Oh, man…so much has happened this past month…I think the best way to tell you all of what happened is to go through each important event I wrote down on my diary chronologically, each under the date I wrote it in, and hope it all makes sense.
Wednesday 6th January 2016;
I looked up how to inform my standing orders of a change in banks to Barclays.
Photobucket pretty much said to cancel my subscription with them and start a fresh one once I have my new bank account.
I decided to have a look at the space I used and realized I was still only using the free storage space and none of the paid for space…I was only paying for the unlimited bandwidth for some pictures that were being viewed a lot…I deleted the stuff I didn’t need anymore, and just cancelled the payment. Should be okay.
As for Knowhow…well, for security reasons, I can only inform them of a change in banks via phone call if I want to keep the Care Plan payments going.
Urgh…I hate making phone calls. I don’t know what it is…maybe it’s because I haven’t used them very much in my life anyway combined with my general social awkwardness when it comes to talking with strangers.
Tuesday 12th January 2016;
Lav + I went to Hilltop care home to ask if they had contacted her nursing school for references yet.
Turns out they don’t have an opening for a job yet, and they’ll contact the school for references when something opens up.
We’ve decided there’s no point in waiting around for this one care home to have an opening…at first we thought of going straight to Jobwise…but then we realized we, ourselves, can look around for jobs in other care homes in the Stockport area.
Wednesday 13th January 2016;
I went for my jobcenter sign-on today.
Somehow my file on their system now says I have a girlfriend living with me.
Not sure how that got on there…MAYBE because of the fiasco with the Rusholme jobcenter as we were looking into joint claims? I dunno.
It started a conversation with the adviser anyway, them asking about what my GF was doing pretty much, and me explaining we decided it wasn’t really worth her getting JSA because it’ll only go for 3 months.
Anyway, I asked them about if I can tell them in person of a change in banks and the adviser said yeah, just bring the new bank card in. Perfect.
Also got my haircut + sent the driving license renewal form off in the post. (got the updated license in the post a couple of days later..that’s fast!)
Thursday 14th January 2016;
Lav + I felt scared + depressed about our situation last night.
I decided to be honest with her about a couple of things, like me having a part of me that feels bringing her into my real life the way we did was a bad idea.
Also the fact that I’m not really all that interested in going with her back to Romania to visit her parents in the summer.
She was understandably upset at what I said…she reminded me that if I gave up on her, on us, she would likely start hurting herself again and probably even kill herself, because she really does love me and has never felt love like this for anyone else and she doesn’t want her life to go back to what it was before because life sucked for her in Romania and it would suck way worse if she went back.
We talked it out a bit and honestly I think we both feel a lot better about everything because of it.
I’ll be honest, though, that part of me that thinks bringing her into my real life was a bad idea?
That’s not going to go away until she finds a job, is able to keep that job, earns her own money and is not dependent on me anymore.
Friday 15th January 2016;
Lav + I tried to visit Russel Fox Court care home just a little ways north of us in Reddish and another care home a little further up the road but it looks like they don’t take random visitors.
We learned they are both run by a company called Anchor.
Looked on the Anchor website but they don’t seem to be recruiting right now.
Lav searched for other care homes and came across a company called Borough Care, who apparently specialize in care homes in the Stockport area.
AND THEY’RE RECRUITING!
The website says you gotta ring a number for an application pack. Lav’s gonna ring them on Monday.
Fingers crossed for a good answer!
Saturday 16th January 2016;
It snowed today! And the snow is actually covering the ground! Awesome!
Sunday 17th January 2016;
Lav + I managed to build a snowman family.
I’ve never been able to build a proper snowman before, but now I have!
Monday 18th January 2016;
Well, now I’ve seen everything.
A little while ago (I’m not exactly sure when, but it’s at least a week) my love tried to wash some clothes in the washing machine, but it broke down, possibly because she put too much in at once. Honest mistake, she didn’t know, I guess.
