This has been one good storage box

This storage box I have had since my teens and it is still perfect, since the day I owned it. (I am 43 now.)
My mum bought me this, so I could store my art materials; pencils, felt pens and paints and whatever else then, I can’t remember.

Later, for a few years, all my nail varnishes, dotting tools, nail stickers etc… were in here, to make it easier to take to class when I did a nail art course.

Now, as in photos above, I have changed it back to my art box. I have my watercolour paints, acrylic paints, jars, paint brushes, mixing tray and dotting tools in this box.
I moved my nail varnish stuff into a clear box.

Do you have something, that you have owned for a very long time?

Post update on letter sent to my local MP

As you know in post, I hope it’s not going to get more difficult this year, I had a bit of a rant in that one and as I said ranted in that post,
I also sent a letter to my local MP and got my rant off my chest with him. Details in that above post link, if you need a reminder of what I ranted to him about.
A person that works alongside him quickly got back to me, (case worker) introduced herself and said she’d been asked to take on my case by the MP. She said that a letter has been sent to Working Tax department and as soon as they have an update, she’d get back to me and let me know where I stand on that situation. I replied back with my thanks, adding I hope they get a better response and reply to her, then they have done to me, saying it’s not the first time I have written to them and never heard.
If there was anything else I needed help with, just to email back.
I left it to that, as although I had a rant on different topics, the letter started off about WTC and that is my main thing. I just wanted to give an insight into my struggles currently.

So did they hear anything back from the WTC people?

Yes, they did and the letter sent to them was forwarded to me. HMRC have written it off and I owe nothing. This was because of the delay and failing to ask for it back when they should have done and my difficult financial circumstances and becoming a carer. They also apologised for not contacting me to claim this and also for never replying to my letters when I queried. Because of the worry and distress their actions have caused me, they are sending me a payment into my bank account in the next 14 days, although this amount they said is not intended to put a value on the worry and distress it caused. This small amount I received, I wasn’t expecting anything of any amount from HMRC.

When I read their response, I was both relieved and very angry at the same time and it raised a couple of questions also. One being was why did the money go up to what I was expected to owe in the letter?  So I sent another email to my MP asking them to forward that email to HMRC. The same day from them doing this for me, which I thanked the MP and the case worker helping me with this, they received a phone call from HMRC who let them know they had forwarded it to the complaints department to be escalated. So as soon as my MP and the case worker hear from them with a response, they will let me know.

HMRC may have written it off but because of that letter it added further questions I was not going to let drop. It has proved the point of why I have always said I will never apply for Universal Credit and also why I will never apply for WTC again.

I am also very angry that it took an MP to get my answer and that HMRC no matter what department has NEVER acknowledged any of my letters, including when I was dealing with my mum’s personal details and informing them in two letters, one being when she went in hospital and another when she was out back home, because if her having DLA. Yet if it was the other way round, I be expected to jump and get onto it basically.

I also raised how I observed at the beginning of this letter where they thanked my MP for his email and said that HMRC never offer email to people, yet he emailed. So I highlighted how once again HMRC are failing. Businesses are expected to comply with the law and make reasonable adjustments. As in my case it’s reasonable adjustment to offer email to me because I am deaf. Businesses do it, but HMRC don’t because they say it’s a security thing, yet here the MP has been able to email them.

My email that now will be in the hands of HMRC will show once again just how angry I am and how I feel that people like us, (low-income) are hit hard, but if you are rich, you get away with it.

I also added that if HMRC was a paid service business, they would not have a business because of them never answering queries, or complaints. So why is HMRC allowed to get away with it further? Again, to me it highlights just how there is a tier here, we (low-income) are expected to jump to what HMRC want, but HMRC just ignore us.

So when I hear further what they have to say, I keep you updated. But how I felt today with all these emotions, has just shown to me how stressed and triggered I am. I also realise I have been harbouring more stress than I realised and right now still, since yesterday, I still feel very angry. Angry in a way I have not felt for a very long time and so I hope I do get rid of this with the tactics I use and not let it overwhelmed me further.

