Monday, 28 February 2011

I'm back volunteering

Yes, izzy whizzy busy...
For the council
For the school
All good things but all unpaid...
Helpin' out ya know?
It's what some of us do!
There's a Big Society down here...
Them up there pretend not to know it
so they can justify all the dastardly things they're doing.
One job's for the council website
The other for the school's literacy week.
Must try and write for one
And help with writing for the other.

It means my plan to go catch my famous person can't happen this week.
Lucky him?

Doom day protest

Today there is a protest march to Camden Town Hall as the budget cuts are being administered, scratched into paper, of what goes, what stays. Utterly depressing really so going to a protest is the only sensible thing to do!

(I've just found out on a website that the council are cutting £80m from public services while spending £220m on a bio-containment and virus research facility on land that was promised to residents for affordable housing but instead was sold off at discount to the UKCMRI - I read it here:

Anyway, I can't go to the protest but I'm mentioning it as yesterday afternoon I went to the Union offices and helped make the banners for it!

"No ifs, not buts, no condem cuts!"

When Dave talks about a big society I really don't know what he means because from where I stand it's always existed, just now being torn apart.

Bank bail in...

Saturday morning a bunch of us, I say 'us' I mean 'us' you know, people, you know what I mean... well a bunch of us piled into Natwest bank in protest at the cuts/bonuses, every unnecessary thing that's happening at the moment!

The shop floor was turned into a creche! Kids reading, drawing, a sing song at the end as they banged or blew through their instruments. All under the watchful gaze of the press!

My son wasn't with me, sadly and also luckily. A guy from the One Show approached a dad who we might see on the telly tonight!! I wouldn't have had the balls I don't think to be on the telly... or maybe I would've had, don't know! I was too busy smiling at the beautiful juxtaposition of being at a bank protest having written about bank greed just a few days earlier.

The protest was organised by ukuncut though I heard about it through an invite on facebook:
A Feminist Big Society Bail-in.

It was great! Reading the press, there were other sit ins around the country. One bank was turned into a laundry and another into a school where protesters turned up in school uniform ready for a history lesson from a lecturer from the London School of Economics.

The Mail was present where we were and delivered a decent write up for once!:

Go to: and have a read around their website or subscribe to the newsletter or anything really. Just don't be angry about it all, all by yourself!

House of Mirth!

My son found this very funny...

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful but the £50m Camden has been given for housing repairs over the next four years can be compared to a beggar receiving 50p from a banker to cover the next four days. Given the Kingdom’s wealth, £50m is but a drop. It is pouring scorn on an already wounded borough.

The postcard I sent the coalition last July, with the deceased Jennyfer Spencer’s name on it, asked for the return of £238m in allocated funds which was withheld from Camden by the previous government because of its refusal to privatise its council properties through Almos.

Blackmail and bullying is rife in this political playground where ordinary people are the ones to suffer and die; the latest being 91 year old William Jeffrey who fell down the stairs of his estate. Had the lifts been working he might still be alive.

We need to stop this spill of blood. £238m is a pittance compared to the £3bn levy the banks have got away without paying. £50m is a crumb. Chiefs have been able to award themselves vast bonuses from their billion pound pots, only a week ago in fact. The money is there.

If I have misunderstood totally and the £50m is on top of the £238m which is actually on its way back to the borough then I do apologise.

I asked the coalition to answer my postcard through Frank Dobson, the Miliband brothers or its own members who live in the borough and to date have heard nothing. Unless of course the news of this paltry sum is my answer, in which case, give Camden back what it’s owed. Remunerate it similarly to its neighbours in the future. The brutality has gone on long enough.

"Mummy, what does pittance mean?" he asked.
"A little bit."
"What does crumb mean?"
"Same thing, tiny bit, like the tooth fairy leaving you 5p instead of 50p."
"Oh ha ha ha! £50 million a crumb! Ha ha ha ha ha!"

Yes, he found it hilarious, my little proof reader.
The comment got into the local paper!
"What I could do with £50m" is the header I sent the editor.
Well, if you don't laugh you cry, don't you?

Friday, 18 February 2011

If at first you don't succeed, don't give up hoping!

I am so happy! I am so excited!! This very morning, having asked fellow bloggers in the past how the hell they put youtube vids on their posts, I've finally figured it out!!!!!!

Been blogging two years, messing up songs you could sing along to and it's today, I don't know, by accident, pressing the wrong tab on my computer, which opened another window and gave me the answer to what I desperately wanted to know.

Here, for you, if you're on blogspot and you don't know how:

Embedding a YouTube Video
To embed a video from YouTube, just copy the code from the "Embed" box on the video's YouTube page. You can find the "Embed" box in the "About This Video" box when you're watching the video. You can also get the code from the "Embed HTML" box on the "Edit Video" page if the video belongs to your YouTube account.

To embed a YouTube video within a blog post, first click "Edit HTML" from within the post editor. Next, paste the video's code into the body of your post. That's it!

That's all it was!
I'd put another song up but I can't think of one, I'm still listening to Jacko on repeat...!

Our forests saved from privatisation!!!

Great news isn't it?! I've been reading about it in different papers and heard yesterday on the news about the U-Turn (which they said was very 'embarrassing' for the coalition) on plans to sell off our forests.

I heard on the BBC that this U-Turn came about because "the public and honourable members were not happy."

Sadly, there are no "honourable members" unhappy about the secure, affordable housing shortage so no U-Turns there.

Or will there be?

One lives in hope....

Shot from the heart...

Attic Flat
16 February 2011

Dear Grant Shapps MP,

Downing Street suggested I contact you which I did (letter enclosed) but you never got back to me.

Mr Shapps, if you and your Government press ahead with your housing legislations, you will wreck the lives of millions of people.

For your information, my son and I didn’t get a council flat. There is a drastic shortage, nationally. We were placed, once again, in temporary accommodation, with a shorter two year lease this time and a weekly rent of £350 a week which I can’t afford. I do not have your wealth Mr Shapps. Millions of people do not have your wealth. Must we be penalised therefore and made to suffer?

Help me understand this legislation you are desperate to push through.

Do you wish to drive people out of their communities as my son and I were driven out of ours?

Is it your desire to create ghettos where we, the financially challenged must live, while you, the financially secure, live in protected communities?

Is it your desire that people remain in poverty? Or in debt?

Do you care about people’s health? Children’s education? These things are married to housing, the most basic need of all.

There is no need to make these drastic cuts to this basic human necessity which has already been neglected for decades.

The money is there to invest in housing, which in turn will create jobs. It will enable people such as me, the “unemployed” to afford work without recourse to housing benefit or threat of rent arrears and eviction. Well, one hopes that rents will remain affordable within the social sector.

You and your Government know all this. You can stop and think about what you are doing.

Will you stop and think about what you are doing?

I need to know what you really think of financially challenged people like me, the elderly, the disabled and children.

Please answer me this time and soon, before you make the changes.

Yours sincerely

If First Class is what it used to be, he'd have got this yesterday. If it's not, and I didn't pay the £5 ensured next day delivery, then he'll have got it today.

