Monday, June 07, 2010


I didn't expect to be posting here again but wanted all my blog pals who haven't caught up with me on Facebook to be able to share in some special news. Over 3 years ago I wrote this post: Yesterday thanks to an anonymous commenter I found this............. can also see another painting of my darling Mick if you click 'further works'.

Sometimes miracles do happen!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

HERE ENDETH..................

This will be my last tale of woe on this blog. I'm leaving it open may be of some help or even a warning to the those who are going through a similar situation....but I'll make no further posts after this. Even this is a struggle to write as it serves as a reminder of the less positive part of my life but in fairness to all those dear friends who wonder how things are going on in what can only be called the more "private" part of my goes.
I had a short meeting with the CAB today. In their words "The feedback from my creditors has not been favourable". This has surprised them as they have had so many clients in the past whose income has been far higher than mine and whose debts have been far worse and have been successfully resolved. I guess it's sign of the times. I had gone to the CAB for help before I had accumulated any arrears at all but now 5 months down the line the situation is getting worse and worse..extra charges, constant phone calls and now the threat of debt collectors knocking at my door. I have one more appointmentment with the CAB next Friday (unfortunately the only one I can get and will mean missing a day at college) when I shall discuss the subject of Bankruptcy; barring that the only suggestion they can make is to see if some other agency can help......I can't go back to the beginning again....I don't have the strength.
I've finally relented and am taking anti-depressants prescribed by Doctor. I'd resisted this as to my mind no tablet will fill the void in my heart, increase my income or decrease my outgoings; but I really want to be positive about the college course I'm on and if in some way they will help me to focus on my studies and for a short while pop into another brain compartment my worries...well I guess it's worth a try.
Mick and I made so many good friends through this blog...and I know most of you also read Me, My Life, My Garden.....I hope you'll continue to join me there. My posts there MAY become less frequent as MAY my blogvisiting but I know you'll all understand how important this course is to me and that studying MUST come before Blogging.
“Remember today, for it is the beginning of always.
Today marks the start of a brave new future filled with all your dreams can hold.
Think truly to the future and make those dreams come true.”

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


How can a member of Mick's side of the family who all the time Mick was ill only came to see him once....and since his funeral has not phoned, written or in any way enquired after my welfare.... send me an email (still with no "how are things with you").....asking for a donation for the charity fun run they are doing?

How do I get rid of this horrible feeling that I'm really mean as I'm not sending them anything?

How can our local bus company suddenly decide to no longer sell return fare tickets...this means the cost of a journey to town and back rises from £1.30 to £ increase of almost 50%

Is it just a coincidence that our local shop has raised the price of milk from £1.19 to £1.38 (almost 20%) just when the bus price has risen.....knowing many people will not be able to afford to travel into town (where the prices are cheaper) anymore?

Why won't the Government deem Bereavement Allowance a "qualifiable" benefit?
.......remember how it didn't allow me to have free dental treatment or prescriptions despite my only receiving £58 per week.....well when I went to pay for the College Course it also didn't qualify me for the concessionary cost. (Luckily as I get reduced Council Tax Charges because of my low income I have been able to pay less for the course...still a week and a halfs income though!)

Why is it when we have the weight of the world on our SHOULDERS we like to get it off our CHESTS?

'How do you know so much about everything?' was asked of a very wise and intelligent man; and the answer was 'By never being afraid or ashamed to ask questions as to anything of which I was ignorant.'
~John Abbott~

Friday, August 31, 2007


I don't write here much about how I'm feeling it's just all too depressing and I do my best to switch off and think about something else when the "Blues" hit; as they invariably do. Today though I got extra upset...and why?...because I cancelled our Lottery Subscription. Yes I know it sounds silly and it had to be done..I really can't afford it anymore...but it was as though I was losing another memory and turning my back on a chance to live one of our dreams. The chances of winning the lottery are VERY remote but in the past, for a few moments each Wednesday and Saturday night Mick and I could dream...till the WRONG numbers came up that is! We never really expected to become fully fledged millionaires...we just wanted enough to buy a small cottage with plenty of land, start up a nursery and help the family. I still each week as the numbers are drawn hear Mick's voice in my head saying "I'm just a Jenner; but win me a tenner!" and remember well all our "fantasy" talks about what we'd do if we won. But as I say, it had to be done. I'm hoping to get a place on a Higher Education Teaching, Humanities and Social Sciences course...even with concessions for my low income I've got to pay out quite a wodge...and I've not yet had permission from my landlady to have a water meter installed so still forking out a sixth of my income on my water bill.
I have a meeting on Tuesday to find out what the course entails. I'm really nervous but have to do something to give me more options when I try to find a job. I'm hoping that it will also give me the chance to meet new people and learn to interact with the public again. I may even have a few conversations about things that DON'T upset me. At the moment most of my chats with the outside world are with the DHSS, doctors, CAB or debt collectors.........not particularly enjoyable. I just hope everyone's as friendly as they are in Blogworld.
Now I just need to FORGET our lottery numbers the way I forget where I've put my glasses!!!!!!!
“Being deeply learned and skilled, being well trained and using well spoken words; This is good luck”

Saturday, August 25, 2007


As many of you know I have in my own small way tried to raise money and awareness for the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and endeavoured to help Talj and Andrew towards their goal of £5000. You may have taken part in my "100 comments" or the Easter Egg Hunt yourselves. For that I thank you. Thanks to friends and relatives a further amount was raised at Mick's funeral and I was fortunate enough to meet Talj and Andi themselves when Talj came to stay with me for a few days. Even the Grand National played it's party...what an exciting day that was!
Well the day of the Britball Run has finally dawned.....Talj has worked so hard in preparation for this and I wish both she and Andi well over the next three gruelling days. May they have sunshine and laughter and NOT GET LOST!!!!!

26th January 1984 – 11th November 2006

Today Rose’s Father, Andrew, and his best friend, Natalya, are setting off on a 3 day, 1,000 mile fundraising event in memory of Rose.

