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History of a Benefit Scrounger

Got my first job aged 12, a paper round before school, soon to tourn inot 2 paper rounds, one after school as well. Aged 14 I took another job as a butchers delivery boy, so sturday mornings were spent riding one of those old fashioned delivery bikes with a huge basket on the front, delivering meat round the local neaighbourhood. Soon after this I also got a job working Saturday afternoons and all day sunday in a burger bar, lazy bugger aint I 😉 I left school at 15 with 3 low grade CSE’s, but being lucky enough to get a job in a warehouse, not glamerous but it paid ok. Next job was in a factory, where I made it to the dizzy heights of supervisor, lasted 6 years there then decided needed a change. Af ter some soul searching decided to go into nursing, oh forgot to say did a stint in a nursing home when I was a teen. Started Nurse training in late 80;s became a Registered Nurse in 92. I then fast tracked, firstly getting a job as a staff nurse in the hopspital where I trained, stayed there for 3 months, then got the offer of a job as a Deputy Managed of a community home doem in Essex ( I am from Lancashire). At this point I was married and had 2 children (both bor while I was doing my nurse training). I moved to Essex on my own, living in a nurses home for 4 months, this wasnt working so had to quit and moved back up north, again didnt clain benefit, got a job with a nursing agaency, whilst looking for something permenant. Got the offer of a job in Dunstable, looked inot this carefuly and decided we could all afford to move there, unlike Essex. Tokk the job as a Clinical Nurse in a Social Services care home, lived in the nurses home for a few weeks till I found family somewhere to live. Stayed in this job for about 1 year then was given the chance to set up and manage 3 care homes in the Bedfordshire area, hell yeah all my work had paid off. It was hard work but we got the homes up and running, with me being based in a challenging behaviour unit (back when we loved labelling things). I was there for 3 years when around my 30th birthday I suffered a subarachnoid haemorrage, thus put me in hospital for 3 weeks, with mild stroke like symptoms, and kept me off work for a further 2 months. This is the first time I had had a serious illness and been unable to work. I returned to work, taking on to much to soon, and after 4 weeks back I had a severe mental breakdown, It was strange, I had spent years caring for people then I needed caring for myself. I gave up my nursing career, and was on Incapacity benefit for about a year, during which time I spent months in therapy and as a recepticle for every anti-depressant on the market, I was also being treated for high blood pressure.
I then was given the chance to go on a back to work training programme for the long term sick and disabled, teaching me I.T. skills, CV buildong, interview skills and trying to build my confidence.Lucky me I did so well when I finished the course I was offered a job at the centre as a trainer. This went really well until I was given the opportunity to open another centre in Bedford and run it. Again I took on to much to soon, and had another breakdown. This put me out of work for 2 years, the forst year spent in a near vegititave state, then a year building my self esteem back up. I then heard of a scheme the BBC ran called Extend, which was desinged for people with disabilities to get into Broadcasting. The scheme was a 12 week plkacement, which I spent working in the Archives, I had the placement extended to 16 weeks, then was interviewed for a full time post, I spent 7 years working as an rchive Libararian, it was fantastic, being based at BBC Television Centre in London, the commute was hard, but worth it. Two years ago things started to change, which I didnt cope with well, staff were laid off, locations were moved, there was a lot going on, our futur was uncertain. During all this my wife was diagnosed with MS, which added to the pressure, she works for the BBC as well, but had to cut her days down, which meant I had to get to work on my own. One day after having an argument with my manager over time keeping (bloody public transport) I lost the plot (technical term) and walked out, suffering yet another breakdown. I got sick pay for 6 weeks, then SSP for a year (I think) I then got nothing, unable to leave the house, unable to talk to people I couldnt fight for what I needed, my wife helped me apply for benefit, then appeal when I was refused, dont ask me for details, I cant emember. It is only recently, 2 years after leaving work that I fianlly won an appeal and was given DLA, not much but it helps. I have also recently been diagnosed with diabettes, I still find it hard to leave the house, I take things very personally and if I make a mistake or anything goes wrong I withdraw into myself, I tkae medication for anxiety and depression, diabetted, high blood pressure and high cholestrol. I have to have it in weekly dossettes so I remember to take it, have been know to take double, forgetiin g I have taken it already. On really bad days I consider taking it all in one go, but I dont think I would, I have a granchild on the way and couldnt let my family suffer. A few weeks ago after over 2 years my contract at the BBC was finally ended. I cannot see a way forward, nor can my Doctor or Consultant, think I finally destroyed my ability to funtion in the outside world. This may sound like self pity, but at the moment it is my reality. Dont know how I am to cope with the new benefit changes, I have had numerous assessments, each one a nightmare, we shall wait and see. Until then I will carry on as a carer for my wife at home, tuerning out self indulgent pieced on here and chatting on Twitter when I feel up to it.
Anyhow, cant end on that note, to depressing.