I've been listening to Jacko's Earth Song on repeat. It's a climate song for sure, but the power of it makes me think of the political climate too.
It's lovely, have a listen:


Thursday, 17 February 2011

Work to Welfare

The bill goes through today doesn't it? Read it in the Mirror yesterday after having to swallow the stories of the bankers bonuses and the self same bank planning mass redundancies to 'cut costs'.

Newsnight ran a story on the whole work to welfare thing on Tuesday night.

"6 million people will be getting up to go to work tomorrow but 6 million won't have to, they can stay in bed," or something like that. Paxman's brilliant most of the time but I really wanted to kick him in the shins for saying that.

I have no time now to chat about the punitive measures facing so many millions of us.
The newsnight report didn't address many of the barriers facing us and certainly didn't mention all this happening at a time of rising unemployment.

There aren't millions of jobs to go round and even for the shitty ones there's intense competition.

When I was watching it though, I was thinking of housing and how this massive, massive, MASSIVE issue, which is going to affect millions upon millions of people, is just being swept aside.

It's what the government wants. It wants everybodies attention diverted from the massacre it's creating.

Biff Baff Boof.

No, not you Paxman.

The Tory party.

"Not AARGH in pain! AARGH in TRIUMPH!"

Lifting the metal poles. Mistresses Twin and Ha Ha can do it with no help, lifting it from the floor to their waist, to their shoulders, to the sky!

The rest of us need help, I'm one of those who needs a lot. Mistress Psychic also needed help today because she hasn't been to class for a while. Too weak to help one another lift the bar, the Master stepped in.

"Use your voice, it'll make it easier," he said, as I tried to hoist it from my shoulders to the sky.
"Use your voice!" He shouted.
"Louder! Use it!"
"Not AARGH in pain! AARGH in TRIUMPH!"

"Good," he said after my fourth set of doing five lifts. "You're getting stronger."
"Yeah!" I grinned. "I can feel it!"

It was a painful, I mean, triumphant class!

Punching holding 1kg weights for three minutes, well, I couldn't manage it.
BUT I will be able to in a few weeks!

"You need to take a look at your priorities"

The Master asked me how my meeting went. I struggled to remember what meeting he meant and said: "Oh good, good! I wrote to Shapps yesterday, emailed a newspaper asking them if they'd publish it if he didn't answer me."

"Great, just make sure you work it to your advantage."

I went to help the Mistresses put out the mats and wondered, how do I do that. I don't fecking know!

I went back to the Master and asked him.

"What's your priority?" he asked.

"Protecting my son. Protecting him from exposure."

He looked me in that calm, serene way and said:

"What's more important to you? Finding a secure place to raise your son or helping the borough?"

"Helping the borough."

His eyes widened.

"You need to take a look at your priorities."

My eyes pricked. So familiar now, spikes of guilt, guilt, guilt.

Several tears are flowing down the river, several tears are running to the sea, if one day they reach some distant waters you will know they're sent with pain from me (Stiggers with me messing up a Goombay Dance Band song)

Don't cry.. Don't cry....

I went to help the Mistresses hang the punching bags.

Once more, I went over to the Zen Master.

"What I really really want is a two bedroom flat with a garden in (The Village Up The Road)."

"Good. Yes. Put that out to the Universe. It's why you're stuck, because you're not putting that out to the Universe. Your focus is always on something else, it's why you're not getting what you want."

"I just failed to get a secure place. I can't be thinking about that right now."

"Get up! You fall off the horse, you get back on it! You don't give up!"

I was a bit shaky after that so good job he partnered with Mistress La Francaise so I could go with Mistress Psychic.

When we started punching the bags, each one of us on our own, biff, baff, biff, baff, the ipod started playing
"Take the ribbon from your hair," biff, baff, biff, baff
"shake it loose and let it fall..." biff, baff, biff, baff,
"lay it soft against my skin" biff baff biff baff
"like the shadows on the wall" biff baff biff baff
"help me make it through the night," biff baff baff baff baff baff
"I don't care who's right or wrong, " baff baff baff biff
"I don't try to understand,," biff biff baff baff
"let the devil take tomorrow," baff baff baff baff baff
"Lord tonight I need a friend"
(Kris Kristofferson)

I felt much better after that BIFF BAFF BIFF BAFF BOOOOOOOOF!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Sitting infront of famous folk!

Before I set off for the Housing Emergency Rally yesterday morning, I found in my cycling jacket, a little bunch of papers in my plastic bag. My postcard! My letter to Dobbie! My letter published in the CNJ! Bought warmth to my heart it did, finding that because I don't believe all is lost you know, I don't.

Anyway, when I walked into the Central Hall, Dobbie was up on the stage, chairing the meeting. Obviously, whereever I sat I would be sitting infront of him! So I sat near the back.

As I walked along a row of chairs I noticed a reporter from the CNJ doing the same in the row behind me!

You might not know this reporter but he is famous as defined by the Bros song - his picture is in the paper - this is how I recognised him.

I wanted to introduce myself. I wanted to say 'do you fancy a quick laugh?' and show him my postcard and show him the letter to Dobbie, where I ask my MP - that one sitting there infront of us chairing the rally - to read out said postcard with the name of a dead woman on it to the Coalition.

The journalist slipped away before I had the chance. Oh well!

It is half term next week. I have my son with me so I will not be blogging. This enforced break will be good for me.
I want to pledge (I say "I want" because Stiggers often has other ideas) I want to pledge that I will only come back to blogging after I've made contact with another famous person.
Only contact mind! I don't think the famous person will agree to see me you see and I'm not sure I want to stop blogging forever!!

You may also have noticed that there's a new label: "Housing 2011". I'm not going to write anymore today about the rally I went to but there are things from it that may come out in the future, there are other housing things I may want to write and well, the "Housing Government and Council" label has 672 post under it - alot of good stuff is lost in there, why lose everything?

I will continue to post my own housing experiences under the Housing, Government and Council label though, like the Mouse Exterminator Person coming round today. From the Housing Association! Thankyou support worker for intervening.
I will blog about that at some point.... oh yes! But not today!

Four posts is enough for one day don't you think?

To breathe or not to breathe? That is the question

A disabled person in supported housing was having problems with damp so she bought it to the attention of the support staff and was told the "dampness in the flat was caused by her breathing!"

A disabled woman's day care has been taken away from her so now that she is on her own, she asked what she should do about going to the loo. "She was told she should wear incontinence pads!"

Ya know, there were some laughs at the emergency housing rally I attended yesterday but these anecdotes only drew sharp intakes of breath.

Buy your property or be evicted!!!

Existing secure tenants will not be affected by new legislation being pushed through, said the lawyer. It's new 'fixed term' tenants who will be affected (perhaps me one day!)

"Fixed term is a minimum period of two years," explained the lawyer. "During first two years the property has some elements of a secure tenancy."
No different to what I'm in now then, apart from the "affordable" rent.

She also said this:

"Unbelievably, fixed term tenants will still have the Right To Buy!"

