Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Red herrings and legal quagmires

Thought I'd chance my luck this morning and go to the Law Centre about the letter for Dobbie.

Chance my luck... ha ha very fecking funny. Came out in tears didn't I, so frustrated I am.

If I hadn't written so many posts I'd locate for you now the one where I wrote the housing councillor here in Camden told me the policy change I wanted wasn't up to the council, it was a legislative matter for which I'd need an mp to get and modify a statutory instrument.

Over at the law centre, I was told that it is up to the local council to define their allocations policies; there were no statutory instruments to do with the points families and individuals aren't given (though they'd won a case recently arguing for a hostel family to be given overcrowding points which will have a wider effect. Good news but I'm still not taking my son to one if I can fecking help it)

They like to talk lawyers, don't they. I shudder with the cuts to legal aid and people having represent themselves because you have to represent yourself to a lawyer to get them to help and represent you in the first place. I've failed and failed again on that score. I did ask her, when she said cases were taken on 'merit', why my son and I didn't 'merit' legal help when we were being evicted. We could've gone for the lack of overcrowding points, lack of instability points, all sorts. She didn't like that much, and said it's done on 'a first come first serve basis'. That didn't make me feel better as I thought of the last time I came to them for help and was behind a bangladeshi dad in a temporary flat who wasn't being evicted. You can't help but wonder even though you're not allowed to wonder.

Anyway, I'm upset so capable at running off on all kinds of tangents.

Housing councillor lied to me. He had, he has the power to change the policy I asked him to change. Why did you lie to me???? Lawyer told me to go back to him and ask for the statutory instrument he's talking about, so there's an email I have to write but don't want to because I know he won't reply. I've been published in the local press haven't I? I'm no longer one to trust. Besides, no-one likes to admit they sent you up the garden path to catch a fish on a bicycle.

Yeah, so Dobbie wasn't wrong getting me to get a lawyer to write him a letter but I'm not getting one from the law centre.

There are statutory instruments she said, the two main ones being:
Priority groups within housing framework are set by government and homeless are one of those, as are those with unsanitary housing ('how do you decide who needs it more' lawyer asked rhetorically)
The other is to encourage the private sector as a way of preventing homelessness. I know that's a sham.

Write a letter. Say what needs changing. Too fucking complicated isn't it.

The law centre run their own campaigns, and achieve small inroads with successful 'case by case' cases, she explained.

They won't help me run my campaign. They won't take me on as a case.

Why did I start crying?

I saw me and my son being evicted again in two years time and being well and truly fucked.


' Red herring' was the lawyer speaking, 'legal quagmire' is me. Ironic I was talking to the lawyer just as shoutforjustice's let them eat cake protest was taking place outside parliament. Lawyer said housing wouldn't be affected by legal aid cuts. I just stared at her, rendered mute by the whole damned thing.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The mystery of 2011. Freaky!!!

Received in my inbox today. I generally hate chains but this one is so interesting!! It's mad!! I love it, hence share it with you!! (There was a picture of a calender but I couldn't cut and paste it for you but I'm sure you'll get the picture!)

The thunder roars overhead as I pass you this magic!!!

"Have a Fengshui of a day!"


Money bags

This year, July has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays.

This happens once every 823 years. This is called money bags.

So, forward this to your friends and money will arrive within 4 days.

Based on Chinese Feng Shui. The one who does not forward.....will be without money.

Kinda interesting - read on!!!

This year we're going to experience four unusual dates.

1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, 11/11/11 and that's not all...

Take the last two digits of the year in which you were born - now add the age you will be this year,
The results will be 111 for everyone in whole world.
This is the year of the Money!!!
The proverb goes that if you send this to eight good friends money will appear as it is explained in Chinese FENGSHUI.

Its a mystery, but its worth a try. good luck.

I sent it to nine (?!) and to you, whoever you are because I just love how mad it is!! Try it! (and yes, of course, I hope the cash comes rolling in!_Who doesn't?!

How loud must one SCREAM?????

A new political reality is somewhat inevitable, but a complete abandonment of housing's longstanding values is not. If voices are not heard now, while the policy debate is still open, they may be silenced forever.

This quote from Hannah Fearn's article in the Guardian about her trip to the housing conference in Harrogate last week. One punter exclaimed surprise at how nice one social housing build was. Not allowed I don't think, comfort, when you're skint.

