Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Sitting in the dark

The past couple of days I've been rescued, saved by people I didn't ask to rescue or save me.

My electricity cut out. I was facing the prospect of spending the evening sitting in the dark. I didn't really mind that prospect at the time but... fate had other ideas!

I see my neighbour while I'm outside with Nico Teen and she invites me in to share a bottle of wine. Says my son can watch a dvd in her room. I'm hoping he'll fall asleep while doing so because it's 8pm, he's usually in bed by then. We drink, we chat, we drink, we chat. It's nice.

My mate Charlie texts while I'm there asking if he can come round with a take-away and a couple of beers. Sure but I'm ok for food! I leave my neighbour because by 11pm, my son has not fallen asleep and well, there's school the next day.

Charlie comes round and by torch light we chat, we drink, we chat, we drink until 2am when he goes home.

He says if the electrics aren't back on the following night, to crash at his. I say I'll be alright. "It'll prepare me for living in a fucking hostel when me and my son will be sharing a cell."

Yesterday a supplier came but because an electrician couldn't come until today, we faced another night of getting a take-away and sitting in the eerily silent flat, in the darkness with a torch for me.

I tell my son that Charlie's said we could stay at his and my son says "yes mummy, i'm cold."

That's decided then. I text my friend and decide to take my son out for dinner.

In the freezing, lashing rain I cycle him to Pizza Express. He's a joker even when it's just us two, larking about in restaurants! I thought it was just like that with other kids!

I pop to the loo and when I come out he's chatting to a friend I've not seen for ages. She berates me for not texting her, we can always stay at hers. "Your mummy never asks for help," she says to my son. "What should your mummy do when she's in trouble?" "Call her friends," says my son. "That's right!"

I cycle my son to Charlie's. He's got to go back out to work but his friend is staying over. I put my son in bed and we settle down and watch a DVD together.

Have you see Seven Pounds? Watch Seven Pounds. It's brilliant, it's heart breaking. It's layered and deep. Will Smith is in it as a man who goes round doing incredible acts of kindness for people. I did weep, as did Charlie's friend!

Tonight the leccie's back on. Charlie did invite us to stay another if it wasn't.

If I ever go to a hostel, I will sit in the dark so my son can get to sleep.

But I'm not going to a hostel. I'm going to fight the flipping choices we're being given to the end.

The State as landlord might not be perfect but it's second to my winning the lottery for getting my son a stable home. I am done, I AM DONE with the private sector.

I am not done with any of my friends though. Thank you for your kindness these past couple of days xxx

Oh God, please not the answer machine

The electrics were tripping all weekend. I knew this because the music would stop. When it came back on again the answer machine would speak: "Your answer machine is on."

"Your answer machine is on. Your answer machine is on." All day. Slightly frustrating but hey ho, thought it was the entire block.

I notice that on the phone panel it says "Memory full" but I ignore it. It's not friends, it's those annoying junk calls that come all the time.

So the property owner comes round, gives me shit for over loading the electrical system, saying she's going to have to re-wire the whole flat because I run too many things off the socket and well, I can't help but think: Is it a backlog of undeleted messages that have jammed the supply?

God, please don't let it be the answering machine, I pray. Yep, I actually pray.

The supplier comes round, checks the meter and says the main switch has burnt out, there's a connection loose.
"Is it my fault?"
"No, it isn't your fault."
"You sure? Not the telly or anything?
"No, it would burn out at the socket itself in that case."
"That's such a relief. The property owner is always blaming me for things that go wrong. When my boiler flooded the block, she said it was because I had my heating on too high. Turned out to be a crack in the float. This she says is me, but it's the main circuit you say?"

I'm relieved and angry at the same time. Blame the tenant. Blame the parent. Blame, blame, blame somebody all the time. I'm fucking sick of it.

Thank you God it wasn't the answering machine!!

"The answering machine is on!" No more should I hold in what I want or need to say. I am finally learning to defend myself and answering people back.

Perhaps I should also thank you God for my being such a thicko! It might get a laugh down the pub!

Go on, go on, blame me bad mother...

My God, the property owner's partner is a bully. A two bit bloody bully. I never want him in my house again.

I called the property owner because the electrics blew and it was quicker to sort it using her and not the housing association. She wanted to come round and have a look at the meter so I cancelled my plan to take my son out to dinner and for the first time ever as a single mum, got a take away. It never crosses my mind to do that but it will from now on; incase of an emergency.

The property owner goes on and on about the mess but Monday, well Monday it was a fucking joke what those two threw at me.

Admittedly, things didn't get off to a great start. I'm hurt ok, I'm disappointed they won't take my son and me as tenants while we wait for a Home.

"You know I want to upgrade the whole flat?" she said, quite casually.
"Yes, so you can get a professional working couple in who are more suitable but I'd check it out first because they're talking about knocking down the block."
"WHAT DID YOU SAY?" comes an angry male voice as her partner enters the room.
"They're talking of knocking the block down."
"What did you say?" he repeated.
"They're talking of knocking the block down."
"NO. What DID YOU SAY before that?"
"That she'll get a suitable professional couple in."
"Yes, that was a bit of a swipe," she interjected.
"How DARE you," he blasted.

I'm telling you, things only got worse...

All my fault, of course, of course, that the electrics blew. One extension lead has four sockets; for my telephone, my portable telly, my now bust dvd player and my little stereo.

"You've overloaded the system!" property owner cries. "You've totally overloaded it."

What do I know, the other bracket holds my computer plugs and the set top box. I was worried perhaps I had overloaded it so was mute.

The flat is cluttered, bit more than usual because I've had things on my mind, so there's alot of paper everywhere that have got into all kinds of nooks and crannies. She starts banging on about how dangerous it is, what a fire hazard it is: "I've told you many times before and this time I'm going to have to send you a written warning." She calls in her partner to have a look (for he's in the corridor, with my torch, looking at the meter).

"It's unbelievable! It's a disgrace!" he spits.

I try to say I haven't been coping but it falls on deaf ears.

My son was stamping his little foot on the ground saying: "Don't get angry!" as the man in the room gave his ten pennies worth.

Apparantly I can stay here until December; there's a clause between the council and the housing association enabling me to so, the property owner was told. She urges me to move into a 2 bed in the private sector, she was told I'd get extra points.

When I told her I'd get extra points in July, she wouldn't believe me so I ended up having to say "I know more about this situation than you do." So she says it's better for my son. I tell her I can't afford the rent. She tells me that doesn't matter, I can't here, what's the difference.

What's the difference? I want to go back to work. High rents, risk of rent arrears, wasn't that another reason she didn't want us as private tenants????

"You refused a flat from the council three years ago!"
"Because of a BICYCLE," he interjects.
"Let's not go back there," she says.
"I need my bicycle, you've got no idea about my life," answering him. I'm getting seriously frustrated now and my eyes are beginning to prick. Not here, I'm telling myself. Not here, not with them here, those beautiful tears I've been desperate for.
"Well you're just going to have to decide what's more important," chips in the owner. "Your bicycle or a secure home for your child."
"You know NOTHING about my life," I shout. "Nothing about the pressures I'm under."
"You can't always get what you want and it's a very dangerous fire hazard here. You stupid girl!"
"I may be a girl but I am not stupid," I roar. "He is a boy but he is not stupid."
"How DARE YOU speak to her like that," says bully boy.
"Enough now," says the property owner. Too fucking right. I did end up just crying though, tears plopping on my son's head. I was SO angry.

Oh God, I've not even told you that when my son asked if we could light the candle he'd made at school bully boy told him "no" because "the whole flat will go up in flames." Wanker.
As they leave, my son asks if we can light the candles I've gotten from my room and he can't resist it can he? He can't resist his little parting shot.
"You won't need a whole box of matches, just striking one should be enough to set the place on fire."
"You tell your partner," I say to the property owner, "that I do not appreciate his sarcasm."

And with that, they were gone and I let my tears run hot.

I didn't touch the pizza that got delivered but my neighbour saved me. She put my food in her freezer and gave me Al Cohol. Lovely, lovely Al Cohol.

Bonnie, my flat is falling apart!!

Bonnie, a couple of weeks ago, you understood that I was falling apart. Bonnie, I didn't tell you the flat was too...

My curtain rail had broken but then two days after playing with you, well something happened to my front door!

I shut it a little too hard and the lock, which is embedded on a piece of wood within the old knackered frame, flew out! Now I lock the front door behind me but I can gently push it open for re-entry.

Luckily there's another lock on the door so I didn't call the property owner, who's partner had tried to sort out the crumbling frame a few months ago.

Then at the weekend, the electrics kept cutting out. The meter was fizzing again, quite literally, "giving off sparks"!

Monday afternoon the whole thing went off as my son was playing on the computer. The flat would have been thrown into pitch darkness had the clocks not gone forward Sunday! I'd hit another downer too so a bit of a coincidence really.

I thought it might be a powercut but my neighbours were fine.

I thought of you Bonnie, I did.

Oh electrician, electrician, it's all fallen apart, and I need you now tonight and I need you more than ever and you'll only be making things right, it won't ever go wrong....

Only I couldn't play your song.
Nor could I cook or reheat my son a meal.
All the handmade food in the freezer would melt.
And finally, finally, the dam burst and I cried.

I needed to cry Bonnie, so thank you xxx

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Who Am I?

I am who I am
Nothing more nothing less
Though I strive to be more
I've spent years being less

(I joined the procession at the Circus and picked up a Palm for my son.
My son, my sun, my son, you're coming home this evening!)

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Me, Myself and I!

I have to introduce you to QuiteSomething because her time in the online dating world is over.

I've bought her here because I don't want to kill her off.

Stigmum and QuiteSomething are not so different.

The State is Stigmum's symbolic husband.

The State is QuiteSomething's symbolic boyfriend.

