I need some change in my life.

This week has been very mixed.

Monday was very stressful at work, as we were down to two staff and my colleague had done her back in so I had to keep going to help her lift stuff or reach stuff.

As we were due to see the Work Health Programme coach the day after, I went home with a lump in my throat. I’d found some vacancies that could be suitable for Husband but the thought of having to sit and fill them in with him for hours filled me with dread.

Don’t get me wrong. We love each other, and as long as I have the will to live, I will support him and defend him.

But on Monday I just couldn’t.
I couldn’t face even the thought of having to do more work, after just having come home from work. And the day after that. And the day after that.

I broke down once I came home and was a crying wreck for most of the evening and the day after.

I just need some actual support, with supporting, if that makes sense?

If I am to continue going to work six days a week to support us financially, I need help.

I need more help at home keeping the house and I need help supporting Husband; filling in application forms, accompanying him places if he needs that, and so forth.

Naturally my poor mood affected Husband so when we went to the Work and Health Programme on Tuesday I cried for most of the appointment and Husband felt rubbish. As it is only the second appointment we have been to I can imagine what impression that gave of us, as the Wellbeing advisor was quite unkind and said that Husband’s problem is me. Because I work so much to support us and he doesn’t do as many hours and he feels he isn’t contributing.

We were both very upset with how they dealt with this, but will try to attend again as there isn’t anything else. Remploy wouldn’t help us as Husband is already enrolled on the Work Health Programme plus they don’t have an office nearby. The working scheme for people with Asperger’s Syndrome run by the county council can’t take him as he lives within the city limits, and it is just for people living within the county (???).

They suggested Husband applied for ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) and it is something Husband’s mother has suggested as well, it is something he could be eligible for and still keep his job.

If applying for ESA is anything like what we have had to deal with applying for PIP, I will not do it.

Having had to deal with applying for PIP and being told in effect that we are lying has brought out feelings in me I did not even know that I possessed. We started this process in May 2017 and almost a year later we are waiting for it to be resolved.

If someone else helps me fill in the form for it and takes Husband to the assessment, sure.

But I am not prepared to go through something similar on my own. I’m sorry if it makes me sound defeatist.

But it’s making me ill.

Husband bless him must have sensed how desperate I have been feeling this week, as he keeps asking if I am ok, no, if I am really ok, and keeps doing things around the house and saying ‘I’m trying to help.’ He wants to give up his counselling so I can go have some, something I have rejected as he needs it more than me. I have explained to him that the problem is that I have so much work to do, outside of work, that I am beginning to feel like it’s swallowing me up.

I think three things have to change in order to help me feel better, as I am feeling so overwhelmed:

  1. I need much more help around the house than what I am getting now. I cannot go on working as many hours I do and still have more stuff to do at home.
    I suggested a cleaner, to which Husband strongly objected. So we will sit down and go through a list to divide chores more evenly. At the same time I understand that while things might not be done to my standard (Hanging the washing on the line in a lump? Ok then?), it will still be done. I have to let that feeling go.
  2. I need help supporting Husband’s search for a job. This means I will no longer actively look for vacancies for him to apply for, but leave that with him. If he wants to continue looking for work and finds something he needs help applying for, a gent at the WH programme is available on a Thursday and Friday to sit with Husband and help him actually fill in the form and write cover letters. I will support Husband with getting familiar with travelling there so he can make the journey there eventually unaided when he feels confident enough to do it.
  3. I need a release of some kind. A friend told me she goes swimming. I am contemplating perhaps going on a Monday as I finish earlier in the day and the tram takes me to the leisure centre. I went swimming three days a week to be able to even fit into my ruddy wedding dress get in shape before and I thoroughly enjoy it when I go. Maybe that’s something I can do.

I feel more calm now. As in, I don’t feel great, but it’s not all coming out. It’s simmering a bit deeper within me.

The end of the week has been better.

