What are you really afraid of?

If you’ve never picked up a magazine called, “Psychologies,” then I recommend this magazine. I’m not a regular reader, but I have bought it a few times last year and found the article’s inside interesting and useful.

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The idea for this post came from the above pictured, dated February 2019 issue, that I bought in December.
On page 70, there was a test of 10 questions to find what may be keeping you stuck in your comfort zone. The title of that page, “What are you really afraid of?”
You circle the answers that mostly apply to you, as you work through the questions. You then add up the symbols you circled and read the section, or sections that apply to you the most, to find out what’s stopping you from chasing your goals.
For me, the most marked were circles, which when I read overleaf the relevent section, it was fear from “social exposure.”
To read more of what it says for that about me, you would need to read the magazine, because of copyright laws and not being able to write it here. From reading what applied to me, it was certainly relatable.

I would see if you can get hold of the magazine yourself, if you want to read more up on this, or try it yourself. If not this one, but want to read the magazine, the next issue is out on 22nd January, which is March issue. (They go in advance, don’t they?)

Disclaimer: I have not been asked by the magazine to write this article. I have written this myself, because I found it interesting, as I do their magazine.

Due to the future of where this blog is going, I am unable to write any paid reviews. I have never written any paid reviews and I don’t plan to, so please do not ask me to review anything. Thank you.

So it’s the weekend

I really struggled getting up this morning, after lack of sleep last night. I had to drag myself out of bed. As well as tired and drained with so much focus going onto Spark Energy and getting them to sort out my messy account for gas and electric, I was so fed up, I could have easily stayed in bed all day. I have not felt like that for a long time.

So after getting up and counting my change to see if I could stretch to a drink out, I made myself go out.
The plan today was to go to Mansfield Museum. It’s free to go in and it’s not something I have hardly gone in before. Now I am living in Mansfield, I will make a habit of visiting every month, or two.
So I looked at all their displays, except for the children’s part. There were art work showing old Mansfield times. I looked at displays showing history of local mining and factories. There were small models of how some places may have looked one time and a room full of  photos taken by people.

From setting out of the house and coming back home for a late lunch, I was out for a couple of hours. I never had a cuppa out, so money saved. It was a struggle walking out today, as I felt tired and muscles slightly hurting. But at least my anxiety was better than it’s been for rest of this week.

Once home, I stayed in and played a couple of word games on my phone. Now I am listening to music.

I limited my time to half an hour Twitter. I have been letting my feeling known about Spark Energy there, as well as tweeting Ombudsman about them. I looked into if I was able to contact Ombudsman by post, if it ends up I take it that far. I am placing a personal bet with myself that I will end up doing this, because their emails remain short, standard and copied and pasted text in parts to me. It doesn’t feel that they are actually writing to me and they are not fully answering my emails. They think job done and over. But the job is not even half done and it certainly is not over when my account does not reflect the short time I have been with them, containing readings, that I have not given.
I have only checked my emails once this afternoon and have no intention of looking for rest of the night. It’s my time.

Tomorrow, I am avoiding Twitter full stop and I won’t be checking my emails. Mind you, the checking emails will be hard, as my focus tomorrow is to apply to a cleaning job I seen today and the other being a random email to a business near me, seeing if they are needing any cleaners and, telling them about me and attaching a CV. After that, then yeah, not going in my email account.

What’s your weekend like?

 

So update regarding issues with Spark Energy

If you have been following comments in this post, I am so glad they are down and out you will know an additional email was sent later in the evening on the 10th January, to inform them that while they are looking into the electric, they also need to be looking into the gas account as well. This was because I noticed a reading on my gas account for November, yet I did not join them with my gas until December. This reading is higher than I make my own reading as well. So another mistake I have noticed with my account, which still gives me no vote of confidence at all and possibly further unnecessary stress with this company.

The morning of the 10th January, I had to scan my tenancy agreement. So my morning was wasted doing that and learning how to send it all in one go, in an email. (A zip file, that I have never done before.)

I am hoping with the quietness of it all that they are seriously sorting this.

I have said to them that I expect compensation for this unnecessary stress, because I have said to them, come down and see the meter yourself and it will be sorted that very second, but you have not arranged anything. I provide what you want, but so far not correcting anything. Now I provide my tenancy agreement, but I have no faith.

I heard from Ofgem. It’s the Ombudsman that I will need to contact, when it comes to complaining. Spark Energy have until next month, when their 8 weeks is up and if it’s not sorted by then, it’s a complaint to Ombudsman. If I hear before from Spark Energy, but not sorted and they don’t plan to, I can write before.

This, as you know has affected my health, as I said in this post, Mental health can so easily slip.

I pay my way. It’s how I was brought up, to pay bills first. I find it very upsetting that I am treated like this. Especially when I have provided the proof.

I have had enough the past couple of years and this is supposed to be a fresh start. But with this discovery and issues now with Spark Energy, they have put an unnecessary cloud over my home. (Not forgetting the crap with other supplier, that took my landlord to sort.)

I will keep you updated on this, as I know more myself.

I am so glad they are down and out.