Neither wants to see the eradication of the State. Stigmum needs it and QuiteSomething knows that many, many other people do too. It's very supportive to individuals when times get very hard. It's also very supportive of people who are better off offering free health care and education to all even the super rich.

Some people want to abolish the State. Stigmum and QuiteSomething cannot understand how they, these people, cannot understand the importance of it.

Conflict exists between these two though.

QuiteSomething likes what she does for the council.

Stigmum hates what the council is doing to her.

Stigmum won't write about what work QuiteSomething does because she doesn't want to scupper QuiteSomething's chances for employment in the future. QuiteSomething has to be trusted particularly if she is witness to sensitive information in the arena of children; where she is currently working.

Stigmum does use what QuiteSomething learns. Every Child Matters? Even then Stigmum doesn't talk about other children, only her own, only herself.

In the online dating world QuiteSomething rarely told people she and her son were statutory homeless and being evicted. She was light and fun and concealed what hurt her. She concealed that the State was her symbolic boyfriend too until she met men with open minds and she met quite a few of those, which is a relief!

If QuiteSomething wanted to talk about herself she could but I can't be a conduit for both of them. Not in blogland. I'm too busy!

I'm glad I've bought her here. I am a one woman army but I can't go through all this eviction bollocks on my own.

Stiggers, QuiteSomething and I want to leave this post with a song!

We are family!
Stigmum, QuiteSomething and me!
We are family
La la la la la la la la! (Sister Sledge featuring the Sisters!)

I am QuiteSomething!

Popped into the online dating world this morning to delete my profile. Interesting when I went in. 93 men had viewed my profile and not one had sent me an email! Not one!

This was my profile set next to quite a nice picture of me:

Why should you get to know QuiteSomething?

You might like to get to know me because I am 200 years old! I've been asleep for 100 years and I'm just waking up. Oh what happy dawn!
I'm quite beautiful, I'm quite brave, I'm quite barmy, I'm quite balmy, a true confectionary of quites! Quite Something you could say...
I'm not here for long, just long enough to launch myself out into this new decade! Will we meet here or elsewhere? Who knows!

She describes her ideal match thus:

My Knight in No Armour is my age or thereabouts and is laid back, confident and ready for all kinds of adventure with me! One day when I hope to reach 70 I want to be a 1000 year old relic still playing, having fun and chatting and laughing with this fellow soul about life's idiosyncracies. I'm no Princess, oh no, I'm much more than that. Nor am I for the faint hearted, for I don't have a feigned heart.

Time hopes to hide me!

Oh how will my Knight find me?

How will I find my Knight?

We who look upon one another and have our desires fed forever

You exist on the same soil as me...

Stuff of fairy tales perhaps..

They could read I was British and female, small, slim, "very" attractive and single. They knew I had children living with me, "maybe" would have more. I eat "most things", drink and smoke occasionally (I smoke everyday but not in chains). I'm a postgrad who can speak french, I'm spiritual but not religious.

Gracious, I said that I read books, magazines and newspapers, hinted at my interests in music and film. I said I like sport and animals and I'd love to go backpacking round the globe when I retire.

What's not to like in all that?!

I told them I was leaving, grab your chance!

Ninety three men and not one!

Their loss and my lucky escape I think!

It's time to leave, I've been there too long. Quite fussy? You have to be quite frankly!

Fresh pastures call to me! I'm going to see if the grass is greener in the world that I live in!


Friday, 26 March 2010

A Friday afternoon browse into Cyberspace

My goodness! I thought I'd go and have a look at what all the mums are up to and I got quite a shock.

Yesterday Rosie Scribble wrote a great post entitled: Are we mummy bloggers or are we something more? and today, on account of some angry responses she got, she's going to stop blogging.

A Modern Mother is "having a vent" (always good methinks) and had a link to a mumsrock page where mums are saying they don't want to be known as mummy bloggers!!

I was quite shocked so I commented:

Crikey! Is it mamma on mamma bashing? I wasn't born yesterday and know it goes on but it saddens me ya know, it does. My username obviously has the word 'mum' in it. I am one! I'm proud and lucky to be one! Millions of people have walked away from me at the mere mention of the word. That's why I think my username is so cool!! Dads will never get the same will they? 21st century and nothing's changed... Oh well, maybe people are just jealous that we are so amazing whether we stay at home, go to 'work' or whatever!!Mumsrock is also a very cool name!British Mummy Bloggers, Cybermummy, mumsnet, all cool with me! You get all sorts under the ma, mamma, mummy, mum tag and thank goodness for that.

I had no idea! Probably last time I'll get involved in a conversation about it though so that's why I posted my comment!

Maybe, and this random thought has just come up, I have no grudge about the 'mummy' label because society doesn't see me as one. Not rich enough, no husband, dunno. Judgements always come from whoever's doing the judging don't they?

Ah! Have I just articulated my own definition of what I think "society" thinks?! And what "society" would that be?!

I tell you, you learn stuff browsing on a Friday!

I am a Mummy
Me Mumme
Mum me

The perks of doing a journo course

My journalism course ended today. So sad! Still the opportunity is there now to contribute to the parents' website.

One major bonus for me is I met and befriended a woman there who wants to teach shorthand! I have always wanted to learn shorthand and she wants to start a career in teaching it. Result!

Only myself and one other parent is interested in it! She's really cheap too! (She actually said I didn't have to pay but I've insisted.. "start as you mean to go on" I told her)

Afterwards four of us went to a Turkish Cantina for a 'full breakfast' for £3.90 including tea or coffee (oh coffee, I miss you!!). I can never make my fried eggs look so perfect and on the plate with them were sausage slices, cucumber, tomato, olives and feta cheese!

So yes, a really lovely end to a really positive training experience!

Empty weekends

Last weekend my boy was with me. No playmates around for either of us. We had a good time though. Alice in Wonderland on Saturday, then Church Sunday morning. We'd planned the Science Museum for the afternoon but it was so sunny we went up to the heath where he taught me football skills.

It's quite a job tackling him these days and we were having a right laugh until a big brown labrador decided to join in and punctured his ball. Oh the tears, devastated that the birthday present my mate Charlie had given him was now destroyed.

To calm him down I told him I'd text Charlie and ask where he got the ball and how much it cost. He eventually cheered up and we went to the playground. I found a friend there but he played on his own, practicing gymnastic skills on the 'rings'.

This weekend is full of social kiddy events but he's not with me. I did ask his dad if I could keep him, the third weekend in a row, for a birthday party and a lunch with old uni mates and their kids on Sunday but but...

Maybe he would have let me have him but it's Easter Weekend the following one. Easter is really special to me and I want my boy with me. Ages ago the foca said I could have him then because "religion means nothing to me," something that was always fine with agnostic me. I was unwilling to trade it though, so when bloody annoying texts started coming in from him at 6.30 the following MORNING, well I wasn't about to get into a fight.

If we keep weekends one me, one him, I've worked out that my son will be with me on my birthday! Don't really want to mess with our arrangement until after that....

And the ball? Charlie bought round a new one on Wednesday! Wouldn't let me pay for it! How nice is that?!

My son my sun, I hope you have a lovely weekend this weekend. I'm sure you will. I'll be thinking of you!

Lots of love,

Your mamma xxxx

Thursday, 25 March 2010

"Mountains tremble and tear apart countries"

I get to Boot Camp and I tell the Master I'm not running today. "I need to conserve the little strength I've got and build on that."

"Go on, out you go, I want you with the group."

"I'm telling you I can't. I'm here though, I want to do the class. Can't I meditate or something?"

"If you want to meditate, you stay at home. Go on, outside."

"OK, how about a compromise and I run in here while they run outside?"

"Mountains don't compromise!"

"Maybe not but they tremble and shake and tear countries apart! You saw me the other week! I'm not being a victim honestly, the local rag's asked me to write a piece for them after the election and I'm not sleeping editing stuff in my head. My weakness is positive this time, I swear!'

"OK," and he puts on Edie Brickell and smiles as she sings I'm not aware of too many things, I know what I am if you know what I mean... and I smile back, give him the thumbs up and start jogging.

"Thanks Master! I knew you'd understand!"

I was a great class. We did the usual then he took us right back to the very basics. In pairs, in slow motion focused attention, we moved our arms, then gently relearnt the kicks, aiming the forward ones (as he was my partner, very close to the groin so had to be careful!), then roundhouse ones to the thigh then to the head (or as high as you can go in my case, my arm protecting my ear because he's not the Master for nought!)

We Mistresses sparred later, a metre apart from one another, no contact allowed. As an odd numbered class we rotated and when we got to the Master, we were allowed to make contact with him with our punches and kicks, if we could!

Doing this two weeks ago was frightening for me as I kept imagining the Mistresses as the big Iron system I'm caught in. Nothing like that today. I held my own! It was a real, well, comfort in these trying times!

I can do this you know. I can write a decent article, given I've been told to use my own voice. I can do it and hopefully, hopefully, I can take my son Home.

I should have more points

Winner of the 22nd Feb flat: 456 points waiting since 2009
Winner of the 8th March flat: 530 points waiting since 2010. Wow, two weeks on the list. Fucking hell.
Winner of the 15th March flat: 1171 points waiting since 2006
I've not won yet despite bidding: 351 points waiting since 2005

Now tell me this system is not flawed.

I bid on a block down the road. It's so utterly pointless but I'm back from boot camp and I feel rage rather than the usual wanting to top myself.

Mr Grey asks for MY support

I'm sitting outside Papier Mache Towers having a fag before grabbing Zat and going to Boot Camp when Mr Grey, chief of the resident's assoc rocks up.

"How are you?" he says cheerily, for indeed it has been some time since we ran into one another.

"Same same," I lie because I regret giving him my oh so honest letter of appeal which well, I'm still here aren't I?

He asks about my housing because he is alright really and asks who's the 'highest' person I've spoken to. I tell him.