If you are able to get a mortgage you can buy the property!!

Lawyer had said local authorities can choose a financial cut off point for access to council homes. It might be "£40,000 for a whole household."

But wait wait a minute. I'm getting confused here!
If I earn 'too much' I can't get a flat. (No danger there for me methinks)
If I have the flat but the 'too much' I earn is not enough to secure a mortgage, I will be evicted because the 'too much' is too much to rent this 'affordable home'.

Have I understood that right?
Is the Bill absolutely cock eyed and not thought out at all?

Abolish Right To Buy
Maintain Secure Assured tenancy.
Invest in building programmes for more homes.
Invest in bringing empty properties back into use.

It's not fecking rocket science in starting to pull out of this national catastrophe.

Reasons to be cheerful!

A lawyer at the emergency housing rally yesterday told a room full of people three changes "hidden" in the localism bill, to be legislated through parliament in a few months time.

1. A change in succession rights limited to a spouse or partner. If you have been fighting for a council flat with an eye on securing your child's future so he or she doesn't go through repeated cycles of homelessness like yourself, give up, it's meaningless, you will not be able to pass on your property to your children.

2. Change in homelessness duties. Currently there is 'safety net accommodation' and these people's names come up on the waiting list for properties. This is me!
The change in duty will no longer give homeless people priority - the duty can end by promise of private accommodation.
"Homeless families have no hope," said the lawyer, not realising I am one. "They are trapped being pushed from one unaffordable home to another."

I realised last night that these homeless duties have already changed in Camden. Bought in by the LibCon coalition in 2007.
I, Me, Myself, My Child, are examples of the consequences of this bill. You can clap if you like!

3. Changes in allocation. There still is a waiting list and anyone can go on the waiting list. Even if you have no chance of ever getting anything you can still go on it (When I did my masters thesis in 2008, this was being practiced in Camden)
You can be knocked off the list for
A history "even slight" of rent arrears.
Evidence of wilful destruction to property (Remember, I was told I'd never get a council flat because I was too messy!)

I can't rattle off any other of the reasons the lawyer said because some invisible force had grabbed me by the throat and was choking me. I was struggling to breathe. I had to put my head between my hands because it felt like it was going to explode, take off, like a rocket into space while I simultaneously vomited green bile on to the worn carpet.

Oh the title of this post is a joke by the way! Do you like it?!
I know, I'm so funny!!!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


Apparently there's a housing lobby at the Houses of Parliament today.

I say apparently because the local paper didn't advertise it and as you know, I went to a street protest last year where only three of us showed up.....

No matter! It's been a while since I've stood in the Central Lobby of the House of Commons!

I should have really told you about this before then you could have come along! More the merrier, always!

This is the plan:


Government proposals threaten tenancies, rents and housing benefit. It means evictions, homelessness and fear for tenants.
The answer to high rents is to reintroduce rent caps – not attack tenants. We need to build more secure, affordable council housing to sustain mixed and thriving communities.

I can take my electricity debt problems, I can take my mouse problems, I can take my how do I afford to go back to work problems, I can take my insecure lease problems!!

Use them all to stoke the embers in my soul to purposeful fire!

Electrician sorts my Bionic Mice

Luck was on my side yesterday evening. An electrician rang me saying he wanted to come round and check the heaters and the lighting.
"Oh brilliant, at last! Are you coming about the mice too?"
"Mice? I don't know anything about any mice."

Ah, so this is an earlier request to the housing association, in December. I called my support worker last week and he sent an email to the housing association about the mice. Nothing. The 'one or two' days.. well, the electrician has come after 'one or two months' so shouldn't really hold my breath. Thankful for small mercies however.

My mice are surely bionic. They stuff themselves on the poison, you can see the trays emptying, then they spend the rest of the night stuffing themselves on the contents of my bin. I heard them last night, at 5am, wide eyed prostrate in my bed praying they'd stick to the kitchen.

(Talking of sticking, downstairs neighbours used glue pads, have caught five mice recently. There are three people live in that flat. It's the guy I haven't met who's the mouse ridder. I still can't bring myself to use glue pads, have the mouse stare at me, frightened....oh feck there's no nice way to deal with them is there?)

Anyway, the electrician called me after the early morning visit saying he'd called the property owners who were getting a mice exterminator round. Possibly today.

He gave me property owner's number as well. It's a real estate company. They own the flat downstairs aswell.

It means if I have a maintenance problem I don't have to go through the Housing Association.

I'm relieved, because that takes so frigging long. Thank you Leccy Man.

I was going to buy a plug in mouse repellent but my electric bill won't stand it.

Well, bye bye mice, I hope.

Electricity estimate: Totally F****D

My estimated electricity bill for the past two months is

You can't wait for it on a blog can you? It's written there right infront of you.

The estimate is: £534

That's right. It averages out at £250 a month on electricity alone.

My entire weekly income support allowance is swallowed up by the electricity tariffs.

I was going to go for a walk yesterday afternoon then decided instead to just take care of some domestic administration.

I hadn't had an electric bill since the first, which was £13 for a week. I was afraid and rightly bloody so.

The nice nice, can't shoot the messenger on the other end of the phone told me not to worry, they'd work out a payment plan for me.

Not to worry? Payment plan? Two hundred and fifty flipping pounds a month is too high. There must be some flipping mistake..

Not by their records, she said.

I've gone from an average £30 a month at my Papier Mache Towers flat to hundreds in this new one. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I asked her if her company had made good profits this year and she said she didn't think so, not much.

I asked her if her CEO had received a decent bonus and she didn't say anything. Well, what could she say, I just didn't want to shoot her, the messenger.

I'm afraid I cannot see the funny side of it.

It is not hope I was given when she said: "Wait for your bill, this is just an estimate, but our estimates tend to be accurate."

Oh joy!

Some front page article in the Express yesterday about Crisis Loans and people abusing the benefits system or something. "Claimants, " says The Express, "treat it like a hole in the wall for benefits cash." The Department for Work and Pensions say that "hundreds and thousands of people are abusing the system, which is costing £1 million a day."

Well, they would say that wouldn't they, in a bid to take something else away from the poorest.

I did not actually know about these crisis loans but if £250 a month is what I (and I ALWAYS think of pensioners and severely disabled when I'm whacked with an impossibly high bill) have to expect, well shite, I better hurry up and find out about it.

I don't want to pay this bill though. Loan or no loan. I don't. It's a fecking joke.

Hear the CEO laughing: Ha ha ha ha ha!! Oh ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaa! Ha haaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.........!

Hear me laughing; ha ha ha ha ha! Oh ha ha ha h

Monday, 14 February 2011

My son gets a valentine card!

Oh he was so excited bless him. "I don't recognise the writing, I have to find clues! Who do you think it's from mummy? Who do you think it's from?!"

"How do you think you'll feel when you find out?" I smiled.
"Ooh, it's scary!" his little grin!

Bashful as he walked to school, making me promise not to tell anyone. (Oops)

That is the point of Valentine's isn't it? For single people to let the people they like know that they like them?

