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.

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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

Five Minute Friday – Finish


Five Minute FridayIt’s been too long since I did Five Minute Friday… five minutes of unedited, non stop writing on a given theme. Since I’m in a bad mood and am ready to rant about something, today’s theme ‘FINISH’ is just the word I’m looking for! 

Before I start though, I should wish all the very best to Lisa-Jo Baker as she passes the baton of Five MInute Friday on next week. She’s been running it for 4 years now. God bless Lisa-Jo x

I’m just about ready to throw in the towel. This job hunting thing is so irritating. I’ve never had trouble getting a job before. So, I’m not sure if I’m more irritated, or maybe my pride is hurt. This particular search for work is making me feel old, and unqualified. So many jobs that I would enough experience for – even 5 years ago, I seemed to be ‘untrained’ for now.

I loved being 40, it felt like a milestone. A great achievement to reach that age and still be alive and happy – even though I’ve struggled with illness and sadness in my life. But the last couple of weeks I’ve felt like scrap-heap fodder. I resent this job hunt for making me feel old and useless.

So what do I do now?

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Is this the end of something, or can I dare to believe it’s the beginning of something…?

One option is… I could dare to dream.

I’m excited about developing my writing career, loving the fact that I’m getting great feedback on my stories. Never in a million years would I apply for a writing job though.

I wonder if it’s not that I’m finished, but that the admin secretary in me is finished, and the writer is getting started.

Wouldn’t it be great if that was true?  *heavy sighs

photo credit: Antonio Buccella via photopin cc