The Crows nest!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Hello Strangers!

Seems a long time since I graced this blog with my presence, not that my life has been dull or even that great daily living by its self not had its challenges… Oh it has! In face at times it’s been a joy, other times soul destroying.
Since the first heart attack all those years ago, staying in the Essex countryside in Isolation which at the time I needed, but it was the final nail in the coffin of me and Fox, we went separate ways as some of the old posts talk about so if you want to know that stuff just look at older blogs for the full run down.
Bit by bit I have made more progress than I could ever hope for, in that time I have made new friends, some very close almost like the family, warm, kind and was there for me when I needed them, strange as well I was always the one who could be relighted upon to back someone up in a fight be it with a thug, council hospital, but the tables have finally turned when I really needed a shoulder to cry on, and it’s to her this blog is dedicated.
Having spent far too many years on the DLA, and quite frankly board out of my skull I decided to go and stop the DLA and get Jobseekers and retraining I would rather be out on the job market than stuck in the house, not that I don’t miss Obi god I do, but I had a plan that whatever job I did I would have my trusty Tibetan terrier with me.
After my last time in hospital when I lost almost over half my blood, I decided I needed to do more, I gave up being a vegetarian, I just could not cook that food anymore every time I did I kept thinking of you know who… it was hard to change but my sisters persistent rebottles made me even more determined to do what I needed to do to survive.
A year had passed quickly still in the flat with my sister and brother, at times it can be a strain other times a joy, much like the ebb and flow of any relationship, but of late I want to get moving I think she feels the same as me?
When I was on Jobseekers I got my advisor to get me on an ECDL course which he was able to do, I have been wanting on one of these courses for such a long time, it took longer than normal to finish it I had my good days and bad days much like anyone who had as much heart surgery as I have had. I passed the course with flying colours, then out of the blue I was put on the work program, I have heard lots of horror stories about the work program from my sister and there has been a few write ups in the local newspaper with some of the staff being vindictive with service users, one of the first things they wanted to do with me is make me work volunteer for a pound store…. I said no they said its part of training so I told them; I work as a volunteer for the FED (Centre for Independent Living) as a finance admin and also worked as a front desk admin.
I could see they did not like that but there was nothing they could do I was doing volunteer work for a charity and a very well-known one, that had no connection to the A4E program, I think they have an account with the cheap pound stores in Brighton taking back handers and taking all the training money from the government. When I started this work program, the for an organization that is not with the government it has a lot of power, did you know they can stop your benefit if they think your slacking on their demands like asking a heart attack victim applying for 20 jobs a week in your chosen field! I asked her has she ever had any disability training.
I don’t think so… By her look on her face, I told her that I want to work in Admin only because of high blood pressure, heart problems and I am a diabetic she took my email address and said she would update me on new hot jobs. I did not have long to wait for my first selection of Jobs! All nursing stuff I phoned her and told her that I can’t work in nursing but that just went over her head, two days later I get a call from her, there a job in the NHS for bank staff, what in Admin I asked? No nursing she replied… Did I explain a few days ago why I cannot do nursing anymore, well I have to try she interjected. Politely but firmly I told her not to offer me jobs in nursing again and asked who was the manager of A4E for this area?
Her voice turned cold as she asked me why I wanted to know this. That was a matter for me and him I know it was a he, I was told in the induction day only a few weeks previous, how vindictive she became looking for a reason to get me Sanctioned. She did not have long to wait, but lucky for me fate was about to lend a helping hand I was booked into some course for a few hours on a Tuesday morning but I failed to turn up, I was in on the Monday afternoon for a job search with one of the nice woman that work there, a smoker like me she ran out of rollup papers and I gave her a spare packet I had on me.
On Wednesday morning this girl phones me up and says that she is going to report me to the DSS for none attendance I said I was not on any course, and gave the explanation that I asked the girl in the computer room if I was on anything that week and she said no… That type of silence you get when someone is thinking, I ask her then she hissed, you do that I responded and hung up on her, I got a call 20 minutes later from the nice girl saying oh god I did not mean to get you into trouble Alan leave it to me I get it fixed. I thanked her and wished her a good day, by this time I was trying to get a hold of the small business manager who I just had a chat with a few weeks before and I kept asking my so called bitter twisted supposed helper at the work program can I get a meeting with him.
It took several attempts but in the end I got to see someone from the small business unit and had a chat about starting my own business up, I have over the past year and a half built up a rather large network of friends in the tango and ballroom fraternity and I have some clients that I can relight upon all I needed to do was make at least £25 a week and I would get working tax credit if I worked over 30+ hours a week, which I can do no problem, and travel is included in the time and my expenses are returned if, I needed to use transport which I would since I run a home visit reflexology and Indian head massage business.
It was well thought out; I had the clients ready all I needed was get the working tax credit and my UTR (Unique tax reference) which you have to use to get tax references and for self-assessment. I had over the past 5 months been saving up what little I could to get myself started because I would be without money for at least 3-4 weeks before the Working T.C started. That was on 25th April 2014 its now 28th June 2014 and I have nothing yet!
thinking I might have to ask Obi for some tips in stealing food if its not sorted soon lol.
This has taken a massive toll on my health, and very little support from the people I thought would care enough to help keep my head above water, the first to go was my phone, it got cut off, I asked someone I expected to help but they said no. No big deal… but I used my phone to connect to clients and one in particular who has MS and is very jumpy about people standing at her door, lucky for me as I got to her door she phoned me. I did her massage and because she is means tested and on PIP she could not afford to give me a donation which is ok, mostly I do my massage for the love of it, I have always been a giver not a taker… that was to change in a very emotional way.
I had no money left and enough food for a week at max, Obi was ok he has over two weeks and lots of treats stored away, and if it really came to I could ask Fox for stuff for him, I decided that I would not ask for myself, since part of our problem was her giving everything to me, I told her I will never ask for myself only Obi since he is part of her too.
I’m stubborn maybe too much for my own liking but if I have learned anything over the past year and a half is, you have to stand on your own two feet, and it’s been so difficult but I mean to go on as I have promised myself that I will do or die in trying.
I got a call from one of my regular clients Carola she has turned out to be the most amazing friend I could ask for both her and her husband Rui and little girl are the most amazing friends that I have ever met, she instinctively knew I was in trouble and offered to pay for 7 treatments all at once, this helped me get my phone back on, and top up on food.
Fate always lends a hand, I went to the fed yesterday feeling hungry and there was a doe nut waiting for me, I have kept myself to one meal a day some biscuits in the morning so I can take my medication with, it really can upset my tummy but what can I do, I can’t afford the luxury of eating till my working tax credit comes.
Me on a good day! The HMRC demanded that I supply them with documents, appointments, proof of sales and receipts, and any expenses’ I have had to pay out to get to clients; I sent it all off on Thursday afternoon, I just hope that this will be enough to keep them happy? I am just about done, for the first time ever I have had to pay for my medication £16 for drugs that keep me alive, I am wondering if it’s all really worth it?
Saturday 28th waling on the downs with Obi my arms hurt, I know what that means and get my GTN Spray out and end up taking 3 puffs, my head feels light I sit down in the long grass, Obi next to me, laying down I could feel the distant song of a sea gull, my eyes close a few moments later I wake with Obi licking my face, pawing my chest. For a moment I felt free from any cares or worries, then the realization that life is whimsical, I have not given up but I am tired very tired of the struggle chasing my tail ever day. But only good comes from a long and heard search so I am told, well here is to hope.