Turns out the warranty on the machine had JUST run out recently, too. Typical.
Whether Lav broke the machine by overloading it or whether it was doomed to fail anyway because of the lack of warranty is up for debate. Point is, our washing machine’s busted.
So my parents have to go buy a new one…being short on funds as they are, they find a pretty decent-looking cheap one in a local shop…just a little something to cover clothes washing duty until we can afford a better one.
We’ve only had this washing machine, what? A couple of weeks?
Well, today, it caught fire.
IT CAUGHT. FRICKING. FIRE.
I thought I smelled something burning coming from the vicinity of the washing machine a few days ago, and Lav agreed…we went to tell my parents but, strangely enough, the smell was gone when we came back to the kitchen with them.
First I knew of the fire was the smell of something burning that both Lav and I caught at about the same time as we were lounging in my bedroom…just then my mom called me down to help my dad.
I entered the kitchen and saw the washing machine smoking. Like, billowing tonnes of smoke out the front…but I thought it was JUST smoking and my dad wanted to get it out to find out why.
So as I was helping him get it out the back door, it suddenly dawned on me…
Me: “Hey dad, is it just smoking or is it actually on fire?”
Dad: “It’s actually on fire”
We rolled it upside-down on the back garden patio…sure enough, flames were billowing out the open bottom of the machine.
My parents dumped buckets of water over it and the fire was eventually snuffed out.
Have you ever seen a washing machine on fire? Well, now I have!!
In all the years I’ve lived in this house with my parents, which is like my whole life thus far, never, ever, EVER has ANYTHING caught fire (Not counting the fireplace and the gas cooker because those are controlled fires for warming things up)
Of all things to be the first thing to catch fire.
OF ALL THINGS
The fricking washing machine.
By design, it SHOULD NOT be able to catch fire…cos it’s full of water when in use, right?
I could only laugh.
It’s a good job we were all home or that would have been the whole place up in smoke and maybe the whole block of houses with it.
And just to prove Murphy’s Law was in full effect, my dad then says “what else can go wrong?” and IMMEDIATELY his watch strap came loose from its hinges so the whole thing fell off!
My dad made a phone call, and managed to get a free replacement this same day.
Yup, a replacement for the replacement. *INCEPTION HORN*
As the delivery guy was installing the new machine for us, I overheard him talking to my dad about product recalls and said “This is a first for me”
Lav then rang the Borough Care phone number…and the person on the other end directed her to an online application on the website!!
Why the EFF would you have the website saying call a number for an application pack if you take online applications from the website?!?!?
Tuesday 19th January 2016;
We keep noticing the number 69, or a number featuring 69 in its digits, pop up in random places and various contexts in our lives.
House numbers, the price of an object such as a mattress or a car, website links, video game scores / in-game money amounts, the potential weekly salary of one of the jobs Lav applied for on the Borough Care website…the list goes on!
We got a phone call from Borough Care…Lav had been shortlisted for an interview at their Brinnington branch on her birthday, of all days!
How’s that for a birthday present? Your very own job!
I went to Barclays to ask about how to switch to them from another bank.
They want three things;
1) A form of identification such as a passport or driving license. Got a driving license, so that’s sorted.
2) The details of the account you have with the other bank. I got my bank card in my wallet, sorted.
3) A proof of address that’s 3 months old or younger. Don’t have that on me right now.
I was SURE I had a letter from the jobcenter or something back at home…so they booked me an appointment to sort everything out in on Friday.
I searched my paperwork…nothing 3 months old or younger.
Dang…maybe a full bank statement from Santander?
Wednesday 20th January 2016;
Lav + I went to Santander to ask about full statements.
Turns out they don’t print them out in branch like Barclays can, they have to request one to be sent in the post.
Had to go to Barclays and cancel that Friday appointment and wait till I get that full statement in the mail.
Friday 22nd January 2016;
At some point between Tuesday and today, Lav got another phone call from Borough Care saying she got another interview in Offerton on the day BEFORE her birthday.
