Friday, August 14, 2009

Family dispatches, signing on and the harvest.

1. Nick's mother comes round. She tells me that her great grandson's latest phrase is 'Power to the people' and that he now calls her 'Lady': 'I want to hold Lady's hand. I want to stay here with Lady.' And she brings a bag of beautiful thoughtful birthday presents from Nick's sister.

2. I'm not impressed with signing on (although I'm glad to have the money, and the help with the hunt for work). The job centre staff are even-minded and kind, even when facing angry people with a sense of entitlement, and disheartened people who have given up. But the atmosphere makes me feel crushed, afraid and useless. I'm so glad to hear the automatic doors close behind me as I walk out into the sunshine.

3. I like to spot blackberries growing somewhere unlikely (the corner of the house carpark) and, balancing at unlikely angles on the wall, pick them before anyone else does.


  1. Repeat after me,
    "I am a champagne cork, you may push me down among the bubbles, but I always pop up again".

  2. I am at that, Den. Thank you :-)

  3. Sorry to hear you had to go in to sign up - we live in different countries but it is exactly the same atmosphere in those places...thought I'd add a cheery tint though...I saw a beautiful thing occur in one of those offices...I was standing in the queue and a floral delivery guy came in with this massive bunch of daisies and lillies...called out a name that turned out to be the girl who was serving us on the was a gift from someone who had been unemployed for years and they'd written on the card "You smiled at me when I was angry, you smiled at me when I was sad, after three years I've got a job - so no more of your smiles but I bet we're both glad! Thank you for your kindess." She burst into tears of happiness and all of us in the queue felt a little less dull. I think about that every time I have to go in there and I smile.

  4. Made me smile to read #3 moments after making my blackberry comment. Now you've got me tempted to go out and see if mine are still there.


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