Poorly children and a poorly car have prevented me seeing Frances this last week. We have spoken on the phone and I get her Facebook profile updates so I know all is well.
Hassan is about to give up his flat to his brother and Hassan will have the room in their mother’s house that his brother currently occupies. I can’t remember why this was happening, but Frances doesn’t seemed too fussed. Although they will only have one bedroom, she says at least they will have their meals made for them. I guess Hassan will also get some help on college days and there can’t be many grandmothers who would complain at having their baby granddaughters move in.
Frances is still spending £4 twice a week on the lottery. The thought of winning keeps her going. She puts a pound on for her, one for Hassan, one for Mia and another for her mother.
The other week, when I had lunch with Frances at her college, I asked her about money. “The rent is paid by housing benefit,” she’d said. “I get income support, child tax credits and child benefit.”
Mostly she spreads her money out across the week but sometimes it doesn’t work so well. “There was one weekend not long ago when I only had £20 left and I needed to buy nappies. They are £10.46 and then I have less than a tenner to get me through to the following Thursday. But,” she said, “Hassan helps when he can.”
This week Barclay’s Bank employees shared a £2.15 billion bonus pot and the government continued to push through their benefit ‘reforms’ that are meant to save £18 billion over four years.
Here’s something from Frances via Facebook:
still going college its all going well im of now for half term its doing my head in a bit all the traveling its to much cant wait to get a house closer still waiting to here from the housing about what band im going to be in soon as that happens i can start bidding. ive been looking for jobs on the internet because i would rather earn my own money but i cant get one with the hours im in college its so anoying the fact that i cant get a decent job that pays more then benefits and out of college hours, even if i did i wouldn’t see mia or hassan much, the best thing seems to be to stay in college till i have finish all the courses i need to do to achieve my ambition at least i will be qualified in something then i can make money. mia is doing great she’s sitting up on her own most of the time im even letting her hold on to the sofa to help her learn for when she starts walking because she loves standing up, she got weighted the other day she is about 16lbs 8oz.