Archive for the ‘On Being a Single Dad’ Category


July 1, 2008

Or how Blair and Brown destroy Britain



A tetchy day today. The nine year old Ninja Wrecker decided to get up early. He told me later in the day it was because the motorbike  the next door neighbour mistakes for his own masculinity was standing around idling with it’s throaty roar at the crack of dawn.

A common occurrence as the inadequate idiot with the bike likes the whole neighbourhood to notice how masculine he must be making such a pathetically irritating noise. Sometimes the bike is grumbling on and off at intervals all day. What a moron !

The nine year old Ninja  turned the central heating on (it’s mid-summer) and the ancient piping is so noisy it hisses and grumbles  loudly until you wake up in exasperation. So I did. It was really annoying as I had only gone to bed at 2.30 a.m. owing to my desperate need to blot my brain out by watching mindless television.

It’s virtually the only escape I ever get from the Ninja, watching TV in the middle of the night while the little blighter is in bed and isn’t constantly wittering at me. More effective than Prozac, my mind gradually sinks into a semi-conscious state where I am entirely unsure of what I am actually watching. It could be anything really.

Then the Postwoman knocks on the door with a recorded delivery letter. It’s always irritating to be summoned to open the front door in your dressing gown, announcing to all the neighbours how decadent you are being in your dressing gown so late in the morning with the boy lurking behind you in his pyjamas. “what an idle pair of slobs’, they will be thinking self righteously.


Then, to really irritate me, the Postwoman spent ages and ages fumbling with letters while I just stood there like an embarrassed lemon. Eventually she plucked one from a bundle and thrust it angrily into my face, holding it strangely between her thumb and forefinger at the very edge of one corner, saying  sharply ‘Is this you ?’, as she wobbled it backwards and forwards, making it impossible to read.


Without my glasses I couldn’t see anything except a blur. So I reached out to take  the envelope from her so I could hold it still enough to read. Then  I would be able to see the address.

That’s when this politically correct twit really wound me up by snatching the envelope back from me as I tried to take it and a brief tussle ensued. Fortunately, I won the tussle and was able to read my name on the envelope. Slightly embarrassed at the fight over the envelope I muttered weakly that I was as blind as a bat and couldn’t see a thing without my glasses. – a statement of the obvious.

After I had signed for it, and she had gone, it dawned on me the reason for her possessiveness over the envelope was the indoctrination every government employee gets about dealing with any member of the public.

All public employees these days seem to be brainwashed by their masters  – the Government – to become naturally aggressive and inhuman. It never used to be like that.


They are all trained to believe everyone they deal with is completely dishonest, almost certainly inclined towards criminality at every opportunity, and with latent violence lurking it must always be potentially dangerous dealing with anyone. Just like all Government emplyees are really !


I suppose that is the natural result when you have an evil, self serving, corrupt Government that sets about systematically taking away everyone’s freedom and milks them dry right left and centre with fraudulent scams to steal as much money as possible. 


After all, as the Government knows it is grasping, dictatorial, controlling, and just plain dishonest in every way as it goes about blatantly stealing our freedom and our money, I suppose it must assume the rest of us are as criminally dishonest and nasty as they are.


Therefore the Postwoman is trained to assume that householders might snatch letters not belonging to them, presumably so they can disappear inside their houses to frantically rip them open in search of valuables. 

A fairly crackpot assumption on the part of the Postwoman and the people who no doubt specially train Postmen and women to hang on the letters like grim death as a cunning population of householders take every opportunity of snatching them from all the Postmen.


But that’s how they behave, so they assume everyone else behaves as badly as they do. After all they are all agents of the Government, and that’s how the whole Government behaves; totally dishonestly !

This atmosphere of paranoid distrust you now find absolutely everywhere is spread throughout every part of our society as a result of the poisonous Government we have had for the last decade.


It has employed a huge army of civil service bureaucrats to carry out a manifestly crazy and dishonest campaign of systematic persecution on the entire population of the country.