"Nick Clegg!" he exclaims.

"Yeah." I'm so deadpan it's untrue. Don't tell him I was in the paper, don't tell him the paper's asked me to write something. "I hope something comes of it. I've been emailing allocations and quality back and forth back and forth. I'm really angry now."

"Yeah, I can tell. Where are you off to now?"

I'm dressed in my uniform. "My self defence class."

"Wow!" he exclaims, taking a step back.

"Yeah well, this situation's killing me. I have to get my strength from somewhere."

I go inside and get Zat from the shed. When I come back out he tells me he didn't see me at the last residents meeting and tells me there's one next month.

"I'm not going to come," I say. "No point, I'm being kicked out of here aren't I?"

"But it's going to be about regeneration. We might all lose our homes, you could come and say something."

"Like what??? I am losing my home. I have to focus on that at the moment."

"It might be soon, we're all going to be made homeless." Then he laughs and says: "You might actually be better off than us and get somewhere first!"

Something spikes my heart, I carry on, quite calmly: "I don't think so. You are in this system, I am outside it. You will get first dibs, not me."

"Yeah, maybe but come anyway." Like I'm his Great White Hope or something.

"My priority is to house my son. I have to think of him before I take care and support everyone else. Jesus, I can't even help my son, you know that. No my son is my priority. I have to go now. See you later."

And with that I cycle off thinking of the parents and old people in this block and how my property owner's plans to upgrade will be a total waste of money. I wonder if she'll get what she paid for the flat though, if I warn her not to do it and the council does indeed knock it all down.

Helping my son within all this carnage. It's absolutely impossible. But then that's what Alice (Alice, who the fuck is Alice?!) thought about slaying the Jabberwocky.

I am going to believe in the impossible too.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The picture my son has drawn

I picked my son up from after school club yesterday.

"Mummy, I've drawn you a picture. Guess where I am!"

He'd drawn a massive rainbow on a piece of white paper. Beneath it he is standing on a bridge with a pond beneath it.

"On a bridge!"

"No! In our garden!"

"Isn't that a pond and you're on the bridge?"

"Oh, yes!"

"Ah, that's lovely. We'll have to find somewhere to put it up when we get home."

This morning, just as we were leaving for school, he said:

"Do you know why you're not in the picture?"

"No, why?"

"Because you're inside checking your emails!"

Oh reader, oh reader! I had the vision from the inside of our home! In my vision he's at his dad's but you know, I think my son's interpretation is probably the right one! That's why I haven't cleared his toys away, he's with me!

Finger's crossed our shared dream comes true! I'm realistic enough to know that if/when we get a council permanent tenancy, it's unlikely to have a garden, but even if it's another tower, the rent will be cheaper than the private sector. All I'll have to is earn £3 million then I can buy his dream and mine - permanent tenancy with garden!

£3 million. Three million pounds. You read me right. That is how much I will have to earn.

In the Homes pullout that comes with the local rag, that is how much properties around here COST. Two bedroom places give you hardly any change from that sum.

Politicians and home owners want the housing market to rise again?


"I don't want to go to school today"

Oh how many parents have heard that battle cry from their children? Millions I don't doubt!

This morning though, I finally understood why my son says it (says it alot you see). He wants to stay home with me. In the past he's asked that I home school him and well, it's a tough job innit, educating kids, Sunday School's enough for me!

I've told him school's better than me though because his mates are there. He doesn't care, he tells me. I tell him in return that all work and no play is no fun at all and with me I'd make him work, work, work!

Did the trick, no more asking for home schooling! Still says he doesn't want to go though, as I've just mentioned.

So this morning, after breakfast, he says: "I'm going back to bed. I don't want to go to school today."

And I say: "OK then." Oh the wonder of an exhausted me! In the past I've said: "You've got to." In answer to the "why?" I've said it's "The Law". If that doesn't budge him I slowly lose my rag and have told him in the past that mother's get slung into jail if the kids play truant.

"I'll put your school clothes on my bed and run my bath. You can dressed now, or after I've had the bath."

"I told you, I'm not going to school today."

"You've got to."


"Well, [your class teacher] told me off the other day because I was late picking you up. Imagine you don't go in, I could get into real trouble, I could go to prison!"

"She told you off?"

"Yeah!" (which she didn't really. I was late again on Monday and she asked me if I could speak to him because he gets so anxious when I'm not there. I told you, didn't I, about his meltdown at assembly the other week when I was just five minutes late....My son loves his teacher. He was scared of her before during the summer holidays because she's very firm with the kids but now, now I think he'd do anything for her!)

My son laughed and I went into the bathroom. Five minutes later he came in wearing his trousers. "Could you really go to prison mummy?"


Now I don't agree with this policy AT ALL of flinging parents into prison because their kids run riot. Their children's behaviour, I believe, isn't always within their control.


I've heard some mums tell their children: "Wait until I tell your father." My own mother did this, it worked most of the time. The threat of the father is often enough, much to the dismay of thousands of mothers across the land.

I am a single mother.

The State is my symbolic husband. It made up this silly send the parents to prison policy which hopefully is never enforced these days. (Is it still a policy even? See, I don't even know!)

I'll let my son believe it for now though.

I'd be seriously out of pocket if I didn't. I bribe him, you see, to get him to go to church.

I never liked going as a kid either and my mum always gave us 10p afterwards to buy sweets. My son gets a pack of Match Attax for 50p. Same same given the years.

My son is not my carer.

My boy is not my buoy.

I am big enough and ugly enough to look after myself. I've told him that before.

"You're not ugly mummy, you're really pretty."

My son, my sun!

My son's not stupid

"Mummy, why have I got more food than you?" asked my son last night as we settled down to a meal of fishfingers, carrots and green beans.

"Well because I'm not so hungry and you're a growing boy!" I replied.

"You've got to take care of yourself the same amount as me," he admonished. "Otherwise I won't have a parent looking after me because you'll be very SICK."

It's not the first time he's said this. Another time I had less food than him because I hadn't gone to the shops and there was hardly anything left so self absorbed I'd been.

Nico Teen steals me away from him in times of high stress. I tidy up around him when those moments subside.

For him to be saying these things he must now recognise the rhythms and patterns of which there are many; being handed the possession notice just before Christmas was one of them, the Property Owner saying we couldn't stay here, oh lots of times. Mute Mother.

The first time he wailed: "You've got to take care of yourself otherwise you'll DIE."

I didn't get that last night, but still. This little fella worries about me and that's JUST NOT ON.

Last night though, last night, I said: "Hey, everything's fine, honestly. You know mummy was in the paper?"


"Well the paper has asked me to write a story about us. Mummy just wants to get it right, that's why she's thinking, thinking all the time, so much my stomach's shrunk. Usually I eat more than you but it's not that much less than you is it and YOU ARE GROWING!!"

My son laughed.

"It's something good. Honestly it is."

"OK. What are you going to say about me?"

"I don't know yet, that's why I'm thinking! Maybe something about your school."

And then he changed the subject and I can't remember for the life of me what that was, possibly because I'm trying too hard to remember right now.

He's great like that my son, he doesn't hang on to things like me. Maybe it's a quality he gets from his dad.

The need for an honest answer is something he gets from me.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


Lease End has just called, asking if I read the email the Director of Housing Needs sent me last week.

"Er.... Yes! Didn't you receive the reply I sent?"

He did and he talked to me about this new option; being given a two bedroom flat with my current Landlord.

I told him I didn't want to commit to anything except a permanent tenancy. "There's four months to go for me to try and fight for one for my son."

He asked what I thought about it anyway. I said if I were childless, brilliant! "When I was childless finding somewhere to rent was so hard; flatshares where they'd look you up and down in the interview then go for someone 'cooler'. Oh you know, you've been there."


"I have a child though. With children it's impossible, I know. If you're a family with children and you keep getting evicted, you need security. The council says we're not exceptional but show me another child who has been handed notice by his father, then evicted by a religious organisation, then evicted by the housing association the council has got to care for him. Mammoth whammy, something can be done so we finally get a permanent tenancy now."

I was very calm, possibly because I'm chain exhaling.

He said he'd talk to the Director of Housing Needs. Great.

Support worker rang earlier too saying the Libdem Leader's Pal was talking to 'operations' because mine wasn't a 'support' need. "Who are they?" I asked. "Allocation's managers," he said. That, oh reader, is the furthest anyone has gone before on a personal mission.

If I hadn't pitched the national, I would be hoping, praying but in that desperate way.

As it is I'm calm.

Calm before a storm?

I shall cling to the sides of my rusty boat and hope for the best.

Exhale, Exhale, now go to the heath and commune with the ducks before you pick up the lad from school

Sure stiggers, thanks x

Now forget about it....

My heart is in my throat.

Exhale Nico Teen exhale

I have just sent a pitch to a national newspaper.

Exhale Nico Teen exhale

I won't tell you whether or not I get the gig for either way you'll know.

Exhale Nico Teen exhale

It's only for four weeks.

Exhale Nico Teen exhale

If they take it I hope my son will be alright.

Exhale Nico Teen exhale

My son my sun my son my sun

Exhale Nico Teen exhale

I want to take you Home

Exhale Nico Teen exhale

Tell us! say Tories

Another flyer I found amongst all the take away flyers and stuff by my door is a 19 question survey from the Tories.

I won't tell you them all because a few questions have put me off.

1. Should extra housing points be given to enable living close to a relative who provides childcare?

Now, help me out here reader. Is this encouraging teenage girls in over crowded households to get pregnant?

3. [Your 'hood] needs more affordable housing for the children of local families. Do you agree?

18 year old children or 7 year old children? Be a bit clearer please.

8. Residents in [Your 'hood] should be rewarded for keeping their property clean and tidy. Do you agree?

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH. Is this inside the property? How Clean Is Your House Big Brother style? Can we have no private space? Still, what's the reward? More storage? A new mattress to replace the current jutting out springs one? A week's supply of chocolate?