Right from the start it has been their intention to use their fundraising activities as a way of sharing Rose and her beautiful smile with all who read about her.

Rose was an up and coming designer and was featured at the New Designers Exhibition in London in June 2006. Sadly, that same month the family was devastated when Rose was diagnosed with a Grade 4 malignant brain tumour. Following surgery to remove the tumour treatment was started straight away and on 26th October 2006 Rose graduated with honours from Liverpool Hope University. Just two weeks later Rose was admitted to hospital and sadly passed away on 11th November 2006.

As Andrew and Natalya navigate around the UK, bloggers across the world are coming together to help them share Rose’s story and her wonderful smile.

Please click on these words if you'd like to read more about the Britball Event

Friday, August 10, 2007

After worrying all week about the appointment today it turned out to be nothing at all. All they wanted to know was whether I could drive a car and what my last job was so that it could be entered on the DHSS computer for future reference.. Even I got through those questions with no trouble and was out again within minutes.
I hear on the news that two more Suffolk based members of our military forces have been killed in the last few days (one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan). Once again my problems seem insignificant compared to grief of their families. At least Mick was safe and secure in my arms as he said farewell to this life.
On a brighter note; today was the wedding day of Mick's niece Sarah......may she and Ben have many long years of happiness ahead of them.
"Marriage is that relation between man and woman in which the independence is equal, the dependence mutual, and the obligation reciprocal."
~Louis K. Anspacher~

Thursday, August 09, 2007


One of my dearest friends Icarus is writing his Flames of Eden blog as an open but personal diary in which he is relating the events of his life that brought him to his present tenuous position. In his latest post he quoted from Tennyson's "Ulysses" and emailed me telling me to take special note of these words,
"Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which, in old days,
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and NOT TO YIELD!".
A much longer mantra than "Força" but words that I must remember. I had to go to the doctors on Monday; it was a locum and so I had to try an explain my "problems" at the was a difficult visit....having to speak to a stranger about how I'm feeling brought me to tears...however my "weakness" (for want of a better word) actually did me a favour as she signed me off from work for a further 4 months. Hopefully this will take the pressure off of me for an appointment I have tomorrow. I have been summoned by our local Job Centre to discuss arrangements for my finding a job......even though I'm signed off from work I still have to attend or they say they will cease my Bereavement Benefit......I know that whatever my resolve I'm going to end up in tears and am already feeling quite sick at the thought of sitting discussing my future with yet another stranger. It's ironic really; because I am signed off from work I should be able to receive Incapacity Benefit which would increase my current income of £58 ....however because I was caring for Mick the National Insurance contributions I was credited as a Carer were at the lower rate which means I don't qualify. I know I'm lucky to live in a country where ANY financial help is available but I'm saddened to think that Carer's are being penalised for CARING!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

I've not posted on this blog for quite a while; I wish I could say it's because I'm not ranting or crying. Sadly that's not the reason. Time isn't healing at the moment and I've had some really down days. Having a couple of days out this week has helped but last week was terrible and I think I almost hit rock bottom and cried continuously for 3 one stage I didn't think I was going to pull myself out of it, but I did, so must be grateful for that. At the moment I find it so much easier to hide behind the general life on my Garden Blog......I have to try and focus on as much of the positive side of my life even if it's just something as simple a new flower in bloom. I try not to think about Mick in relation to the last two years...that wasn't MY Mick.....I just long so much for things to be normal again....but I know they never will. Even just writing that last sentence I feel my emotions welling up inside....where once it helped to share the pain I don't think I can go that route anymore. I've thought about closing this blog completely but can't bring myself to do it. If nothing else it serves as a reminder to me of the "strength" I once had.................a part of me died when I lost Mick......I have to make that part live again.
“Love is stronger than death even though it can't stop death from happening, but no matter how hard death tries it can't separate people from love. It can't take away our memories either. In the end, life is stronger than death"

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Three of my dearest blogpals Denise , Dot and Libby have given me this award. I'm putting it on this blog because this is the one on which I have shared so much of my precious time with Mick and in part I feel this award belongs to him as much as to me.

These are the stipulations for granting the award:
It is called The Blogger Reflection Award.

The reason for the title is because this award should make you reflect upon bloggers who have been an encouragement, a source of love, impacted you in some way, and have been a Godly example to you. Bloggers who when you reflect on them you get a sense of pride and joy... of knowing them and being blessed by them.This award is for the best-of-the-best so consider who you pick, carefully.This award should not be given to just anyone.

For two reasons I'm not tagging anyone to pass this award on to.
1. I have specifically stated that I'm not doing any tagging for a while; it would be wrong of me to tag on this one when I have turned down tagging to other Bloggers.
2. There is no way I could make a choice and decide who to give this award to. Each of my blogpals for so many different reasons fit the criteria above; each has played their own part in making an impact on my life.........some with their words of encouragement, some with their sharing of their own lives, some with their help and wisdom............some just by being there and listening.....................
If when you read this a name of one of your own blogpals sprang to your mind please feel free to pass the award to them.

“I love the man that can smile in trouble,
that can gather strength from distress,
and grow brave by reflection”
~Thomas Paine~

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Where did Ruth go? Do you remember her back pre 6th April; she was the one who took everything in her stride; always the strong one; never faltering or shedding a tear; she always managed to cope no matter how tough the situation; the one you could turn to solve a problem. Where did she go?
I hated going to the appointment today. I hated seeing in black and white the expenses outweigh the income. I hated being out of control. I hated the fact that I blubbed in front of a stranger. I hated having to accept defeat. I hated having no choice.
The CAB lady was brilliant. So kind and understanding but when push comes to shove even she can't work miracles. I've got to accept that there is no way I can pay some of my creditors off. The good news...I haven't got to tell them...the CAB will see to that. I won't go into the "this, that and the other"........but I was in there for two hours.
There's a few things I have to look into like changing Internet Providers and having a water meter installed; then it's a case of seeing what happens and trying to pull my life back together.


