everything old is new again

You know, everything was fine. I was more or less resigned to the fact that I would never get to live in the UK because I couldn’t get my visa situation sorted out (and that whole “Ed likes to crush my dreams” thing, but we try not to think about that). I was perfectly happy to sit here in my outraged misery, trying to be content with visiting London as often as I could instead of moving there – even temporarily – to bask in the rolling green fields and eggs that don’t go in the fridge. I endured. I acquiesced. I mourned my dreams in – well, not silence, but with heaving sighs and an aching longing that could not be quenched. Basically, I Scarlet O’Hara’d all up in this bitch.

Then, today. I was writing a post on reddit to complain about my ancestral paperwork woes and researched the requirements again to make sure my post was accurate. It was then I discovered that the Ancestry Visa Requirements for the UK had changed slightly:

Ancestry Documents

You’ll also need to provide:

  • your full birth certificate
  • your marriage certificate or civil partnership registration document if your husband, wife or civil partner wants to join you
  • the full birth certificates of the parent and grandparent your ancestry claim is based on
  • marriage certificates for your parents and grandparents if they were married

Those bolded and underlined words? Those were not there before. And they completely remove the blockage I had with my application. I’ve never been able to locate my grandfather’s birth certificate, and cannot prove he and my grandmother were actually married. It always pissed me off, because he wasn’t the relative I was claiming ancestry through – yes, my great-grandfather moved his family from Ireland to Canada, but the Ancesty Visa only goes back two generations so it was a moot point. I HAVE my grandmother’s and father’s birth certificate, and a valid reason why I don’t have a marriage certificate for my grandparents. With those 6 words, my path to an Ancestry Visa is suddenly clear. I could apply for this. I have, or can get, everything I need to make it go, up to and including the painful £516 application fee.

But .. getting that visa is not going to change the fact that I have a life here. We’re not even a year into our new place. Our cats are here. Ed does not want to move, even temporarily. I desperately want this – like, bucket list item that ranks even higher than that multi-dick scenario I keep talking about – but getting that coveted, I-assume-stamped bit of paper would do nothing towards making my dream actually happen.

The temptation to do it just because I CAN is strong, but I think it would just make me even sadder to think about. I’ve done ridiculous things out of bureaucratic spite before, but $1000 is a lot of money to pay for something that would make me cry and mope endlessly.

But damn if I’m not super tempted.

btw, going to spain. this’ll be me in 4 days.

never wear yellow in brighton

Our trip to London and surrounding areas wasn’t just for fun – along the way, we learned some Life Lessons I will now share with you bit by bit.

The first lesson: Never wear yellow in Brighton. We woke up ridiculously early on the morning of my birthday, and made our way to the train station to spend the day in Brighton. Things were going well – we wandered the town, found an amazing market lined with quirky shops, saw some incredible graffiti, and had lunch at Bill’s. We were full and happy and making our way towards the pier when we stumbled upon the Royal Pavilion Gardens, complete with gorgeous wildflowers, a huge castle-thing, and lush inviting grass just begging for bare feets. The sun had finally come out, and we strolled through the gardens basking in the sheer delight of being in Brighton. It was good.

Then the bugs happened.

See, one of the things I love about the UK is the many, many flower gardens all over the landscape. These aren’t groomed gardens meant for looking at and/or smelling, but rather specific pockets of pollenating plants and flowers set up to entice insects to do their thang. They’re gorgeous, and the fact they almost killed me aside, are awesome.

My birthday started out a little cloudy, so I wore my favourite dress and a bright yellow sweater to make some artificial sunshine. As we were walking through the garden, I noticed a tiny beetle trying to pollenate my sweater. I gently brushed him off, then another, then another, then another, then .. shit. I was *covered* in tiny beetles trying to have sex with me. Ed and Heather helped me brush all the bugs off while Renee laughed at me, and we continued our walk. I looked down while pausing to fountain, and .. more bugs. More manhandling of myself to get them all off. We eventually reached the waterfront, and I figured I was in the clear: no more gardens means no more bugs, right? Time to do birthday pier things! Except .. no, I was still covered in bugs – more than ever. Ed counted as he flicked them off me, stopping when he got to 30 or so. The bugs LOVED my yellow sweater, and were crawling all over me in an attempt to feed off my delicious juice. I gave up at this point – it was warm outside anyway, so I took off my sweater and shoved it in my bag (after shaking it out for a solid 60 seconds). Wearing yellow in Brighton was evidently a huge mistake, one I won’t be repeating anytime soon (not because I know better, but because I am too far away). Also, bugs love me. I am delicious.

Next Life Lesson: that time the UK almost killed me!


With three of my close friends currently wandering around Europe (along with millions of others), I find myself in a desperate state of “I wanna go to the UK”. I don’t have any trips planned, but I’m getting kind of pathetic in my antsiness – it’s almost as bad as my need to be in Vancouver, when I was stuck in Calgary. I wonder if I’m destined to roam the earth like some sort of shiftless vagabond, unable to stay in one place for longer than a decade. I lived in Calgary for 7 years, and have been in Vancouver for 8.5 .. is it time for another change?

That’s scary talk, right there. At the moment, I’d settle for a three-month work trial in London (and even then I’m getting way ahead of myself: this is all just wishful thinking, remember).

It doesn’t help that I’m ALSO feeling a strong need to do Paris again, but properly this time. Why hasn’t instant travel been invented yet? And why am I not free to follow my ever whim and fancy, no matter how ridiculous? Stupid responsibilities and limited resources, you’re harshing my buzz.

I have a team of wonderful elves doing extensive family research for me, and some new details have come to light:

  • My mother doesn’t remember being British (but to be fair, my mother doesn’t remember a lot of things), but this is still a conversation I really ought to have with some sort of consulate. No matter what my mom remembers or not, the fact remains that she was born in Malaysia under British rule .. that’s gotta count for like, two points.
  • Edith Jane Cornes born of Franklin Cornes the Coal Miner and Jane Scott the wife of a Coal Miner is definitely the wrong woman, so now I have the birth certificate of a total stranger which is kind of weird
  • It’s looking more and more likely that the right woman was Edith Jane Corns born of Samuel Corns and Harriet Gough in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England which is so British I could just drink tea
  • The Corns line can be traced immigrating to Canada as a family in 1893 and landing in Montreal, Quebec
  • The only reason I was looking up “Cornes” in the first place was because of my dad – he had typed out part of his life story, and that’s how he spelled it. THANKS DAD
  • The Corns had a huge family who all went on to create their own huge families – I probably have cousins and second cousins I don’t know about
  • Now I can’t have sex with anyone in Malaysia OR Quebec for fear of accidental incest
  • .. damnit
  • Finding my grandparent’s marriage certificate is proving to be enormously troublesome, and unfortunately it’s the one piece of vital information I neeeeeed if I want to – wishful thinking – apply for a UK visa
  • It’s not London, but yesterday I wandered to Point Roberts with some gnomes:


We also made a new friend:

this is trapper

this is trapper

As soon as he was on the beach, he came running up to us with a stick in his mouth. He dropped the stick, laid down, and waited: he was the politest damn dog I’ve ever seen, and super cute. We took turns throwing the stick for him before he got tired of us and went to play with some kids further down on the beach. There were many (okay, three) large friendly dogs there, and I got to pet them all.

So, now I want to go to London AND have dogs.

Sometimes it feels as though it would be easier to be happy if I didn’t have such dreams.