Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Introduction to a Barnsley Historian

Having been quite impressed with the "Diary of a Benefit Scrounger"
for a while now (though not suggesting I'd be anywhere near as good) I thought I'd have a go at this blog lark.

I've called myself "Historian" because that's what I would like to be of thought as, remembered by, respected as (delete as appropriate!)

I'm not a benefit scrounger, for the simple fact that they (the big THEY) stopped my Employment Support Allowance in April after I'd had my 365 days worth.  I'm now totally dependent on my husband for all financial matters.  Yes, my mum (on a pension) is generous when it comes to getting subscriptions to family history websites so I can do research on our mutual history, but to be honest at the moment that money is going towards the bills.  And my daughter is paying back the money I lent her when she need a deposit for accommodation at uni (I was working then), but again at the moment that money is going on food!  Basically we are skint.

I've been worse though.  When the kids were little, for over 10 years, we lived as a one parent family on a sink estate and managed on benefits.  I got a job as soon as my daughter was at secondary school though and things did begin to look up.  Unfortunately that meant that I had to give up the "fee waiver" MPhil that the local University had offered me (which might easily have become a Phd) so I have several boxes of research and nothing to show for it.  I got a menial job at the other local uni, stuffing envelopes for six months and then was lucky enough to progress onwards and upwards to a good job in IT.  This meant that I could contribute towards buying a house with my new husband and all was well. 

Until the night (New Year's Eve 2004) of the mysterious swelling ... first my ankles, then my wrists then the the rest of my joints seized up and swelled up.  This lasted well over a month with the doctor no wiser as to what was going on.  Strong painkillers and anti-inflamatories seemed to sort it out, but gradually since then it has progressed until I've only been able to do a few hours of active work (standing, travelling on public transport, moving around a classroom etc) a day and only for a few days at a time before I need a good long rest or even a day in bed to recover.  Eventually they diagnosed Fibromyalgia, but not until after a three month's long bout of diarrhoea was diagnosed as Crohn's Disease (January 2008). 

This blog (if I follow through) is likely to be about my voluntary work with local groups, the new Archives soon to open in Barnsley and (hopefully upbeat) about the day to day problems of being tired ... a lot.  And yet unable to sleep when I've had a nap during the day (that's tonight).  I will probably tell you all about my past stuggles "to get on" and my successes.  Oh, and beer might enter into it somewhere as I'm a dedicated CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) member.  Though I can't go to the pub any more, no energy and absolutely no money!  You might also get some snippets from this year's OU module (I've been OUing since 1998, but not for much longer, that's another story) which is about Heritage.  I thought it was appropriate with the new Barnsley Experience on the way.  Gissa (voluntary) job!

Going to try to sleep now, got an appointment with the Ardsley New Connexion Baptism register in the morning.


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