It is positively Orwellian. What this Government has done to this  Country is breathtakingly nasty.

Why have we allowed it to happen ? We used to pride ourselves in our civilised way of life. We were the envy of the World for our integrity and gentle ways. 

Now we have seen that we too can be prey to the evils of dictatorship and corruption along the lines of Hitler, Mussolini, Mugabe etc. Blair and Brown and their cronies have just been less extreme and a little more weasily.

But in the end they are all exactly the same.


Single Parent’s Treadmill

June 20, 2008

Persecuted by Bureaucrats



At present, I am not making ends meet at all. I am completely tied up in knots which prevent me from finding enough time to work. Obviously, I hope to change that. But so far I have been fighting a losing battle.


So much so that I have just received notice from the mortgage lender’s solicitor telling me they are starting repossession proceedings.


For example; today is a typical example of not being able to find time to work.


It is 1400 (2pm.) , office workers have just returned from lunch to do slightly more than 50% of their normal daily work load before going home for the weekend. I have already been busy since 8.a.m, by the way.


I, on the other hand, cannot do one solitary item of income generating work right now.  The ordinary workers mentioned above will do 50% of their days work, I will do zero percent. Why ?


Because I have just one and a half hours before my nine year old son returns from School. After which time he will require feeding and watering, and when feeding and watering is dealt with he will be wittering non-stop at me about something or other.


I cannot stop him – ever. All attempts have proved fruitless. Only by being seriously unpleasant with him can I shut him up and that means ruining what is a reasonably good relationship. It would be pointless to do that. It would mean becoming one of those disinterested and distant parents who couldn’t really give a hoot about the existence of their children, viewing them as nothing more than a severe inconvenience to get rid of at every  opportunity. Anyway, previous experience tells me even being unpleasant only shuts him up for a few moments.


Meanwhile, the immediate priorities for me are to attend a brief hospital appointment at 3.30, and deal with a monstrous  mountain of garbage paperwork all generated by insane bureaucrats. I would barely make a dent in it if I spent a full forty hour working week at it, so fitting it all into the hour and a half before 3.30 is slightly difficult.


We have lunatic claims for ten years of council tax (over ten thousand pounds worth – a joke, isn’t it ?) for the house I moved out of seven years ago, combined with bailiffs threats to seize everything I possess to pay for it, we have the mysteries of tax credits to occupy a few hours with, we have the State milking me for speed camera fines, where I have to fight the case in court, taking many hours, and many, many other things, all with screaming deadlines and all wanting to take priority and all to be done right now, before the end of today. It is impossible. And there is no possibility of doing what I really want to do which is proper income generating work.


Instead I have to devote all my time to fending off the persecution by bureaucrats. If I don’t, they will take their revenge and impose nastinesses on me. The speeding fine will cost money and I will be arrested for not paying as well as having my license taken away. All because  drove at 38 miles per hour on a completely empty main road in the middle of the night, actually obeying all speed limits. Like about three million other people, I have been well and truly conned by a thieving Government which is milking thousands of motorists every day.


And, although I will persevere at my desk after dealing with the nine year old and persuading him to go out and play cricket with the local cricket club, past experience tells me I will get very little done at all. Even when I put off preparing the evening meal for him and me until the last minute, its still doesn’t buy much time. It also means we usually eat at 11 pm which is far too later for both of us and drives me completely bonkers.


This is just a little cameo of everyday life as a single parent. Variations of the same theme occur every single day. Each day I think tomorrow will be different. But it never is. All my time is taken up by the combination of mad bureaucrats poisoning my life and looking after the nine year old Ninja Destroyer.

Repossessed, Repossessed, Repossessed !

June 18, 2008

Instead of Location, Location, Location !


The mortgage lending industry are mostly liars and thieves. I can speak from personal experience. Read on and you will see what I mean.


