Slow and Steady

Posts Tagged ‘Learning

As well as my laptop coming yesterday, I also had to attend a medical for ESA benefit. I went with a friend, and we were seen half an hour later than  my appointment. The letter said to allow 2 hours.

The doctor was one of those fake nice ones. He was completely over the top, and then he would suddenly switch to be quite cold and unbelieving. For example he asked me if I could drive, I said yes. He asked if my car was automatic or manual, and when I said I don’t have a car he barked ‘well then you’re not driving’. He was constantly trying to catch me out, and would ask about things I had already said like ‘oh so where in your right shoulder is hurting?’ and I would have to correct him and say my left.

At 1 point I told him I was thoroughly fed up with these types of interviews, and that I would much prefer to be in Cape Town sampling my favourite red wine to which he chuckled. He was South African.

It was good to have someone with me. There were times I couldn’t remember some things like all the therapy I tried, and my friend reminded me. She could also back me up when I said I don’t go raving and that my friends drive me around.

Apparently now he send off the report, and then the decision maker takes his report, plus my doctors report into consideration. I don’t understand, because they are paying me now. I swear this system makes absolutely no sense to me.

I didn’t mention that I was going to try and go back to work, as there are too many variables and it may not happen.


I have been offered a  place on the CELTA course, I had an interview for. I am so pleased about that. It starts in February, and I have a very thick booklet of pre courses to complete and list of recommended reading.

As the medical centre wasn’t too far from one of the sites that form part of the college, I went and enrolled yesterday. As  the course isn’t until February, I don’t need to get my ID until about January.


“I may never do my job again”

I finally said the words to my mum.

My relationship to my mother has always been odd. I was bought up my granny, call her mum and call my mum a shortened version of her name. It’s funny because calling her by her full name feels disrespectful.

Anyway…Our relationship is an odd one, and part of me has always felt the only reason my mum talks to me is for the benefits that comes with my type of work.

One of the things that came up with my counsellor is that without those benefits, my mum and I would eventually stop talking.

I had a meeting with work today and I think I have now accepted for the first time I really may never go back to my official job again.

When I said that to mum, she rolled her eyes and went ‘duh, anyone can see you’re not going back to that’.

Now this isn’t the first time that someone has expressed that sentiment. Most of my friends talk about my job in the past tense, but from my mum?

I must really have been walking around with blinkers on if she can accept that I’m not going to do my job again.


As mentioned above, I had a meeting with work today. The union rep came along and it was, I feel, a productive meet.

They were able to see my point on some things that I have tried to explain, but felt they never truly understood.

In coming here, they were going to take the train, but after trying to plan a route, they realised that it was not an easy journey on public transport. They then decided to come by car, got stuck in traffic and and got here an hour late. I have been trying to explain for ages that the travel is a big problem in terms of ease and cost. I’m glad that they have managed to see it first hand.

We had a fairly long meeting, and in a nutshell, I have decided to try and do light duties one day a week to see exactly how much I can manage. I have searched online and found that there is an incentive to get disabled people to work called Access to Work, and they can cover your travel costs.

I had sent off for information a while back, it didn’t come and I forgot about it. I’m going to chase that up, and see if they can cover the cost. If not, then the rep said she’d ask if the company can cover it, but told me not to get my hopes up.

There are a couple of reasons I’ve decided to try light duties:

  • Honestly, I don’t think I can do it, but want to be seen as trying. Like the car journey they seem to only understand what they see, and so if I’m seen struggling, they’ll get it.
  • I want to know how much I can manage. One of the things I’m scared about in terms of my contract being terminated is that I’m unemployable. I can use this to find out exactly how much I can manage in a day. If I end up being sacked, I’ll know what I can apply for and what my limitations are.

This is all about me fact finding than trying to please the company. I’ve been praying and meditating on this for a while, and the answer popped out while we were talking.

If Access to Work can’t help me, and the company cannot pay for my transport, then I’ll be in the section of the disciplinary process where they park long term sick people. I was assured that if I can’t do it, I won’t be sacked by December, that it is a long process and there are plenty of steps before that final one.

I feel a bit lighter in my spirit now a decision has been made. If only I could be lighter in weight! I so cannot fit into my uniform!

I had a very interesting meeting with the Law Centre. She said I am entitled to contributory side of ESA, but if they start looking at the money I have coming in from work, I will not get the income side of it. You need to be getting the income side to qualify for mortgage costs.

There is a cap on what they will help with too.  You will only get help if your original mortgage is under £200K (used to be £100K), and they pay a maximum of 6.02% interest rate. If your mortgage has a higher interest rate than that you have to pay the difference.

