i have been trying to achieve more in my life. i have enquired about a course at the local college, with mild success. i have pursued my case against the benefits system with an outcome that ‘some’ would call typical. i have completed a self portrait and i am nearing completion of another painting. i have been sea fishing for the first time. i have learned some more about setting up a sound system. i have watched EVERY EPISODE of ‘curb your enthusiasm’ upto date. it’s pretty, pretty, pretty good. Larry David is a genius 🙂
about 3 months ago i sent a email to my local college outlining my skills and requesting feedback about one specific course and advice on a course suitable to reflect my abilities. the specific course had in its blurb on the website that a couple of GCSE’s were necessary to gain entry, but mature students would be evaluated on a case by case basis. at the time i also placed a call to the college, leaving a message. i didnt get a reply to the email, but last week i got a call back. i was told that even for mature students, certain qualifications were necessary, as it was a university level course, irrellevent of the individuals intellect or skills. i was then told that although i wouldn’t be eligible for the course this term, there was an alternative course that , on completion, would make it possible for me to gain a place on the university level course. fantastic! now i have a course of action to follow.
so onto my battle with HMCE. this is the dept that deals with child benefit in the u.k. i had appealed their ridiculous and discriminatory decision about my daughters entitlement. this led to a tribunal before a Judge. my outlook was very positive, as it was obviously an open and shut case. unfortunately it turned out to be a bit of a shambles. an excercise in futility. the judge said that she sympathised with my predicament and recognised the validity of my argument, but she didnt have the power to overturn the original decision, due to HMRC rules regarding appeals tribunals!? so what to do next? i got in touch with a pressure group that has some knowledge of these issues and gained the information i needed. again this wasn’t great news. i was told that i needed to get a judicial review, before i could go to the european court of human rights. “no problem” i thought, until i found out that it would cost at least £10,000. so that put the kibosh on that. but there is one other agency i can approach, so the battle isnt over yet…..watch this space.
i have taken a photo of my self-portrait:
i have also been sea fishing:
when i was a kid i used to be part of a course fishing club- the Birmingham Anglers Association youth team “The Starlets”- and although i was the youngest (by a long chalk) and the least successful, i really enjoyed it. the things i learned about course fishing, i have never forgotten. a few weeks ago, me an me kids went course fishing and we all really enjoyed it. so i have been getting everything sorted for us to go again. the problem is transport to the venues- i dont drive and unless the bus drops us off right outside the venue, i dont think that me little daughter would manage much of a walk with or without carrying equipment. the only other option is taxi’s. this means that with the cost of the day ticket to fish – approx. £5 adults, £4 children, the cost of fishing license- £4 a day, taxi fare £10 there and £10 back, the basic total cost (excluding picnic food, tackle and bait) is £37! which is a big chunk out of our living money. working class and unemployed/ single father families priced out of another sport. i will have to get in touch with the bus company to see exactly how far the bus stops are from the 3 main venues.
by contrast, sea fishing (excluding tackle and bait costs) is completaly free! (but it’s not as relaxing for me and there arnt any duckies, etc. for me daughter.) i will have to see if i can raise the 40 buff by tomorrow, to go lake fishing, if not sea fishing it is!
regarding the sound system………
it was almost inevitable that money and beaurocracy would come into the picture, to make things difficult. but i am serious and dedicated to this project. it is my dream and therefore my obligation. i have to stay focused on my ambitions, which isnt easy at the moment. i have to somehow juggle my aims to be creative (in a way that makes me kids proud of me and inspired), with the normal humdrum chores, etc., that are as important to me kids life as anything else. i want to be able to prove to me kids that an idea can become a viable reality.
at the moment it is the school summer break for the kids, in the U.K. in total they get 6 weeks off. due to restrictions on “the wicked liar” (me ex-wife) and the time she is allowed to have me kids unsupervised, (due to neglect issues) we do a 1 week on, 1 week off arrangement. i have no such constrictions on me. any road, we (me+ me kids) decided to go to birmingham to visit me ma for a week. she said she would come to us in cornwall for a few days, then take us back to birmingham and at the end of the week, bring us home again! quite a bit of travelling! on route TO birmingham, we decided to stop off at weston- supa- mare. weston is just about half way between cornwall and birmingham. we all had a great time. they’ve a working pier at weston, and at the moment they have a large “london eye” style ferris wheel. there are also some great rides for the little ‘uns on the beach – donkeys, bouncy castles, etc.