Monday, March 24, 2008


First, some good knitting news: Following on from last week's trauma, I have now knitted and measured (and measured, and measured, and got Steve to measure too) the 14 inches of jumper and have made a start on the armhole decreases. There's still a way to go, but at least I know it'll be right.

Also, some Pip and Littlun news: They built a snowman at the park with some other dads and kids from their street. I saw the pics. The Boy is still cute. He starts at the nursery class at the local school next week, just mornings and no uniform for now, although there's still a sense of "no! how can he be going to the school! he's a baby!". Fingers crossed for them, although I'm sure they'll be fine.

And, the form. Oh boy, the form.

Since the tick boxes on the new DLA form are a bit 'one size fits no one'; and since the 'Additional Information' boxes are tiny; and since even if they were bigger, I don't do so well with the handwriting (that comes under question 47, 'Communication', if you're interested); and since Steve's handwriting is terrible; we just typed all my answers into a big document to print out and attach. The idea was that in and across the little boxes, we could simply write "see Additional Information, page X" making things easier all round.

Today, I printed out the document of 'Additional Information' so that I could start writing the correct page references into the little boxes on the form.

The total was 48, yes, forty-eight pages. The word-count was 26,019. That's twenty-six thousand and nineteen words. That's more than the entirety of my GCSE English Language and Literature courseworks.

Two of them are me covering my back with things like a list of the supporting evidence I am sending with the form, and an extra reiteration of the Declaration ("I declare that the information I have given is correct blah blah") just in case. The remaining 46 are all providing as clear a picture as I can of what problems I have and what help I need.

It defies stapling. We ended up with Steve hole-punching them all a few pages at a time, and me tying them together with spare yarn. It is a measure of how far I have progressed in the last year, that instead of just thinking "I'll grab whatever bit of wool is handy," I gave serious thought to the issue. I didn't want anything that would break, anything fluffy or fuzzy, or anything pink. After a moment's consideration, I instructed Steve to go downstairs to my Stash and fetch the pale blue Rowan All Seasons cotton. It is a measure of how far Steve has progressed, that he came back with not only the All Seasons cotton, but also the green Rowan Handknit Cotton as well, in case I'd prefer that, which I did. It's worked well, although we decided against listing it as a project on Ravelry.

In addition to this monster statement, and the standard DLA additional paperwork such as a list of repeat prescriptions and a report from a specialist, I am lucky enough to also be able to provide statements from:
- my mother
- my boyfriend, who I live with
- my co-worker who works with me for four hours a day
- two of my oldest friends. Uh, that's oldest as in, known me for years, not that they're old, I mean, uh...

I did ask my mum about the idea of providing a statement from the family dog too ("when Mary is on the floor, I lick her hand until she gives me a fuss, upon which I am satisfied that all is well and stand guard over her, in silence. They told me about some pup called Lassie who would have jumped about all over the place fetching people and barking, but I figured, no, some peace and quiet is what she'll want, that and an unpleasantly moist hand...") but she felt this might be over-egging the pudding somewhat.

Anyway, tomorrow I'll finish writing the Additional Information page references onto the form itself, and once that's done, I can sign and date it. Then on Wednesday, I need to find somewhere that does photocopying, because we Do Not send things to the DWP without keeping a copy, which means that hopefully I can get it posted (registered recorded whoopdedoo) by Friday, neatly inside the deadline. And I can stop fretting about it.


Anonymous said...

"Steve's handwriting is terrible" ???
Illegible, maybe, but terrible :(

/side-note to knitters I also saw the other pale blue yarn was merino and assumed that was too good for the DLA form ;)

Mandy said...

Well done on completing mammoth task. You must feel very, very relieved.

Supermouse said...

That's amazing. You should be seriously proud: it's a quarter of a novel's worth of wordage.

Anonymous said...

Wow, well done! Fingers crossed that it works!

Pandora Caitiff said...

When I worked at DWP we were wary of sending paperwork to *other parts of the Department* without taking copies first!

Fingers crossed too!

Anonymous said...

Huzzah! Final bout of copying has just been completed, final pages being printed out now too.

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