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!




up to the mountains, down to the shore


I’m back after a little break from the internet and a very impromptu family vacation. A bit of extra holiday time and some ridiculously cheap off-season deals meant that we went to Portugal for a few days. We were looking forward to a whole lot of sun but we arrived and were greeted with three solid days of torrential rains and thunder! However, we took it in our stride, adapted our plans and made the most of it. We drove around the countryside, exploring rural Portugal and seeking out coffee and pizza in every port. These pictures were taken on the day we decided for no good to drive up to the top of the highest peak in the south. The view was completely non existent but we were greeted by some very friendly cafe owners who probably through we were mad but did make us an excellent cup of tea. Forrest was non the wiser and enjoyed waiting out the storm in the front seat.


The second half of our trip was your much more classic cheap and cheerful beach holiday. We made sandcastles, did some splashing, dug a big hole for the baby to sit in- all that good stuff.

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As you can probably tell Forrest had such a wonderful time. It was so special to see him experiencing the beach properly for the first time and actually enjoying unlike the other attempts (such as here & here) He’s been decidedly grumpy since we got home so I think that is proof enough that he thoroughly enjoyed himself. This morning I caught him trying to make a sandcastle with his bucket and bricks. We are stuggling to get through the mornings without shots of expresso and a dozen pastel de nata.

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