Leaders Debate

Hi All,

Just a bit of info from a proud mum here, if you watched the leaders debate on Thursday you will have seen my daughter, she put the last question to the panel. Rebecca Creamer is her name and this is just another step in her life's ambition.

Sorry to bore you but had to mention .

Hope Easter is going well for all.

I've just had a communication from DWP telling me my ESA stops in May, no point applying for income related my husband works too long, so just have to wait til my pension kicks in in July, ho hum.

Love Janet xxx

33 Replies

  • Hi Janet

    Its a great feeling isn't it when they do something very significant to make us bubble with proudness! Well done to your daughter for her moments of fame as in the whole scheme of things a very few will have made that achievement. I was kind of half listening to it but wasn't watching as my focus on TV is dire now. Shame we aren't reading your post in advance because I would've taken more notice.

    Finances are an ongoing worry aren't they! Hope the transition from ESA to your pension doesn't cause a financial deficit. Although we are all having to get by on not a lot when working for a good wage is no longer an option. My days of becoming a 'pensioner' are also not many years off.

    Best wishes


  • Thanks Caroline, it's been what seems like a stressful few years since she first went to Uni, but she's worked hard for all she's done, it's good to see that these TV programmes aren't staged too, we can vouch for that, for her to be chosen is indeed a great achievement and all her own work, perhaps politics will be her calling after all.

    The finances will just hold up its just galling when you've paid all your life to find you are just 6weeks short. Very comforting to know they'll still pay my national insurance, even though I've enough years paid in already for my pension! Perhaps they should pay that direct to me instead!

    Ah well, there are others worse off than me, I should count my blessings.

    Love Janet xxx

  • just had a thought - does the NI get automatically paid if in receipt of benefits or do we have to apply for it to be credited? Am I losing out on full state pension entitlement??!

  • While I was on ESA they paid my NI and they've just said they will continue to do so but I may have to provide medical evidence or attend a Work Capability Assessment they'll let me know!

    Janet x

  • Am hoping mine is being paid as well but suddenly panicked that I might have had to do something to ensure that happened! At the mo I am entitled to retirement pension at 66 but knowing my luck in the next few years they'll change that again! Hopefully you can still get your NI paid although am confused as to why you would need that to happen after retirement??

  • I think that it would stop when my pension gets paid, just a few weeks from the end of the ESA


  • My brain is now catching up - do you mean that they will continue to pay your NI in the gap between your ESA stopping and your pension payments starting?? Or am I still being dense?

  • Appears that way, that's how I understand it.

  • Hi I didn't mean it appears you're being dense, oh my goodness I'm so sorry that sounded all wrong when I read it back. I meant I think they're going to carry on paying the NI.

    Again so sorry Caroline, don't take that the wrong way xxxxx


  • Hi Janet

    You've just made me roar with laughter, which is something that rarely happens these days! I had taken your response to mean that they were going to continue to pay the NI in the gap between benefit and pension. It wasn't until I read your post above this morning that I even realized that it could be construed in a completely different way and be saying that 'Yes I am dense'!!! So maybe I have proved that myself!!!!????

    I think I know your posts well enough as a virtual friend to know you are not one who would say anything offensive intended or otherwise. Please do not worry. Thank you for the PM as well. I much appreciate the apology even though I hadn't actually construed it that way. But we never know on here do we because the tone is assumed as a voice is not heard. x

    My son is full of excitement today because he has some Easter Eggs. No doubt the feelings of excitement with switch to too much chocolate induced hyper as the day goes on! He brought me a lovely Bromeliad exotic plant with a nice red flower stem amongst the green leaves.

    Happy Easter

    Caroline xxx

  • Thanks Caroline I was mortified when I read it back, so glad you hadn't read it the wrong way.

    It's great when children get excited over little things like Easter eggs.

    When I came out of my coma it was Easter 2012 and I was so looking forward to some chocolate but it's never been the same since, tastes so bitter now. The joys of a BI.

