Notes on my unemployment

Monday 18th November 2013:
Up late at 7. Was going to go to Wimbledon Job centre as soon as it opened but the website didn't actually contain times of opening.
But whilst looking for it on the internet I was prompted for updates to my PC (seemed strange as it had just been re-imaged - but perhaps the image was an old one). I accepted them but it took a long time, and shutting down took time too. I re-powered up and it reconfigured, and wanted more updates! So aggravating this windows PC stuff is.
Anyway, at 10, before coffee, I went to 153 Wimbledon Broadway (after posting my repeat prescription and the register of electors form). It was closed! Nothing to do with its opening times, just completely shut down! The "job centre" sign over the door painted out and a detritus of old notices on the door; including the once-were opening times. Nowhere did it say where the nearest Job Centre was! So helpful! I walked back to where there may be a Citizens Advice Bureau - it was the Wimbledon Guild though, but I went in. They did not know but were helpful and someone looked on the internet and said the nearest was in Kingston. Convenient! But I noticed the Guild also did volunteering so I enquired, and may take up some befriending or something prior to other care work.
Back home I phoned the number associated with the Kingston office. It gave options, all the time saying it was better to use the online claim. Eventually it said a freephone number if you could not use online. So I phoned that. That gave options too. Also saying to use online (a bit absurd when I was using that number as I'd opted for NOT online!). But eventually I heard a dial tome (or was it music?) and fairly shortly a quiet northern voice spoke. It took a while for him to know exactly how ignorant I was about all this, but he said after all that that it MUST be done online. Only then would an appointment be made for me at the nearest office. But he also reassured me that my National Insurance payments would be continued - "all looked after" but to be sure, to apply for NI too at the same website. He was very helpful. But it just annoys me greatly that I should have to do all this and involve so many people when it would be so easy to walk in to a local centre. And It makes me weep that some people in this land are illiterate and deserve help much more than I do. What about them? And even if able to read and write a bit, they may not be computer literate. What about them? It makes me so angry that I live in a society that ignores the most in need of help.
Later I filled in the online JSA application. But during the information for it ir still said to phone up that number if you could not do it online. So either the internet or my northern informer is wrong. In my view it will be the internet which is misinforming. (Certainly if you are reading this you will get the same impression!)

Tuesday 19th November 2013:
Got up earlier than needed to put out the rubbish. But I may as well not have bothered as the dustmen did not take it.
Sorted out all my course notes, investigation notes, job application notes - all of which were in disorder after I'd brought stuff from work home.
Then, after a coffee, phoned the Nokia pension people and they will send me an estimate in three weeks.
The walked up Dorset road to Morden, taking a back way into the garden centre to see if they had any notices for jobs. It was so quiet - it did not look good so I do not think it worthwhile to apply. Then onto Lidl where I bought the cheapest mincemeat (£2) and 7 rashers of bacon (£1.25). Then walked down Martin Way and on to B&Q to look at sheds - a rubbish selection! But I enquired also at Champion's and, surprisingly, they did do sheds but did not have a brochure available. Looks like the internet needs a browse (if I can believe it).
After a bacon sandwich I prepared a mince stew and tidied up the bureau.
So: busy all day but very little done! I know how a housewife must feel.

Wednesday 20th November 2013:
Earlier up. Some ironing and re-washing (and again as I'd forgotten the washing liquid). Then out; to see why my electricity payments were not being taken from my account. Back and phoned EDF who confirmed it (contrary to this mornings's call). Then sort out last year's Christmas cards then lunch (cheesy thing and toast). Then out to Vodafone to get them to make the internet work. (I had worked for people who wrote software for mobile phones yet none of them were able to do that!) Then wash the kitchen floor, then finish the ironing. Watch TV and supper (cabbage, mince and potatoes). Now, this done, to look for jobs and sheds on the internet.

Thursday 21st November 2013:
In the morning to the bank to change my electricity standing order. Also to commence NHS application for Camden assistant job.
But then by rain to Kingston to the Job Centre to register. (Had a so-so meal in Zizzi nearby first - rather slow.) Appointment 13:50 so I arrive 10 minutes early as customary. Got a slip saying 14:00 and told I was early so waited for 10 minutes and went up to the second floor. First I had my details confirmed and verified - photocopies taken of my pensions - and told to wait until called. About 5 minutes later I was interviewed and given an "agreement" (I think) of what I need to do (daily internet, weekly shop windows, weekly direct approach to employers, use linked-in). I need to attend the centre fortnightly to discuss with someone - I think a "personal advisor". Starts tomorrow!.
Popped into John lewis on the offchance but applications are online only.
Home, I finished my application to Camden and sent it.

Friday 22nd November 2013:
Got out the hoover. Must cancel NatWest investment appointment as it is too close to my second Jobcentre visit. How exciting. I have to do 6 things a week to continue with job seekers allowance. Seemed very discouraging and inappropriate for someone actually looking for a sound job.
In the evening I went to the Prince of Wales pub in Fleet to say farewell (from Renesas/Broadcom) to an ex-boss. Also to see some ex-colleagues - but no jobs seem available anywhere.
On the way home, a bit of pavement was missing as I neared the station. I limped to rest of the way - a bad sprain. May take it up with the council if it persists.

Saturday 23rd November 2013:
Limped about the house and slept.

Sunday 24th November 2013:
Going out to Wimbledon village Pizza Express with a friend. Well it turned out to be "Cotes" which was excellent.

Monday 25th November 2013:
Did a bit of typing and ate stuff. Applied for something for my JSA. And slept. Renewed library ticket.

