Lumps and Bumps

Hidey ho, old chaps! I’m on the train back to bonny Scotland after my couple of days in the ye olde English countryside. I’ve been massaged and manicured and now I’m ready to get back to reality.

Have to admit I’m feeling a wee bit fragile right now. I don’t know if many of you read my non-fat blog, but we found out on Wednesday that my permanent residency application has been denied. Basically when you marry a Brit you get a two-year temporary visa then after that time you have to prove you’re still a red hot legitimate married couple so you can stay together forever and ever in your British love nest. If they don’t think you’ve proved it, you’re oot, baby!

And whaddya know? The Home Office thinks me and the good Doctor G ain’t the real deal.

I have been through all the emotions over the past few days. First the knee-jerk reaction on my blog and generally feeling sick to the stomach that anyone could question our lovely wee relationship. Then anger because I know we filled out that goddamn tedious form properly and sent the correct documents. Then came a hysterical kind of bemusement because the rejection is just plain absurd and there is absolutely no logic behind it.

This was followed by my old friend PANIC, because this really could not have happened at worse bloody time. Like there is a good time for these things, but anyway. Everything is happening all at once and the pressure is a wee bit overwhelming.

You know those moments where everything builds up and you have to decide whether to sink or swim? Well, I allowed myself to splash around in the panic pool for awhile but now I’ve calmed down. I refuse to fall in a heap. I’ve got my lists and plans and thought out how to deal with everything logically. And I know me and my Scottish Companion are the real deal, thank you very much; so we will get this sorted.

. . .

The massage was nice, by the way. No paper pants, just strategically placed towels!  I was too chicken to take off my undies but there were no major Fat Girl Freakouts.

It was bizarre how knotted my body was. There were great lumps of tension in my shoulders and arms and even in the palms of my hands. When she kneaded my back it felt like there were marbles under my skin. She even said my scalp was all stiff. Urrgh. Rather painful at times but still enjoyable!

I couldn’t seem to switch my brain off. This may sound bizarre but the whole thing made me extremely emotional. I kept thinking of my Skinny List and how I felt about my body way back when I wrote it in 2001. I always try and downplay how much the lard-busting process has changed me, I don’t know why. Perhaps a little embarrassment that I got so big in the first place, or defensiveness coz I’m "still the same person". But with a strangers hands poking and prodding the body that I used to feel so ashamed of, I couldn’t deny how much has changed. It was a strangely powerful moment, like the past six years rolled past my eyes in a Rocky-esque montage…

Shit shit shit. I dunno what’s wrong with me at the moment, I keep getting teary at inappropriate moments and the dude sitting opposite is looking at me funny. So I will sign off and gawk out the window instead. And I hope this entry doesn’t come across as self-pitying in any way. I am slightly scared but quietly determined. Keep calm and carry on, as they say. Hope you are all well 🙂

44 thoughts on “Lumps and Bumps

  1. Oh, that’s so sucky. It must be a really hard thing emotionally to have the validity of the marriage challenged, and on top of all the physicaly revalations. But you will pass through this as you have come through so much already in the past years. Whe I found your blog, I found it to be inspiring enough that I wanted the whole story. I went back and read the archives … all the way from the beginning. Now that I am caught up, I feel at times like I know you … is that weird? It is for me sometimes, because I have been told that also.

    But anyway, just know that there are still people out there rooting for you.

  2. tis not weird at all brandi dear, i feel the same way about all the bloggers i faithfully follow 🙂

    and thanks a bunch for your kind comment, it means a lot especially right now when i’m feeling like such a big baby. hehe.

  3. Sorry things are so ridiculous. I’m sure they will all be ok in the end. Stupid government muck ups.

    No point sinking.. you can swim now, especially after the lessons!!

    You have come so far on all your journeys.. this is just a minor annoyance along the way and will get sorted.

  4. I know I’ve already said so, but… it’ll be OK. All our fingers will be crossed for you. Meanwhile, deep breaths, I suppose.

  5. I wonder if it would help to have all of us bombard the Home Office (or “HO”, as it seems that is what they are… as I’m sure with Modonna’s money she had NO trouble moving to Britain!) with letters stating that we all KNOW your marriage is the real thing!