    The plant sounds amazing, I forget to water things now! I've had 2 orchids and a fancy Bromeliad too but they've all died so I don't get them bought me any more 😢

    Have a good day xx Janet

  • Yes Janet it is really lovely to see their excitement. Tomorrow I will do an Easter Egg hunt with clues to be followed. It will only get done because my son will keep pestering me til I do it otherwise my diminished motivation and decision making will mean my get up and go will be absent like it is for most things now!

    My son wanted to buy me an Easter Egg with his pocket money but as my weight has crept up to where it shouldn't be, and recently my BP and cholesterol was higher than ideal, I am trying to make adjustments to my diet. Trouble is I love the comfort foods and as I now struggle to follow the process and safely cook a meal from basic ingredients our diet has become mostly processed and microwaveable meals! I am also applying for a 'passport to leisure' card that will give me access to some free sessions at the swimming pool. But again whether I will actually find the oomph and enthusiasm to get there I am not so sure! I can't even use the enthusiasm and incentive of my son because the sessions are at times he can't go.

    I have just reread your profile as I couldnt remember what resulted in your coma. Maybe I have known it before and even commented but my post BI memory is not recalling anything! We have BI causes by infection in common. I had bacterial meningitis & Septiceamia, cerebritis/encephalitis and strokes in May 2011. Like you I was in a coma (3 weeks) and everyone was told that I wasn't expected to survive. If I did it was predicted that I would be severely physically and mentally handicapped! So it seems we are both made of very tough stuff that we survived the odds that most definately against us! I like to think that it was my determination fuelled by a powerful sense of not going to leave my son and for him to be parent less that I fought back to survival.

    Caroline xx 😊💐

  • Hi Caroline, my GP told me the miraculous recovery is down to us as individuals, all they do as Doctors is care for us to allow our bodies to do the rest.

    So, yes, they pump us full of antibiotics and anti virals and steroids, breath for us and tend us, but it's up to our own ability to recover, so , yes we're defifnitely made of stern stuff.

    I have an over60s pass at the local pool that lets me swim for£1.15 a time, trouble is the effort to get there and back, I'm so looking forward to finer weather, the wind and rain puts me off!

    Love Janet xx

  • I'm a couple of years off being entitled to the over 60's stuff. I can get this leisure pass because I recently got awarded PIP so considered 'Disabled' for some things. I have also just sent off an application for a Disabled user railcard which I think gets me a 1/3 off an off peak rail tickets. Yet again not sure if I will get off my backside and use it much but decided to get it and see if I do! Oddly though I wasn't entitled to a bus pass because with my local authority you have to be in receipt of the higher rate for mobility. It's all very confusing and is that postcode lottery again as to what your area offers.

    Your GP sounds like he's knowledgeable and understanding. The explanation is I think how it was for me. My profile picture is very unflattering as I am also very bloated and my hair is greasy and scraped back but as I don't have any memory of even of becoming ill and then when I came out of the coma my awareness is very vague, it is a reminder for me of how serious things were. So the photo I keep here and so that I see it regularly and hopefully it reminds me that although I have a Frontal BI and life has its challenges and difficulties, that on the days I am struggling with bleakness it can remind me exactly how far I have come in my recovery. I can be very negative sometimes as find it hard to accept the 'new me' so I true to see the progress even though it has big limits as a positive outcome. However, I often don't manage that! Not sure if that makes sense??

    Love Caroline xx

  • Hi Janet, bet you are one proud mummy! yep I watche'd the whole thing - politics being one of my interests! so well done to Rebecca! don't think I caught her name at the time though. Hope you are doing ok? Pc up creek again, so now got an iPad and can do FaceTime instead of Skype. I'll pm you. Shirley xx

  • Thanks Shirley, good to hear from you.

    My son is over in France this week, near Caen, for a holiday with his family, he says he's going to look at house prices while he's there, I think he fancies a holiday cottage or something, here's hoping.