Monday, July 16, 2007


After my moans of last night and before my computer went into switch off mode I managed to vist a few blogs. One of them spoke about a friend who had lost their 18 year old daughter....certainly made me look at my problems in a different light!
Another was Shaz's .....and my tears soon changed to laughter as I watched the video on her latest post; sadly it's now been removed from YouTube so I'm fortunate to have had that moment of laughter.
I think Serendipity was trying to give me a wake up call........................

“If there are no miracles then we need to find another word for the existence of life – the existence of you and me – on earth. Call it a gift from spirit (God or god in whatever form works for you), serendipity, happenstance or plain good fortune. I invite you to look at your life as if it were a miracle. To treat your life in any other way seems to me to be a terrible waste of your unique presence on this planet.”

~Robert White~

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I've my next appointment with the Citizens Advice Bureau on Tuesday. Now that I know for sure what my income is I've got to take them my Expenditure Form.... I've hopefully decreased my gas and electricity costs as much as I can though it takes as much electricity to light a room for 1 person as it does for 2 and the winters will seem so much colder without someone to snuggle up to. My Orange mobile contract is finished next month so that will help but I'm really hoping they don't tell me I'll have to get rid of my landline as well. My blogging is my social life and all the time my PC keeps limping along I want to limp along too...LOL
I'm trying to not let it get me down though....I'm trying to think of it as a challenge and remembering *Mr Micawbers advice.................well at least some of the time I feel like that but I do have my moments...too many of them...but the "in between" times...when I switch off the "sad" side of my brain and manage not to THINK......those are the times I'm OK. Had a horrible moment in town last week when someone I knew in passing didn't know about Mick......then of course they wanted the details......I just couldn't talk about it, made my apologies and walked away. Had a good sob in the public loos; not the most pleasant of places....and just came home.
I don't think about the ill Mick; I just remember the good times; I guess in a way that makes it worse as the good times were just SO GOOD!
Each post I do on this blog I think will be the's my rant, moan and cry blog now...and I keep thinking "Right that's the last more feeling sorry for myself"...but deep down I know I'll keep coming back here for a while. I keep telling myself..."BUCK UP....there's MILLIONS of people in this world who have terrible lives; including some of my blog pals"............but sometimes my heart just won't listen!!!!.........and yes I do get those "Is it all worth it?" moments......but then I think about how angry Mick would be with me thinking like that. It's just so difficult at the moment as I never know from minute to minute which way my emotions are going to turn.
Well if you've got this far through my moaning..... thanks for listening.......I feel much better now


*Mr. Micawber (Charles Dickens' David Copperfield):
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

Monday, July 09, 2007


Gledwood has kindly nominated this blog for another Thinking Blogger Award..that makes 3 here now so I'm really chuffed........thanks Gleds.

I'm having problems staying on line for too long so this and the tag on my Bee's Eye View blog will have to be my last tag/memes for a while. I'm having to limit my pc time to half hour stints or my PC switches itself off which is making it hard for me to visit you all AND write my posts as well.

Now I have to do some presenting.....hopefully I'll be able to get round to all your comment boxes and let you know you've been nominated before I'm offline again!!!!! I hope the following will accept the award and pass it on to 5 more blogs.






Sunday, July 08, 2007


The heart is the body's pump; some people have a lot of heart and thanks to someone in Blogland with an extra big heart I now have a pond pump up and running far sooner than I thought I'd be able to. You see I received a "begging letter"...... begging me to allow this person to make a gift of the pump in honour of Mick and his memory. As much as I want to manage for myself this was a gesture I felt it would be wrong to turn down; I could tell the joy the giver would receive by my acceptance. To that special person I give my thanks. Our garden; Mick's and my Paradise on Earth now SOUNDS right again.

Another special someone gave me a hand with the installation; Manda came and helped; the cable is tucked away safely out of sight behind here........

and here..........So click the off switch of the music in the sidebar; click and play the video below and listen ....................

Mick and Ruth's garden is singing again...................... and so is my heart.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


So the pond pump's big deal in the great scheme of things.................................there are catastrophic events happening all over the world.........................what does a silly little thing like a pond pump matter compared to all the sadness I've heard on the news!
So why have I spent over an hour bawling my eyes out?????????????
Because in the "old days"...we would have jumped in the car; up to the garden centre; bought a new one; spent half the day digging up the old cable and putting in the new one; probably definitely had a few Brandy and cokes while we did it; would have giggled and laughed like school kids even if we cocked something up....................and "Job Jobbed!"

now the thoughts are; how to get to the garden centre?; how to dig up the garden and lay a new cable on my own?; will the fish be OK until I can do it (it'll have to wait until next week)?......the water's like green pea's never been this bad before.....the fish are part of the Mick & Ruth Story......Mick dreamt we built a pond and the next day we many evenings we spent watching the fish and putting the world to many memories..................

now so many tears.............................

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


As you probably know by now I HATE having my photo taken; it probably stems back to my childhood...when I asked my mum why wasn't I pretty she said "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" what you are about to see is very rare! This photo was taken by one of the teacher's when I went on the school trip......when Manda saw it she asked the teacher to scan it and give her a copy....she made one for me for one post only!!!!!

Sunday, July 01, 2007


Once upon a time weekends were so much fun; really early mornings; tea in bed; a Telegraph crossword to do; sharing knowledge; Mick reading the clues; working out anagrams; such laughs; a hug and kiss (sometimes more!); showering together; projects to plan; the full English breakfast; fried bread in town; a trip out; where shall we go; jump in the car; see where the road takes us; whatever we do, wherever we go will be fun; so much laughter; maybe stay in; gardening to do; a brandy and coke...just one or two; put the joint in the oven; a game of cards...loser washes up!; more fun; much music; much singing; always laughing; roast potatoes in town; after dinner dozes; a cuppa; more laughter; evening sits in the garden; such a great day; perfect contentment; anything on tv?;hugs on the sofa; starting to yawn; time for bed; snuggles; more hugs and kisses; believing tomorrow will be such fun too.....................
those were the days.....................................

