After living in England for 8 years, working as a nurse for 7 years and 180 days and having a small house over there… I maintain a precarious immigration status called ILR-Indefinite Leave to Remain.

It’s more than a work permit but less than citizenship. In the event that I eventually want to exercise my right to apply for British citizenship I will have to show:

  • Indefinite leave to remain or “equivalent” for this purpose must have been held for 12 months
  • the applicant must intend to continue to live in the UK or work overseas for the UK government or a British corporation or association
  • the same “good character” standards apply as for those married to British citizens
  • the same language and knowledge of life in the UK standards apply as for those married to British citizens

There is a caveat to ILR in that “intend to live in the UK”  is generally interpreted as no more than 2 years without a visit. So I have visited my friends and house/tenants 3 times in the past 6 years for the all important passport stamp in my second/expired passport that holds my ILR.

Once again in January, I traveled to England like I was just sporting off to the other side of town. Seriously, I have made this trip so many times it’s like second nature. On this trip I really thought about how this is the only place, of the many I have visited, that I have returned to again and again.

I have lots of emotional connections to this particular part of England and there are several friends I love to see

Maybe someday I’ll move back there…

There’s a place

somewhere across the pond, a little white house that has the most amazing sunsets


I’ve been thinking a lot about this little house lately. Now that it is rented and almost all the repairs and renovations are done it is no longer a “problem”. It is for the time being, something that I can enjoy thinking about in terms of its place in my future.

I wonder if I will ever live there again, if it will become an income for me if when I retire or maybe I will sell it and put the proceeds towards that elusive dream I have been chasing my whole life~my til death do us part house.

It occurred to me that I have been paying on this house for nearly ten years, should be well into the principle of the mortgage…with a little effort I could speed that process up a little.

I am a “never say never” kind of person so who knows?




garden dreams

It’s been a few years since I have had my own garden…and a Chicago garden is a whole different type of garden than one in Birmingham England.
It is deep, freezing cold winter here in Chicago but by July and August it will be oven-roasting hot!
England always just sort of limps along-not too cold and not too hot~~
I have a small but wide open canvas here-we put in a 4×8 raised bed in the front and planted a rose bush, hydrangea, peonies, irises (i love irises!) and a bunch of bulbs-the question is- what will survive this weather?
We also have a 4×8 raised bed in the back for vegetables.
I just realized (with the help of Pinterest) that we really need to start make a plan for this little space!
What will we plant in this little space??? tomatoes, peppers, sweet and hot?…cucumbers? melons? maybe the herbs can go in pots? what about beets? leeks? and beans, peas and lettuce? oh, my….

DSCN0198Warning: lots of garden pictures over the next 8 months

not jamies?!?

I’ve been reading and hearing first hand comments about what’s going on with the riots in england and my old home town of birmingham…i do have a vested interest in keeping up on the local news as i still own a house there…

sounds like kids out of control….running rampant…smashing things up just because…they can get away with it…

but this is truly disgraceful~~

Jamie Oliver slams rioters as his Birmingham restuarant is vandalised

TV chef Jamie Oliver’s Birmingham restaurant was hit by rioters as violence spread to the city.

Jamie’s Italian, a 270-seat restaurant, was targeted in the world-famous Bullring shopping centre.

He tweeted: “So sad to see what’s happening in UK with these riots! All gone mad. time to get our country back. Now we need to come down hard on these idiots.”


england-formally known as home

i am heading off on a working holiday to the land formally known as home. immigration will be slightly more problematic as i have to explain that i have indefinite leave but don’t live there anymore-just visiting….

i am trying to prepare myself for seeing my house-MY HOUSE-possibly in a questionable, uncared for state.

i am expecting to spend sunday, my first day back in tears…

i am bringing a camera~one that have the pictures downloaded~and i’ll have a laptop so be as prepared as me….

here comes the royal bride

i brought some royal wedding souvenirs for my niece and god daughter…but i don’t think they got it…

when i saw this video it made me a bit homesick and sad that i will miss out on the excitement of the wedding…as i would have experienced it if.. i was still in england.

i am in a bit of culture shock at the moment…at work i am struggling with little things like writing the date properly, people laugh when i say dodgy, lift, queue…and watching that video seems so familiar when i am struggling with the easy stuff…