As Thursday was warmer and we had bright sunshine, I took the plunge and hung a load of bedding out to dry on Friday before leaving for work. It had almost dried by the time I got home Friday afternoon and hangs on the airer upstairs in the top floor to just get it completely dry.

I also got some lovely food bargains last week and this week, which helps our budget a lot.

Got these last week at Lidl; they are pots with a mix of barley, yogurt and juice, reduced from 65p each to 14p. They have been a boon to my lunches this week. On the left are my wraps; I decided to make three days’ worth of lunches in one go and just take them to work, saving me time in the morning. Something I think I’ll continue to do, rather than running around while stashing fruit and bits of bread in my bag in my race to get out the door.
Got some lovely good food from Foodprint last week. This cost us £5.95 and would have ended up in the bin if they had not snapped it up.
I managed to visit Foodprint after work on Friday and got these lovely babies. It’s 5 kgs of food we have saved from the bin, and it cost us £5.

Next week is half term and I am flying to Norway to see my family. Coach leaves at 2am on Monday morning for Heathrow (What possessed me to think this was a good idea, as I will be working 2pm to 7pm on Sunday? What?).

Hopefully I will have a chance to relax a bit.

And I will perhaps not feel so lonely.

EDIT: And to add further fuel to my feeling of not coping: Suddenly realized yesterday that I had not let my self-employed work know I am going away tomorrow (they need 2 weeks notice minimum to find cover), so I had better ruddy find a way to do the work while I’m there! And when I came home I’d gotten a letter to say last month’s credit card bill hadn’t been paid – I’d forgotten! Paid it in full immediately of course, but we have accrued £12 in late fees and £26 in interest! AAAAARGH!




Applying for PIP: Our experience, part 4.

Blergh. At this rate, this will become a multi-volume endeavour. You know, the kind that you could buy from door-to-door salesmen and get on an interest-free deal in the past.

(If you haven’t and you want to, you can read parts 1, 2, and 3 of our quest for PIP here).

So Husband had a letter to say that based on their assessment of him on the 4th of September, he would be awarded the grand total of 0 points in each category, meaning he had a score of 0. This means that the DWP felt that Husband does not need support with any aspect of mobility or daily living.

The discrepancy between what we wrote and explained at the assessment, and what the DWP reported back, was staggering. The more I read of their rejection letter, the harder I could feel my heart beating and the more upset I became.

Why did the assessor and the DWP not believe us? Did they think we were lying?

Two points of their report, no three actually, really got to me and continues to grind at the back of my mind.

  1. We explained in great detail and using examples, that Husband needs support when it comes to travelling, and what has happened in the past when that support has not been there. We also stated explicitly that Husband is so anxious of unfamiliar places that unless someone takes him there on the day he needs to go, or takes him on a trial run beforehand so he becomes familiar with the route and the place, he will refuse to go.
    And still the DWP awarded him 0 points for mobility, stating that Husband ‘can plan and follow a route unaided.’
  2. Regarding finances and maths, we explained both at the assessment and in the form what Husband needs support with, and how much of the finances I do because of this. Husband does not understand his own bank statements and wage slips, and he struggles with working his timesheet out, so I do this. I pay all our bills and all money going out comes out of my account.
    Twice at the assessment the assessor asked Husband if he could do it with support, and Husband very firmly said no.
    The DWP still awarded Husband 0 points which means he can ‘do complex budgeting tasks unaided.’
  3. One of the last sentences of their rejection letter:
    ‘You told us you like listening to music and accessing social media.’
    This sentence in particular riled me up and still continues to do so.
    I work at a college in the week, three of the days I work at the site where we have provision for students with learning disabilities. You would be amazed at what some of these students can do on a computer – designing and putting stuff together, let alone accessing music and social media. To equate that to be able to access music and social media to evidence of daily living skills is insulting in my view and I think it highlights how little understanding the DWP have of Asperger’s Syndrome and how not two people are the same. That people fall on a spectrum and will be different in terms of ability.
    To illustrate: We have one student who excels at animating and designing, and they do this during their free time at college. Their knowledge of this stuff far exceeds anything I could hope to just teach myself and they continue to impress me with what they come up with. However. They follow a very strict routine and any deviation from this is not acceptable as it makes them feel extremely anxious. Predictability is key. Therefore staff have to ensure that a PC is available for this student at break time, as that is what this student is expecting. In the past when a PC has not been available, this student has become, and this is being polite, hysterical.
    So how can you say using a PC to access music and social media, is an indicator of how well you cope with daily living?

