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Changes to the website

All is not lost. I hope not anyway. I’ve had a review of the website and I am making a few changes.

I’ve moved all my non-poetry related pages over to my other site here  and will keep this site for poetry related posts and pages.

You can still contact me at info@yorkshirepen.co.uk

You can still visit the SHOP page and order my books

Keep popping back to see new poetry coming soon.

And see what I’m up to and other interests on my Face book page Yorkshire Pen.

Thanks for visiting.

Amanda Samm

New Year is here – again!

Last year was fantastic. I cut down my work hours, finished my mega important poetry book, and retired. Now working on a bit of promotion for my book, a few readings and open mic nights and then…

I had a look through all my notebooks: I have new book every year for my poetry ideas and have amassed quite a few. I found lots of unused and unfinished verses, and I’m now working on these to get them into some organised form. It will be good to get them “digital” and make room for the lovely new notebooks I have received recently as gifts from my colleagues on my retirement and family at Christmas.

Well there’s also some home projects to complete and some artwork to start.

There’s appliances to buy and holidays to book.

It’s all go-go-go this retirement lark!

Retirement update

Here are some interesting facts about being non-working that I had not previously considered.

  • I don’t need an alarm clock. I will wake up anyway. There’s a shift to a later time of about 8am, and that’s just fine.
  • I will never need to scrape ice from the car, or dig it out of snow. If it’s frosty, I can wait for it to thaw naturally – no need to rush. If there’s a white out, I can make more tea and stay in bed.
  • Volume of traffic is not just a “rush hour” thing. The roads are always busy. I have not yet found a “quiet time” to nip out in the car. Although it is currently “Black Friday” month!
  • Hubby “watches” a lot of telly. He snoozes through a fair amount too.
  • There’s something rather un-nerving about getting to the end of the month and not having a pay advice notification.

End of four-week-retired report.

Vote!

I wrote a post during the run up to the reforendum in 2016. It was about the importance of using your right to vote. I thought I had posted it here but I cant see it. So as we are less than three weeks from the General Election December 2019 I thought I would pop it on here.

The importance of being counted.

The turnout for elections  has become so poor it is hardly a democratic or true view of the wish of our people.  In the last general election, 66% of the Voting Age Population (VAP)  voted. Just 37% of those people voted conservative and won the Tories their victory.    I think it works out about 24% for the win.

As a child, unable to vote, but with my father standing for  local election, a 66% turn out was considered a bit on the poor side.  You would expect at least 75%. You were reminded to vote by megaphones  on top of cars , touring the area reminding people to go to their polling station. There would be organised transport to get the elderly or infirm to the booths. You would know every candidate, because they were local and present at the booths, so you could question their manifesto and make informed decisions about where to place your mark.

Make your mark. How else can we move forward?

Turnout for the  General election never dipped below 70 % from the 1960’s to the end of the century.

Choose. Make your mark. Be counted.

I’m not persuading anyone to vote for Mr X or Ms Y or the Donkey with the Prettiest Rosette.  But I am passionate about having the right to vote, and using it. To get the closest match I can to what I believe is the right direction for our country. Today. Now. Everything flows and changes, and one answer does not fit all purposes all of the time. And sometimes you want the best parts of all teams. Which makes the voting decision difficult. And sometimes it rains and it’s easier not to think about voting because after all, what can one person do to make a difference?

Choose your priorities. Vote. Make your mark.

It didn’t rain on May 5th 2016. The local elections May 2016 were held on a lovely warm spring day, which followed days of unseasonable sleet and hail. A day, I thought, that would  see a greater percentage of people making that important stroll to the polls. No. Still only one in three of the VAP made a choice. Deciding for everyone who will govern our village, our town, and our police.

I love democracy. It’s one of the great things in our Great Britain. But I feel it’s being abused simply by being disused.

On June 23rd 2016  we have a “never before/ never again” opportunity to vote to stay or leave the European Union. Just two choices. Nothing confusing. No middle party. It’s not even politics. Do you want in? Or out? I’m not imposing any view, although I have one and I know how I will vote. I hope others vote the same way, obviously. But even more than that I hope it will be truly democratic. I hope it will have a majority vote, based on a majority of  VAP  making their mark. If only 60% of the VAP vote,  and it’s 51% of that, we will all be at  stuck with whatever only 31% of the country wanted. And our children, and grand-children depend on  us to make a stand. To Vote and be counted. If it’s 37 percent of a vote, in which only 66  percent of the eligible people voted it will be a poor way forward for what was Great Britain.

You might not be “clued up” on political matters, economics or  Trade imports/exports.  You might have enough to think about just trying to get  bread to the table.  But this is important, and your vote makes a difference to the way your future is shaped.

How will you feel if the vote does not go the way you hoped, and you didn’t vote? Should just  a small percent of adults make such a major decision for our country and the future for our children? If you vote, there’s a fifty percent chance you will get your result. But even if it goes the other way, at least you  can hold your head up and say you  were counted.

Vote. Make your mark. Be counted.

End of an Era – Retirement

If retirement is supposed to slow me down – well I haven’t found the brakes yet.

I knew this would be a busy month, and I’m only one week in.

Childminding for inset day, starting a new painting group, and shopping for birthdays are things that have already begun to fill my slots. All lovely and very leisurely.

But most exciting – TA- DA – I got my Poem Book proof back from the printer, had a weekend  proof reading session (with help from my grammatically perfect-in-every-way daughter) and managed to get the final version back to the printers. Look out : Candle is coming soon. See the SHOP page for more information.

From my Preface in Candle
I write about the seasons – the sun, the rain, the sky
The things that happen day to day that make me laugh or cry
The nine-to-five. My family. This planet that we share
My joy of life. My fantasies. The depths of my despair

So while I await the small delivery to my door, I will be planning some launch events, making parkin and tidying the garden for the winter. Not much then. Oh, and organising a special birthday – come – retirement party too.

What was that about retirement? Try again next month LOL