2013 has been a busy and difficult year, and an expensive one! It is our fifth year in the UK, the year in which we can apply for indefinite leave to remain here, a step that will leave us one year away from being able to apply for full citizenship. I arrived in the UK some months before my girls, and I was granted my ILR status in October. Ongoing problems with migrants to the UK, and the open-door policy of the previous (Labour) government, has prompted the present government to change the rules on ILR and citizenship since we landed in the UK, and applications for Colleen and Lynn were stressful. Now we wait for an answer.
Tonight the stress was forgotten. Carol and Colleen and Lynn and Adam and I, went to Arundel, my most favourite of UK towns, and celebrated the start of the Christmas season with local ales and spiced cider, hog-roast rolls, German sausages and twisted chips, as we listened to a soprano singing in a small square in the town, a steel band, and a choir. The little town was buzzing, happy, and even the cold air couldn’t dampen the spirits of the people. What fun it was to wander the streets of the ancient town, with the 10th century castle staring down on us, and the town-crier mingling with the crowds.
It’s Christmas time!