Remember when I blogged about my move to where I live currently and how for two weeks, the supplier I was contacting during that time, (once I knew it was them,) left me two weeks without heating? In the end, you will remember that it took my landlord to sort that out for me.
Well, I shall name and shame them. It was Economy Energy that failed me due to no customer service what so ever. Last week, they were under Ofgem, but I learnt yesterday, they ceased trading. I am so happy to hear this, because now don’t ever have to worry about coming across them again, should and when I one day move again.
But unfortunately, when it comes to the utility provider I moved to, which is Spark Energy, before all the above happened with other above provider, I am now having issues with them too.
I am not having problems with the gas meter that I moved across from Economy Energy, which I moved over to them because first impressions seamt ok. It’s now the electric. The electric meter I have been with them since day one I have been in this flat. They have regular monthly meter readings. But I am noticing that they have only ever used one reading and the rest have been estimates. I have heard different excuses to the same complaint, by different staff. I am not happy. I don’t trust these now and I have lost faith. I even provided photos of my meter capturing both my readings rate 1 and rate 2, making sure that reference number on meter was visible too, so they know I am taking my meter and no one else’s and they said it wasn’t clear. So a follow-up email continued where I said what part is not clear for you? Did you zoom in the photo if required, stating how I have shown these to someone else and they can see them and not seen my meter. I told them if they don’t accept those photos, then they can send someone out to read it. I also said I would be contacting Ofgem. I then received a reply from someone different, who said thank you to those readings and my updated bill is now attached. But looking at bill, they still did not use my readings. So another email followed and now I have a new different answer.

I have stated very clearly to Spark Energy that I am not happy, I don’t trust them and I have no faith in them. I want this dealt with by a supervisor and only by that one person to completely deal with this issue, because I am sick and tired of hearing different excuses to my same problem. Which they still not using that latest reading.
I have also raised something else about my account that I am now questioning. Why are there readings before 1st October 2018, when my tenancy did not start until 1st October 2018? I also stated that I did not move in until 22nd October 2018. Again, what they know already, when I first contacted them, letting them know I am the new tenant.

I have emailed Ofgem about everything that has been said between me and Spark Energy, along with how happy I am to hear Economy Energy are no longer around, telling them of my experience with them.
I also added in the email to Ofgem that whose idea was it that we have to put up with the utility provider first already there at the property I move into, until transfer has taken place of my preferred supplier? It should go back to how it was before, where you could take your supplier straight across with you, then I would not have to the crap experience I am having, that is unnecessarily stressful.

Here is the new report from Independent: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/economy-energy-bankrupt-bust-administration-customers-limbo-gas-electricity-supplier-ofgem-a8717776.html%3famp

A reflection on the year

What a year I have had in 2018. It’s been a rollercoaster of a year as many of you will know. I have struggled with grief of losing my cousin and her husband. The emotional grief was ongoing, due to the court case for the person who played a part in their deaths being this year. Then writing to the local councilor, where they lived, to fight for changes on that road, which has resulted in a lower speed, clear signage and improved road.
Although the grief is still there, the year has been positive too. I started my new job on 2nd January and I have loved every second being there. Working there has made me feel like my old self, but a better self, because I have grown further in confidence this year. I am also happier because of my new job and also because of now living in Mansfield. This was icing on the cake, when I moved, because I did not think at one point this would happen, as it got nearer to the end of the year.

My next aim is to build up my hours, by looking out for morning work. I plan to send CV’s out to businesses near me, as well as looking at job vacancies that crop up in my email inbox, from job alerts I have set.
Until that morning job happens, I continue my volunteering one day a week at Ashfield Play Forum. This volunteering role, I have been doing for some years now. But when I do get a morning work, it will mean I need to leave, which they understand. As one staff member had said, before I got my new home in Mansfield, it will be a new chapter. My new chapter has come early I feel, for living in Mansfield alone. So watch this space and continue to visit my blog for new posts/stories, in the year ahead.

I would like to end this post on saying Happy New Year, whether it’s soon to arrive, or already happened, depending on where you live. Have a safe holiday and I will see you in the New Year.

Christmas traditions

When I was a child, right up to my teens, (my teens being when my dad died), regardless of what dad was like, Christmas, Boxing Day, through to the New Year, was always good.

Christmas morning would be opening of presents before I had my breakfast.
When I was in my teens and onwards, I would open them after my breakfast.
Living in a house that was only a coal fire for heating, my dad would light up the other fireplace in the front room on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, through to the New Year. This was the only times we would have two coal fires going, because of only having so much coal. This was a luxury treat I felt.
When I was old enough and under at first the watchful eye of my dad, I was allowed to make up and light the fire. Later, I would do this on my own. I enjoyed doing this.

Mum and dad would do Christmas dinner together. Some years we had homemade Christmas cake, made by dad. Christmas dinner was always chicken, which I look forward to, as we didn’t have it often.

Depending on my cousin and her mum’s schedule, (my mum’s sister,) they would come down with their presents either Christmas Day, or Boxing Day afternoon and have a few hours with us before going back for their Christmas dinner. TV would be on mostly through the Christmas period, catching any films that would be on, or something else. We would stay in over the holiday period, but I think come Boxing Day and in between to new years eve, dad would have an hour, or two in the pub over the road.

