The next morning I got the children washed,dressed and breakfast then off to school. We couldn’t believe how much snow there was it was about a foot deep ,of course they loved it but I had to go down town and the crossing lady said they had stopped running the buses as they couldn’t get up the hill.
I went to the phone box first to ring the contact that was on the eviction notice and of course she wasn’t in until Tuesday. The lady I spoke to said she could book me in to see her tomorrow at 9.15am. and that was at the Gadebridge Office which was handy for me. My next job was to try and sort out some money I had no idea where to go. It took me ages walking down town and I was exhausted. I saw a building that I thought was the place I needed and went in. I explained what had happened and she said I needed the town hall and this was the probation service. I thanked her and trudged on. Again I explained to the receptionist what had happened and she said I needed to see a childrens officer but I had no idea why and quite honestly I was to exhausted to care.
The childrens officer came and again I explained my ignorance as to where I should be going and said my husband had left me with £5 and I had three children and I needed to sort out some kind of help. She totally misconstrued what I was on about or maybe it was me as I was beginning to get upset. She started to sympathise with my situation and for me that was fatal any sympathy and I was in tears. She said did I think I could cope, as they could help me and I suddenly realised she meant care. I said I was fine although I know I wasn’t acting fine. I just needed to know where I had to go to sort out my money situation.
By this time she realised I was at the wrong place and I think she felt sorry for and said she would dial the number for me and I could arrange to see someone about money. This I did and was told someone would visit me on Wednesday at 11am. Unfortunately I had inadvertently now involved the social services and said they would have to come and make a visit at a later date to see how I was coping. I said this wasn’t necessary but there was no choice.
I had a long difficult walk home now in a foot of snow and all up hill. I was exhausted just thinking about it and I had to rush to pick up the twins from nursery. It took me an hour to get home one step forward and two steps back.
I picked up the twins and they asked if Daddy was home, I said no and that was that. I couldn’t believe it they went straight upstairs and I asked what they were doing and in unison they said they were tidying there bedroom. We were going to be alright with kids like that I had enough incentive to do my bit with force.
My next job was to inform the car loan people and gas and electric of Mikes new address he could take care of the bills that accrued while he was here. I also had the gas and electric from that date transferred to my name. I was going to inform everyone, if he thought he would get out of paying his debts he had another think coming.
I somehow got though the day, with no problem about changing the utilities to my name and they said they would pursue Mike for the outstanding bills and that nothing would be cut off. My main worry was the meeting I had tomorrow at the council. I rehearsed everything I would say and made notes as I would forget half the things.
I knew Mike would not be happy about me passing on Junes address but I had to protect myself and the kids. I had rung Junes this morning but Mike would not speak to me.
I went and picked up Sheila and Stephen from nursery and we had lunch and I realised there was such a change in them, even after a couple of days, especially Sheila she was hardly stuttering and was so happy and relaxed.
Next to come home was Lesley she was now coming home on her own ,well with her friend Kim who lived across the road from us. She was eight in 4 weeks and the twins were five and after the Easter would start proper school full time.
We all sat at the table Lesley had a sandwich and I had a cup of tea the twins just had some biscuits and a drink and they talked about their day at school and nursery. Then Lesley said had I noticed that Sheila was not stuttering I said I had and she said I think its because Dads not here. I said maybe it was the speech therapy that was starting to work but I knew she was right it was Mikes absence. Everyone was happier. What a sad indictment.
The next morning came I took the children to school and then went on to the council offices. I was really scared the outcome could be horrific. My Mum and Dad said we could go and stay with them if the worst came to the worst but I hoped something would turn up.
I went in to see the lady in charge of the housing a Mrs Smith she was very nice and asked me to take a seat. She had all our details in front of her and I said if the eviction order could be withdrawn I would do my very best to pay off the arrears. I told her I had no idea that we were in such dire straits until Mike left us during the night and kindly left me all the correspondence.
I said I had found out he was staying with his sister but that he would not speak to me. I also told her I had changed everything into my name as of the day he left and was in the process of sorting out Social Services as he had left me just £5.
She said please take a breath , I have decided, on what you have just told me that the eviction order will stand. At this point I broke down, I could see me and the kids homeless . She said I had not let her finish The eviction order would stand for Mike, if I gave her his address she would forward it on to him. That meant the tenancy would be transferred to me and I would start from scratch. Mike would have to pay off the arrears and any decorating that may have to be done. I would be treated as a new tenant. They would have to do an inspection to see what other charges they could pass on to Mike.
I explained that a person from Social Services was coming to my house tomorrow at 11.00am to arrange everything but until that was sorted out I was not in a position to pay the rent. She said Mikes tenancy would not expire until about 25th March therefore I would not take over the tenancy until 2nd April. This was excellent news I could relax now. I thanked Mrs Smith,she could not have been nicer and more understanding of the situation. From what I gathered they had been trying to contact Mike for months to warn him that if he didn’t co-operate that we would be evicted but he had ignored all correspondence.
She also said that Social Services usually paid the rent direct to the council so I wouldn’t have to worry about that.
I said that I would not let her down, I had been so worried coming here this morning . She said she knew I wouldn’t let her down , she prided herself on being a good judge of character. Also if I had any problem or concerns to get in touch with her straight away. She wished us all the best, said a letter would be in the post for me explaining everything and to arrange a home visit to finalise Mikes tenancy
I would also get a letter offering me the tenancy which I would have to sign and return. I thanked her again and went out with a much lighter spring in my step. The world was beginning to look a lot better for me and the kids. I don’t know about Mike he was going to be crippled with debt but whose fault was that. My saying again, you reap what you sow. Ignorance is no form of defense. I would ring June tonight and try to speak to Mike again and pass on the good news that I had done him up like kipper.
Also he shouldn’t worry as the kids would have a roof over their heads no thanks to him. As if it worried him. He couldn’t careless. The single life this is what he wanted. In my book he is the loser the kids and I were the winners. He had nothing but the clothes he could get in the case and what he stood up in. I hoped he would visit the kids but I really didn’t think he would, maybe Christmas. It would be interesting to see what would happen on their birthdays just a few weeks away 23rd and 24th March.
I went home it would be time to pick up the twins soon. Just time for a cup of tea and to survey my domain. There was a letter for me, it looked as though it was from Mikes Mum , it was . It was a really nice letter apologising for her sons behaviour and said if it was ok she would come and see us on Sunday. She had also enclosed £20 which she said she really wanted me to have and also to treat the children. She said don’t be too proud to accept she knew what I was like. June had told her I had refused money from her but that was different. I would accept this because I knew she had sent it for the right reasons.
I prepared the kids lunch and then went to meet them. They said they had had a really good day. I told them that we wouldn’t have to leave our house as I had been able to sort things out. So we could now get back to normal. I could see the relief on there faces and we had a big hug the three of us.
There was a knock at the door and it was someone from the loan people where Mike had got the second car, they wanted to speak to him I said he had left last Saturday. I said I could give them his new address if they wanted me to .They said that would be very handy and he said this with a wry grin on his face. I think he thought, she is enjoying this …and he was correct. He asked if he had taken the car I said I assumed so as I didn’t see him leave but hadn’t seen the car parked outside.
That had been the only people I hadn’t been in touch with because Mike had left no paperwork for them.