Labour on the doorstep

"Mummy! There's a man at the door!" said my son on Saturday morning while I was preparing lunch.

He was young (am I getting that old?), slim and cheery faced. He handed me a flyer.


"Hang on a minute," I say to the man and zoom quick as a flash into my living room to get the Tory flyer.

"Look, they say it's Labour's idea. What did they expect? But I like that..."

Half way down the 'article' in bold red, it states:

"Camden Labour will halt the sell offs if we win control of the council from the Tories and Libdems in May."

The man's eyes glisten, in the same way mine used to when I was canvassing for the I Don't Know Party and people would say it was a great idea.

The I Don't Know Party likes Labour's pledge. Not only a proper 'what we will do' but obviously a proper 'what we will do' about something close to my own heart.

There's also a lot more information on this flyer, for example the coalition cutting Camden's UK Online Centres (where I would go if I wasn't fortunate enough to have access at home... bidding is done every week online remember, it's not just the elderly and unemployed who need it) Apparantly, according to this, the coalition cut internet access to community groups in order to pay bonuses to senior council officers. No surprise really, if that's true. (You can tell I skim newspapers...)

Oh loads more info. Aswell as auctioning off stock the coalition has:
Closed children's playschemes and youth clubs (all tomorrow's children and they are worried about the rise in crime now....)

Hiked meals on wheels charges for the elderly by 20%
Slashed funding for advice services for vulnerable people (good old citizen's advice bureau going was so good to me when I needed it regarding tax credit confusion carnage)
Privatising caretaking services on estates, resutling in less frequent cleaning and fewer caretakers (I miss you Good Carpenter, I hope you're well)
Hiked permission to park notices to £33, a rise of nearly 300%
Sure Start Centres for children and families - the Tories will slash funding by £200m, closing 3 Camden Centres (When we were being evicted the last time Sure Start quite honestly, hand on heart, saved my son from my dark, mute, depressive episodes. I experienced the best of it, I think. The next Government must put funding back into it)

In terms of local election flyers Labour is seducing me, I have to say.

Another thing I like about Labour's flyer over the Tory one is that where the Tories ask for my name, address, phone, email, Labour asks for all that and leaves two lines asking: "Please let us know about any problems or issues in your area:

Nice! If I don't get round to sending it in, I'll write a personal letter to Dobbie. The man on the door said he was my MP now. Writing to him would be going back full circle!!

One last thing I like about this flyer that is omitted from the Tory one, is at the bottom of its local survey it says:

At the next General Election, which party do you think you will support?

There is a little box for the four main ones (Green being the fourth) and a box at the end for "undecided".

Oh, if only that box said "Don't Know". Imagine I'd had the resources and the money to launch my I Don't Know Party! Those who still, like me, are undecided, have a box to tick instead of abstaining on polling day.

Ah well, let's hope my boy and I are properly housed by May.

Tory propoganda?

At the weekend, a Tory election leaflet slipped through my letter box. I skimmed it, because there is only one thing I am interested in the elections, and there on the back:

Housing. The Facts (I'm gonna give you these facts with my comments if applicable)
  • 1998 - 2006 Labour Councillors sell off 5000 council homes (doesn't state if these are Right To Buy or back handers to rich friends. I shall endeavour to find out)
  • 2001 Labour law forces Camden to make its homes 'decent' by 2010 (well yes, have you seen the state of some of them?)
  • 2004 Camden Council tenants vote against ALMO (quite right, this is privatising council flats... bounce bounce bounce the children a fear for many, never mind rising costs)
  • 2005 The Labour Government punishes them by refusing the £284m 'decent homes' money (Yup, blackmail of this nature is 21st century treachery)
  • 2006 Lib-Dems take over Camden's Housing, of which 70% are still not 'decent' (what are you saying here? That Labour reneged on it's promise or that the job is a fecking big one?)
  • 2007 Survey reveals true 'decent homes' cost to be £413m (who commissioned the survey? Who are the contractors? Some people know this)
  • 2008 [Local] Conservative Councillor lobbies Labour MP for the money (and?)
  • 2006 - 2010 Libdems sell of 102 of worst condition homes to raise 'decent homes' money (most of which are much sought after street properties. Flats in towers wouldn't raise as much. Funny that....)
  • Labour law forces Camden to sell its homes to property developers (and who would you sell them to Tories?)
  • The last Conservative Government built 46,000 social homes each year (those facts would have to be checked, I understood that they stopped after Thatcher introduced the Right To Buy)
  • This Labour Government has built only 17,000 each year (if you say so, but again would have to be checked. Lots of people know more about housing than me)

The I Don't Know Party wishes to know what a Tory Government will do about housing. What a Tory led coalition will do here in Camden. Halt the sale of council flats? Most councillors I've spoken to agree with it....

Why did you leave that out Tories, in your manifesto?

Monday, 22 March 2010

Alice, Alice, who the fuck is Alice?

I took my son to see Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland on Saturday.

Alice the child has grown into a 19 year old woman and once again follows the rabbit and falls into a hole following a marriage proposal which she is encouraged to accept.

She believes she is dreaming and revisiting characters of past night time imaginings and soon discovers her task is to fight the Jabberwocky, a dragon like creature owned by the Red Queen who terrorises the now barren kingdom of Underworld.

I loved this coming of age adventure. I'm no expert on visuals but these larger than life characters did spring out of the 3d screen for me!

My son enjoyed it but mid way clung onto me saying: "Mummy, I'm scared!"

I later asked him what had frightened him and he said: "That Alice would die."

I asked him who his favourite character was:

"The dormouse."
"The dormouse?! Why?"
"The Red Queen."
"The Red Queen?? Why?"
"Because she's violent."
"Because she's violent? Not because she has a huge head?"
"I liked the Hatter too. He was funny."
"Yes, I liked the Hatter aswell!

Johnny Depp is great as the Hatter as is Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen. Matt Lucas as Tweedledum and Tweedledee gives a comic performance, all old characters are renewed and refreshed. Thumbs up from me definitely.

I also have to say that the lessons that can be drawn from it were quite timely for me.

Alice, suffering a bereavement, has lost her 'muchness'. I lost my 'muchness,' ooh, around the age of 16 and am now 200 flipping years old for flips sake and still haven't got it back.

I have to find my 'muchness' now. I have to house my son. I have to fight to house my son securely. I have to win the fecking fight once and for all.

I have a chance to try and help our situation. It could help us, it could harm us but I have to be brave enough to use myself and accept the risks of doing so.

Feck feckity feck.

Nice quote from the Hatter though:

"There is a place, like no place on earth. A land full of wonder, mystery and danger. Some say to survive it you need to be as mad as a hatter, which I am."

Yes, so am I. I'll pitch a national paper this week. If they say no, no loss. If they say yes.... Well, I'll have to take my queue from Alice....

Alice, Alice, who the fuck is Alice?! (Stigger's finds Smokie's song quite catchy..)

Stiggers, Stiggers, who the fuck is Stiggers?!

I met the editor of the local paper on Friday afternoon. I'd emailed him earlier in the week saying thank you for not publishing the letter I'd sent in then in brackets telling him I'd have thanked him if he had published it - such letters could heal or harm my situation and needed outside judgement.

I asked him how he felt meeting me again. Not sure why, what with no news to report, guess I just like him and anyway, no news is news in a situation like mine.

He said how did Friday sound. I said Friday sounded good.

We went to a cafe where I told him I'd enjoyed the last three issues of his rag. In each there was a political profile; of the Labour contender, the Libdem contender and the Tory contender for the borough elections.

"I've met all three!" I said laughing (laughing?) "I can't say none of them have been successful in helping me because it's with the Libdem's now!"

We were having a good ol' yackety yarn when he suddenly asks me if I want to write a First Person piece for the paper.

"Eh?!" (Surprises always stun me)

"In late May, after the election," he continued.

"Oh gosh, oh well, yes, I guess I could if you want. Gosh, erm..."

He asked me to think about using my own name for it, think about allowing my picture to be taken.

"Oh got to be brave, got to be brave..."

"We'll pay you something for it, we're not going to exploit you," he smiled.

"Oh crikey, oh if you want.." Really stunned by that one but didn't tell him no, it'll upend my benefits. Not telling you no either... I'll cross that financial carnage bridge when I get to it... It would be nice to be paid after all.

I told him I had the germ of an idea to write a piece about the elections, for the nationals, but wasn't sure.

"Great idea," he said and then said if they didn't take it, he would!


You know, I don't know if I thanked him; I certainly didn't pump his hand and gush. Perhaps it was fear. Perhaps it was fear and desire intermingled. Perhaps it was the clash of my positive and negative self given something good to hang on to and my not knowing how to make sense of it now this opportunity was in my hand.

All I know is that me and the ed left on good terms and when Issy called me Saturday and asked 'what's up?' and I told her the local rag had asked me to write a First Person piece, she said: "That's brilliant! That's awesome! I'm so happy for you!"

Sunday afternoon I meet Japanese Mum (who I hadn't told I was in the paper last month, mostly because I rarely run into her) who said: "That's great! That's rearry briyyant!"

Three people therefore believe I am up to this. Stigger's believes I am up to this too. Stiggers is actually relishing the challenge.

Me? I feel like I'm facing the Jabberwocky. Fecking terrified is an understatement. Can I rise up to the challenge?

Well, if Alice can and she's only 19, then for flips sake, I ought to be able to aswell.

"Alice, Alice, who the fuck is Alice?" Stiggers is asking with Smokie's rasp.

"Stiggers, Stiggers, who the fuck is Stiggers?" (Because I really am beginning to wonder)

"You, you big baffoon."

"Holy Shit."

"Shit means good in youth slang you know"

"Shit Shit Shit!"