Chit-chat early April

Early April, my mum got discharged from the mental health unit and is now back home. Being discharged this soon, I have to say I was surprised. But mum does have support by a team that support people her age with mental health issues, when they are discharged.
For the next 12 weeks from mum being discharged, someone will check on her daily at the time she chosen. If at any point mum wants to go out, or won’t be in around the time of her check, as long as she lets them know, she is fine to go out. It’s just knowing she is ok.
Her medication I took charge of to start with, but her chemist will deliver weekly due to her circumstances being that she overdosed originally and to help me with not living with her. Mum now has her meds in blister packs, which is new to her and the ward thought it would help her. Mum seems to find this ok.
Any unprescribed stuff that you can buy yourself like Paracetamol for example, I still take charge off. Mum is only allowed a tray at a time of Paracetamol.
When mum does eventually live with me, then I will be taking full control of her medication again, so that she only has a weeks supply at a time. It also means locking up my medication too, that would be harmful in the event of an overdose.

Mum finally got her inhalers sorted out, so that she could take them easier. Mum has arthritis in her hands and for years she has been ok taking her inhalers. But this year, I noticed she was struggling even more than last year. One inhaler works on breathe and for her other inhaler, that is in a case that when she takes the inhaler, she squeezes with her hands, rather than how you would originally do it. When she squeezes this lever, it presses the inhaler down. Mum found this better too.

I ended up filling in a form again for council tax reduction. So I won’t do overtime in the day at work, just to lose the little help I have and having to fill a bloody form again for it. What a waste of my time and surely the council too when I have to refill the form to apply for it again. So until I find stable hours somewhere in a morning with my current evening job, the only overtime I shall do is the odd Saturday with my current employer. I will only do more when I have stable hours in a morning elsewhere.
Regardless that I have to fill in this form again, I did feel I was understood. But unfortunately, this is the way things are done. So if I still want help with council tax, I need to fill in the form again, to reapply. I filled this in the beginning of the month, so by the time this post airs, I should hopefully be receiving it again.

I continue to look for the extra hours in a morning, but nothing much is coming up.
Where I wrote randomly to more businesses, I have heard nothing.

For a few years, I have noticed how very small buttons can be awkward for me to fasten. But now I find it impossible, as I found out when trying to take the fur trim off my coat, prior to wanting to wash it.
After 15 minutes of fiddling about and not getting half way with it, I tried to fasten it back on, but I couldn’t do it and I had no one I know who would be able to do it for me. So unfortunately, the only option I had left, was to pull the dam thing off and allow those bloody buttons to fly. Any that didn’t, got snipped off. So my pride and joy coat that I love very much, is without the fur trim now. I wonder now when I have washed this coat before, whether I ever attempted to take it off before. But I can’t remember.

And talking about memory, I still find my memory not as good since the day I found my mum on her bedroom floor, after taking an overdose.
Like for one example, if you asked me what I had for lunch yesterday. I can’t remember. The important stuff I remember, like bills. But because of how I have been, I decided to pay off the remainder of my council tax last month, because I did not want to chance forgetting. This is the only bill I don’t have by direct debit, because as outgoings more than income, I need to make sure right money is moved across from my savings before I pay it.

Since that day I found my mum on the bedroom floor, it’s like my weeks have gone in a blur.

Chit-chat extra

So my earlier post of today felt like a rant, that I needed to get off my chest. Something I did hold back from doing. The letter to my local MP felt like a rant/negativity of my life which can so easily knock your moods down. The past month I long for some kind of fur baby to cuddle. But I can’t afford it. So my mind has to be distracted else where and this post and what I talk about in this post, is my distraction. 🙂

I have been making sure I make time to colour. This is especially important for me to do, since beginning of this year, making sure I am not too distracted by other things that I forget to take this time out.

Bird picture I have been colouring in

Floral picture I have been colouring in and to finish off.

I have also played about with watercolours today, which I have not done this, since my teens.

dav

I also set myself a challenge with my watercolours today, by seeing what I could with a photo of a tulip using watercolour. This inspirational challenge came from Ally, over at Ally’s Notebook, in her post, “My art challenge in progress.” Ally is done hers using pastels. The photo of the tulip had such lovely colours.

This was my first attempt using the watercolours I own. I am happy with my first attempt, but I shall revisit and  do this one again later, when I have a brighter pink watercolour. (The colour is probably looking brighter on your computer screen, than how I see it physically on my paper, as it seems to me also brighter on-screen.) I shall do a different background, when I make another attempt of this. I knew the background would be an issue for me, but I have still enjoyed giving it a go.

dav

I look forward to trying new things with my watercolours.

