I have no face

 

I have no face
I’m just a number
Where is my place
In Britain‘s Brexit blunder?
I want to go home
But where do I belong?
I came in the 90s from a country
That does no longer exist
It went to be united
With the part that was not communist
Is home by the Baltic Sea
Or in the mountains
Where I love to ski?
Or is it on an island out west
Where Gaelic put my English to the test?
I was welcomed there
Young and green
To live and work in Scotland
I was very keen
I loved to ceilidh dance
That and hill walking led to romance
25 years on and 3 children later
I am still here
And felt I belong
But obviously I was wrong 
Thought I was so smart
When I received my residency card
Had given the details of
22 years of whereabouts
Of when I was in the country and out
Only to come back from a week away
To find I have 3 days to say
Here is more proof
That in this country was my roof
I the 5 years past-
I really am aghast!
The process is set to achieve
That Europeans give up and leave
After paying 2000 pound
Which often can not easily be found
I am just a number
I have no name
The sad thing is
For many ‚vote leave‘ was just a game
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2 months on

”Those who already have permanent residence will have to reapply although the process will be as “streamlined” as possible.”- This is the statement that propels me to put down some more musings. Musing is possibly not the right word- because I am not  in a state of contemplation or reflection or deliberation or rarely in celebration. I am bloody angry. I wish somebody would be brave enough to say: Let’s stop cutting our nose to spite our face.

After passing the language test I went to Dunfermline and lodged my citizenship application, paid my fee of £1282 and was told the process takes 4-6 months.  Three weeks later I received a letter sending me to a specialist post office- this time in Dundee to have my biometrics taken- finger prints that is. Imagine my relief when the person behind the counter told me the machine had just got fixed 10 minutes ago. £19.95 later and I was wondering what if I had gotten somehow on the Interpol wanted list? This was followed by quiet hope when the passport office sent me a text the next day telling me  by 24th June I would know if they either wanted more information or required me to come for interview or I would get my passport be then. I could not decide if the date had been chosen as commemoration of the Brexit vote date the year before or tied in somehow with my birthday. But surely the Home Office would not be that considerate to me personally- and it was not. Each day I drove home in quiet anticipation- Would my shiny British passport be waiting for me? (That is assuming I am allowed to join the nation and am not on the Interpol wanted list or not working hard enough in the NHS). But it was not. Imagine when the bell rang on my birthday and I lept to the door expecting the postie in his red polo shirt- and it was a friend- bringing me FLOWERS!

It is Monday today, the anticipated date passed and now I have read: ”Those who already have permanent residence will have to reapply although the process will be as “streamlined” as possible.”

Am I really back to the beginning? I feel my blood pressure going the same way as my stress level. I must admit I did look at at job adverts in Germany last week and am starting to wonder when this home will start to feel not like home anymore.

 

Continued

Whilst I was waiting

The TV showed the debating

Of the 27 EU states

Who are no longer Britain’s mates

They agreed for the negotiations (of)

Brexit to be ‘firm and fair’

Will things be less up in the air?

Money Britain needs to pay and

Allow European citizens to stay-

Then they took me into the examination patch

Locked away my Fitbit and watch

Rolled up my sleeves again

To see there was nothing written on my arms in pen

In another room airy and bright

My passport went under a light

To see if it was true

And my photograph was taken too

I had to count to ten twice

And show behind my ear was no hidden device

Whilst waiting for my interview call

I studied the world map on the wall

Little gems showed all the places

People had come from for examination of their language cases

The exam itself felt like a very nice chat

We talked about my life in Scotland and that

About skiing and Perth

And gave the Brexit topic a wide berth

The 10 minutes went quick

We got through the topics very slick

It felt almost like talking to a friend

Who with gladly time you spend

From the other room I collected my stuff

And hoped her marking would not be too tough

But hey hey hey

She gave me an ‘A’

I will add this document new

To my citizenship papers and

Attempt submission round two

Now I am back on the train

Just passing Dunblane

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Sprachtest

Back to Glasgow on the train

Beautiful countryside

Going past Dunblane

Here I go for another test

When can I give it a rest?

