Friday, 22 July 2011

Summer hols for the stay at homes

A bit of a coincidence writing about the cost of childcare then seeing the Guardian has written a much better article I ever could.

Summer holidays cost parents £8.6bn apparently. It says parents will spend an average of £660 per child over the next 6 weeks. I won't spend that much, I haven't got that much though it works out to £100 a week. Easily spent....

I was thinking see, as I was scrubbing the cooker, that London may have all these free museums and parks (if you don't go to Tory held Battersea where they want to start charging children), but this is the first summer I'm not carrying my son on the back of my bike.

That means a bus or tube to all these free places, free events.


Of course on any day trips I'll bring sandwiches and tap water. No canteen lunch for us!

There's a kung-fu week that costs £90 for the, entertainment, training etc all in. Parents have said what a good deal it is. It might be, depending on what you're looking through. Shame they don't do credit... I could try ask the Foca... Means I could guiltlessly do my pub job...

I'm looking forward to hanging out with my boy though. Might be the last year he looks forward to hanging out with me!!

Here's the article

Though to end I have to say the only way to avoid the high costs of childcare, whether you outsource it or do it yourself, is not to have children at all.

Helpful aren't I?

End of term, end of year!!

A year ago I was in tears not knowing if my son would be at his school this year, as we faced our imminent eviction.

His school report came back on Monday - fantastic. He's above average for everything except music and pe where he's at the national average for his age.

He bought his work home two days ago, and I know I'm biased but his stuff's brilliant! I've been reading through it all, like his viking work for History: "Dear diary, How dare them, I just want to kill them but that would be a ruin to God's creation. How stinky are they, they smell like dead fish!"

I'm really proud of him for trying so hard and doing so well. I'm really proud of the school for challenging him and encouraging him.

He's going back in September, into Year 4 - blimey doesn't time flash fast! I will keep praying all the dreams I have for his education, stay on the path that they are on now.

It means I must continue to live here, somehow... or be lucky enough to bid for somewhere in this catchment my boy has lived all his life.

Let me not think about that though. Let me simply enjoy the time we are going to have together.

Maybe some of his school friends will be kicking around over the holidays. That would be good, I know that's what he would like!

Happy end of scchool year if you have children too! Always a poignant moment!

Don't begrudge me working mothers...

The summer holidays are upon us!



I am fortunate I haven't had to battle to find my son childcare in a market where many centres are closing down due to the cuts in government funding. Monday morning my son and I can get up at our leisure and then plan what to do, together.

He's allowed to sit in the pub with me, not ideal, but at least there's no panicking to find someone or some place to take him while I work there.

Why then am I saying don't begrudge me working mothers?

A meeting last night, at the school, about the after school club. A preliminary meeting about what to do now council funding has reduced.

I'd been called in the morning asking whether I could represent those with concessions.

I was late getting there so listened to the various models being discussed - two members of staff, school governer, four parents including me, thrashing out ideas.

Then one says that the service could be "considered a "luxury" for those on income support who " don't actually need the service."

I said nothing, just smiled at one of the members of staff, as with her fingers she put the word "luxury" in quotations. Well, you do have to be careful what you say....

Not long after this, following a discussion on the number of concessions vs the number of full paying parents, this mother says she is a single mother and needs the service because she works.

Then she say that her son goes to a football club twice a week that costs her £3. £3 a week! My turn to think "lucky you!" Lucky, all kinds of children, disadvantaged or not.

The discussion banded around different models - get more parents paying full price? Reduce the ratio of concessions? No-one wants to lose this service and no-one wants to see existing staff face redundancy because the costs can't be met.

I spoke up at the end but citing my pub job, not my volunteering. Citing the paid stuff, not the unpaid stuff backing myself up with figures I was given at the citizen's advice bureau.

"It's an emotional issue," said the governer and unfortunately yes it is..

I failed to articulate any kind of defence for mothers on "income support". I know so many and most of them through the volunteering I do. I thought of Lucky and her mental breakdowns, other mother's I've met who are under so much pressure it is actually better for their child to be in the safety of the school/playcentre. I didn't say that though. No! Public speaking isn't my strong point... practice my weakness though, isn't that what I wrote yesterday?!

The purpose of this post as I digress further and further into all this, is the greatest assumptions made on "income support" mothers are often made by single working mothers, in my experience anyway. Maybe they feel that they can point the finger and they are only saying what other people are thinking. The mother yesterday didn't know I was a stigmum, though did at the end...things are never as clear as you think they are, we should all try to support one another really through these inflammatory issues....

I want after school clubs in all schools to keep going. Can they? Will they? In deprived areas too?

I do not know the best model but do know that if the number of concessions is reduced, a whole load of single working mothers as well as single non working but other stuff going on mothers will be fucked. Lone fathers too, of course, but they don't get peoples heckles up quite so much when discussing entitlement or access to things....

Monday morning my son's childcare has been outsourced - to me!

I don't know what we will do but it's London. There's the science or history museums, Tate or National or Portrait galleries, all free if it's raining. There's the heath where I shall spend endless hours being goalie. There are other things going on that you have to pay for. Very little is cheap.

Affordable childcare. The bane of many a parents' life.

(Unless they are a banker in which case they have scooped up some of £14bn in bonuses in this last financial year - £2bn more than in 2008/2009 according to the Mirror. "More than 323 staff at state-run Royal Bank of Scotland shared a pay and bonus pot of £375 million - an average of 1.16million each." (20/7/11p.14) Gosh, one could take ones nanny on holiday with them with that kind of kind the government to cut their tax and cut your services.... I don't know what more I can say...)

Thursday, 21 July 2011

While everyone's obsessed with Hackgate

While everyone (by that I mean press and politicians) are all obsessed with Hackgate (and what a story it is so I'm not surprised) the wheels of parliamentary legislations continue to whirr in the background.

I heard on Monday (monday?) that the coalition had earmarked $1bn of NHS services to be put out to 'competition' and of the services likely to be privatised, children in wheelchairs is one....
Very sneaky, very very sneaky...There should be rows about this in the commons but the Tories are probably well happy Miliband won't let go of the coulson/bskyb/ thread so they can pass through a few more punitive policies.

Yesterday I got an email from a guy at Shelter telling me the House of Lords were discussing the housing stages of the localism bill which of course has massive ramifications for everybody.

I was surprised he gave me the link but simultaneously really grateful aswell. I contacted him ages ago to ask if he'd write to Dobson see but they're working on similar projects. This one directly affects me and I write of course on behalf of those in similar situations to me.

