mornings, then morning plus lunch and then a full day til 3pm. Alongside her cousins she seems too tiny to be making such a big step but I am sure I won’t recognise her after a few days there.

Lastly the ‘baby’ of the seven grandchildren celebrated her 1st birthday last week. How the time has flown since we sped down the A27 for a first hold this time last year!

Grandma’s Poetry Book written by Di Castle and illustrated by Denise Horn is out in November. Published by Troubador

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