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Love song to the State's housing division

(Turnaround) Every now and then I get a little bit lonely and you're never coming around
(Turnaround) Every now and then I get a little bit tired of listening to the sound of your crap
(Turnaround) Every now and then I get a little bit nervous that the best of all my years have gone by
(Turnaround) Every now and then I get a little bit terrified and then I see no care in your eyes

(Turnaround my State) Every now and then I fall apart
(Turnaround my state) Every now and then I fall apart

And I need you now tonight
And I need you more than ever
And if you'll only give me a flat
I’ll shout you're great forever
And you’ll only be making it right
Cause you’ll help me and my son
Together you can take us to the top of the line
Your policies a shadow on me all of the time
I don't know what to do and I'm always in the dark
I’m living in a Papier Tower giving off sparks
I really need you tonight
Forever's gotta start tonight
Forever's gotta start tonight

Once upon a time I was falling in love but now I'm only falling apart
There's nothing I can do
A total eclipse of the heart
Once upon a time there was light in my life
But now there's only hope in the dark
Nothing I can say
A total eclipse of the heart

(instrumental - very handy for a little puff on Nico Teen before hollering lungs out again)

(Turn around my State) Every now and then I fall apart
(Turn around my State) Every now and then I fall apart
And I need you now you know that
And I need you more than ever
And if you'll only give me a flat
I’ll shout you're great forever
And you’ll only be making it right
Cause you’ll help me and my boy
together you can take us to the top of the line
Your policies a shadow on me all of the time
I don't know what to do and I'm always in the dark
I’m living in a Papier Tower giving off sparks

I really need you tonight
Forever's gotta start tonight
Forever's gotta start tonight

Once upon a time I was falling in love
But now I'm only falling apart
There's nothing I can say
A total eclipse of the heart
A total eclipse of the heart
A total eclipse of the heart

Turn around State Eyes, see what ya doin'

(Stiggers has annihilated Bonnie Tyler's fab song.
I did it to cheer you up, says stiggers
Oh, ok, play it again honey!)

They say I'll have no success bidding

In the email I received an hour or so ago, the Director of Housing Needs told me to keep bidding:

"I would advise you to continue bidding frequently and flexibly. However, it is almost certain that you will not be successful before August 2010."

Doesn't that tell you, oh reader, that there is no point to my bidding? That it is a pointless exercise? One which frequently depresses me but to not do it signifies I am not interested? ("They look to see if you're bidding," said support worker a long time ago).


It doesn't yet say who the winners were on the last two I bid on, but the two before that:

456 points waiting since 2009
286 points waiting since 2008.

I need 540 to get a flat she says?

Others don't have that.

I bid on two, for what it's worth.

I am a robot. It is what I am programmed to do programmed to do programmed to do pro pro pro pro pro

Motherboard's fucked up again.......

My replies come from my heart

"Don't try to be, just be" (The Zen Master)
Don't think about doing things, just do it. (Stigmum)

Dear [Director of Housing Needs],

Thank you for your letter. It is news to me that we may be offered another property with Pathmeads. I do not know what this news means for my child except of course that he will continue to be bounced around. Will his education be affected? Will he be torn away from this community which is his home, where he has after school activities, where he has friends?

Am I the only person who cares about the welfare of my child?

You say I need 540 points for a secure tenancy. A vast number are housed with less than that. This vast number have been waiting less time than us yet have more points. Many are housed with less points than us who have been waiting less time. I'm told to bid, I'm told not to bid, indeed, your letter says that I will be unsuccessful even if I do bid, which of course is something that I have been programmed to do for six years now.

Why have we fallen so far down the list? Is it because I turned down a property three years ago. Under this Choice Based Lettings Scheme I have not been shortlisted to view a property since. The council knows my reasons for turning down this property which 25 other families turned down before me, for their own reasons. I still do not know why I went from being 5th on the list to 200th. I'm still well over 100th now.

What is "time waiting" all about if people who have waited less time than us are given a secure tenancy?

I have said time and again that this will be my seven year old son's fourth home. The council is saying it won't be his last. It will continue to force us from property to property to property. How is this good for my child? If I can barely cope with it myself, how is this too, good for my child?

More can be done to help us. We are being evicted. We can be placed in a higher banding. We can be given extra points for insecure housing.

I have to ask again: Am I the only person who cares for the welfare of my child?

If Every Child Matters, why doesn't mine?

He is entitled to a secure home isn't he?

You are the Head of Housing Needs. My son and I have a housing need. [Director of Housing] is Director of Adult Social Care. My son needs me.

Thanks again for your email. I am aware that many people are cc'd to it. I hope everyone can work towards a positive outcome for my child.

Kind regards

Sue de Nim

(Cc'd were Allocations, Head Honcho's PA, Libdem Councillor, Lease End and two others I haven't the foggiest who they are or what they do. Lease End called while I was in Boot Camp, I haven't returned the call yet, the thought depresses me because it's not the news I want to hear)

"Don't try to be, just be"

So good to have the Master back.

No slacking off the run! No rest between the kicking exercises! I managed it all though, well done me!

Later we did this 'pushing' exercise. They were doing this the day of body quake so the Master re-explained the rules.

We sit back to back and try to push our partner off the mat without standing up.

"Oh I don't like this!" I said to the Master after the 4th Mistress I rotated to had effortlessly oofed me off the side. Fortunately the 5th and last Mistress is my height and weight and I succeeded in oofing her off the side. Master called time after that, which was very lucky for me who is constantly losing in my outside life. Can't lose in Boot Camp too!!

Next was the martial art rolly polly; a forward roll where your head doesn't touch the mat. The Master made it look so effortless rolling in a run of three, always landing on his knee ready for the next roll.

"Don't try to be, just be," he said to the few of us struggling, rolling this way, that way but not centrally. "Your body knows what to do, follow it."

I felt so dizzy I saw stars, at one point so sick I had to sit out and silently burp up the nausea.

It made me think of my life.

In my outside life, I "try to be". When I "try to be" I put a smile on my made up face and tell people life's fine. I can do it in short bursts of say half an hour, sometimes even more. Talk of housing and the whole facade collapses.

Here at home I am. People realise all is not well when they come here because I am drowning in my own literal mess, not knowing how to get out of it, feeling more and more overwhelmed and well, unhappy.

I don't invite people round here. I let them see who I "try to be", let them think that's who "I am".

One day I won't "try to be," I'll "just be" what I spend my time "trying to be".

Came home to an email from the council didn't I?

"We're not giving you a council flat, we're going to bounce you around," was the jist.

Going back to Boot Camp next week. Even if I feel I'm losing there, I'm not; my body and my mind is being given the strength that it needs to keep going.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

You can tell alot from somebody on the 2nd date....

The first time I met MakeHay was the eve of St Valentine's.

We had dinner, we went dancing, we stopped at Bar Italia for a coffee afterwards. It was a great night!

The second time I met MakeHay was a couple of weeks ago.

He took me to a very noisy film and I erm, fell asleep!

Apparently I snore...

Oh hit me with your rhythm stick, go on hit me, hit me (that's you Ian Dury by the way)

No Paddy on St Patricks Day

I met old, yes old, Paddy outside Sainsbury's and we went to Quinn's for an Irish pint (although I had a Czech bottle)

"Really, can't you remember me?" he said.

"No, sorry, I was with friends that night, not looking for anyone or anything. I don't know even why I'd give you my number. Are you sure we were outside?"

"Yes, I told you I'd remember it and well, women always give the wrong number and I thought you would have done."

The penny then dropped for me. I didn't have thick beer goggles on that night outside the Jam House but I did have thick assumption layers on. He'd said he'd remember my number and well, I didn't believe him so gave it.

My landline, not my mobile. He's been calling me during the day. I've been in every time.

He was a friendly guy, very honest. We chatted about travelling mostly. He cut a lonesome figure though. My friend is Nico Teen, his is Al Cohol.

A match made in heaven you might think.

I did fancy another beer but I didn't fancy him so I came home.

What can I say? Not the craic I hoped it would be? boom boom...

The Blind Hope

The PA to Camden Council's Chief Exec, Camden's Head Honcho, Camden's Top of the Top has sent me an email saying my missive is being directed to the Director of Housing and Social Care. I will receive a reply directly from that department and Camden's Chief Exec, Camden's Head Honcho, Camden's Top of the Top has asked to be copied in the response.

I replied thanking her but knowing what response I will get have written:

Should the response [Director of Housing and Social Care] receives be one I have heard 1000 times, the private sector or a hostel because our points are not high enough, I ask that [Camden's Chief Exec, Camden's Head Honcho, Camden's Top of the Top], with all her experience of safeguarding children, ask the council to reconsider what it is doing to this small family, this seven year old boy. Three times we have been handed notice to leave our home in the past six years. That is enough don't you think?

It is better my hope be blind for this one because if I look into it too much, well, I'd rather not think about what will happen if I look into it too much...

Que sera sera sera sera I am grateful I got a reply so quickly que sera sera sera.

The Blind Date

In a couple of hours I'm going to meet a man for a St Patrick's Day drink.

I met him outside the Jam House in Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago. It would seem I wrote my telephone number on the back of his tourist map.

Yesterday, when he called to arrange our date I had to be honest and tell him I had no idea what he looked like!

You see, I don't remember meeting him!

I wasn't drunk that night, I was happily dancing to 70's hits with Scotland's Only Son.

What I do remember about the end of the evening was My Mate Charlie asking a group of girls if they knew who Scotland's Only Son was.

"Is he a footballer? Is he a footballer?" they shrieked.

They lost interest and walked away when they found out he wasn't.

That is what I remember from my moments outside the Jam House.

I am now hoping that if I was wearing super strength beer goggles at the time after all, my date turns out to be a nice guy.

If I do mention him again, I'll call him Paddy.

I wish you all a very happy St Patrick's Day!