I emailed him back asking if Shelter were taking any volunteers in its policy and research departments and he said to keep an eye out for adverts but they do have a "large number of applications"...

Heart sinkage, if you can imagine my heart sinking. The competition not only for jobs, but the competition to work for free... I did all that trying to get into journalism....

Yeah, so while everyone's obsessed with Hackgate I'm feeling a little defeated...the housing bills are going through which I spent two years trying to avert the damage it will cause.

Ah well, best get down the pub. Last week there was a punter there reading the Sun.

"Why do you?" I asked him. "Instead of say, the Mirror?"

"Sport" he replied.

Yep, down at the Last of the Locals, they know who Murdoch is but he isn't someone or this saga something they really care about.

Make mine a double...

Behind the Murdoch masks...

On Tuesday, while Murdoch & Son were being grilled by the Select Committee, I went down to parliament to protest!

Later a Guardian journalist asked me why I'd come and I said: "I don't know!" because, well, I didn't!

My friend had called saying she was going down to Parliament, and although I had to be at a meeting somewhere else, I thought it would be quite cool to go with her and catch the vibe.

We got there and my friend goes: "There they are!" and I'm like: "Who?"

A good looking guy in a suit, another good looking guy not in a suit. A pile of t-shirts at their feet with another pile of masks with Murdoch senior's face on next to those.

"Ooh! I know them! They're the puppeteers!"

It was surreal I tell you, peering out of those masks at all the photographers, some of them coming up so close you thought they could see you through the card.

My heart was beating and I was feeling all flushed and sweaty (like Murdoch junior looked when I later caught the programme on my return home) as though I was doing something wrong, which I wasn't (which is more than Murdoch's junior can say given recent cheque sign offs to hide criminal corporate malpractice...)

That night I watched the news to see if I could see my murdochself but it seems our gathering was eclipsed by a man who'd managed to sneak into the committee room and throw a foam pie at Murdoch senior, and in pure, can't make it up theatricals, Murdoch senior's wife springing into action in kung-fu like fashion throwing the pie back into the protester's face!!!

I've been trying this morning to upload an image of the sea of murdoch faces of which I was one but I can't.

I don't know how other bloggers do it, I pressed the 'add image' icon, but nothing doing but anyway, hope you get the picture!!

Here's the url which isn't quite the same as having the image there but hey ho, just felt like sharing mine and stigs adventure!

Oh, and I did tell one journalist that I was leader of the I Don't Know party, which roughly translates as knowing why I was there but unable to articulate it, so don't quote me, unlike my friend who gave two really quite fabulous interviews about how there needs to be a change of culture in our media!

You gotta play to your strengths see, but nothing wrong in practicing your weaknesses...another time perhaps, another time!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Cover-up or coincidence - the dead whistleblower?

You can't make up how this phone hacking story is unfolding - executives resigning, police commissioners resigning - but I did not expect the shock I got last night.

Having watched the brilliant and damning Panorama documentary where an ex News of the World journalist, Sean Hoare, agreed to be filmed blowing the whistle on his old employers if his solicitor was present, I went onto Twitter for some mental company, for my head was full of it. Following a 'trend' would be like talking about the programme, hearing what other people thought about it, 'discussing' it in 140 characters.

There I discovered that Sean Hoare had been found dead at his flat that morning.
I was so shocked.
I'm still shocked.

It's all over the front pages this morning - The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Mail.

His death is "unexplained" but "not suspicious".

It's a blinding coincidence in a local scandal that's finding its way Stateside with each passing day where Murdoch has so much more to lose.

I can't help myself though, all these "unexplained" deaths.

That man Kelly, over the weapons of mass destruction thing, was said to have committed suicide which was contested and contested by people who knew him.

Jennyfer Spencer wrote a note to the CNJ asking them to investigate her death then died and suicide was ruled out in her case, and it was accepted as "unexplained" - Unexplained? Didn't she explain it? In her note?

You just don't know do you?

But England's not as twee and lovely as I like to think it is because the world isn't as twee and lovely as we all know it isn't.

Did you get in the way Mr Hoare?

Thank you for your bravery.

Rest in peace.

Monday, 18 July 2011

The hacking scandal - the movie

I've been desperate for a bit of humour surrounding the News International hacking scandal with its twists and turns and dips into farce (news international execs grilled by MPs tomorrow and saying they won't answer all questions...)

Oh the intrigue!!

I love this!

Freebies and Competitions

Thought I'd start a new label. Nope, it's not Freebies.

Sadly, if one writes a blog that is not popular by whatever guages popularity one cannot expect to get any freebies (the freebie thought came from reading - another disqus blog I can't leave a comment on....)

So, having won a competition the other week, I'm going to start a new label called Competitions!!!! Or rather Competition Winnings.

I entered a Mirror competition a few weeks ago to win a DVD of Exile with John Simm and Jim Broadbent. Thanks Daily Mirror!!!!!!!!!

I'm rather hoping the label will grow, grow as long as my housing government and council label with hundreds upon hundreds of entries!

One can but you try it too!!!

Good luck!!

Unpopular blogs

From the totally underwhelming response I got from my comments experiment I could be forgiven for thinking that my blog is incredibly unpopular.

It's not unpopular, I got three responses!

It's not popular though, that I know. Not so much because of my underwhelming response, but visiting other peoples blogs and seeing how overwhelmingly popular they are!!

The key, I guess, if you don't want an unpopular blog, is to change it. Change how you do things, set things out, say things.
Mine is merely not popular rather than unpopular so I'm not going to change it. Here's why I believe it to be not popular and why I am not going to change it:

The template's a mess!
Yep, I go to everyone else's blogs and their templates are not only tidy, but interesting too. Mine?! My goodness, can you see the Twitter icon today? The circle of moms icon looks like it's been thrown on! Yes, covering the identity of all my followers! Even I can't see who my followers are, just a spanner indicating where they are listed.
Below all that are all my labels and the posts I've written and those archived. All is in order which leaves me only to say that you can find me in my mess.
In space as on Earth I can find myself in my mess and in space as on Earth people do pop by not minding my mess and I thank you all for that and consider you to be true friends.

