April 27th, 2007

Yellow head


After a lot of waiting, I've at last managed to get Jobseekers Allowance, and my first cheque came today. I'm still owed further money, but hopefully it'll arrive next week. I'm not able to claim housing benefit, because this will impact my brother's sickness benefit. So I'm just going to give him what I can in terms of rent. My financial situation is dire and my bank is less than happy with me.

I really don't like being back on the dole after all these years. I really want a job, and can't help but feel shame-faced when going into the Job Centre, to sign on. I've applied for two jobs: one is with a private psychiatric hospital, with woman only wards, and the other is with an NHS hospital. There's also a local care home advertising. Not a job I'm keen on, as it's with the elderly again, and minimum wage. I know from experience that this will be gruelling work. I'll apply, but I'm really holding for one of the two other jobs.

My brother Lee, has allowed a friend of his to move in for a few weeks until she sorts herself out with a new place. Soon as I set eyes on Jenny, I realised that she was an alcoholic, just from her facial colour. She's living in the front room downstairs. She had to move out from from her flat, because of an aggressive neighbour, leaving a majority of her stuff behind. Jenny is nice enough, but as she's a binge drinker, there have been occasional problems. One evening she came back to the house with a female friend. They were both drunk, but the friend was so bad that she barely knew where she was and at one point fell down the stairs. I hid upstairs in my room. I can't be doing with this kind of thing and I don't want to feel responsible. Later, even though they were in a terrible state, they went out again, and somewhere on the streets, two lads raped Jenny's friend, taking the hapless drunk female up a sidestreet. Jenny, was of course, ten sheets to the wind herself, and so not much help to the police in terms of being a witness. She also accused these two lads of taking her bag, but the bag turned out to have been left in the kitchen, back at the house.

My mother for some years has had a hernia which as made eating difficult for her. She goes through periods of sickness, and lately this has been worse. Having, at last, gone to the doctors about this, a hospital visit was quickly arranged. I was concerned by how fast this exploratory was booked in, and it made me wonder if the doctor suspected something worse afoot. However, it turns out that my mother has ulcers on top of her other problems. Not great, but very treatable. Hopefully, the course of drugs they're putting my mother on, will alleviate her problem enough so that she can still go to Turkey in a few weeks. My mother's childhood friend, Janet, won the lottery a few years ago, and she bought a holiday home in Turkey. My mother is joining her there for a few weeks. My dad is happy enough to stay behind with the dog.

My mood is generally good, despite everything. I've no money, no job, no house, no friends in this town, and probably not much of a future. Not only that, but I feel hugely bloated and fat these days.

What a trainwreck my life has become?
Yellow head

I Hate Homeopathy

I was obliged by the Job Centre to go up to Mansfield for an interview with with a job search specialist. The idea, being to give me clues of other areas of work I could apply for, other than carework. Pretty much a waste of time. Mansfield is not that far away, but the bus there insisted on meandering through every little village and town in all Creation, before arriving. An interminable trip through blank countryside, relieved only by the use of my iPod. Mansfield reminded me of Ellesmere Port: chav town, and definitely not notable.

The Guy in Suit, who interviewed me (if you can call it that), had me go through a program he had on his computer, which purported to match the skills I had with a suggested list of careers. This program took account of my artistic skills, caring nature, and wish to work with people. The top four matches, deemed Very Good, were reflexologist, homeopath, councillor, and presenter - broadcasting. I kid you not.

I wouldn't mind the broadcast presenter (as if that's going to happen), and I could just about abide being a councillor, but the other two I don't even consider to be real medicine. At least with reflexology you get a foot massage, but homeopathy, I utterly despise. It's crackpot medicine of the worst kind, which lacks even a smidgin of scientific credibility. Homeopathy is harmless in itself, but it's danger is that it can encourage people not to seek medical treatments that could actually help them. There's been enough studies now to show that homeopathy does little for the patient, other than what you'd expect from a placebo effect.

Not only that, but the theories of how exactly homeopathy works, run counter to the laws of chemistry. There's simply a limit to how far a substance can be diluted in water. When pushed, proponents acknowledge that no active ingredient is left behind in their preparations, but, they claim, the water retains the “memory” of the substance that was diluted in it.
However, water is a simple molecule and there is no known or plausible way by which it can “remember” any information about substances that had been diluted in it in the past. Nor have homeopaths offered any scientific way that this could be experimentally tested and verified. Homeopaths might as well say it works by “magic.