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The Life & Adventures of Laura The triumphs and tribulations of UK living & teaching.

This post is brought to you by the letter B for Bureaucracy..

UNITED KINGDOM | Wednesday, 4 November 2015 | Views [226]

I am currently a serf and the UK Home Office is my Feudal Overlord. Pete thinks I am a being a bit dramatic, but it is beginning to feel like it. The UK Home Office have had my passport to reissue my VISA for 2 months now and without it I’m stuck tending my little plot, bonded for lack of an updated VISA. Travel plans for Christmas have been downgraded to a trip somewhere in the UK and I’m wondering if I’ll get to see some snow in Europe…. Fingers crossed it arrives shortly as being a serf doesn’t suit me!

Pete and I have spent the last month or so playing tour guide extraordinaires to my parents. I didn’t realise how well we have gotten to know our way around and become quasi experts on things until we had to think up itineraries and recite interesting facts. In particular, I was taken back to my second day in the country when my UK pal Gary took Pete and I on a walking tour throughout London. Playing the tour guide was certainly a role reversal!

Having visitors is a great excuse to explore new places and revisit old favourites. Since my mum is British, I have always been curious about where she grew up, so it was great to be able to spend a weekend in Essex and explore the area where she grew up. Alas time didn’t extend to a trip to Brentford to see the TOWIE crew, but it was a great weekend nonetheless! As a side venture, we headed up to Cambridge for the day to explore the town. Whilst the boys pooh poohed punting, my mum and I headed off for a 45 minute trip down the river. It turned out to be one of the highlights of being in the UK so far, and the autumn leaves certainly put on a show for us!

A week’s half term break was a great excuse to see a bit more and we ventured further afield to Manchester. Riding on the Virgin fast trains was definitely on my ‘UK to do’ list and it didn’t disappoint. We live 69 miles from London and the train takes 1hr 25 minutes. Manchester is 212 miles from London and the fast train takes 2 hours to get there. Zoom zoom! With a massive Corrie fan in your midst, a trip to the street set was a must! We didn’t expect to be able to visit it since organised tours were booked out, but luckily we were able to buy a set pass to explore it at our own pace. Even I got into the spirit of things with a picture or two!

Aside from a little rain in Manchester, the weather for the week was blue skies and sunshine, so we were in luck when exploring the Battle of Hastings site, Brighton, Alfriston (where we happened upon a bell ringing society practise session!) and an outdoor pub roast at the Berwick pub. According to most, it’s been unseasonably nice for autumn so we were in luck!

Alas, the clocks have now been turned forwards and despite the clear days, the sun is setting just before 5. The top temp is around 15 degrees and winter is surely setting in. Excitingly however, this means the onset of outdoor ice skating rink season and I plan to test quite a few rinks out (including the moat like one being set up around the Tower of London).

Whilst I may feel a little like a serf, winter and the UK do have their benefits, a 6 week term until Christmas being one of them!

This month we have: watched the Hawks win the AFL grandfinal in Portsmouth in a room full of Eagles fans, played tour guides in London, visited Essex, punted along the river in Cambridge, visited Battle and walked the battle field, taken a stroll around Brighton and visited the pier, enjoyed the history and old buildings in Alfriston, ate a lot of pub meals, enjoyed the sunshine and blue skies, visited the Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury, ate Twisties, Lamingtons & Vegemite, commiserated the Wallabies demise in the rugby, consumed a lot of pints, visited the set of Coronation Street, travelled by fast train to Manchester, navigated London like a boss!

Tags: bonded labour, coronation street, holidays, manchester, parentals, serfdom, tour guide, uk, uk

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