The last two weeks in review: A test of patience.

We’ve made some changes to the house the last two weeks, both inside and out. Not without its challenges, as the gent doing the work for us took much longer than he had forecast and so we spent a week on the sofabed downstairs while he did this to our upstairs bedroom:

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Before. Two awkward spaces, one on either side of our bed…
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….aaaand after! Just have to find all our clothes and things again now and put them away.
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Lots of lovely storage.

So pleased with how it has turned out. Just need to find the will to live to apply some varnish to it now.

I have also been doing some stuff around the garden at the back. Husband’s Dad surprised us by coming by one morning and bless him helped us cut the hedge for us. Our next door neighbor has said we are more than welcome to use their hedge trimmer when we need to, so that saves us buying it for the garden.

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Our back yard. I’ve managed to weed it now and clear some of the dead plants. I am so pleased so many of our plants seem to have survived a cold winter.
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Our sage, still being savage. I have cut it back a bit not as its size meant I couldn’t get in through the back gate.
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Aaaah! A wild tiny tomato plant appeared!
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A nasturtium has also sprouted, hope it’ll do as well as the one we planted last year did.
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Our front garden desperately needed a tidy. Before…
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…aaand after! Husband and I weeded and swept it and Husband’s father very kindly cut the hedges for us and helped us pull the last of the chickenwire out. We may get the front garden landscaped next summer.

Half term was very relaxed. The first half of the week was spent just with Husband and I enjoying it. Had dinner with his family and celebrated his birthday by going with him to see the new Solo movie and having breakfast out. I also travelled to London to see my friend and her sisters, and got some badly needed bras as several of mine are just unsightly now.

Last week was very different however, it was unsettling for us both.

Husband has been discussing lowering the dose of Epilim he is on as it is starting to interfere too much (seizure control ok, but impacting him in other ways). It was agreed with the consultant that the dose reduction would be done with his approval and with us discussing it first with the GP.

Naturally we went to get his prescription last Monday to find it had been lowered from 2300mg to 2000mg. Husband and I were both cross at this as it had been done without properly discussing it with us, but Husband was prepared to give it a try.

Husband and I ended up staying home for most of last week as his withdrawal symptoms were quite strong. Husband felt shaky constantly, tired all the time and felt like he couldn’t focus on tasks; he also felt on edge and tingly which he has explained is how you feel before having a seizure.

So he didn’t feel well enough to go to work, and I did not want to leave him on his own, so I stayed at home with him. Saturday one of the neighbours checked up on him while I was at work at my weekend job, and Sunday friends came by so he wasn’t alone for too long.

It’s been a week now and Husband is feeling more himself thank goodness. We just didn’t expect this to just be dropped on our laps.

We have however had a court date for PIP which I am pleased about.

I’m also quite happy with myself for getting some good reduced bargains these past two weeks. Buying yellow sticker items just helps us so much and has saved us so much money, especially this month.

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By going by four shops on my way through town after work on a Sunday night I managed to find us this food. Couldn’t believe the lovely fresh chicken we got for £1.31!
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Lots of lovely food, saved from the bin by Foodprint.
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Really chuffed with these finds, 24p for the punnet of plums! ❤
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Applying for PIP: Our experience of applying for PIP, Part 5.

Houston, we officially have a PIP appeal date! This is not a drill!

We have had a letter through today from the Courts and Tribunals Service to say Husband’s PIP appeal will take place on the 13th of July.

1 year and two months after we started the application process.

It also says that if we want to submit any further evidence, we have to do this no later than 7 days before the court date.

Right. Best get on, then.

You can read the previous posts about our quest for PIP here:

Applying for PIP: Our experience – part 1.

Applying for PIP: Our experience, part 2.

Applying for PIP: Our experience, part 3.

Applying for PIP: Our experience, part 4.

Our PIP anniversary (Our experience of applying for PIP: Part ?)

A walk around the lake at Wollaton Hall in Nottingham.

Half term this week so Husband and I have both had a week off work. The weather has been nice all week so Tuesday morning was spent taking a leisurely stroll around the lake in the grounds of Wollaton Hall.

I am so grateful that we can access these beautiful spaces.

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The last two weeks in review: Both losing faith in humanity, and having it restored at the same time.

These two weeks have been very mixed. No surprises there, as the Silver household normally is.

Last Monday was incredibly busy at work with students trying to finish their work and submitting it within the deadlines, all while the computer systems continued to crash and freeze. This has been on-going since the latest Windows OS was installed and people were pulling their hair out as it kept happening. All we could do was restart the PCs for them and keep encouraging them to save their work.

I just felt so unprofessional as even though it’s not our fault and we can’t help it, I didn’t feel we were delivering a very good service. In addition to this several of the students had their work saved as files that were so large the email system rejected them as being too large, so were not able to email their submissions to their tutors. We found ways around it but those two things combined with a chair that got vandalized left me feeling quite drained.