(Question to self. Should you go on a date if you are not currently on the market for a boyfriend?)

The Blind Side

Very fortunate was I to be able to go and see this film. Thanks notSupermum and thanks

What I didn't realise before going to see The Blindside is that it is a true story. This is perhaps what makes this award winning film even more extraordinary than it otherwise could have been.

Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) is an enormous young African American man with learning difficulties who has been bounced around from foster home to foster home all his life.

His friend's father manages to get him enrolled in a prestigious Christian school based on his athletic abilities. With no home to go to, it's a chance meeting with Leigh Anne Tuohy (Oscar winning Sandra Bullock) one night as he's walking aimlessly in the cold that changes the course of his life. It certainly changes the course of hers, for her thoughts, rather than Oher's, dominates the film.

Leigh Anne and her husband Sean (Tim McGraw) invite Mike to stay the night and when in the morning, he has gone, having folded up his bed sheets so neatly, they go after him and invite him to their Thanksgiving Celebrations and then to become a member of their family.

Bullock is great as the strong willed, ball breaking, compassionate mother who succeeds in getting her family to accept Big Mike and her wealthy friends to open their non liberal eyes a little to the wider society they live in. Kathy Bates is brilliant as the tutor Miss Sue, who's bought in to get Mike's grades up to university acceptance levels.

This is a feel good, glossy film. The 'blindside' is an American Football term but could just as easily refer to the subtle societal and racial divisions, the prejudice and cynicism of certain individuals, that underlie but certainly do not engulf John Lee Hancock's direction.

More of Mike's past would've been good but how do you navigate so much in so little time? Go see, go see! Tis good, tis good!

(Right, and now stiggers I shall take your take on it and clean it up to see if the journo course people will take it for their website!)


A ridiculous idea I am thinking, to give up coffee for Lent.

I miss it, oh I do!

It's strong, invisible, course aroma engulfing my senses.

It's dark, bitter nectar sliding down my throat.

All because I saw as a sign, the disappearance of that essential part of my stove top coffee maker.

All because I thought the double shot fuelled my body quake.

Only two more weeks and I can taste it once again.

Nicoteen will be pleased to be reunited with its pungent pal.

Yes reader, I've made no sacrifice.

(The cash saved will go to Cafod. Back when the priest urged us to give up something, well I just couldn't think what!)

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Tapping 'Send' is so easy

I've just email 'Send' 'Tap' to Camden Council's Chief Exec. Camden's Head Honcho. Camden's Top of the Top.

Wrote it yesterday, kept awake last night with 'don't send it, pointless' and I did want to follow this wisdom. I did. Really I did.

'Send' 'Tap'

Well, the worst that can happen is that fuck all happens.

In other words, I have nothing to lose that I haven't lost already.

Apart from my son of course but Camden Council's Chief Exec, Camden's Head Honcho, Camden's Top of the Top is BIG on Safeguarding Children.

'Send' 'Tap'

Visit to the doctor No 6

"How are things?"

Same same oh my son my sun my son my sun my son....

"Should we look at getting him a psychologist?"

Aaaaaargh. Aaaaargh. Aaaaargh. Aaaaaaaargh. Council council me me me council council my son my sun my son council aaaaargh me my son my sun oh my son.

"We'll sort you out first."

Monday, 15 March 2010

Monday Monday - a song

Bah dah bah dah dah dah
Bah dah bah dah dah dah

Monday blue sky, so good to me,
Monday morning, it was all I hoped it would be
Oh Monday morning, Monday morning couldn't guarantee
That Monday evening happy thoughts be here with me.

Monday Monday, can't trust that day,
Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be
Oh Monday Monday, how could you come and not kiss me?

Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is siiiiiiiiiiiimilaar
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin' all of the time.

Monday Monday, once good to me,
Monday morning, it was all I hoped it would be
but Monday morning, Monday morning always guarantees
That Monday evening weighty stuff is here with me.

Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is siiiiiiiimilaar,
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin' all of the time.

Monday Monday, bah dah bah dah dah dah
can’t trust that day, bah dah bah dah dah dah
Monday Monday, bah dah bah dah dah dah
it just turns out that way, bah dah bah dah dah dah
WoooOh Monday Monday.......

(The Mamas & The Papas featuring Stigmum)

Conspiracy theories

I've sent my support worker a few texts since last week. No reply which is unusual for him.

Libdem Leader's Pal said he'd call me after he spoke to him. No voice from him either.

Am I part of a conspiracy?

"Let's not house Sue de Nim."

Her son?

"Well, he hardly matters according to Government directives."

London Open Gymnastics Championships

Scotlands Only Son invited me and my boy to London's Open Gymnastics Championships on Saturday afternoon.

The best of Britain's talent on the Floor, the Rings, the Parellel Bars, the High Bar, the Vault, the Pommel Horse.

Absolutely incredible. I am still agog at their strength, their stamina and their skill two days on.

Go Britain in the Olympics!!! You are winners, all of you!

Mother's Day

I was woken up with a cup of tea
A love heart card he made for me
The afternoon with Jo and J
What a lovely Mother's Day!

Friday, 12 March 2010

The Wake

Last night I went to a redundancy party. My old magazine's sister (mother? baby?) publication has closed down. No more this first rate communications title.

When I first mentioned this to you, following my breakthrough/breakdown, I had a complete sense of humour failure. In her invitation email Anne had called the evening a Wake, not a redundancy party.

A Wake! Good name! I had just gone through what I thought might be my 'rebirth'. A Wake for my old self! With my old pals! That would have been the joke had I not had my complete sense of humour failure. (No, I'm not laughing either, possibly due to the hangover)

So yes anyway, last night, my neighbour kindly, kindly babysat for me so I could go on this rare week day treat.

Great to see familiar faces of days gone by. Great catching up with what everyone was up to.

A Wake for my old self?

Sadly not. I got as pissed as a fart.

(Wonderful expression that. One day I shall endeavour to find out where it comes from.)

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Really Freaky!!

The other week when I went to meet the Libdem Leader's Pal, I wrote a four page review of my situation. I couldn't print it out because, to all intents and purposes, the printer was broken; the cartridges wouldn't centralise in the machine. In the end I emailed it to him.

Now, I've just been to notSupermum's blog (cos I like her!) and she wrote that there were free tickets to go and see The Blindside next week.

I thought I'd give it a go and......

The printer is miraculously working again!! I've got my free ticket!!!

Must pop over and thank her!! Thank her mucho very mucho!! Thank her very very mucho indeed!!

(and hope cinema accepts the print out. The ink's run so low you can hardly see it but I might be ok!)

(and also as I type this, another bloomin' power cut, so will sit and wait patiently or this post will be lost! Possibly shouldn't have labelled this Really Freaky but damn lucky I got the ticket before the internet went down on me!)

Taking my eye off my son

My son had a major meltdown at his school assembly yesterday because I was five minutes late.

Because I wasn't there when he had to say his line, he refused to say it, Lucky's daughter saying it for him.

When I arrived he came up to me and cried and cried and cried.

"I want you mummy, don't leave me mummy, take me home mummy."

He didn't want to go back into the playground, didn't want to go back into class, didn't want me to go to the school association meeting later on. Major Meltdown I tell you.

"It's been a hard week for him," said his class teacher, whose support I needed because my son was clinging onto me like a baby chimp.

A hard week yes. His dad bought him home late on Sunday and unfed so by the time I cooked my son a meal it was way late and he was shattered Monday when I picked him up from school (a text row followed that with the Foca telling me I was 'playing a blame game' and me telling him 'I don't have time for that.')

My son hadn't wanted to come home to me. "I wanted to stay with daddy," he said Sunday night. Ouch... "I know, all this is very hard for you. In an ideal world what would happen?" "In an ideal world you'd be together mummy."

I was five minutes late to assembly but last week I didn't turn up to the Open Day at all. An afternoon to look at all his work, I hadn't written it down on the calender and slept through the appointment.

He didn't think I'd come, that's why he clung. Neither parent was there, that's where the tears came from.

He would have refused to go to Beavers had I not said I was helper outer that evening.

All better for now, we've talked.

I bashed out the guilt at Boot Camp.

I've got to get with the programme. I can deal with the pressure from the council and be a mother to my child.

I can I can I can I can I can I can I can I can I can I can I MUST.

Bingo Wings and Butt Cheeks

The Zen Master wasn't at Boot Camp today. An unforeseen emergency cropped up I'm told. I'm wondering if this was lucky for me as last week I was too weak to go and this week too weak to stay at home and do nothing.

With little energy the class can be quite punishing but no pain no gain, as they say.

The class was fairly punishing today; Mistress Ha Ha really cracking the whip but with the Master's absence Mistress Slacker (that's me) could duck out of the running which was a mighty relief I can tell you (thanks there goes to the man who took my son to school the morning I went to Edinburgh... I was wheezing quite badly when I saw him so caught my breath chatting to him, something I wouldn't have dared to do if the Master was teaching us).

We did warm up exercises, stretching.. arms (Bingo Wings), the killer leg ones (Butt Cheeks). 120 press ups, 120 sit ups, the Plank and variations, booted the pads, punched the pads. She cracked the whip that Mistress I'm tellin' ya!

A great re-entry for me but I do hope the Master is back next week. He strenghtens my mind as well as strengthens my body. My mind needs strengthening, my body will follow.

He really is the best teacher I know.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Punch That Judy

Facebook chat with me old biscuit Gem this morning. She asked how our housing situ was going and I recounted recent events.

"So is Mr Clegg going to solve all your problems as part of his election campaign?" she asked.

"He better!" I said with bravado.

I told her that when I met the Libdem Leader's pal a couple of weeks ago, I'd told him Clegg was "God sent".

"No he wasn't," said Libdem Leader's Pal.

"Oh yes he was!" said the stigmum.

"A right old pantomime!" I continued. "I hope everything gets resolved though by the time the curtain drops!"

