Out with the old

This year I turned 50. I’m not planning any dramatic changes or challenges, just a few tweaks here and there. So here’s my end-of-year round robin, and details of this years seasonal donation.

Season's greetings banner

Dear Clients and Colleagues

It may be a while since some of you have heard from me, but now’s the time of year for catching up with people and relating news of the year gone by; plus there’s an important message for those of you who have known me since the early days of my freelance life.


As well as hitting my half century in 2015, I notched up my fifteenth as a self-employed person. Work-wise, it’s been a varied year, with a healthy mix of writing, editing, project management and proofreading tasks.

Topics have ranged from climate change to human resources, via school-level physics and biology, forestry, architecture, project management and finance for small businesses. Plenty to keep me busy – so much so that I’ve neglected this blog and my social media activities. That’s something I intend to tweak in 2016.

At home, we’ve all survived GCSE exam stress (son, and me!), employment changes (husband) and miserable wet weather (Matty the springer spaniel, and me).

Unusually, I’m looking at a fairly empty diary for 2016 (except February, which will be busy). So please do get in touch if you have projects in the pipeline.

In with the (not very) new

And talking of getting in touch, here’s the other tweak I’m planning: in April 2016 I shall be turning off my old email address, which served me so well when I was starting out. Please amend your email address books:

  • Out with the old: melanie@dircon.co.uk
  • In with the (not so) new: mthompson@sfep.net

You can also contact me through this website, which has a dedicated email address, or via Get Sust! or through my SfEP Directory entry, or via Twitter or LinkedIn (see left for details).

This year’s donation

Over the years, instead of sending cards to clients and colleagues, I’ve sent you all an email and made a donation to a charity that is relevant to my work and interests (Shelter, Crisis, Oxfam and TreeAid). This year I’m ringing the changes and have donated to Blue Cross.

Animal charities do quite well in the UK, and you might be tempted to think that it’s more important to give to people this year. I can sympathise with that viewpoint (especially given the refugee crisis). Yet it’s for exactly that reason that I’m giving to Blue Cross: people in desperate financial situations – suddenly made homeless or destitute or just struggling to make ends meet – often have much loved pets that they can no longer afford to feed or care for.

Blue Cross has been caring for sick, injured and homeless pets since 1897. Helping these pets helps their owners too. Read more about their seasonal fundraising campaign here.


Thank you all for your business and support in 2015.

I wish you all Season’s Greetings and all the best for 2016, and
look forward to seeing you there.

Best wishes

and Matty (the office ‘assistant’)

Melanie at 50


Photo of Matty