And to top things off we found out later that three of the students had formally complained about the PCs, understandably, but also about the staff in the library that day saying we had been unhelpful and laughed at their troubles.

I am absolutely incandescent. We were nothing but as helpful and understanding as we could be that day given everything we had to deal with. Not to mention one of the students who complained was barred from coming and seeing us for a term due to behaviour earlier in the term.

All the same, it left me feeling quite drained that evening. Didn’t have the energy to cook so we had takeout. Not great for the budget.

Tuesday was a bit better. I had a day off which helped my mood a lot, plus Husband’s visit to Occupational Health went very well.

The appointment went really well. I accompanied Husband to the appointment not sure what to expect. I needn’t have worried however as the occupational health nurse had clearly taken the time to read about Asperger’s Syndrome and how it can present, and went through the information carefully with Husband, checking repeatedly that he was alright and if there was anything he wanted to ask.

It all went swimmingly – until we got to the vaccination history. As Husband will be dealing with items that have human blood on them in his work, he needs to have the Hepatitis B vaccine. Husband hates needles. But to help him they have booked him an appointment to have the injections and blood tests done at the occupational health clinic so he can have them done in peace and at his own pace, rather than having to go to the drop-in sessions.

For some, it may seem like a small thing. However given everything we have gone through these last two years, anyone treating Husband with a bit of dignity and making adjustments so that he can participate fills me with immense joy.

Wednesday and Thursday last week were spent getting the garden together. I have planted nasturtiums and sweet peas and will try my hand at tomatoes this year. I have also planted some flower seeds we were given.

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Before. Garden has become a bit of a jungle…
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…and after. Need to borrow something to trim the hedge with as it’s growing out of control. Contemplating having the garden landscaped as it would mean less maintenance we would have to do.
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The weather has been lovely and warm, and the Cat has been enjoying the garden, at least.

Saturday after work I met up with Husband and the family and his parents very generous paid for a meal out at the Wetherspoon up the road from us. A lovely gesture and it meant I didn’t have to cook after a long day at work.

One thing I have been thankful for as well these last two weeks are my colleagues at both workplaces. Colleagues have listened and offered advice and support, and given us stuff and help.
A receptionist I like at work and I managed to have lunch together and she very kindly gave me lunch, and gave me lots of leftovers to use up. My supervisor gave me a box of cereal she’d bought but didn’t like so gave it to me, and a colleague at my weekend work has been giving me lifts partway home which saves me so much time. It also meant I was able to swing by Tesco Sunday night to get these beauties:

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My lovey bargains from Tesco. Note the muffins, 8p a pack!

I have continued to use my smartphone responsibly (?) and have installed Shopmium and continued to use Job Spotter. Shopmium has netted us £10.02 in free groceries via their cashback, and I have gotten a £10 Amazon voucher from Job Spotter and I am working on another one.

This Monday was an odd day for us – it was our PIP anniversary. We are still waiting for a court date for Husband’s PIP claim.

Tuesday was spent doing washing and things around the house. The weather these two weeks has been lovely and warm so have gotten several loads of washing done.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were spent at at my weekday job – I enjoy my work and like my colleagues and (most) of the students, but several changes to our procedures were announced this week and I am not sure I can stand behind these changes and how it will impact how we deliver our service. It has made me wonder if I have a future there. It left me drained and Friday night was spent feeling really off and unsettled.
It’s hard to explain, but I felt really flat and drained, and my skin feeling prickly and my hair kept standing on end for seemingly no reason.

So once again we had a takeout.

Must stop dealing with feelings by eating stuff….

Saturday and Sunday have been quite quiet at the university – this is a good thing as we have two new hires starting this month. My colleague very kindly gave me a lift almost the whole way home on Saturday. As the weather was nice I decided to do the right thing and walk the rest of the way, which I enjoyed.

Sunday morning was spent lounging around at home, and moving stuff upstairs from the bedroom in preparation for the carpenter to come next week to make the bespoke cupboards for the bedroom.

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The Cat enjoying a quiet Sunday morning.
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Got these lovely things when I swung by Sainsbury’s on my way home. Three packs of ham for the freezer and some satsumas ❤

Next week is half term, which gives Husband and me a nice week off from work, which we sorely need. We’ll get some time together, we’ll celebrate Husband’s birthday, and I will travel down to London to see my friend and her sisters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our PIP anniversary (Our experience of applying for PIP: Part ?)

Just a quick post to say it’s our PIP anniversary this week.

Oh joy.

What is a PIP anniversary, you may ask?

Well it was on the 21st of May in 2017 that I started our quest for PIP by calling the DWP on Husband’s behalf to start the process and request the form.

