PMRGCAuk
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Parkers Vacation " The Return of M'Lady"

I got back Friday from my exhausting but most enjoyable trip to France with Respite Parker (who shall now be known as RP). PMR has resurfaced but not so much as I cant cope as I am now able to rest when required and switch off if I need to. I am learning slowly to listen to my body not my brain. RP did a lot of driving and the experiences we shared were quite emotional. Even though I was only in the passenger seat all the accommodation, food and route planning was up to me. It was a bit like being back at work but no where near as stressful.

RP and I managed not to batter each other, as siblings do, over minor details like navigating, driving up deadly ice roads, food choices, booked hotels or the fact that neither of us could speak any French at all.

RP thought I could speak good French as my son, his wife and their kids all speak it fluently. I explained it was not like having the same genes, you actually have to care enough to learn it. When you have someone who does why bother? Its the only reason the grandchildren are allowed to come on holiday with us. Why would we speak to them otherwise?

RP soon learned that I would nod in agreement and say "OUI" at intervals during conversations with the French people we met along the way. When the realisation dawned on her into the third day, that this by no means meant I understood what was being said, she was a bit disturbed as to the impact this may have on the rest of the journey. If I said I didn't know what they were saying our conversation might escalate in to an argument and we didn't want that too early in to the trip so I'd make thing up! I only did it to look like I was listening to them and to shut her up repeatedly asking "What did they say?". I also believed myself some of the time.

Parker would have known this as his French is passable and he also understands that I make things up if I am unsure of the real answer. If its in my head as plausible then I say it out loud. He often has to explain, delicately, that if real people heard me saying the things I come out with when its only me and him, I wouldn't get the same response. In fact how I have lasted this long without being ridiculed, assaulted or forcibly removed from places is truly amazing.

Parker would have known how to handle many of the situations we encountered. I soon realised RP needed a good 12 months training and to complete a portfolio of competence in How To Handle An Idiot before we embark on another such adventure.

I was pleasingly surprised to find Parker had not been moved the Pigeons in to the house and that he had managed to get the industrial cleaners out before I got back. As wonderful as Parker is under supervision, working alone and using his initiative is not one of his strong points. I found his initiative in the cupboard where he stores it for emergencies. Parker knew I would be back in no time at all to provide all the support and guidance he really enjoys. He is glad to have me back whinging and getting him to do stuff that I am quite capable of (RP grassed on me). It gives him purpose and a focus on life. He isn't quite ready to give up the role of pandering to my every need but he is encouraging me to be a bit more active. I have to make my own hot drinks now and cook Toast. I had a go at driving but he was a bit green when we got back after a few near missed and an emergency stop. Wasn't my fault there was a bunny in the field over the fence behind the hedge. He can be a bit picky when his life is at risk. No pleasing some people when you offer to do stuff for yourself. I am worth more alive at present as I have a steady income of benefits for now so its in his best interests to look after my wellbeing.

I do have the interrogation squad lined up for January at DWP. They are going to assess my disabilities and illness to see if I qualify to stay on benefits or not. I hope that Universal Credit is embedded by this time and we are all singing from the same Hymn Sheet. I am on a fitness programme now I can move about independently and find swimming so relaxing. I will progress to the Gym in January once I get through this small flare up.

I will share some of my Travel Across France with you all later on and the effects this had on my health.

Merry Christmas to one and all and I hope everyone's health improves for the New Year.

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And a Merry Christmas 🎄 n Happy New Year to you too! Glad your trip was a success. Maryanne

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😂😂😂 top class. Happy hols.

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Lovely laugh many thanks for sharing that with us. Happy Christmas and a great New Year. 🤶

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Wonderful witty stuff, Estelle!

Clearly, your Posts are proving to be some 'serious' competition to my Ramblings in the Humour Department here :-D. But I like that.. keep it up! ;-)

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Can’t compete with the

“MASTER”. I aspire to become as interesting and funny as you😂 Your my inspiration.

