away we go

Life lately



Our rhythm at home is changing. We move out of our tiny London flat in three weeks. The removal men are nearly booked to put our whole lives on a ship and send it across the atlantic. We are preparing for six long weeks apart as B finishes up work in London and I head home to Bristol. We are right on the edge of it all. The air is filled with an incredible sense of momentum.  train4

The unknowningness of it all is something I am learning to deal with, slowly. We have been working towards this moment for most of our twenties and now we are finally here we are doing it as a three. The weight of being responsible for a tiny, wild little force abroad is constantly at loggerheads with the excitement of knowing that our son will be having his first true snowfall this winter and we will be living somewhere we love.

train1 train2 train6

We sold all our furniture last week. We are living out of boxes and will probably not have a permanent home for many months. However, all the back and forth over the years has taught us not to be too precious about everything. This will be Forrest’s third move in 18 months and so far he seems very unfazed by the rate in which his home is rapidly disappearing into boxes or thin air.


We are about to take each other on one hell of a ride and while we wait for it all to unfold, I sit here typing this and cutting out the last of my leather scraps to make luggage labels for cases that we are cramming our lives into. I have too much time on my hands in these last few weeks and inevitably this lull breeds worry but really there is no point getting in a flap or a panic about it all. I am a firm beliver that everything will evnutally work its way out and I am trying to remain as upbeat and excited as I possibly can. I am hopefully raising a good little traveller. Judging from these pictures and his enthusiasm for our recent 5 hour train journey to Scotland, we might just survive the flight at the very least.


Permanent Residency


In the spring of 2009, my then boyfriend and I spent our very first month apart. I was working in a theatre in the city and he was touring to Canada with a different theatre company. After several long weeks, I was reunited with him, very late at night at Euston Station. He had landed hours earlier and was due to jump on a train for another job. We had 45 minutes to catch up before he was away again. Those 45 minutes marked the start of two journeys: a short overnight sleeper to Edinburgh and a 4.5 year journey to Canada. In that short hour, I will never forget his enthusiasm or passion for the city. He just kept saying over and over ‘we have to move there. You would love it so much. We need to go’ and so that was that. Some reading, some prepping and some impulse decisions and our application for Canadian permanent residency was in the post.

At the time we applied, the processing time on our route was at the 12-18 month mark but if you have been reading this blog for a while, you will know that this was far from the case. My now-husband and I have spent a large proportion of our 20′s battling to get our file looked at. In 2011 we drove 10,000km in the name of research, in 2011 we married and moved temporarily to Toronto where we tried everything in our power to stay. In 2012 we admitted defeat and returned home. In 2013 we almost called it quits when we had to jump through more ridiculous hoops but here we are in 2014, 54 months after we first came up with this crazy plan and we have confirmation of our permanent residency in our hands.

There was no real ecstatic jumping up and down; more a quiet drink and then an air of calm has filled our home. This move has dictated so much of our lives together and I think it will take a while for it to sink in that we can go, live where we want, work where we choose and stay. Our priorities are much more complicated these days and no doubt the move has been made more challenging now that our son is in our lives. But rather than be daunted we remain positive and excited. It was never about comparing the pros and cons of the two countries but rather wanting to move to a continent and in particular a city that we feel comfortable and connected to. We think we can offer our children a happy, comfortable and exciting childhood there. I am thrilled that Forrest’s first snow is likely to be in the midst of the Canadian winter.

So that is that. 45 minutes turned into 54 months but finally there will be no more moaning about visas on this blog. Thanks for following along with this particular journey and prepare yourself for lots of Toronto spam and cold looking Wolves in the fall. Toronto, we are coming at ya!




Little house in the south


We moved out of our little flat last week and are currently living out of bags and boxes and trying to find our next little home. I cried. I have moved more than 20 times in 27 years but this was the first time I was genuinely sad to leave. Sadder than when we left Toronto and that says a lot. It wasn’t like it was an amazing apartment. I mean it was up two flights of stairs and didn’t have a shower (I know, I know). But it was where we picked up pieces and started again. It is where we spent our last Christmas with just the two of us. It was where I went into labour and before that, where I spent four months staring at a wall unable to walk. It was our baby’s first home. It deserved some tears on leaving. And now we head from the south to the east. London, you have won us for another year so please please be kind.

Forgive the instasnaps. I packed the camera. 

I wasn’t lying


So yeah, you know that thing in my about page which talks about moving house a lot? Well it turns out I really wasn’t lying. Yesterday we learnt we are being spontaneously evicted from our home. Just as we unpacked the bloody jumperoo. The usual bollocks from estate agents ensued but we all know its because of our lovely baby moving in with us. Seeing that they called us 12 hours previously to chase up our renewal contract and their chunky fee, I don’t really buy their ‘change of circumstances’ bullshit. (sorry for all the swearing but I am pretty cross)

So now we have 2 months to find a whole new home in London, with a 3 month old in tow. If you are experienced in the London rental market, you will know that this is the 7th circle of hell. And yep, this is also the same 2 months we have to submit all our visa documents. Total fun right?

Any leads, suggestions or spare sofas are all appreciated. We like the south but are open to anywhere cheap that loves fat babies.

45 months


45 months to the day since we first sent them our application and we almost have an answer but it is not the one we had been hoping for. For four years we have been planning our move to Canada and now we might not be able to go. According to a man in an office somewhere in Grosvenor Square, we are not who we say we are, we have not done the things we have claimed to have done and we are not welcome in the country that we love & still think of as home. 

Last night we were both pretty devastated and in shock. We just couldn’t understand the reasoning behind their decision, having been so confident in the file of evidence we sent all those years ago. We couldn’t understand how our patience and acceptance of their painfully slow process had not been rewarded with better news. We talked about our future and Forrest’s future and the life we want for our family. We discussed pulling the application entirely and just forgetting the whole thing. I think we are both pretty exhausted by the whole process. But here we are on the cusp of a answer and we owe it to ourselves to keep going. Today I dragged a mountain of paperwork out of the cupboard, ready to rebuild the case from scratch. We have sixty days to prove them wrong and you bet we are going to fight them all the way. 

My gut tells me it’s probably all in vain and will all end rather badly but all we can do is try. And if not, there is always Iceland (I joke you not; it is truly the most beautiful place on earth). Either way, the great escape continues…

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