It seems a long time ago that I was saying that cancelling Indian Wells was an over reaction. It has only been 2 weeks! I totally underestimated the disruption to our lives. There have been over reactions along the way. Panic buying. People wearing masks in public. I suppose it helps others if they sneeze as it catches the droplets and smears them on their own face.
I think a lot of people aren’t taking social distancing quite as seriously as they should. It isn’t easy in shops and especially not at the checkout. I was in Tesco yesterday. They have put yellow and black lines to indicate the distance to leave between yourself and the person in front. I left the required gap behind the guy in front. The women behind me seemed irritated that I was not moving forward and moved up right behind me as if she was trying to push me forwards. We wouldn’t have been any closer if we were having sex! As she was about 80 and we were both fully clothed that was never going to be an issue. I turned around, gave her a dark look and asked her if she wanted to back up a bit. She decided social distancing seemed like the best option.
The PM’s briefing yesterday was always going to be interesting. Is everyone glued to these every evening? In the end it was a little disappointing. Employees on PAYE will get 80% of the wages payed by the government up to a maximum of £2500. Self employed people who don’t have premises have just been told to apply for Universal Credit. Seriously? Ah but it is being increased by £1000 a year. That takes it to around £94 a week! Did Rishi Sunak turn over 2 pages at once and missed the rest of the support for the self employed?
About a month ago I helped a relative out with a sizeable cash loan. They had found their dream home and were in danger of losing it. They couldn’t get the funds quickly enough so I stepped in. I’ll get the money back in 4 months. I had no idea all this shit was going to kick off. I still have a bit in the bank but if this crisis goes on for months I’m going to struggle. Also if it had been the original 6 weeks cancellation of the tennis tours I wouldn’t have bothered claiming anything. However as they then extended the cancellation by another 6 weeks why should I use my savings? I have worked hard to build up what I have.
As Universal Credit seemed to be the only option on Thursday I applied online. A lot of people have struggled with the application process. I got through it easily enough but when it came to my wife’s application it got a bit tedious. If you are living with someone you can not claim individually. The frustrating part was verifying her ID through Experian. I lost count of how many security questions it asked. It wasn’t helped that my wife was out and I was asking her the questions via text! It eventually worked and I was directed to call a phone number to arrange an appointment. What? Heard of social distancing at all? I called the number and it was a recorded message saying that face to face appointments had been cancelled and that someone would call me. Then the line went dead. So I thought I was done but a few minutes later I had an email saying that my claim would not go ahead if I didn’t contact them to arrange an appointment.
I tried the number again on Friday and after I had been on hold for 2 hours I gave up. I left a comment in the journal section of my new Universal Credit account explaining why I was applying and that I had not been able to get through to them. To be fair I had a reply this morning ( Saturday ) saying that I should keep trying. I did ask if there was no way I could arrange the appointment via this journal but have not had a reply.
There seems to have been a lot of anger from the self employed on social Media last night and all day today and I would be very surprised if some different support was not made available to the 5 million self employed workers in the country. It does seem very wrong that employees on PAYE get most of their wages paid and we have to apply for benefits as if were were unemployed. Its a bit late for us to pop out a few kids.
If you have seen some of my videos you will know I clearly have mental issues. I can probably claim something for that.
My foot’s a lot better and I took the dogs down to the local field. We haven’t been down there for months as it has been waterlogged. The last time we went there was just before Christmas and the dogs were struggling to even walk through the mud. After 5 minutes they got fed up and went and sat by the gate. Today it was still pretty muddy but they seemed to enjoy it. That meant they needed bathing when we got home. I sent them down the side of the house to wait by the back gate while I went through the house and opened the gate. As the gate opened they were both sitting patiently. They are brilliant dogs! I bathed them in the back garden.
They have been asleep ever since. Look how shiny Charlie’s coat is! He isn’t impressed. He is happiest when he is covered in mud and shit and I’ll have to watch him in the next few days as he will be searching for fox crap to roll in.
That’s about all I have done today. I have tried to stay away from Twitter for most of it. I have the house to myself tomorrow so I’ll probably continue going through my old videos. They are the ones that never made it to youtube or the TradeShark members area. I made a start on going through them yesterday. I might have enough for another out takes video.
Have a good weekend.