Anyway, my point is, that since, since early 2010 I've been chucking my voice about to ministers. Earlier than that to councillors, charities. Oh my, I sent my Election/Eviction story to all kinds of people, got published in the Guardian myself.

Which makes me beg the question, whose voice exactly needs to be heard here?

Clearly not mine. I'm on benefits and although it's dawned on me before, it's dawned on me again that the opinions of those of us on benefits don't count; Don't count and don't matter.

Still, I can't help myself, another article I saw yesterday, this time by the shadow minister for housing, Seabeck. I had a bit of a rant. Should perhaps have used my name (Delilah?) instead of Stigmum's but hell, ours are two voices screaming. There are thousands more, but no-one hears them.

Labour's housing policy won't be rushed she says. Why didn't Labour say that in June last year instead of a year later when damage has already been done by the coalition?

Tempting I tell you, to abandon all hope

Oh I Don't Know

Do You?

Developers paying NOT to build social housing grrr

Property developers are paying milions of pounds, like £9 million, so they do not have to sell units to social housing.

There was a plan, set up by Ken Livingstone, that 35% to 50% of homes on large sites be sold to "government aided housing association for rent or part buy" (in Chelsea Barracks in this case)

Boris has relaxed the rules, dropped the target, so the poor can basically fuck off and everyone else pay a bit extra rent in order to pay back the millions the developers spent trying to avoid poorer people. OK, the Evening Standard last Friday didn't put it quite like that but you can't crib the whole lot can you, verbatim..

Or can you..

"One planner says the social experiment of using the planning laws to form mixed communities is being quietly abandoned across London as one council after another accepts cash payments to build homes for poorer fold (sic) well away from the rich," writes Peter Bill.

The 50,000 homes target will be set, the article says, but where? Where will my son and I go when we're oofed out of here?

"The 2010 London Housing Strategy talks warmly of encouraging mixed communities; but not warmly enough to insist that that mixing rich and poor in the same development."

The whole thing stinks. Somewhere I read in a poll that over 70% of people felt we need more housing but over 40% of those didn't want those homes, the type of people who inhabit them, whoever they are, near them.

I know none of my followers are part of this 40% because I bang on about housing alot and they are still with me. Mind you, I don't have 100's of followers do I....

Interesting you could say...

I just shake my head, at total loss. No wonder Boris wouldn't meet me. His "strategy" is to get rid of me.


Monday, 27 June 2011


In the meadow at the ladies pond
I'm so lucky
It's the best place to be this beautiful blue sky sunny day
The best
The best!
I AM so lucky!

Wanted to blog this morning
blog then swim?
swim then blog?
Swim then blog or
I wouldn't leave the flat
this beautiful day

To blog:-
1. Housing - 50% social housing - not likely - Evening Standard
2. Housing. Guardian article: If people don't make a noise. I make a noise - do people on benefit not count

Above taken from notebook for after that, the weight of housing thoughts made my head drop onto my sarong and there it remained until I forced myself to go swim again.

(I didn't dive in. First swim of my Crikieth and I didn't dive in.. What.. I think I'm too old now??? One observation about age though, at the ladies pond:

Younger women - blonde hair, brown hair, black hair, red hair, ginger hair, strawberry hair, mousey hair, all kinds of different coloured long and short hair.
Older women - differing shades of long and short grey

Against a luscious green backdrop

Friday, 24 June 2011

Tom Jones at Kenwood

OK, there's probably a fab line up over at Glastonbury but Tom Jones is playing Kenwood this evening.

How I'd LOVE to go to that!!!!

Can't though, but ne'er mind, thought I'd post you a vid, of him singing Delilah a, erm, while ago!
Delilah used to be one of my karaoke favourites when I worked in the hostess bar in Japan!

Is Stigmum called Delilah? I thought Sue de Nim but perhaps not!

My my my, my Stigmum!
Why why why, my Stigmum!
I could see that girl was no good for me
but I was lost like a slave that no man/no state/ no one could free

We'll be back Stigs and I after the weekend. I'm not ready to kill her off, or myself off come to that!

Anyway, check out his moves and for all of you at Kenwood tonight, have a blast!!

