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Brilliant! A Triple Whammy Red Letter Week!

On Wednesday this week, summer arrived in this tiny hamlet that nestles between the Haute Vienne (87) and the Creuse (23). By lunch time, the clear blue skies were twinned with wall-to-wall sunshine – and the temperature was already at 30°C, plus some! The end of winter 2012/2013 has been a long time coming. Result!

The post-lady arrived with Tom’s health cover Attestation. Despite the CPAM clerk insisting that Tom was required to have his translated birth certificate verified; Tom and our good friend, Kay, insisted that verification is not a legal requirement. Kay had accompanied Tom to the CPAM office in Bellac, she speaks fluent French, and they were armed with the details of the law that confirms no verification is necessary. Obviously, the CPAM assessment team took the facts on board. Result!

As Tom was opening his CPAM envelope, I was opening a hefty parcel with ‘European Court Of Human Rights’ clearly printed on the top, left hand corner. Yes, the parcel contained our house Case file. Result!

Well, each document is a copy of the original. That’s fine, the fact that the ECHR is still holding on to the originals indicates the Court is taking seriously our declaration that we are making formal application to the EUJ, Luxembourg, as we have been advised to do. I will finish checking through the contents of the parcel during this coming weekend and it will be sent to the EUJ on Monday morning.

All afternoon, the menfolk and I were grinning like the proverbial Cheshire Cat! Even the late afternoon appearance of rollicking, growling thunderstorms, clattering, battering hail and bucketing rain did not remove those wide smiles.

We felt and still feel a tad rejuvenated!

Our lovely friend, Cathy, who works and lives in Champagnac (15), just three doors away from our house that’s not a home, was absolutely correct, jumping up and down as her countrymen and women do has worked a treat! Thank you so much, Cathy, I only wish we had left British, stiff-upper-lip dignity behind and had taken up the French stance a few years ago. But, this is no time for regret, it is time to continue moving forward – it is, after all, our very last chance to obtain that elusive outcome that my menfolk and I set out to find six years ago, justice.

In the meantime, if the DWP International office staff members in Newcastle see their bureaucratic way forward to ensuring my (very late) pension is paid to me in full early next week, Tom and I will be en route to Champagnac next Sunday, 16 June 2013. We have a lot to do, re-packing and getting the property ready to sell.

It is very doubtful that Monsieur C will consider moving out of our ‘home’ (a loose term!), although, he has told us several times that he ‘…could move tomorrow. I have nothing against you and your family, I have a problem with Madame T and I want to see her found guilty of fraud.’ That just is not going to happen, Monsieur C, much is the pity. However, let’s see if you offer to quit our ‘home’ (that loose term again!) when we tell you face to face that Madame T will not be made to atone for the fraud she committed against us in July 2007.

Would anyone like to place a bet on whether or not Monsieur C will now quit our ‘home’ (that loose term yet again, so very boring!)? Buttons or matchsticks only, I’m afraid, the DWP has left me rather short of euros! Bless their little cotton socks, they must be trying to encourage us to save during these difficult times that are seemingly governed by austerity!

Oh la la!

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Posted by on June 8, 2013 in World

 

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Pension? What Pension?

Against a fair few odds, I think, family and I had watched my 60th birthday roll in at the beginning of October 2009. Obviously, it was a low key celebration, and, to be honest, having received no birthday cards from family in the UK – a parcel of cards was en route from Champagnac, but it didn’t arrive until several days after my birthday – I was feeling rather quiet. Tom and I had also celebrated our Silver Wedding Anniversary just days before. 2009 will forever be known by us as the celebrations year that wasn’t!

However, by March 2010, I was still not receiving my pensions, and the rest of our savings were gushing away like water out of a broken pipe! I had applied for my pensions in June 2009. Not receiving any acknowledgement by August 2009, as I had requested, I wrote to enquire if that large brown envelope had arrived. I heard nothing, so I telephoned Newcastle. The large brown envelope had not been received! “Complete it on-line.” advised the very pleasant lass on the other end of the phone. I tried three times using the on-line service, without success, my application just wasn’t accepted, so I downloaded the documents and tried again. It was fortunate that I had an extra copy each of my Birth Certificate and Tom’s and my Marriage Certificate.

By the end of October 2009, I still had not received acknowledgement, so I telephoned Newcastle yet again and spoke with another pleasant lass. Once more, I was advised that the large brown envelope had not arrived. I then had to wait for more copies of Birth Certificate and Marriage Certificate, before I could re-apply for my pensions.

At the end of January 2010, Tom physically took the next big brown envelope filled with documents to a JobCentre Plus near his youngest brother’s home in London! Incredibly, when I telephoned towards the end of March, having not received an acknowledgement, a very pleasant lass advised me that my pensions application, and formal documents, had indeed arrived on her desk, but they had then “been misplaced.”!

By that time, I was feeling rather upset by the fiasco, and I contacted the office of (then) MEP Caroline Lucas. Her PA was horrified and told me she would pass all details to Caroline within 24 hours – Caroline Lucas was, at that time, preparing to represent the Green Party at the forthcoming General Election, and she was only days away from stepping down as an MEP in order to become an MP/Leader of the Green Party for England and Wales. I have never voted for the Green Party, yet, Caroline Lucas took up the fight for my pensions – and, whether the threat alone was enough, I don’t know, but Newcastle went into overdrive and I received my pensions backlog within days! Touch wood, my pensions have continued to arrive in the UK bank account every four weeks since then. But, it was a very close shave!

At this point, I would just like to acknowledge the unconditional help, support and kindness of two close friends, ie Diane and Natalie; without them, food and medication would have been very scarce during two weeks, specifically! The words, ‘thank you’, are never enough, but those two little words come from the hearts of family and me.

Buoyed up and in fighting mode, I emailed our avocat, Alexandra, and I asked her if she would please ‘look over’ our application to the European Court of Human Rights, before I posted it to Strasbourg. By the beginning of June, we had not received a response, and we never did receive a response! I posted the application.

A few days later, we received a brief notice from the ECHR, Strasbourg, to say our application had been filed at the Court on 10th June 2010, Tom’s 64th birthday.

 

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