Sunday, 27 November 2011

Family, decorating and, yes again, stress...

Well, it's Sunday afternoon and for the first time since I wrote my last blog I can relax a little.

The last week has been very busy still at work, and there has been no respite at home either.  Work is going to remain busy and stressful for the coming weeks.  It's the same every year and I don't see why this year should be any different. Hopefully by the time that I start working as Stacy the stress is going to be somewhat diminished.

At home...  Well my brother arrived last Sunday to do some DIY for me (it's his job and I hate it so I thought it was easier to pay him than do it myself - thanks bro!) so we had to get the house ready for a guest, and I had to get into a place in my hear to share a house with him for a week. He's a great guy, but lives life like Frank Sinatra's song - My Way.  Not being able to have discussions - he is right in everything and knows best about everything too (including telling me how things I studied work - because he has seen movies that told him; grr!!!) It can get a little tiring sometimes.

So whilst I have been at work this week he has been swapping radiators, removing radiators and plastering the walls in our hall, landing and on the stairways.  And he even had time and material to do the bathroom ceiling for me!

Seeing as it was going to be the last time he saw his brother I was trying to figure out when to introduce Stacy to him, and stressed a little - he doesn't have the worlds greatest gift for tact so there would be no sugar coating his thoughts.

Events actually conspired against me for the week - Sunday was his first day so I thought as I am not full time yet there I would wait until he was settled.  Monday I got home and gave him a hand finishing the days work and preparing for the next.  Tuesday we were visiting my sister in law and her family so no go.  Wednesday and Thursday were also spent helping with some of the work.  On Friday I had therapy, my last session before going full time at work, so there was no choice there.  He was going to meet me.

After therapy we went shopping for Sinterklass gifts and the weekly shop and then back home.


As with telling him in the first place, a complete non event.  I've had a few different reactions but never complete and total dis interest.  And I don't mean that in the way that it sounds!  He just opened the door (he had my keys for the week) and said 'howdo'. That's it.

Yesterday he went to Amsterdam for the day, I dropped him off at the train station as him (running errands that I still need to be him for) and picked him up in the evening again.  As Stacy.  And again just thanks for picking him up and started chatting.  On the trip home I decided to bring it up, just to see if there was any reaction.  I asked him if he thought he would cope in the January with calling me Stace or sis.  'I don't know, I'd had 35 years of calling you bro - I'm a bit stuck in my ways, that's why I can't stop smoking.'  And that was it the subject was gone.  And we just hada normal evening watching Strictly (I still can't believe that he is a fan!) and then the went to bed before setting off home today.

One bit of stress gone I suppose :)

Oh...  And news!

I ordered my deed poll this week!  An amazing simple (so far) process!  Let's see when it comes through...

More annoying and difficult will be my passport...  It used to be that you could take a morning off of work, go to the consulate in Amsterdam and get a new passport.  But...  When then introduced the new passports a couple of years ago they stopped doing this 'to improve the service the office can give to it's customers' and I now have to post my passport to Paris.  Who will check if it meets their requirements for requesting a new passport.  If they agree it gets posted to the UK.  Who see if it meets their requirements for issuing a passport (yes, they can be different requirements!) who print it and then post it direct (thankfully) to me. I was hoping to come back to Leicester in the new year and take a trip to Peterborough for the one day service, but apparently I don't fulfill the requirements for that and it's one week minimum.  As I could not travel home again with no passport that means a two week trip and I just don't want to use the vacation time for it.  I just hope that posting it does not cause any problems...  I have to get the application form filled in this week (assuming my Windows machine will read the PDF they have, my Apple doesn't...)

Phew, more stress in the coming weeks then!  And a travel ban until they return it to too me!  Why don't the UK sign the Schengen agreement so I can travel without it!


  1. The passport office has a 19th. century mindset and uses no logic in it's dealings with the public!

    I was in the Scottish passport office, I was the "only" customer there and they said that they could not deal with my renewal even though I had every possible piece of evidence including " myself"! I had been warned that the office would be crowded with long waits, "we put up the prices to deter personal applications" they said, so over a dozen people were doing nothing!!

    The rule, their rule!, was that passports could not be posted between countries, now they ask you to do it!?

    Good luck.

  2. From what the newspapers say of late I have a feeling you could have anybody's passport and still get in !

    As for your brother, sounds like he will get there. Just needs some time - a man of few words clearly. Liking strictly must be another positive !!


  3. DIY, blurgh. GSR = Get someone round :-)

    I hope the stress situation improves. It often seems to go up a notch just before Xmas.

  4. Caroline: Yes, it's amazing how they can go from 'Never do this!' to forcing you all in the name of giving a better service.

    I have still to work out how making someone travel several hundred kilometers is a better service than going to a city in the country where you live...

    Becca: I'm not sure, whenever Mrs Stace and I travel to the UK they seem to study the passports in detail.

    As for my brother... I think he has enough words, I just really think that the only issue he has is changing his ways to call me Stace or sis instead of bro or mate. We'll see how the new year goes :)

    Lynn: Absolutely! It's just a shame I still have to paint it when it dries completely!

    The stress will improve, just not for a while! Over here you need health insurance by law, and can only change it once per year. Working for an Internet insurance company makes this an important part of the year. Unlike car insurance though where were can tweak and fix things over time, with health we have to get it right first time - otherwise by the time everything is good the season is over and I don't get my bonus :)


  5. How are you doing your deed poll ? Ask because my continental passport office refused saying they needed a more legal form. In the end it just meant going into the consulate and giving them 50euros whilst declaring exactly the same thing as from the deed poll service, but to them.

  6. Finding out just what the Paris passport office wants from me is just one of the things I have to try and find out! I'm going to be doing some surfing this weekend to find out. If I have to visit the consulate for another piece of paper then it's going to slow things down again as I can't take time off at the moment to get to Amsterdam (Well I could, but I would rather wait until we are not rushed off of our feet at work!).

    This is all so much easier than going into Amsterdam and asking for a passport...