So it has now been over a year since we started this journey.

And we are still yet to receive a court date for our tribunal hearing.

Genuinely wondering what happens to people who don’t have anyone to support them while they wait for these things. Or if their payouts are delayed or stopped.

If you want to read about our experience thus far with applying for PIP for Husband, you can do so here:

Applying for PIP: Our experience – part 1.

Applying for PIP: Our experience, part 2.

Applying for PIP: Our experience, part 3.

Applying for PIP: Our experience, part 4.

An expensive yet frugal week.

So this week has been both expensive and frugal at the same time. How, you ask?

Monday was a Bank Holiday, so Husband and I both had a day off. We had a leisurely morning at home before taking the bus and walking around the lake at Wollaton Hall, enjoying the lovely weather. We both an an ice cream before going to see Husband’s family. To contribute, we brought two bottles of fizz with us and we were given some lovely French stick bread to take home with us.

….aaand then his glasses snapped off at the hinge. So booked an appointment with the opticians for the day after as I had time to accompany him and I had a voucher for a free eye test. Husband’s glasses left us £160 lighter, even with us choosing the cheapest frames.

Tuesday morning, as we were getting ready to go, I dropped my phone. It then didn’t want to switch on and when it did, the screen wasn’t responding.

So called the carrier and as I was eligible for a free upgrade, I have now officially joined the 21st century and gotten myself a smartphone. Nothing fancy, but it works and I can access apps and things on it.

I’ve installed an app called JobSpotter on it as I do travel around a lot to and from work. You get points for taking pictures of uploading job adverts seen in local shops, and the points can be converted to Amazon vouchers. So far I have gotten £6.49 accrued so will cash out when I get to £10. Maybe I will review it in future?

Previously when I had a regular phone I shook my head at people who were continuously on their phones on the bus and while walking.  But now I have one, I can see how addictive smartphones can be, and I have made a conscious decision to not spend my whole commute on it, and read a book or newspaper instead. I also solemnly promise to not get it out while eating a meal (with other people) or before bed.

Thursday I dropped by Sainsbury’s to see if they had any bread, and got some lovely reduced food.

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Lovely reduced food ❤ 

Friday I attended a meeting at work where we were told officially what we have known for months, that the site we are working at will be closing when we finish for the summer. We have been advised they are looking at all the positions in our departments, not just ours, and that we will receive a letter in the next few weeks about how this will affect each one of us.

Sunday I attended a training session at work which meant we finished early. It was really pleased as it meant I could attend Sharing Sherwood after all. So I left work , got two bargains at Tesco, and went to join Husband and our neighbour there.

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Lovely soup which will keep me going when trying to lose weight<3

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Tonight’s menu at Sharing Sherwood.

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First helping of the main course: Green beans, salad with feta cheese, roast potatoes, frittata and cooked cabbage.
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Lovely dahl and basmati rice. Spicy!
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There was a lot of surplus food at Sharing Sherwood today and our donations got us this food. It really helps our grocery budget as we can buy food we would normally rule out as it’s outside our price range.

Next week we don’t have a lot of plans for (yet). We are due to see the occupational health nurse at Husband’s new workplace, as they need to talk to him about the conditions he declared on the occupational health questionnaire. Not quite sure what to expect as I have never done it before, though I can imagine it is similar to the questions we get asked whenever we renew our travel insurance.

Then, hopefully, Husband will be offered his contract and can hand his notice in at his current job.

 

Today: £20 in Tesco vouchers, a nice walk and some wild garlic.

This has been an interesting day.

I was called by one of the product testing panels to ask if I wanted to do a study with them that paid £20 in Tesco vouchers after work. I am saving all vouchers I get for Christmas (sorry, I know it’s the C word, but it’s best to be prepared!) so said of course.

The bus doesn’t go all the way to the venue so I get off at the closest bus stop and walk from there along the road. Sometimes in winter it’s a pain as it can be dark and wet and sad.

Not today. Everything is coming out so it was lovely and green, and I saw lots of bluebells and cowslip alongside the road. Plus it stays lighter for longer now and the weather was nice so it was quite a pleasant walk.

The study was scheduled to take up to 75 minutes but I completed it in 45, and on my walk back  to the bus stop on the other side of the road, look what I spied!

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Ramsoms!

Naturally I have been on the Woodland Trust website to ensure I have identified this right, but they are indeed wild garlic or ramsoms. There was this bunch and one further up the road as well.

It’s important to not take more than what you can eat and leave some for others, so I took a small bunch home. I’ve put them in a glass of water and will use them for dinner tomorrow after they’ve been thoroughly washed.

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These will go nicely with tomorrow’s dinner. Good thing I checked them before boarding the bus as I found two small snails hidden in them.