You cannot go straight to tribunal now if you disagree with the decision the DWP makes. Prior to this you have to ask the DWP to reconsider their decision. I rang the DWP on the 10th of October to let them know we wanted a mandatory reconsideration and that we would be sending it in the post. You have 30 days to send this to them.

For this letter I laid out each category. I put what they had awarded Husband, and why we felt their scoring was wrong. I finished the letter with that we intended to take it further if we were not satisfied with the outcome. I also explained that it was me writing the letter on Husband’s behalf with his input.

The deadline was the 10th of November, so I had it proofread and sent on the 7th of November. I sent it recorded delivery and retained the receipt. Two days later I entered the reference number on the Royal Mail website and saw that someone had signed for the letter at their end on the 9th of November.

Then, the next week, on the 15th of November, we had that dreaded brown envelope through the mail slot again.

Letting us know they had reconsidered their decision and that their decision was still the same, 0 points for all categories.

Said letter was dated the 7th of November, the same date we sent them our letter with why they should reconsider their decision. This means they hadn’t even read what we put. In addition to this, you have 30 days from the date on your letter to let the court know you want to appeal.

By dating it the 7th and us getting it on the 15th of November, it had shaved off 8 days that we could have used to get our tribunal letter together.

Husband, myself and Husbands mother got together to write the tribunal letter. I would read Husband the different criteria and how many points were awarded for what, and he would say where he felt his support need fell on the scale for each one. I would then fill in what evidence we had of this and what we put on the PIP application form.
Husband’s mother very generously purchased a subscription for us for a page called Benefits and Work which have guides for these kinds of letters, so I followed their guidance.
All in all in his and our opinion, Husband should have scored 23 points for daily living and 10 for mobility alone. We also wrote in our appeal letter what had happened with our mandatory reconsideration.

We sent this recorded delivery as well together with the form to fill in, and got a response a few days later, stating that the court had received it, and to contact them from now on if we had any questions about the appeal.

So now we wait.










Good riddance, January.

Thank goodness we’ve gotten past January – it seemed to just go on forever.

This last month has been really hard for both of us. It’s just so dark and miserable all the time, coupled with being in limbo, it really doesn’t help. Husband has stuck to his counselling which I am pleased about. We do have an employee support hotline you can ring for free through work so might do that on Tuesday. I am genuinely not quite sure how they can help though, but have promised Husband I will do it.

The Cat, accurately describing how this month has been.

Good things about January were:

  • We managed to stay under on the grocery budget again which is great. We are continuing to eat the food my sister’s family sent with us when we left at Christmas which is helping a lot. Foodprint and getting reduced bargains have also helped us keep costs down.
    Managed to get two packs of wraps at 24p each and a cauliflower at 24p from the Sainsbury’s Local in town. Score!

    Food from Foodprint last week. This cost us £5.95 and it weighed 10 kilos – that’s 10 kilos of food that has not gone in the bin!
  • Husband has stuck with the counselling and says he is feeling better in himself. I am so pleased he was brave enough to go.
  • Husband’s mother went to get some advice about our PIP tribunal at her church as they do a free advice service there and the adviser will see Husband and her next week and go through our application with them. They have also agreed to represent us at the tribunal which will help as they have experience dealing with tribunals.
  • We’ve made some sales on eBay and I got two focus group/food tasting gigs last week, so that £50 in the Travel Fund and £30 in Tesco vouchers I have squirreled away. I also got a train fare refunded due to delay and went and cashed that cheque on Friday.
  • Our mortgage was up for renewal. We wanted to go with Halifax as they give you £500 cashback when you switch your mortgage to them. Buuuut they would only agree to lend us half the sum we needed, so we decided to stay with NatWest. When we got our mortgage the interest rate was 3.19, fixed until March 2018. Our new rate is 2.79, fixed until April 2020. Oh and no product fee either, score!