No pictures!
I like a blog with pictures, have to say but you will never get pictures on here. I can't, it defeats my purpose. Stigmum has to look like how you imagine her to look. She has to be what you imagine her to be. She is the most stereotyped individual in our society and while I lived in Papier Mache Tower with a fag hanging out my gob I fit the stereotype perfectly.
If I did put on pictures it would have to be of clouds and trees and such like and well, my blog isn't really clouds and tree like (though I could have a stab at some poetry (?) this morning about the clouds in the blue sky and the leaves waving at me from my living room window...)

Boring topics!
Housing...uuurgh..see, even I think it so how could you not?
There are opinions on benefits, politics, mental health, all kinds of things like that here but sometimes written in ways one doesn't expect - poetry? - songs - questions - my style changes so I don't get bored... Flip, yes, I'd have to call this blog unpopular if I didn't like it.

So yep, there's all kinds of treasure in this blog of mine..this blog of stiggers, all kinds of things that are personal, all kinds of things that maybe I shouldn't have written..transposed...

So to conclude: My blog is not unpopular, it's just not that popular compared to really popular ones like like oh I dunno the winner of circle of moms who's a dad.

It only matters if you have an unpopular blog if it matters to you
And if it matters to you
Well yeah, you change it
you just don't give up!
Blogging's fun!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Comment experiment results

This is funny (ha ha for me, not strange)

Yesterday I started a comment experiment after switching off the icon that allows me to 'moderate' them.

I wanted to see if I'd be alerted to their presence on my dashboard
I asked visitors if they were going to comment
I asked visitors if they prefered the immediacy of seeing their own comments pop up or didn't mind waiting.

I put the link up on twitter and to increase the pool of people who might help me with my experiment, put the hash tag#blogs because I've found people who write about blogging by clicking on that in the past and people who write about blogging might be willing to lend their experience.

I got visitors - not zillions but enough for a decent experiment AND....


So that's, no! You are not going to comment! So impossible for me to gauge if you like seeing them pop up straight away then return to see if I've answered it (I'll come to that in a minute!)

A Modern Mother was the only one to comment so I thank you! What matters to her is that it's easy to comment and I will second that as for the life of me I can't comment on notSupermum's blog. I've informed her in a tweet, said her blog doesn't like me!! Can't comment on MeTheManAndBaby either but I haven't informed her in a tweet. Yet. Might be a Disqus thing, Disqus doesn't like blogspotters, dunno.

I don't know whether to keep the moderator icon switched off.
When I log on my dashboard often displays nothing then sometimes I log on and it says "One comment to be moderated" and I'm like, ooooh! I get very excited.

It was not always so. I set up the moderator because I was terrified people would comment only to be nasty but that's never happened here (does it happen on your blog?)

I also like being alerted to comments because I like to answer them.

With this method of non moderation people with very popular blogs would not be able to answer them (all). With a method of moderation people with very popular blogs would be very busy moderating!

Would they notice though if I, say, commented on something they wrote a year ago? Would you notice?

I'm not sure I'd notice if you do that on mine (I've written over 1500 posts)
I'll leave it as it is for now. I'm leaving it as it is because I like commenting on other people's blogs and seeing that they've received it. Maybe you are the same.

Are you the same?

Do you like to see your comments pop up straight away or do you just enjoy commenting on posts that resonate with you and don't mind?

Feel free to comment!

Modern Mother was curious to see how the experiment goes!

I'll tweet the post, put a #blogs tag thing again, see what I get!!

If I do miss the buzz of seeing "One comment to be moderated" on my dashboard, I may have to go back to it.

Would anyone mind?!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Comment experiment

Right, I wanna try something out.

Since time started on my blog, I've always had the setting to moderate all comments.

I like this cos I can see what post the comment is for - for some people read posts from way back, not just the posts written that day.

Many other bloggers don't do the whole comment moderation thing and I've sometimes commented on posts which aren't current ones they've written but they've found it and answered the comment (Frankie P!)

I also found that when I leave a comment, it's nice to see it go up pretty quickly. Visitors to my blog have to wait, which they might not mind, or maybe they do mind.

So, as an experiment, I've switched the wait for moderation thing off.

It may be I don't get any comments
It may be that I get zillions

No idea! That's what makes experiments so much more fun!!

So, are you going to comment?
Would you prefer to wait to see it come up or do you prefer immediacy?

Bold move this for me ya know....

Ah dear, sometimes I do make myself laugh at how pathetic I can be!
(sometimes I do have to step back from how serious Stigs can be...bit of fun, bit of fun stigs!)

My son taken of Child in Need register

"People have to understand we're not the Gestapo."

So said the social worker as my son was taken off the Child in Need register and the spotlight taken off me.

At. Fucking. Last.

I told the two social workers that nothing had been done to help my child and I except putting more stress on me. I'd been accused of being the cause of my son's anxiety and blackmailed and made to feel like an unfit mother.

They accepted what I was saying and when I expressed my fears that we would face eviction again in two years (can you believe I started this blog two years before the previous 'warning' and lost lost lost) said I could contact them and self refer back to the social services should that happen but they'd had reassurance from my housing officer it wouldn't.

"I'm afraid of contacting you," I said. "Everyone knows now I can't handle the stress and fear of eviction, so what? The next time the social services will just go ahead and put my son on the Child Protection Register and declare me unfit to take care of him instead of seeing it's the system doing this to us?"

They wanted to minimise the stress on families, they said. It was difficult, so difficult now, they couldn't change housing policy, things are getting worse.. All things I know, they know I know. They weren't really interested to take the conversation down that housing route, and nor was I.

The social workers repeated that it was not in their remit to take a child away from the parent and they had to find ways to minimise the fear parents had about that.

My son has never been a Child in Need of support because of me. He was a child in need of support because of what was happening to both of us. I am glad the light has been taken off me at last and thanks to my boy, under positive circumstances.

The deputy head had started the meeting you see, saying he was way above the year 3 average in many of his subjects. A 4c in reading - year 6 level she said. 3b in literacy, 3a in maths - year 5. I was quite blown away by that and want him to stay in the school if they encourage him to that level. I want him in a school that encourages and challenges him.

Bullying was not mentioned. Messy affair ey...but since I spoke to my son's teacher, mentioning to her that she had allegedly said I contribute to my son's anxiety... the boy who had been strangling my son has stopped. I'd like to say the school dealt with that but in truth I think I did. That time I did. I had to. The bullying has stopped. Phew.

Year 3, a tumultous year for my boy. The eviction which saw him isolate himself at school, not helped by me. Sorting that out, then trying to form bridges with his friend A's mother and Ugly coming along and kicking off all the shit once more.

