“What Have You Been Up To The Last Four Years?”
I’ve taken to going into the cafe at the top of our road on a Saturday morning, on my way to work, for a nice cooked breakfast. I was tucking in this morning when I heard somebody call out my name. It was Jill, a neighbour from the road we lived in up until 2009. I invited her over and this is how the conversation went:
Jill: Lovely to see you. Oh, I really miss Steven. Do you remember how he used to sing “5,6,7,8″ to me when he saw me get out of my car? It must be over four years now. What have you been up to in that time?
Deep breath. The poor woman doesn’t know what she’s let herself in for…….
Me: Well. Shortly after we moved in 2009, Steven went away for three days respite and the council kept him in an awful unit for a whole year. We had to go to the High Court to get him back home. Then we had a year long battle to get some respite, as Steven wouldn’t go back to the same place again. In 2011, we were back in the High Court and the judge decided that the council had acted unlawfully and Steven’s human rights had been breached for the whole year. Then last year, the council made us homeless from the flat we moved to and it took 14 months to find somewhere else. Thankfully, Steven now has his own lovely house. And then recently, they said they were cutting his support package, so I’ve had another 5 month battle trying to get that sorted.
Jill: Goodness me. That’s all the basics of life. And they’ve all been out at risk. You’ve been through the mill haven’t you.
Me: A bit I guess. Anyway, what about you? What have you been up to?
Jill: Well, as you can see, I’ve got some new glasses.
And with that, her friend appeared and she was off.