I didn't have the balls to send a card or note to the boy I like. Well, man actually, not boy! It does take an enormous amount of courage doesn't it? It is terrifying isn't it?
Man I like doesn't have a clue I like him, not an inkling.
If he found out I think I'd just want to go and hide in a dark hole!
I think he'd think like my son: "scary!"
Yes, not very confident me!
Quite shy!
Women's emancipation?
I haven't caught up yet!

Happy Valentine's to all of you out there. I hope Cupid works his magic on all of you who want romantic magic in your lives!

Homelessness beckons my old neighbours

Single mum in the coffee shop who lives in the low rise block opposite Papier Mache Tower told me on Friday that she'd received a letter from the council saying her home was going to be knocked down as part of a massive regeneration project in two years time.

Not just her low rise. Papier Mache's going too and large swathes of the estate. I heard about the plans at our residency meeting (couldn't find the post for you right now) but when we'd ask councillors, they'd say 'No! There are no plans!'

The idea, apparantly, is to raze the whole lot to the ground, then build more, but smaller units. Grandparents who perhaps have their children and grandchildren to stay will be moved to bedsits, said the mum.

The problem with some people, I countered, is that they might want to move to smaller premises but they do not want to go from a little garden flat to the top of a tower.

One woman in the coffee shop, who knew the single mother I was chatting to said: "I am not giving up my four bedroom flat. I waited 13 years for that."

Thousands of people are going to be affected. It will potentially be absolutely horrific with massive displacement on a huge scale. Families have their children in schools nearby, or relatives and friends, whole communities they've lived within for years and years.

When my mate Charlie's estate was regenerated, he could stay in his home while the new tower was being built behind it.

I don't think this is going to happen in the Ward of Matthew Mark Luke and John.

I don't know what is going to happen. I know I can't bid on flats to go back there though, now knowing there's no security and my son and I'll just be made homeless again.

And here's one more pleasant thought. My lease ends in two years, at the same time as these families will be forced from their homes.

A massive boom in homelessness!!

Golly, and that's on top of the April Aftermath - housing benefit cuts hoofing pensioners, disabled, everybody who can't afford their rent, out onto the streets.

Never mind ey, there's Dave's Big Society there to pick everyone up!

I mean, you will pick us all up, won't you?

A Big Sleep

I've had a letter through the post inviting me to take part in the Big Issue's first ever Big Sleep Out.

It looks really interesting. They need 240 people to camp out in Spitalfields Market on March 18th to raise funds for their vendors and other homeless individuals who find support from this charity.

I'm not sure I'm going to do it nor am I sure that I can. I really enjoyed the Big Night Walk but after that told myself that the next time I did something like that, I wouldn't do it on my own.

I'm really good at doing things on my own, brilliant in fact but I've done it too much and need to start getting involved with groups now.

Get involved in groups or make new friends!

I've also got my son with me that weekend and I don't know how he'd feel about staying out all night (I've just checked, participants have to be over 18. There were quite a few kids on the Big Walk, but this is is very different I guess - they are promising entertainment!).

If you like the sound of it you can read more either at or

It's still £30 to take part but target sponsorship's gone up to £400!!

There's a challenge if you want one and all for a good cause!

Oh tis nothing - just the planets!

I was going to title the post: Oh that's a relief!

My recent inner turbulence was nothing to do with me, not self inflicted or any such thing. It was written in the stars:

Your ruler Mercury is making a harmonious link to the planet of seriousness and sobriety Saturn today. This is excellent news for you if you've been feeling at all "all over the place" recently. This is an energy which can help you come back down to earth. One of the best ways to use it is to make a list of your aims for the coming four weeks or even 12 months (your choice). (Closer Online)

That has made me feel much better! And there's advice too! When I have finished the morning's blogging, I may go and take a walk and make a list... though not for the next 12 months... beats me how anyone can see that far!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Relationship struggles - a song

Try to blog it my way
What have I to keep on writing so I can go on?
While you see it your way,
Run the risk of knowing that our blog may soon be gone.

We can work it out,
We can work it out.

Think of what you're saying.
You can get it wrong and still you think that it's all right.
Think of what I'm saying,
We can work it out and get it straight, or say good night.

We can work it out
We can work it out

Life is very short, and there's no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend.
I have always thought that it's a crime,
So I will ask you once again.

Try to blog it my way,
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong.
While you see it your way
There's a chance that we might fall apart before too long.

We can work it out,
We can work it out.

Life is very short, and there's no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend.
I have always thought that it's a crime,
So I will ask you once again.

Try to blog it my way,
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong.
While you see it your way
There's a chance that we might fall apart before too long.
We can work it out,
We can work it out.

(Beatles featuring me and Stigmum, barely tweaked and also can't tell who's who between me and stigs, we want different things but hopefully we'll erm, sort ourselves out in no time! Also, still haven't figured out how to put the Youtube vid of the original on the post, which means you could sing along if you wanted to!)

Relationship struggles - blokes and blogs!

I had brunch with two girlfriends earlier. We inevitably got talking about men. Well, not inevitably maybe but talking anyway. One of us is having relationship struggles, the guy saying he wants more 'me time'. It's not me having this relationship struggle, mores the pity, but I am having a relationship struggle though I couldn't tell these girls about it. They might think I am mad! They already know I am mad, can't have them thinking it too!

Seriously, a real pain. I wanted to blog yesterday and couldn't. I was editing everything in my head, all light and nice, but I couldn't write it. Before I set out to meet my lovely mates earlier I was thinking that I just can't anymore.

Stigmum was a huge support to me when I was being evicted. Stigmum and blogspot. Massive. I could really off load here.

If I'd got my council flat I wouldn't have come back. I'd have maybe started another blog. I'd have left it so people who found it could believe that if you want something, if you fight for it, you will get it.

How utterly fecking depressing that I'm back therefore. Go after what you want folks, you don't have a flying hope in hell!!! Because it is hellish, eviction.

I'm not being evicted now, I don't need stigmum's support as much but I need to be here. I need to be here incase I do. Does that sound really crap? That sounds really crap doesn't it?

I'm not articulating myself very well. ...

What I said to stiggers this morning is we keep going until April, when the housing legislation goes through. Or we keep going until May and the local elections. Or we stop earlier if we're not enjoying ourselves, or keep going if we are

Oh I don't fucking know. All I do know is it's Valentine's Day tomorrow and I'm having relationship problems with myself.

Well, as we girls were saying. One of our friends 'had a really long honeymoon period with her husband and problems happen with all relationships, at some point. You get closer, it's inevitable. If it's strong it survives and theirs is strong.'

This friend is taking a break from her guy to see if he misses her at all ("They're running that story in Eastenders!" I said, erm, helpfully)

Me and Stigs? Well, we've been together a couple of years now.

We've been listening to the Beatles.

I don't believe in a million years that we are the only bloggers out of millions of bloggers to go through this.

It takes courage to say it! Or maybe stupidity...

Time to end this post methinks...

Good times without Nico Teen

My first party without Nico Teen on Friday night

Wanted to blog about this yesterday but couldn't. Aaargh. Couldn't. Still can't if I'm honest. Aargh.

