Discover my sagas and cosy crimes

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Geordie Sinatra at the Live Theatre, Newcastle

To one of my favourite theatre venues this weekend, the Live Theatre on Newcastle's Quayside to see Geordie Sinatra. 

The play is running at the Live Theatre before it transfers to the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, another of my favourite places for reasons too varied, and personal, to mention.

Geordie Sinatra is a play about an old man with Alzheimer's Disease.  The disease causes him to think he's really Frank Sinatra. There's a lot more going on, as you'd expect, with his wife, daughter and drummer leading double lives, adding to the general confusion about what's real or imagined, truthful or lies. 

It's an excellent play and I give it a Flaming Nora thumbs up of 4 stars out of 5.

See what the Guardian thought of it too.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

DWP finally admit that they're wrong

In January this year I received a letter from the DWP Debt Management Centre saying I owed them almost £500 in overpaid Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) I had claimed while jobseeking last year.

You can read about the saga at my first, second and third blog posts. I won't go into it all again here, it's been too stressful for words.

Today a letter arrives from the DWP admitting they're wrong and crap.

Their words: "We have looked again at the facts and evidence we used to make our decision and looked at the points raised. As a result we have changed our decision and have decided that the overpayment is not recoverable and you do not have to pay this back."

While relieved, I'm also angry that they've put me through months of jumping through stressful hoops, having to prove that they were wrong.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tulips from Amsterdam

To Amsterdam for our spring jollies. The reason for going was to see the once-every-10 years horticultural show, the Floriade. It wasn't all that we hoped it would be but it was enjoyable enough, just. 

Then a day at the tulip bulb fields and the wonderful, magical Keukenhof gardens.  This, for a couple of amateur gardeners, was a perfect way to spend a Sunday morning.  The place is stunning. Get there early before the crowds descend.

And after two days of walking, it was time to sit down and have a well deserved drink.

I liked Amsterdam a lot and I'd deffo go again.

Coronation Street weekly update, April 23 2012

I've been writing Coronation Street weekly updates since 1995 and this week's Coronation Street update has just gone live here

This week Coronation Street said its final farewell to Betty.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spamalot at the Sunderland Empire

To the Sunderland Empire last night to see Spamalot.  I'd resisted going to see this show all the time we were living in London because I'm not a huge Monty Python fan and didn't think I'd enjoy it.

How wrong I was.

The show is hilarious and I highly recommend it, laughed all the way through.  Bonnie Langford and Todd Carty (who will always be Tucker Jenkins to me) were brilliant and everything about the show sparkled. I loved it. Bonnie was a revealation, she can't half belt out a tune.

Mind you, I was sitting next to this really annoying fella who clearly was a Monty Python fan as he kept up with the dialogue word for word, muttering along to the show as it whizzed through Monty Python script he was obviously familiar with. He really got on my nerves and I wanted to punch him. If he hadn't been my husband, I would have. Instead, I gave him a gentle squeeze on the knee and he kindly shut up.

The show runs at the Sunderland Empire until Saturday April 21st. You must go.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Coronation Street weekly update, April 16 2012

I've been writing Coronation Street weekly updates since 1995 and this week's Coronation Street update has just gone live here

This week in Corrie, barmaid Betty died.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fat Brenda - My Flaming Story

To Harrogate Theatre this weekend to see the premiere of the stage play Fat Brenda - My Flaming Story. 

We'd already bought tickets to see the show on the Saturday night and then, ahem, were invited by Miss Fat Brenda herself to attend the premiere on the Friday night, so were lucky enough to see the show twice in one weekend.

And what a show it was.  Read my full review of it here.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

JSA overpayment - the saga rumbles on

A quick update as I'm sure you've all been worried sick about my saga with JSA overpayment.

For a recap on what's gone on so far, have a look here. In a nutshell, the DWP say they've overpaid me JSA and want their money back because I didn't tell the Jobcentre I'd started work. Oh, but I did. And so I've had to appeal against their decision because they weren't interested in listening to a reasonable person put the facts to them in a letter. In fact, they told me the only way their system could handle this was for me to lodge an appeal, so I had no choice.

The situation at the moment is that my case is still at the appeal stage. Or at least I think it is as it's all gone very quiet and I'm not being chased for money any more. 

I have, however, requested five times by phone and letter since this bad joke began at the beginning of the year, information relating to my JSA overpayment from the DWP.  Finally, finally, I received two letters from them recently.  The first letter gave the wrong dates they were chasing JSA overpayment for.  Sigh.  The second letter gave the wrong amounts and wrong dates they were chasing JSA overpyamnet for. In fact, that second letter didn't even acknowledge that they had overpaid me any JSA at all.  Double sigh.

All I can do now is wait and see what the appeal throws up and if it goes against me, I'll be taking it further. What appals me is how disorganised and inept the DWP are.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Salturn by the Sea and guerilla knitting on the pier

To Saltburn by the Sea for a day off work and a special day out this week.  What a wonderful place it is and it's definitely worth a visit if you've never been before. It's got a water-powered funicular but unfortunately it wasn't functioning on the day we were there. 

However, there's some wonderful guerilla knitting attached to the pier and you can find out more about that here.

Coronation Street weekly update, April 2 2012

I've been writing Coronation Street weekly updates since 1995 and this week's Coronation Street update has just gone live here

This week the update has been to Fat Brenda's bikini bootcamp.
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