Saturday, June 30, 2007


I received a letter from the Income Support Office; this is part of it;

as I've received two letters from them already stating when I claimed and have filled in a form stating why I am asking for it to be back dated.....isn't this a bit of a waste of time and money?

I also received a letter from the Tax Office...this wanted information as (quote)

"you are getting a pension, approaching state retirement age or a woman approaching 65"

eermmm...did I fall in a time warp???time races by
I'm only 55!!!... a few years to go yet. Not that I'd mind retiring...would save me the inevitable job hunting I'll have to face at some point.
a few more miles on the clock before I do this!

Friday, June 29, 2007


for Daisy Today is a sad day for many Bloggers; some of them I know, others are strangers to me.....but today they will be united in grief as the funeral of DAISY takes place. Dear Denise will be reading the eulogy she has written. I didn't know Daisy personally but have felt the grief of so many of my blogpals to whom she was an inspiration and dear friend. It made me realise how important our blogfriendships are; the support I have received via my comment box since I first went online has been inmeasurable and has seen me through moments of deepest despair. Rather than leave a comment here you may like to visit Denise's blog and read her post or visit Our Thoughts For Daisy where so many moving tributes have been posted.

So at 10.20 (UK time) when Daisy's funeral begins I hope you'll all join me in a moment of quiet reflection; not only for Daisy, her family and friends....but also for all our own blogfriends, past, present and future and remember;


Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Over the last couple of days a few positive things have happened....they may only be small things but every plus is a bonus at the moment.
My certificate for help with health costs has come through...far quicker than I expected. This means I can now make an appointment at the dentist and also my next prescription that is due for my blood pressure tablets will be free of charge.
I've had a letter from one of Mick's Credit Card companies closing his account.
My gas company ( who estimated my bill last quarter) have read my meter and have sent me a bill showing I'm in CREDIT!!! Ya...hoo!!!
My weekly Bereavement payment came into my bank OK....(I'd really been expecting it wouldn't)
I'm going to Leanne's for the day on Thursday...she needs more gardening help and some lessons on Blogger......looking forward to that.
Manda's school have asked if I'll help with another school trip next Monday...after needlessly dreading the last one...this time I'm looking forward to it.

A few minuses
The weather!!!
Still having these sudden bouts of tears. I got really upset the other day....Mick's side of the family did little to support us when Mick was ill and to be honest (except for Lynn of course) have done nothing since. There is one member who phones every few weeks but the predominant question seems to be "Have you got a job yet".....I guess because people turned away when Mick was ill they don't understand how hard the last few years were. My "job" (for want of a better word) then was 24/7, no days off, evenings out or holidays like they had...I NEED this break it's not easy around here to find a job at the best of times. I guess they don't have the depth of relationship that Mick and I had ......we were like one person and my world has been torn apart by losing him...they don't seem to realise the grief I am going through. I can't just "dust myself off" and carry on as though nothing has happened.
I also had a bad moment last night.......Kirsty (grand daughter) and her friend were hit by a car. She seems to be OK, just shaken up; luckily the car wasn't going too fast. I don't know what the rights and wrongs of the situation were; it sounds as though Kirsty and R may not have been looking properly when they crossed the road and the car suddenly really upset me though thinking of the "might have beens". I was rather perturbed too that the driver just wound down his window and asked the girls if they were OK and then drove off.

So pluses and and downs......

the see-saw of life

“The world is but a perpetual see-saw.”
~Michel de Montaigne~
Writing this post has really helped and I've taken the bull by the horns and spoken to the family member concerned....(you'll never know how difficult that was....I'll easily speak up for someone else but not so good at speaking up for myself). They understand now how insensitive their questions were and so hopefully I won't be put in this situation again.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Amazing Gracie on her Echoes Of Grace Blog has presented me with an award

Gracie and I have only recently started exchanging comments although we have often passed in other blogger's comment boxes. I think the thing that drew me to her blog was when I happened upon her profile in which she says......

Tap-dancing through life on two left feet without a compass; laughing, crying and holding hands with others who find themselves in the same place!

Now for the dilemma...I have to present this award to 5 other bloggers.....the dilemma being "ONLY 5".................Three of the one's I've chosen are "new to me" blogs that I've found recently....I'm taking a chance as they may not "do" this sort of thing but they are all blogs which have caught my eye over the last few weeks and I KNOW I'll be visiting again. The last two are "old friends".......(I can hear them both saying now...Hey Ruth, less of the word "rock" can have many meanings but in their case they really are "*rocks" themselves.

*rocks....something or someone dependable and supportive, especially in times of trouble.






Friday, June 22, 2007


help yourself
Yippee!!!....I checked my bank account this morning and the Bereavement Allowance has gone in...after taking off the Carers Allowanace I received for 8 weeks the total amounted to £261.00. Admittedly there's not much of that left now after paying for that very expensive bottle of wine you're all drinking (LOL); doing some of this......
FOOD! tastes better than fresh air
and paying the "must have" bills that had mounted up...water, electric, gas and phone. It was getting pretty touch and go whether or not I'd still be in blogland next phone = no internet!!! As I'll definitely be having no social life I really want to try and stay online so I'm classing the phone line as a necessity to keep me sane. I don't actually use the phone much for calls...the majority of actual calls have been to all the government agencies with all the hours of "hanging on". I also have a mobile phone; this was a necessity when Mick was alive but it's something that will have to go.....unfortunately I'm stuck in a contract until August but after that I'll go PAY AS YOU GO.
Now that I know exactly where I stand and know that (hopefully) the £58 will be coming in every week I can make an appointment at the C.A.B. and work out some sort of offer to make to the credit card companies. I think I need a crystal ball to see what will happen there.........

anyone see a big lottery win?

