Yes. You ARE right. You have deduced correctly from the photograph. I DO HAVE TO BE on the move again. And I am more than a little fed up at the prospect of so doing, as you can see. I don’t want to do it, I love my little flat overlooking the garden and I really thought that this time, life would be kind to an old girl and let me stay put for a while, but that was naive at best and downright daft, if we are being realistic.

I told you in a previous entry that I had to really push the boat out in order to afford living here and I did. Every penny was accounted for and my budget was stretched to its limit but not past that point. How silly of me to opt for something so luxurious, do I hear you say? Not at all, my flat is actually very modest, with a tiny kitchen and bathroom neither of which sport a window. It’s plus factors are that it is on the ground floor and has a door out onto the communal garden. It’s aspect is bright and sunny and there is a Manager on site which, taking into account the very stressful twelve years or so that I have experienced, makes me feel safe and gives me some peace of mind. It sounds pathetic I know, to all you normal mortals out there, but without a safe home environment, I just fall to pieces and do not function well at all. I do not sleep, I forget to eat, lose every ounce of self esteem and confidence and any ability to paint or write.

For those of my readers who have been following me since the creation of this blog, you will remember that I have said quite clearly that I am not political. That is unchanging. However I am humanitarian and feel it is important to highlight a situation that is affecting many older people in this country, not just myself. Here in England, our government can withdraw an amount of money previously awarded following rigorous tests and examinations. Furthermore, they can do this at the drop of a hat, giving only a couple of week’s to re-apply and no emotional or professional support whatsoever. This is not a punishment as a result of doing something wrong or underhand, it is just normal, everyday government legislation and austerity measures. It devastates a life and causes untold grief to the sufferer. This is not just happening to me – it is happening all over the country to all manner of people. A letter launches itself through the letter box and instantly, each and every one of those people is scrabbling about just as I am, trying to keep their already precarious lives up together. And failing miserably. Just as I am…..The amount of money in my case is enough that it represents the difference between sink or swim and the difference between being able to lead a life with any form of quality to it or existing from day to day on a financial knife edge, just hoping to fall into the abyss as quickly as possible so as not to prolong the agony either for myself or, more importantly, my friends and family.

Initially, I tried to hide from the truth but of course, that is impossible. The truth must be faced. In my case, the truth means primarily finding cheaper accommodation, not easy in a society that will not entertain individuals on housing benefit as potential tenants. The truth also means the potential loss of my car and any modest social life that I had managed to cultivate. It may even mean that I can no longer attend the bowls club as a player but must content myself with coaching others. Such is the lot of a single retired person with only a basic state pension and no savings to fall back on. ‘ Shame on you!’ Do I hear you cry? ‘That you did not save and make provisions for yourself whilst you were working like the rest of us did. Why should the country support you now that you are old?’ I am sorry. I let the country down. I put my life into my school and its children until the World Financial Crisis took it along with every penny that I had and quite a lot of pennies that I did not have too.

I pause and a wry smile creases my lips, I am probably talking entirely to myself at the moment, as the rest of you have disconnected from my site in view of the above rantings. I will rant no more, I promise. From the loyal one or two that may be left, I ask only one favour, that you look with kindly eyes upon anyone in a similar situation. It is scary skating about in the centre of an icy pond, unsure where the ice will support you and when or where it will collapse under your weight…… To put a flippant slant on things, it is a good job that my mission to lose weight has been so successful and that I now weigh less than ever before in my adult life – should I never reach the edge of the pond, I stand greater chance of staying atop the ice than my old four and a half stone heavier self.

It goes without saying that my website will also be a casualty at some stage but for the present it is paid for and the space is mine. My blog will continue until the light is switched off…..

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