Losing and abandoning Hope

You know me, well, Jen at the Cigarette Diaries certainly knows me; I lose hope all the time. I lose hope, I find hope, I lose hope, I find hope, lose find lose find lose find....

The local paper published my letter! Find!

Thinking about it


Nothing I've written about housing has had a positive impact.

If my letter has no impact, which it's unlikely to given past experiences, should I just abandon all hope that I can achieve anything at all?

I find that I can't.

I cannot abandon hope. I can lose it, I just can't abandon it.

All I need to do is a get a letter. You'd think it would be really easy wouldn't you.

The system I'm caught in wants me to abandon hope. Wants all of us to abandon hope. That's reason, if any needed, not to!

Find me Hope! Hope, find me!

You, only ever abandon hope if it's the right to do.

How do you know?

Your heart tells you.

Hopes and dreams

Could Frank Dobson be accused of being a bit rich? (I earn £66,000 but I can’t afford to leave council flat June 18) Compared with many of his financially challenged constituents on the waiting list for housing he could be, maybe.

However in this borough of ever increasing rents, one perhaps must concede that £66,000 probably doesn’t go far in the private sector, and certainly doesn’t guarantee a secure tenancy and a stable place to live in the rental market.

Should he be begrudged living in a council flat when he is a staunch and loyal defender of affordable social housing and lobbies on behalf of those who want and need to live in the areas where they have family, community connections, jobs and children in schools?

Over the last seven years I have appealed to Mr Dobson for help with housing a few times; twice on behalf of my family experiencing recurring evictions, once on behalf of the borough following Jennyfer Spencer’s death on account of inappropriate housing and more recently on behalf of our country, having failed in my appeals to Coalition ministers, including the mayor of London.

Mr Dobson has sent me off to get a letter so get a letter I will if it helps stop the unfolding catastrophe my family is still trapped in. You’d think it would be really easy wouldn’t you, but somewhere this century there are streets perhaps not paved with gold but laid with homes for ordinary people to live in, grow in, and age in without fear.

I reserve all judgement knowing Dobson’s the best hope Camden’s got right now.

Guy who runs the Shack said it was "a good read."
Guy who owns the coffee shop said "it's a difficult one..."
Mum who lives nearby said "Go girl!"

Nothing I have written over the years has had any impact, other than a negative one - afterall, look what this coalitions doing to so many of us - on the back of my articles???

Flip, can't abandon hope can I? Or can !? More to the point, should I?

Let's see what happens ey. I'm just very glad it got published!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

1500th post!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you Adam 'n' Eve it?! Two and a half years of blogging and this is my 1,500th post!

Should crack open the champagne really, and might just to that when Jo comes round for lunch later. She bought me a mini bottle of Brut as a Crikieth birthday present and I haven't drunk it yet (which won't impress her so what excellent timing!)

I wanted to craft a reflection upon this auspicious occasion, for I never dreamed I would write so much, I never thought I'd get to 1000 posts; I believed in Stigmum's happy ending - that she'd get the council flat; the secure affordable home to raise her child - the ending to give others hope ha ha ha.

Who knows, we still might. Given up on myself for now, I don't want to move from my expensive insecure flat, but I've not given up on the issue that effects millions.

I've been thinking of this blog and you know what, it might not be up there with the best of them or even up there with the rubbish ones but I like it.

I like what we've done, Stigs and I. The other day I spoke to a journalist from a housing charity and told him if he wanted to know how I felt being evicted, just read the label 'bidding' or 'housing and government'.

My love of smoking and my journey out of the addiction is all here, neatly labelled!
My thoughts on work, about impending policies back in 2009 that are happening now. What more can I really say that I haven't said before? Oh, I am working now. Nearly.

Paranoia and shame I felt about stuff, all here. Once upon a time I didn't want you to know I prayed! For crying out loud!! I was embarrassed to tell you! My goodness, my fear of being judged; it permeates this blog. Fear; emotions we all feel. Poetry? Anyone?

As time goes by I give less and less of a toss what anyone thinks of me. On here that is. Out in the real world I have to accept myself in the same way. Let go, let go of myself, let go of fear.

I think that's long enough, don't you? For my 1,500th post?

That's alot of posts to read over again, and some of them I do; through that stats thing, I see what people read that I have long forgotten I wrote! Some of it's alright!

