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.

I hope it’s not going to get more difficult this year

As you know, since January, it’s been difficult money-wise. Even the overtime I did the other month that appeared on my pay slip in March did not make things easy as I thought they would.

Yesterday, I received a letter from my local council that I was no longer entitled to council tax reduction. No explanation why. If I want to find out, just write. Why don’t they save themselves time and just say why in original letter?
No suggestions to bring in April wage slip. So a letter has been written ready for Monday, that I will take in personally to the reception, to get passed on to appropriate department begging not to close my account down yet because when you have my April pay slip, you will see I am still entitled to it from that month.
The letter is much longer than just that though, explaining how they already know I am only on a contract of 16 hours per week from every wage slip they have had so far, they will know my wages vary depending on if I do overtime or not and that mostly I have been entitled to it, since being with them.
I wrote that I assume the letter was based on March wage slip for it stopping, but as they already know this is not permanent hours, this is overtime, so not to close it and wait till they have April wage slip, because they will see I am entitled to it then, as I have had no overtime since up to writing that letter.

The letter sent says it takes up to two months to look at it if you write back to appeal, but I wrote at the end of my letter that I would like to hear within the month to know what I am doing. Like if I have to go through palaver of filling in a form to apply for council reduction again, which if that is the case then it doesn’t give me an incentive to do overtime where I can, with an employer I like to work for, until I can get more permanent hours in addition elsewhere, just so I am not short unexpectedly, with overtime being so random.

I also have a letter ready to post, to my local MP in a lot of matters that affect me:

  • My money difficulties since January
  • Why I won’t claim Universal Credit for the fear I am in a situation if having to pay any overpayments back.
  • Also, I won’t have unnecessary stress of working to what ever agreement they give just to get it, when there are no jobs out there in cleaning.
  • How I have been looking for extra work in a mornings in cleaning since last year, but having no employer taking me on, regardless of my experience and qualifications.
  • I have also mentioned about the above and how I am writing back, hoping this will soon be sorted quickly.
  • I have mentioned how and why I am taking on more of a role as a carer with my mum. How I am told I can get help for this, but when I looked into, I am not entitled. Also, how one day, me and mum will be living together, when I can start picking, as currently in a contract till then, where I am living.
  • I have also asked him who do you complain to when Working Tax Credit don’t write back to you. Told him how I owe them, so they say due to losing my DLA when I was one of those affected by having to apply for PIP, but deemed basically ok to put short. I have been waiting since 2017 with this money on one side ever since that day, waiting to pay it back. I want done with.
  • Which lead on to explains how I would no way put mum through PIP, just for me to receive carers allowance. I rather mum have little money, then no money.

So basically he, had my life story, which hopefully comes across to him just how fed up I am that I cannot get a morning job of 8 hours or more, to go along with my current job, because I just get fobbed off by employers that they found someone better, regardless of my experience and qualifications. And the difficulties I am in and frustration.

 

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.

Being a carer…

Being a carer is not easy…

It’s emotionally draining.

It’s physically draining.

But regardless, it can be rewarding.

 

Those that have been, or are caregivers to family members, or friends, will understand the above. As for my situation, while mum is in a mental health care place, I am dealing with her personal affairs, checking on her home, supporting her, while dealing with my own affairs and concerns.

It is just me. I am all mum has. I am her only daughter.

I am broken at times and bounce back. But I wonder how long I will last in this current situation, until me and mum are living together.

I am still trying to get an additional job to ease my financial situation.

I could list further worries, but this is more concerning my mum and that part is private to her.

Are you an unpaid carer?

Just wondering, especially if you live in the UK, are you an unpaid carer? Please do share your experiences.

I have been a carer on and off to some degree since my teens. All this has been unpaid, as a carer. I have just automatically done it. Neither of us have asked for help.
But since my mum took that overdose just three weeks ago, yesterday, I have
upped the care I give and as you know, the plan is to get mum to live with me in a council flat. So the council list I am on, has been updated accordingly and I had a form to fill in regarding my my mum’s needs, as you know. So after the council have dealt with the form accordingly, means the banding will get changed accordingly. Hopefully for the better.

I have looked into being paid as a carer, through advice of family members. But I am entitled to nothing, because mum’s DLA is low mobility. Mum needs to be on medium to high care on DLA to get this. No way will I expect mum to go through the hell’s of PIP, just for me to get carer allowance. So as I have said to my family that advised me to apply for carers allowance, I can’t get it, stating the reasons why, but nevertheless, I will manage. We will manage.
I know just by me and mum living together, I won’t struggle as I do now. If anytime social workers, or whoever responsible in mum’s care says for mum to apply for PIP, I will say mum is fine what she has. Mum is better being on DLA on little she has then lose it altogether because of the shambling with PIP where a person will just say mum is fine and then she lose what she had. I have not forgotten the stress of it and how it made me feel, when I applied. (I was on DLA for life originally, but had to apply for PIP, because I was in the criteria affected in the change of DLA to PIP.) I won’t put my mum through that. My mum would not cope with that process and, the effects it would cause from that don’t affect social workers and decision makers at the end of the day. They get to go home and play happy families. But it affects my mum and me, because I would get the brunt of seeing my mum’s aggitation and whatever else, as well as how my mum will be feeling and the unknowns of what is whirling around in her head. My priority is keeping mum safe and knowing she is well, while being independent as possible.

