Archive for March, 2011

March 29, 2011

UK Naturalization- The Ceremony


The Mayor, The Queen, and I....

The big day arrived! The letter came in the mail about two months after I submitted my application: I had been approved for citizenship.

First things first, I had to select a date for my ceremony, which was easy enough. Showing up on the date of the ceremony was nearly as easy. Unprecedented ease!

Ceremonies are held in your local council’s Town Hall, so on the 28th of March, we headed to Islington Town Hall. After signing in and filling out voter registration forms over tea and cookies (biscuits!), we were organized for the ceremony.

Signing the Register...

The ceremony consists of a few speeches; including one by the Mayor  after which each new citizen pledges allegiance to the Sovereign (one can opt to make a religious or non-religious oath), signs the register, and receives a Certificate of Naturalization from the Mayor. After all certificates were issued, we sang the National Anthem, and were released into the wild to resume our usual activities.

We didn’t take pictures during the ceremony, as the paperwork noted that there would be a photographer present who would have pictures available for purchase. Thus, we assumed that being a British citizen was just like going on a roller coaster at Great Adventure and that we would not be allowed to take our own pictures.
FYI: Our assumption was incorrect. The photographer seemed happy to take pictures with his camera and with those belonging to the participants, which was nice to see.

A very cool gift from Suzanne & Nick

So, now I find I’m being asked lots of questions.. here are a few:

1. Are you relinquishing your American citizenship?
No. I’m very fortunate to have two places to call home, both of which I am very fond.

2. Are you a dual citizen?
Basically, but to each government, I represent myself as a citizen of that country.

3. You look pretty giant in that photo. Were you the tallest person at the ceremony?
Sadly, no… but I’ll wear heels if I’m ever in a similar situation.

4. Do you have a UK Passport now?
That’s a totally separate application, but I am now eligible to apply for one.

5. Does this mean you aren’t ever moving back to the States?
No. I have no clue what’s next. Do you? If so, please email me and let me know.

6. So, your accent hasn’t changed, but do you say “sweater” or “jumper”?
Sweater, but I’ve adopted a lot of words I didn’t think I would, including: motorway, flat, lift, pavement, holiday, driving license, courgettes, aubergines, coriander, petrol, chips, tinned, dodgy, windscreen, queue, rubbish bin, sacked, stroppy, and I’ve even described a cup of tea as, “quite good”. I still spell like an American, but auto-correct is always updating what I’ve typed.

March 10, 2011

Noble Pig’s Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies


The very tasty finished product.

I’m not sure why this hasn’t already made it to the top of the foodie pyramid, as God knows, there was an entire quarter where I couldn’t attend a dinner party without someone bringing up chocolate covered bacon.

Makin' Bacon!

I made these cookies for a dear friend, Oscar, who is a serious baconophile.

Given that I was pretty confident that I wasn’t a culinary pioneer with this idea, I asked google for a recipe, and I found one, from an aptly named source: Noble Pig Vineyard & Winery. Their site is well worth a visit, as it’s full of recipes for things I really want to eat… I mean, make!

Their recipe is available here, and it comes complete with lots of tasty work in progress pictures.  (Yes, you have to look at their site to get the recipe, that’s only fair).

The dough

Our version required a few modifications. I’ve never seen maple smoked bacon in a UK supermarket. British bacon is different from American bacon in that it comes from the back, rather than the belly. So, we just used British bacon. We also couldn’t find maple extract, so I added a bit of maple syrup!

I could eat these all day. If they weren’t a gift, that plate would already be empty.

March 9, 2011

Perspective is Everything


I've been so boring that this is a picture from last spring!

I haven’t posted much in a while.

I think commencing my search for my next job (and the career change I hope to make with that next job) led me to stop treating my time off as a glorious gift that I should take full advantage of, as I stopped doing lots of things I was enjoying.

Anyway, I’m over that now.  Besides, I can’t go back to work until I finish building that ship in a bottle…