Just another guide I wrote for dual citizens:
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Another advisory: Documenting intervening devotion for family visas. Basically, how do you prove to UKBA that you’re still a real couple even if you’ve been in an LDR.
A couple of weeks ago, the duke and I trundled off to a nearby NCS (Nationality Checking Service–and we used one for another borough because the wait list for ours was horrible) and submitted
our my application for citizenship. Why do I always think of this as collective? Yes, the duke has been by my side faithfully through the process, but in the end it’s my application, and if I fail at it, it won’t be because of anything the duke did or didn’t do. It’s a gift he’s given me by accident of birth and work towards that goal, but ultimately, it’s my application.
So, we went with a tonne of paperwork. Well, really, not as much as we’ve had at other times. The worker photocopied and certified our documents, took our payment, and sent us on our way. The whole thing took about 15 minutes, but I imagine that is because we were prepared and had everything in order.
I don’t know why I am in the least bit nervous, but it feels so final and important. It is indeed a huge thing. If I am successful in my application and am invited to a citizenship ceremony, I will be agreeing to take part in British society in the fullest. I will carry a passport that also declares that I am a citizen of the EU as well. It seems too good to be true. Not to have to worry about immigration issues with my husband again (unless we choose to move to the States, which I don’t really see happening). I think more than anything that is what makes me the most nervous about all this. After so long we will finally have citizenship to the same country.
To lighten my mood, I watch this video:
Starting at 1:09, I have to laugh. It’s not a laugh from ridicule, but a laugh because even as a native English speaker, I will probably end up flubbing something up because of nerves.
I can only hope I will have the chance to make such a slip.
So we’ve been
horse dog sitting a friend’s greyhound lab mix during her visit to the States. I grew up as a dog owner, so it’s nothing new to me, but the duke has never owned a dog, let alone one that takes up half the living room floor when it naps.
For those of you who have never lived in London, it’s not easy being a pet owner here, at least as a renter. So we’ve put off getting a dog, even though I miss having one and the duke dreams of running off and studying wolves. We were looking forward to having a “borrowed” dog, but I can’t say I will shed a tear when he goes. Why? I think I have become a cat person. Or maybe I was never a big dog person (we always had medium, sane sized dogs). That’s not to say that he’s been a burden (it’s actually been a lot of fun), but I will be glad not to have to hoover every day, emptying the canister twice during the process.
I guess the years without a dog made me forget about smelly bum breath, the farts (clue to when you’re about to be assaulted by the reek: the dog gets up and moves really quickly to the other side of the room), the hair, the neediness… The duke has said that if we ever get a dog, we will definitely get a smaller model. There is something about having a family member that adores and respects you in a way no cat would ever lower him or herself to, though.
Maybe the best bit was when on the first weekend we had him, I awoke to find the duke lecturing our doggy guest on how he needn’t bark every time anyone came near the house, and explaining that the weekends were the time for the duke to catch up on his kip. Honestly, the dog didn’t bark much after the lecture. A runner up has to be my ten pound cat pushing this massive black dog out of the way at meal times.
So at the end of the week, we return to our status of confirmed cat people, at least for the time being. I predict that I will have finally hoovered up the last of the dog hair sometime this summer.
EDIT: I was wrong. I do miss him! Dogs are great. Although it’s nice to have my cat back to his more dog-cat behaviour (he was acting pure cat during the dog visit), I think I am much more open to a dog in the near future. I have thought about him a lot in the past few hours!
…I don’t know what we’ll do.
The Duke got the electric/gas bill, and we’re above their estimate. So that means we have to run the boiler less often. We barely run it now. The only thing I think we can do would be to actually sell the ambient heat back to the company, but I don’t think it works that way.
So I am not running the boiler during the day today. And we’re cutting down on the use of our dehumidifier. The Duke hasn’t asked me to do this, but I feel guilty. Both bills are quarterly and they were off by about a month’s usage. I am going to stock up on candles and use them to read and write during the day when England’s gloomy winter days make it impossible to see. The side bonus is that I can warm my hands by them and the open flame might help dry things out. It sounds like a joke, but I am really close to doing it.
Or we could just say screw it. It’s not like we go on holiday. Don’t bother shutting off all the lights and standby settings (which we do for the most part). If this is what the bills look like when we’re being all green and careful, it feels like we shouldn’t bother.
Gah, I can’t believe I am worried about this stuff. I guess this makes me a grown up. I am a pair of aviator specs away from being my dad of my childhood with his “this place is light up like a damn Christmas tree.”
We did absolutely nothing over Mr Moggs’ holiday other than sit around, eat, bloat up, and play video games. Oh, we did the obligatory holiday visits and had friends around for New Years, but for the most part, it was a bit pathetic. I’ve started to have the most horrible nightmares, probably from playing too many violent games. We should have been reading, travelling, going for walks, hell, even going to the pub and meeting our neighbours, but I was in the Mojave shooting the heads off feral ghouls whilst my arse expanded as I sat and ate Quality Street.
Obviously, one of my resolutions is to go back on my diet (third day, rah rah). The other, a bit of a late one, is to not fire up the PS3 so much.