Moving on… returning to blighty (probably)


We await to hear from Canadian Immigration, the results for our PRRA. It’s our last chance of not having to leave Nova Scotia here in Canada. Realistically we know the chance of that having a positive outcome is very slim so I’ve been making what practical plans I can, should we have to return to the UK this summer.

One of these plans is to sell our home, our only asset in the world, the sale of which will clear the debts run up trying to survive here in Nova Scotia, with no job (or government assistance) and fund a return to the UK. Without the support of my family and friends I don’t think we would have ever made it through- thank you x

The good news is that our house is under offer. That is a huge relief..and I’m so pleased who it is going to.

So now it’s time to once again, plan another journey into the unknown…I really thought finally I had found my Nirvana but obviously it was not meant to be and the road still beckons.

After having lived in isolated or rural locations for 17 years, something by the way I have really enjoyed, I’ll be leaving the last 8 years of my life behind to live in a diverse, cosmopolitan city with lots of history, a very large student population, beautiful surroundings…. the home of Robin Hood, Nottingham.

I want my children to have the opportunity of experiencing city life, being independent, building their own lives and being productive members of the community, they will have lots to offer. Pity we couldn’t offer that in Nova Scotia..

We will have a busy few months ahead planning our next life, I’ve just forgotten how the UK works, I’ve been away 8.5 years and have never returned once. I’m rather scared of all the responsibilities I have for so many lives and for the choices I am having to make.

If there is one burning light at the end of the tunnel, it is that I will see my parents again. I’ve missed them so very much.

Let the new adventure begin!

C xxx

25 thoughts on “Moving on… returning to blighty (probably)

  1. UK has changed a lot since you left but it will be a wonderful challenge. I am sure that you will enjoy it and your frugal cooking will come in handy.

    • Hi Jackie- how have things changed? I know we had a Labour government when I left and now it is a Tory one. How is the NHS? How are people coping economically? Is there more poverty, more crime? What positive changes have there been?

      I never thought I’d find myself gravitating to a city, it’s a practical decision but when all the children have flown the nest I do have plans to return to my earlier days of a very self-sufficient life and preferably off-grid. That’s the dream :)

      C xx

  2. Hi Carolyn,
    I think there are plenty of people eager to meet you and make you welcome should you come back to the uk. As far as your questions go, think 1980’s Tory Government only worse. The dismantling of the NHS and the Welfare system is happening at an alarming rate. If you are coming back, plan, plan, plan. Try to get some job interviews lined up and a possible home. Gen up on the Govt and job seekers websites. If you want more info pertinent to you and your circumstances you can PM me on facebook and I’ll help if I can. On the brighter side it’s still a beautiful place and the frugal ones amongst us always know how to have a good time :) .

    • I’ve always been one to fight the system and try and do my bit against injustice. I want a quiet life but also many governments world wide monopolize on setting an example with those who are weak in the respect of being economically or socially challenged. I dunno…. just can’t let it lie. Brings me back to a battle I once had..

      Although I’m distraught about leaving behind all my friends and causes and volunteerism and of course the stunningly beautiful province, I guess I have to think forward. It’s incredibly difficult to do as this was the first place i truly felt at home in. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the UK and I know I’ll be happy and I can’t wait to meet up with people.

      Life is so short… I just don’t understand it

      Love ya xxxx

  3. As bad as things are here in the UK, please rest assured that the welfare safety net is still in place, so no matter how bad things are financially, you will receive monetary help for yourself and any children, including help with housing costs, while you find your feet. And as much as people may complain about cuts to welfare payments – the UK still has among the most generous social benefit payments in the world! The NHS has suffered cuts, but prescriptions are still massively subsidised for everyone and free for those out of work or under 18/over 65/pregnant.Food is much cheaper here than in Canada, as is the internet, cable/satelite TV and cell phone charges. Utilities are more expensive here. Have you lived in Nottingham before? It is still a nice city, in the centre, But it has had its fair share of problems and has been considered one of the more violent cities, although I don’t know if that’s still true. Schools aren’t great here – the standard of education is great for those kids that want to learn, but the discipline is non existant and the culture is one of “cool kids don’t do well at school” For kids from homes on a lower income, free university education is still possible, although they will be expected to take out loans for living costs.
    I’m actually doing the same move in reverse. I’ll be moving to Vancouver next year from the UK. I used to live in Winnipeg too, but couldn’t afford to start the immigration process, so had to move back here after a year. This time my in-laws have offered to help out – that’s the magic of giving them their first grandchild!! lol
    Good Luck and if you want to ask me anything you can email me on Hebwitch@live.co.uk. I work for the Citizen’s advice bureau here, so am pretty well up on financial advice and rights as a citizen!
    Siobahn

    • Thanks so much!!! I will have questions to ask if you don’t mind! There are all sorts of little things that I have forgotten etc… even my UK driving license, I haven’t seen that in 8 years so I am presuming that can be reissued although I am sure I’d have to have a photo done now or something!