Such a fab party twas too! Kelly's Big One. Had to dress up as a Tube station. What a laugh! All them Angels, that amazing Bank in her gold figure hugging jumpsuit with notes pinned to her.
Skinner went in school uniform, Grange Hill! Her husband as a clown - Piccadilly Circus! Hornchurch was there and the Seven Sisters. It was a while before I got Maida Vale - doh! Her maid's outfit and veil on her head! Blackfriars, Cockfosters and Greenford; so many stations there!

Me, I went as Bow!

Still can't write about this, so much to say (dancing to Meatloaf with the smokers I met on the way in!)

In this post you are witnessing the struggle between me and Stiggers.

It's not flowing as it usually flowwwwwwws.

Also wanted to tell you about the lovely brunch I just shared with Em and Hus at The York and Albany. Yes! A Monsieur Ramsay restaurant! Passable it was too! (I say passable, I had the full english and well, lovely as it was, I get it all in with tea included down the caf for a quarter of the price) Still, fantastic to be with such fantastic friends in the kind of upmarket restaurant you don't often see me in these days!

I see from what I've just written that I can tell you anything I want to.

Why we struggling stigs?

And, oh, smoking? It's cool. Now and then I think of it with a fond tug to my heart but to be honest, I hardly think of it at all.
Parties are no different without it! (Is that you saying that or me stiggers?)

Friday, 11 February 2011

Ridding rodents from one's home

There are several options.

1. Get your landlord or lady to deal with it. If they care about their property they will be onto it pronto!

2. Get a cat. A couple of friends have offered to lend me theirs but the responsibility of taking care of them well, let's just say I value my friends and the fact they still value me.

3. Get a trap. You have to decide what to put on the trap, cheese or chocolate. You have to wonder if mice have wised up it over the years. You have to handle them. With a gloved hand or a plastic bag but you still have to handle them. Not a problem for the non-squeamish.

4. Get poison. The thing with poison is you don't know if they will eat it. You don't know where they will go off to die. You don't know if it will work.

5. Get glue pads. Man in the DIY store said he swore by these. Had caught over 20 mice with them over the last month or so (20? Hear me weep...). The mice come out of their cracks and get stuck. "They can stay on there for ages," said the man. He said what you should do is when you've captured one, put the mouse on pad in a plastic bag, then bash it against a wall to kill it.
You may have the stomach for that. I'm not sure I do.

6. Get an Advanced Rat and Mouse Repeller. About £25. You can get a battery operated sonic one for half the price. Apparently they emit a high pitched squeal too high for any animal but a rodent to hear. Pal on facebook gave me that tip. I ran there for support last night.

7. Live in a Tower, preferably quite high up. The higher the better in fact. I'm not sure mice like lifts and they certainly don't like clambering up hundreds of deep concrete steps. Not in my experience anyway. Possibly only perk to living in a Tower unless you have a fantastic view.

Good luck
lots of luck
Great luck
I wish you lots

We have MICE

Once upon a time, not so long ago, I didn't mind mice. Those dark nights, dumped, left holding the baby, waiting for an eviction, I found their presence somewhat comforting.
Fast forward six years and well, my mental health has improved somewhat
And swung in an opposite direction.

Two days ago I saw one of these little furry creatures running across my kitchen at breakneck speed into some invisible crack by the built in fridge/freezer. Later I saw his mate (his mate? Please God no, the damn things breed) racing into the very visible crack by the washing machine.

I phoned my landlord of course. They said someone would get back to me in "one or two days". It is day two. Call me call me PLEASE.

Last night, sitting watching Human Planet, I saw one scurry under the heater in the living room. Bravely I got down on my knees to have a look so I could eyeball it but it wasn't there. The only place it could go was MY SON'S ROOM. Is that really a crack in the skirting boards there?

Then, as if I weren't freaked out enough, one of the built in swanky lights falls out of the ceiling, dangling, swinging, casting it's shadow back and forth back and forth. Is there a colony of mice in the roof?

I am the attic flat, these lights have been dropping out of the ceiling, in the living room and my son's room. I have informed the landlords of this once, twice, three times every time I see one of their staff or talk to one of them on the phone. Is that how they are being pushed out? By mice?

Who needs flipping tv when you've got your own horror show in your flat?

When I went to bed, I could hear rustling. Are they getting bolder?

I should pop downstairs and ask my neighbours if they have any. They have a front door mat with three cats design on it.

I wonder if that acts as a deterrent?

Hmmm, yes, may pop down and ask them. Never got mice in the Tower, little buggers probably couldn't make it up the stairs.

In the meantime I have bought some poison... best get, well, killing I guess....

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Going with one's flow

Recently in blogland, I've been struggling somewhat with the writing aspect. It's not that I don't have any ideas, it's that I felt I have no focus.

I still feel abit like that!

However, this morning I was really excited. I thought that maybe the local paper had published my letter. I thought maybe the local paper had published my letter because they emailed yesterday to say they amended the mistake I told them I'd made.

Here's what they didn't publish. I'm not surprised. It's a meaty paper and the article I was spinning off was a very small one.

William Jeffrey's death from a fall down the stairs wasn't a simple accident (Accidental fall killed 91 year-old, 3 Feb, p 11). It was an accident waiting to happen. The lifts at (Papier Mache Towers) are constantly out of service, forcing residents to use the communal concrete steps. These frequent, sometimes daily, occurences with the lifts render the disabled prisoners in their own homes and pensioners, like Mr Jeffrey, in danger of losing their lives. There is no cash in the pot to fix these things is the cry. But how many people are going to die under the banner 'Housing'? Wasn't Jennyfer Spencer's death one too many? There is a housing emergency protest outside Downing Street next Wednesday 15th organised by Defend Council Housing. Those of us that can attend should. The borough's been brutalised enough over the years and if it continues, there will be more blood. Which Government wants that?

The Housing emergency rally is next Tuesday, not Wednesday, but the reason I'm telling you about this letter that didn't get published is that for me it's something I have written without placing myself anywhere near it. I'm not in it at all (well, not that anyone would know).

It tells me I know what my heart wants, even if my mind puts up resistance (fear, fear, don't you love it...)

My letter doesn't tell me why I write a blog though. Although arguably, if I hadn't mentioned this pensioners death to you, would I have written to the local paper?

Who knows! What I do know is that I don't have a specific aim for this blog anymore so I have to decide whether I want to stop writing, or accept there is no longer an aim and just carry on instinctively writing, because it's fun and it's freeing and it's a form of ferapy when fings aren't fully fantastic.

Know wha' i mean?

Sisters doing it for themselves

The Master was away again this week. Mistress Dancer spoke to him just before class started.
With eight of us Mistresses there, we decided to give ourselves a class anyway!

It was not the same as with the Master, of course it wasn't, but it was cool. I was wheezing after the kicking routines we do. Wheezing! I stopped smoking near two weeks ago!

