Gransnet Newsletter 24th July

24 July 2014

Online dating after 50 and things that make you tick...


Long-distance grandparenting
Gransnetters have always been ready with helpful advice and support, with issues such as long-distance grandparenting coming up repeatedly. So we've compiled ten of the best tips for maintaining or building a close relationship with the GC when they're separated from you by many miles.

Natasha Solomons

Natasha Solomons Q&A
The Gallery of Vanished Husbands author, Natasha Solomons, answers your questions and tells us what it's like juggling writing with family life.


What makes you tick?
We still want to know what makes gransnetters tick - fill in our Gransnet census to tell us. You could win great prizes, including a robot vacuum cleaner, a 5-star self catering break in North Wales and more.

no retirement

The age of no retirement?
We're all too aware of ageism in society, from feeling invisible, to ageism in the workplace. So, when we heard about Trading Times' Kickstarter campaign to fund the country's first ever exhibition on the subject, we knew we had to get involved.

Care Quality Commission

The Sandwich Generation
The Care Quality Commission want to find out the views of the Sandwich Generation, who are in the position of caring for young children as well as older adults who need care. Fill in the survey and your favourite health or social care charity could receive a £200 donation.

Little Tiger Press

Little Tiger giveaway
Little Tiger's Reading Rocks! reading campaign returns this summer. To celebrate, two lucky gransnetters have the chance to win the six books including Abigail, Train! and more.

Down memory lane

We're going back in time this week, and thinking about how our local areas have changed over the years. Is the pub you had your first tipple in still there? The local independent cinema? Let us know on your local forum, and for those of you in the Essex area, we'll start off with Colchester...

memory lane
Find your local site

Online dating after 50

Getting back into the dating game can be daunting at the best of times, even more so now, as online dating becomes increasingly popular. As the game changes, we hear from Margaret Goodwin on the dos and don'ts that over 50s might take note of, should they make their own foray onto the scene of digital dating.

Guest blog post

Understanding autism

13-year-old Pippa Tompsett was diagnosed with autism at the age of three - and has been delighted about that fact ever since. Here, she gives us a frank look at what daily life is like for someone on the autistic spectrum.

Guest blog post


Up for grabs this week:

  • Win a set of WHAM! books, featuring favourite characters Batman, Superman and Scooby-Doo.
  • Win a copy of A Long Down and a DVD player.
  • Win a two night stay at the Princes Street Suites in Edinburgh.
  • LAST CHANCE to win a Lamaze prize bundle including a Sit Up and See Gym, on our Facebook page.

Exclusive offers

From the forums

Inspired by the sunshine we've been thinking about taking up a hobby - although we admit that we're slightly put off by HollyDaze's experience: "A few years ago, I decided to learn one new thing every year.?? Year one: I took golf lessons - and hated it, every single boring minute of it and have never played it again since.?? Year two: horse riding - I couldn't even get on the blasted thing without being given the little steps that children have to use. I don't even like horses so no idea why I even thought I'd learn!"

Perhaps we will stick to baking.

Meanwhile, inspired by our guide to the best of summer sandals we've finally got our toes on show. Which can mean only one thing. It's pedicure time.

DeeTales is less than enamoured with the names of the new Rimmel range of nail polishes, which she feels are "a bit... hmmm 'off colour'? Lose your Lingerie and Orgasm. Or am I out of touch?"

"My toes are M&S Putty" revealed purpledaffodil. "I thought it was a rather lovely pinky grey. Then somebody remarked that she had that colour and it had been described on her as Corpse. Just cannot feel the same about it now."  

Thanks but we think we'll stick with bog standard red.

On the subject of fashion, suebailey1 received the latest Boden catalogue and, while generally a fan, was disappointed to find this time "it's all dead straight skirts and shift dresses alleviated by drain pipe trousers - sadly I have short fat hairy legs and a generous sit upon so I don't think there is anything for me here."

Nor, alas, us by the sound of it.

Still, there's been loads of lovely reminiscing on the forums this week, with memories aplenty of the good - or not so good - old days.

POGS recalls that "washing was done on scrubbing board and the ringer. Baths were taken in the metal tub, or the 'portable ass cleaner' as my grandad called it. Robin starch was used and sheets were white, white or white, take your pick."

We'll go for white then.

And stansgran - despite being a mum AND a gran - is still waiting to be enlightened when it comes to the facts of life.

"I was expecting my second child and my mother was visiting. She asked me to shut the door so DH and DD would not hear. I thought that at long last I would have the birds and bees conversation. She then handed me a five pound note and told me to buy a shopping trolley as I shouldn't be carrying heavy loads in my delicate state. I'm still none the wiser."

Thank heavens for Google.

Join the discussion

In the News

World ban on FGM sought at Girl Summit BBC | Join the discussion

Plus-size parking spaces for women at Chinese shopping mall Telegraph | Join the discussion

UN issues Gaza war crimes warning as Hamas calls for humanitarian truce Guardian | Join the discussion

News forums

And finally...

"When I asked my mum about Tampax (advertised in women's magazines as 'no belts, no pins, no pads') she gave me a very dark look and replied, "They are only for MARRIED women!" So that was the end of that." Marelli

Best wishes from Cari, Gigi, Kat, Lucy and Jane

If you would like to reply (or get in touch about anything else) then you can find us on