We all know how it goes though don't we.....

"That's the way to do it!" says Punch wielding his political stick.

I am Judy; have mercy....

Or am I Punch?


The Boxer - a song

I am just a stigmum
Though my story's seldom told
I have squandered my resistance
For a pocket full of emails such are promises
All lies and jests
Still a mum hears what she wants to hear
And disregards the rest

When I left my home and my family
I was no more than a girl
In the company of strangers
In the quiet of the railway station running scared
Laying low, seeking out the richer countries
Where some ragged people go
Looking for the places only dreams would know

La la li ...

Asking only whatever wages
I come looking for a job
But I get no offers,
Just a come-on from the men along the boulevard
I do declare, there were times when I was so lonesome
I thought of comfort there

La la la la ...

Now the years are rolling by me, they are rockin' even me
I am older than I once was, and younger than I'll be, that's not unusual
No it isn't strange, after changes upon changes, I am more or less the same
After changes with my son I am the same ...

La la li....

Now I'm laying out my winter clothes
And wishing I was gone
Going Home
Where the system I am caught in is not bleeding me
Bleeding me, going Home

In the clearing stands a stigmum
And a fighter by her trade
And she carries the reminders
Of ev'ry glove that layed her down
Or cut her till she cried out
In her anger and her shame
"I am leaving, I am leaving"
But the fighter still remains ooh ooh ooh oooh

(Simon & Garfunkel featuring Stigmum The Boxer)

Having the mind to so some things and not others

I called the Libdem Leader's pal last night unable to contain my curiosity as to the progress with mine and my son's lives.

He hadn't called my support worker yet but he would he said.

In a desperate trade I said I'd vote Libdem if we got housed before the election.

He told me not to think of the elections. I can't help myself though.

This morning I sent support worker a text saying Libdem Leader's pal was going to call him. Crikey you can smell the desperation on that little missive:

Please be on mine & [my son's] side. Say in your dreams u'd fast track us. Hope you're ok, sue

I hope he does say he'd fast track us, hope he does act on our behalf. I hope this gets sorted once and for all.

I didn't, I haven't sent the Tory an email. Maybe because I sense he's not on our side.

Funny thought this morning though that I should. Not only that, I should go back to my MP. That way I'd have ALL THREE parties putting in a call to Allocations on our behalf.

It would be funny wouldn't it? Only this isn't a game, this is two people's lives.

I'm putting all my remaining eggs in the Libdem basket because the few I had before got smashed in the others'.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

There is No backchat

I stomped up to the Heath this morning with a heavy heart, wrote my song to lighten it, then support worker texted to ask if 2pm this afternoon was ok.

It was funny because I'd forgotten I was meeting him but was thinking of him nonetheless. It was thinking of my housing troubles that gave me a heavy heart after such a lucky weekend.

My support worker has heard nothing, so he said to me.

Not heard from the Tory since the four way meeting, not heard from the Libdem Leader's Pal, heard no whispers from Allocations, didn't seem to know anything about my being in the paper.

Is there no backchat about mine and my son's situation? Or is there backchat and support worker's not being told anything lest he tell it to me?

I've a mind to email Tory, after all, he's not replied to any of my emails sent a couple of weeks ago.

I've a mind to call the Libdem Leader's Pal. He was nice when I met him and seemed genuinely interested in helping us.

Or maybe that's how I interpreted it. Maybe meeting me was to get the press off the Libdem wagon.

Either way, a lot of fear and hope before the Scot trip. You'd hope something good would come out of all that.

Maybe I'm just naive. Still naive. Live a life where I'm taught so many lessons and still get spat out the other end as naive as I was when I entered them all.

Where are the bagpipes? Drown the sounds in my head.


Sinking in unhappy memories and flying in positive ones are the opposites of the same extreme.

One must find a middle ground so as not to lose sight of ones goals.

Easier said than done I admit, but there we go, that's my thought for the day.

The honeymoon hath ended - a song

Get you be gone young laydee
Floating will drive you crazy
Keep all good memories
And start living now

Holidays are fun young laydee
Scotland has fed you honey
Be strong to traverse now
The Land in your heart

The bagpipe player wasn't there but his tune played on Stiggers motherboard.

Going to the Heath was a good idea.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Chinese Laundry?

I want to dream of Scotland but the flat's a mess. Bit by bit by bit today I must start getting through it. I'll start by clearing the clothes.

Clothes, clothes everywhere clothes; dirty, clean, who the feck knows, old, even older, all sorts.

Years ago when the flat wasn't under a pile my brother visited. "It's like a Chinese Laundry in here," he said as he ducked beneath drying clothes hanging off a horse attached to the door frame.

Lord knows what he'd make of it now.

I don't wanna do it, I just wanna fly!

I've even got my Glam Heels on because my Milly Tant's will only keep me grounded. Grounded by such fine memories? No, I want to fly with them for as long as I can!

I shall listen to Scotland The Brave on youtube. Lend power to my picking up stray socks and such!

I may even pop up to the Heath tomorrow morning. Sometimes there's a bagpipe player who entertains all of Nature from the Bandstand... I might get lucky, he may be there!


Edinburgh, my friends; my day and two nights were too full to properly describe the sights, the sounds, the smells, the senses of this great city. Too full for a shallow review on blogspot at any rate.

An amazing time I had. Why so amazing you might ask?

Well it all began on the coach going up there (or is it down if you're coming from London?)

As we glided into Scotland under a dazzling sunset, my mate Charlie phoned his mate Steve. Steve was in Aberdeen he said, but would come down to meet us. He was heading back home to Glasgow the following morning, he said. A busy man is Steve, I thought, a good friend.

Meanwhile, I sat in my little cramped corner of the National Express bus and thought of my old primary school friend; Sam.

She moved to Perth when she was 10. Her number was in my phone because a few years ago we tried to hook up in London but it didn't happen.

"I'm on my way to Edinburgh. Do you live here?!" You've got to take your chances when you're on the Express Highway.

Live outside, busy tonight, how about tomorrow, she replied. Wee heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

Me and my mate Charlie got a cab to our hotel, near the Zoo. The cabbie told us to ask for a 'mountain view' because the monkeys can be very noisy in the morning.

We didn't get the 'mountain view' but we thought we'd hang our bag of coach snacks out of the window to entice them (while keeping snacks cool simultaneously). We imagined chimps giving us a personal wake up call tapping on the windows. We found this very funny. The monkeys never came though... or maybe they did when we were sleeping. They never took the food though.

We met my mate Charlie's mate Steve in a bar near Queen Street. He was with his mate Richard. My mate Charlie's mate Steve is only Scotland's FIRST and currently ONLY GOLD MEDAL Commonwealth Games Championship WINNER in Gymnastics. I didn't quite know what to say, so I said "congratulations!"

On Friday night Steve was meant to stay with his mate Richard who was also off to Glasgow the next day to see Elvis in concert. We lost Richard in the Jam House though: "Whatever happened to Richard?"

Steve, "Scotland's Only Son!" my mate Charlie called him, to me, to him, to everyone, stayed the whole weekend with us. Saw us safely on the coach on Sunday morning. We pushed the beds together in our room and the first night I slept on the crack between these two strong physiques. I had nightmares of falling through it though so the next night Scotland's Only Son slept on the crack. What a crack up!

On Saturday night we met Sam on the George IV Bridge. She lives near Fife, not far but not near either!

Now back when Sam was nine, she was cool and she was pretty.

She's still cool, oh yes she is, but now she's beautiful, oh indeed! Eyes on fire and a cracking sense of humour!

She asked me what happened. I told her I threw it all away when I was 14. She said I still had the same laugh and urged me to "get a feckin' piano!"

These three people are why Edinburgh was so amazing, but go, you must go, it's an incredible city!

Right, where we went (will try to remember to edit as I didn't carry a pen and paper with me):

The Toby Carvery, St John's Rd, Corstophine. My mate Charlie has eaten there before (he's one of those who cycles from Edinburgh to London now and then) but we were too late for food so had a slice of pizza at the Pizza Hut across the road.

A bar near Queen's Street. (see, needs an edit) A good place to meet people you've never met before (if you're me) or people you have but haven't seen in a long while (my mate Charlie)

Pub around the corner. "Very Scottish" said Scotland's Only Son. If someone wants to pick a fight and calls your friend a monkey, laugh until your belly aches. They might shake his hand afterwards instead of decking him.

Jam House, Queens Street. A must, an absolute must. All ages welcome. Whatever happened to Richard?!

Southern Cross Cafe, Cockburn St. You'll get a 'Full Scottish Breakfast" but this caf off the Royal Mile is not Greasy. Just so you know....

The Castle. A first trip to Edinburgh is not complete without a trip to the Castle. If your guide is "Scotland's Only Son" you'll see much more besides.

The Standing Order, George St. A Wetherspoons pub with cheap eats. The jokes were funny, they were; sidesplitting I'd go as far to say. Only you had to be there.

The Villager, George IV Bridge. Good, pumping tunes, especially if you're lucky enough to grab a table. (My mate Charlie and Scotland's Only Son went next door to Bar Kohl while me and Sam caught up. It's for them to tell you that story)

We stayed in The Holiday Inn, not far from Murrayfield Stadium. We didn't get woken up by the monkeys but a 'mountain view' would have been seriously good; it's stunning.

We travelled on National Express. A ten hour journey home goes surprisingly quickly, especially if you have a friend who will share his or her earphones.

I'd like to thank my mate Charlie and Scotland's Only Son for paying for everything. I mean everything although they did let me get a few rounds in. Beer is cheap in Scotland oh yay!

Now back in London I am I am, but one last question....

Whatever DID happen to Richard?!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Change of scenery

My mate Charlie has invited me to Edinburgh for the weekend.