At the same time, January hasn’t been great either.

  • Had a weird thick envelope from the DWP with all the paperwork they have on Husband and his assessment. Surprised and cross in equal measure that I wasn’t mentioned in their report at all even though I do the most of the support stuff. And that they felt that an indication of Husband’s ability is that he has a pet cat. Note the he. I  was again not mentioned at all.
  • While helping Husband look for work I discovered that his workplace (who told us they didn’t have any hours for him in the summer, because there was no money due to parents not paying their fees) were hiring for two positions. I emailed the UNISON rep and waited over two weeks for a response. I then decided to email the other address we have for the rep and got a response – ‘oh year that email address closed in December’. Really? You have been emailing us regularly from this address, why didn’t you set up a forward on it, or at the very least got messages to bounce back so we’d know they weren’t being read? Anyway what the union has said is that this is the end of the line now. We have exhausted the internal grievance process the employer has, and the UNISON solicitors say we are out of time to take the employer to court.
  • My mother’s health is continuing to decline. My sister has said we need to meet up as a family when I go back in February to discuss what we do now. It may be that we need to take power of attorney now to ensure she gets the care she needs.
  • At my one job we have had an email to say that because they have not enrolled as many students as they had forecast, they are accepting applications from anyone in any department to either reduce their hours or take voluntary redundancy to save money. At my other job HR has informed me I have been overpaid ever since I started my job there and so I now have to choose between staying at my current annual wage but work to make up for it, or work my current hours and lose £336 a year. I contacted my UNISON rep to ask if they had any advice for me but they have not replied and it has been over two weeks. What is even the point of paying our union dues if you aren’t going to respond?
  • Had to refund two eBay purchases as the buyers have stated the items never arrived. 😡

All of this stuff has caused my mood to really dive this month.
I know it takes a while but we started the PIP process in May last year and we are still waiting. I am also very indignant at how, frankly, they lie about Husband and what support he needs. One thing I have done though is read several pages of this web forum done by the UK government on PIP and ESA assessments. Just pages and pages and pages of people who are going to tribunal or who have been incorrectly assessed/had their statements ignored. It is reassuring to know that it’s not us. That it is in fact the DWP who do this to seemingly anyone who dares try to claim PIP. I was also interested to read that Capita, the firm who did Husband’s assessment and processed his PIP claim, have issued a profit warning this week.
We got the union involved with Husband’s workplace in February and after a year of chasing them for this behaviour it just fizzles out. They’ll get away with discriminating against him and bullying him at work.

It makes me wonder why anything is worth it. What’s the point of filling in forms, documenting, giving examples, writing things properly and spending time editing it so it makes sense, and sticking to deadlines, and challenging things, if the answer is just going to be no?

What’s the point in doing anything, ever?

I have got to try and stay positive for Husband’s sake as I can tell that he gets upset when I feel this way and show it. Trying to keep it together and to be calm but it is becoming harder and harder to do every day.

This is the loneliest I have felt in a long time.



Last week: Varied.

Last week was a really mixed bag for us.

Husband was accepted onto the Work Health Programme and he has his appointment this week to start this off. It is the new initiative from the government to get more people with disabilities into work. The Jobcentre have sold this to us as something different as it means Husband will get personalised support. Perhaps I am cynical but I am personally doubtful this will be different to anything else we have tried – but still. Must give things a go.

Remploy also contacted us and asked if we needed support; so we will have a phone conversation with them this week.

We saw these on our way to the Jobcentre on Tuesday. It really brightened my day up and I hope it’s a sure sign spring is on its way. We need it!