One scary part of Carr's book, or definitely the bit that put the fear in me back in 2006 when I stopped is when he says:

"A cough is one of nature's fail-safe methods of dispelling foreign matter from the lungs. The cough itself is not a disease; it is just a symptom. When smokers cough it is because their lungs are trying to dispel cancer triggering tars and poisons. When they do not cough those tars and poisons remain in their lungs, and that is when they cause cancer (my italics)" (p.73 Easyway Book)

I never coughed. If I did cough it was because everyone else in the country had the same virus, regardless of whether they smoked or not.

Mistress Mountain said I'd start coughing soon.

What a wheeze ey? What a wheeze! The class I mean heh heh!

Oh the play on words! Zen Boot Camp does that; it puts you in a positive mood!

(Was tempted, have to say, to have a quick puff on Mistress La Francaise's fag after class. Ya know, what's the harm?! One little drag! I am pleased to report I refrained and it wasn't very hard!)

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Hampstead Heath to my rescue

I don't know what I want any more, I don't know what I want to write about, or should write about or anything really. I feel I'm losing my way. I was feeling quite down about it yesterday.

Then my son's school rang. He'd fallen on his head, would I come to pick him up.

"Is it serious? Do I need to take him to hospital?"
"No, it might just be best to keep an eye on him."
"But if it's not serious, can't he stay where he is?"

When they said they'd call me back I suddenly felt guilty. They called me back.

"It's up to you," said the woman.
"Ok, I'll come and get him!"

It was a beautiful day, so blue, so crisp. I said I'd take him up the Heath, buy him a drink. We went and sat on a bench by the pond then he wanted to run up Kite Hill and show me where he and his classmates found a dead bird's head on Monday, on the edge of the forest.

The dead bird was no longer there, but as my son picked out stones on the path, I sat against a big oak tree, my back leaning into its trunk, my head resting on its bark, my eyes closed against the warm sun.

It was what I needed.

To breathe, softly, the beauty outside.

With my son.

It is what I need.

Blogging writing confusions - a song

Keep goin' stranger! (Desperately seeking Susan)

And you can write
For inspiration
Come on
No-one’s waiting

Get into your groove
You don’t have to prove
anything to me, yeah
Get up on your feat, yeah
tap keys to your beat
Post whatever will be

Writing can be such a revelation
Reaching your soul to feel a sweet sensation
It might flow natural if the rhythm's right
Though it can jar and make you feel so tight

Only when I'm writing can I feel this free
By day I open doors, where everyone can see
I'm tired of writing here all by myself
Today I wanna chat with someone else

Get into your groove
You don’t have to prove
anything to me, yeah
Get up on your feet, yeah
tap keys to your beat
Post whatever will be

Blogging gets to know you in a special way
This doesn't happen to me every day
You can hide it if you need disguise
But tell the truth there is no point in lies

Only when I'm writing can I feel this free
By day I open doors, where everyone can see
I'm tired of writing here all by myself
Today I wanna chat with someone else

Get into your groove
You don’t have to prove
anything to me, yeah
Get up on your feat, yeah
tap keys to your beat
Post whatever will be

Live out your fantasy here with bloggy
Just let the writing set you free
Touch your keyboard, and move in time
And know you’ll be fine
And know you’ll be fine
And know you’ll be fine
And know you’ll be fine

You got to
Get into your groove!
You've nothing to prove!
Just chill and see!

(Madonna featuring Stigmum)

Political reality

Over in Hammersmith and Fulham, the Tory run council is selling off nine buildings that house charities (Evening Standard, 8th feb, p8).
"Critics say the move will force the closure of up to 30 community groups and leave thousands of vulnerable residents without support."
"One of the buildings, Palingswick House, which houses 22 charities, is expected to be sold to author Toby Young's West London Free School." Oh, that's alright then...

Over here, in my 'hood, the Labour run council's not much better. It plans to sell its council offices in Kings Cross and build brand spanking new luxury offices in its place, with leisure centre and library apparently, oh lucky staff! (Camden New Journal, 27 Jan P. - sorry can't find my copy! Tis on internet though!)

Meanwhile children's centres are threatened with closure and painfully, community centres are shutting down forcing pensioners and disabled out protesting. Watch this heartbreaking youtube vid:

A similar thing is probably happening near you, probably happening in Hammersmith and Fulham.

Oh I Don't Know
I Don't, Know
I Don't Know

Tuesday, 8 February 2011


Cameron in the Sunday Telegraph:
"I have given local authorities much more power over what to do with their money and I feel perfectly entitled to say to them, in my opinion, when you're making reductions, you should reduce the scale of your chief executive's salary, rather that cut the Citizen's Advice Bureau." (p.4)

Grant Shapps, fellow Tory in Guardian (25th Jan) (on homelessness in particular)
"While we recognise the challenges councils are facing, we do expect to see them match our commitment to the most vulnerable." (

Not long now... the acceptance of responsibility...blame blame blame blame your fault your fault your fault blame blame blame as millions of people are cut until they're bleeding in the coalition cutting process.

Valentine's Day

On Valentine's Day a consultation about DLA reform will end, spelling disaster for some our most disabled country folk. Yeah! The coalition loves disabled people!

Go here for more information:

I must direct you to a really amazing political blog, funny, informed, a voice so powerful.
Today Sue Marsh's article is one we should all read about taxes! I'm hopeless with economics but Sue is a very talented writer who can render the complicated uncomplicated.

Better still, grab yourself a cup of tea and just delight in many of things she has written!

Benefits family in £1.2 million council house

The headlines in the Sun and the Evening Standard actually shouted 'My Big Fat Gypsy Council House' in one, and 'Gipsy family of 12 in £1.2m council house' in other.

What's the story?

I always blog about housing stuff when I'm not sure.....

A gypsy family have been given a council house and to all intents and purposes are a right nuisance to their neighbours in what is described as "an upmarket street". (Posh street to you and me, like where I lived in the church property.) They hurl beer cans and broken glass and used toilet roll in neighbours gardens and consequently have been complained about.

The headlines though.. £1.2 million council flat...

The Sun believes "the couple are secure tenants in their current home, meaning they have it for life, with the option of right to buy - and sell.

That was the Tory idea!!

What are the papers trying to enflame in readers? That gypsies are antisocial folk or that antisocial folk are given council properties in decent areas? Or not even anti-social folk, benefit families, God forbid...

You know from me reader, that council street properties are gold dust these days, that all I had to bid on, that all I have to bid on, are flats on large estates.

Where should families like this gypsy family, or my family, go?

If we lived in ghettos would that make people happier?

It's not pleasant that people should live next to "Hell nieghbours", I've been lucky in recent years. In the church property on Posh Street I was next door to a lovely family with five kids who bought their council flat. In Papier Mache Towers, I had nice neighbours too. I've got nice neighbours here. The guy downstairs came up a couple of weekends ago asking if he could borrow my internet connection and we ended up chatting for two hours.

I wonder what will happen to this gypsy family. Haringey council, quotes the Standard, "issued a final warning to the family last week and said legal action will be taken if the anti-social behaviour doesn't stop immediately. We will have no hesitation to evict the family immediately if the problems persist."