I raise a glass to all bloggers. Whatever keeps you going in blogland, enjoy what you are doing, what you are writing, what you are saying or trying to say.

Live and learn. Life is a sentence not a full stop! (I read that somewhere, that's not me being clever, alas!)


(Just one post today, not three! Polly Toybee's article can wait til tomorrow. Oh sod it, have it today... a response to Cameron's diatribe to stigmatise fathers and the 'heroic' job we stigmums do..which is why we continue to be the ones who get hurt, this time charging us to use the CSA:

There, I think that's enough for my 1500th post! Thank you Stigmum. Thank you Polly. Thank you blogspot. Good day!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Dobson a Labour traitor?

An article in the Sunday Times yesterday from Minette Marrin accusing Dobson of being a labour traitor as he claims he can't afford to leave his council flat.

She writes what's the point of him, the injustice that the well off occupy council flats at the expense of the poor, which you could say yes if you take me and Dobbie but plenty of poor people live in council housing, loads.

She accuses him of being "disingenous", as £66,000 isn't all he gets, which is true. She also says she can't believe he says he doesn't know how much rent he pays, which crossed my mind too.

She accuses him of "greedy shamelessness" and "selfish indifference", questions his "understanding of social reality", indeed, really goes to town on him.

Her piece juxtaposes beautifully with mine, which will (will will will) appear in the Ham and High.

Marrin's piece ends: "There is aboslutely no point in Labour politicians like him."
My piece ends: "Dobson's the best hope Camden's got."

Couldn't resist sending the Ham and High piece to the Guardian. One of their journalists is off to Harrogate for a housing conference this week.

Blimey, I wish I could go! Got pint pulling to do though haven't I...grrr!

Reunions - Food for the soul!

Two reunions this weekend!
Friday night, old journo friend Anne was over from France so a great excuse to get together.

Saturday was a school reunion. Some of us hadn't seen one another in decades!! I was supremely lucky on two counts. The first was that I was a little hungover so it quelled the nerves and the second, which was spectacularly lucky, was that one of my closest friends from back then came over from Paris and asked to stay with me!!!

What a formidable lot of fine women we were!! No-one over glammed it, although every one was glam, and not much older looking than when we were teenagers, it was surreal!!

We were pretty much all represented which was really cool
Women with husbands/partners and jobs
Women with husbands/partners and children and jobs
Women with husbands/partners and children
Women with children and jobs
Women with children.

What a blast!

From 2 until 7 we had the upstairs room in a pub, then eight of us went out to dinner which only cost £20 because two of the girls covered the cost. None of the wealthier ones made any of the poorer ones feel in anyway devalued. You know, shit and skint and like failures. None of that, we were all who we AMAZINGly were! Are!

And that was the bliss of the whole event - being reunited with people who value you, who value me! Real affection swirled around that room, that restaurant, that pub afterwards, that club three of us fell into at the end!

On the way out of the pub, earlier in the day, one pregnant mother heading home said: "Good luck with your campaigning!" Ooh that tickled me that did. I played it down, that day, what I did but what a boost to have it accepted, particularly right now when I feel I'm sailing quite close to the wind....eek! I can do it!

This morning I told a mum on the school run about my weekend and she asked if it was the school I liked. "Of course!" I said. "I don't think I have the courage to go to the shit school one. Or maybe would have the courage but why would I put myself through that?"

It's really important to be around people who value you.
(We're saying value alot here stigs...)
It's true though; it makes for fantastic present moments and fine memories!

What ever good there is, hold it within yourself

Let it permeate your very soul and give you what you need!

Friday, 17 June 2011


I've barely read or watched the news this week but did see that Ed Milliband said council flats would go to people who worked.


You can hear me, can't you, thinking it.

Well, yesterday, in the Ham & High, an article about Frank Dobson saying he earns £66,000 but still can't afford to leave his council flat!

That's rich ey?!

Ah you have to laugh.

Well, I allowed myself a little chuckle as I wrote a letter in response to it last night, mindful, very very mindful, that I went to see Dobbie two weeks ago and he agreed to help me if I can get the law centre or another organisation to write to him.

I read my horoscopes this morning which told me there a was a lunar eclipse yesterday.

