July 2013


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Thin scattering of cumulus clouds to be seen.

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Look close and you can see a green combine harvester.

In Clerkenwell. Travelling ‘home’. 3 pints on a hot day. Any posts after this should not be taken as the true opinion of the poster.

It has been a lovely ‘break’ at my mother’s doing lots of jobs. I found the missing dowels for the bed I got from Furni-Aid, so me and my brother can now sleep on something that does not stick iron in to us like kebabs. Trouble is that while I am here cooking, cleaning and gardening I am not doing my own stuff, till, Ma is well and time marches on.

Part of the bed sorting involved me sleeping in the room I grew up in for the first time in decades. Strange feeling, especially as next door now has a carp pool with a fountain, so you sleep with the sound of running water. I have had no beer for a few days so it did not affect me much.

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I managed to catch it with my hands and release it, but while I was doing that another, bigger yellow/white moth flew in an hid.

PS> Basil has pointed out this is abrimstone moth

I bought a new double and single mattress and single bed base yesterday from Furni Aid in Ifield (hence the trip to the Plough afterwards). They are limited in new beds but cheap, and though Dreams can be cheaper in some cases, FurniAid has free delivery, and I was told they would take the old bed and mattresses away for free.

When they arrived late in the afternoon they said the collection was not written on the docket, so rather than refuse to accept delivery due to a broken contract that one of the lads confirmed I negotiated removal for £15, still cheaper than mother’s council taking it away.

The bad thing was them then saying they were not allowed to take things up any stairs, so they could not help me take the double mattress to where it had to be.

I managed to pull a thick double mattress upstairs on my own. I had some pain afterwards but has gone away. Carrying the rest was easier. I started putting the base together but there are dowels missing. I am leaving it until tomorrow before I try and find a solution, and possibly phoning to complain.

This morning I shifted a horsehair stuffed mattress from my dad’s old bedroom and the old double mattress and ancient base from ‘my’ room. Hard job on my own, especially the base, which hinged in the middle.

Under my dad’s mattress was a big pile of magazines, unfortunately they were all cheap colour supplements about odds and ends of the Royal family. I do not mind the Royal family but cheap, gushing space filling throwaways are of little historic interest.

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I took her to the Cinnamon Lounge, Tilgate, in a taxi. She had a veg korma, chapati, and ice cream. She lived it. We then went to the paper shop, Coop and her doctor’s. She was greeted enthusiastically everywhere and she talked.

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My 91 year old mother got a letter from her council saying she was having her Council Tax Benefit stopped because they had been inform by the Pension Service that her Pension Credit had been stopped.

Neither Ma, nor me, nor my brother (who is slightly more focused on detail than me) had seen any letter from Pension Credit stopping payment.

I know all too well the nightmare of having Council Tax court summons’ because other Governmental agencies have told my council a benefit was being stopped, without telling me. If it happens to you do not waste time calling the council first, unless the court hearing is in just a few days, call the agency first and find out why the benefit was stopped.

I called the Pension Service. Mother had to remember her Post Code and phone number, which she did with a bit of mime from me, and gave authority for me to speak on her behalf.

The Pension Service claimed a form and that reminders were sent and not responded to. It is not impossible that me and Basil missed a letter, but missing 2 or 3 is unlikely (and if it was just 2 What the fuck!?). It is more likely the British (Merciless Ming) Bureaucracy failed, and would have had an old woman driven into a stress driven death if she was on her own.

It is sort of, sorted. They are sending someone to interview her and fill in the form, at which point the Pension Credit restarts with no break in payment, so the same will apply to her Council Tax Benefit.

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