Let’s just jump right into this…
Thursday 7th April 2016
I got another Jury summons letter in the mail today. Huh. I thought they weren’t supposed to summon you for 2 years after you already served on jury duty.
At any rate, there was a check box saying something like “tick if you would like to be excused” and the letter said I had a right to be excused if I served within the last 2 years, so I’m going to go right ahead and exercise that right.
My jury service was interesting but I don’t think I want to do it again any time soon.
The rubber strap of my digital watch has these tears or cuts or whatever in it…could tear off any time if I wear it any more…poo, it’s still in perfectly good condition otherwise.
My dad has a spare watch that’s too big for him, so he gave it to me to try. It’s a bit loose but it’ll do until I buy a new one.
Friday 8th April 2016
That’s weird…my Knowhow care plan payment hasn’t gone out yet. Apparently my last one went out on the 15th of March. Weird, I thought it was supposed to be on the 7th of each month.
Screw it, I’m starting the switch to Barclays now anyway, using one of those letters I got about me not getting paid anything anymore as proof of address.
Huh. The advisor I spoke to at Barclays says she thinks it’s weird that I’m not getting any benefits from the jobcentre since I’m still out of work while my girlfriend is working.
She wants a proof of income before she can start the process of switching my account over from Santander for me.
Apparently she thinks I’m still entitled to something from the jobcentre, she wants me to ask them about it. I was going to at first, but then I decided to see if any of the letters I got explain anything about what I’m entitled to.
Before heading home, I decided to pop in that little PC repair store that we used to fix my old laptop’s busted arrow keys and also wipe the hard drive and install Windows 7 on it so it’s nice and fresh for my girlfriend a couple of months ago.
I decided to see if they could do something about my external hard drive to get it working again.
They diagnosed that the connector where the USB cable plugs into it had become loose or had broken off a bit. Makes sense.
They told me it would cost anywhere from 15 to 20 pounds to fix depending on if they can re-connect it or if they need to get replacement parts. Sweet. I left it in their capable hands along with my mobile number so they can call me when it’s done.
So then I headed home, and when I was about halfway there, I realised, do I really need an income to open a bank account? D’oh! I’ll go back tomorrow with Lav and ask Barclays to clarify.
Saturday 9th April
Went to Barclays again with Lav. Turns out it was a bit of a misunderstanding.
They couldn’t accept the letter I chose for proof of address because it said I don’t have an income, but I’m welcome to use any other proof of address, such as a voting slip for the upcoming general election. Sweet, I’ll bring it along on Monday.
Sunday 10th April
Lav and I went to Reddish Vale to celebrate her new job with a meal at the farm café, followed by the first ice-cream of the year from a nearby ice-cream truck.
Monday 11th April
Well, got the switch to Barclays started now.
I found out that any payments charged to my old bank account should be redirected to my new account during and after the switch. Dang, if I’d had known that sooner, I’d have made the switch a lot sooner!
Heck, even if the Knowhow payments fall though, I can just re-start a fresh care plan on the website.
Oh, well. It’s underway now.
Tuesday 12th April
Lav had another look at prices for a flight to Romania.
She discovered she can book a flight and hotel under Wizzair for a price much lower than it would cost if we bought them separately. Wow.
Not only that, they also offer a car ride from the airport to the hotel for a little extra. Sweet.
Wednesday 13th April
Got my Barclays card today. It’s blue!
Got a call from that PC repair shop. My external hard drive’s fixed, I can go pick it up.
Will do so tomorrow.
Lav asked the care home about having time off to visit her family in Romania, They said she can have a few days from the 16th of June.
I have a sign-on on the 15th of June, so that’s perfect, it doesn’t interfere with my jobcentre schedule.
So the next step is to get myself a passport coz I might need one for the trip.
Also it may be wise to get a carry-on luggage bag for my clothes and stuff. Though maybe that blue backpack I got will work.
Anyway, getting a passport is apparently a more complicated process than one would think.
The website says it takes at least 6 weeks from the initial application to get it.
I gotta send them my birth certificate, my mom’s birth certificate, two identical passport photos, one of which signed by someone else, and I gotta attend an interview!
Oh, and It’ll cost me 70-odd pounds, or 80-odd pounds if I use the post office’s check and send service, which I think I should just to make sure I get it right.
Thursday 14th April 2016
I have everything for the passport application EXCEPT they require a countersignature from a professional who’s known me for 2 years or more.
Other than my GP, I don’t know if I know anybody they’ll accept for that, and the GP will most likely charge a fee.
The website says they might not even accept my GP because they don’t accept doctors or nurses unless they’re a “good friend” who’ll easily recognise me from my photo.
Social worker is on the list…maybe they’ll take me jobcentre advisor. I’ll ask the jobcentre.
At least I got my external hard drive back and it’s working like a charm.
Friday 15th April 2016
Went to the jobcentre to see if they can countersign my passport application, but nope not even my advisor. They know me on a strictly professional level. Nothing more.
So then we asked my GP. They said no, because it’s too much personal information.
Goddammit. I don’t think I know any other official well enough for 2 years or more.
I asked Reddit for help…folks suggested bartenders and church ministers.
I got my parents asking around too…my dad reckons a councillor friend of his from the allotment might do it, because he kind of knows me from when I was part of a group he was also part of campaigning for a regular train service to our near-abandoned local train station.
Tuesday 19th April 2016
Managed to contact that councillor friend. He’s gonna come round tomorrow at 2pm to countersign my passport application. Sweet!
Wednesday 20th April 2016
Passport application countersigned, one of my pictures verified as true identity.
Back to the Post office to send it off…making sure we got it right with the check and send service, which picked up a couple of things the councillor and I missed, but they filled in for us because it was nothing particularly important.
With any luck, I should have my passport at the end of May/beginning of June!
Tuesday 26th April 2016
I got a letter telling me to ring and book an appointment at my nearest passport centre.
So I did, and I have an appointment at an office in Salford Quays in Manchester on Tuesday the 10th of May at 12:15 pm.
Well, I’ve been to Salford Quays before…but it might be a good idea to do a dry run at some point between now and then to make sure I know exactly where this office is.
Wednesday 27th April 2016
I got my birth certificate, my mom’s birth certificate and my parent’s marriage certificate back in a secure envelope. It’s post-marked with tomorrow’s date! WTF?
Lav took a picture and I posted it up on Reddit as a “glitch in the matrix” post but they were quick to point out sometimes letters are just postmarked like that, no glitch.
I didn’t know that was a thing until now. Learn something new every day.
The REAL glitch, though, is the bonkers weather Britain has been having today. Like, bonkers even for Britain.
Sun, then heavy rainfall, then hail, then rain, then sun again, all in the space of, like, a couple of hours!
Lav says she’s seen it hail in spring before. Well, I never have. Only in winter, when it makes sense. This is a first for me.
Thursday 28th April 2016
WTF?!? It’s actually SNOWING this morning…and pretty big flakes, too!
It’s practically summer now, why the heck would it snow?!?
That’s pretty much everything that’s happened thus far.
Ciao for now,
The Blue Fox.