Husband has gone to another session and they have now signed the confidentiality contract for six sessions of counselling. I’m so pleased he has agreed to go, just for his own sake as 2017 was so rubbish for us. It was done on the proviso that I will go as well when my mother passes away, which I have promised I will do.

Silver continues to squirrel away. Not bad going, considering we are only in January!

Since Christmas I have continued to squirrel things away for this coming Christmas (and also Husband’s birthday). I was very sad to read before Christmas that ciao.co.uk will no longer pay people to write reviews (even though it says in the FAQ they do, cheeky devils). I may migrate my content to a new site if it even exists, so I have been busy copying down my reviews and the images for them. I have had to do this once before as a website I used to use, dooyoo, had an update and became impossible to use afterwards. I did not expect to have to do this again for ciao.co.uk.

Thursday I had en email from East Midlands Trains, stating they would be refunding us our ticket to Barnsley as we were delayed over an hour going there. Score! We got there on time to find our train being listed on the board as cancelled. I asked at the counter to double check this was the case, and they said to wait for the next train which was leaving an hour later. As the station was very cold Husband and I went for a bite to eat and then came back an hour later – to find the train had not in fact been cancelled but had been and left without us! Thank goodness the conductor saw the funny side and let us use our tickets on the next service. And we’ll be getting a cheque in the post sometime next week for our train fare as well.

Thursday I also came home from work to find two thick brown A4 sized envelopes, both about an inch thick, addressed to Husband and myself from the DWP. I had a look through its contents and while the papers within were interesting to read as they contained all the notes on Husband including what they had recorded during his assessment. I was unsure why they had sent it to us as there was no letter at the front of the first pack, and the second pack had a letter that stated that if we wanted to discuss the appeal we had to contact the court directly.

So I assume we are still going ahead with the tribunal then?

I wonder if it is because the DWP are legally obligated to send us copies of what they send the court in preparation for the appeal. Within the pack was a letter the DWP had sent to the court stating they strongly objected to the appeal and asked them to throw the case out.

With a cup of tea I had a look through the papers and what they had written about Husband. Nothing too inspiring or surprising, bar that I was not mentioned in the report at all. Surprising as we detailed how much support I give Husband and how much I work. Until I got to the last section of the assessor’s notes. Where, under Other factors concerning ability, the assessor had written ‘Redacted owns a pet cat’.

I just felt like headbutting something and crying in frustration. Ended up ordering a pizza for dinner and going to bed at 9pm as feeling very tired and flat. Not great for moneysaving but at least I got cashback on my order – just didn’t have the energy to do anything let alone cook dinner that night as I was feeling so upset.

We have spent a considerable amount of time filling in the form and answering questions at the assessment, and explained what Husband needs support with. First of all, you do know Husband is married right, and lives with yours truly? Yes? No? Maybe? And that we do things together? Like, say, looking after the Cat?

….In fact, do I even exist in PIP land?

And secondly, how in the world is having a pet an indicator of someone’s ability to negotiate dealing with other people and travelling independently?

The Cat, being a kitty loaf on her box. Who knew she would be so influential?

Friday I just about managed to visit Foodprint before they closed at 5pm. Got myself some lovely bargains and donated £5 to their Paying it Forward Fund so someone else can have a shop if they are struggling.

My lovely food from Foodprint, being saved from the bin. Cartons of juice, 30p each, loaves of bread, 10p each, jar of pesto, 50p, jar of sweet and sour sauce, 40p. Two packs of Kettle chips, 70p each.

At the weekend I  worked as normal. We were given some books by my lovely in-laws so need to see what I’d like to read and what can go on FleaBay.

Jobs for Tuesday include: Writing and creating listings, taking photographs if I have the will to live. Accompanying Husband to appointment. Taking call from Remploy. Investigating why my life insurance payments haven’t gone out of my bank account, and shopping around for home insurance and broadband as both contracts expire in February.





This week: Back with a bang!

Whew, back to the grind this week!

This first week back at work full-time has been really odd. I have been feeling quite off all week, all tired and spaced out, even though we’ve had time off since the 22nd of December.

