What an excellent weekend.
Friday night my ladyfriend arrived down from Devon and thanks to my friend Mr. Jamie Oliver a fine feast was prepared. After an evening out on our rooftop terrace under a balmy June sunshine, an impromptu night out to KoKo’s was on the cards.
Saturday was met with the ultimate hangover cure… a day out at the Oval watching Surrey playing cricket. Sunday brought with it a leisurely wake up, some Panini sticker buying, and my friend Miranda’s birthday BBQ.
As I said, what an excellent weekend.
That brings us to this: a muggy Monday morning here in London.
Since I have recently finished the teaching side of my MA course, it is a different Monday morning for what I have been used to over the past year. True, I still have a hefty 15,000word dissertation project to do but things have now changed. With my finances stuttering and spluttering to a halt, I took the decision to unofficially ‘sign on’.
I say unofficially, because although the process is underway, I do not have my first meeting with my ‘case advisor’ until tomorrow. Being on the dole is an interesting experience. The British government offers its citizens a Job Seeker’s allowance of approximately £56 per week for 182 days, with the agreement that they are actively looking work. Despite its criticisms – scare tactics drummed up of people scamming the system – I feel it is an excellent scheme that helps support people like me find employment.
One of it’s draw backs for me was the resignation that you feel for actually ‘signing on’. I was overwhelmed by a dreading sense that I was conning tax payer’s out of their money, despite having no intention so sit on my arse and not uphold my end of the agreement. Cue the customary belittling statements from friends. Although one of my friends (a previous user of the dole system) told me from his experiences: “nothing makes you want to get a job more than having to swallow your pride and queuing up every week.”
Therefore as of the 7th of June 2010, I am on the dole.
Speak soon. Stay Lucky