I didn’t get specific advice because she needed more details. I have to send in my current mortgage statement, a current bank  statement and the entitlement letter I got sent. I thought I left it at home, but when I got back from the law centre and was looking for it, I remembered I stupidly threw away the entitlement letter in a fit of rage (lesson learnt: Never ever throw out anything from the DWP).

I phoned up to ask for a duplicate and they sent me a 3 line letter saying I’m entitled to income based ESA. Completely different to what the adviser said. I’m going to send it to her on Monday and hopefully she’ll be able to figure it out.


I have sold my car!

I’m actually surprised I got as much as I did. I am ashamed to say I didn’t really take care of my poor baby. The carpet on the drivers floor was ripped out because of my heels. The drivers seat adjuster falls off every so often, and the alloys are wrecked.

It’s weird because the guy didn’t check the car at all, he didn’t check the electronics, didn’t pop the bonnet, and didn’t even look at the interior, it was only when ‘the boss’ turned up the next day the ripped carpet was discovered and he wanted 50 quid off which was fine by me. I wonder when they’ll discover the drivers door mirror doesn’t work electronically any more?

It was sad letting her go though, I’ve had her for 8 years and we’ve been through ups and downs, it was fun while it lasted!

I’m testing driving cars today and tomorrow. I’ve got a print out of similar cars for less around the country. I know what the recent service should have had done, and how much they cost from the originating dealerships.

I have used a great site called used car experts, and they show what to look out for in each type of car (except the Fusion annoyingly), and used a mixture of sites to create a routine for doing the test drive (eg, testing the all the electrics before pulling off to focus on the test drive when driving)

In short I know my shit, so I’m not taking nonsense from any dealers!

I enjoyed the process of research the cars. The Toyota garage was the most helpful, and Citroen was a nightmare. Funnily enough the Citroen has the cheapest service, getting what you pay for definitely springs to mind!

I’ve worked out to insure, service and tax the cars (even though I don’t need to pay tax until 2011, I think it’s a good idea to save the money anyway), I’ll need to save between £71-£80 a month, not including petrol or MOT.

For the next 2 years, the Yaris will be the cheapest in terms of cost, and the Getz will be more. I’m going to try and push for a service and MOT included in the price, some mats, and a  full tank of petrol.

I also returned my shoes and dress back to the shops. That is a blog in itself, I’m still not over the experience…

Whoopsie = Name given to items that are reduced as the sell by date is the next/same day.

Yesterday I went to the place where the Adult Learning week taster sessions were supposed to be and the gates were locked. I’ve left a telephone message for the coordinator today, and had no response so maybe they’ve cancelled it?

I think it may be lack of interest, but they haven’t publicised this week at all. It’s a shame, with the amount of people being made redundant at the moment, sessions like this are very useful.

On the way home, I decided to get the rest of my groceries for the week, from Sainsburys. It was about 8.30pm.

The last time I went to Sainsburys late, as I was queueing up to check out, there was an announcement that they had put all the reduced items in a fridge the tobacco counter. I was on the other side of the shop, and didn’t have the energy to walk down there, but filed the information for future use.

When I went in yesterday I went straight to that particular fridge. It looked sparse so I didn’t expect anything decent to be left. When I got their though, there was packets of their ‘extra special’ beef mince reduced from £3.19 to 50p!

There was also a joint of beef reduced from £5.80 to £1.50, and a tub of double cream for 35p.

I’ve been wanting some cream to I can attempt to make my own butter.

Now I know where the whoopsies are kept in Sainsburys, I’ll make sure I go around 8ish and see what they have on offer from now on.

When I was back in my car, I phoned the house to ask someone to be ready to help me with the shopping. I had only gone in for some frozen pepper slices and a tin of chopped tomatoes!

My mum was waiting by the door, and she stomped up to the car, took the bags and stomped into the house. I went into the kitchen where she was unpacking the bags.

There was no ‘ooh you picked up some bargains’ or anything, she just piled everything on to the side, went upstairs and slammed the door.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother.

Did you know this week was Adult Learning Week?

I didn’t!

It was a chance trip to the library that bought it to my attention. Anyway in my local area, they have lots of taster courses running from  ballroom dancing to using adobe flash player, and the best thing is that it’s a 2 minute drive from my house.

I’m interested in the following taster sessions:


CV- Identifying your skills and qualities.

Adobe Flash Player.

Basic sewing.

You can use this calender to see what is on offer in your area.