a day ago •
I thought I was done with this, and I owe some people I live alongside an apology for being suspicious of them.
Its for good reason, while a lot of those I encounter in my home town regularly are fine, there are those who give me a lot of grief. I've always wondered why, because I dont get this anywhere else I go and am known.
Today was no exception. Beautiful unseasonal weather brought the temperature soaring to 23C, so I grabbed my guitar and headed out to play in the sun, leaning against a wall of a nearby cathedral and have a bite of lunch while watching the world go by.
Its an old habit, I dont busk because I'd have to declare what I made to the benefits agency and its none of their business if a complete stranger buys me a sandwich. To be honest I'm not keen on it either, I'm there for the experience...
The world no longer walks by when I sit down and play however, it gathers round at a respectful distance and listens, and they talk about me as I try and glide among them like I used to. I seem to have graduated, as I'm not referred to as 'Boxall' but 'Him' instead. 'Its him look, he's got his guitar...' I used to find it unpleasant, I dont like the attention, but to be honest thats flattering now and nobody calls me names for it.
Now I know where the negativity in my home town is coming from though, because I upset a lot of people clearing out the skeletons in my closet fighting Social Services over Bea's rights. Turns out, only one of them still has an axe to grind and thats just jealousy from the looks. It isnt going away either and here's why.
My brother has a reputation to uphold, he's a DJ apparently. Yeah, I expect he's played a few records to his friends like I have, so I'm not a DJ either... I also have a reputation for being able to play half an Orchestra, which isnt strictly true since my Cello was last seen on my brothers back where it perpetuated the notion he can play it. Probably no better than I can, having never had the opportunity. I never got it back after we fell out over a family matter and havent seen him since.
Well, you cant get on with everyone and me and Cliff are chalk and cheese. He got the looks, I got the brains. He's the Empire, I'm the Rebel Alliance. Farcebook to my Hackaday. He was popular at school, and I got my arse kicked, stuffed in rubbish bins and locked in lockers. It was a long time ago and I'd let it go, and let him get on with it when he blew up and stalked off in a huff a year ago thereabouts.
Stood in a queue today tho, in a town miles up the coast, a couple of lads nudged each other. 'Its him look, he's got his guitar...' Thanks lads, I appreciate it, especially when you add 'but its not him you have to watch, his brothers psychotic...'
So I apologise to any of those critics I've disparaged, but you appear to have been a victim of sibling jealousy. Cliff's my little bro, a smart and funny man but he's also a teller of tall tales and loves to be the centre of attention. And he really has a problem with my success too because I earned mine the hard way, and I'm not even keen on it.
Sorry Bro, but I dont like my fans telling me you're a dick any more than I like yours telling me I'm a freak, so I'm setting the record straight.
7 days ago •
If you know me personally, you'll know I'm sole carer to my profoundly disabled daughter Bea. I look after her unpaid for 102 hours a week because the UK government really cant get their sh*t together enough to look after her properly so I can work myself.
Their idea of helping is to shut her away from society where she's isolated and forced to spend her days with 'others of her kind'. Its ridiculously discriminating to a 'normal' person to expect them to put up with this. Disabilities are not themselves equal, and some of her companions are able-bodied like her but unable to control their behaviour. Others have capacity but are not able-bodied, and yet they are all secreted away from society where they do not upset the Norms with their disturbed behaviour.
Bea does not have disturbed behaviour, in fact she's disturbed by the others' and she's not alone in that. Luckily, she had me to pay attention when they coerced her into it the first time. It took me six months to defeat the Social Worker, who took advocacy and duty of care and then marginalised me with a concerted campaign. She didnt bargain on me though, and despite being one of their Secret Weapons I managed to regain advocacy and get Bea out of care, have the social worker removed from the case and get some support.
That was three years ago this April, and I'm still caring for Bea on benefits in poverty after her care package was never setup. Social Services have spent their time wisely, sweeping their wrongdoings under the rug along with the pieces of my life and denying us service and resources we're entitled to. It's gone back-and-forth for these years while I battled for Bea's rights and my own voice to be heard.
Finally I uncovered the core of the rats nest and tried to fumigate it, but unfortunately the UK government has changed the laws intended to manage our rights to our own information so that they can charge us for access to it, manipulate it how they like and then deny everything with blanket redactions under transparency law. They are little more than the scammers that are ruining our free and open networks. I did however manage to uncover the fact that I'm entitled to an annual grant from an organisation setup to help outside of the social care system.