The Council of Mortgage Lenders are certainly liars. I have lost count of the times I have seen spokespeople from the Council of Mortgage Lenders telling all us mortgage holders that our lenders will bend over backwards to help us if we fall into arrears with our mortgages when we experience financial hardship.


It is, quite simply, a lie.


Another falsehood being peddled is that courts are sympathetic towards householders being repossessed.


The truth is, once you have become three months or more in arrears, you are likely to be repossessed in the most astonishingly nasty, brutish manner – and very quickly too.


The whole industry is rotten to the core. It is intrinsically fraudulent. 


For example; I had a mortgage with Birmingham Midshires. They actually told me I didn’t have to pay the mortgage for a while as I was in severe financial difficulties.


They immediately ignored what they had told me and sent me repetitive penalty charge notices. Eventually they built up thousands of pounds of mythical expenses they added on to my mortgage. They were all artful works of fiction – a complete fairy tale. 

But the small print of their mortgage contract said this is what they could do. Of course it did !


They proceeded to repossess my house and throw me out with an eviction notice that just gave me about three weeks notice to quit.


Is that civilised behaviour or what ?


To be continued.

A Nationwide Protection Racket To Fleece Us All

June 18, 2008

Organised crime used to be the occupation of highly unattractive individuals from deprived neighbourhoods full of dysfunctional poverty ridden families. 

One of the most lucrative schemes these criminals dreamed up was the ‘protection racket’. This entailed a bunch of thugs wandering into other people’s premises – a pub, or restaurant for example – and simply demanding money in return for not smashing the place up or beating the owner up and putting him in hospital.

Most people soon learnt it was better just to pay the regular demands for cash because it was the only way they could stay in business. 

Persistent resistance to the menacing extortion often led to murder as the thugs sought to terrorise everyone else into compliance with their demands.

Modern times have opened up exciting new possibilities for slightly more sophisticated methods, rather than just brute violence.

Big business has learnt a few lessons from the old fashioned protection racket scam and crafted a more modern version which has the huge advantage of carrying absolutely no risk whatever of going to prison for being a criminal. 

There are many examples of this form of legalised theft, but consider this particular one. It is very common.

My Potterton gas boiler was ill. It had been ill ever since I bought this house five years ago – despite the fact it was virtually new. Apparently, Potterton were knowingly supplying brand new gas boilers to people all over the country which were faulty from the very moment they were installed. 

The problem was the circuit board. That little bundle of inscrutable electronics that controlled the turning on and off of the boiler when the water was at the right temperature. It would either fail to turn the boiler on at all, or, once on, be unable to turn it off. 

This meant the hot water tank rapidly overheated, reached boiling point and boiling water and red hot steam would zoom into the roof, overflow out of the header tank and down through all the ceilings in the house one after another, wrecking plasterwork, decor and carpets and any other valuable possessions that might be inconsiderately lying around in your house at the time.

When the damned thing gave up the ghost completely and refused to fire up at all, just as winter became a fair simulation of the frozen arctic, leaving us with freezing cold water and a house like a hovel in Siberia, I finally tried to get the thing repaired.

That was when I learned about the new, modernised form of protection racket gleefully seized upon by the likes of Potterton and British Gas.

Big organisations like British Gas and Potterton have a virtual stranglehold over the entire market, just like all the other large companies that either take over every local enterprise or simply drive them out of business. They are basically the only people you can turn to for repairs.

So when I failed to find a local heating engineer who wasn’t a complete cowboy, I was reluctantly forced to turn to Potterton, being the makers of the boiler, as a hopeful source of reasonably reliable repair. 

Bingo ! “No problem sir. Our first available appointment for an engineer is for tomorrow. Would that be suitable ?” 

Would it be suitable ? I was in a state of pathetic gratefulness for the amazing speed with which my inanimate boiler could be repaired and warmth restored to the household once more. My nine year old son would no longer be in danger of dying from hypothermia or pneumonia as he dragged his grey, pinched and frozen body wearily through the cold and wintry house , clutching a duvet around him wherever he went.

