Wednesday 25 January 2017

ESA Benefit Review

It's vlog week!

I had my Employment Support Allowance Benefit review today. I was terrified. I think this week's blog shows just how distressing the whole process is for disabled people. Let me know what you think!

If you can't see this weeks vlog then please click here! Remember to subscribe and leave a comment too!

Until next Wednesday!
L x

Wednesday 18 January 2017

The Dreaded Brown Envelope

It’s been a weird week, the countdown began for Mike's homecoming, three weeks is the longest we've been apart since May last year, his actual job seems to be picking up again, so have to get used to being home alone a lot more... we so need a guinea pig or puppy to keep me company Mike!

I was lucky enough to see the touring show of Dirty Dancing with a group of girlfriends this week; it was fabulous, a real treat they stayed close the beloved film, plus the Johnny part was playing but a Southend local guy Lewis Griffiths. I haven't been out, out in so long and a glass of bubbly helped to relax me. 

The Dreaded Brown Envelope

This week was brought down by a dreaded brown envelope hitting my doormat. If you are disabled and in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) you'll know that heart-stopping, sickening feeling when you get the distinctive brown scare bomb in the post. 

I've been called in for a review of my benefits. I understand that it's an evil necessity for the government but when you know that you are entitled, and may I add grateful, for the disability payments it's terrifying. 

It's horrible going for an hour long interview, relaying your toilet habits, telling them about the days when you can't stand long enough to cook a meal or how you sleep 4 hours a night. Yes, my conditions are SHIT, they're horrible vile illnesses, that leave me sobbing, but it's not in my nature to be a "poor me" and seek a sympathy vote, but to keep my benefits I have to be honest and instead of my default answer of "I'm fine" I need to spill the shit to a complete stranger. 

It doesn't ease my mind that I've heard so many friends and news stories; where people in genuine need have lost the benefits that provide them with their freedoms in Motability, extra equipment, taxi fairs to hospital and so much more and yet others who are just plain frauds with full-time jobs, playing golf and skiing, don't get caught - it's all very messed up. 

My appointment is next Wednesday, so in next week's vlog I'll let you know how it went. I can only be honest and hope they understand my needs and if not, I don't know what I'll do. 

Fingers crossed people!
Until Next Wednesday 
L x

If you missed last weeks vlog watch below or if you can't see it click here! 

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Transport Tantrum

Its Vlog week! This week I'm chatting about trains.... no I'm not a spotter but I'm increasingly frustrated and annoyed by public transport in the UK... so I made a video about it!

Please comment, like, share if you think this is something that needs addressing! Watch the video below or if you can't see the video click here!!

Until next Wednesday!
L xxx

Wednesday 4 January 2017

Get a Hobby!

One of my new year's resolutions was to read a book a month, (I'm reading Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher this month) but a friend pointed out that reading is a hobby rather than a resolution so maybe I should have said "To maintain and learn new hobbies" instead.

The word hobby is largely associated with elderly people and a box to fill in on a dating site profile. After talking to a few friends, there is a distinct lack of people with hobbies. Granted many people have very little spare time or would rather be in front of the telly, but I can assure you a hobby can be a wonderful and fulfilling addition to your life.

My current hobbies are cooking/baking, although at the moment these are limited to Slimming World recipes, which is fun, but no giant chocolate cakes and all day cooked briskets for now!  But I'm enjoying experimenting with healthy foods. Last year I went to two cookery classes to make pork pies and macaroons and had so much fun despite being nervous I would struggle, to read my review of The Delightful Tea Bake School click here!

Proud of my Pork Pies

Blogging and vlogging are a hobby; save some of the really famous social media stars, it's not worth opening a blog or channel for money, although I have ads on both the payments are in pennies a month, but I do it for the love of writing. Being too ill (and therefore too unreliable for a full-time job) scuppered my plans to be a journalist, so this, to me, is the next best thing!

If you follow my Instagram you would have seen some unusual crafts appear on my feed. I love doing crafts with my Nieces and Nephews, so I sift through Pinterest for idea's that will entertain 2-12year olds, without destroying Nanny's kitchen! I feel I need to start making time to do crafts for myself, I made our door wreath for Christmas last year and loved it.

Crafts, not just for kids

Since I spend less and less time sleeping these days and more time at home due to the pain, I need a few more hobbies to keep my brain going, even if my body is falling apart. A few months ago I won a huge amount of wool and knitting books - I can't knit, but that's what youtube is for and I'll learn, also other people with CRPS have said it's great for those long nights alone when brain power is scarce!

So, do you have a hobby? Do you think it's a little sad to have hobbies? Or do you have some hobbies to suggest for me to try? Let me know!

Until Next Wednesday...

L xxx

P.S Here's last weeks vlog if you missed it! (If you can't see the video click here!)