    Love Janet xxx

  • Sounds lovly

  • Hi Janet, sounds lovely. I've been to Caen don't thinks it a terribly long way from me, not sure. Sorry I forgot to pm you. Hope you are well. Shirley xxx

  • Hi Janet

    I saw the debate although was dozing in bed through some of it as alot for my head to take in. How exciting for your daughter- i remember her saying about the difficulties for young people these days. You must be so proud of her.

    Shes obviously worked so hard to get where she is. Good luck to her. :-)


  • Hi Karen, thank you so much, we had no idea that she was going to be chosen, nor did she, we just had to cross our fingers.

    Love Janet x

  • Hey shes probably got far more brains than the rest of that lot put together!


  • Thing is she's worked hard to get where she is, no paid education for her, she's come through the state school system and got to Oxford on her own merits, th 6th form college she was at even told her not to bother applying cos she wouldn't get in!

    At Oxford they were horrified to hear she'd been told that, cos they want more of her calibre there who haven't had their education paid for.

    Janet x

  • Big big WOW. Rebecca has done amazingly well. So good to hear a person living a 'normal' life who has not been able to recieve a Private paid for schooling has got to Oxford by her own merit. Well done to Rebecca but well done to you her parents too for encouraging and supporting an excellant aptitude to learning.

    Caroline x

  • Thanks Karenand Caroline, we were only doing our job as parents she has to have the lions share of praise, she did the hard work xxxx


  • But as parents you gave her the foundation to use her ability and do remarkably well. But yes Rebecca still gets the lions share of praise. xx

  • A credit to your upbringing and Rebecca's hard work!


  • Yes I watched the debate and remember Rebecca being the final questioner. Good for her in having the courage to highlight one of today's biggest issues.

    But I'm so disillusioned with politicians and their empty promises that, for the first time ever, I won't be voting. :-(

    Sorry about the ESA Janet. Hope you're otherwise OK. xxxx

  • Congratulations Rebecca Xxx

  • Hi StaceM8,

    Thanks for the reply, Rebecca's been overwhelmed by everyone's reaction and congratulations, she even got recognised when out in Clapham on Saturday night!!

    Best wishes Janet x

  • Congratulations proud mum & Rebecca! My daughters were so pleased to see someone of their generation asking a question relevant to them.

    Does she hope to go into politics? or maybe journalism or public affairs?

    I have had the privilege to work in Parliament for the last 3 years representing Publicans & Pubs. All volunteer work but amazing and eye-opening none the less.

    I wish her all the best and don't give up, even if it's tough. I & mine would never have changed the law if we had crumbled under the pressure or negativity. Follow those dreams!!!

  • Hi Lifelonglandlady, Rebecca's degree was in History and Politics, she'd love to work in Westminster but it's not easy to gain employment there. She lives and works in London for a think tank called the New Local government Network as Events Manager so she has contacts and has met a few MPs I think she'll naturally gravitate towards politics, she is particularly interested in social issues, coming from the background that she does, she is still in touch with the issues that face the majority of people in this country today.

    Thanks for the reply and best wishes to you and yours xxxx


  • How refreshing to hear of the next generation caring about politics. Living in London will give her a big advantage in getting that first HoC job as will working for a think tank. I made it to HoC & HoL via twitter and hard lobbying and found many MPs are delighted that they can talk to non-politicos to give them the ground level info that the Westminster bubble keeps them from hearing.

    I wish her the very best of luck in her ambitions and if she tweets I'm @lifelandlady get her to say Hi! My feed is mostly politics and business and twitter is the future of the public voice, it gives direct access to MPs & is the battleground for #GE215 too!

    Enjoy Easter. good luck with ESA etc.



  • Thanks for the good wishes, I'll pass the info on to Rebecca, she tweets as #beccacreamer her feed often includes how things are going with the think tank too, but thanks for the info xxx

    Janet xx

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