      I truly hope you enjoy your life in Canada, the people are wonderful and the environment is beautiful xxxxxxx

  4. Hi Carolyn, at least in the UK you will be able to have welfare and health assistance, until you get on your feet. It just maddens me that in Canada, weren’t a burdon on the “tax payer”, you supported yourself and your family, you were active in the community, yet they wouldn’t grant you immigration, even though you had lived there for 8.5 years. I haven’t been to Nottingham for a very long time (haven’t lived in the UK since the early 90s) but I’m sure you’ll be able to find a little niche and then start building your life from there. Just don’t stop blogging!!! Bev xxxx

    • Hey Bev… its a long story that you would really shake your head in disbelief if I told you. In the end I did have one option open to me which was while PRRA was in I could have applied to stay here by applying through the Humanitarian and Compassionate application route- alas, because I had to leave my job after my work permit was denied last year, I was thrown essentially into poverty (no government assistance available) and therefore I could not afford the $2000 for all applications and visas for my children and I (obviously food and heating comes first).so therefore we now await to hear the result of our PRRA and then a timescale for us to leave the country.

      I really hope this doesn’t happen to anyone else

      My daughter has to leave behind a Canadian husband too who is unlikely able to accompany her to the UK because of his past circumstances… its just one big pile of stress and pooh

      BUT I can’t think of this anymore- its toooo upsetting and I have to try and stay forward focused to survive.

      Sorry for moaning xxxxx

      • Hi Carolyn

        You are not moaning xxxx

        You are tremendously brave. I can’t believe the bureaucratic “crap” (excuse my French) that goes on this modern world, honestly.

        You will find a way, stay focused and you will get there.

        Also, if you do end up going to the UK, there’s a huge 1940s following there, You might be even be able to catch up with the likes of Landgirl 1980 or Ticketyboo Tupney http://ticketybootupney.blogspot.co.nz) who are dedicated vintage gals.

        Keep calm and carry on xxxx

        Virtual hugs. Bev :)

  5. I live 8 miles outside Nottingham. I was born in the City and have always lived here. It is a truly cosmopolitan place. What area are you looking at to live in. Some of the inner City is a bit dodgy but other bits are really nice. If you have areas in mind and are not sure PM me and I will let you know.
    I really hope that if you do move you come to love this place as much as I do.

    • Hi Iris!! Thanks so much! I have some Facebook friends who live in Nottingham and they have been kind enough to guide me- we’ve just been chatting about schools. Have been looking at rental houses and because I have no job and no guarantor, the only way I can rent is basically pay all the tenancy time period up front so looking at paying 6 months rent up front..

      Areas I like the look of are Mapperley, Sherwood, Beeston, Wollaton, Arnold

      Want to be near a good bus route (or train route) to the city centre (no more than 30 mins on the bus- preferably less) so the kids can get to jobs and not rely on me driving them

      xxxxx

      • All good areas there. Furthest out is Beeston and there will be a brand new tram system from there to the city centre in the very near future. It does have good buses though – as do the other areas you’ve mentioned. Mapperley and Sherwood are probably only about 15 minutes maximum on the buses, Wollaton/Beeston about 25 minutes as it’s a main trunk road in and is extremely busy in rush hours. Arnold is on the same route as Sherwood but further out – prob about 25 mins max.
        No idea about the schools in Arnold but I do know that Beeston/Wollaton have good ones. Mapperley/Sherwood I only know one school near there and it’s huge!
        Mapperley/Sherwood/Wollaton are controlled by Nottingham City Council, Arnold by Gedling Borough Council and Beeston is covvered by Broxtowe Borough Council. Look at their websites.

  6. I was in Beeston for OU summer schools years ago, what struck me was Nottingham is handy for everywhere. By the way I like the gray it suits us mature ladies well, myself I used to be a ginger, gray in its many shades goes with the mature skin better.

  7. Oh yes – and gray gives us ladies dignity and gravitas so we get taken more seriously. I have one more thing to say – ALLOTMENTS! Best of luck.

  8. Allotments are in huge demand here. I’d make it a priority to get my name down on the list if you want one! There’s quite a thriving 1940s scene here if you’re interested – we still love the bloody war, us Brits! lol

  9. I have enjoyed your blog immensely. I wish you success and happiness whatever the outcome of your status and am sorry about the upset you are going through. However details are sketchy and as a Canadian I am rather confused as to your status and the story of impending deportation.