Wealthy neighbours on the street have formed a nieghbourhood watch "to keep tabs on them" (Sun) Not invited them round for a cuppa then....

Where will the family go, or be placed? We are not a country that will see children out on the street, are we?

Coincidentally this story came out just as Asbo's are replaced with 'criminal behaviour orders'. I'm not sure what I think about that, or what the success of criminalising children will be, but hey ho we'll see.

One thing is for sure, dumping all 'anti-social' people together on estates is not the answer to problems in our society.

Shame some people don't realise how lucky they are or are unable, for whatever reason, to make best use of the opportunities they're given.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Accident fall kills pensioner

A tiny tiny story on page 11 of the Camden New Journal. The sad story of a 91 year old retired fork lift driver who fell down the stairs of his home, hitting his head.
The coroner ruled "the 91 year old died as a result of an accident."

Why has it upset me so much?

He lived in Papier Mache Towers, where I used to live. None of these flats have internal steps.
The "stairs of his.. home" are communal; big, deep, concrete steps, dangerous. My son slipped up them once and grazed his cheek. I thanked God when I got a shed for my bike and didn't have to carry that up and down anymore.

This pensioner would have had no choice but to take the stairs because the lifts in that block are constantly out of service. I've mentioned it to you before.

Clearly still nothing is being done about it.

Mr Jeffrey's death wasn't an accident. It was an accident waiting to happen.

May he Rest in Peace.

Nicoteen Replacement Binges

"Beware of CATS," said the man in the coffee shop this morning.
"Huh?" I'd just been telling him and the guy who works there that I'd been bingeing on sweets, crisps, cakes... and everytime I needed a little hit, I made myself a little expresso.
"My yoga instructor told us to beware of CATS," he continued. "Caffeine, Alcohol, Tobacco, Sugar"

I have not desired Al Cohol since that stop session. I've not really desired Nicoteen to be honest, it's been a pretty painless withdrawal.

I knew I might have a problem with sugar because even as a smoker I was very fond of sweets! Biscuits! Cakes! Chocolate! Yummmm!

Last week's little binge session started quite innocently with a teaspoon in the nutella jar.

Now I don't have fags, I really must stop buying all the wrong snacks in the supermarket. I don't want to put on weight but I do want to maintain the weight I am. I do not want to replace all my clothes. There is no cash to replace all my clothes, I only spent £!5 a week on my addiction, not very much at all compared to the ready rolled gang.

Allen Carr wrote "The easyweigh to lose weight".

There might be some tips in there.

Meanwhile I have to find different ways of quelling the fire in my belly.

Dave and I on different sides

The Sunday Telegraph celebrated it's 50th anniversary this weekend and managed to secure an interview with our Prime Minister.

Cameron was asked his favourites from the past 50 years.
Book: Graham Greene's Human Factor. Yep, tis a corker.
Film: Lawrence of Arabia. Oh, yeah ok, whatever, dunno mine.
Album: Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks. Yes, brilliant that one.
Then we part company somewhat

His favourite act of parliament?
Sale of council houses.

Not the minimum wage, which might be mine, but then that wasn't the Tories was it, and Cameron has never been financially exploited.

Sale of council houses.

The Sunday Telegraph asked him:
"Where is the Cabinet Minister who will come forward and say that private prosperity is liberating, empowering and essential for social responsibility?
Dave replies: "The most important Cabinet minister who takes that very strong view is the Prime Minister. You're sitting next to him. It's absolutely what I am doing and saying."

Mr Cameron, selling off the council houses is not an act of social responsibility. It's consigning millions to a life of poverty.

Maybe I should write to him, tell him my new rent. Still, £350 a week is a drop in a large ocean to him.
Wonder what he rents out his Notting Hill property for?
Perhaps I should ask him that too.

Where to take this blog?

Confusion is reigning in the House of Stigmum.
Or it was.
Perhaps it still is.

I was going to take a rest from blogging last week when I was rudely interrupted by Stiggers wanting to share our rent arrears news.

I was going to take a rest because I didn't know how to carry on with this.
Pre eviction the blog was about my eviction. About my eviction and all the things that fell into that; mental health, politics, spirituality, benefits, all kinds of things.
Still, there was a purpose. Will this person, me, get a council flat?

We know the answer now don't we, so why carry on?

I don't want to tell you what I'm plotting and planning. For the simple reason that pre eviction I told you all I plotted and planned and met with no success for any of it.

Perhaps that's why I came back to talk about stopping smoking. I had to do something and flipping succeed goddammit.

So yeah, I've no point of focus anymore. I could write about anything, anything at all, but what?

This weekend I went to church and read a newspaper. Do I write religion or do I write politics?
I took my son to the Chinese New Year celebrations in Trafalgar Square. He also had a friend over to play. Do I talk about cultural highlights in the capital, or about parenting?

I have no comments to guide me at all. When I wrote before, I wrote for myself, it didn't matter.
Something has changed.

I can ask, do you ever feel like this? Do you ever feel this confusion when you are writing?

I can ask but no-one will respond.

Which tells me I should just keep on going, writing about whatever I like, in whatever form l like until such time, I dunno, I get a job or something.

Alright stiggers?

Trust in me

Why I am I thinking Jungle Book?

Because we're playful

Who knew ey, who knew?

Friday, 4 February 2011

And you are who, pumpkin?

An email in my inbox this morning, subject: Re:
No idea who the person is but opened it because I'm curious like that.
"Hi Nicky21"
Hmmm, wrong number.

I'll share the message though because it made me laugh as I adapt to my new life as a non smoker! I haven't forwarded it to any friends though in case it's a virus. I've had to delete it, junk. I also am very wary of chain emails and don't really like them as a rule. This one hasn't promised me anything though, it doesn't promise you anything either!

From one pumpkin to another!!!!!!!
A woman was asked by a coworker,
'What is it like to be a Christian?'
The coworker replied,
'It is like being a pumpkin.'
God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you.
Then He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff.
He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed.
Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.'
This was passed on to me by another pumpkin.
Now it's your turn to pass it to other pumpkins.
liked this enough to send it to all the pumpkins in my patch.

Me and stigs would trade 'Christian' for 'Member of the School of Doris', but that's just us!

New beauty routine

No cigarette!!

I spy with my little eye this morning that crows have come a perching on my face, up by the top of my cheekbones, they've left traces of their footsteps.

Did they peer into my soul I wonder?
What did they see?
That I too am a bird (of sorts!)?
That we can all fly higher than the dreams we dare to live?
Is that what I want to see?
Is that what I know?

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Arrears cleared one hopes....

Just sent the benefits officer, my housing officer and my support worker this:

Thanks (benefits officer), I've forwarded it on to my housing officer (at HA) and my support worker from the homeless division. I hope this clears everything up for (the housing association) and I am in no way held responsible for the current arrears.
Kind regards
Sue de Nim

In response to this:

Dear Ms de Nim

Thank you for your email.

I have checked my records and can confirm that the following payment have been made to your landlord.