He's doing well at school, I heard this morning. A strong group of friends, the deputy told the social worker.

You know, I'm not a bad mother; I'm not a great one but I'm not unfit to be one. My child is a beautiful child and very ordinary in his amazing extraordinaryish way.

I leave this post and quite possibly the label about social workers with the letter my son and his classmates had to write to their new year 4 teacher as homework this week.

Heart in my throat, I wish him so much luck that it's an easier, more enjoyable, more confidence building time for him and that his friendships go from strength to strength. Against so many odds and a couple of unkind parents he has made his peer relationships work and I do thank his school for that. I love my son so much more than I can ever convey to you.

Dear New Year 4 Teacher,
I am a boy who is a bit mischervous but quite clever. I am good at times tables and big writing and I really like history and science. I am looking forward to year 4 because it is a new class, new projects, new nearly every thing. The project I want to do the most is world war 2. I think rationing will be cool learning and lots of fun.
Yours sincerely
[Stigmum's boy]

A coincidental breakthrough for my boy?

A text very early this morning from Mother on Whose Shoulder I Dropped My Head inviting my son for a sleepover on Saturday night.

Oh wow! First instinct.

What a coincidence...Second instinct but try to banish it. Son delighted then bursts into tears when I tell him it's a weekend with his dad coming up.

Coincidence is two fold and posting for that reason and that reason alone because it's hard to post about your child being bullied.

The story is also quite long so I've got to pretend I'm chainsmoking because edited sentences would find their way to me when I smoked. I have to breathe now, on my own.

First coincidence - Modern Mother wrote a post about her child being bullied yesterday. I commented on it, and wrote how I should write my experience of the difficulties in dealing with it..little did I know the opportunity would come up so soon.

Second coincidence - Mother on Whose Shoulder I Dropped My Head is school governer and I had a meeting with the school/social services this morning to get my son taken off the Child In Need register. Would she know that? We're not as close as we used to be....

After I wrote to the school head about what I believed to be the root causes of my son's bullying experiences, I mentioned it to the school governer because I needed advice, I wanted support and I believed her to be a friend I could trust.

There'd been a couple of incidences of my son's friends ganging up on him. Ugly's son was one of them and her boy was one of them. I mentioned it saying it was rough play, the boys were all friends, but sometimes they could step over the line, ya know?

Yes, she knew, her child's been on the cruel end of name calling, we had a good conversation about it so when she said "as parents you want to protect your child" I was like 'yeah, of course'.

Soon, very soon afterwards, there was a friday after school, the incident in the park, where I saw Ugly who had told tales on my boy sitting with Mother on Whose Shoulder I Dropped My Head.

Not one playdate for my boy since then. We've invited her son, she's invited everybody else's bar mine. What can you say? Like I said to her that day in the caf, you can't beg parents to have your child over to play.

I've felt upset about it all recently. I know two parents exclude my child ("Can he come and play at my house?" asked little A. "Sure, ask your mum." Nothing.) I didn't expect Mother on Whose Shoulder to do the same.

I get it though. I absolutely fucking get it. If it's not my child being picked on by the two other friends, it's hers so she is able to organise playdates outside school to minimise incidents inside. There's another boy in this group... D'you know, I'm tired..

I'm tired, I'm tearful, we all want the best for our children.

I couldn't give Modern Mother advice yesterday, other than to talk to the school because talking to the parents very often makes it worse.

For me it is fantastic she wrote that post, many mothers have commented, with their own experiences.. similar to mine; friendships run aground, talking to school the better option. That has been good for me to read, vicariously supported - here's the link again for you if your child's having a tough time :

I will not be cynical about Mother on Whose Shoulder I Dropped My Head's invitation this morning though it is easy to be so. Perhaps she knew about the meeting with the social services, perhaps she didn't. My son said something to her last week when he found out one of the friends was going to her house. I don't know what but I do believe she has a kinder conscience than the parents of my son's other two friends.

My son wants me to swap weekends with his dad. Mother on Whose Shoulder I Dropped My Head (really really must change her name as it's a long time since I did that) texted to say the sleepover could happen another weekend.

I'll find out if it's her son's birthday. If it is I'll go through the whole rigmarole with the Foca.
If it isn't, my son may still want me to go through the whole rigmarole with the Foca.

"No-one ever invites me for a sleepover mummy" he cried this morning.

Fuck it, who cares if I'm crying now. Better my boy can't see and better I let it all go.

Year 4. Year 4 my son my sun. I hope things improve for you because it's not you, none of it is about you and never ever has been.

If it's the boy's birthday I'll sort it for you. If it's not, there'll be another time.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

What do I cook my boy for dinner tonight?

Dear Mum,

Please can you not give me any type of pasta for two weeks because it makes me feel sick. I know every body in the world likes it but fishfingers are better. They give you vitamins for your brain and makes you top of the tops and it is delitious aswell. Lots of love [son].

School homework - persuasive letter

Not persuaded but I'll meet the challenge


(heh heh heh not funny...)

Publisher closes local paper

At the weekend I was told the Camden Gazette is being shut down by its publisher.

I laughed when I heard, not because it's funny, because it so isn't, but because a couple of days before an Independent journalist called the News of the World closure a "local issue". Local?! The man must be writing with a "global" mind to think News of the Screws local! So I thought at the time.

Camden Gazette is local. Camden Gazette is free. People are still going to lose their jobs though and its another less newspaper in the market.

Last night on Channel 4 news it was touted that Murdoch might sell his other titles - The Sun, The Times, The Sunday Times.

It almost felt like the beginning of the end of newspapers.

Never I hope. I hope never. With iphones, ipads, iwhatevers able to deliver your news straight to your handheld device, it's easy to see a world where paper no longer has a place.

Oh but it does.

All over my sitting room floor, sofa, table by the looks of things

Perhaps I should tidy up my mess abit

So should you Murdoch

before you leave?

Monday, 11 July 2011

Laying bets on BskyB takeover

It's the big question isn't it - Will News Corp take over BskyB?

Not next week of course, not even after the summer, but let this little Parliament/Police/Press scandal die down or better still die and.... well, will Murdoch get his prize of the lion's share of UK broadcasting?

He's flown in to the UK I'm told by each newspaper this morning and says his No 1 priority is Ms Brooks, she who was told to remain as 200 of her staff were given the chop.