We both had the same idea. We were going to use the Offerton Interview to give Lav an idea of what to expect so she’s more mentally prepared and confident for the Brinnington Interview.
Monday 25th January 2016;
So we went to Offerton for Lav’s interview there.
I’d never properly been in Offerton town before. I’ve been past it, but not in it.
First time for everything, eh?
It took a while for us to find the place because Lav’s phone maps couldn’t quite locate the EXACT position of the care home itself, and after asking directions from a postman, we discovered it was RIGHT THERE on the roundabout slap-bang in the middle of the town.
Turns out there was a mix-up. The person that sent the e-mails gave out the wrong date.
The interviews were actually on the 26th…my love’s birthday…well, we can’t come to the Offerton one because we got the Brinnington one to go to!
So much for using Offerton to prepare for Brinnington!
Tuesday 26th January 2016;
So I took Lav along the shortcut through Reddish Vale to Brinnington…the really muddy one round the back of where my grandma used to live…at the time, I forgot about the other, less muddy way through the main entrance and round by the Trans Pennine Trail and up a road on the other side.
I only remembered that other route after we had already long committed to this first shortcut.
Anyway, after using a puddle to clean the mud off her shoes, Lav and I soon found the place we were looking for and she was taken in to a private room while I sat and waited by the entrance.
Turns out they have a couple of cats living at this care home. A black one that I saw wandering around the place, and I found out from my love that the other one was a fat, lazy one that was there sleeping in the room she was being interviewed in.
Anyway, the folks that interviewed her seemed to think Lav did quite well in her Interview, but they need her to contact her nursing school to get them to send the Care Home two references.
They also need her to pay for a DBS criminal record check…£44
We put me down as a character reference since we didn’t really have anyone else, and it seems they accept that. They seem to want us to start with sending that first.
Anyway, we got back home, had a rest, and before we really had a chance to do anything, we got a phone call from the care home again.
I’m pretty sure I remember hearing them say “We’d like to offer you another position in the same care home, congratulations!”
Lav tells me she’s pretty sure she heard them say it was the SAME temporary position we applied for but then moving on to a permanent position.
At any rate, they invited her over to have a look around on Thursday afternoon.
We THOUGHT this meant they decided not to bother with references and the DBS check and just gave her a job anyway.
She’s worried it’ll be weird for me to accompany her in the care home again so we agreed I would show her the main entrance way through Reddish Vale and drop her off at the home.
Wednesday 27th January 2016;
I haven’t gotten that full statement from Santander yet.
I think the fact that I got my online account with them set up with “paper-free” ticked so I don’t get paper statements in the mail might have overridden my request in branch.
I had to go signing on today and I was thinking the whole time to ask my adviser if they can give me a letter of some kind for a proof of address but the adviser didn’t really open up the opportunity for a conversation, and my social awkwardness did the rest.
Thursday 28th January 2016;
Holy cow! I got a letter from the jobcenter this morning asking about any changes in my circumstances to make sure I was being paid the right amount for my claim, and I’m to send it back in time to arrive on or before the date it’s due on 19th of February.
This is perfect!
It works as a proof of address for Barclays, and then once I got the details of my new account, I can use this letter to send those details to the jobcenter!
The phrase “Kill two birds with one stone” comes to mind.
The only problem is the Knowhow Care plan going out on the 7th. If I can make the switch and get my details before that, great. If not, it may have to wait until afterwards.
So Lav and I agreed I would take her to the Brinnington Care Home for her guided tour, and while she was doing that, I would head over to Barclays in Stockport, find out how long the bank switching process takes, see if it requires an appointment, and have her ring me when she was done so we can see if we have to meet up in Stockport and head home together, or if I’m home already so she can head home by herself using the route we took to the care home.
So we took the shortcut to Brinnington through Reddish Vale using the main entrance, round by the Trans Pennine Trail and up the road the other side, and I dropped her off.