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I received a letter and leaflet through the mail last week from the Office for National Statistics. This is a government department responsible for collecting information on almost all aspects of life in the UK. You know the kind of thing....62% of the UK watch Big Brother or 90% of all households have pets. I often read these sorts of figures in the National Press and thought....I wonder where they get those figures from, no one's ever asked me! Well now I know and they have! I was a little worried at first....not being good with strangers but thought it a good exercise to help me with dealing with the problem. Well would you believe the chap came...and what was the basis of the survey......
They picked an expert out of the hat when they chose me! I have no complaints about the Interviewer, he was a really pleasant and VERY polite. In fact my only complaint is that there was no category worse than "VERY POOR" in answer to the questions!
Another bit of news...I've finally received a letter from the Bereavement Office confirming the amount I will receive. It will be £58.46 (except for the first 8 weeks when they reduce it because I received Carer's Allowance) at least I have it in writing now and Babergh District Council have immediately confirmed that I won't have to pay rent or council tax. Phew..............three cheers for B.D.C. for their quick and efficient response.
Only one problem ..........still no actual money from the Bereavement Benefits Office....but then it's ONLY been 11 WEEKS .......

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


You were all correct with your comments to my last post. I had a lovely time. The children were great; really well behaved but not so good that they were boring...LOL Some of the children are classed as having "behavioural problems" but when I got home I had to ask Manda which ones they were as I couldn't spot any exceptional misbehaviour....I guess the day out of school suited these children. The members of staff were nice too so I honestly needn't have worried and would definitely do it again. We didn't mention to the children, for a while, my relationship to Manda and at one point Manda asked the children if they knew who I might be related to. They said "She looks a bit like you".....(sorry about that Manda!)......and when she said that I was her Mum they said I couldn't be because I looked to young!!! Bless them.....I could have forgiven them anything after that. I did feel sorry for them though...we were walking for almost 6 hours (save for a short lunch break) and as they all had to carry their own rucksacks,coats and lunch boxes plus clipboards and pencils they were all so tired by the end of the day.....I know I was. Because of the nature of political correctness and can dos and can't dos I can't actually print any photos of the children but here are a few photos of some of the things we saw today. I guess these should really be on my M.M.L.M.G. blog but I posted about the school trip on this blog so only right that I end it here.

15th century Salter's Hall...made of wattle and daub

The Mill named because it used to be a mill! The water wheel can still be seen turning, enclosed in glass, inside the hotels restaurant.
The mummified remains of a cat; originally buried alive to protect the mill from witches and warlocks. It was rediscovered in 1971 and bad luck follows if it is removed from the hotel. In 1999 it was removed and the road outside exploded, the manager's office flooded several times and the person who removed the cat met with an accident. All returned to normal when the cat was replaced.
The ramp that Nicole helped to make was put to good use by one of the pupils who has to use a wheelchair.

Gargoyle waterspout on St Gregory's Church. Simon Theobald a.k.a "Simon of Sudbury" (Archbishop of Canterbury 1375 - 1381)was born at Sudbury. He was beheaded during The Peasants Revolt. His body was afterwards buried in Canterbury Cathedral, though his head (after being taken down from London Bridge where it was piked) is still kept in St Gregory's Church.
The Leper's Altar; lepers from the nearby colony were not allowed in the church and this altar was built outside....communion was taken via the (now bricked up) window.
Memorial to US troops...486th Bombardment Group (H)
Memorial to troops killed in World Wars I and of the children insisted that his father served in World War I....?????

Outside the old the Tourist information centre and museum. A well and cell are still to be seen in the cellar. The road it is in is called Gaol Lane.....when the children were asked what important building was situated in Gaol Lane the resounding answers were...the public toilets and Toymaster!!!!
This Cockerel used to stand on the top of St Peter's Church in the had to be removed during the war when the tower was lowered to allow for planes taking off from the nearby airfield.
Thomas Gainsborough...Sudbury's famous son. A Statue of him stands on Market Hill and there is also a museum dedicated to him.
Sudbury is also famous for its silk mills. The material for Princess Di's wedding dress was made here.
This beacon is one of many; lit to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the defeat of the Spanish Armada

One of the highlights of the day...swan and cygnets.

Didn't the children learn a lot today? I was quite chuffed as the teacher told Manda I did really well with children and she thought I must have worked in a school before!!! Ermmmm......6 weeks holiday in the there's an idea!


I'm going out today and really feeling nervous. I'm a shy person at the best of times and my experiences of the last few weeks the CAB and Doctor's waiting rooms ....when I've felt sheer terror coming on when surrounded by strangers have made matters worse. The silly thing is that most of the "strangers" today will be children! Manda's class are going for a historical walking tour of Sudbury....
Market Hill circa 1948
Manda told me about this and I thought it sounded really interesting; especially as part of the journey would be near the Meadows and the Croft...a bit of nature thrown in! The school has had terrible difficulties finding parent-helpers for the trip so Manda wondered if I'd like to go along with them. Part of me longed to but the thought of being with all those teachers and children who I didn't know filled me with dread. What if I can't handle it or start getting upset?....I really wouldn't want to let Manda down. I've said "YES" though...for one thing we'll be out in the open air so that "walls closing in" feeling shouldn't at least the majority of strangers will be children ..... I'm sure their inquisitive good humour will make me smile.

So my packed lunch is ready and I've got my fingers crossed for good weather......


Monday, June 18, 2007

Yesterday was such a difficult day; so many tears were shed. I felt such a terrible mother; I just wanted to cuddle the girls, wipe away their tears and make everything better. The cuddles and tear wiping were no problem but there is no way I can bring their Dad back. I think it shocked us all how lost and alone we all felt. We miss Mick everyday...why should yesterday seem any worse? For once even my "stiff upper lip" and "brave face" failed me.....I couldn't control my own grief so was poweless to help them with theirs. We tried to keep telling ourselves that Mick would be upset to see us so upset...and imagined what he would be saying to us. We managed some smiles but there were so many tears.
I feel like I failed yesterday..........................sorry Mum XXX

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I think CROW'S FEET ANONYMOUS says it all.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Moments of success and material things bring me a momentary joy but none can compare with the memories of your smile, your touch and the moments we are with me always.
You gave me strength when I needed it most and gave me the precious gift of loving me just as I am.
Your love and friendship remained constant no matter what hardships the world threw at us.
As long as I had you I had everything I needed in life.
You were my strength, my best friend, my soul mate, my hero...........