Part of this is because I’ve had quite a bit to do on the self-employed side this week. CES which is a tech event has been on and brands use this event to showcase their new products. I do media analysis for a few brands (read articles in Norwegian about the clients, write a short summary, flag products/events/features/spokespeople/campaigns/etc/) and there has been a lot of coverage generated by this event. But what the client then does is that rather than sending out one large email they keep sending several smaller ones throughout the week, adding to the list of what products and messages to look out for, spokespeople, and so forth.

Add to this that they have reduced the turnaround time to the next day rather than 48 hours for this week, and the threat of that any analysis that doesn’t meet their demands will be returned to the analyst, it has made for a quite stressful week as I have come home from work, had dinner, and then carried on with my self-employed work before going to bed, every night.

And it wouldn’t make me so miserable if it was something that I was interested in reading. But when I had to analyse articles about, for example, TVs and nits (apparently a unit for measuring light, who knew!), then I just lost the will to live a little. Thank goodness the event ends on the 13th. Mergh. Mustn’t grumble, it’s a valuable side gig and we need the money now.

Husband had his first session of counselling this week. I waited for him at the office as it was his first time. Husband came out being very quiet. I asked him if it had been ok, and he nodded, and when I asked if he would like to go again, he also nodded. So this will be a thing now. Husband was very quiet after his appointment and I think it’s given him a lot to think about.

We have not yet heard back from Husband’s workplace about our appeal and what we discussed during the meeting at his workplace about the behaviour of the staff. While I was doing an online jobsearch today, I did come across two vacancies at the workplace – one of which is the kind of position Husband had! Very odd that they are hiring two new staff there, when they have said the reason why they have not given Husband any hours since the end of July is because they are underwater financially and cannot afford it.

Husband’s parents are coming by this evening after I finish work which will be very nice.

I did get these lovely things at Foodprint on Friday, which really made me happy:

My delicious bargains! Clockwise from noon, two bags of carrots, 5p each, two bags of potatoes, 10p each,  garlic, 15p, crumpets, 10p, six bags of sundried tomatoes, 5p each, bread, 5p, shortbread, 15p (disappeared now, no surprise there!), tea, 10p, onions, 20p, two cartons of juice, 30p each.


They have added a fund option now as well – if you can they ask if you will donate money to it. If someone then comes by and is struggling for money or can’t afford stuff, then their food shop is already paid for by the fund. So I donated money and will go again and donate next week. The gent who served me said that the Post had been by that day to write an article about them and that business is picking up. I do hope they stay as it’s a brilliant idea.

Here’s to next week hopefully being a bit less manic and doing more work – the other firm I do self-employed work for asked if I could do two hours of voice prompts, so that means more money in the pot.


A Numb November and Dauntless December.

With me preparing for and doing my Living Below the Line challenge, I suddenly realized today I had not summarized not only November, but December also.

I got some good bargains in November, but for the most part, November was blergh. Very blergh.

  • I got some good reduced food bargains from Sainsbury’s. Food bargains makes Silver happy, especially the kind she can squirrel away in the freezer for later.
  • November was spent agonizing over PIP. Husband was assessed in September, awarded 0 points, so we asked for the decision to be reconsidered. The reply from the DWP, again awarding Husband 0 points, was dated the same day we sent our mandatory reconsideration letter. I resisted the urge to imagine the people processing our application doing time. I dusted myself off, and we wrote to the court asking for their decision to be challenged at tribunal. Family and friends tell me not to take it personally, and that the DWP treat everyone who applies for anything with the same disdain. But I can’t help shake the feeling that this IS personal. What are you saying, exactly, DWP? The PIP form is 40, 4-0 pages long, and we gave examples and evidence both on the form and at the assessment for all the categories on there. Are you saying we are fibbing? What other reason would you have to award Husband 0 points, despite everything we’d written and said?
    All of this has naturally helped Husband’s mood and self-worth nosedive.


December. Oh, ho, December. December was a very different month, for a variety of reasons.

