And… breathe…

Posted on: September 12, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Unemployment | No comment made yet

Housing Benefit letterSo today’s fun began with a letter from Glasgow City Council Housing Benefit office.

Two weeks ago, I received a letter from them asking for a bunch of documents in support of my application for Housing Benefit.  Now, to be clear, I would much prefer not to need Housing Benefit, but having left my job with nothing to go to and currently having a household income of only £40 more than our rent, it’s kind of critical.

The letter was received on Wednesday 28th August and the deadline for submission of the paperwork was the 1st of September.  Five days.  The 1st was a Sunday.  Let me repeat that.  A Sunday.  Interesting choice of a deadline, you’ll agree.  Given that the letter was to ask for the return of information by POST, which I imagine many people would have to do and it made little mention of alternative methods beyond an email address at the top of the page.  I phoned and confirmed that I could send the stuff electronically.  Check.

One item they had requested was a signed letter from my landlord.  Phone call to landlord – letter put in the post that day and arrived on the Friday.  That would give people without access to a computer one chance to get the info to the Council.

Thankfully, I have a scanner and so immediately scanned in everything that they required and emailed it to them.  It was all submitted two days before the deadline.

I phoned the council a week later to check on progress.  Too early for a decision but they confirmed that the paperwork had been received and I should receive a decision within two weeks.  Fine.

TODAY I received a letter rejecting my claim for housing benefit on the basis of the fact that I had apparently not returned the requested information and that my income was of a ‘level that takes you out of entitlement to benefit.’

Are you fucking kidding me on?  Would it make a difference if our household income was only £30 per month more than my rent?  Are we supposed to eat soil?

By the way, the red smear on the letter is not blood.  Aurora and I were painting today.  Honest.

Angry phonecall to the Council revealed that the information I sent is on the system and is marked as being received ON TIME.  When I looked at the letter again, I realised that the letter was sent out the day after the deadline of the 1st September.  In effect, EVERYONE receives the rejection letter regardless of whether or not you do what is required!  God knows what method they used to send the letter to us as it arrived ten days after the post date.

I ranted at the wee woman on the phone (actually a nice girl called Nicole) about how the council are giving totally unmanageable deadlines and basically setting people up to fail. Basically, no decision has yet been made.

Husband has given up on us ever receiving housing benefit as he now believes (not without some reason) that there is no way to get help from the GCC idiot machine.

What a fucking system.  As if things aren’t stressful enough.

Thankfully, we have been really blessed with amazing friends and family who have been helping us out in the meantime.  So we’re not going to be evicted this month.

Logo for Streetwork

Posted on: September 2, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Work | No comment made yet

I’m designing a logo for a streetwork project for young people in Govan. Looking for some inspiration, I naturally do a Google search of other youth project logos.

I’m just going to say it. If I see another logo with a bunch of silhouettes of young people jumping in the air, I think I’ll weep. Go, search. You’ll see what I mean.

youth club silhouettesPlease don’t think I’m running down anyone else’s hard work.  I’m really not.  Charities don’t normally have the funds to pay a professional graphic designer.  It is tricky to find an image that appeals to people and I think some of the logos I saw were excellent. It just seems that it is so difficult to find something that is inclusive of such a mixed group (I mean, in general they are just being categorised by their age) so a very generic idea is normally what is picked.  What is more generic than a person?  I mean, all young people are people, right?  At least they have that in common.

Thankfully, the person who has asked me to design the logo is pretty clued up and already has a very clear idea about what she wants.  And there’s not a silhouette in sight!

See also: grafitti fonts.

Sketchy Sundays – 25th August 2013

Posted on: September 1, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Sundays | No comment made yet

dudeAnd part 3 of ‘Who are you to God?’ (who-who-who-who) was I am a companion.  (Actually, it’s ‘Who am I to God’, but I prefer this way…)

Hence the sketch of what is basically the Buddy Christ from Dogma.  Cept in a T-shirt and jeans and with one enormous hand and one tiny.  Okay, so my proportions are off.  Sue me.

I have also written in big letters:  ‘We are not equals’ and ‘This is not a democracy’.

One thing that Brian (the pastor) said that I found really interesting though was that we are part of a rescue effort.  I loved that.  We are supposed to be a blessing to the people around us.  We are supposed to be who we were made to be and then help with the rescue effort.

I get so upset at Christians, far from being a help are a total hindrance, by focusing not on the needs of the people around them, but by becoming caught up in telling them what they’re doing wrong.

Newsflash: we are all fucked.  It’s only by God’s grace that we are saved.  Not by you refraining from sleeping with X,Y or Z or by you not swearing or not stealing or not cheating on your exams!

Anyway, seem to have strayed into preaching territory again.  The full sermon is here.

Sketchy Sundays – 18th August 2013

Posted on: August 31, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Sundays | No comment made yet

lifegravecoffinSunday 18th August at Re:Hope was the second of the series on ‘Who are you to God?’  and every time someone says that title, I resist the urge to sing ‘Who who who who’.  Gotta love The Who.  Maybe I’ll just sing it next time just to see what happens…

Anyway, pretty foundational stuff.  Title was ‘Rescued’. This is what I ended up with in my sketchbook.  Doesn’t really speak about rescue in any way, does it? Maybe I’m going all emo again, although if I ever watch Twilight again, I hope a friend will beat me senseless.

Sermon can be found here.

Sketchy Sundays – 11th August 2013

Posted on: August 30, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Sundays | No comment made yet

New series at Re:Hope:


Today’s topic: I am Loved.  Which was timely for me.  My sketchbook contained such classics as:

flamesThis I can only imagine was related to God’s love.  Flamey flamey.  It was a few weeks ago now, so there might have been more to it.  I have written beside it: ‘LIE – God only loves you when you behave.’ So there you go.  Also this: jealous

God is jealous.  And from this drawing, he’s also a drag queen with really pretty eyes (serving deity realness).

Sermon can be found on the Re:Hope website here.

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