Moving to the UK – it’s further than you think


small__8645846222The title of this blogpost will surely, one day, be the title of a book. I will write of how I took the 300 (ish) mile journey from Kildare, Ireland to Newport, South Wales – only to find that I might as well have come from the centre of a densely populated (but only by trees and macaws) jungle.

We have been here over a month and we are still filling out forms. Long forms, with tiny boxes, wanting nitty, not forgetting that gritty, information about who we are, where we have been and what emissions we are emitting into beautiful Welsh air; from our car, you understand.

We’ve gone through the job seekers allowance application twice since we got here (that must be some kind of record). We made the mistake of leaving the country for a few days, so had to close down the claim and reopen it. Having lived in the UK before, I have a UK National Insurance Number already. A huge relief, as I’m not sure there’s enough ink in my pen to fill in that form.

Job hunting has begun in earnest and there’s one application and impending interview that I’m very excited about. If you’re of the praying persuasion, do please pray for God’s will in that one.

forms
A selection of said forms…

I get that there have to be checks to make sure people are who they say they are. I’m happy to wait my turn in the dole office and actually BE a jobseeker to get Job Seekers Allowance. Having been an NHS patient before, I am REALLY grateful for the health service. It’s not perfect, and many may think it’s a shambles. In Ireland, you PAY for the shambles, so I’m happy to wait my turn in a doctor’s surgery here too… That reminds me; I must register with a doctor. (Note to self, buy another pen!)

I will make one complaint, that is the process of reregistering the car from Irish reg to UK reg. That is still not done, as the hurdles we have to jump would challenge Red Rum on his best day. As well as it being complicated, it has turned out to be very, VERY expensive. So if you’re considering importing your car from Ireland to the UK, my advice is… don’t. I’m not kidding; had I known, I’d have sold mine and taken the loss on the chin.

Having said all that we’re very happy to be here. Enjoying being back in Malpas Road Evangelical Church, and hopeful for the future.

My heart is in Ireland, always will be. Difference this time is, it’s not broken to be away from Ireland. Thanks God for that.

photo credit: amandabhslater via photopin cc

She’s Leaving Home


Well hello there 🙂

IMG_3947
The Road to Autumn (and to our church in Brannockstown)

Yes it’s a while since I’ve been here. My little summer break turned into a longer one because I knew when I came back to the blog I’d be writing this post.

It’s a strange thing to finally have an answer after a couple of years of searching for one. Stranger still when it’s something that at one stage I didn’t want; and now… well it’s right.

I worry about myself sometimes; that I’m fickle and moody and have used up my quota of the women’s prerogative to change my mind. All those things are probably true of me… but! I also believe in seasons. Seasons that God has something for you and then something else. Ways in which He brings you around to His way of thinking.


I mean let’s face it, if I’m praying “Thy will be done”,
I suppose 
I have to be willing to say,
“and kick my plans to the kerb if you need to Lord”.

So I’m moving. Back to the Land of our Fathers. Well the land of his fathers to be precise. I say ‘his’, not ‘His’. I’m talking about him, the husband; not Him, God. Although some Welsh folk would say both is true.

I left Wales in 2007, eager to be in Ireland with my family. I was constantly homesick, and was not able to rise above the sadness of no children, the death of my mother and what felt like an ever-increasing distance between me and my homeland. I have family and friends aplenty in Wales, but I never stopped pining for home.

I look back and I know I was immature; maybe had I been a stronger Christian I would have been able to learn ‘contentment in all situations’. I’m not beating myself up, just wondering if that’s the case.

Either way, it was with no small amount of joy that I returned to Ireland in 2007.

The Road to Wales

And now what? Well more than 7 years later I have joy at the thought of returning. I’ve had a rough year, but I’m not returning out of grief. I’m involved in lots of writing and radio; things that will not be easy to leave behind, so I’m not going out of boredom or lack of fulfilment. Things have not turned out for us work & ministry-wise the way we thought, but we’re not returning out of failure.

We’re returning because God has called us.
He has made it clear that is where he wants us. Clear as a bell, to both of us, separately, and together; with joy and peace about it. Even though I hate saying good-bye and love being near my family and involved in all the great groups I’m involved with, I still know this is the right thing for us.

So in mid December we will head back across the Irish Sea to live in Wales again.

One of my favourite verses comes to mind. I use it about my writing, but it’s about my whole life Lord unless you build this house, I am building it in vain.  (Psalm 127:1)