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Ohhh, thanks Estelle! :-)

It's strange, at age 16 I used to be called 'Master' Mark by my teachers at my obviously prestigious secondary school in North Devon (apparently, it was listed as 'Approved' by the local Juvenile Courts).

I wonder: was this some kind of acknowledgement of my fiendish attempts to Mastermind an illicit Pork Scratchings and Devon Scrumpy (Cider) smuggling ring for my local mates? :-/ :-D

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Pork Scratchings mmmmmmm!!!! I am currently researching the best Yorkshire ones and importing them to Lewisham where my son lives for our PorK Pie and Scratchings Christmas Eve supper. Of course this will have to be washed down with White Lightning Cider with an aperitif of Buckfast due to the Celtic heritage of the family. My lovely French daughter in law may find this age old ritual a bit strange and worrying (once the booze kicks in) but we are still introducing her to our British Traditions.

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Do you dress appropriately for dinner too? ;-)

Pauvre fleur...

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Same black tie wear as I would go to the Spar at the top of our road in. Ugh slippers PJ’s and Dressing Gown.

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Hi,

Joyeux Noel, mon ami!

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Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year 🎄

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Great fun reading this. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and Parker 🎅🎄😊

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RP maybe needs to realise that these initials could also be translated into RIP and she should watchit, respite or no respite!!

Merry Christmas and thank you for your extremely entertaining email.

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Ace I may hint that after my hair appointment with her hairdresser.

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Merry Christmas and a Happy and healthy New Year to you and Parker.

We look forward to meeting you at the meet-up in the Spring - you and Ronzy should give us quite a giggle!

Looking forward to hearing more tales of your vacances.

*<<<<=

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Loved it, Estelle! Very much look forward to reading more about your French trip and how Parker got on without you around to guide him!

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Estellemac, you are a ray of sunshine with your hilarious posts. It's like a serial. Keep it up.

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Like 🥣 Porridge?🤗🤪

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No, like killer!

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He he he!!😈👹

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Another clever girl.

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Except this one is not female!??!

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Took me awhile to get it...have a cold...very clever girl.

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Hi estellemac. Will be interested to see how you get on with DWP in January. Have new forms to fill out and see whether I continue my benefits. Almost impossible to fill in for pmr/GCA and ME. Doing my head/body and nervous system in at the moment so any tips/advice very welcome (no other income). Glad France was such an adventure, it's a beautiful country, went once to meet extended family (My step mother is French). Really enjoying your adventures with both parkers. Keep up the story telling and if the benefits stop then bring out a book. Maybe in collaboration with MB (is the world ready). All the best cc 🎉🎈🎉

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Keep you posted about DWP. I am fortunate to have another income. The benefits are a matter of principle for working 40 years and I think to prove a point that the vulnerable need more support. Don’t know who to though???

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Is it Esa pip or the new universal credit?

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All the benefits forms are a nightmare. If "they" hadn't moved the goalposts I would be retired by now. The best advice I have read about completing the claim forms is "you are the worst possible person to fill it out. Get help." Good luck.

And Estellemac, thank you for the best laugh I've had in a long time.

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It is ESA contribution based. PIP is safe till October 2018. I was told to make a claim through UC first. They asked for all my personal financial info which has no bearing on a contributions based claim but there was no one trained on the process who could actually process it. Took 4 interviews and a lot of stress. Finally I cancelled my UC claim and they sorted it. Problem was as a couple my husband had to register too.

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I have been pipped. From indefinite to 2020. Very stressful but sorted relatively quickly. On Esa contrib and waiting for UC. Esa took 7 copies of papers and 5 visits. My brain fogs completely when I see the forms.

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From experience consider ALL questions to be about your worst possible day. If you are like me I can wake up any day and not be able to walk 5 yds. This advice was given to me by my best friend who worked on appeal panels for years. Her job was to dig drs in ribs and advise compassion during panels. Sadly retired and system changed but advice still holds.

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