Monday, 31 December 2007

last post of 2007

just time to get in one more post before the end of the year...

i see that i only managed 45 blog entries this year (including this one), compared to 72 for 2006. i suppose i could make a new year's resolution to blog more in 2008, but one of the things i enjoy about my blog is that it is completely self-paced. no pressure. i am just as happy with this year's 45 blogs as last year's 72.

so i hope you will continue to stop by and visit. i will try to keep things interesting. who knows what excitement lies ahead in 2008? i, for one, can't wait to find out!

happy new year!
xo, b

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

merry merry happy happy!


happy holidays from mr. and mrs. d!

it's rainy in london - more a "wet" xmas than a "white" one - and once again, santa failed to bring me a pony, but otherwise, it has been a great day filled with lovely surprises.

hope you're having a good day, too!

Thursday, 13 December 2007

getting ever closer...

you may be interested to know that i passed my life in the u.k. test yesterday. the study guide was definitely key since all the questions and answers were taken directly from it. i spent about two weeks studying, quizzing myself with flash cards, and taking free online practice tests. overkill? yes, but i really wanted to pass the first time around.

being the nerd that i am, i actually read the whole book, although the test only covered chapters 2-6. it is still a mystery to me why chapter 7 is not included: knowing the law. you would think this would be the most important thing for immigrants to have ingrained in their memories!

after all that prep, and over half an hour of admin to get the test underway, i finished all 24 questions in 3 minutes. i made myself go back and review them, so that added another 3 minutes to my time. mercifully, the test centres do not make you wait for everyone else to finish. i got my pass certificate and left almost immediately.

they do not tell you your score, but i was confident about my answers to 23 out of 24 questions, and when i checked the last one in the book afterwards, i had answered that one correctly, too. hoorah!

next steps:

i have applied for a new u.s. passport in my married name - the last official document needing to be changed. i am waiting for it to come back.

in late march/early april, i can apply for indefinite leave to remain (permanent residency).

the final step is applying for british citizenship in 2009 (as long as they do not change the requirements between now and then.)

i have had an up-and-down time with immigration, but looking at it from this perspective, it is not all that bad. at least i have more options and less hassle than many people trying to live and work in this country. (knock on wood, fingers crossed, and hopefully not 'famous last words', she whispered superstititously!) even paddington bear is not immune to immigration laws!

Sunday, 9 December 2007

kitchen time

i have been spending some quality time in the kitchen lately. shortly after our trip, tempted by the promise of familiar north african flavors (and quick prep time), i made moroccan chicken pot pie, sans olives. this is one recipe that will be repeated!


this week, i switched gears into holiday mode, and that is how the table found itself covered in gingerbread men.



the eagle-eyed among you may notice that i had some fun designing gingerbread men for an all-male, predominantly gay, dinner party. the two in the front row left have clearly been clubbing in their studded belts and collars. YMCA...! the second from the right began life wearing a scarf, boots and mittens (yes, that's obviously what they are) but things went wrong when i tried to add a white snowsuit. the result? daffyd thomas, the only gay in the village. fortunately, among 7 hungry men, none of the little cookies went unwanted...