After what seems like a life time ago, we are back to blogging - though the next 12 months will be land based rather than on sea based on Kittani. We are finally both back together in the UK after a somewhat tenuous start to our year back in the work force. Whilst Kittani was being worked on in Satun boat yard, Pete was approached by his boss from Amex days and coaxed out of retirement for a 12 month contract with EasyJet at Luton airport, UK. It would give us the opportunity to see a lot more of family in London and Scotland, as well as staff travel to the continent to places we hadn't been, so we decided it was too good to pass up. With Kittani safely stored away on the hard at Pangkor, we headed to the UK only to face some unexpected issues.
In a nutshell, I was refused entry as I hadn't pre arranged a visa to stay for such a long period. After 6 hours of detention, interviews, photos and fingerprints, I was put on a plane and sent back to Oz, leaving Pete to start our new adventure on his own. I then had to start the lengthy process of obtaining a 'Spousal Settlement Visa' and after having the spent the last 9 months hopping in and out of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore where they hardly bat an eyelid at you - UK immigration was a whole different ball game. After putting our life under a microscope and jumping through numerous hoops, I was finally granted a visa to come and go as I like, so after 3 months back in Oz, I have arrived.
We are set up in an small apartment (though after living the last 4 years on Kittani - it is huge!) in the little village of Harpenden, about 10 mins drive south of Luton. A very pretty quintessential English village set around the common, lovely gardens and pretty hedged lane ways. There is no shortage of pubs and they all look inviting, so on our next rainy cold weekend, we will have to start trying them out. I completely missed the Summer, which I believe was quite a good one, but there is always next year. The trees are just starting to change colour and the next few weeks should quite spectacular. So for now I am just sussing out my new environment, finding out where things are and getting used to the pounds and pence.