Tag Archive | family


This poem is from my second book, Should I Wear Floral? and other poems on Life, Love and Leaving, to be published in the early part of 2017 by Matador.

Living at the seaside brings many pleasures and much joy from visiting grandchildren who swoop down to the beach to dive into the sea and plead for ice creams or another ride on ‘the train’ to the pleasure of living in such a wonderful community.

We found Swanage one hot August afternoon in 1999. It was accidental, brought about by our attempt to avoid the returning masses hell bent on getting back to London. It was love at first sight and we have lived here since 2000.

We don’t complain about the visitors  as our town needs them to keep thriving and buzzing but with many second-homers descending on The Isle of Purbeck each school holiday this poem sums up what we see.


Friday night

Streets jammed

Car park full

One trolley

Wonky wheel

Swarming mob

Hiking boots

Ouch! Little toe


No bread

No veg

No oven chips

No fishfingers

No baked beans

Leaking milk

Oozing egg carton

Squashed cake


Six trolleys

Piled high

Junk food

Wine and beer

One checkout

Faulty scanner

Long queue

Tea Break …


Noisy kids

Crying baby

Screaming toddler

Bicker, bicker

Row, row

Red faces

White faces


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