Chit-chat March

This post is mainly more of an update on past months, than a chit-chat for this month.

As you know, the council from district I left ended up apologising. But as I said I would, I would take it further higher up, to make sure they knew. I received a letter of this acknowledgment in how they go about when things go wrong and that they knew of this error. When things go wrong in a way that it shouldn’t, as well as the staff member that would have been spoken to, they also use it for training purposes to ensure it doesn’t happen again. The letter ended with an apology for the upset it caused me. There is nothing else to pursue with this, as I have got what I wanted, which was acknowledgement of their mistake and an apology. So case closed.

The energy company I was with continued to cause me stress and anxiety as you know and last month I sent a letter signed for about those two complaints.
In the meantime, I decided to follow people’s advice and move away from them. As much as I did not want the further stress of moving suppliers, I did not want the anxiety of staying with a supplier who has given me no reason to trust.
I have moved to Octopus Energy for both my gas and electric after observing them since last year. I have to say moving to them wasn’t stressful, thanks to Octopus Energy being helpful prior and when I chose to go with them. Their service has felt personal, because of the way they reply to their emails. You know they definitely have been reading your emails and there is not pre-recorded set tone to them, like previous provider. If I continue to be happy with Octopus Energy when I come to moving, I am definitely taking them with me.

Form went back to my local council end of last month for details and reasons of my mum now needing to live with me. I had to provide evidence, which a consultant off the ward provided me.
I learnt recently that I am now at Band 2 on the housing list for taking new considerations in to need, but I had to write back to them to request that I still be allowed to pick properties in Mansfield. This was because it said in letter that as applicant needs to move on welfare grounds, then properties are restricted to their local authority area, which as in this case is Ashfield. As you know, I longed to move to Mansfield and I have no intentions of moving back, so I have written a letter as it said, to request Mansfield. I explained why too, even though this was not asked for. My friend thinks it should not be a problem. I hope so, because if not, I will fight the decision.

Mum is back on the mental health ward, since post, A distraction for mum. I am glad it turned out there was a bed for her back here.

I quit Twitter again. Lol. Twitter I used for personal use, even though when on it at one point quite a lot, I did share some of my blog posts while there. Twitter I used for keeping an eye on local news, which I started my Twitter account after a fire at some bungalows started where my mum lived, to check mum would be ok and find out how it started.
After using Twitter to air my views publicly towards Spark Energy and to see how other people were reacting towards them, to see if they were having the same issues as me, which they were, Twitter I hardly go on again, like before. And as mum will be living with me one day soon and not following local news on there regular, it came to a point I felt the need to close it.

I learnt something new and that was how to use my oil burner correctly. I never realised you had to add water to the burner, before adding your drops of oil. So since before last Christmas, I have been using it wrong, until now. I only realised this because I tried a different fragrance and this one compared to my other one, this one had instructions for its different uses. I then checked by googling and it confirmed to me just how wrong I had been using it. My oil will now last longer, as well as controlling the fragrance better.

Chit-chat February

Tea

I’ve been trying some new teas, from since Christmas. Pukka ‘love,’ I have drunk before, but the other two from the Heath and Heather range, I haven’t until now. I like all three teas, but the one I won’t buy again will be Heath and Heather Dandelion, Burdoch and Hawthorn. I’m not completely into this one and find I only drink now and again.

I bought myself a lamp beginning of January, from The Range, from money saved the previous month.

 

At night, when I am not crafting at my dining table and instead, just sitting on my settee relaxing, or reading, I just have my lamp on.
The lamp has three dimmable settings, so when I am not reading, it is on the dimmest. It’s better than my main lights and when I don’t want it too bright, but I still want to read. The bulb is a warm white, so as it gets nearer to bed, I will be slowly settling prior with the gentle light. This will work out cheaper to run as well, than my main lights.

Since January, when I had my hearing aids adjusted, the rest has just calmed down. I only have a bit of sensitivity when the washer is on, with not having a door on my kitchen to close the kitchen off. But the sensitivity is not bad that I feel I have to remove my hearing aids. The one thing I have noticed though since having the changes made, is difficulty in conversations now. Especially women. I have mis-heard on quite a few occasions. But it’s not like I can go back and say turn it up, cos of the sensitivity issue.