But, there was a catch. There would be a fixed price of £349. There would be no other options. So, even if the repair took five minutes and a part costing only a few pence it would still cost £349. As the entire boiler cost only about £1000 brand new, it would be quite impossible to imagine any ordinary repair that was likely to cost as much £349.

So, being a single parent existing on a below the poverty threshold income, I thought this was ludicrous. This repair was going to cost me the equivalent of three weeks entire income !

I turned to British Gas. They couldn’t send an engineer tomorrow but they could manage the next day. That looked promising. I wouldn’t hold the extra day’s delay against them. It was still pretty prompt. Prompt enough, anyway.

Then came the crunch. The cost ? £444 fixed price only, the same as Potterton, but just another hundred pounds more, nearly.

Both of these extortion artistes wrapped these huge repair fees in gobbledygook language which seemed to use the word ‘protection’ quite a lot – just like the old fashioned criminals selling ‘protection’ from them smashing the place up as long as you coughed up the regular weekly payments they demanded with menaces.

Except the genius of British Gas and Potterton is that all they have to do if you don’t pay their extortionate demands is, well, err…. nothing. Yes, all they have to do is absolutely nothing. That means you and your family will simply freeze to death because it will be impossible to get anyone else to repair your boiler, because that is the way the manufacturers arrange it. They are the sole source of specialised parts, for instance.

So, I was forced to return to Potterton, being nearly a hundred pounds cheaper than British Gas at £349 instead of some £444.

When the repairman called he took just ten minutes and cheerfully described it as a complete rip off. The actual cost of the circuit board he simply replaced was just £100 before VAT. Charging the repairman out at £50 an hour would make the bill no more than £150 instead of £349 or British Gas’ incredible £444.

A forty hour working week charged at £50 per hour is two thousand pounds a week or £104000 per year. Enough to pay the repair man his salary of less than thirty thousand pounds a year and still leave the company with a whopping profit.

However. the repairman told me he did an average of five repairs like this a day. At £349 each that is a daily total of £1745 or a staggering total of £453 700 per year. Yes, that’s nearly half a million pounds !

Good money for those that get it ! Shame about the single parents on poverty levels of income shivering with cold as they no longer have any money left at all to pay for fuel to use in their now repaired and working central heating boilers.

Consumers need protection from this sort of extortion which is a creeping menace today as big business becomes increasingly bigger and bigger and more and more out of control as it rampages through our wallets with dishonest and evil impunity.

Can You Believe It ?

June 4, 2008

My boy – the nine year old Ninja Wrecker – came home from school today and told me there is a new rule at his school that all the kids in year six are forbidden to play with any kids younger than them – that is to say all the other kids at the school in years 5,4 and 3. 

My son is in year 6. All the other kids are also not allowed to play with kids in the previous year groups as them. So year 5 kids cannot play with 4 and year 4 cannot play with year 3. Is this mad, or is it just me that has gone mad suddenly ?

Can you believe it ?

Has our Government become completely insane under that idiot Gordon Brown ? Talk about being control freaks. This takes the biscuit !

It is another example of that vast army of nerdy little pea brained, narrow minded, politically correct morons that Gordon Brown spends our taxes employing to interfere in every part of our lives.

Every State employee, no matter how junior,  has learned that under Gordon Brown, there is no rule of law. All the government bureaucratic minions have been made to think they can make up any rule or infringement of liberty they like as they go along.

It is a pity this useless State school doesn’t spend more time doing what it is supposed to do and give our kids a good education instead of imposing endless petty, pointless and moronic rules.

This same school wrote me a terse letter recently telling me I was obliged to ask their permission to allow my son to cycle the half a mile from our house to the school. I was told I had to fill in a form asking for permission. 