Payment made on 12/12/10 £1380.00 covering Housing Benefit from 15/11/10 to 12/12/10.
Payment made on 09/01/11 £1380.00 covering Housing Benefit from 13/12/10 to 09/01/11.
Payment made on 06/02/11 £1380.00 covering Housing Benefit from 10/01/11 to 06/02/11.

Please note that we pay your landlord a month in arrears and in total we have paid your landlord £4140.00.

If they are missing any payments, please ask them to contact our Recovery Team on the following number.
Tel: 020 1234567

I hope the above explanation has clarified your enquiry.

Kind regards

Benefits Officer

Hopefully that's the end of that and no more threatening letters through the post!

A princely sum that I must conquer though isn't it....

Let's not go there today!

"You're glowing"

The Master said it first:
"Did you stop smoking?"
"Yeah! On Saturday!"
"You can tell, you're really glowing."
"Really?!" Didn't feel glowing but why ruin the compliment!

Mistress La Francaise noticed too. We were together for the punching and she said 'you can really notice the whites of your eyes, zey are really white. It can't just be that, the fags, can it?"
"I dunno! Oh I want you to go to the clinic too, it's great!"

I wish I could describe the class to you, the discipline we're taught, the knowledge we're fed about our own bodies, as we stretch them this way then that, or power a kick this way or that, go from plank to push up plank to push up up in fluid movements.

I'm finally getting the hang of it, something's clicked in my mind, and I'm loving it!

Me and Mistress Ha Ha (most powerful I'd say of the troupe (and I felled her today!!) are going to stand outside schools next week and try and recruit more Women to the Academy.

If you see us, come along!

Desire for a familiar enemy

I wanted a cigarette this morning. I really did. I was singing Britney's 'hit me baby one more time' to Nico Teen.

I asked myself why I wanted a fag when I didn't really want a fag. I wasn't feeling stressed you see. Yesterday went well with the support worker, he told me I wouldn't be evicted in April, that my tenancy was safe.

Familiarity I decided. I wanted to sit quietly with 'old virginia because well, we've been through tough times together, she understands me!

Fortunate therefore that it was Zen Boot Camp today. Fantastic class. Partnered with Mistress La Francaise at the end, couldn't resist telling her: "hit me baby one more time!"

Master 's boom box sang out the Specials - a Message for Mistress - "Stop ya messin' around!"

It was ACE! Crikey, when was the last time I said ACE?!

Can't remember!! Maybe last week but not on blogspot!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

"Tough times - difficult choices"

I've been invited to take part in a housing consultation today, filling in a questionnaire for Camden's housing strategy 2011 - 2016. "Developing a housing future together - Tough times, difficult choices: Your say."

I worry about consultations sometimes. I think at the end of day councils will interpret what they like, do what they like.

I suspended my cynicism however and answered the questions. Fairly simple, what were my 'three priorities' to improve the housing situation - more homes, fair allocation, bring empty properties back in to use. My 'three priorities' for Camden as landlord - improve the condition of homes, build homes, improve estates.

There were options for tackling tenancy fraud, anti social behaviour, improving sustainability, moving people to smaller homes, tackle overcrowding.

I said I was in 'supported housing' because I didn't see the option for me. I am not a housing association tenant in the same sense as those who are not statutorily homeless.

21,000 people on the waiting list. Residents of Camden who are not on the waiting list have been invited to participate. How many people will participate and fill in the questionnaire?
They could post it if it falls through their letter box
Or do online like I have.

I understand why some people can't see the point but I can't do nothing can I?

Housing support worker is coming round this afternoon to talk about the arrears.
There's been an error, there's not much to talk about.
Except my future here of course - tough times and difficult choices.....

Standard threats

I called the Housing Association this morning and spoke to a nice lady. I told her I had a letter from the benefits office saying my rent was being paid to the housing association from 15/11/10 and that over £1,000 had been paid in December. I was not responsible for the £4,140 rent arrears.

Nice lady told me the letter I received yesterday was 'standard' and 'a bit harsh'. Yeah, you could say...

I told her that I had done everything that I was asked to do so it was most unfair now, that something has gone wrong, that it is I who is threatened with legal proceedings.

She said my housing officer would call me. For his part he apparantly emailed the benefits office the day before yesterday.

The joy of that phone call is that housing officer left notes on my 'screen' so nice lady was able to talk to me about the letter. A far cry from when I was being evicted, awaiting bailiff's and every one claimed to know nothing about it every time I called.

I do not know where the missing thousands have gone, for one payment has been made by the benefits office.

This is just the beginning for me. It's almost as though I've been warned. You wait once I start working for money, it's going to be a fecking nightmare.

I've met the working mammas in rent arrears, it really is never their fault. Returning to work is their only crime.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

No taste for a cigarette

I know what fear tastes like. I know what fury tastes like. I know what desire tastes like.
It's a thirst -that even water cannot quench

Having a cigarette now would undo the amazing feelings of a few days ago.
The nausea yesterday afternoon was 99% of nicoteen leaving my body (sheet given to us by clinic - 48 hours after quitting)

When you stop smoking you have no alternative but to be strong because shit comes flying whether you want it to or not.

Don't give this country the satisfaction of killing yourself.

Rise above yourself instead.

Rent Arrears - £4,100

31 January 2011

Dear Ms de Nim,

I am concerned to note that today, 31 January 2011, your rent account is £4,140.00 in arrears. This includes the current weekly rate of £345.00

Under the terms of your Tenancy Agreement your rent is due every Monday in advance. Any arrears of rent (including those due to non-payment of Housing Benefit) are your responsibility and are treated very seriously by the Association. If the amount of benefit you receive is not enough to cover the rent payable, you must make up any difference.

If you have made a claim for Housing Benefit and your claim is not yet in payment or your payments have reduced or stopped then you must contact the benefit office to find out the reason for this.


If you have received any letters from the Council asking for further information you must supply this to them immediately.

Please contact me within the next 5 days to sicuss this matter on xxxx If you do not respond to this letter we we will have no choice but to start the legal proceedings, which may, lead to your eviction.

Yours sincerely
Housing Officer

17th November 2010 - My notebook
Text to Housing Officer
Tommy, does the rent go straight to (HA) like it did Papier Mache Towers , or from me to (HA). Need to speak 2 u as went 2 housing benefit yesterday.

18th November 2010 - My notebook
Housing Benefit ok for now
Called Tommy. The "Landlord" ie Housing Association hasn't sent back the Housing Benefit form back yet. Seems it was something I signed in the short time we had when I picked up the keys.
I'm already in arrears with the Housing Association from the church eviction.
I do so hope the cost of their procrastination doesn't fall to me.

1st Feb
Bang goes my break from blogging. There can be no break, not now Nico Teen's gone and I can't sit outside for hours with that. Stigmum is housing, she wants to expose it. I want to find, I want to find....I want to not deal with this crap.
Emailed benefits office and housing association. Called housing officer, no reply on landline or mobile.
No Nico Teen, no mulling.
I am pacing up and down though trying to find an avenue to channel down my anger.