I think I’m gonna stick with the chronological order of events to help explain all that’s happened between my last blog post and this blog post. It just works.
Monday 29th February 2016
So Lav and I went to the jobcentre to ask if I can have more time to get the info on Lav’s job.
After some discussion it was agreed that I fill in the form I have with what I can and send it off via the jobcentre’s internal mail system with a note to say Lavinia is due to get a job but she hasn’t been given a start date yet and we don’t know the full details.
They also revealed that if she works more than 24 hours, I lose my claim.
Funnily enough, we do know she happens to be working EXACTLY 24 hours, with potential to be increased to 28 hours somewhere down the line.
The good news is she’s being paid about twice as much for one week’s worth of work than I get paid every two weeks in jobseeker’s allowance, so it’s no big deal that I lose my allowance, she and I will still have money coming in.
Lav contacted the care home, and apparently they want her to go to Stepping Hill hospital to be tested for tuberculosis coz Romania is or was a high-tuberculosis-risk area.
Let’s put it this way, if Lav had tuberculosis, by now she’d probably be dead, I’d probably be dead, and there’d probably be reports on the news of a TB epidemic sweeping Britain and possibly the world, coz that’s how contagious it is.
Tuesday 1st March
So I decided to try and update my external hard drive again today.
Plugged in the powered USB hub, plugged the hard drive into a port on the hub, no dice.
Tried a new cable, tried connecting it to my dad’s laptop, nothing.
Tried it on my old laptop I gave my love, nada.
I think this time the hard drive itself is wasted somehow.
At least I have all my important files saved on outlook OneDrive and my pen drive.
Wednesday 2nd March
This morning I started up my computer and, after the start screen, my monitor displayed Firefox open with a Youtube video I watched yesterday.
Okay, weird…I didn’t even ask for Firefox to be open yet, it was just open by itself…and my Firefox homepage is set to Google.
Then, in the bottom-right corner, a notification telling me I need to restart my computer to fix drive errors. No other information. Oh dear.
So I obidiently hit restart…then it showed the HP logo and white text below it “preparing automatic repair”, followed by “diagnosing your PC”…then it goes to a screen saying “your PC did not start correctly, Press restart to restart your PC, which can sometimes fix the problem. You can also press ‘advanced options’ to try other options to repair your PC”…I hit restart…but it just loops right back round to the same error message.
Lav + I decided to try and see if we can fix the issue ourselves with the help of Reddit, so I don’t have to send it off to Know-how, though I may have to, which means I’ll have to buy another emergency hard-drive to rescue my files. Mostly so I don’t lose the paid-for software I got on my computer.
Kind of strange how my PC went kaphut a day after I tried to connect my external hard drive and it failed.
I can only wonder if that had something to do with it…but how on earth does a failed external hard drive connection cause a drive error?
Lav had her blood test. Apparently it’ll take a week for the results to come through.
While waiting for the bus to Stockport, it snowed briefly!
On our way back through Stockport, we stopped off in Cancer Research UK and I found another awesome fox statuette for my collection, and Lav found lavender oil for 99p!
Thursday 3rd March 2016
I got a phone call from the Jobcentre today, a lady saying I urgently need to set up an appointment for me + Lav to add her to my claim.
So we ring up their helpline to set the appointment up, but first we’re told my girlfriend needs to start her own claim first. So then we rang the helpline to start a new claim, and THEY said to set up an appointment to add her to my claim! WTF? I guess we’ll have to go to the jobcentre tomorrow and get them to explain what we need to do.
Attempts to fix the PC ourselves have so far been fruitless.
We’re thinking to just go ahead and reset it since I got almost everything backed up anyway.
Friday 4th March 2016
It snowed again today. WTF?
We tried a normal keep-my-files reset of my computer to see if it would work, but it didn’t.
Had to do a factory reset, lose everything and start from scratch.
Turns out I didn’t have things backed up as well as I thought I did.
I can’t locate my antivirus disc, I can’t locate my product key for Microsoft Office, the product key I have for video pad doesn’t work and the key recovery is not giving me the key for Sound tap for some reason.
I now kind of regret my decision to nuke my PC, especially considering I didn’t have to…I coulda just sent it off to Know-how and they would have at least been able to rescue my files because I did find out that, whatever the error was, it didn’t seem to have affected my computer’s actual hard drive.
It would have meant no computer for two weeks but I’d have found other ways to entertain myself.
We went to the jobcentre and found out Lav had to apply online for a new claim and include me as her partner. We’re now waiting for contact from the jobcentre to tell us when our appointment is.
