Pink Phizz

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

These boots are made for walking.

Well, I've been thinking about wanting to get my license here in the UK. The one thing I really miss is being able to drive. Just puttering down to the supermarket would be a thrill for me. I was already aware of how difficult and expensive even getting the privilege of being able to drive here is than in the States; however, now I am even having a rethink of whether or not I even want to consider it. For those living back in the States, let me give you a little heads up of what it takes to be able to drive here.

You have to get a provisional, which is the equivalent to having a learner's permit in order to even get an instructor to teach you how to drive. And this costs approximately £35 pounds. The main reason why I would have to go through this procedure is because I didn't drive within a year of getting my first visa. I could have legally driven in that first year on my state-side license. Now, after being here for more than two years, it would be (is) illegal for me to do so. It also entails sending paperwork in, including your passport, etc. Then, when and if you get your provisional, you have to line up an instructor which will find you digging into your wallet at about £20-£30 pounds a pop for an hour. Now I haven't a clue how many hours it would take for me to get the hang of driving, or rather of being able to pass the driving test; however, I would imagine I would have to take at least four or five lessons. At, say, £25 pounds a pop, that would be approximately £100-£125 pounds for lessons.

Now as far as the testing goes. The tests are broken up into two parts (just like the States). Theory and practical. The theory test costs about £20 pounds for each time you take it; hopefully, just the one time. The actual driving test is about £45 pounds each time you have to take the test, which is usually more than once, cause it's so damn frustrating!

If you add all of this up, it comes to around £225 pounds. And I think you may still have to pay for the actual license, which I think is £35 pounds. If, and it's a mighty big IF, I only had to have four or five lessons (ah huh, right), and IF I passed my theory and practical tests the very first time (ah huh, right), then all of this would only cost us approximately £260 pounds. For the privilege of me driving to say the library or the supermarket. And of course, that's not even taking into account the extra insurance, etc.

Something tells me that I don't want to drive. Seems to cost too damn much, both in the pocketbook and healthwise. Healthwise, because I don't think my nerves would be able to take the pressure of the said tests. Aarrgghh!!

Now if we should ever win the Lotto. Well, that'll be a whole nuther story. I won't care how many lessons, tests, whatever I'll have to endure to be able to drive down to the library or supermarket. Until then? Walking is really good for you. Heh.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Looking good in the old passport.

So Thursday we took a drive to Croydon, leaving around 10 a.m. so that we would have plenty of time to get there seeing as we hadn't a clue where we were going. After a lunch of cardboard tasting burgers, we moseyed over to Luner House (Home Office of Immigration and Naturalization), which by the way is the easiest building in Croydon to find since, not only is it one of the largest around, but it's outlined in purple ~ nice and gaudy for the whole world to see.

Anyway, 1 p.m. finds us at the doors, shuffling in the cold like all the other people, just trying to stay out of the snow and wet, waiting for the magical 1:30 to come around so that we can be ushered in like cattle in the middle of a cattle-drive.

Finally, 1:30 arrives, we go in through security, a procedure much like going through security at an airport, arriving at our first of three stations in the process of getting my resident visa. The first station (window) is a nice guy requesting my application and all paperwork of proof of our living together (as man and wife in our case) for two years; then on to station (window) number two, which is the payment of that much needed £500 pounds for the privilege of processing said resident visa on same day. After these two stations is where all the fun began.

The time it took to go to window #1 and window #2 was approximately, what, ten minutes or so. Just about the amount of time we figured it would take. So far, so good.

We get to the final part which is our 2 p.m. interview, review of said papers, and visa stamp ~ all which is suppose to take about one hour tops. Which is exactly what happened.

So what's the problem you ask?

It's the four hours that we wound up waiting for that 2 p.m. interview. Our number was finally called at around 5:45 p.m. They were running late. Technical fault is what it was called. We wound up sitting at the Home Office of Immigration and Naturalization for five bloody hours.

Five hours.

I do have to say that they saw every single person that was there, everyone behind the glass was very nice. I haven't a clue what time everyone finally went home. All I know is that we were there at 1:30 p.m. as directed, and we got out of there at 6:30 p.m. It does make one wonder how late the people with 4 p.m. appointments got out.

And by the way, that little trip down there to Luner House (Home Office of Immigration and Naturalization) actually cost us £514.00 pounds. The £14 pounds was what we had to pay for parking.

However, in hindsight, who really cares. I have my Indefinite Leave to Remain, which means I am a full fledge resident now of the United Kingdom. And after two years (and five hours longer than anticipated), I am very much delighted that I don't have to do this again.

Now I have to think about whether or not I want to go for Naturalization in three years. Hmmmm.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

On three, cross your fingers. One. Two. Three. GO!