Ah, yes, a form. How can modern Britain function without us all spending our entire lives filling in forms at the expense of actually doing anything useful ?

Is this an infringement of civil liberties, or is it my imagination ?

I was unaware I had to seek anyone’s permission for either my Son or I to cycle where we pleased on the public roads.

Will the school soon be issuing edicts telling me to fill in another  form asking for their permission for my son to, play in the local park ?

This reminds me something worse has already happened. The school reported me to social services some time ago because I happened to tell a teacher that I allowed my son out to play by himself, that is without any adult supervision. I’d forgotten about that. 

I’ll tell you about it another time.

Machiavellian Cunning of Nine Year Old Boys

June 4, 2008

My nine year old son starts extra tuition with a private tutor after school today to improve his shoddy maths. This is to make him acceptable for the standards required in the entrance exams he takes this November and then again in January for his move into secondary school. 


His current local State school is utterly useless, and I was shocked at his lack of maths when I went into it with him. It isn’t his fault at all, and when I started teaching him some of the basics he was lacking in he picked it all up immediately. State schools seem to be mostly rubbish. This one certainly is.


When my son went for an assessment  to the Kip McGrath ‘school’ (private tutors) on Saturday, they said he was very bright and his maths abilities far exceeded the pedestrian level of teaching at his present school. They said they were confident he could easily pass the maths part of the entrance exam, but not if we relied on his State school to teach him anything, because it famously can’t really be bothered to.


The weekly tuition is costing me £22 a week, and as my income currently fails to even pay the ordinary weekly bills, it is a statement of optimism that I will be able to continue to pay for the tuition for long enough. I told my son I expect him to contribute  his pocket money towards the cost of the tuition. His response was sheer amazement that I was actually paying for it at all. He thought it was free !


I have to pay for the tuition, rather than doing it myself for several reasons. The first is I have been completely unable to find the necessary time to do it in the several months I have tried to. The second reason is that I am utterly ignorant of how to go about it properly and what things he is actually supposed to know at his age. The third is the usual problem of parents finding it much more difficult than other people to teach anything at all  to their kids.


So far, every effort I have made to apply pressure on my son to voluntarily sit down and actually do some maths without me chaining him to the desk and standing over him snarling constant threats of dire consequences if he doesn’t get on with it, have come to nothing.


He agrees with the abstract idea of ‘wanting to do the extra maths’ to be able to get into a good school but, unfortunately, it remains entirely abstract unless I physically sit down and do it with him. This has certain limitations.


To give you an idea of how it works, let me explain what happened yesterday.


I wanted him to tidy up his lego. Vast amounts of it are scattered over every square inch of the lounge floor, and have been for a very, very long time. At least a a year probably.


I have asked him in a variety of ways to put it away, many, many times. I have been endlessly patient and even calm about it. I have been diplomatic; ranging from diffidently polite, through the huge range of diplomacy options as practiced by superpower diplomats politely explaining to Middle Eastern Dictatorships that no one will attend their embassy parties or even play with them  anymore and their country will be bombed out of existence unless they start behaving themselves.


Nothing has worked. Certainly not my threats of extreme violence or hints that pocket money might become a thing of the past or he might be confined to the house and not allowed out to play with his friends in the woods anymore.


So, yesterday, I tried a new tactic. Rather that give way to my inclination to fly into paroxysms of uncontrollable rage and beat the living daylights out of the little blighter, I thought I would call his bluff and just be calmly and quietly insistent that he goes nowhere and does nothing until all that ruddy lego is back in it’s boxes. 


All the flaming lego ‘Bionicle’ alien thugs with their fierce features and violent interstellar death ray weaponry which are perched on every surface must go. All the debris from their battles overseen by the Warlord Ninja Wrecker (my son) which litters the lounge floor making it impossible to walk the short distance to the the telly to switch it on without crunching bits of lego underfoot and breaking them. This causes subsequent accusations from him of me doing it on purpose, followed by copious tears from the Ninja Wrecker as he accusingly  holds up a cracked and broken alien’s face or favourite missile launcher for me to see.


