A Good Clearout.

old antique books from scuffs and scratchesI have been spring cleaning and rearranging the bedrooms, as you do at this time of year. As well as dust and dubious stains of unknown origin, I now have piles of STUFF!!

You know what I mean: clothes that no longer fit or are only fit for dusters (why didn’t I find them before I started cleaning?), toys that are now unloved or parts for toys that do not belong to any other parts, things that I put away meaning to sell and then forgot about them and, well, just stuff.

I got to work and put the black rubbish sacks and clear recycling sacks to good use….the bin men are going to love us. The duster clothes are in the duster drawer and the charity clothes bagged up for the charity drop in our supermarket car park (I must remember to take them with me when I next shop!!). Good toys have been boxed up for when my grandson visits and baby toys put away for any future grandchildren. I am now determined to sell everything that I have left.

In the past I was the “Ebay” queen, but it has lost it’s allure for me now. So I set to work photographing and pricing up and then add it to Gransnet Local’s Nearly New/For Sale pages…free local advertising and nothing to lose. I then copy the links to the Gransnet ads to local Facebook selling pages – I didn’t know there were so many – and the queries started coming in…

Well I have sold the large items within a few days of listing them with no fees or postage to worry about and I have space to fill in my house again…a new hobby table is on order to fill it as we have taken up wine making, but that’s another story.

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What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘grandparent’? If it’s a little old lady knitting in a rocking chair, then you might want to think again. These days you’re as likely to see an octogenarian tweeting from her iPad as casting off her purl stitch.

Gransnet, the social networking site for the over 50s (don’t let the name fool you – all older people male or female, grandparent, parent or not are welcome to join us!), launched in 2011 and is now the largest social networking site for older people in the country. New members have been joining every day for the past 2 years, to talk about everything from politics to memories, books to relationships, snorkelling to, OK, yes, knitting. In 2013 came the launch of Gransnet Local, a network of sites across the country run by people aged 50-plus, offering listings of activities and events; a directory of services, from health centres to plumbers; forums for discussion of local issues; and the possibility of meeting up.

One of the joys of the internet is that no one has to know what you look like. The great thing about the web is that prejudices – about someone who has a disability, or is over 50 and living alone – don’t have to get in the way of who you are. Gransnetters value this anonymity. Even so, it quickly became apparent that many of them do want to meet offline, particularly once they’ve made friends. Members have taken it upon themselves to organise lunches and visit each other, including in hospital; some have even holidayed together.

Gransnet Local Colchester is the local site covering the whole CO postcode area and is thriving with new groups, businesses and events being added each day. Discussions have started on the local forums and a monthly newsletter is being sent out. Gransnet Local Colchester also has Facebook and Twitter pages for those wishing to take social networking for the over 50s one step further.

It is free to join and free to add to the local website listings, whether it’s to tell everyone about your fantastic hairdresser or inviting us all to your jumble sale. There is also the opportunity for local businesses to advertise to their target market or to offer promotions or competitions.

We want to hear from you if you have something to add to our local Gransnet community.