Are you feeling ok after the eclipse yesterday? asks Closer Online.

Well yes, if the paper publishes my letter, if a body (Shelter? Or do I have to do a law degree?) writes a letter, if Dobbie from all that, talks to ministers and and and...

Apparently there are more eclipses on the way.

Does it mean something GOOD Nina? Yeah, I've been listening to that alot this morning, as I emailed my letter across.

Be still
Be still
Be still

Eek !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fear can be a real waste of time

I planned to have a picnic to mark my Crikieth birthday.
Over the past few years I have marked every birthday with a picnic.
My heart wasn't totally in it this time.
"The last time," I said to people. Not just the stress of it; but mostly the stress of it.
Annie facebooked me on Friday. "Do you have a Plan B"
"No, I said. I'm praying! Asking Angels to blow the clouds away so there'll be sunshine!"
I decided to be realistic though and look at the weather forecast.
Lovely saturday, lovely monday, downpour picnic day. "Wash-out" said the weather man.

For once, I could have a plan B.

My flat. It could accommodate adults I told another friend on facebook, but children? Including hers there'd be 27... with mine...28. FUCK!

Perhaps I should just cancel but cancelling my Crikieth.Stay in, on my own, feeling sorry myself... what did that say as a prelude to the new decade???????????????

Queen. This on repeat ALL Friday night. Over and over and over and over:

Never in all the years that I've had birthday picnics has the weather let me down, but never have I had a flat to accommodate any plan B. The promised pitter patter of raindrops felt almost like a celestial conspiracy.

I spoke to my son, told him he'd just have give up his bedroom. "Let Chaos Reign!"

My party was a terrific success. 27 children didn't come. Hannah left her 4 behind, others left siblings with husbands. My brother in law (my sister came!) took the boys out to play football in the rain.

Why, for an occasion such as my Crikieth birhday, didn't I always just plan to do it in this flat - which is designed for parties really?

Because I was scared. Scared people wouldn't show up. Scared people wouldn't enjoy themselves. Scared scared scared.

Had I done it in my flat, maybe those who have come to my picnics in the past would have more likely come. Who knows. I told myself to think about the people who did come though, not the psople who didn't.

Scared scared scared...pff...

Fear. Whoever knew it can be a real waste of time.

"Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway" = a book I think, an expression perhaps.

There might be something in it!

Crossing the great decade divide

I look forward to new decades. Perhaps that says more about the decade that precedes the one I'm entering, but still, I tend to be positive; clean slates an' all.

I left blogspot I think the day the social worker was meant to come round. He didn't turn up and I was upset because I'd bought my dad a birthday card but hadn't had time to send it because I was sat at home waiting for the appointment.

The following day, I bought a 3/4 bottle of Rose wine, the last one in the supermarket. Why not I thought, a little sup, be thankful for what and who I have in my life.

I started to cry into that bottle. With every sip, a tear would fall. Yeah, aging might have been part of it, but so too, the friends I had at the beginning of the decade, who weren't with me any more. My goodness I sobbed. Good job it was a small bottle...

I woke up on Friday still crying. Thought I'd treat myself to a spot of retail therapy.

I cried on the bus, I cried on the pavements, I cried in the stores, I cried on the tube to Moorgate where I'd been invited to a 'soft launch' - the opening of new restaurant - where I had a Lobster and King Prawn risotto and verily dried me eyes after that!

Panic over my picnic replaced alcohol that evening. I had no Plan B.

After I posted on Tuesday I went back to Oxford Street and returned the goods I'd bought.Well, nothing fit for a start and I'm not that into pink.

So I'll say that crossing the great decade divide can be quite fraught, but once over the other side, quite liberating too.

Well it has been for me.

Like I said, I like new decades. They're like a fresh start, a clean slate, a new page. I've learnt over time not to have any expectations though.

So I have no expectations of what this decade might bring.

Live your days one at a time, moment by moment if you have to.

And Good luck!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Counting one's blessings

This beautiful blue morning I thought I'd take a walk up to Hampstead Heath where I would count my blessings. I've got my hair on my head, got my brains, got my ears got my eyes got my nose, got my mouth, I've got my smile, just like Nina.

I had so many blessings to count I simply emptied my mind and let the air kiss my face, my fingers, me.

