Friday, 22 March 2013


The Wheelie family have all been hit one by one by a rather unpleasant influenza/ tummy bug. It didn't stop me getting up at 05:30 to begin my daily routine. I hate my built in alarm clock sometimes. Mind you, grumble I may, but I'm glad I did. My girls managed to surface at 10 am.

Winter wonderland outside. It's snowed steadily through the night, and it's forecast to continue for at least another 30 hours. According to my little wireless weather station it's -1 °C outside, which is 3° C cooler than my fridge! Using the 'stick-a-finger-in-it method', looks like we have about an inch and a bit of snow and climbing.

Bear decided I was being unkind to Sigma the Dog - I had the giggles watching him walk around the garden in  the snow. Front right leg up. Wait, leg down. Left rear leg up. Wait, leg down, Front left leg up, Wait, leg down....... repeat. I've not seen anything so silly looking in ages.

So she's decided to go and pick some bits and pieces up from the local shop and infect everyone there. A grumpy Snow Bear. "Oh, that bloody man!" she muttered under her breath. I concur. Big Smile.


I found this interesting. First I should say I can walk, just not very far, and not without support. We are on benefits because Bear has to be there for me at least 35 hours a week. I can and do little bits and bobs, but I have to declare it beyond a certain amount. That's how it should be.

Bear gets a Carers Allowance which, if she was employed, would be just over £98 per week. But because of the means tested benefits we are on, it's reduced to £32 a week, for which she has to be with me for 35 hours a week, day and night. Those maths aren't good, are they? Would you accept employment at under a quid an hour?

I can't use Job Centre services. Sure, I could go in there with a notepad and do it that way. But I'm not allowed to see an advisor, even the Disability Advisor because of the DLA rate I'm on, because I can't go there unsupported, despite that my DLA is not means tested.

It's not just benefits either. Did you know that if you have a job, and want to change jobs, you can't use Job Centre Advisor's either?


Thursday, 21 March 2013

Tea Leaf

I'm very disappointed today, discovering the the loss of some very expensive specialist metal hand engraving tools accumulated over some years.

I'm more saddened to discover that they were lent out by a family member despite my explicit instructions not to. But that wasn't the half of it. The person that borrowed them claimed that I'd given them myself so that they could sell them to get themselves out of a looming financial crisis. See what they did there? More, they listed a number of people locally who could back them up, and suggested perhaps "because I'm a Stroke Survivor my memory isn't perhaps what it should be".

One problem. Three out of the five people are 'Friday Night beer buddies' of the borrower who weren't local at the time, who praised his generosity and admitted they only knew what he had told them. A fourth said it "sounded like the kind of thing I would do to help out", and a fifth said "I'd back him up to the hilt" and  hung up on me.

Last but not least, a family member admitted they had "lent them out for a few days", and admitted they'd done so in error - when I pointed out the 'borrower'  had a record of drunkenness and violence to his relatives, and in his mid thirties had no skill set or work experience and couldn't use the tools.

Just shows you how deceptive people can be. So I reported it to the police, who I'm pleased to say are taking it seriously. They have warned me it will be a tough one. Apparently it may be recorded as a "disability hate crime" which is defined as "acts against those who may be vulnerable" and now has high priority.

Whatever. As far as I'm concerned, I'm doing him a favour. All I'm really interested in is getting sufficient reimbursement for the cost of the tools so I can replace them.


Not that I'll recoup the cost, I've discovered. I'm advised by a lawyer friend the most he'll probably get is a slap on the wrist, but only after I'm put through the mill, and he'd be unlikely to pay anyway.

However, I'm told I can ask for the chap to be given a warning to be kept on record and  a telling off, particularly since I've discovered he's a family man who is on disability benefits due to mental health and substance abuse problems.

Better, I'm told, that he knows I won't tolerate being messed about with. Ok. Seems the right thing to do.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Boots and Bra's

"Nice gloves, Mr. T" I said, as he sat beside me. "New are they". "No" he said, "I think my daughter left 'em when she visited". So I picked them up, checked the back of the washing label inside. Yup, thought so. 'Dray'. Handed them back to him. "Nice" I said.

Happens a lot, that does. Gloves, gardening gloves, Jeans, spanners, socket sets, power tools, even when they've been 'smart watered' and ultraviolet pen marked. Not, I hasten to add, just Mr T.

Once it was a boot. Just the one. That was quite comical. Watching someone limp and wobble in complaining their left foot was playing up, and listening to them grumble. It was worth it for the laugh, much to their annoyance. I let them have it.

I get annoyed about power tools. Power tools are important to me because I find using manual tools difficult.

At upwards of £150 for a decent hammer drill or flat sander, they can hardly be called cheap. In one famous instance, I whipped  out my ultraviolet lamp (yes, I have my very own ultraviolet lamp) and showed them. I'm told that, that night, they started some kind of Facebook campaign against me claiming I was accusing them of theft. I'm told (I don't do Facebook) they got 110 replies telling them to get stuffed. The following morning at 05:30 I heard a noise outside, and found half a black bag on the door step of bric-a-brac.

Now, that's social networking at it's finest. One ladies sock, anyone?


The best one, was the day a lady visited who, shall we say, is (cough!) a Renaissance woman. Umm,  Buxom? A fine figure of a woman? (waves hands vaguely in upper body area) A big strong lassie.

She asked to use the bathroom, which was nice that she asked, but a puzzle because we knew, that she knew, we have a downstairs loo. Most use that. Wheeliemanor is a two loo household, don't'cha'know. But what do I know? May she wanted a shower?

When she eventually emerged, 20 minutes later, she looked somewhat unwell. That is, she seemed to have acquired a marked and somewhat unfortunate deformation in the chest area. Bear and I glanced at each other, as couples do in an instant of unspoken communication.

Yeeup. When she eventually left, half an hour later, flustered because I couldn't keep my eyes off her chest, ("Dray, why do you keep staring at my tits?") we discovered two toilet rolls missing. She'd stuffed one in each bra cup.

I'm philosophical. Except for expensive power tools, there's no need to pinch. Heck, I get that people are embarrassed to ask. I know what it's like to be without tools - well, I do now. But anything else......?

Even a boot.