Tag Archives: update

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.

Still here

I honestly have no excuse for the lack of updates lately. Well, I do. Kind of.

My excuse is that I wanted to keep this blog free of pregnancy related posts. That’s what mariaandjon.com is for. However, I have found it really challenging to find anything to post about that is not related to the twins. It’s like they’ve taken over my life way before they are even born.

And it’s not only Jon and me. It’s everyone around us too. Every single person we meet, every person we speak to, everybody seems to have just one topic in mind: my pregnancy.

It doesn’t bother me much, to be honest, I am happy to talk about it. It’s just that it is 24/7. There’s no escaping it.

Anyway. Maybe I will find something to talk about that it is not pregnancy/twins related.

That day I will update the blog.

Goodbye 2012

So this year is about to finish and I am a bit sad, actually. It’s been such a good year that it is going to be a bit bittersweet to say goodbye.

It’s not like it’s been amazing and those amazing experiences won’t ever happen again… No… It’s a bit different. This has been a year of expectation, hope, consideration, nerves, etc, and although the new year will also bring some of those wonderfully weird feelings, it is also going to be a very different year, with a long path of discovery to travel.

I was thinking the other day that I want to keep my identity after I’ve given birth to the twins. I’ve heard so many stories of women who go from being ‘Jane Smith’ to turning into ‘Matt’s mum’, losing their identity on the way. Honestly, I don’t just want to be ‘the twins’ mum’, I still want to be me, Maria; with time for my husband, my crafting, my TV shows, and everything else that defines me. But the more I think about it, I know it won’t happen, especially because I want to be a good mother and the children come first.

The new year is going to see the later stage of my pregnancy, with all the preparation that it entails (NCT course, midwife and obstretician appointments, getting the nursery room ready, etc), and then when the children arrive, well, that’s a brand new story that will have to be written as we go along.

So, goodbye 2012. You’ve been the witness of our IVF journey, a year full of doubts, hope, cheer and bliss. For 2013, I only ask for as much happiness as we’ve had these past 12 months.


The secret of happiness is contentment.

I’ve been thinking about this all morning. It’s one of those existential topics that we all can’t help but think about from time to time. Am I happy? But, what is happiness?

Happiness is relative. Every person has their own definition of what happiness is, what makes them happy, and how to achieve that state of mind. There’s no point in making statements like “money gives you happiness”, or “you are only happy when you compare yourself to the misery of others”, because, as I say, happiness is relative.

It is true, though, that wealth makes you happy. But not material wealth, but the one of the spirit.

I have come to the conclusion this morning that the secret to happiness is contentment.

Firstly you have to have the right state of mind. You need to see the glass half full. Then, after you’re realised that happiness is not going to happen overnight, you need to evaluate your life: Are you doing what you want to do with your life? Do you find time for yourself? Are you finding pleasure and satisfaction in the little things?

If the answer to those questions is YES, then you are content with your life. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be happy. We must remember, though, that happiness is an emotion. And emotions can come and go, like sadness or excitement. Being contented, on the other hand, is a more stable and long-term feeling.

So, based on these principles I have to say that I am happy. I have been happy for a long time. Of course we all have our ups and downs, have better days and worse days, and there are days when you simply don’t want to get out of bed. But, it’s got nothing to do with money, with success or with “the neighbour’s grass is greener than mine”.

I read somewhere that being happy is being in love with living, and I couldn’t agree more.

I love being alive. I love who I am and who I’ve become. I love my husband. I love my cat. I love being moved by little things like the clouds, the sun, the stars, the flowers, nature in general. I just love enjoying life my own way. My attitude towards enjoying life is definitely different to other people’s. I don’t need to climb mountains or adrenaline rushes. I live life my own subtle way and that’s the path I’ve chosen, hence me being happy with it.

Update on my resolutions (I)

So three weeks into 2012 and my new year resolutions are not doing all that well…

1) Stop biting my nails – This so far is kind of 50% successful. I HAVE stopped biting my nails, but they are still looking minging, which makes me think whether my nails are just plain ugly and it’s got nothing to do with the fact that I bite them. Well, I suppose I must give them more time. 3 weeks is nowhere near long enough and I will persevere.
I wonder, though, if I should go to one of those manicure places and get them to shape them in a way that will grow better? Or maybe they can give me advise on how to cut them or what to do with the cuticles…

2) Wearing more skirts and dresses. I am failing miserably with this one. 10% success more or less. I have worn one dress since my resolution came in place, and it’s one of my old ones.. not even a new one. And that is because I completely failed to buy any new clothes at the sale as I promised myself that I would do. I did try, though. But I would go into a shop, look around, and suddenly feel uninspired (ie, overwhelmed by my lack of interest in buying clothes + suffocated by the big mass of people in the shop). So I didn’t buy anything. I think I may give online shopping a go, although I am always concerned about the hassle of having to return items if they don’t fit, and all of that…

Thank god I didn’t give myself any more resolutions to fulfill, I think I know myself by now… 🙂

I will try to update in a monthly basis and maybe by the summer my nails will look a bit more decent…

My nails as of 21.01.12