Tomorrow is Father's Day....the first special "YOU" day without you..............

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I thought I'd ring the Bereavement Allowance office again today to see if there was any news yet as to when/if I might receive some money. "It's with the decision makers" I was told......"but you said that on the 6th" says I. "Oh I'll just check again" I'm told...."Oh yes it's been granted but it may take a few days and you will get £58.46 per week" "But I was told I'd get £87p.w." says I.

It seems that as Mick passed away 11 days before my 55th birthday I'm not entitled to the full quota. This means that my income is below the magic "£59" that the government says I should live on so I would have been entitled to Income Support since April, not had to pay Council Tax nor would I have to pay for prescriptions or dental charges. The amount of Income Support I would receive would only be about 50p per week but at least it would be a qualifying benefit and would entitle me to the aforesaid freebies.

I spoke to the Income Support Office and explained the last 9 weeks and the person I spoke to was really kind.....Income Support cannot be claimed unless you are unable (due to medical circumstances) to work. She suggested I go to my doctor and see if he will retrospectively declare me unfit for work over the last 2 months. I really didn't want to see our doctor; the one who "cared" for Mick and who called me liar on my doorstep so I asked the surgery if there was another doctor I could see. I fully expected to be told I could have an appointment next week (you have to book being ill in advance around here) but surprise of surprises she gave me an appointment for 11.20 this morning. The appointments were running late so I was in the waiting room quite a while....once again I started to feel that "panic attack" coming on, my eyes were pricking with tears and I really thought I was going to have to leave. I'm glad I managed to sit it out because the doctor I saw was really nice and so sympathetic......I'm sure my bursting into tears as I entered his room showed him the state I was in. Blubbing I explained what the person from Income Support had said and he immediately agreed that there was no way I would have been able to go to interviews or work over the last few weeks and gave me the Sick Note I needed.

So all in all it's been a difficult day but at least if the Income Support is allowed I won't have to pay for my next lot of Blood Pressure tablets and who knows MAYBE in a few days that £58.46p.w. will start coming through.

When push comes to shove my predicament is nothing compared to that of Madeleine McCann's family. I've just been catching up with the news and I'm praying that the anonymous letter that has been received is a hoax and that somewhere Madeline is safe. All my troubles seem insignificant when I look at the photo of this sweet little girl.

New Press Number Released: +44 203 1594389

Portuguese Police on 00351 282 405 400

Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

International Crimestoppers on 00 44 18 83 73 13

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


It doesn't take much at the moment to get me down....the events of this morning...something so minor in the light of recent events...sent me to the depths of despair. I've never been a vain person...never had the looks to warrant it!....but each time I walked past a mirror today I felt desolate. I've been forcing myself to leave the house these past few months....feeling physically sick as I cross the rational head has made me do it...taking long walks...visiting Leanne...going to town...taking small steps...a day at a time...I cannot afford to become a recluse....but the outside world doesn't hold the same joy without Mick. I knew that this petty thing of hating my hair colour would give me further excuse to stay at home....I knew it wouldn't be right....hence the trip to the hairdresser.

Life is so strange...if I hadn't coloured my hair and felt the anguish afterwards....I would never in a lifetime have spent money on something so frivolous as a new hair-do......and now? well spent that has saved my soul to fight for another day. The hair Stylist (that's what they are called now) spent 15 minutes just talking to me...almost in counsellor mode. I had two choices...strip the colour off completely or have some highlights put in which would soften the existing colour. I opted for the highlights....the first option would mean spending money just to return to how I looked yesterday.
WOW what I difference now...I honestly feel and look ten years younger.....OK I still look older than I am...but that's life ........

If you're hoping for pictures........I enjoy taking photos but hate being on the receiving no show I'm afraid.............. instead I'll leave you with a photo of a natural beauty..



I did a silly thing thing this morning; I coloured my hair. Over the last few weeks it's really been preying on my mind that I've got to compete with the "youngsters" for a job and how much I've aged over the last couple of years. So yesterday I had a "mad moment" when I was with Leanne and bought myself a hair colour...........a colour that was the same as my natural colour...before the grey set in. It only cost a few pounds and I reckoned it would be money well spent.This morning filled with hope of a "new me" emerging I did the dreadful deed.
What may have looked good on me when I was under 40 looks ridiculous now I'm 55! The hair colour is a wash out one...well I've washed my hair 10 times now and it still looks as bad. I now look like something out of a horror movie! I bawled my eyes out and wouldn't even answer the door to the postman! he left a parcel in the garage. What was in the parcel......some Solar Lights that I'd ordered months ago and were out of stock until August! My first thought at them turning up today was....this is Mick trying to cheer me often something unexpectedly "nice" has happened when I've been feeling low. The more I thought about it the more I feel perhaps this is Mick telling me my hair should be I've phoned a local hairdresser, explained the situation and have an appointment this afternoon to see if they can do any remedial work; it's going to cost me money I can ill afford (still no Bereavement Allowance news).....and for once I'm praying for rain so that I have an excuse to wear a hood for the walk down there..............wish me luck!
Memo to self......there's a lot of truth in the saying...look before you leap!

Monday, June 11, 2007

T.B.A. #2

For more information as to what this is all about ...just click the award above.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


I shed a few tears today....not because of anything I'd received in the post or any stress I was fact it's been a wonderful day. The tears I shed were tears of pride tinged with tears of sadness. We had a lovely (LONG) walk to see the ramp that Nicole had helped build to make part of the Sudbury meadows more accessible to wheelchairs. The tears of pride were for Nicole...if you've read my Me, My Life, My Garden post "Shouting From The Ramp-Parts" you'll know why...............the tears of sadness were for I wish he could have seen it....I just know how "chuffed" he would have been that little Nicole has grown up to be such a caring and thoughtful young woman.