Share your views as an unpaid carer.

A distraction for mum

When I went to see mum yesterday and mum was filling me what happened day before, I as getting ready to go up to the mental health unit to see what they were playing at. But before I did, I asked a nurse, to make sure my mum wasn’t confused by it all.
It turned out she had been told that originally, but since, not long back yesterday when I was chatting a different discussion was given. So I had gone from highly stressed person getting ready to fight, because mum had no care plan in place and going to be sent home, which was total opposite to what a manager on the mental health unit told me, to stress reducing because there was now going to be some care plan in place on Sunday. But Sunday still being unknown, until it happens.

When mum is discharged from ward where she was looked after for her chest infection from flu she had, they will send her back to the mental health ward she originally came from. But this does not mean there is a bed there, or at any other mental health unit. She could be sent home still. But a care plan would be in place for that, as this was mentioned in discussion when someone came to see her yesterday, about maybe two visits a week at her home to see that she is ok.
If it turns out there is no bed there, but a bed is available at one of the other mental health units, mum has said she is not going, because of knowing how I would only be able to get once a week at one and not at all at the other.
But if there is a bed where she was before, she would stay there.
So this is the unknown and me and mum discussed options if she ends up going home. Especially if she is discharged before I get there, on Sunday and that is that day, mum is to stop at mine. We would then go back to hers the following morning, where I would have day with her, before going to work.

I observed how this was playing on my mum’s mind after I found I was repeating myself a fourth time and my throat feeling tired and sore, so I distracted mum onto something else. Mum admitted it was going round in her head as I suggested something else to chat about.
Mum has a notebook for her poems she writes out in rough, before copying neat into another book. I already had written my address earlier at the back of the book, just in case she was making her way back to mine in a taxi on Sunday, before I got there.
I got the notebook out again and wrote her a plan of action that she would be doing later when home, in preparation for moving out prior.
This plan of action was basically just a to do list, of what we talked about before. But I put it in writing, so she could focus on that, but also so that if she forgot, she could see it there, then let that play on her mind.
This list has three things at this point. Two which mum is doing and the third is what I am doing in May, but only what mum needs to plan for and just know about, which is me painting her bedroom walls. Her bedroom walls will need re-painting from observation and not something that can be left, because the council would likely say something. So by getting the walls in that room painted, mum won’t face any issues.
Just by writing that action plan in the back of her book, helped her to re-focus and think about something else, than let her mind wander on someone we can’t control.

I took mum’s mobile phone in yesterday, because of not knowing where mum would be originally, so she could contact me and keep me updated. Making sure I knew what was happening. It helps for mum to keep in touch with other family members too.

Frugal living – part 6

I’ve not mentioned it in a frugal post before, but I did talk about it in a post somewhere how I was planning on paying a slightly more for a different tariff for my mobile phone, so I had more internet data. I wasn’t planning on doing this until I moved to Mansfield and settled, so I could make sure I could afford, as well as still need it.
Well it turns out I did not need it, which was a good job I waited as I did, because I would not have been able to afford it now budget-wise. So keeping it as it is and using WiFi in my area I can balance my internet just right. I have only ran out once while living in Mansfield, but that’s because I got carried away looking at everyone else’s Elves on the Shelf. Lol.

Some of the places are at coffee shops where I use the WiFi, when I can afford to. Yes, it might mean buying a coffee, or something, but I’m not going out of my way to do this. For free options, there’s the library and in the town centre.

In Frugal Living – part 3 and part 5, I talked about things I wasn’t allowing myself to buy, until I ran out. Since the last frugal post, nothing much as changed. I am still not allowing myself to buy body moisturiser, because I have plenty and also received one at Christmas.
Shampoo and hand cream are on the allowed list, but only when I have run out.
Shower gel will not be needed for a while with already having one in, as well as another I had for Christmas.
My toothpaste I buy when needed and I have plenty of perfume still, so I won’t need to buy any for over a year, especially as I had some at Christmas too.

I talked in last frugal post how I hope to save in gas and electric, with living in a smaller place now. I feel at the moment I can’t compare due to issues with gas supplier when I first moved in, then changing it over to same supplier as currently electric and having issues with the electric side of things because my readings were not be used.
I then decided in the end to change supplier, due to new issues. So due to all this, time will tell in the end.

In the meantime, the spot lights in my living room and, bedroom all have LED bulbs and partly in kitchen. No plans of replacing any others with no plan of staying here now. All lights in property are spotlights. One thing I noticed when buying LED bulbs, they are not as expensive as they were just a few years ago.

Although I have changed my bulbs in the living room, I now have my lamp as you know. I use the lamp mainly, unless I am crafting in some way. The bulb in the lamp is 4 Watts and so it is cheaper to run than my main lights.