Carers Support were misled into thinking Bea has been in care all this time because the system didnt update its records, deliberately, so this would happen. Carer's Support however, have a remit, and being independent decided to honour theirs with an immediate grant and an apology, which I accepted gracefully. But here's where the trouble starts.
The current social worker decided to poke his oar in. And when I was asked what the grant would cover as I'd have to provide receipts for it, being County money and thus audited, I asked for 'clothes and stuff' which I needed. Apparently that isnt an accepted use of the grant, its for 'additional goods or services to improve the living quality of the carer' and not essentials like clothing or food. So, to push it through quickly they decided my hobbies were important, and I've been bitching about the fact I'm not in the Prize this year.
Thats because if I won something, benefits regulations mean it'd be taken off me or my benefits revoked, so its not worth me entering. Utter thieves...
So the County, bunch of hacking counts that they are, applied on my behalf for 'Robot Parts' which I have to spend the grant on and provide receipts for, so that I may enter the Prize this year against my wishes, lose any award, and remain a carer for the duration of the competition because I'm using carer grant money.
I broached this with Hackaday itself, the founders were of course absolutely appalled but legally bound by their own regulations and cant do anything about this but let me enter and support me in the event I win something.
Thank you for your advice and support, Hackaday, it's greatly appreciated. Recognising me in this capacity makes me the UK's formal representative with official...Read more »
03/21/2018 at 17:27 •
Day 6904, Wednesday 21 Mar 2018
Coconut for breakfast, again.
Actually Weetabix, and having OCD it slid down as it usually does, where it nestled comfortably until Bea got up.
She's home today, no Daycare on a Wednesday so she's just slobbing around after getting up late as usual. The snow's all melted and I think she's a bit bored to be honest. Its not like I have the money to jump a bus to go somewhere and be stared at, so we're enjoying the early spring sunshine through the window.
She asked me if she could go to Hammonds, the place she goes for Respite, but its not time for that yet either.
"Pest, Whyn't you go and live there if you like it so much" I joked with her. She laughed at me, she knows thats the last thing she wants according to her memory of it.
However things have changed, and she has fun there on Respite with the friends she's made. Also some other care options have been made available after me complaining so I tried...
"You could stay there during the week and have fun all week, come home for the weekend if you like."
And she went for that. Both thumbs up. "Really?" Yes, really. So I discussed it with her some, and it seems she's come to the same conclusion I have - that this is not working out so well and instead of looking to me to do everything for her, she might be better off with a carer who has the money and resources to make it fun as well. So long as she can kick me around at weekends of course. Fine by me, its never her I have issues with, but living like this.
And thats not her fault...
I still have concerns. Historically they havent done a very good job of looking after her to my standards, but with her off during the week having fun and me able then to look for work to make ends meet that's not insurmountable. I can keep an eye on them, and with her home for the weekend it triggers Carers Allowance still so I get some income protection for now. I'm so not being burned by the benefits agency again like last time, and I'm not taking the first bit of slavery they assign me either.
It does mean I can get off Income Support, which the restrictions it carries mean I cant do R&D, sell my work, win the Prize or do anything but walk around like the other scruffy benefits scroungers who cant be bothered to work. They hate me, I make them look lazy and stupid with my industry so I dont fit in with them either, and its been driving me insane.
I have a lot do do, the social worker is monumentally slow and tedious to work with, although he's a nice bloke and doesnt piss me off. He still has to help us with decent accommodation, although it isnt his remit and is the District Councils job, they have failed and he's supposed to mitigate that. Somewhere decent, no stairs and no turds on my doorstep, its not much to ask. And no garbage...
His department still owe me an apology and some compensation, and with the help of the LGO and recent evidence we've uncovered we'll get it too. I wont have to take the government to court for my right to hack either, just with one simple change, and it was Bea's idea essentially. I dont have to beat myself up over wishing I had the life I dreamed of, at her expense...
One thing Social Services have always assumed, and I disagree with is that Bea has no capacity to make these decisions for herself. This proves otherwise, she knows whats going on. Most people have a problem importing information, hers is worse. Like all people nobody knows how its processed, thats anyones guess, but unlike most people she cant export anything. Its not fair to assume that no output means no processing, and auteurs had that label until recently too. It isnt right, and I think anyone would be appalled if I assumed a caseworker's blindness meant she was stupid because of her actions.
She was employed to do what she did, and thats the truth of the matter. I've taken Obsidian down, made it private prior to engaging in said litigious plans that I probably wont need now if this works out. But I will still pursue an apology,...Read more »