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Birds, benefits and buses

Posted Apr 05 2011 12:00am
Interesting how just acknowledging my frustrations has changed things. Until Lee Lee mentioned it, I hadn't seen my dependence as a loss. And AJ hadn't been particularly aware of it either. I was able to say to him 'how would you feel if you could no longer work and had to rely on me for money and lifts everywhere?' I've also become more aware of the pressure on him and his losses because he has no choice but to work to keep us afloat and there's not much fun for him at weekends with me so debilitated.

I heard my first chiff chaff of the year at the weekend. All season the male chiff chaff sits at the top of a tree going chiff chaff chiff chaff chiff chaff, while the female makes the nest, lays the eggs and feeds the brood somewhere near the bottom of the tree. With other species it's different. As I write I'm watching a pair of blue tits popping in and out of the nest box as they feed their hatchlings. I'd rather be a blue tit than a chiff chaff is what I'm saying.

On the benefits front, I've had a letter from my MP saying he's asked the job centre to clarify the situation and he'll be in touch when he's heard back from them. I'm not sure what this will produce as I'm pretty clear about what's happened. What I need is someone to overrule the work capability assessment decision that I am fit to work. However, we are coping for the moment with our contracted lifestyle. My biggest expense was my car, and I don't have that any more.

I get a free bus pass and lately I've been using the buses more and more. At first it was really difficult. I had to make a mega adjustment about the time it takes to get somewhere and I realised it was no use comparing. A ten minute journey in the car takes me an hour and half by bus. I've learned to take my iPod (lucky to have one) and listen to the radio to pass the time. I also try and use it as 'thinking' time creating crochet in my head or just day dreaming. It was hard wondering if I'd cope with waiting times or the extra energy a journey takes. And it does have a knock on effect, so I have to cut my cloth accordingly and make sure I don't have anything else to do on the same day. It also took me ages and ages to work out timetables and connections until I got to know routes better. There is a phone line and information online but unless you know where these bus stops are it's difficult to picture what's possible.

Ironically I think I failed my ATOS assessment because I said I could drive to the local Tesco and do a small shop which took an hour. That round trip now takes three hours on the bus because of the timing. (By the way 'doing a small shop' doesn't mean holding it up at knife point, it means buying a small quantity of goods - that's for my American friends. Maybe the ATOS woman thought I had the energy for hold ups?). 

So, have bus pass, will travel - slowly.

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