    If you are in Canada as a permanent resident which is the new term for landed immigrant( a person who is not a Canadian citizen but who has been granted permission to live and work in Canada without any time limit on his or her stay) and have met the residency requirement of living here two years out of every five then I don’t see how you are being deported.

    Also if you came to Canada with a work permit only and met and continue to meet the following requirements:
    •have a valid passport or other travel document issued by their country of residence
    •be in good health (a medical exam may be required)
    •provide proof that they have sufficient funds to support their stay in Canada
    •demonstrate that their stay in Canada is temporary
    •not have a criminal record, nor be considered a security risk
    then you should not have any trouble getting an extension of your work permit. So I guess there are requirements that you no longer meet. A work permit is always for a temporary stay. If you have been in Canada for 8.5 years you could have applied for permanent resident (landed immigrant) status during that time.

    This does not make Canada a bad country as some seem to be implying but rather one that has rules applicable to all.

    • Hi Denise- I do not have a criminal record or have not done anything wrong- I just simply cannot share the full story on here because its all a rather sad and distressing set of circumstances but the overview is I was here on a open work permit under a main applicant but because my marital status changed immigration said I needed to reapply for my own independent work permit and when eventually we got around to applying this was denied because of one or two factors over which I had no control over.. I then had to leave my job

      At that stage I was called in and offered two options, enforced deportation in 30 days or voluntary removal within 60 days… at that stage we decided to try and plea our case with a PRRA stressing the psychological, emotional and physical affect removal would have on us (especially the kids) and this is the part I cannot elaborate on but there was a VERY good reason

      We await this decision but have been told a positive decision is very unlikely

      We had the option of applying via the Humanitarian and Compassionate stream while the PRRA was in but because I no longer had ANY income I could not afford the thousands of dollars for application/temporary visas/fees etc

      We’ve struggled so hard these past several months since losing my job, I cashed in my pension which got us through a couple of months, I’ve sold some meager contents of my house and now I’ve sold my house way below its market value to facilitate a quick sale because we have nothing and because if we are asked to leave the country (which we intend to do voluntarily when we are asked to do so if the PRRA is unsuccesful) then I cannot leave my only asset behind.

      But I’m tired of fighting, I’m going to take my kids and start afresh, yes I am very sad to leave everything behind, this is a lovely place and the community and the people are amazing and it has been a real home to me.

      But I only now want to think positively and look forward to living a life without restrictions where I can fully embrace similar volunteerism and community as I did here..

      If its OK I’ll not speak anymore of this, its still distressing but please know we will be fine and as far as I can see most people enter Canada and do not have these sort of problems- this has been an exceptional set of circumstances and unfortunately with bureacracy in any country, it is very much black and white and the grey has to be pigeon-holed

      That’s it- I’ve had my rant, I will leave with my integrity intact, know I have done absolutely the right thing from a humanitarian perspective and I’ve done all I can

      Now its time to move forward…

      C xxxx

      • And Canada is NOT a bad country- have absolutely never implied that. Its a wonderful and beautiful place to be and that is why I feel so strongly about it..

        What is wrong is this particular set of circumstances which I cannot elaborate on because I respect the privacy of another… I will ALWAYS put my children first and if that meant fighting to stay here for their psychological and emotional well being, I did just that.

        NOT leaving in this case was vitally important knowing that if we were deported we would probably not be able to return

        I wish I could spell it out but I can’t and I won’t but trust me you would see where I am coming from if you knew

        Gosh my pulse rate is high!!! LOL! xxxxx

  10. LOL! I never in a million years thought that you had a criminal record! or did anything wrong. I now understand a bit more of what has happened. Thanks for telling what you could. We had a similar situation with a friend. Also came as married and then had to apply for an independent work permit when the marriage disintegrated. She is still here but her husband returned to Russia. And we also know people who came for one employer, were terminated (no fault of theirs) and then had to leave to re-apply for other positions.

    Once again I am sorry about all the upset but am completely confident that you will not only survive but prevail and in fact thrive. You are just that kind of person. And I have always found that what happens was meant to happen. Kind of a trite saying and sometimes I did not find this out for a long time but life has a way of working out. I hope that you will continue with the 1940s Experiment blog no matter where you end up.

      • Sorry- I hope I didn’t sound horrid- just typing emotionally. It’s still very raw … I accept there are rules that have to be followed and applied but this particular circumstance, I really feel from a humanitarian perspective, some sort of leniency could have been offered for the sake of my kids for a while- its been a horrid stressful time trying to keep us here.

        But yes we will move on and be strong and I’m sure things will work out

        Hugs xxxxx

  11. Dear Carolyn

    Just checking you out again; you are looking really well in your photos.
    Shocked at your current situation but know that whatever happens you will make good.
    I am praying for a happy resolution.
    You are a hero.

    Much love
    Bel

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