Tuesday 26th November 2013:
Visited banks (about investment of my little redundancy money). Could not find "When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit" in Waterstones or Smiths - and the library did not have it.
Managing to get my accumulated "stuff" in a bit of order. And managing to throw bits of it away too.
Read parts of the Blue Rider Almanac. I am not sure if they are being very dismissive of what went before, or merely of people's veneration of it.
Still limping rather.
Rubbish collectors put my rubbish next to next door's wheelie bin and it remained there for the day. I phoned up and they said they's collect it . . .

Wednesday 27th November 2013:
. . . but they did not. Phoned again in the morning (now that the foxes had scattered the contents over the pavement) but by the afternoon when the crows were sp[reading it wider still I phoned again. Eventually it was removed. Typing. Loosened the "f" on the Olivetti, looks like the spool mechanism merely needs exercise.
Bought Bacon.
Did ironing.
It is amazing how little I seem to do yet spend the whole day doing it. Looks like this semi-retirement is turning into nothingness.

Thursday 28th November 2013:
Great day typing.
Booked Christmas Lunch.
Filled application to care home in Bushey Park. But rejected the £85K BM-type job as it was too managerial.
Read More from the Blue Rider.

Friday 29th November 2013:
Completed application to the nursing home near Teddington & posted it.
Also posted cheque for Christmas lunch.
And went to Sutton hospital for an eye check (at last) - no deterioration.

Saturday 30th November 2013:
To the final night of HMS Pinafore at the Union theatre. Improved since the first.

Sunday 1st December 2013:
Wimbledon all blocked up due to a Christmas event on the Broadway.

Monnday 2nd December 2013:
To Lidl. Stew & ham. Now cooked. Washing mostly done.
Turner Prize: Hmm....
Some dark portraits of African people. Quite lively.
Nothing. -- Well to be precise it seems he got some people to annoy visitors to the Tate Modern gallery. But he insists on not making notes or recording anything, or commenting, or appearing. So nothing to see.
A Video of having tea. The usual blury and flickering images shot through with stange colours. The difference here being that she made some of the pottery (appearing in the tea time film) herself.
Then a humerous peice of stuff. Childish drawings, stange plastic sculptures. Apparently he has a newspaper cartoon too.
Since I don't like videos (liking to decide myself what and when I want to look at something) that leaves for me only African paintings and humerous collections. It is always nice to see a painting. Especially ones that make you look at them.
So for me it's a shame the video won.

Tuesday 3rd December 2013:
Up early to put out the rubbish as usual. (I wonder if they'll pick it up this week!)
They didn't. Phoned up at 9:!5 after the bin men had been. They said to leave it out in case but to take it in later. So when later arrived I did. They said to put it out tomorrow.
Read through some accumulated magazines before throwing them away. Tidied the back room a tiny bit.

Wednesday 4th December 2013
Thursday 5th December 2013:
I'm sure I did something..

Friday 6th December 2013:

Second visit to Job seeker's in Kingston. Went early and to the crown court first. (The courts seems less "open" than when I spent two weeks, after my A levels, going to St. Albans crown court.) The man said I may be eligible for pension credits instead

Saturday 7th December 2013:
Maybe I shouldn't have had all those doughnuts from Morrison's.

Sunday 8th December 2013:
TV and typing.

Monday 9th December 2013:
Yep. Doughnuts are no solution.
Made a chicken casserole, and bought some plywood to go above the gate (the old stuff is rotting). Apparently pension credits are only available to me from 6th March 2016.

Tuesday 10th December 2013:
Visit uncle for a sandwich lunch.

Wednesday 11th December 2013
Thursday 12th December 2013
Friday 13th December 2013:
The days drift by..

Saturday 14th December 2013:
To Wimbledon village to check out their flower shops. Bought slippers from Debenhams for my uncle to give me. Then home and on to Morden garden centre where I found an orchid for my uncle, and some more Christmas cards.

Sunday 15th December 2013:
Drove to uncle to exchange presents and to bring back his PC which he could not cope with (he's got an electric typewriter instead). Camden swarming with people.
Finally wrote my Christmas cards after 9pm

Monday 16th December 2013:
Just another day.

Tuesday 17th December 2013:
Was going to dig away the earth from where I was to put my shed. But before that needed to make room and removed a lot of lilac. Then took it to the tip. I did that after lunch and then removed a Ewe bush - lots of roots so it took an age. Also discovered bits of iron sticking up - possibly from within concrete! Let's not hope it's from wartime. We'll see what the next day brings. Tomorrow is due to rain so probably not much.
Amongst the brick, breeze blocks and chimneys, as well as woodlice, there were many clusters of snails - all dried up - ?hibernating for the winter? - I wonder if birds will now take them.

Wednesday 18th December 2013:
Took the bits of Lilac I'd put into the car to the tip. Then raked up leaves and put them in the car. Swept the paths too and cleared soggy brown pears. Then mowed the lawn. The garden looks more respectable now.

Thursday 19th December 2013:
Shed was delivered promptly at 9.
Went to Wimbledon's Centre Court shopping centre to visit Ecco and Paperchase to do my stuff for Jobseekers.
Then (after wiping the inside of many car window from all the humidity that the leaves had provided - actually this was in a way quite good as it made me clean the inside of the windscreen which I had not done since I'd got the car 4 years ago, and which in certain lights caused visibility problems) took all leaves to the tip. Then re-filled the car with an old toilet and cistern, an old microwave, and a battery and took them to the tip too. (I call it a tip but it is a re-cycling centre.) Tired and aching did nothing more.

Friday 20th December 2013:
Still ached.

Saturday 21st December 2013:
Lazy day.

Sunday 22nd December 2013:
Lazy day. But sent pictures of my Uncle's PC with an email for Danny to send to the social DG at work.

Monday 23rd December 2013:
Unemployment is now normality. So I'll end this page and go back to life.