All posts by marialachica

General Election 2017

It’s funny that I don’t update this blog very often at all and that the last time I did was about Brexit. Waking up to Brexit last year was one of the biggest shocks of my life (probably only surpassed by Trump winning the election in the US) and I’ve got this dodgy feeling in my belly that the results after tomorrow’s snap general election are going to be another nasty shock.

The impact of the results on Friday is going to be huge. Sadly, once again, we are looking at two main parties, knowing that the smaller ones have no chance of winning. Which is such a shame, as I would love the Greens to get in power. Caroline Lucas is one of the most principled and honest politicians I have ever seen, her integrity still intact! The Lib Dems would also have my vote, however I do not find their leader compelling at all.

So it is red or blue. The long-standing bipartisan battle.

From my local point of view, the Tories have a stronghold here in Basingstoke and getting rid of them is going to be hard. However, I have hope that people have started opening their eyes and are going to take a stand against the hateful policies that the tories are pushing in their manifesto.

The tories are calling for more austerity, which is proven to not work. This means more cuts to basic services like education, health and care. The recent terrorist attacks have also shown the true colours of the current PM, and we’ve got a glimpse of the type of dictator that she wants to become. People have been drawing comparisons between her and Erdogan of Turkey and the similarities are bloodcurling. This is a PM who has pissed off everyone in Europe by being a “difficult woman” on purpose. And that’s the important stuff. Then there’s also “little” things, like bringing back fox hunting, selling arms to the Saudis or the fact that their bloody manifesto is not even costed or she won’t turn up to TV debates.

And on the other side we have Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party. Corbyn, for some unknown reason to me, has got many enemies. Not only in the big fat dudes in the top 5% who are going to be taxed shitless, but also in your average voter who has been fed propaganda about him in the last few years. Unfortunately, members of his own party did not want him either and tried a coup which didn’t work, but this put lots of doubts in people’s minds. “He’s not a leader – he can’t even lead his own party”, you hear people say. But there is a reason why he was not liked by even his own party members, and that is because he is one of the closest things that you can get to an honest politician and the establishment was shitting themselves scared. 

As I said earlier, Basingstoke is a Tory stronghold and the chances of the newly-selected Labour candidate being chosen as the winner are close to none. However, I am going to vote tactically. Voting Green or Lib Dem in Basinstoke is wasting the vote. Voting Labour won’t make much difference either, but if Labour are going to lose overall, at least I want to have put their total vote number up, even if just by one. Anything to hurt the tories.

Brexit

No he escrito desde hace mucho tiempo, pero en un día tan señalado como hoy, me estoy atreviendo a hacerlo. Y encima en español, ole mi coño, porque yo lo valgo.

No, ahora en serio. El motivo por el que estoy escribiendo este post en español es porque tengo un serio dolor de cabeza ahora mismo y sinceramente no me apetece nada tener que pensar en la lengua de Shakespeare.

El caso es que hoy, 24 de junio de 2016, hemos sabido que el pópulo británico ha decidido, por una escasísima mayoría, abandonar la Unión Europea. En el referéndum de ayer, las masas fueron a ejercer su derecho al voto, con una participación altísima de más de del 72%.

Mi marido y yo nos quedamos mirando las noticias hasta bastante tarde anoche. Era más de las 12 cuando dijimos de apagar la tele e irnos a la cama. Y una vez allí, seguíamos pegados al móvil, actualizando la app de la BBC a ver si veíamos algunos resultados. Pero no. Nos fuimos a dormir con la esperanza de que el Remain iba a ganar.

Asi que imagina la sorpresa que me llevé esta mañana al levantarme y ver “Britain has voted to LEAVE the EU”. Tuve que mirar dos veces. Pensé que el estar aún recién levantada, con las legañas aún pegadas en mis ojos, no estaba comprendiendo bien lo que leía. Pero no. Leí y entendí bien. Con un margen de menos de 3%, los británicos* han decidido que quieren ser independientes.

(*Bueno, los escoceses y los norirlandeses no, ellos han votado bastante claro que preferían quedarse dentro de la EU, pero como son una unión de cuatro paises, lo que ha dicho la mayoría es lo que cuenta)

Yo me he quedado de piedra. Muy intranquila, con  mucha rabia y tristeza sobre todo. Rabia de que sé que la gente ha votado con el corazón y no con la cabeza. La clase trabajadora se ha tomado el referendum como una vendetta personal contra David Cameron… Y tristeza y decepción porque me creía que la mentalidad de este país estaba un poco más desarrollada. Pero no, quieren seguir siendo una isla. En todos los sentidos.

Asi que ahora toca esperar. Esperar a que se calme la cosa y a ver qué pasa. La incertidumbre me va a matar, porque precisamente estos momentos no son precisamente los mejores en el ámbito personal para apostar y jugárnosla. Trabajamos con productos importados de Europa, aún no nos hemos recuperado de la recesión de los últimos años (en el ámbito laboral), nos acaban de dar el préstamo para hacerle la extensión a la casa (tenemos a los obreros aqui en un par de meses). Justamente ahora no es el mejor momento para tener inestabilidad económica.

Pero, quién sabe? Quizás esto es lo mejor que le vaya a pasar a la Gran Bretaña en su historia moderna. Aunque lo dudo. En un mundo como el nuestro, la unión hace la fuerza.

Ahora, a esperar….

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.

Nashville

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.