We determine the route takes over an hour, plus it’s really exhausting, and it’s not a good idea to turn up to work exhausted and unable to start work right away.
I should mention also there’s a chance Lav may end up working late until at night, and my parents have voiced concerns that Reddish Vale at night could be dangerous, so they’ve been suggesting just take the bus down from Reddish to Stockport and then the other bus from Stockport to Brinnington, and/or back the return journey.
So with those two facts together, we’ve agreed that taking the bus is best, we just gotta find out how long the bus takes to get there. I think it might just be about half an hour or so.
Anyway, I dropped her off at the care home and I headed to Stockport to talk to Barclays.
Turns out the whole process to change banks can take 7 days, however I’ll likely be getting my Barclays bank card in the mail within 2 or 3 days, so I’d have my bank details pretty quickly.
However, with my next JSA going in this coming Monday, and my Knowhow Care plan going out on the 7th, there’s no guarantee I can be ready to phone Knowhow in time for the 7th and be able to actually pay it with my new account.
So how about starting the switch on the 8th?
The process would take through the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and hopefully end on the 15th, leaving just 4 days until the 19th…and normally it takes anywhere from 1 to 3 days for a letter to be sent through the mail in England.
Sorted, right? Well…
I got a sign-on on the 10th and the allowance pay-in for that would go in on the 14th.
There’s no telling if the payment go through or if it’ll get lost in the mire of the bank switch, and starting the switch afterwards would make it too late to send the letter with the new details in time for the 19th.
And the JSA might be notified it didn’t go through, and then I might land in hot water.
Then again, Barclays did say I’d get my bank card in just 2 or 3 days, so I could just send my new details in the letter once I get them and hope it works.
So I have three choices;
1) Go ahead with the bank switch on the 8th and hope the new details will get to the jobcenter before the 14th so they can pay my new account without any issues.
2) Wait until after the March 7th payment of the Care Plan, when all this blows over but it’s still within the 3-month time frame for proof of address, and hand in my new card to the jobcenter in person, though they may think it’s weird that I changed banks so soon after they sent this letter.
3) Cancel my Knowhow Care Plan, and restart it under the new bank account. This, I believe, can all be done online. This would avoid me having to ring them on the phone to inform them of the switch, but it’ll likely delay my computer’s annual health check, that I got as part of the care plan, till February 2017…and that’s the only thing I’m really worried about with that, coz my love and I think my computer might already be pretty unhealthy and have a few things wrong with it after my derping things up with trying to get Microsoft Works off the internet and getting all that adware and giving Kaspersky an impromptu test of virus busting skills.
Personally, because of my awkwardness with phones, I’m very tempted to go with option 3…
I mean, my computer still works okay, with only a few minor cosmetic issues, as far as I can tell.
There’s no real need for a health check right now, I suppose…and if I restart the care plan and my computer goes on the fritz for whatever reason, I can still get a free repair or replacement.
I’ll have to double-check if I can start a new care plan online and see how it works…and if it’s just a simple case of giving them my new bank details along with the details of my computer, it shouldn’t be too difficult.
Plus it would allow me to start the bank switch THIS COMING TUESDAY, get it all done before my next sign-on on the 10th, which would allow me to have the letter out in plenty of time before the 19th, and I can re-start the care plan online pretty much any time I like.
Seems like the least complicated and quickest route to take.
I’ll definitely look into it and see what I have to do to get option 3 in motion.
Anyway, as I was talking with Barclays, Lav tried to ring me to tell me she was done…
I couldn’t answer right then. When I was done, I texted her back and she rang me again to say she was done with her tour of the care home in Brinnington.
So meet up in Stockport it is.
I told her to follow the main road that the care home is on downhill…she would come to a big roundabout…I would meet her there.
She asked “Do I follow the bus route?”
Assuming she meant the bus route heading down the main road towards Stockport, I said “yes”.
