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!




A leap


There is a change in the wind in these parts.

It’s nearly midnight and my whole family are snoozing gently in the other room. I probably should be joining them but it feels good to be sitting here with my feet up, nibbling chocolate chips and bashing this post out. I’ve been waiting for this moment of quiet all week. I am sure I will wake up in the morning grizzly and desperate for a lie in but I know my baby boy will have other ideas. He will wake up full of life, ready to take on the day. I love this about him. It makes me more ready for the world.


I have been thinking a great deal about my time of late. I am at the point in this first year of motherhood where many woman I know are on the brink of returning to work. At one point that was a real option for me and just as I started to get my head around this change in our lives, that door was suddenly shut. Being made redundant has made me really question my professional future and my time over the next few years. There are hundreds of questions that spin around my head daily. How on earth will I find a new job? Do I even want one? How will I compare to other candidates my age who don’t have baby? What exactly was the point of getting all these qualifications in the first place? Is this what I really want to do?

I have never really mentioned my background on this space before. In a former life I was a theatre director. It was all I ever wanted to do and for nearly ten years I pushed and pushed to make my way in the industry. And then suddenly something changed. The winds changed. I looked at the life I wanted and was trying to build with my husband and something didn’t quite add up. I saw a side of the industry that was uncompromising and bleak. I am not saying the whole of the industry is like this. It is filled with the warmest of spirits and it’s incredible community and heart was what sucked me in, in the first place. I met some of my best friends in the theatre. I am still incredibly passionate about live art and performance. Today, I even went to the theatre as a rare baby-free treat! It was just that my heart wasn’t in making it anymore. It took all the guts I had but I decided to bow out there and then. It was a decision which has taken me a few years to properly deal with but one I can confidently say I never regretted.

When you make such a radical change in your life and give up a true love, it is inevitable that it will be difficult to fill its place. I went travelling, taught in a school, worked on the other side of the industry for a while and then I fell pregnant. Suddenly I was working very hard at a job I had never trained for. Motherhood is at its most basic, good, gratifying work. I suddenly love my place in the world again but that being said, I still have a future to consider. One day this baby of mine (or other babies I go on to have) will be on their own journeys and my time will again be mine to fill.

The closer I get to Forrest’s first birthday, the more clear it is to me that we are starting a new year as a family and that changes are afoot. Billy and I have stayed up late into the night talking about a possible new career; one I have dreamt about for years. At times it feels impossible to take on new challenges when my time is still so devoted to caring for my son but I also now realise that if I work hard enough and care as much as I do, then doors will open.

So I have decided to be brave and to try somethings new; a career that is still creative but closer to my heart than theatre will ever be. I am still working out all the details and it is all very much babysteps around here but it feels so good and so liberating to feel inspired once again.

We have big dreams, both Billy & I. Our goals have always been filled with uncertainty. But I am fed up of feeling fearful, silly and foolish. Following something you love can only lead to good. My time in theatre gave me my husband so who know what this next little leap will bring.




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