  • Not sure if it is classed as a good point or point that could be improved…wait, I chose to do this. I managed to complete it, no cheating. And I learnt a lot from it and feel I grew as a person. Ok, doing my Living Below the Challenge. One of the hardest things I have ever done, no contest. It made me value everything we have and everything I can do and the choices I have, and everything. It made me appreciate just how precarious and fragile people’s existence is on that kind of budget. To not have any breathing space. To always have to count everything to ensure you don’t go over your budget. To be on the lookout for food, and food being on the lookout for you, all the time. Even food I don’t even like, such as mince pies and Christmas pudding, looked tempting. We managed to raise a total of £405.82 for the Trussell Trust!
    I feel so empowered having done this challenge, and feel like I can conquer anything. At the same time I know this feeling will not last, so will keep it in my heart like a treasure and bring it out to remind myself I can do it, when the world strikes against us again.
  • I got some lovely bargains at Foodprint, and I intend to go again next week, if I can swing it.
  • The court has written to us to let us know they have received our paperwork for the PIP appeal. We will just have to wait and see when we get a date. I have tried to prepare Husband for the fact that a. he needs to be aware they may well ask intrusive questions about daily living and b. it is him who has to answer these questions when we are in court.
  • I was nominated for an award!img_20171221_161734_0661390046363
  • Christmas! We spent a few days with my family in Norway, stuffing our faces and playing games. We had some lovely presents and my sister and her family sent with us a load of food again when we left. She sent with us three packs of thin cured ham, two packs with eight sausages in each, a pack of wiener dogs, a pack of diced pork, a pack of pork chops and a huge cooked piece of beef. We had English Christmas with Husband’s family once we got back, and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day was spent at a friends house playing World of Warcraft Trivial Pursuit and eating junk. The remainder of the Christmas vacation has been spent eating things, lounging around and not doing very much at all.
The Cat seems pleased to have us back, at least ❤

Back to the grind tomorrow. I am also working Sunday for some extra money before going back to my weekday job again on Monday.

We even had two extra Christmas wishes fulfilled!

The first one:


It was almost bare when we got to Norway but on the day of our departure we had snow! So I got a Christmas wish fulfilled: A white Christmas!

And the second one, we received once back in the UK. CPS have decided that the person who deceived Husband’s sister into sending her savings in July IS going to be prosecuted for theft. As she has already admitted she manipulated her into sending the money, it’s an open and closed case – unless she now changes her plea.

Merry Christmas to us!





This week in review: HNNGGGGGGGGGGH.

Good grief.

So regular readers will know that we started the process of applying for PIP for Husband in May.

We had the assessment, had Husband turned down (as in, he received 0 points), and were told we could ask for a mandatory reconsideration. This has to be done before it can be taken to tribunal.

Very well. So we wrote a letter explaining why they needed to look at it again and what we disagreed with. I sent this as a recorded delivery on the 7th of November to be sure it got there before deadline of the 10th of November. I logged in to the Royal Mail website and saw that it had been signed for at their end on the 9th of November.

This Wednesday we had a letter back from the DWP to say they had taken a look at their decision again and were still not awarding Husband any points.

Said letter was dated the 7TH OF NOVEMBER, the same day we sent our letter to them.

So, they have clearly not even considered what we put in it.

Not to mention: The letter states that if you want to take it to a tribunal, you have 30 days from the date of the letter to notify the court about your intent to do so.

Now, the letter was dated the 7th of November and we received it on Wednesday. That’s eight days that we’ve lost on the time we’ve got to notify them.

This week has just been a big, grey mass. I’m just worn out and fed up all the time, haven’t had the energy to do a lot this week. Cooking has just gone out the window.

I am convinced that they ensure the process of applying for PIP is the way it is, to deter people from applying, or if they are turned down, to wear people down so much they won’t challenge it.

I will have to get the form started next week at some point – just need to go through it step by step and explain why we disagree with their decision.

Just need to get the will to live back first.

If you want to read about our previous experiences, you can do so here, here and here.