She's quite integral to the whole deal isn't she?
She and Cameron are BFF's aren't they (Best Friend's Forever) in their Chipping Norton social set?
She's practically related to all the Murdoch siblings, being Daddy Murdoch's "fifth daughter"... a bridge between Dave and Jim therefore, a News International deal breaker (well, Big Chief actually)

There's so much to play for isn't there?

Amazing turn of events.

A question nagging me all weekend though was why the housing minister Shapps and not the Culture minister Hunt was rolled out onto Newsnight on Friday evening? Is it because a tory housing minister wouldn't be expected to know anything about the BskyB deal so less risk of being tripped up by probing broadcast journalists? Why are all the Tories who are rolled out Tories few people know?

You know, I love the plurality of the media. Yeah, you know I do.

I don't want to lose more of my favourite programmes though the way I lost Lost, just because I have freeview or go with Virgin or like now, have no-one boo hoo hoo, just bbc, itv (1), channel 4 and channel 5 and an aerial that never gives me a clear picture, but still, that's better than nothing I guess.

It's all I'll say on the matter for now, there are two enquiries that are going to begin; arrests, questionings (I know nofink guv)..and at the end of it all Dave's "judgement." You'd think it would be a no brainer ey this bsb lark

Have I got News for You - I'm missing you. Will you be back in the autumn?

Unfair dismissals at the News of the World

I read somewhere (I've not stopped reading) that some journalists from the News of the World are thinking about claiming unfair dismissal following the way they lost their jobs. Apparently Bekky, their chief exec has told them that in time they will understand why the paper had to go.

Gosh, takes me back....

I worked for a magazine which was one of a trio of trade titles. It was the most profitable one of the three.

My magazine was closed, the bimonthly was then made monthly and rebranded.

I didn't understand. They say that all new mothers can feel abit thick, but I really didn't get it.
I challenged my company with unfair dismissal and I was eventually given a job on another of its monthly titles. which was closed five months later. The freelancers were kept on to work on the weekly, and I, the only "member" of staff...

The News of the World has been closed, another may pop up by another name. Word is another will pop up by another name which will run on a third of the workforce than the NoW (for the time being anyway)

260 people worked for the News of the Screws; 200 they say, will be made redundant. They may never understand why their paper had to go or they may come to the same understanding of my profitable mag being closed - corporate politics, executive decisions.

That's it - a few at the top saying get rid of it. The workforce - well, it's not "personal".

I was told not to take my company to court; even if I won, no-one in the industry would employ me afterwards. I was gutted at the time though as I'm sure all those journalists are gutted now.

For me it's all a long long time ago, other factors smashed up the foundations of my life which I'm try to rebuild. I wish luck to all the innocents who have fallen out from this fall-out.

It's a nasty business, a business that "sails so close to the wind" - as I was told mine did, with me - but sadly that is business - "little" people count for very little when it suits.

In the big scheme of things that is.

Friday, 8 July 2011

The dead halt the hacking scandal

From Sunday the News of the World will exist no more.

Hard to believe, a newspaper almost 200 years old, gone. Taking with it 200 odd staff many of whom are innocent of the appalling practices of the few.

It wasn't enough to go after the voicemails of the living, unscrupulous "journalists" had to go after voicemails, emails, any mails of the dead. Milly Dowler; justice has just been served with the imprisonment of her murderer Bellfied, when it comes to light her phone was tapped into days after her disappearance, messages from her friends deleted. Unbelievable.

Families of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, families of service men who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, civilians who died in the 7/7 bombings. Unbelievable.

Murdoch has apparently asked his chief exec Rebekah Brooks, who edited the paper at the time of Milly Downer's phone being hacked, to lead the investigation into the News of World hacking scandal. Unbelievable.

Doesn't fire her, no. That would have been good decisive practice. Call to account all the guilty. Why would he do that? Why?

The BskyB bid doesn't need her. I'm sure she's briliant at her job but everyone's replaceable (aren't they?)

Perhaps she's a scapegoat.

The Tories (in bed with the Murdoch Team) were going to sign off the BskyB deal today in a £9bn deal but it's been delayed until September.

There's still time....

I'm sorry the News of the World has gone; for all its wrongs there were alot of rights. I'm sorry that a load of good journalists have lost their jobs.

Not so sorry I'll buy the Sun on Sunday though.

Unfuckingbelievable if that's true.

Does News International think the British are really that thick?

I'll leave that with you.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

One post or three?

There are no rules to blogging - that's precisely why I love it so much!

I've been thinking though, especially this week while I've posted alot about housing - should I change the way I blog and only write one post a day? Or, one post at a time? What I write might have more resonance...

It must be joining twitter that's made me think like this.

When I wrote before I only "came out" to the community at mummybloggers and well, my blog wasn't very mummyish, so I was pretty much left to my own devices spilling my instincts all over my deep blue template. Writing my way into darkness and needing to write my way out of it, hence the three or four or sometimes five post days.

Today, I've written one post on bidding (dark) and one on valuing oneself as a mother (out of dark)

Inbetween, I went to Twitter.

If I did the whole one post at a time, I think my blog would become purely about housing, which is right perhaps, given what I have been through in the past and right if I want to get some kind of job in research; maybe, possibly, perhaps.

It would fit in if I wanted to define myself as a campaigner (ooh funny thing about living in an attic - I can see a blue sky outside my window but it is actually pissing down with rain! I can see it on the window pane and hear it from the bathroom skylight!)

Where was I? Yes, campaigner. Campaigning. Keep on one subject yes?

Well, no. Perhaps other humans live and breathe their campaigns, or let it be thought by others that they live and breathe their campaigns but I cannot do this. I know I can do it now by sourcing what I want to say, write something then go to twitter or facebook for a change of head space but I do not want to do this.

I do not want to do this because housing depresses me, and anything that depresses me is going to depress other people. I didn't mind about this before but I'm still always surprised that the people who follow me continue to follow me. And yeah, I like have having followers, most bloggers do I think (though it mightily scared me at first)

I'm too close to my statutorily homeless source, she brings me down alot. I don't want to be brought down. That's the bottom line. I think.

I also do not want to do this one post at a time lark because I think it's important to show that people are more than the campaigns they run so it's easier to keep how and what I post fluid.

Oh, d'you know what?

I Don't Know.

Do I make this a blog just about housing now?
Or mix it up abit?
Mix it up abit?

Before I go (to twitter? to lunch?) I just want to post this article. It relates to a post I wrote this morning saying people aren't prioritised for housing nor a piece of pavement these days.