It's good to empty one's mind occasionally and breathe in then out again

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Picking oneself up by way of horoscopes...

Your career dreams are coming true. The right connections and support for what you envision are within reach. Flaunt your talents and accomplishments; those who have the power to help you will be impressed.

Oh Keen!

There's a limit to what you can do today. You can't fly to the moon. You can't snap your fingers and cause rose bushes to blossom. You can't consistently predict the winners of horse races or see the numbers that will win the next lottery draw. Or make you-know-who do you-know-what, just by the force of your will. But there are, still, many things you can do. You can't break the rules of nature but in so far as they can be bent by anyone now, they can be bent by you. So bend them with confidence and with sensitivity!

Oh Cainer!

I shall think upon your words as I sweep the debris from under my feet!

A social visit?

My son has a new social worker who is coming round this afternoon.

It has been a long time since the last visit and this new guy inferred on the phone that maybe my son and I didn't need the social services any longer.

There's a fair chance my Child In Need won't be a Child In Need by tonight.

That's good!

Is it good?

I like this flat. If I didn't like this flat, I'd want the social services to help us get out of it. I want to be out of the financial rent horror and temporary leases but I don't want to be out of this flat. Or maybe I do - it's phenomenally expensive to run. Sure, the heating's off now, but come a whiff of cold weather, my walls are made of paper.

Anyway, I've clearly woken up quite low today. I've got a picnic to organise, I should be excited!

I've a flat to tidy...

I can't be arsed. Or rather, there's other things I need to do.

My son is on the social worker's register because I am a messy person. I'm 'harming' him by forcing him to live in my clutter.

Oh flip

I'll tell him if he can't help us with housing, he can't help us at all.

My son will be off their books as a Child In Need.


That's the next eviction if rent arrears don't see us out first.

My son will be off their books as a Child In Need.

Because the social services have always been about me not him and I'm doing fine.

Thank you.

Do politicians watch the documentaries I do?

I'm wondering if Dave and George were sitting on their respective sofas in their respective houses last night, cup of cocoa in hand, watching Poor Kids on BBC 1.

Just wondering because it was on quite late; 10.35, so their kids would be snugly tucked up in their beds where the mattress wouldn't be wet from damp in the room and wallpaper peeling off the blackened walls.

They'd have eaten their evening meal, possibly something fresh from the organic grocer, not a plate of rice they've taken a loan out to buy.

The documentary was on just after the news, like Question Time is on after the news and I'd lay bets that they watch that occasionally, or maybe not, well maybe just incase they have to defend one of their own in the morning's press.

You know, no, I don't reckon either of them watched Poor Kids, or if they did, they'd certainly never admit to it.

How could they?

The rot has set in in our country. Oh the rot's been there for ages, it hasn't just appeared overnight, but where the rot is worse than before, now, I don't see that Dave or George are going to do anything to make it better. I don't think they want to make it better. I think they find perverse enjoyment in condemning. Though they don't see it that way, of course not.

In the programme, one girl's family was finally moved from her crumbling, damp ridden home, but her friend's family wasn't... she of the peeling ceiling.

I only caught some of Monday's Panorama - A Job to get Work - A Tory minister was on that talking well, damp air; sickly stuff, I had to leave the room.

Poor Kids
Poor Disabled
Poor Elderly
for all I know
Poor You

I don't know if politicians watch the documentaries I do.
I do know they should.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

£350m slash on Legal Aid will affect you....

I'd stopped blogging for the day and thought I'd drop in on Twitter and have a read when Shelter, who I follow, alerted me to this article in yesterday's Guardian:

It makes for horrific reading. Could you really represent yourself?? People are already having to and they're saying up to 650,000 more will join them.

Family courts, wouldn't you know, are the ones most affected.

If you don't have a footballer's wage, you're screwed frankly.

Tory big brother sounds off on Legal Aid.

David Cameron's older brother who's a criminal law barrister, has apparantly been putting pressure on him to rethink his slashing of £350 million in Legal Aid.

That, I have to say, if it is true and not some spin to make Dave seem a better person through his family members, is potentially really significant.

While I was being evicted I was silenced by legal aid cuts. The government wants to silence everyone.

But you know that, don't you?