Saturday 5th March
Lav got a text message from the jobcentre saying her appointment was next Wednesday at 11:05. Funnily enough, my next sign-on is the same day at 12:30.
I found my MS office product key. I’d hoped it was together with my Kaspersky disc but nope.
No sign of my Kaspersky anywhere. I hope I didn’t bin it. I can’t have. It would have been too important. I must have put it somewhere safe…if only I can remember where.
I really need to keep better track of stuff.
Monday 7th March 2016
I think my eyes suffer from a bit of light sensitivity. Starting at the TV screen I’m using for my computer monitor makes them all red and feel tired. But today, some reflected sunlight off of a window made them extra tired.
Wednesday 9th March 2016
So we went to the jobcentre and told them about Lav having a 24-hour-a-week job just as soon as her blood test comes back, but they still wanted her to sign on same as I do, and job search and everything, and give them a call when she starts working.
It’s a lot of messing about for what’s probably going to amount to nothing.
Thursday 10th March 2016
We contacted the hospital to see if we can get an update on the progress of Lav’s blood test…and the nurse suddenly got the results just as we called!
I swear, we must have some kind of special powers or something, this is getting freaky.
Anyway, the results were clean, no sign of any TB in the blood.
She wants Lav to come in tomorrow to scratch her skin for some kind of allergies test.
Then on Monday Lav’s gonna get the actual TB vaccine.
Then we can call the care home and Lav can start working.
Friday 11th March 2016
So they injected Lav with a really small needle, just underneath the skin of the forearm.
Apparently this is actually a reaction test to see how she might react to the actual vaccine.
The nurse asked me if I had a TB vaccine from school at all.
I don’t really remember getting TB…I remember Meningitis, Tetanus, MMR, the salty oral Polio…
…MAYBE TB was in there somewhere. I think I do vaguely recall a tiny needle like the one they used on Lav being used on me at some point during primary school. That would have been followed up by the actual vaccine a couple days later, I reckon.
Monday 14th March 2016
We returned to Stepping Hill for the results of Lav’s reaction test.
A slightly inflamed rash-like reaction on the injection site told the doc that Lav must’ve had the TB vaccine at some point in her life before, which means she doesn’t need another, she’s already safe for work.
Yay! No more needles!
We rang the care home and gave them the good news. They gave Lav an appointment to see them tomorrow to discuss a start date and work schedule.
Tuesday 15th March 2016
I escorted my love to Brinnington one more time to be sure she finds her way okay, and then let her go into the care home alone since I likely wouldn’t be allowed in anyway.
Lav came out with a rough draft of her schedule and a start date this Thursday.
She’ll be observing for a few days, then doing supervised work for a few months.
We rang the jobcentre to cancel her claim. Apparently I’m to sign-on as normal a week from tomorrow, and it’ll take 10 days for them to process the cancellation for some reason.
Wednesday 16th March 2016
Saw some kinda UFO at around 9:15pm. Took a video of it. Uploaded video to Youtube the next day and shared it with Reddit, and they reckon it’s a cheap consumer-grade drone.
Huh. I have seen videos of drones before but the ones I’ve seen had solid white and/or blue lights, not flashing red ones like I recorded.
However, Reddit showed me a drone that looked like it could indeed make the lights I saw.
Thursday 17th March 2016
After seeing Lav off to her job, I went down Stockport to get us 2 jars of sweetener for our cups of tea as we had run out.
After procuring said sweetener and accepting a carrier bag to carry it in, I randomly decided to get us some soup.
ASDA had 4 cans for £2. Bargain.
I also got a loaf of poppy seed bread for dunking in the soup.
Walking home, I was about 3/4ths of the way there, when the carrier bag disintegrated out of my hand. The sweetener is in glass pots, and one of the pots smashed, sweetener powder everywhere. I was lucky it wasn’t both pots.
Learned a valuable lesson about taking a strong bag with me whenever I go shopping in case I get random urges to buy something other than what I planned.
Luckily a passing Good Samaritan gave me one of her bags for life to carry the rest of the stuff home.
Friday 18th March 2016
I e-mailed the creators of Video pad and Sound tap to see if they can give me a new product key or the version of the product the key I have will work with.
They could only give me the Video pad version the key I have works for, but no luck with Sound tap. Guess I’ll have to cut my losses and buy a new key when I next need Sound tap to record something.
Sunday 20th March 2016
Went shopping with Lav and got her some smart shirts and pants for her work and more pots of sweetener for our tea.
Monday 21st March 2016
I’ve decided to cut my losses, forget Kaspersky because it sucks, and try another anti-virus.