This article says £20m is being given for a rough sleeping scheme. Great! Thing is, in Camden, the council is selling hostels. This week in the papers some parents lost a bid to make one of them into a free school. They're not happy.

The fund may be to get the homeless off the streets, but where will they be put?

One post? Three posts? Some things I can't help myself, we'll just have to see ey Stigs...

Good day reader, thanks for dropping by!

Mothers - do you know your value?

Did you know....

On average, mums spend 74 hours a week on household tasks - such as cooking, cleaning and childcare - which is valued at £631 a week! Or £32,812!*

The state, my symbolic husband, doesn't pay me that much. (My symbolic husband would rather not pay me at all)
Many women, I know, aren't paid for any of it as they troop off to their "proper jobs" each and every day.

Then of course there's the mother's value in terms that aren't financial.

Many mothers do not know their own value. No idea. Society doesn't tell them, rarely tells them. No, society finds it easier to devalue them.

My son lets me know how much I'm valued.

Do you know your value?

*Legal & General survey figures. Trying to flog me life insurance....Why does all this always feel like such a scam?

Do you know your value oh valuable one?

Is there any point in bidding tomorrow?

The thought of housing can make one so glum. Why I continue to write about it I'm still trying to figure out because what I contribute to the debate in newspapers and stuff, has very little impact.

Anyway, enough about that, I guess I'm just introducing a post I was reluctant to write this morning but figure I'll write it anyway because I know that people feel as I do, people who are in my situation.

It's bidding day tomorrow. Do I start bidding again?

There, that question to myself is enough to get me spinning into a direct downward spiral of depression of which there is a difficult return to a semblance of happiness. When this happens, I, like other depressed people, cut myself off so I don't have to pretend. Even now, better than I was, I still can't carry a conversation for very long unless I'm drunk.

Is there any point to my bidding? I'm not in "pressing need" now, as I sit a comfortable distance from eviction in my temporary accommodation.

They say those in "pressing need" get priority but you know now that's not true and I have to remember, one day, when I'm not in any kind of need, that it's not true.

For those with children they're are prioritised with a roof over their heads, but only a temporary one. For those without children, or disabilities, or a 100th birthday coming up, they don't make the priority list at all; not even for a patch of pavement in Westminster.

My housing support worker said that he would do my bidding for me but he hasn't been doing it. I checked. I haven't heard from him in so long I'm wondering if he's fallen off the face of the earth. Next week though my son's social worker has called a meeting at the school; to have my son taken off the Child in Need register. I wonder if support worker will be there?

Maybe I should bid and just not tell you about it because telling you about it depresses me more than the act of doing it. No, that's not true, the act of doing it is so depressing I have to offload my poisonous emotion somewhere.

More and more people are presenting themselves as homeless. The competition for the few properties there are is so intense.

I've got to do it; I've got to bid. I've got to show willing, desire even in the face of hopelessness.

I'd rather slit my wrists to be honest which is why I'll post about something else, something different after this; move my mind away from where my mind is resting - in the abyss.

At least warnings of impending doom are getting louder now. We just need those at the top not to close their ears to what they choose not to see.


Tuesday, 5 July 2011

A surprise full of no surprises - Clegg's camp responds

Yesterday afternoon I finished the day's posting saying regarding my postcard, I hadn't heard from any politicians and most delicately wrote that they were telling me to FUCK OFF.

Imagine my surprise then when I went downstairs and saw an envelope addressed to me with THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER emblazoned on the back!

That has never happened to me before! Not even when I got a reply back from Blair's camp (oh yes, been a long ol' journey my one...) saying my letter to him had been passed to his Deputy Prime Minister of which I never heard so much as a whisper from.

So, to Clegg's letter

Dear Ms de Nim,

I am writing on behalf of the Deputy Prime Minister to thank you for your letter of
11 May.

I regret that neither Mr Clegg or this office is able to intervene in or comment on individual cases. I hope you will understand that as the points you raise are a matter for the Department for Communities and Local Government, he has asked me to forward your letter to them so that they are aware of your continued concern.

Thank you, once again, for writing the the Deputy Prime Minister.

Yours sincerely

It's gone to Pickles then! Quite funny given the recent hoo dee haa leaked document that sprang from his office saying 40,000 people would be made homeless with these cuts.

Is it for Pickles to decide if Camden gets the £238 owed to it?

At least the letter doesn't say I'll hear from the DCLG, like Cameron's did and I've still heard nought. I heard back from it when Brown said he'd forwarded my letter there.

Which reminds me of the time I met Clegg:

"I wrote to Brown!" I was saying as part of one long stream.
"Heard back from him did you?" he scoffed interrupting.
"I did actually yes, he told me it was up to the local authortity to help me and the local authority is YOU!"

Cooo, the press liked that....

Well the £238m I'm asking for isn't up to the local authority. It was once but it didn't want to be blackmailed. I'm trying to get it back for it.

The rest of the letter I tell him to do something about housing and well, a libdem person (very low down) said something on the news the other day (that it was up to the people very high up) and well, debates are moving along in a beautiful series of events:

Pickles + Channel 4 Doc supported by Shelter and narrated by Jon Snow

I hope it = more social housing

You know that' s what I want, what I really really want...
(speaking of which, has Posh had her baby yet?)

Private rental debates and landlords from hell

Such a pity the Guardian's debate about the private rental sector yesterday wasn't today! Hot on the path of the Channel 4 Dispatches documentary Landlords from Hell with Jon Snow and Shelter, the housing and homeless charity.

Bloody hell! At one point, after showing us a slum landlord cheating his tenants out a home, letting them live in squalor, Snow interviewed Shapps who had the fecking gall to say (something close to) "3/4 of people renting in the private sector are very happy, more than happy, you are talking about a minority."

A minority ey Shapps. Go live in Papier Mache Towers for a few years for a change of perspective.

Even if it is a minority, which to my mind it isn't, with Shelter's research saying 7.5 million people have had problems with their landlords over the past three years and over a million are too afraid to speak up in case they are evicted, even if it is a "minority", they should be helped.

Like it's a "minority" of people who hold the country's wealth but they get tax breaks and all sorts, left clean away to get away with tax evasion or else participate in the very much legal 'tax avoidance' (ey Osborne?)

