Monday, 10 June 2013

Housebound Again

No I'm not ill, I've just got things being done/delivered at home today so I have to be here. I'm mildly annoyed that the weather is still keeping me indoors otherwise I wouldn't have minded.

The saga began two weeks ago when Peter noticed a small crack in the 156's windscreen. Unfortunately during a test run the crack got much bigger and the only thing to do was get a new windscreen. So I rang my insurance paid the small excess and waited for the glass man to turn up to do his stuff. One week later the man duly arrived but during the course of fitting the new windscreen he dropped it putting another crack just where we didn't want it. The old screen was by now in pieces in the back of his van so he continued with the fitting, in case it rained, and went off to get another one. Now, according to him, he had to let the glue set before removing the broken screen or glue could spatter all over the interior of the car so we had to wait for it to set. Today is the day on which the glue would be deemed set enough and so I'm expecting him any time between one and five, joy!

I was also expecting my new oxygen delivery, which turned up on the dot of nine just as promised. I've gone from having four bottles per delivery to eight recently as my usage has slowly increased. Just as well really as I've used so much last week being out and about doing things I shouldn't, something which is set to continue from tomorrow. I was down to my last half a bottle so even if I could have gone out today I'd have ended up on the trike or in the chair at some point.

To console myself I've spent the morning baking and now we have an enormous Victoria sponge smothered in butter icing and strawberry jam. No wonder my waist line is expanding.

In the news.

Prince Phillip is progressing well and still no word on what might be wrong. However it is his ninety second birthday today and I'm just grateful he's still around to see it.

Nelson Mandela is fairing less well and the outlook for him is not so rosy. His country has been asked to pray and everyone is preparing for the worst, though he has lasted longer than I'd expected.

The Canadian GP, won by Vettel, again, grrrrr, has been hit by tragedy when a marshal got run over by a crane recovering one of the vehicles that had gone off in the closing stages of the race.

However the biggest news for people like myself is the change to disability benefits, which takes place today. Instead of being put on benefits for life all claimants will have to have regular checks to see whether their circumstances have changed. Some will have to undergo an interview and/or medical and this is causing the most anxiety.

Of course there has been a lot of scaremongering going on, there always is, but I personally don't think it is a change for the worst. I can't be the only one to fume at stories of people claiming disability and then being photographed skiing, dancing, weightlifting or taking part in marathons. Few of these people set out to defraud and 98% would have had a valid reason for claiming in the first instance. The problem comes when that person gets better. If there are no regular checks who's to find out that the person is still claiming after being cured? It also annoys me that people with 'bad' backs, have drink or alcohol problems or have eaten until they can no longer move can claim disability without any incentive to improve their lot.

The new system will weed out these fraudsters and that, surely, is something to be encouraged. The figures bandied around by the media about how many are going to lose their benefits leaves out the bit about how the numbers quoted almost exactly matches the number of people in these categories or who no longer have the condition they claimed for. These people are not entitled and so should have their benefit stopped.

The media also leaves out that alcoholics, drug users and the obese will still get some benefits on the proviso they do something about their addictions and attend the clinics etc they are supposed to attend. A bit like signing on for job seekers each week. What is wrong with that?

On the plus side those sick enough to be on the transplant list will not have to attend any interviews, at least that is what is being said now, and some may even be awarded higher rates than they get now if their condition is considered serious enough. Of course I might be wrong and it will be a complete disaster, especially in the early days when no one really knows how it works but I sincerely hope not.

Ohps, I've just heard a van pull up outside. Hopefully it will be the glass man with my new windscreen, fingers crossed that he doesn't drop this one.