I get to where we were to meet, she wasn’t there…I waited a while, then I texted her to find out where she was.
SOMEHOW, SOMEWAY, she was on one of the side streets round the back of the care home.
I was so confused as to how she got there I didn’t know how to direct her back, so we agreed for me to head back up into Brinnington and meet her back at the care home, and then I show her the way I meant for her to go.
She reckons she was lost in her thoughts, latched onto my “follow the bus route” instruction, and she followed it the wrong way, round the corner where it turns into the residential area of Brinnington, loops round, and eventually heads back to Stockport…but that was obviously the long way around to get back to meeting with me…
Why was she lost in her thoughts?
Because the Brinnington care home STILL wants her to get those references from her nursing school, get the character reference from me, and do a £44 DBS criminal record check.
Yep, we wrongly assumed they wanted to skip that process and just give her the job.
Well, the character reference from me will be very straightforward, the care home seems insistent on Lav getting that done first for some reason…
…we gotta figure out how to get the £44 DBS check done…we looked it up online but can only find the standard £25 one available to do online…the £44 one is a more advanced check, according to Gov.uk, and we can’t find an online application for that.
It’s highly likely the check won’t turn up anything…Lav’s only been here in England a few months, and I don’t know if they’ll bother checking with Romania…the only thing that MIGHT pop up is that fiasco with the rental in Rusholme…MAYBE the Police will object to us finding that replacement tenant after only a couple of months living there when we had a full year’s contract but the landlord seemed to think it’s okay so I don’t know.
Anyway, I mentioned it to my dad, and he says our best bet is probably to do it direct at a police station.
The BIG worry is the nursing school…we’re worried that if we ask THEM to send a couple of references for Lav, they’ll just go “WTF?” and not help us…or, if they do agree to send them, the references they send might contradict something said in the interview or my character reference, so the care come goes “WTF?” and doesn’t accept her.
What I don’t really get is why they’re asking us to get the references rather than go contact the references themselves. Oh well, no big deal. Lav can explain to her school what’s going on and we’d have a better chance of them giving a reference, I guess.
I guess we’ll just have to try our best to sort everything out and hope it all works okay.
-END OF DIARY ENTRIES-
Over the course of the month, I’ve been making a little bit of progress on writing my scripts for YouTube…but Lav and I ended up finding a site called Putlocker and have developed a bit of an addiction to watching movies and full episodes of Naruto on there for free…because why not?
I’ll most likely make a lot more progress on my scripts once we deal with the priorities of trying to get Lav her job at Brinnington and me switching banks to Barclays.
With Lav at her job, I’ll be by myself, passing the time each day on my computer, and I know I’ll devote at least some of that time with my YouTube scripts.
Another thing we’re working on through my father is seeing if we can get a metal bed frame before we end up breaking this wooden one. He knows a friend in a local bed shop that might be able to get us a good, cheap deal.
My dad’s been looking at 4-foot-wide beds for us because that would be more room for 2 people, though we feel we’ve got just about enough room with the 3 foot wide provided by the wooden bed.
4-Foot wide would require a 4-foot wide mattress to go with it.
We have a quote for £75 for a 4-foot frame…not too bad…but a £90 mattress to go with it. £165 total. Eeee…
I asked my dad to find cheaper quotes and get quotes on just a 3-foot-wide frame as well so Lav and I can weigh up our options.
I’ll let you know how all this turns out at the end of February.
Ciao for now,
Cordially, The Blue Fox.
LATER IN THE DAY EDIT: I just had a look at the Knowhow Care Plan online page to see how I go about cancelling. Turns out you gotta cancel over the phone as well, possibly because, again, of security reasons.
So either way I have no choice but to make a EFFing phone call to Knowhow.
Crap. So much for option 3.
Okay so it’s either try on the 8th and hope for the best or wait until March.
…I think I best play it as safe as possible and wait until March and hope the jobcenter doesn’t mind the sudden bank change so soon after they sent the letter.