When I was a child, there were some Christmases that dad would hang chocolate in their foil wrappers, on the tree. I would be allowed one at the time he put them up, in early December, but I wasn’t allowed anymore until Christmas Day and onwards. I remember the countdown to Christmas, admiring the chocolate on the tree, knowing I could not touch.

I was always grateful what I received from my parents at Christmas. I never asked for things, as I knew they could not afford much. I would have fun playing with whatever I received.

When it was just me and my mum, at Christmas Eve, for a few years we would open one of our presents before going to bed, then the rest would be opened in a morning.
Now I wasn’t planning on getting up till 7.30am on Christmas morning. I had my own alarm clock to wake me up. But mum would wake me up in a morning at a time much earlier, even though she knew what time I was getting up. When I realised the time it was, I swore. It was 6am. This happened on two Christmases running. I may have sworn at the time, but we would joke about it later. And if you were wondering if I got up. No, I didn’t. I went back to sleep. Mum was waiting downstairs like a big kid, to open her presents, until I got up.
After a few years, I said to mum, let’s wait till Christmas Day to open all our presents. Mum still wanted to open one on Christmas Eve, but I said you do what you like, you’re an adult, but I’m not opening mine till Christmas Day. Again, I would not open mine until between 7.30am to 8am, but mum tried to get me up earlier. Again, I stayed in bed. Mum started staying up till midnight, opening her presents right on Christmas Day, so by the time I’m up, hers are unwrapped and she’s watching me.

When it came to having my own place, me and mum will decide who is going to who’s on Christmas and the other will do New Year’s Day. When mum was at mine, she’d stop a night, or two. I’d cook Christmas dinner. Then when at mum’s for the day on New Year, she would cook dinner.
For many years, except starting from this year, I would receive mum’s Christmas presents from some family and all friends to give her on Christmas Day, so she did not open them early.

This Christmas, mum is at mine and is stopping the night. I will do our dinner in the slow cooker. It will just be us two having a relaxing day, watching a Christmas dvd, or two that I bought earlier on and maybe play some cd’s. At night, it will be sandwiches of some kind and crisps.
Boxing Day, will be another dinner involving chicken, if there is any left, otherwise it will be salmon.
For New Year, we have not discussed that far ahead, as I write this, but I am hoping she will be fine with 2nd January.

As mum originally said she wasn’t coming, I made plans how I would start my Christmas Day. The dinner wasn’t going to change, so should she have changed her mind, (which she did and in the end has decided to stop the night,) there would still enough for two. I decided that once dinner was in slow cooker and I had my breakfast, I would first walk in the park, before going home, to open my presents.
Even though mum is now coming, I plan to still do this, so mum has been given instructions on a time not to come before on, otherwise she will be waiting for me.

I hope you, my readers of this blog, will have a lovely Christmas. Do you have a particular tradition, or routine, over Christmas?

To say no

Learning to say no to something, can be the hardest thing to do. It was only a few years ago that I was able to say no to things, confidently. No did not come often in those years, because there were not many things to say no to. My first memory of confidently saying no, was at my last job. The past year, I can’t remember if I needed to say no to anything. But feeling forgetful is something that has been happening a lot this year. (But that might be another story.)

This year, since living where I am, I have come across some situations that I have said no to.
The first was to my neighbour downstairs, but I it wasn’t a complete no, as I met halfway. He asked if I would like to join him and a couple of his friends for a dinner at a local pub very near where we live. I said no to the dinner part, as budget-wise at the time, there was a possibility I would not be able to afford a dinner. But even if I could, I decided later to myself, that the dinner part would still be a no. But I would come a little later to join them over drinks. (Mine being the soft drinks, for readers that don’t know about me not drinking alcohol.) So when he knows when they will go, then I will know. That’s unless of course things have changed for him, because he has no money at the moment. All I shall say, it’s all because of Universal Credit. A system that still looks shit and leaves people in shit.

The next no was at my current workplace. I decided I wasn’t joining in their Secret Santa with the atmosphere and what I was observing and with the odd one, I have suspicions that would they be grateful what they receive anyway. So I shall be observing this one with interest.

This one is not actually saying a no, but I knew in my head this year, for my mum’s birthday, that this time I would just put money in her card. I have taken her out for meals in the past, whether cafe, or a pub. This has been either just me and her, or another friend joining in where he has also treated her. But I knew this time I wasn’t doing this, with wanting quite a lot of quietness.

I said no to something recently that I wasn’t expecting. Although I said no confidently, I did not like saying no on this occasion, as I was saying no to my uncle. Again, it was a no because I just want quiet time and it will happen before my hearing aids are sorted, so it will only cause me anxiety with the noise and what ever else that’s with me at that time.
My uncle was planning on arranging a family meal out, but he wanted me and my mum to join them. This could be counting 6, or 7 in total to this meal. That’s including me in the total.
For now, it’s too much to sit with a group, in what will be a busy pub, where we are all having our pre-Christmas get together.

I will probably be asked about this later, from my cousin. (My uncles daughter.) But it will still be a no.