Overheard in Edinburgh

Bus driver: “All aboard the good ship where-the-hell-are-we-going.”

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Young Scot Card

The National Entitlement Card for Young People (Young Scot card) is something everyone 11-26 living in Scotland is entitled to. And, as I’ve just turned 25, I am nearing the end of being young (apparently!) and decided I wanted one before it was too late. Mostly because I want a discounted Historic Scotland membership.

Getting a Young Scot card was relatively easy. I say relatively because all that happened was that I asked for (and received) the application form in the post and took it along with ID & proof of address to the local library. However, they didn’t want to validate it there because they said I was too old.. However, the form clearly says anyone 11-26 (inclusive) are eligible. Eventually they saw my way.

I’m waiting on it in the post now.. as soon as I receive it I’ll be sure to post a picture and a review!

Learn more: http://www.youngscot.org/card

UK travel

As a follow-up to my previous post my baby brother went straight home after school instead of hanging out with his mates so he could do me a favour. Without me even asking! Then he had to rush back for track practice. I love him so much 🙂

As for planning on being a tourist in my own town.. my friends are still shoring up their plans on UK travel.

So in the meantime I am making a list of places I’d like to travel in the UK. I actually prefer travelling alone so here is my list:

Scotland:
Aberdeen
Inverness
Elgin
Stronsay (or similar island)
Perth
Stirling – 28/02/2013 – 1/3/2013
Peterhead
Huntly
Pitlochry
Paisley
Ayr
Galashields
Fort William
Castle Douglas
Dumfries
Gretna Green

N. Ireland:
Londonderry
Belfast

Wales:
Cardiff
Aberystwyth

England:
Berwick-upon-Tweed
Plymouth
Exeter
Bristol
Birmingham
Nottingham
Sheffield
Liverpool
Brighton
Bournemouth
Southampton
Leeds
York
Oxford
Ipswich
Canterbury

Okay, a bit of an extensive list. And I’ve already been to a few of the places but not long enough. We’ll see, I have some train vouchers (do to a delayed train!) so I’ll need to book stuff soon.

Does anyone have any favourites I’ve left off?

Living Abroad or How To Miss Brothers

Living in the UK is great, mostly. I enjoy the people, the food, the weather (yes, really) and the life I have. But living here meant I don’t have my pipsqueek. My baby brother. My baby!

When my baby brother was born I named him – or rather, gave him the nickname that has stuck his whole life (he’s nearly 16 now). And I loved him most (don’t tell my parents!) I honestly fear having children not because I don’t think I can care for them but .. how can I ever love a child more than I love him?

Living here means not having him. And that is difficult. I couldn’t imagine my life without him when I moved and 3+ years in I miss him daily. There is an ache in my chest that never, ever goes away.

This is the dark side to immigration .. how to you take the life and people you had and fit them into your new life? How do you learn to stop missing people?

The short answer is: you don’t and you can’t. Living abroad is a choice – difficult at times, wonderful at others. But the flip side is .. even if I moved back in with my parents and my baby brother he would be leaving in a few short years anyway. We all grow up and move out, it’s a fact of life. But I hope that as he grows older our relationship deepens in the same way my older brother and my relationship has. He and I get along even better now than when we were growing up (if that’s possible!) and I love him more now.

To end on a somewhat happy note, my friend and surrogate brother is visiting me at the end of the month with his wife. Look forward to posts about being a visitor in your own city and joining Historic Scotland!

Becoming a British Citizen

Or how I paid the UK government a whole lot of money for a piece of paper.

Despite common misconceptions.. marrying a UK national does not make you a UK national. Living in the UK does not automatically grant you citizenship either. You must first jump through hoops. And when I say hoops I hope you are imagining hoops set on fire. Not just on fire though, but being juggled. And you must not only jump through them while they are being juggled and set on fire but you must do this in a straight-jacket.

Okay, maybe the above was a bit melodramatic. But my point stands. After lots of money, time, and effort I am now a UK citizen. When people ask me what nationality I am, I can say “British” and be truthful! (Of course what people normally want to know is where you came from but how is answering that any fun?)

But what was never said in all the paperwork I signed and the ceremony I underwent (Yes, it was horrible. 10+ screaming toddlers and babies are never fun..) that I’d suddenly feel patriotic. Yet I do! I feel patriotic. I suddenly have this.. desire.. to speak about the UK. Or mostly Scotland. Or Edinburgh.

So I think this blog will be a bit of all of the above. Being a Brit, being an American. Living in Edinburgh. I’ve always wanted to blog regularly but have never been able to keep up with it.. Maybe this time?

-b