Two years and 1.5 months on …

I am reminded of this:

So apparently Craig’s friends had money on when I would get pregnant.

The last person in the pool had FOUR MONTHS after the wedding, a date which passed 12 days ago.

They really don’t know me at all.
– 25th May 2006

The teeny tiny masochist in me (help! help!) made me watch a tv-documentary about childbirth last night. They sure can be graphic post-watershed.
I almost climbed the back of the couch to get away from it. Did I change the channel? of course not.

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Guardian Photo

This is the photo I took this morning for the Guardian interview I did yesterday.

Yea. I’m completely in the dark too.
They asked me questions about posters and advertising and then asked me for a photo.
I’m not entirely certain what I got myself into. But when I know, you’ll know.

(It’s less depressing than obsessing about the Home (bloody) Office)

I’m in a little bit of shock …

That is probably an understatement. I am in a pile of shock, sitting in a busload of shock, feeling like I’m drowning a little in shock.

Last week (Last week? the week before? … actually, the 15th February) I found out from a friend of mine that the Home Office was changing their rules for application through the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme.
The very same programme Craig and I were excited about, applying for, and kind of counting on.
It was to change so that you can no longer switch in-country from Working Holidaymakers to Highly Skilled Migrant visas. And the change was to occur as of the 29th February. 2008. This year, as in, TWO WEEKS from the date we found out about the change.

I could have sworn that the ground actually disappeared from below me when I found out.

Now Craig & I are trying to get every piece of evidence together that we can. We have to send it off before the 29th February, otherwise we have to head back to New Zealand (Just writing that makes my hands shake & my heart hurt).

We had so many plans. I want to see Paris, and Rome and Florence. I want to see Vienna and Budapest and Reykjavik. And instead we have to save every penny for flights back to New Zealand. Again.

One thing is certain? We are definitely not ready to move back to New Zealand.

Update
There is no way we can get everything organised before the 29th February.
Our new plan (I have to try and control the uncontrollable) is to travel back to New Zealand and apply for the Highly Skilled Migrants Visa. Then jet back to London as quickly as possible. We may even leave marks.

But … I’m not IN New York …

Husband: Omagah, THX 1138— Very Hot!

Hipster guy: I forgot to tell you — she cut off all her hair.
Hipster girl: What?!
Hipster guy: She said she wanted short hair once in her life.
Hipster girl: Oh my god! She’s crazy!
Hipster guy: I know.
Hipster girl: Oh my god! I can’t believe she did that!
Hipster guy: I guess it doesn’t matter when you’re married.

–F train, Brooklyn

via Overheard in New York, Feb 17, 2008

Waitangi Day – London Style

There are approximately 20,000 New Zealanders living in the United Kingdom. About 80% of those live in London.
Waitangi day has become a big deal.
A big, drunken deal.

Pub Crawl Map

Note: the tube line is not actually shaped like a kiwi

A lot of people started at Paddington at 10am. That was too too early even for us and we didn’t leave the house until 11am. When we got to Paddington there were … a few people scattered about & we called a friend who was on the crawl and found which station he was at.
We tried to catch up and amazingly, found him amongst all the thousands of people.

Cute photo of Craig & I

We ended up walking half of the tube stops. It was the first day since we’ve been back in London where (if I was in the sun) I honestly did not need my jacket.
No scarves, hats or gloves were worn. Craig spent the day in a tee-shirt.

Goat Tavern

Apart from standing outside this pub, and one for a toilet break, we didn’t step foot inside a pub all day.
We followed the advice of TNT (the NZ, Australian & South African magazine) and brought our own.
I even brought plastic cups for my wine.

And my camera.

Nurse taking over the steel drums.

Our little Crowd

Happy Birthday?

Being sensible near Sainsbury's

Craig and Chris being the sensible grown ups that they are.

Hey Chris.

Westminster Abbey & a plane

(I’m secretly and less obsessively continuing this mini project)

New Zealand guy

We got to Parliament square at around 3pm. The haka was scheduled for 4pm.
The crowd grew and grew and grew.

Crowd at Westminster

A Sea of Black.

The tv3 cameraman almost pushed me off the wall I was standing on. Not pleased! His boss (and perhaps reporter?) apologised but he (grrr!) did not.
Not that I hold grudges or anything.

Hi Tanya!

We missed the haka. We could hear it and see a swarm in the middle of the mob but … we were too far away.

Even the guy looks wary.

ick.

Red wine? Baaaaad idea.

New Zealand shirt

Blue eyed boy

(my new favourite photo of Craig.)

Parliament & so many kiwis

Horse-headed cow

Crowd at Westminster

Dusk. It's after 4pm!!

London at night

Snippet #2

They were lying at odd angles on the bed. Simon lay supine gazing over at the curve of Claire’s hip as she twisted so only the soles of her feet pressed hot into the hard curl of his knee.
She had stepped from the shower steaming & fell onto the sheets which had spent the day sucking the heat from the room. Her skin & hair twitched as it dried around her.
She was listening to the rain again Simon discovered when he came and curled himself around her.
At nearly a foot taller he almost appeared to subsume her.
She’d answered in the dreaming, distracted voice which meant she was thinking far too much so he just lay, content to be near her as she twisted away from him.
“It’s just too hot.” she said, marvelling at the summer storm.
It was true, even with two windows open & the rain beating dust out of the air beyond, the heat of the day and of her shower stood sentinel in the room.
Claire was also twisted away because she wasn’t certain yet if she was mad at him. The trouble with spending so much time & energy with one person, a truly best friend, meant that even if they made you stiffen all over with anger, there was nobody else you’d rather talk to about it.
Claire rolled the thought lazily around. Her soles didn’t feel stiff so maybe she wasn’t angry after all. She turned over and smiled “hi.”.
“Hi.” Simon replied as he reached out for her.