It simply must all be packed away so I can actually get round to hoovering up the two year layer of dust on the floor.


I naively thought that if I didn’t get cross and just quietly insisted he stay put until it is all done, eventually he would just have to get on with it. Bingo ! he would get bored, stop making excuses, and it would be done.


Foolish me. I had reckoned without the Machiavellian cunning nine year old boys can display. Bitterly complaining it wasn’t fair, he disconsolately picked up bits of lego one by one, slowly, pausing each time to sigh as if he was the victim of terrible child abuse.


After a while he  simply curled up on the sofa and went to sleep for several hours. It was only late morning. Seeing as how I had to go out of the house and do things later in the day and had to take him with me, my cunning plan had failed. The lego still remains virtually untouched. All I can do is repeat the performance, with massive inconvenience to myself and no guarantee he will ever pick up his lego at all.


He wins – yet again !


Child Abuse

June 4, 2008

As a single parent it has become abundantly clear to me the whole idea of both parents having full time jobs and still somehow managing to bring up their children is a complete joke.


I have brought up two children who are now adults. We were a two parent family and there was always one of us at home and not working. Now I have been bringing up my nine year old boy alone as a single parent since he was three.


What a different experience.


It is a full time job; and if I was to have a nine to five job, even locally, around the corner from my house, no matter how I arranged things, it is clear my boy would suffer immense emotional neglect as well as a considerably impoverished way of life.


I am finding it seriously difficult just trying to find enough time to work at home from my computer. There just never seems to be enough time to either get on with a decent amount of work,  or to spend adequate time with my boy.


How on earth does this ignorant bunch of morons who comprise our government think any single parent is going to be able to bring up children and somehow magically fit in a full time job as well ?


Of course,  it is possible to have that full time job and farm out the children to some dipsy child minder. But even if the child minding situation is as brilliant as it can ever get, it will still impose enormous problems on the child and parent.


It is hardly surprising the whole country is complaining about the dysfunctional youth of today; a vast and increasing proportion of who are becoming addicted to drugs, alcohol and crime.


It is the inevitable consequence of  the Government structuring an economy which forces both parents out to work, effectively ensuring virtually the entire nation simply abandons all it’s children.



The culture of fecklessness and disinterest in getting a good job and getting on in life is encouraged and nurtured by  children been left with childminders for most of their childhood while their exhausted parents go out to full time jobs, only to come home to a mountain of domestic chores for which there is not enough time to deal with.


The nation’s children are simply being abandoned – left to their own devices while their parents slog it out on the treadmill of Gordon Brown’s poisonous economy. 

Taxed to the hilt, working for half the year for absolutely no pay whatever to feed the insatiable coffers of Gordon Brown’s greedily officious  taxman. 


And where does all this money go ? Why, to an army of nasty little bureaucrats employed in ever increasing numbers by the government to interfere in every part of our lives and spy on every citizen so they can be controlled in the minutest way.


You can’t even leave your dustbin lid slightly raised without the Government spies noting it down in minute  detail and prosecuting you to brand you with a ‘criminal’ record. I mean, what a surreal joke to describe someone whose dustbin lid is slightly ajar as a ‘criminal‘ ! What kind of obscene Orwellian  nightmare has this Government brought to this country?

Perhaps I’d Better Start At The Beginning

May 16, 2008

The beginning isn’t so easy to find, though. Where is it ? Is the beginning where my wife suddenly, out of the blue, announced she was leaving me to run off with another man ? Or is the beginning of this story when I met my second partner and Mother of my  Son. Or does it really begin when my second partner started going mad. 

Yes, that’s mad. Stark staring bonkers. It was schizophrenia. It trashed my life and left me a single parent, which is where we come to now.


This blog is about this story. And boy, oh boy are there some gruesome details.