Archive | September 2015

Five Easy Ways to Declutter your Email

these are good tips to get more time in the day for writing and spending less time filtering out the emails. I have used folders for a long time but now see I need to go to them and start unsubscribing!

Creative State of Mind

A month ago, I was drowning in emails. My phone dinged with alerts. I had heart palpitations every time I tried to confront my out of control inbox. It was common for me to wake up to fifty (or more!) new emails every morning. After working all day, I’d come home to dozens of new emails. I couldn’t keep up and had a difficult time sorting the important, time-sensitive stuff from the fluff.

Today, things have changed. My inbox is manageable. New emails trickle in at a much slower pace. The stress associated with checking my email is gone.

How did I do it? By making a few, easy changes.

  1. I unsubscribed. I don’t do a lot of online ordering, but somehow I ended up on a ton of mailing lists. Most of the online stores who emailed me with special deals and sales offer the same ‘deal’ to everyone. There…

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Grandma’s Poetry Book – The Characters a year on

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. Now we were getting published in 2014 and much was changing in Grandma’s family.

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. This August she travelled to Africa with her school having raised the £2000 plus expenses herself. On her return, her Facebook page was full of happy images of young black children hugging their English volunteers which brought tears to my eyes.

On last year’s end of summer visit accident prone ‘James’ arrived with a bandaged hand. A fall on some rocks at Hayling Island was the cause I believe. He started secondary school and 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. I spoke to him today and his voice sounded lower … or is that my imagination.

In the poem ‘Techy at Ten’ my second granddaughter gives me the low-down on the technical details of her new iPad and last 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. This time last year she was 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 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 completed her first year at school and we all met up for her family birthday celebration with a trip to the park with her cousins.

Lastly the ‘baby’ of the seven grandchildren is soon to celebrate her 2nd birthday. How the time has flown since we sped down the A27 for a first hold two years ago!

Grandma’s Poetry Book written by Di Castle and illustrated by Denise Horn was published in November 2014 by Troubador Publishing.