I'm doing a post on M.M.L.M.G. about today when we went to see the ramp.....if you get a chance please come over and read it.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


It was a long, long morning as I waited for my 2pm CAB appointment; I was filled with a sense of foreboding and feelings of panic kept looming over me. Now just a few hours later I feel 3 stone lighter and almost feel happy!....I don't think I've said that for a while.
The lady I spoke to at the CAB was wonderful; during the 10 minutes of floods of tears as I explained the situation (I felt so angry at myself for that) she stayed calm, sympathetic and gradually I got back into business mode.
She seemed pleasantly surprised that I had all the paperwork she needed to see with me and we went through it all step by step. The first weight off my shoulders came when she stated that I am in no way liable for Mick's debts. As I have informed all the companies of the position that is the end of the matter as far as she is concerned. Mick has no estate save for the £100 in his account and they can fight over that with no input from me.
The CAB are going to write letters to all my creditors explaining the position and asking them to put my accounts on hold until such time as I know what income I have. IF at that time after household bills; everyday expenses and food costs I have any money left then an "offer" of payment will be made by me for them to accept or decline...but that's in the future...for now they cannot hassle me further. She gave me some identical photocopies of Authorisation Forms to fill in....she suggested I do 10...filling in my name, address, telephone number etc. on each....knowing her time was limited I suggested that I fill in one and photocopy it 9 times...she liked that idea...far quicker! Then all I had to do was quickly sign all 10.
We went through the expenditure sheet I had to fill in...she wanted to know why I hadn't put anything down for food, clothing,fares, furniture and presents. I explained that as I have no income I can't really be spending money on such things....and even if I do receive some benefits there won't be money to spare for clothes etc. It seems I have to put figures down though and over the course of the next fortnight I need to keep a record of my food expenditure to give me some idea. I had to laugh when the figure of £15 per month on clothes was mentioned......I didn't spend that much on clothes for myself over the whole of last year!!! It seems even the £6 every six weeks to have my hair trimmed can go down as an allowable expense. I'm sure there won't be much "left over", if I put all these things down, to offer to my creditors but she says not to worry......and shall I tell you something....for the first time in over 2 months I'm NOT worried. Just having everything on hold makes all the difference and I felt about 3 stone lighter as I left her office.
Another incredible thing happened when I got home...I received a phone call from the Head of Babergh District Council Customer seems my blog had come up as having made mention of them and he asked would I mind speaking to him about the treatment good or bad that I had received from them. I had to be you'll see by Monday's post (and others) B.D.C. have always been courteous and sympathetic when I've spoken to them and it's not their fault that the Bereavement Payments Office is dragging their heels. In fact today I also received a letter from B.D.C. putting it in writing that they agree I've received no allowance to date and have readjusted my payments to ZERO for both my rent and council tax until such time as receive any money. Another problem solved.
Yes it's turned out a good day all round and for now I feel slightly back in control of my life.

Happy Face

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Well I honestly didn't expect to be posting here again before Thursday after my CAB appointment.....I mean today all I had planned was a dental appointment and tomorrow I'm going over to Colchester to see Leanne (poor girl has a possible slipped disc). I really thought all would be calm for a while. The dental appointment changed all that though.
For those of you who are not from the UK let me explain about our NHS system. If you're lucky you can find a NHS still have to pay for consultations and treatment but if you are on benefits these charges are waived (unless you want something not covered by the NHS). I am an NHS patient and my dentist (who lost a brother himself to brain cancer) has fully understood my cancelling appointments over the last 2 years despite the fact I did need a lot of work done....his last words to me back in July 2005 were "don't worry, we'll keep you on our have more important things to do caring for your husband; you don't want to waste precious time sitting in a dentists chair). So today I went along for the much postponed appointment............just one I currently have NO income and am in receipt of NO benefits.....I don't qualify for FREE treatment! What a crazy, crazy system. Even the (£48p.w.) Carer's Allowance that I received up until Monday is not classed as a qualifying benefit. Thankfully he took pity on me and has waived his consultation fee and is putting any treatment on hold until I find out if I can get some sort of exemption certificate or qualifying benefit.
Of course this means that the next time I need my monthly prescription for my blood pressure tablets filled I will have to pay for them too. So I hot footed it down to the Job Centre to check and see if this was correct. The young lady in there was very nice and spent ages going through all the benefits trying to find something that would help me...unfortunately until I get some sort of reply re: Bereavement Allowance nothing can be done. Even she herself found it ridiculous that I have no income at all yet have to pay a portion of rent, council tax and prescription charges......she said that a lot of people come to Britain because we have such a good welfare system but that sadly as I have no children living at home I fall through the net. She has given me a form to fill in that MAY entitle me to an Exemption Certificate though it will take about 4 weeks to be processed. She also told me that if I don't receive Bereavement Allowance that I will be able to receive Job seekers allowance until I get a job....though the look on her face said it all when I told her my age. The other problem is that Job Seeker's Allowance or Income Support cannot be backdated and I cannot claim it until I know if I'm getting Bereavement if they say no......well ...........(please enter seriously bad expletives here)

She did say I'd be better off in where did I put that striped T-shirt and swag bag

Monday, June 04, 2007


I'm not happy with this blog anymore; when Mick was alive even when we were having bad days I would blog and before I knew it the gloom would turn to sunshine. Lately this hasn't been happening...I don't know if it can again. I don't want to close it completely; it acts as a memorandum during my battle with the Benefits Agencies and assorted creditors....who I rang, when I rang, what I/they said etc. But I don't want it to turn into the pathetic ramblings of a miserable woman and I know I'm getting lower and lower each day.....Hopefully at some point I'll turn the corner. At the moment I'm seeking the proverbial "light at the end of the tunnel"; trying desperately to actually look forward to something........I'm searching in my own Pandora's Box...trying to find HOPE but at the moment it's alluding me. I know I can still laugh...I've read quite a few blogpals posts lately that have made me laugh out loud...but the laughter soon fades...snuffed out by the sorrow within me.