Labour started to regulate landlords but Shapps thinks this is "too bureacratic" ( a you a landlord Shapps, like your boss, Cameron?) He also thinks scum landlords are the responsibility of the local authority. Oh that's clever isn't it. You enforce cuts and with the huge ever increasing volume of people turning up at the council's door you don't think they have arrangements with most of them. (No more than 5, no more than 2 rogue landlords have been bought to trial in the last few years)

Anyway, earlier in the day I'd participated in the Guardian's private rental sector debate. Really participated!! I wrote comments, people asked questions, I answered them, asked questions of my own. It was great to be part of something I knew something about.

Here it is if you want a read:

Watch Dispatches on 4OD so when the benefit cuts strike and the coalition forces families, the disabled, the elderly into the bottom 30% of available properties, you'll know just how they are forced to live.

Please sign the petition to evict Rogue Landlords; you can also access the documentary from Shelter's website.

Thank you!!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Independence Day

A year ago today I sent my postcard to the coalition asking for the money that Brown had blackmailed the borough with.

The borough has not been paid back.

Should I give up on it?
I can go no further...
Dobson, Miliband, Johnson
Finally wrote to Clegg for it
Well, was addressed to him and Cameron.
No reply from his camp yet
Never any replies from anybody

Yeah, so all three parties have as good as told me to

Keep cataloguing the deaths CNJ

Shapps talks SHITE

Oh twitter...twitter twitter twooooo... It leads me to articles that make me angry.

Lastest is this offering from the housing minister Grant Shapps; the same housing minister who won't answer my letter:

"Getting 'radical'" The man thinks we're stupid.

Take this little line: Safe house
The private rented sector can give some of these families a safe and secure roof over their heads, and the stability they need to begin rebuilding their lives

Private sector - safe? secure? stable?

Does Shapps know the meaning of these words?

Homeowner may feel 'safe', 'secure', and 'stable' but renters? "It's not your home, it's somewhere you rent," said the libdem lady when I was being evicted.

Currently, the solution to virtually every case where a household is accepted as homeless is considered to be social housing. But it’s an out-of-date concept that is unreasonable for households which are stuck in temporary accommodation for longer than they need to be, and doesn’t necessarily provide the most effective help to people rebuilding their lives.

And the private sector does, does it Shapps? NO. SOCIAL HOUSING, COUNCIL HOUSING provides people with a stable foundation on which to rebuild their lives.

Our proposed changes will allow councils to use a house or flat in the private sector where they are satisfied that it is suitable for the family’s needs.

Here in Camden that market is saturated now so even in the private sector, people are being moved out of the borough with next to impossible chances of being moved back in.

And councils must ensure that the accommodation is suitable, safe and secure and available for a minimum of 12 months.

Oh you're kind Shapps, a year! And then what? Here in Camden people are being evicted from their private rental schemes. It's not secure at all even if it is temporarily suitable.

Some have made the argument that it is too costly to use the private rented sector to house families. But they ignore the fact that we already pay the huge cost of temporary accommodation for those households accepted as homeless

That's the point isn't it Shapps - hostel rooms, one room costs £400 a week. More than this 2 bed flat which is deemed too expensive for the likes of me - but its the same as rents in the private sector over here but the protection it affords me as temporary housing is that my housing benefit is protected. You don't like that do you?

That’s why I’ve called on councils to start forging closer links with landlords and letting agents, so that when the new powers in the Localism Bill come in they can hit the ground running.

Oh PURLEEEASE. Camden's been doing this for years, the market is now saturated and private landlords. like my ex landlady, think they can get more from 'working professionals' so benefits claimants can f off. You haven't spent any time down here have you Shapps?

But that’s not to say it will be the end to the problem. We need more social homes.


The new affordable rent model that we are offering social landlords will allow them to charge new tenants who can afford it higher rents and will contribute, as a result, to delivering up to 150,000 new affordable homes over the next four years.

You're heralding the end to secure, affordable, stable social housing aren't you?

Only you won't admit it.

There are names given to people like you but I can't think of it right now, I'm too angry at your shite talk.

Give us something radical, go on, like ending the Right To Buy on council and social housing.

Dare you.

Council tenants - you might not be so safe after all...

A comment in a Guardian article this weekend which could frighten any council tenants who think they are protected from the new localism bill which will end life time tenancies for new tenants (ie me, if I ever get a fecking council flat which is so unlikely...) It's likely to end life time tenancies for them too. Be warned....

3 July 2011 6:22PM
Pickles Hypocrisy Smoke & Mirrors
Pickles claims his new Social Housing Charter will not effect existing tenants read the small print and it says it will not effect those with "secure or assured tenancies"
However Pickles is only too aware that the vast majority of secure or assured tenancies are now being declared void due to "uncertainty of term". The precedent is a 1992 Supreme Court ruling in the case of
Prudential v London Residuary Body over a piece of pavement which was let until "required for road widening purposes". The Supreme Court declared the lease to be void for uncertainty of term.
More recently in the case of
Mexfield v Berrisford Mexfield a fully mutual housing cooperative successfully argued that the tenancy was void due to uncertainty of term and had been replaced by a weekly tenancy.
So unless these exempted secure or assured tenancies have an end date which they do not then the are all void and replaced by a weekly tenancy. So Pickles new social housing charter is a charter to evict all existing social housing tenants.
Recommend? (35)

You may think oh it's said by a commenter so not true but I'm a commenter and I write what I know.

There's so much to challenge with this new bill, so much as the word 'security' is not written out of the dictionary, but its meaning totally changed.

Anyway, here's the full article about the rise in homelessness

This was my comment:

3 July 2011 9:53PM
Some local authorities are getting rid of their temporary accommodation because it's too expensive and people are being encouraged to accept tenancies in the private sector, which is cheaper for them (the local authorities, not the people) When they are evicted due to these cuts, therefore, there is no temporary accommodation for them, so where then do they go? The coalition doesn't care, as long as it's not on their doorstep.

Another commenter left a link that she was on last night's news. It could be me, it could be you tomorrow:

Oh happy days await the country....

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Throw out the dead wood - Astro advice!!

I've had a wonderful weekend! On Friday I was invited to a party at the Cafe de Paris. What a raucous time was had there while watching the burlesque show! I've never been before; I recommend!!

Last night I was invited to a barbeque by my neighbours downstairs. What a brilliant time I had there! What an eclectic bunch of friends I was introduced to or got chatting too!

What was really wild about both nights was that the people who invited me I didn't really know that well but I went along and I had a really excellent time.

