Friday, June 22, 2007

Day 15

Firstly, KNITTING - the needle case is complete!

My sewing is not the neatest in the world, but I would describe it as "passable". I don't look at the finished product and think "dear god, the Littlun has snuck in during the night and tried to finish it off for me" so it's all okay.

The Fair Isle pocket looks rubbish, the tension is crappy so at one edge of the pocket the green Vs are too big and on the other edge they're too tiny. But at least I now know that doing Fair Isle drives me bonkers and doesn't look good on completion, so I can avoid it from here on in.

The beaded pocket, on the other hand, looks lovely. I'm quite proud of that. Plus, I'm proud of the sheer acreage and variety of knitting that I have actually accomplished. If you'd told me when I started, back in March, that I would be able to do that by June, I would have laughed at you.

I have a sort-of-scarf to keep me occupied for those moments when I just need to do a little knit, it's just straightforward garter stitch with a multicoloured yarn. My next project, however, is going to be a requested hat for Sister Dearest. I showed her the needle case and she liked the embroidered pocket, plain stocking stitch in a DK wool/cotton blend. It is very nice to the touch. I asked about colours and she said she wanted charcoal, to go with her long winter coat - which is also charcoal, knee length, very suitable for work or funerals, you know the thing. But she also said she wanted a bobble on it. In Brain Of Mary, "charcoal", "smart coat", "winter" and "hat" go together fine, but with a bobble? Personally, I would have thought a hat with a bobble should be done in funky, fun, bright colours to contrast with the austerity of the long, dark coat. Still, mine is not to reason why with someone like her. So, if anyone has a simple pattern for a single-colour bobble hat using DK yarn, then do flag me.

Secondly, the DLA debacle.

Today's post arrived and there was still nothing from the DWP, so I phoned up to ask what is going on.

A friendly lady named Linda went off to check, and then came back and told me that:
- A "written statement of reasons" was definitely sent in yesterday's post and so should really be with me tomorrow or Monday at the latest.
- The "Evidence", the bundle of information used to make the decision to not award DLA, arrived in their department on 11th June, to be photocopied and so on and a copy sent to me. There's no note of it having been sent on my file at this point.
- The "Evidence" will be sent separately from the "written statement of reasons".

I have no idea why it should take fourteen days to print off a copy of the reasons used to make a decision that, at the time of my request (by which I mean the time they interpreted my request correctly) was only fourteen days old. I mean, it's not like the reasons should have gone into a long-term storage vault or needed translating from Aramaic. The reasons were available on the computer on 7th June, the day I phoned. They even started trying to read the reasons out to me over the phone until I managed to explain that I did not have the capacity to take it in, remember it, or write it out as they dictated, and that therefore I needed a written version to actually look at. I can't imagine it's unusual for their clients to have difficulty dealing with important stuff over the phone.

Oh well. At least the Reasons are on the way, and at least I'm pessimistic enough to have made my own photocopy of my form before I sent it to them so I at least have one thing to refer to as I refute the Reasons.

I think once this crap has finally arrived and been dealt with, the next order of business will be a letter of complaint - not about the award or non-award of DLA, but about the barriers imposed by the system.


Anonymous said...

If you have a complaint about the way the DLA unit works, then please *do* complain. I doubt they'll do anything immediately, but complaints have a proper procedure to go through, and if enough complaints get logged, the procedures might actually get looked at

The Goldfish said...

Congratulations on finishing the needle case. :-)

The list of reasons you were turned down is likely to appear to be very silly. When it happened to me, they simply contradicted all the information I had provided. No argument, no explanation, just you say X, but we say Y.

Still, at least it gives you something to argue against, some assertions which you can disprove.

Even though I'm not commenting on every step, my thoughts are very much with you through this. Best of luck.