I've been doing daily posts for a long time now; each day with Mick was precious..............I'm posting today about my calls to B.D.C. and the benefits office and I'll probably post about the CAB appointment on Thursday.....but there will be days in between...days like yesterday when I've been gardening, walking, reading, taking photographs....these are days that belong on my M.M.L.M.G. blog....all that would be left for this blog is the emotional turmoil I'm going fun to read and no fun to write. So from now on my regular posts will be on my "garden" blog and I'll just stick to "business" here..............

Well that's the theory...only time will tell if it works in practice.

Right now to the phone calls; by some miracle it only took 15 minutes to speak to Babergh District Council about the Rent and Council Tax I've been told I have to pay...the lady I spoke to was very nice, she is deferring the decision for now....once/IF I do get the £87p.w. Bereavement Allowance I'll have to make the payments up but at least for now they won't be attempting to take Direct Debits out of my bank account...which would result in non-payment due to insufficient funds AND a hefty great bank charge because payment was refused!

The Bereavement Allowance Office wasn't a lot of help...they agree that my Carer's Allowance has now ceased but my paperwork is with the "DECISION MAKER'S" and so they are unable to tell me WHEN or IF I will receive any money. They did say I should get a decision SOON but were unable to define exactly when SOON would be.

I'm still unable to get any further re the £109 in Mick's bank account....the Bank has a "back-log" it seems and so as yet are unable to help re: WHEN/IF/HOW I can gain access to that.

I've filled the form in that I received from one of Mick's Credit Card Companies...there is a long list of things they need to know re: ASSETS...stocks and shares, motor vehicle, property and the such like..the only thing that was relevant was that £109 in his bank account..........that was rather outweighed by the figure I had to put in the LIABILITIES column...which included Funeral Expenses.

To end this post on a bright note...Jenny finished her Triathlon on Saturday... I was so pleased for her. This week is going to be an energetic week for another couple of blogpals too.....Julie (CG) who is a regular commenter/supporter on my blogs is doing her Race For Life on Wednesday evening (can't believe they do an evening run in Chester...that's when I'd be wanting to put my feet up!) and AuntieNoo is doing hers on they're glad I won't be there videoing there "warm-ups" like I did with Kim!

I saw this on Claire's Blog and just had to have one myself......please feel free to share it.....

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Akelamula tagged me for THE LINK TRAIN meme; it's rather long so I've put it on one of my other'll find it HERE.


The end of that tether is getting nearer.....I had two letters yesterday that left me shell-shocked and resulted in me spending the whole morning in tears. The first was a letter telling me that the £415 Carer's Allowance I'd been paid was seems that they have overpaid me £215 and they want that back! As that is all the benefit I've received since Mick's death it means my income for the last eight weeks is £25 per week. As if that wasn't enough I also received a letter from the Housing and Council Tax Benefit Office......they have reassessed my position and have now decided that I have to pay £35 per week towards rent and £9.63 per week towards Council Tax. If there's a mathematical genius reading this can they tell me how out of £25 I'm supposed to find £'s not going to happen. I really don't know how much longer I can carry on like's all just getting too much. Even the paperwork I did for the CAB is wrong now. It's all such a mess. Even if I sell everything I own and go bankrupt I'm still never going to be able to manage on MINUS £20 a week.
Half of the problem I think is that they are still assuming I'm getting Bereavement Allowance...the £87 a week they keep telling me I'm getting.....BUT I'M NOT..........

I've emailed my Landlady to explain the situation as they are also going to reclaim from her the money that they now think I should have paid. What a mess......hopefully she will be more patient than the relative who asked me the other day if I'd got a job yet. Give me a chance please!.......I cared for Mick for two years almost and saved the government a fortune in Hospice costs.....I think I can be a "drain on society for" a bit longer! least until everything is sorted out.

And of course to make matters worse the letters arrived on a Saturday when the offices are closed so I couldn't even ring them and plead my case! Instead I've got to stew until Monday morning when I (hopefully) can get to speak to someone.......I hope so because that's the day that even the (aforementioned) Carer's Allowance stops!!!
I can't explain to you how down I felt; I think if there had been a cliff nearby I would have jumped... I felt really sorry for Manda...she popped in and this time I couldn't "hide" my tears.....usually when things get on top of me I may rant and rave but try not to let anyone "see" just how much it is upsetting me. Luckily she wasn't busy (or at least she said she wasn't) and we went out for a walk by the river. It did me good as even the garden was feeling oppressive...we must of been out for a couple of least that's what my feet told me!!! The one blessing of living where we do is that it is easy to escape to the countryside even without a car.
To be honest without Manda's company, the walk and Akamula's hilarious post I don't think I'd be smiling now.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


Yesterday was a difficult day; I got up ready to battle the world...well some more boxes and a cupboard actually...all went well until I found Mick's old paint stained working jacket...tears, memories.....head battled heart...heart battled head......four times it went into the the "throw away" pile...I mean what good is it to anyone?...even a charity shop wouldn't want it the state that it's in....but I want's back in the cupboard now .....I can use it myself when I'm working in the garden in the winter.............
The problem with episodes like this when I get so upset is that I can't shake it stays with me all day..................just the slightest thing can start me off and I'm in floods of tears......
Once again though fate/serendipity stepped in. As you must know by now I'm an avid gardener......last year (not knowing what this year would bring) instead of having to worry about planting begonia seeds and having the trouble of caring for them I'd ordered some ready grown plants for delivery in May. Thursday I'd phoned the company because I'd still not received them...I was told they would be here next what happens...I'm down, depressed and there's a knock on the door....the begonia plants had arrived!!!....TODAY not next week! So sun shining and heart uplifted I had a fabulous garden day....pausing only to sunbathe, take photos and the garden of course!
So often this has happened...I've been at my lowest and something comes along to cheer me up...I always murmur my thanks to Mick....I really feel he's trying to get me through.............and as the sunset last night I ended the day with a happier heart..............