Labour's Housing election priority

I read things late, I do, but yesterday trawling through Guardian online discovered that Ed Miliband has made housing an 'election priority'. He's pledged, a week or so ago, to build 25,000 new homes.

That's all very good but I can't help wishing he'd read out my postcard in PMQ's or whereever. Can you imagine? Sent by a statutory homeless person regarding money for repairs of existing properties? Loaded I reckon, for a good debate afterwards especially as there's also a dead person named on it but then what do statutory homeless people know...

This one has discovered there's a big housing conference going on in Harrogate in two weeks time organised by the Chartered Institute of Housing. The Housing Minister and the Shadow Housing Minister will be there. Should be interesting, in light of Miliband's new pledges!

I wonder if Dobbie will pass my letter to Shapps to Seabeck the Shadow and she'll ask him questions that he hasn't answered me?

That would be quite funny actually, in that stranger things have happened kind of way...

Heh heh heh hmmm

Obstacles and patience...

So simple, so simple I thought it would be.

I ran along to the Law Centre like my good MP told me to (and he is good, he is..) and they said, well the receptionist said, that the lawyers can't write a letter unless the MP writes them a letter specifically asking them to do so.

"Oh really?" I said, incredulous. It didn't help that I met a human rights lawyer at a party a few weeks ago who said statutory instruments were very quick to look up if you are in the field, so when the receptionist said 'It's a lot of work', I erm, didn't quite believe her. And besides, in this case, my MP made it quite clear I had to help him, in order for him to help me. I told him the Law Centre were unlikely to help me, legal aid an' all, and he seemed to think because I wasn't taking a case it should be fine.

I rang the MP's office afterwards. His secretary said that he couldn't write the letter. She also said the Law Centre would only do it if they saw an interest in it.

Do they see an interest in the homeless being given rights or do they think holy fuck, every one will have rights and no-one will be able to exercise them because there's no money and what little legal aid is left is being slashed?

Despondant I was. Despondant because I'd also written to Shelter (you may think that contacting both it wrong but I'm on my own here, I need as much support with my idea as possible...)

Anyway, Shelter haven't gotten back..yet. The MP's secretary said it might take a while.

Cainer told me yesterday to be patient.

I had a dream this morning I should so a course in housing law, become a housing lawyer and write the letter to the MP myself on embossed paper. Wave it at the ministers. It made me tired just thinking about it...

I don't know. Perhaps I should do what my instinct told me yesterday, as well as Cainer, to sit on my hands so I don't bite my nails and pick my cuticles and bide my time.

Argh, you know, sometimes I need to take my own advice and slowwww dowwwwn and trussst that things will work out.

Up hill all the way innit?

Monday, 6 June 2011

Hoping my idea's developing - a song

Once I believed that when ideas came to me
They would come with plans and answers quick(er)ly
But with homeless you
it just started quietly and grew
And believe it or not
Now there's something groovy and good
'Bout whatever I got

And it's getting better
Growing stronger warm and wiser
Getting better everyday, better every day?

I do feel quite turned on and starry eyed
And I feel a calm contentment deep inside
Holding dreams at night just seems kind of natural and right
If it works you will see
That it isn't half of what it's going to turn out to be

My idea’s getting better
Growing stronger, warm and wiser
Getting better everyday, better everyday?

Ba da da da da da da da da da da da

And I don't mind waitin', do I mind waitin?
'Cause no matter how long it takes
That deep down I know
My idea’s getting better
Growing stronger, warm and wiser
Getting better everyday, better everyday

I hope it's getting strong
I really hope it's getting strong
I hope it's getting strong
I really hope it's getting strong....

(Mama Cass featuring Stigmum)

and now with accompanying music you can hear....!

The Tortoise and the Hare

In my son's absence, I told you didn't I that I would take a break from blogging in order to clear that head of mine ready to ask Dobbie to save the Universe, just for me (heh heh).

I didn't clear my head, but I did go to see him.

He recognised me which was great and at the same time was suprised to see me. What would I want now?

Save the Universe Dobbie!

No, of course what I'd planned to say I didn't, but I got my main points out:

The homeless are discriminated against in policy. Please get the Statutory Instrument (whatever that is... yeah, I was still confused by the time I went to see him). He said there were hundreds upon thousands of Statutory Instruments and I looked at him blankly. Well, it felt blankly from my side, I couldn't say what he interpreted because he told me to get a legal organisation such as the Law Centre or Shelter to write to him listing what needed to be changed and he would take that to ministers!