I asked Reddit for some suggestions, but didn’t get much of a reply, only a couple of comments, one suggesting Spybot and Malwarebytes, another saying AVG (my second choice after Kasperky) sucks and I should have either Avast for free or Bitdefender for paid.
I quite like the look of Bitdefender actually.
I might go look in PC World see if they got it on offer or something.
Tuesday 22nd March 2016
I made cups of tea of myself and Lav while Lav was at work. I’m going nuts!
Funnily enough, when I texted her to tell her this, she revealed she was just thinking a cup of tea would be great right about that moment!
She returned home with a booklet and it revealed she will be paid monthly, not weekly.
Since she just started, I guess we’re not likely to see any money until April.
Wednesday 23rd March 2016
This morning Lav and I got a bunch of letters in the post from the jobcentre, obviously saying since Lav is in work now, our joint claim is over, but beyond that it was kind of confusing…they seemed to say I was back on my singles claim and I wasn’t at the same time.
I happened to have my sign-on today anyway so I decided to bring the letters along to see if my advisor can make sense of them.
With some help from a co-worker, she worked out that yes, I’m no longer getting any income from the jobcentre, however I still need to sign on as normal and keep looking for work so the government still pays for my national insurance, and that any gaps in payments to my national insurance will make it so I might not get my full pension amount when I get my pension when I reach, like, 70.
Bottom line is I’m now free to switch banks to Barclays more or less whenever I want without having to worry about losing any money. I still don’t want to do the switch JUST yet…maybe in April, and I can use one of those letters I got this morning as proof of address.
Lav revealed she has to carry some stuff around work and she doesn’t have a good way to do so, but saw one of her co-workers with a fanny pack and figured that was the solution to her problem.
So we went shopping for one after the jobcentre…Primark do them, but for £7…we decided to see if we could find somewhere cheaper, and luckily one of the Stockport charity shops had one for half that price! It’s a bit dirty, but Lav gave it a wash once we got home.
Thursday 24th March 2016
According to Lav’s Schedule she had days off until Saturday, but today she got a phone call from the care home saying she was in today. WTF? She explained her schedule said she wasn’t in, and the care home accepted there must’ve been some kind of mix-up and she was ok to come in on Saturday so they can figure out what went wrong.
Friday 25th March 2016
Lav and I had a curious look at how much it might cost us for a trip to Romania this summer.
Looks like we’d be paying somewhere in the region of £100 per person per flight for plane tickets from London Luton, plus about 60 euros a night for the two of us in a hotel near Bucharest city centre, plus the train tickets to and from Luton, which I remember costing me around £25-£30 on trainline.com for when I initially went to pick up Lavander.
And that’s not counting the money we’d have to spend on food and travel in Romania.
It’s all more expensive in August because EVERYONE wants to go on holiday in August, obviously, so we’re thinking July instead, coz it’s a BIT cheaper, though not as cheap as June, however we reckon June’s too soon after Lav started work.
Still, I think we’ll be pushing the £1,000 mark for a single trip.
We’ll look more into it when we feel more ready to book the whole thing.
Saturday 26th March 2016
The fanny pack we found still has some kind of sticky dirt residue on the inner lining. No time to clean it off, so Lav sewed on a plastic bag lining to protect the stuff she has to carry.
This may only be a temporary measure until we go looking for somewhere selling brand new fanny packs in Stockport again, or we may permanently stick with this, we’re not sure yet.
Sunday 27th March 2016
Lav + I wanted to go on a bit of an Easter egg hunt today, see if we can find somewhere selling some smallish ones, so we can buy one each…so we agreed to meet up in Stockport after her work shift today.
As I waited for her outside Sainsbury’s some storm clouds rolled in and pretty suddenly absolutely threw down some hail and rain and flashed some lightning as I took cover under the overhang of Sainsbury’s roof.
Lav arrived while the rain was still throwing and we were talking about calling off our little Easter egg hunt when the rain dissipated just as suddenly as it had arrived.
So we decided to take a closer look at the pound shop coz I wasn’t sure if it was open or not…turns out it wasn’t open. Nuts. So we headed home together on the bus…but agreed to first check the co-op near my house to see if it was open…turned out it was!
We got some packets of mini-eggs and some Kinder Joy eggs.
I’ve had Kinder Surprise before but these Kinder Joy ones were made differently…I’ve never seen them done like this before…though Lav says she has. Weird.
Well, it looks like that’s everything I have to tell you about so far.
Ciao for now,
Cordially, The Blue Fox.