Naturalisation and a long overdue update

So it turns out that I have now officially been in the country for 10 years. I thought I had come in September 2005, but after going through some paperwork it appears that I didn’t come until early October.

And why does this matter? Because I am applying for British Naturalisation. Being European AND being married to a British citizen, I only have to prove my residence for the last 5 years, but in the paperwork they ask you to go back as far as 10 years (or since entrance in the country).

My husband’s family believe that the UK is going to vote to leave the EU in the referendum next year, and they think that I may be in some sort of trouble (no idea what, but it’s better not to argue with them). So they have funded the whole process (which is not cheap at all) and here I am, filling in forms, gathering paperwork and photocopying things.

It is actually a very straight forward process and if you’ve been in the country legally for the last 5 years, working and being a good citizen, it should be no problem to get it. You need to list all your jobs and addresses for the last 5 years, prove that you were actually working here (P60s, letters from employers, etc), demonstrate your level of English by doing a Life in the UK test and a speaking exam (which I haven’t done since I have a BA (Hons) degree from the University of Portsmouth). You also need two referees who have known you for more than three years and one of them has to be a person of certain standing (like a doctor, lawyer, etc. I’ve gone for a local councillor)

I have just finished filling in the form, I only need a couple of photocopies and then next month I have an appointment with the “Nationality Checking Service“, where they check your application form and certify the originals against the photocopies before sending all the paperwork to the Home Office. And then, time to wait, I suppose…

Once they grant me the naturalisation (well, I hope they do!) then I can apply for a British Passport. Remember a few years ago, before I got married, I was wondering whether to change my name or not? Well, now would be the perfect time to officially change my surname if that’s what I wanted to do. However, I found my peace with my name as it is and I don’t think I’ll ever change it now.


In other updates, life with the twins is always a challenge. They are growing so quickly that you don’t have time to sit down and just watch them develop. If you blink, you miss it! They still go to nursery three days a week, and on Wednesdays my in-laws come to visit them, so that gives me almost a day where I can do my own stuff undisturbed. Yesterday, for example, I left the house at 9:30 and didn’t return until 4 in the afternoon! It was a first, I tell you.

I still enjoy crafting as much as I did when I started 5 years ago. But I won’t talk about this right now, as I have another blog entry in mind to talk about crafts and scrapbooking.


First it was Grey’s Anatomy, then Brothers & Sisters, and now Nashville… I am hooked and somehow in love with Nashville (the TV series, that is)

I like having a series that is just for me and I don’t have to share with Jon. There are already quite a few shows that we watch together, so it is handy to have something to watch if one night he’s geeking upstairs or goes out with his friends.

The problem is that I don’t have a very patient nature and I will want to watch two or three episodes in one go. That’s how I “consumed” 10 seasons of Grey’s in a few months and “devoured” all of Brothers and Sisters in just a few weeks. And now I find myself watching Nashville every time I’ve got 40 minutes to spare…

Nashville is great in so many ways, but what has surprised me the most is the quality of the music. Every song is so good by its own merits and some of them are really hypnotic. The actors are the singers and I would have never guessed they could sing so well! 

I’m only halfway through season 2 and I still have another season to go. But for now these are my top three favourite songs:

If I didn’t know better
Fade into you
Nothing in this world (a few season 1 spoilers in this video)
And a very special guilty pleasure from these two gorgeous girls 😉

Ho Hey

This week in my newsfeed… not.

A few weeks back I had this brilliant idea, where I would take screenshots of stuff happening in my Facebook newsfeed and then I would comment them here. You see, I am painfully aware of how abandoned this blog has been in the last few months and I wanted to create something easy for me to keep up with.

So I would comment on things that caught my eye, pieces of news, articles shared or even stuff from groups. Things that I wouldn’t necessarily want to talk about on Facebook, but I still had to leave my two pence somewhere. And what better place than here?

However, due to a couple of reasons that I am not going to explain here, two weeks ago I decided to deactivate my Facebook account. And trust me, I have never felt so liberated in my life. I won’t lie, the first few days were hard. My finger kept hovering over the Facebook icon in my iPhone, and I had a couple of urges to come back. However, I persevered and now it’s been two weeks without this addiction.