Two fish in a tank, one says to the other …………. how do you drive this thing 😉

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Hammerfest 2011

The day arrives, planned to leave home late morning to make sure we get there in planty of time, but as usual fate conspires against us. My daughter who is 6 months pregnant was rushed into hospital the day before (wed), luckily it was her blood pressure and nothing more serious, they let her out late morning (thur) so naturally we waited to make sure she was ok, and she insisted we still went to Hammerfest. So leaving home a couple of hours later than planned we hit the road, motorway all the way, had a near miss at the end of the M6 toll road as a swan landed on the carriagway causing cars to swerve everywhere, we got through ok though 🙂
Arrived at Prestatyn at about 630pm, bit gutted as I had missed Tiaxis who I was really looking forward to seeing. Booked in at reception, went to the chalet, no wheelchair ramp (wife has MS), so had to sort that. Eventually it is time to get the part started, headed over to 2nd stage, made it there in time for Jaguar, a good dose of metal to start the drinking/evening. next up were Battleaxe and Elixir, saddly to busy drinking and renewing old friendships to appreciate them but seemed to be getting a good reception from the earlybird audience.
Next up one of my fav bands, Attica Rage, onstage as Attica Undercover, churning out some great cover versions, crowd pleasers as ever, my highlight being Fear of the Dark. After headbanging furiously for the whole set I thought I was done for the nigt, but no, last band on Metalica UK, while not the real thing were still a great way to end the night, by this time I was ever so slightly pissed, so headed into a mosh pit, got smacked in the face and losy my VIP pass, that will teach me 😉

Friday morning dawns, had it really been 4am when I got to bed, hell yeah, time to do it all again. Started with a cooked breakfast, then headed over to the Queen Vic (stage 3) for a huge dose of sunshine and some hair of the dog, some young bands onstage inside, sounded good but I stayed in the sun, chatting smoking and drinking, did this till just before 7pm when Breed 77 were due on 2nd stage. The space was rammed , managed to squeeze in, and boy was it worth it, they put on a blinding show. Afterwards me and missus wating for son, where is he now, last seen in the mosh pit, had he been injured??? nope he had been hanging with the band, got them all to signe his arm, then arranged to have it tattoed the next morning, the band were so pleased, we all met them later and they were so nice.
After Breed 77 we watched Revoker, brilliant, then was expecting |Godsized who saddly had not been able to play. then it was over to stage1 to watch Wolf, hell yeah, went down really well and deservedly so. Next up Turisas, a good dose of Viking metal, bloody fantastic, reall drinking music, now all hot and sweaty, wheres my pint.
Accept were next, who I had been looking forward to, but who saddly disapointed, musically they were great, but they bored me to death, and seemed to go on forever, such is life.
Last band of the night, who played to a slightly diminished crowd were Ill Nino, awesomely heavy live, one of my highlights of the weekend , another late night, to old for this shit lol.