I am taking a break from blogging for the next couple of days. Thursday afternoon is my appointment with the Home Office of Immigration and Naturalization to go for my ILR, which is short for Indefinite Leave to Remain, or basically my stamp of approval for my passport that I am a full resident of the United Kingdom. It's taken over two years to be able to do this, what with two different visas beforehand, so now I am approaching the day of my final step for getting my resident visa. So this time will be, for obvious reasons, taken up with making sure I have everything in order for this process.

Hopefully, the next time I take finger to key (or as they used to say pen to ink) I will have that shiny new stamp and will have already danced a little dance of glee and perhaps celebrated with a drink (or two, or three).

So keep your fingers crossed my blogging friends.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Brit Awards 2006

So last night we watched the Brit Awards for 2006. Not bad. Not good. I liked all of the performances except for Kanye West. What trash. Since Whites can be called "white trash," I suppose I can call him "black trash" since he is Black right? But then maybe I am bias because I cannot stand rap...whatever.

And what is it with Americans who come over to the UK for fuckssake? I almost cringe now when I watch some of my countrymen/women come over here because I know that they are going to be complete assholes. Ambassadors they aren't.

Firstly, we had some American guy presenting. Haven't a clue who he was and don't care either. First thing out of his mouth though was "George Bush is an idiot." Huh? No one else on that show made any political statement whatsoever. That was a joy in itself. The Brit Awards was about music and that's what people talked about. Music. Except for this American wanker.

Secondly, we had, what was referred to..."perhaps in the future...Lady Madonna!!" Oh fuck. Give. Me. A. Break. The old hag, Madonna, herself presenting and receiving an award. She gave a verbal blowjob to all of Great Britain. It was pathetic.

Thirdly, and this is my favorite part of the whole show. Whoever set this up has a great sense of humor and must have known who's song was going to be the winning album because they had Little Miss $30 Million Dollar Slut, 'I am the American Idiot!', Miss Paris Hilton!!!, presenting the best single song of the year, which turned out to be Green Day

and the song?

American Idiot!

Having those two words flowing out of her mouth, now that was a hoot and made the whole show worth watching.

American idiots...all.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Life in Iraq

Wish I could say that I did this research, but I didn't. However, here are some very interesting statistics that did come out of the research that this person sent to the Daily Telegraph's Letters to the Editor yesterday. The gentleman writes:

SIR - During the past few weeks, I have done some careful research into what is happening in Iraq.

I have discovered that 47 countries have re-established their embassies there.

The current Iraq government employs 1.2 million Iraqis.

More than 3,100 schools have been renovated and 364 are being rehabilitated, with 263 under construction.

Twenty (20) universities and 46 institutes are operating. Some 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary schools by the end of 2005.

The Iraqi police force has more than 55,000 fully trained and equipped officers, and there are five (5) police academies producing 3,500 new officers every eight (8) weeks.

There are at least 1,190,000 mobile-phone subscribers.

There is a fully independent media network of 75 radio stations, 180 newspapers, and 10 television stations.

As the gentleman says there is pretty much a normal life that is going on, although we rarely hear about it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Winners and losers.

Well, I haven't posted anything lately, not because we won the Euro-Millions; which, by the way, we did win some pocket change out of them, but because I haven't had a whole lot to say. Speaking about winnings, we went on to win a little more pocket change from the UK Lotto the next night. This mean that, in the last three weeks worth of lotto tickets, we have made enough money to go out and get a curry dinner for both of us. What can I say, we are definitely living the high life. Heh.

I also thought long and hard about maybe putting my two cents/pence in over the ruckus that some members of the "Religion of Peace" have been conjuring up, but then realized that they are getting far more attention than the immature souls that they are are already getting. So no commentary from me will be posted on my blog over them.

The mob of teenagers that gave Krip a hard time a couple of weeks ago somehow have multipled in a fortnight. They are now up to approximately twenty odd boys and girls. Saturday night found them, not only littering the sidewalks with bottles and trash, but we got to witness them knocking down and destroying 'For Sale' signs outside individual homes just for the sheer enjoyment of getting their little rocks off. Our neighbor has had to resort to putting up a spotlight to shine on the driveway and putting a deadlock on his door now. And we live in rather upscale part of town, and since I have never laid eyes on any of these teens in daylight hours, it makes one wonder what neighborhood these little darlings come from.

Well, that's all I can think of to write about. God! I've got to get out more. Heh.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


I found this great blog called Fun With Handgrenades. Here's what he has under his title "The mindless ramblings and exploits of a US Army infantryman deployed to Iraq". It's a great blog, written in a 23 year old's words of what is going on in his life on a daily basis in Iraq. His last entry was 15 January. I hope he is doing okay.

Go on. Check him out.