Well it's been a very interesting year so far...
I have started and deleted 3 blog posts this week. As I mentioned in my New Year's post, things haven't changed now that 2007 has begun. Money is still a major headache, and things with Jeremy's visa are in the hands of The Tribunal (whoever they are) and could potentially take until MARCH 7TH - when they can still deny his appeal. So now we have to figure out where we're going to live, since I most definitely can't affort to continue paying for our current place.
This week, Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union and there are already stories of immigrants from those places coming to the UK for jobs. What I don't understand is how all of these people are allowed to come here and get work, while a member of the BRITISH COMMONWEALTH is being treated with such utter disregard. Here we have a person who is able-bodied and willing to work, a part of a country that still considers the Queen to be our Queen, yet he has to beg for a chance to work here. If Britain is so concerned about immigrants coming into the country and taking jobs away, then shouldn't the people who are a part of them be allowed in first? I just don't understand this at all...
The worst part about all of this is that it puts us back into limbo for another two months, which totally kills me financially and means that Jeremy is trapped doing nothing again. Had somebody told him when he sent in his appeal that things could take this long, he wouldn't have come back here so soon, and could have found a job for a few months before returning. I'm completely disillusioned and disgusted with how this process runs and wish there was something that could be done to fix this. It's completely ridiculous that it only takes 10 business days to find out if your application for a visa has been accepted, and that an appeal takes 2 months. Makes no sense at all. None of the people he talked to when he was in Canada bothered to tell him about this - even when he said he was returning to England on December 20th and needed to know about his appeal as soon as possible.
As it stands now, there isn't even anybody he can call to discuss this. Nobody to help. Nobody who even gives a crap that people like ourselves are going through a horrible situation because their system doesn't work. It costs GBP 1.90 a minute just to talk to people about your visa application, and from what I keep hearing they are of no help, and basically give you the runaround as the charges to your phone company rise. Not one person has shown any caring or concern about our situation.
If it was possible, I'd just move home. While I'm enjoying living in London, I really don't want to keep dealing with all of this. But now all of my money is gone and once we find a less expensive place to live, it'll be all about saving money, trying to pay off some of my line of credit (and hopefully my parents), until I have enough to move back to Canada. Unless some miracle happens and The Tribunal decides to let him know soon, we're out of our cozy little home.
Okay, enough about that.
The rest of the week has been really busy for me. I was back to work on Wednesday, where the teachers at our school spent the day in meetings and organizing ourselves for the next term. Wednesday was about displays being put up or pulled down, lesson plans and weekly plans written, classrooms tidied up, resources put into cupboards, and chats over cups of tea about the things to accomplish before Easter. For me, it was also about where I would be teaching next week.
The teacher I've been replacing since mid-October was supposed to return on Monday. With her return, I would be working in the Nursery (with 3-4 year olds), which is the equivalent of Junior Kindergarten in Canada. I've been really nervous about this change, since it would be a move from classroom teaching to working with really little ones who have never gone to school before. I've spent several hours talking with the teachers who have worked in the Nursery (sounds so weird calling it that - the name makes me think of the baby rooms in hospitals), so I have an idea of what's expected of me. The Head teacher was going to send me to a 4-day course for Foundation Stage teachers but now he's not sure that there's any point. If the teacher I'm replacing doesn't return soon then I'll probably get to stay with this class until the end of the school year, and she'll work in the Nursery. This solution makes a lot of sense because she's been trained already to work with this age group, has done it before, and if she needs to leave the room or get something done during the day, there are other adults in the room as well so she can leave briefly if necessary. Apparently it's a lot more laid-back, which would also be good for her after such a longterm illness.
So we'll see what happens.
On a happier note, here part of the post I'd started writing about New Year's Eve in London:
January 1st, 2007
In London, Big Ben’s chimes were relayed by sound systems along the banks of the great, gray River Thames. Crowds flocked to the banks near the Houses of Parliament to watch a light show countdown projected onto the 443-foot London Eye Ferris wheel, followed by a 10-minute fireworks display “big enough and loud enough to be seen ... all over the capital,” Mayor Ken Livingstone said.
(See the rest of the msnbc.com article for the rest of the story.)
New Year's Eve in the streets of London was pretty much as we had expected: tons of people (mostly tourists) standing around drinking straight from various liquor and beer bottles, a few too drunk to stand / walk properly yet still managing to stay upright while loudly singing. Smoke and alcohol fumes filled the air along with the excitement that we all felt to be standing in front of a glowing Big Ben and listening to the bells in Westminster Abbey. Jeremy carried a backpack with towels to sit on, bottles of Coke, rum, and a few snacks. I did bring me camera and will post pictures soon...
Overall it was a fantastic evening and I'm still hungover a little. Looking forward to good things happening in 2007!
Happy New Year everybody!!
Hmmm... well so far not such a good start to the year, but I'll keep hoping that things will improve soon.