Because I have no shame in admitting that I was addicted to it. All day every day I was connected and checking it. Unfortunately, in the last few weeks I had become more and more tired of its uselessness and “fakeness”. Yes, it’s true that I miss certain online contact with certain people, and I know I may be missing on a lot from people that I care about, but the freedom from all the crap and addiction makes it all so much better.

I will probably come back some day soon, but I will make a point of limiting my access and keeping things much more personal, by deleting people that don’t offer anything to me or people that are not really my friends. Silly how one can be pressured into accepting friends requests from people that you don’t really know.

So maybe then, when I go back, I will start my “This week in my newsfeed” series on the blog.

Untill then, be happy.

Teen crush

Between the ages of 13 and 15 I had my first crush. My first adolescent love. It was platonic, since he was never interested in me, but I loved him like only a teenage girl can love a teenage boy.

He was two years older than me but he had a sister of my age. We were all part of the same “gang” and went everywhere together. We were very good friends, and despite the fact that he knew that I was crazy about him, that never affected our friendship.

His father moved jobs or something like that and the whole family moved to a different town. That, at the age of 15, is like dying. Well, it was for me. I remember crying and crying and crying. Desperately. Thinking that my life would never be the same, I would never fall in love again, etc. (oh my, I’m not looking forward to my daughter’s teenage years!)

Well, the thing is that I have always kept a very warm memory of him. At the end of the day he was the base of the type of guy that I would look for in the following years. I wanted… no, hang on… I needed a guy who would look like him, behave like him, be him. I can’t believe it’s been 20 years, and in this time my memory of him has not changed much. In my head, he is still 16 or 17 years old, wears shorts and vans shoes, skates and writes raps with his best friend Ivan.

There’s this scene in Friends when David (scientist guy) returns from Minsk and sees Phoebe, and he says something along the lines of “you know when you haven’t seen someone in a while and you build them up in your head, and you think nobody is that good looking, but you are”. Well, the opposite just happened to me.

I confess that I have googled his name in the hope to find out a bit about him a couple of times before, but I have been quite unsuccessful in the past. He has got quite an unusual name, so any results on the search are always him. But I don’t find much! I was able to learn that he has collaborated with other people on projects related to learning English as a second language, but not much more.

However, this last time I was a bit more fortunate. I decided to just google his surnames without the first name, and the results found the facebook page of one of his sisters. Luckily for me, she had a family pic as cover photo, and finally, 20 years later, there he was.

And. What. A. Shock.

The years have not been kind to him. Despite the photo being from a family event where everyone looked happy, he looked tired, worn, bored even! Now I kind of regret having looked for him. I think I should have kept the image of that good looking and funny skater that I fell in love with when I was 13 years old.

I have no doubt that he is happy, if I remember correctly he was the kind of guy with a positive outlook on life. Even when he had to move towns and leave all his friends behind, he was super strong and pragmatic about it. But no doubt he is not the same person that I fell in love with. Like I am not the same person that I was 20 years ago. But yeah, he looks so miserable in that photo…

A very important lesson has been learnt. Leave the past in the past.

I have a dream

Hollywood films have a lot to answer for. They have been bombarding us with the image of the perfect happy family for so long, that a simple look to our plain and regular lot makes us feel disappointed.

Still, I think it can be done, especially at crucial times like Christmas.

And I have a dream.

My dream consist of a big living room / dining room, with a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, surrounded by perfectly wrapped presents and other gorgeous decorations. The house smells of cinnamon and cleanliness. Everybody is dressed up but without looking over the top. The children are running around and playing nicely. Everybody is mingling and having politics-and-religious-free conversations. The food, which looks straight out of an M&S advert, is served right on time, nothing is burnt, or undercooked, and everybody loves everything. There aren’t any fussy or picky eaters and even the traditional Christmas pudding (which I don’t personally like) is a success. After the meal more merriment, with singing and a bit of entertainment from the kids, who have been rehearsing a little play for the last couple of weeks. We open presents, more oh!s and ah!s, more easy flowing conversation. A few anecdotes from the elders of the family, the same anecdotes that we have heard again and again before, but make us laugh every time. Everybody chips in with the tidying up and then they all leave without much fuss, leaving me time to sit down by the fireplace with a glass of Baileys in my hand, looking out of the window to the freshly laid snow and relive the best moments of the day.

That is my white Christmas dream. I’ll let you all know if it comes true one day :)

The Cheekiest of Chicas