I took a chance and had a really excellent time. (You read that, shy people!)

Today, as I sup my tea, I read the horoscopes that have zoomed into my inbox.

"The one thing in life you can count on is change," I said to the Polish tattoo artist last night as I, ahem, sipped an Italian aperitif made up of Campari, white wine and water. "Heh heh! Hic!"

You might not be one for change but the planets are aligning this week. You might think all this astro planet stuff is a load of hokey pokey.

Bring it on, I say! Bring it on and allow me, allow us, to come out of it all unscathed!

Here, for you... Throw out the dead wood!

Astro theme for the day . . .Moon Meditation: “Changes from inside out !…” The big astro news of the week is that there’s another mighty meeting of the planets this week - this time between lucky Jupiter and explosive Pluto. Links like this between the big outer planets don’t come along every day of the week - not even every week or month. They are a message from the Universe to all of us that we need to throw out the dead wood in our lives. Or actually, since Jupiter the amplifier is involved, make that a massive message from the Universe to all of us that we need to THROW OUT THE DEAD WOOD IN OUR LIVES! Where in your life has something died and gone toxic? Yes that’s a horrible image but it’s a very valid one under these Stars - Pluto is all about detoxing, eviscerating the dross, clearing out the old to make way for the new. We all have a major chance to do that now. It could be a person, a job or a living situation which you know has to change. It could also be something more subtle, like a habit or an attitude which you know is poisoning things for you. If you use this link to get rid of it, the process should be relatively painless.
(Closer Online)

Friday, 1 July 2011

July New Moon - Dream this evening

It is the New Moon this evening.

Time to let go of something that isn't working, or to set about new plans.

I should really let go of my housing campaigning stuff. It's not working, it's not having an effect.

At the same time though, my instinct won't allow me to quit. It wants me to head up the garden path and seek the fish on the bicycle, find the wand on the tree. Find and fight the Jabberwocky...

There's something I don't have much of anymore and maybe you don't have much of it either so here's Cainer's horoscope reading. It might be what you need to read too, regardless of which star sign you are!

Happy New Moon!

Confidence. It's a wonderful thing. If you need some, just go to the confidence shop. They can supply plenty and all you have to do is ask... confidently! It's funny how when we feel good, everything seems easy. And when we feel bad, nothing seems right. Well, I say it's funny but I don't suppose I mean that. It's not really funny at all. It's exasperating. But how do you turn a compromising situation, into an inspiring one? Actually, you go to the confidence shop and, if you can't ask with strength, ask with humility!

Sage - Means Wisdom and Teeth

As a birthday present I thought I'd ahem, treat, myself to a visit to the hygienist. It isn't free, it's fecking costly.

I went two weeks ago and for the princely sum of £50 (my birthday, I'm worth it..) I was told I had advanced gum disease. Had my dentist given me an injection to numb the gum? She could do a general clean but I'd have to come back for a deep clean.

One major cause of my gum disease was stress, the other, she said, was that I wasn't using my toothbrush properly. You've got to hold it at a 90 degree angle to your gum and brush in little circles, one tooth at a time, front, back and under. "Do you ever clean your back teeth?" she asked and suggested I get an electric toothbrush. I entered a competition for one of those a while back...

I was well pissed off with my dentist as I booked another appointment for today. I'd just seen him, he could see that I had gum disease. Why he couldn't write that in the note for the hygienist, get me prepped for a deep clean...

Another £50 today. Three shifts at the pub if I snatched cash in hand...

GO to your hygienist. Clean your gums. Do Not Be Afraid. I didn't have the injection today, I had a gel. It was uncomfortable but I kept repeating 'this is a clean, they are cleaning, cleaning, healing, cleaning' in my mind as I flexed my feet with each sensitive zing.

The documentary I watched of children in poverty, the parents barely had teeth in their mouths.

They don't clean our teeth as a matter of course anymore. "Is it too beneath the dentist to do that?" I asked the hygienist and she laughed. It's not funny though is it. Preventative care. Instead in we all go to get our teeth extracted because we can't afford to stop our gums bleeding.

SAGE - It's a medicinal mouthwash for gums. It's an effective medicinal mouthwash for gums.
Put a few leaves in some boiling water. Let it cool down, rinse your mouth with it. You can drink it as a tea too if you like. The problem is finding the leaves. Big Tesco's sell it but nowhere else I've been so far.

SAGE means Wise.

We need the wisdom to take of ourselves and what we have. It's not easy, I'm not going to pretend it is. Some people are great at taking care of themselves.

Brilliant. I want to be like you.

They've booked me another appointment for three months time. A wreck my gums but with implants £2000 a pop, I really can't afford to lose any more teeth.

Can you?

Knowing the law is half the battle...

Did the housing councillor lie to me? Did he? Didn't he? When he said the allocations policy was legislative and couldn't be changed by the council?

Old Soak at the pub (who isn't an old soak by the way, only ever has 2 pints of guinness and can sometimes have an extra half if we're chatting. I like him, and he does me, in the human to human sense. "How are you?" I once said when I was new. "Grumpy," he mumbled and I laughed because he reminded me of my brother. Since then, we're mates.)

Anyway, Old Soak had a bad week so I told him about mine. I can bore him about housing because because oh, I don't have time today!

So Old Soak told me that allocation policies might be up to the council but but BUT they are following guidelines from the state, so there would be a statutory instrument about it.

The lawyer did fob me off and she fobbed me off because she was probably too busy (as opposed to didn't want) to help. She knows the law, not me, so she could talk over me with it and keep returning to the fact the councillor had dealt me a 'red herring'.

There are two main statutory instruments she said, but if one imagines a branch, many twigs shoot from it and the instrument I want is one of those. Twigs are mighty things you know, you can make wands out of them for starters.....

The lawyer may have known she was fobbing me off because at the end, when I'd dried my eyes, she suddenly said I should volunteer for the Law Centre.

Wow, I didn't expect that, I didn't quite know what to say thinking the summer holiday's are coming up and I'm struggling to find childcare so I can do my pub shift during the teachers' strike.

She said I could volunteer for national policies too, though not with them.

I'm going to ponder on it. Local may too hard. I'll work on cases of families being helped with housing when mine wasn't helped. Still, when it comes to our next eviction...

Got to think about it, it's a good idea and I'd love to work in research and policy, just not fecking volunteering; hard cash is what I want.

But hey, tis a New Moon and what should one do on New Moons?

Let go or Start again
Start again
Start again....