I was quite shocked. I don't know what I expected. Surely I expected that? I couldn't ask for much better could I?

I'd come armed with four letters. One I'd written to him, one I'd written to Miliband, one I'd written to Shapps and the latest one to Clegg. I'd had a whole speech prepared around these letters but all I said was to read them.

One thing that startled me was how startled he looked when I said amending the Statutory Instruments as relates to the homeless was a "symbolic gesture that will rip open the debate. The need, the need..." and he nodded like he understood what I was saying.

He didn't say nothing could be done though did he? He didn't say it was hopeless. He could have done. Imagine he was a Tory.. he would have done, maybe, possibly, perhaps.

This, after what it seems like years I've been campaigning, feels like a beginning. It feels like a beginning that won't have a speedy resolution.

That night I had a dream about the Tortoise and the Hare. The tortoise wins in the end! The tortoise wins!

I must do as Dobbie asked then patiently wait.

Patiently hope.

Patiently believe.

I also promised New Day New Lesson that I would post her link about turtles and rabbits because I read it just the next day and it felt like a brilliant coincidence even though our subject matter differed!

Slow and steady wins the race she says.

My campaign's been slow and hopefully I can one day prove or give hope to others, that slow can finish and finish successfully!


The joy of seeing my son!

My beautiful boy finally arrived home from his Spanish holiday at 3pm yesterday afternoon. For the first time ever I spontaneously began to cry which set him off so we hugged hugged hugged and tried to laugh it off!

Maybe it was the anticipation; I'd been looking forward to seeing him since before he even went away! Then for him to be late... I was emotionally knackered....

A curious thing though.

At the very beginning when he went there was a void within me that ached because love and my child resides there and my son was gone, only for a week, but nonetheless gone.

So in order to fill the void, I thought I'd imagine that I had a full time job and a husband.

So I closed my eyes and imagined my full time job that I loved and imagined coming home to a man who I loved and you know what, I missed my son so intensely, that I could not fantasise about that again!

What does that tell ya?!

So from then on whenever that longing came for my child, my child's laugh, my child's hugs, my child's conversations, I just imagined him. I just closed my eyes and pictured his face and the ache would pass.

It rained all afternoon. I'd planned to take him to the Green Fair at Regents Park but we just stayed at home and being home with him, was just the perfect place to be!

Lucky are we who have children, don't you agree?!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

My son not being home yet haiku

My love for my son
Encapsulates all feelings
Today is FURY

My son being home haiku

My love for my son
Encapsulates all feelings
Right now I feel peace

Silent Sundays

All over the blogosphere, there are mums who post photos every week under a meme (meme?) entitled Silent Sunday.

Many of these pictures are really beautiful and allow you to reflect peacefully, smile perhaps. To date I haven't joined in with this. I have a camera but lost the bits.

Still, I come to pierce the Silent Sunday with my Silent Scream

My son isn't home.

I sent a text last night saying I expect him back by 12 so as I wait I still cannot shrug the anger.

He was due back yesterday. It was agreed that my son would come back yesterday. The Foca was the one who booked his holiday tickets, the Foca was the one who agreed yesterday.

I have spent a week looking forward to yesterday.

I won't go into the details, but suffice to say we had a text row, when he finally answered my text enquiring about time of arrival four hours after I sent it, to say he might be a little late and perhaps he'd take our son back to Brighton.

"What would you prefer?" he asked.

That he comes home, I said.

Might not be possible, he replies.

Why ask then?

At 8pm last night he sent a text saying 'the three boys are exhausted - I can't make [our son] travel anymore'


I was with my friend Mary who said 'text back and say 'great, thanks'. It's what he wants, to get a reaction from you. It's not about your son it's about him. Text and say 'great'.

I couldn't of course, but took her advice and wrote 'I expect him back by 12'. I then swallowed some bile as I texted the word 'please' remember to return his passport and steeled myself when I wrote 'Thanks'

Long time followers will know he's like this.

Long time followers know that on silent days in a silent flat which shouldn't be silent there should be a child's laughter ringing in it, I have to let off steam

How's that for a picture....

A whistling RrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrragH