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Showing posts from March, 2011

2nd Opinion

Last night Ben sent an email to another immigration lawyer for an impartial look at our situation and what possibilities there are regarding our future here. I was given the name of this lawyer by someone I met in the kids school. I was in the office waiting to sign in for a volunteer stint and got chatting to someone who knew a lawyer and gave me her details. Now we have to wait for a response. We are going for this 2nd opinion because we want to speak to someone who has no ties to the company Ben works for. We are not expecting totally different views or be told that there will be no problems at all gaining PR status but we need to ask them what they think anyway.

UK Trip. Day 8. Wedding Day!

Today was the wedding of my little brother David to Sara. They have requested that  no photographs of them be posted on social networking sites until they have had a chance to see the official photographs once they get back from honeymoon in 2 weeks. I know this is not a social networking site but I am going to wait before posting any pictures of them. I will post a picture of them in 2 weeks but believe me when I say the wait is worth it!

The wedding was wonderful and both bride and groom looked fabulous. The meal that followed was also lovely and we all had a great day. Z and K did their roles as page boy and flower girl very well and both looked great in their wedding outfits. K and I had both gone to get our hair and make up done in the morning. I did wear my ridiculous shoes but had to take them off on several occasions as they were very high and I am much more suited to flat shoes or barefoot! Ben and I walked from the church along to the restaurant with David and Sara and I spen…

UK Trip. Day 7.

I decided to be a tourist for part of the day. I met a friend I went to school with for lunch before wandering around Princes Street and taking photographs of landmarks. It wasn't until I left Edinburgh that I appreciated the architecture and beauty that there is to look at in the City Center. It was Ben who pointed out the size of the bricks used to build things in the city.

In the evening I met with some more friends that I went to Tynecastle High School with and had not seen since about 1994! I had been a bit nervous before going out to meet them and I had to remind myself that I was a grown up and school was a long time ago so any anxiety I had about meeting them was ridiculous!

Tomorrow is the wedding of my little brother and Sara.

UK Trip. Day 6.

Day 6 of our trip in the UK was mainly spent travelling up the motorway from Northampton to Edinburgh.

We briefly stopped in Bolton to see some of Ben's family before continuing on to Scotland.

We went round to my brother and Sara's new flat and had some dinner with them before finally getting to bed at about 11pm. We had left Northampton at about 9.30am and it was a quite long day but we still woke at stupid o'clock in the morning on Wednesday!


Today is the day my little brother David is getting married! Tomorrow is the wedding reception.

Congratulations to David and Sara!

Here's a pic of me and my 'wee brother' from a couple years ago. I don't have any of him and my new sister-in-law. That will be remedied as I am going to take LOTS of pictures from the wedding and our stay in Edinburgh.

[This was a scheduled post]

UK Trip. Day 5.

Plans often go awry. I had planned on going to the Borough Council to hand in the forms to enable me to vote from abroad. However, after a call to NBC (Northampton Borough Council not the TV network!), I had to cancel those plans. On the forms for registering to get a postal vote from abroad, it says you need a witness to sign the form. As I would be handing the form in to them in person, I thought I could bypass that. But the guy at the Council told me that I would need to get it signed and it needs to be done by someone who lives abroad, is a UK citizen and has a UK passport. If you cannot find someone to witness your form who meets ALL 3 requirements then you are stuffed and cannot vote from abroad! Luckily I do know British citizens who have British passports so when we get back to Indiana I’ll be asking one of them to help me.
I did take K into town and we got her some things for her birthday from her grandparents. We did tell her though that she would have to wait until it actual…

UK Trip. Day 4.

Sunday brought me another pub lunch. We went to the Toby Inn for a Sunday lunch as it was Ben’s dads birthday celebration. (His birthday is the same day as my brother’s wedding so we brought the festivities forward)
The kids, and grownups, had their plates piled high with food and we all had desserts that we probably wouldn’t normally have. Z had been going on about having a Sunday for about 2 or 3 weeks before we flew over so when he got his hands on the menu and looked at the dessert options he knew exactly what he wanted to have.
After a very filling meal we took the kids for a run around the park to burn off some of the food. We had their old scooter and go cart car with us so they didn’t have to walk a really long way. We also stopped off to look at the birds in the aviary before heading back to the house for a sit down and a rest before having some birthday cake.
On Monday Ben is due to be meeting up with some friends he used to work with and I am taking K into town to chose some b…

UK Trip. Day 3.

As we are here for the wedding of my brother, and it is a Scottish wedding, it is necessary that Z get fitted for a kilt. Unfortunately due to time constraints we can't wait until we are in Edinburgh for him to get measured for a kilt. So, we decided to drag the poor boy into Northampton town center and get him measured at Debenhams and then call my mum with the measurements and sizes he would need for everything so my sister in law to be, Sara, could order his kilt. I am not totally sure if Z realizes what he is going to be wearing but he has seen his dad wearing a kilt so it won't be a total shock!

On Saturday morning, Ben took K out with him to meet a friend he hasn't seen since they were at school together, and I took Z into town to get his measured. The first stop for us though was Greggs and we got a sausage roll each and a donut. I had not had a sausage roll from there for about 2 years so it was really good to have one again.

I dragged Z into Debenhams and we spent…

UK Trip. Day 2.

So, after about 14 hours of sleep I ventured out to meet a friend for lunch at a pub in Northampton town center. We went to The Eastgate (formerly Lloyds) on Abington Street. I had a chicken burger and chips. Good pub chips. I even had malt vinegar on them too. Very yummy.

I wandered around the town center for a while after lunch and had a look in  the shops. I saw some of the lions that have appeared in Northampton. Overall not a lot seems to have changed. It looks like time has stood still and all the same shops are there and the ones that were closed before are still closed. Although a Tescos Express is opening where Woolworths used to be on Abington Street and a rather odd little water feature/fountain type thing has appeared next to the Market Square. I bought a couple packets of Cadbury Buttons and a Dairy Milk bar but have been strong willed so far and not eaten them....yet. To be honest I am still stuffed from the burger and chips and don't even feel hungry for dinner yet.…

UK Trip. Day 1

The kids were going to school on the day we travelled to the UK. The plan was to get up and have breakfast together before the kids went to school and then I’d pick them up from school just before their lunchtime of 10.15am (yes I know it is weird to have lunch at 10am!) and then drive to the airport. However, our alarm didn’t go off and we woke up, rather suddenly as K got into bed next to me, at 7.52am. The kids school bus picks them up at 7.52am and school starts at 8am! Cue mad dash to get them dressed and me driving them to school. No time for breakfast or anything. I pull up outside school and dropped them off. I then spent the next 2 and a bit hours making sure we had everything we needed for our trip. Ben is much better at packing than I am as he has better spatial awareness. Our flight to Indianapolis was due to leave at 4.11pm with a connection at Newark at 6.40pm and arriving at Heathrow at 6.20am the following morning. When we got to check in the woman on the desk told us sh…

Leaving on a Jet Plane

First we go from Indianapolis International Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport

And then we go from Newark to Heathrow Airport.

I am going to be flying back to the UK with Ben and the kids. Luckily the kids like being on planes and really enjoy using the restroom on the plane! As it is a night flight I hope we will be able to get some sleep. I have real problems sleeping on planes though. I am aware that I snore and I can't sleep sitting upright. I need to be lying down to sleep. I think after about 8 or 9 hours on a plane I am going to be a bit irritable when we arrive in London!

After flying across the Atlantic, and probably not in the best of moods, I will then have to drive (actually Ben is doing the driving) from London up the M1 to my in-laws house in Northampton. A few days later we get to drive up the M6, via Bolton where we will see more of Ben's family, to see my family in Edinburgh for my brothers wedding. The wedding reception is on a Friday and at stup…

Travelling Soon.

This week we are flying back to the UK for the wedding of my little brother. We will be seeing Ben's family first and then driving up to Scotland for the wedding next week before returning to Indiana.

It's been almost 17 months since we left the UK and we've been settling into our lives here in the US.

When we get off the plane we are going to be really tired and I'm probably going to be really irritable as we are getting an overnight flight. I can't really sleep well on a plane as I prefer to be lying down to sleep. Plus I am aware I snore (sometimes very loudly) and that will probably stop me from really settling down to sleep.

17 months is not a really long time but I am sure that there will have been lots of changes. Both changes in the UK and changes with us.

We've gotten used to certain things that we probably take for granted now. Things like quick service in restaurants, bigger cars and cheaper gas/petrol (currently it is quite high and is about $3.50 a …

Old Country V New Country

This post is not going to be about how the UK is better than the US or vice versa. It is about something that has been bothering me for some time now. When we were still living in the UK there was a lot of stuff in the media about the number of immigrants arriving in the UK and the fact they were not adapting to the new culture. They were staying with the culture of their old country even if it meant not blending in with the new country and customs. There were complaints about people not learning the language and the amount of things being done to adapt to them rather than the other way around. I saw complaints in the media about the fact some councils were 'banning Christmas' so they would not 'offend' people who were not Christian and would be 'more inclusive'. British born people complaining that people coming to 'their country' and not trying to be more British. There were also complaints about councils doing more to help 'foreigners' than B…