Now I am going to prove I speak the lingo

I have only once participated in bingo

But that is numbers in rhyme

I prefer rhyming words anytime

I have learnt about first pass the post

Become an expert at cooking a Sunday roast

And also learnt to love beans on toast

Don’t worry I will not bore you with dishes

I can demonstrate my ability talking even about fishes

I can talk about depression and anxiety

Or about parties and sobriety

My topic shall be my Scottish life

Which is mostly without strife

At least it was before Brexit

You already know I don’t want to exit

Even at school I loved learning other tongues

Finding out about words and songs

I find it quite compelling

To be correct in the art of spelling

I know when to use a hyphen or dash and manage not to make a language hash

Off I go- it has to be done

This is the end of part one

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What will you do on Saturday?

Only some people know today what they will be doing on Saturday. I am one of them. I will be sitting an English language test. I am angry and frustrated – not only there was no plan for Brexit- there is also no empathy or consideration for European citizens who have found themselves to be in the position to apply for citizenship. Note my use of English after almost 25 years in Britain, working in the NHS in a very language based job is excellent. Yet I will have to sit a GCSE type exam to prove I can speak the lingo. I have sat extensive exams and have supportive statements from the GMC and the Royal College of Psychiatrists- which count for nothing.  I am very frustrated and disheartened by the process.

I might submit my blog to the Home Office with my application- but unfortunately I do not think anybody will care.

Similarities and differences

Whilst the outcome of the Brexit refendum left me paralysed for 7 months the announcement of a snap election on 8th June makes me feel like a coiled up spring. Since I made the decision to apply for British citizenship to be able to have a vote I have been on quite a roller-coaster ride; feeling positive with a hope of empowerment, then frustrated about having to provide evidence of my knowledge of this country- a knowledge that often is not present in people who have lived here all their life and are British citizens by birth. I have filled in forms and passed the ‘Life in the UK test’ and have just started to feel slightly calmer again because I have been able to make an appointment with the Nationality checking service. These appointments are quite rare to come by and the appointment i was given was three weeks hence. I am unsure whether only very few appointments are given out or if there is a big rush on them. Anyway there I was feeling quite calm as surely the next election was about two years or so away ans surely by then my quest would be resolved. Imagine how I felt when the snap election was announced- in seven weeks. I will not be able to vote. I do not think this will put me into paralysis again- but how will I be able to uncoil that wound up spring inside me? I am wondering how many European citizens who could not vote in the Brexit referendum will be able to vote in this general election. I regret a bit that I did not start my journey to citizenship sooner- but maybe thinking that my vote would make a difference is wishful thinking? I do hope there will be a big turn out and not voting malaise.

 

Waiting For all who ask Am I British at last I have to declare I’m not yet there The next challenge is What gets me in a tizz I have to wait To get phoned with a date To submit My application for citizenship The test is passed It was a blast What makes me feel bleak Is how to prove that I can speak Without having to sit another test- I think my English is the best Or maybe just quite good Anyway I am not in the mood It is the language I dream And the one I use to scream When I shed a tear Or contemplate in fear If I could To the Home Office speak I would To make them confess They need people like me in the NHS When things were rough And there were not enough Doctors and nurses around From Europe they were found Please let me stay My English is okay I have done as you asked And seriously completed the task I would li

Waiting

For all who ask

Am I British at last

I have to declare

I’m not yet there

The next challenge is

What gets me in a tizz

I have to wait

To get phoned with a date

To submit

My application for citizenship

The test is passed

It was a blast

What makes me feel bleak

Is how to prove that I can speak

Without having to sit another test-

I think my English is the best

Or maybe just quite good

Anyway I am not in the mood

It is the language I dream

And the one I use to scream

When I shed a tear

Or contemplate in fear

If I could

To the Home Office speak I would

To make them confess

They need people like me in the NHS

When things were rough

And there were not enough

Doctors and nurses around

From Europe they were found

Please let me stay

My English is okay

I have done as you asked

And seriously completed the task

I would like this process to be completed

At the citizenship ceremony be seated

Until I know if I have been successful

My life will continue to be quite stressful