DWP Admit Knowing They Would Cause Harm

Benefit tales

About PIP and the 20 meter rule.

this is from ‘Diary of a Benefit Scrounger’

I hate this fight and everything it says about my country.

But I dearly love the remarkable characters who’ve stepped up (or hobbled in many cases) to face it.

We are often unlikely warriors, with our limps and our oxygen tanks and our feeding tubes. But perhaps there was something the DWP didn’t realise. Far from being easy victims, weak and helpless, it turned out (as we argued all along) that we were unbreakable.

Doctors hadn’t broken us, endless hospital stays hadn’t broken us, misdiagnoses, constant forms and judgement and unnecessary bureaucracy hadn’t broken us. “Suffering” or “Hunger” or “Terror” might be abstract terms for most, but we had triumphed over them all. Some of us for decades in an endless Groundhog Day loop. How ironic that the DWP thought they had picked the most…

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Gaggia Carezza Espresso Machine – First Impressions…

As so often, when I’m ill and in a lot of pain (and depressed, too), I get an urge to treat myself, in the hope that it will make me feel better. The fact that it almost never does so rarely deters me.

Having discovered, recently, that coffee keeps me awake during the day, thus enabling me to sleep at night, has prompted me to invest in a new espresso machine and a grinder for the beans.

You might recall I bought cheap espresso machine a couple of weeks ago. It’s OK, but I just fancied something better and for which after-market goodies are available. Humour me – my life is shit, I have to take my pleasure where I can find it!

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Mepilex Ag Ulcer Dressing Problems…


I am the owner of a large, and ever-growing, leg ulcer, and the problem is finding a dressing that will absorb the increasing exudate and bleeding, that is bactericidal (I don’t want a repeat of last year’s infection marathon and I most definitely want to stay out of hospital), and does not gratuitously cause me more pain. Apologies for the pic if you’re squeamish, but I find it helps people who haven’t fallen victim to this most foul affliction understand the problem. Two months ago that was two tiny, almost painless, lesions, each the size of a 5p coin. Why it’s now one big one no-one is able to tell me. I’m told it’s a venous ulcer and, indeed, it looks like one. However, it also has the characteristics of an arterial ulcer (pain when my leg is elevated, relief when sitting). So, can an ulcer be both venous and arterial at the same time? Based on my experience, it would seem to. More research needed.

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Toulouse Sausage and Spanish Butter Bean Soup…

It’s Tuesday, but to save me having to go all the way through this updating the timeline, assume that …

It’s Saturday night, and I’d intended to make this during the day, but the pain in my leg has been truly terrifying, so I’ve stayed off my feet as much as I could. Didn’t improve matters but at least it stopped it getting worse.

This is an old favourite recipe which, for some reason, I’ve never written up. Today, though, this is the simplified version. It still uses my home-cooked Judion de la Granja butter beans, and their stock, but to reduce the time I spend on prep, and on my feet, I’m using Aunt Bessie’s frozen carrot and swede mash.

It works very well as a soup base, with the addition of a little flour to keep it in suspension rather than have it sink to the bottom of the bowl (mainly cosmetic), and I can toss in some frozen diced celeriac too. When I have a good day (ha!), I really must buckle down, fire up the food processor, and prep and freeze soup base veg. It’ll make life much easier.

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Addendum to Leg ulcer getting worse but treatment is still primitive…

Checking the circulation in my leg is likely to be futile.

I do have circulation problems, but they originate in my heart, not my leg. I have heart failure, that’s a given even if the cause is uncertain. That’s because I have two conditions that can cause heart failure, a calcified and, in consequence, narrowed, aortic valve which, I suspect, is responsible for the persistent cramp in my hands and feet as it can impede blood flow to the extremities. And I also have COPD.

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Leg ulcer getting worse but treatment is still primitive…

This morning, in a discussion with the nurses about my deteriorating leg ulcer, all they can offer is compression – for which read MORE PAIN! Before they can do that they have to run an ultrasound test, and to do that they also have to check my lower leg blood pressure. And guess where the blood pressure cuff goes – yep, right on the ulcer. And that is just not going to happen.

At the moment I have a lightweight dressing on it, covered with two layers of very light tubular bandage. That, primarily, is sufficient to stop my leg swelling as well as keeping the dressing in place. It’s also staggeringly painful.

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Coming soon to a JC+ near you – Death by Sanctions…

If the government gets away with forcing people with MH problems to undergo treatment in exchange for benefits (my experience both as carer and victim is that what treatment there is inadequate, already overstretched, and hard to access**), this will undermine the basic right of patients to refuse any treatment they feel is inappropriate or harmful.

**I also feel very strongly that many of those afflicted by mental illness need the services of a skilled clinical psychiatrist, not some numpty with a gold star in counselling.

It will then, I’m sure, be only a matter of time before the whole toxic scheme is rolled out across the entire disability benefits spectrum – no treatment, no money.

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Ascaso l-1 Coffee Grinder

A burr grinder with 54mm flat burrs. Heavy, cast-aluminium body, powder-coated in a variety of colours – mine’s matt black.

First impression – broken. Damaged in transit, the top cover rear locating lug was broken off. Vendor Another Coffee replaced the cover immediately, which threw up another glitch – intact, the new cover didn’t actually fit, so I put the broken one back and called it done.

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Break the law and get paid for it?

According to the Bristol Post “The cctv changes are part of several motorist-friendly moves the government are working on, one of the others being offering a 25% discount for drivers who appeal against a parking ticket but lose.”

Seriously? Get rewarded for breaking the law? WT absolute F?

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Today’s loaf is a Rye Bloomer…

Marking what I hope is my return to breadmaking is today’s mostly organic loaf, a rye bloomer. Flour, as always, is from Shipton Mill, and I always use a stand mixer, in my case a 1200W Kenwood Premier Silver Chef (current version has been downgraded to 1000W for some reason). Without it I couldn’t bake at all – it does all the grunt work for me. You can, of course, make it by hand if you’re able.

My normal loaf is 50-50 white and some form of wholemeal. With rye, which doesn’t rise particularly well, I use more white than usual.

These are my scales, sitting on the cooling rack while my loaf bakes. Very accurate, £49.19 including a mains adapter. Runs on 3 AA batteries or the adapter. I’m still on the original batteries after 2 years or more. Go figure. If you bake a lot, it’s probably worth getting the adapter, it’s only a fiver.

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