Saturday already, last day of festival, although I dont think my head could take much more 😉 Normal routine, food, Queen Vic, beer bands, some great bands on small stage today, Ten Cent Toy played a blinding set, Oaf were awesome, a real crowd pleaser and Sadako who are from my home town were brilliant.
Was gutted had missed Beholder, great band, but did make it to Attica Rage album launch, got my signed copy of Road Dog, fantastic album made by fantastic guys, highly recomended.
Headed to stage1, Attica Rage opened the evenings proceedings with a faultless set, playing new and old material, they had fire eaters, grinders, and great songs, my highlight of the weekend.
Next up Grand Magus, I was rather knackeres after Attica so remember very little lol,. but they played a solid set. Them Entombred hit the stage, hell yeah, an hour of metal mayhem 🙂 With Satyricon Sabaton and Viking Skull mashing my brain and rattling my teeth on the main stage, and Evile melting the 2nd stage the weekend is over, I dont actually remember getting back to chalet, but made it eventually, and all to soon it is sunday and time to go home, thank you Hammerfest, already booked for next year, my body may be suffering but it was worth it, what a weekend.

Scam

Got a phone call today from a gentleman who first said he was from my building society – he got the name wrong, then said he worked for the government and wanted to talk about my payment protection plan (which I dont have) , he had my name, address, what I payed for my house, how much my mortgage was and loads of other details. When asked repeatedly for his name and the name of the company he rang off, if you try and call the number back it goes dead. I checked online about this phone number and a few sites had pieces about it being a scam. The number is 07530 658570, if you get a call from this number do not give out any personal details, just either ring off or badger him for his details.

New Bike

Hey folks 🙂 for those that dont know I have treated myself to a new iron horse 🙂 It is a 2009 Suzuki GSF650 Bandit. She is metallic red and in immaculate condition. Unfortunately since I rode her home from the showroom the weather has been crap so I have not been out on her 😦 . I have joined The Bandit Owners Club of Great Brirain who are a real friendly bunch and am lookin forward to a summer of fun with them 🙂 Well heres to nice weather and good riding. Be safe my friends. And a bit shout out to my friends in #TheSouthernFellowship.

N J Hallard , Breaking News an Autozombiography

I have just finished reading Breaking News an Autizombiography by N J Hallard, wow what a read.
I know a lot of people out there dont get zombies, and while they feature quite prominently in this book the main focus is on humanity and how we cope with adversity.
From the opening sequences where the characters are trying to figure out what is going on, to losing freinds and family, onto the rebuilding of a semblence of society this is a must read. I sounds cliched but this book really did make me laugh and cry, and has inspired me to write my own related story. If you buy this I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you to N J HALLARD for giving me many nights of gripping reading.

Maybe Guy Fawkes had the right idea

What a wonderful country we live in, or at least it would be if it was’nt for the incompetent fools we have running it.
My wife who has MS but still works has been told that her Access to Work allowance, which helps pay for adaptations in the workplace, help with transport and for a facilitator to help her when she needs it is going to be cut, meaning she may have to cut her hours down, so much for getting disabled people into work, seems to me they are being forced out.
I am going to be retired on medical grounds next month, and it seems I wont be entitled to any financial help, even though I have paid into this country for the last 30 years/
My son who works on a warehouse has been told he is being laid off as 2 of their big contracts are pulling out due to VAT increases, it will be cheaper for them to take business abroad.
This is just the effect on my family, I dread to think what others are suffering. Anyway, enough ranting for now. Hope others find themselves in a better situation.

Goodbye My Faithful Friend

12 years ago we rescued a 6 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, her name was Lady but everyone called her Trouble, as she was mishevioius. She has grown up with my kids, been a wonderful companion and made all out lives happier. 18 according to the vet is probably a record age for a KCS, and they were wonderful years, but saddly Trouble has finally gone to join the rest of her friends chewing bones and chasing toys in the afterlife. We will miss you dearly old friend.