January month money-wise, it has been difficult, as you know, since my pay day. Outcome was more than my income. Mum helped me when my budget set for each week, was gone sooner than expected on one of my weeks, so I had food in freezer. I did not want to accept, but mum insisted, as so I touch least of my savings as possible. I am having to touch my savings a little for some bills. February I expect another difficult month money-wise and I know I will have to go in my savings again, for some bills.

Due to overtime I had at work near end of last month, which will appear in March pay, I am hoping this means I don’t have to touch my savings. I am hoping that maybe I can put some in my savings too.
I am hoping this year, will be the year of getting an additional job. I desperately need this.

My day trip to Windsor Castle is not happening now on my birthday. I received a letter with a new later date in May. A royal event was now happening that day, which meant it was now closed to the public. So now I go on the 25th May.

 

Chit-chat January

In December, I decided to quit my home study course. There was still no motivation, but also no desire, or need to do it. Prior to that, I have not touched for about a year, due to circumstances as you know. One being I held off due to grieving for my two family members, that went together when they were hit by a careless driver.

I then learnt just three days later, (after the funeral) as you know, of an ex and the awful thing he had done that left me reeling and feeling sick. This still haunts me.

I tried last November to get back into it, but I couldn’t and then again in December, but still couldn’t, along with no desire, or need to do it. So I shredded and binned the course. Even doing that, I felt nothing, or no regret for doing it.

The year of 2019 for me is just to get back into my crafts, in some way. When I started doing Sharpie Sunday, this first sparked off my crafty side again, while releasing anything emotionally.
I’ve also done other prompts, that I shared on my blog, that got me back into drawing some way.

As well as sketching, colouring and doodling, I will hopefully do a bit of cross stitching and maybe later crotchet. If I do get back into crotchet, I may need to re-learn the basics.

What ever crafts I decide to do, I shall do in my own time and I’m sure I will share something on here now and again.

I hope to also go on at least a couple of day trips, with a possible third, if I can afford it.

I also plan to walk around my neighbourhood.

I loved reading “The Ice Monster,” by David Walliams. I can’t remember the last time I have laughed so much with a book, as I have done with this one.

The ice monster by David Williams

I even read it for a second time. I definitely want to read more of his books and although aimed for children, I bet I am not the only adult enjoying them also. Even my mum has enjoyed reading it.
I was thinking of doing this book as a giveaway on my blog later. But only if there is interest, as a few book giveaways I have done in the past, not all seamt popular. Would you be interested entering, if I did?

My audiology appointment I had after Boxing Day, which I had my hearing test as planned shown my worser ear remains stable, when it comes to my hearing. My left ear I could see there was a change, which surprised me, because hearing wise with that ear I don’t feel there is any change. But I was reassured not to worry about it, because depending on time and day, my mood and other factors, it can seem it looks like it’s changed now, but not necessarily in the long run. I’m not worried anyway, but I was relieved to see my right ear remains stable, which is my deafer ear.
An appointment was made to see the hearing specialist, with regards to the sensitivity to sound I was having. (The right ear being the worst ear for sensitivity.) I went on the 3rd January for this. At this appointment, I talked about my sensitivity to sounds I am experiencing. My hearing aids were then checked and, adjusted and my remote was checked to make sure it was still paired up ok with my hearing aids. (My remote makes it easier to adjust volume and programmes easily, especially when wearing  covers over them.)

First impressions from leaving there and throughout the day, I noticed the adjustment was a positive improvement for me. There was a tiny amount of sensitivity with right ear still, but I did not feel the urge to turn down that hearing aid.
As the week progressed, leading up to now as this post airs, the rest is calming down and in general, that tiny bit of sensitivity in right ear is hardly much. It’s doesn’t bother my general day-to-day as before and not something I notice all the time. So I reckon in time soon, it will completely go that I never realised when it actually did.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I may have ‘Hyperacusis’ after a friend shared me some info on it, after I told her of my difficulties and with seeing the audiologist and specialist, it does confirm this.
Deaf people are known to get this, but more common apparently with late deafened. Reading more about it on the way home from the audiologist, I learnt that a life event, like bereavement can bring it on. So with my own two life events I have had, it certainly makes more sense.

To read more about Hyperacusis, you can find out more about here at The British Tinnitus Association.

What’s your plans for 2019?

(This post, I shall keep open to comments for a month.)