I gathered all the necessary documents in advance of the marathon phone call I apparently had to make to sign on: mortgage details, P45 etc.
Jocasta was making her debut at playgroup. I sat on a toddler chair for half an hour to ease her in and to complete all the paperwork. Jocasta’s keyworker was kind enough to help me out of the toddler chair. I sneaked out with a ‘call me with any problems’ gesture and headed home to my landline. What better use of my tiny window of free time could there be than answering a series of inane questions about my employment history and personal circumstances. It was beginning to feel like too many hoops to jump through to achieve a discounted rate at the local pool. I clearly would not be entitled to any actual money, on account of Maude’s proper job.
The questions were all pretty predictable: when did you last work? Who lives with you? Do you have dependants etc…
I was then struck by a question in the section on physical wellbeing and ‘care':
‘Does anyone care for you on a regular basis?’
I paused a little and gave an answer that probably didn’t compute:
‘I do like to think so.’