He came by Sunday saying he'd lost my number then sent a text later that evening:

"Hi sue am off 2 edinburgh fri morn comin back sun eve travellin on coach an have a spare ticket wld love ur company if u don't mind sharing a room its already paid 4 an u seem as if u cld use a break?"

Wow! My son wouldn't be with me; my ex had called suggesting we trade weekends so I could have him for Mother's Day, which was nice of him. I have the following two weekends with my boy as a result of the changes.

I do need a break....

"Maybe" I replied.

My mate Charlie's gone and sorted out childcare so someone can take my boy to school tomorrow. I've kind of gone with it. Only I've only just remembered I've got my journo course. Bugger.

I'll call my tutor, hopefully she won't mind. I like my course so I mind a bit.

But hey! Edinburgh! I've never been, properly!

I can do bus journeys! I've been to China!

The return journey on one of my trips was a bit bumpy though....

Still, if 20 hours on a bus with a glorious city inbetween can't calm my mind, then quite frankly, I don't know what can.

Wee hee, thanks Charlie!

Should I bother bidding?

First floor in a block this week, walking distance from son's school.

I was praying there would be something, now of course I'm back to my usual thought; I won't get it.

Lease End had told me not to bother bidding; my points too low.

Allocations says bid, "you never know."

What's the Libdem doing? What's the chat backstage? Lots of emails I've sent this week.

There's a saying that you reap what you sow. I've sown lots of words on behalf of my son. Can't they now materialise into a flat?

Que sera.... I have asked our case goes to the exceptions panel...Que sera sera....

I want to let it go but I can't

"Your legs are the mountains. Your body is the water."

"What would you think if I sang out of tune
Would you stand up and walk out on me...
I'll get by with a little help from my friends...."

The Beatles sang this as I walked into Boot Camp last week thinking I would fly or cry following my dealings with the council and my appearance in the local paper. If I were to fly or cry I wanted to be in a safe place, having just experienced a mental breakdown, and I didn't want to be alone when it happened. Boot Camp is a safe place.

Clutching the paper I told the Master I would only sit and watch today. Only when I said "you're the Zen Master on my blog!" did he acquiesce and let me sit.

I put on my uniform; "it's not combattant, it's empowering," I told myself.

I was too weary to sit, so I lay down. Mistress Twin offered me a mat to lie on but I said no.

I started to breathe, in and out, but the hard surface was uncomfortable so I bought my knees up, my feet on the floor.

For the next hour and a half my body shook and trembled. Violently, it shook and trembled. My knees crashed together, I raised my arse, supporting my body with my shoulders and my cellulite wobbled like set jelly side to side, my pelvis bobbing up and down out of time with the beat of the Hip Hop the Master had put on the stereo. "She's purging the devil!" said a voice from my past. "Let's burn her at the stake!" said a voice from centuries past. Meanwhile I couldn't contain my laughter and was giggling. I must look ridiculous!

The Master and the Mistresses carried on regardless with the class. My body carried on regardless as I remembered the words of the Master years ago when teaching us the principles of Tai Chi: "Your legs are the mountains, your body is the water."

Feet pinned to the ground, my body went with its flow. Voices, memories, enough, enough, I tried to send in light.

I got up three times to go to the loo. I smiled at the Mistresses, who smiled back.

Shake, tremble, crash, shake, tremble, crash.

Finally, I decided to sit in a lotus position and calm my body down. No such luck! I bobbed up and down with such ferocity my hair flew all over the place.

I heard the Master call an end to the class. I went to stand on the mat with the other Mistresses. The shaking stopped; my body finally relaxed.

"Can I come and do this again next week?" I asked the Master. "I think there's more to come out!"

"No," he said. "Next week I want you back with the group. You'll build up your strength best in the group."

I haven't gone obviously, I'm here in Blogspot. I still feel weak, my nights are still restless but I'll go next week. I'll start back from the beginning next week.

Earthquakes are not amazing; my heart goes out to the people of Haiti and Chile.

Bodyquakes though.... I can say what happened was amazing because it happened in a safe place and nobody got hurt.

I have given up coffee for Lent though. I'm not sure a double expresso is the best thing before Boot Camp after all. We'll see, we'll see!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Two little magpies

Two little magpies
I saw flying yesterday
Please bring me some luck!

The political quagmire I'm in...

The local paper might carry a "what happened next" story about me.

"If we house you, we'll have to house everybody else" said the Tory and the Libdem is probably thinking the same thing.

So they might not house us.

If they don't, that's the story I do not want to read; that the system is failing my child.

My child could be any child.

House us Camden Council. "Everybody" isn't everybody, it's some people.

60 million people in this country you know.

I'll buy another Lucky Dip tonight. I do try to help myself you know, I do.

Wisdom from Desperate Housewives

It is human nature to judge others but sometimes when we turn judgement back on ourselves, and see what we're doing is wrong, still we cannot stop what we are doing.

Something to that effect was the overspeak voice at the end of Desperate Housewives last week. (Bree is having an affair with Susan's ex, if you don't follow it...)

No such excitement in my own life. I just know I mustn't blab on the system (following my breakthrough/breakdown) but hell's bells, I can't stop.

I just can't.

One day this blog could be used as a casestudy on housing and/or mental illness.

I need to get out of this so others believe they will too.

I need to survive so others know they can too.

(Below I've transposed my emails to the housing division of the council. Lucky you!)

Getting facts straight

After I'd sent Allocations the email you'll read in the post below, she sent a reply saying I might have been confused by her email. It wasn't only two homeless households who got housed last year, but two who'd registered that year who got housed. I wish I'd had my brain in my head when I replied to say quite a few 2009ers got housed last year, but I didn't. Sometimes I just don't think before I write (like now).

Below what I replied to that one anyway with a mini explanation of what led my answers in brackets. If you don't fall asleep with this one, you will with the next.....

Dear [Allocations],


You all know my reasons not wanting PRS. Bounce, bounce, bounce my son with me who can't help worrying, so many house moves in my past and evictions since he was born.

I did ask the property owner if we could do PRS here so I don't have to move my son. Landlords and ladies don't like people on benefits though, especially if they have children. I thought she was different. I don't know how many turned me away before the Church didn't.

It's insecure and expensive.

PRS medical points are taken away just as my points were reduced when the Church evicted us. Different system, different policies. Catastrophic for me and my son. (She asked why I think our medical points will be taken away)

Like I said, recently someone was housed with less points than me, just as you told me in your earlier email that person did last year. All the 'winners' I see have been waiting less time than us.

What is "time waiting" if it doesn't mean anything?

I wouldn't say a breakdown is upsetting but it is frightening. Have you ever had one? (You don't have to answer that and I hope your answer will always be 'no') (She was sorry to hear I'd had an "upsetting weekend")

Thanks again for your email.
Kind regards
Sue de Nim

She gave statistical information about how many homeless households were housed over the past few years. I still think it's shocking it's only 6% of overall households and after all this time, that everyone seems to be going before me and my son. Grrrr GRRRRRRRRRRR.

She's got a bundle of questions to answer for me. I hope she does. I need to understand this fecking system crushing me. Doc says I should move on. I should have asked her how many times she's faced eviction.

I'm telling you, I'm flipping headless most of the time.

Oh sod it

This is the reply I sent to Allocations the other day. She'd cc'd Support Worker, Lease End, Quality and Tory, so they got it too. Her email too long transpose, but you may get an idea of what it contained by my answer. I'd say enjoy it, but if you're not researching housing, you might fall asleep....

Dear [Allocations],

I have had the opportunity to take in what you say in your email. Thanks again for explaining things to me. I'll answer according to your email if that's ok as there are quite a few points there.

Firstly, obviously, I'd like a secure tenancy to be an option for us. I will worry less about my son for my depression impacts him. It also means I can start properly moving on with our lives with no fear that our foundations will be whipped from under us again. Work, [Allocations]. An employer would fire me right now the way I am feeling.

In 2009, that only two homeless households were housed out of 1,212 households is truly shocking. More shocking is that my son and I weren't one of them, given we have waited such a long time. I saw someone got housed with less points than us again this week. It hurts. Where did the other households come from?

19,885 is a high number, I agree. 6% is low. Why, when it is possible to finally settle my child, instead we continue to be bounced around? Again, what other households are waiting and take priority over a child facing his fourth insecure tenancy in 7 years?

I am not suggesting a child under five should not get priority. However, children do grow out of buggies. I've not seen many mothers like me carrying their over 5's on the back of a bicycle. My bicycle is our transport. As soon as I can summon up the courage, his bike will tag along behind mine. It's dangerous; twice in December drivers cursed us when we had the right of way. Once again, not only is he entitled to his own room but psychologists have written to the council asking this for him anyway. He needs space from me while I deal with issues unrelated to housing, but ignored because of the impact housing has had on me.

A medical assessment might increase my points. I know that under PRS, these will be taken away again.

I probably don't need to say it but it would make me happier if the property the council were investigating for me, was finally, a permanent one. We don't "need" another temporary home. I have been writing for years. My doctor has written to the council, my son's school. My MP has appealed for us, as have others. In my eyes, the council is my landlord, not Pathmeads, not the property owner. The council offers me the security I crave for myself and my son and affordable rent so I can provide for him. There are unscrupulous landlords around (the church wasn't one of these luckily even if it didn't want us). Unfortunately too, there are fathers who fail to realise that what they do to the mother, they do to the child (my experience anyway), I say this because there is a need for temporary accommodation.

I cannot describe the anxiety going through this process. Last weekend I had a breakdown. I've gone to seek help for it because I don't want it to happen again. I don't have a husband or a partner to calm me down, only a child to keep me going. Guilt is the icing on that cake.

I didn't bid this week, I'll be honest with you. My son's school is so good for him that my desire to keep him there went before the properties near a friend of mine. I will keep bidding, of course I will. I can't give up hope.

[Allocations] thanks again for your email.
Kind regards
Sue de Nim