  6. Yeesh, c’mon, really!!!??? If you’re going to fake a marriage, is scotland really the place to fake one? I mean, wouldn’t you find somewhere a little more “tropical” to have a fake marriage? Like, warmth? I mean, I would question your relationship if GARETH were to go to Australia instead!! THEN I would question the validity of your marriage, haha… but, this is coming from a canadian chick, who really wants to go somewhere warm 😛

    Shauny dear, things will be fine. There MUST be an appeal process. How about your print off your entire blog (or both!) and send it to them … no one fakin’ a marriage would first off, go to the extent of 10 000 pages of blogs, and NO ONE would want to go fake a marriage in Scotland! *laughs*

    (My grandparents/great grandparents are from there, lordy, they came to canada for a reason!!)

  7. That sucks big time Shauna – however I have confidence in your abilities to beat those HO rules and regulations – especially when they’re so blatantly wrong! I know you can do it!! Go DG Go!!

    As a friend and ex colleague for the past so many years let me know if I can help you out in any way at all.

    On the positive side, if the worst happens and you do get deported at least you won’t have to go and see Rush in October!

    Oh and Anji – maybe you should take a visit to Scotland some time – yes OK it has its problems (like most countries do – even Canada!!) but I can tell you that it’s still one of the most beautiful and friendly countries in the world!

  8. Good luck with the residency app. I’d be curling up in a fetal position but I’m sure you’ll get through this and get your residency at the end. Damn them and their red tape though.

    Massages can really bring up lots of emotions and weird feelings. Well the relaxing kind do, the remedial style that I need to get out the running kinks are more like ‘holy mother of god, that HURTS!’

  9. Hey – your reaction is normal. It is a stressful thing to have your visa denied. The HO bozos are not known for their intelligence and you gave them enough evidence, I am sure you’ll sort it out. It may take going and seeing them personally and a lot of time but I’m sure it will work out. It must have been nice to have Rhi around when you were feeling fragile though.


  10. That’s just rotten,that is! Like everyone else I feel like I know you and want to personally march up to the Home Office and tell them so! If I could do anything to help you I would. I am a lawyer in Edinburgh but ‘fraid I know next to diddly squat about immigration law. I can notarise stuff! Is that any good????????

  11. Hi Alex (& DG)

    I was only mocking, I know scotland is gorgeous with fabulous people. If I wasn’t with my hubby now, I would be living over there! I have ancestral rights to be working there and would totally be there right now if I wasn’t with the love of my life 😀

    It’s just funny, a country which is known for it’s gloomy weather, is trying to stop someone from wanting to live there who they originally come from a nice sunny one 😀

    More irony than anything — and, I can’t believe someone can say a marriage is not legitimate… I know there are people out there who fake marriages to get into a country with better living conditions than their own. But, from one place that is equal to another with living conditions? I just find it unbelievable. But, I agree with what someone else said that maybe they are just using it as an excuse to filter those people who don’t really care, to get them out. But, I’m pretty sure with an appeal, you’ll be fine!

    Alex, I was only joking 😀 I guess I didn’t add enough smiley faces, and *laughs* in there!

  12. What a huge pain in the butt! Poor you and Dr G. It’s absolute nonsense but, as someone else has said, that’s bureaucracy for you.

    How can we help? Surely there must be a way to get all the bloggers and bloggers’ readers – the power of the keyboard and all that – to support you in a practical way.

    You have been inspirational to so many of us; maybe it’s our turn to do good right back?

    I don’t know; it’s just the sheer injustice of it. But your press cuttings and blog should …. somehow be used to work in your favour.

    Take care lovely DG and let us know what we can do. I am ready to rant, write, campaign…whatever.

    Mrs Lard (The Lard Arms) xxxxx

    PS sorry massage was not the blissed-out experience it should have been. You have a lot going on and no wonder you felt overwhelmed. You have come so far and overcome so much. And will continue to do so.

  13. Sorry to hear of your frustrations with the immigration process. Having immigrated to Canada, I had to fill out forms twice as well. Think positive, visualize the outcome you want, and have faith. Chin up. I know you have great Karma coming your way, as you add so much to so many peoples lives through your blog.
    Big hug to you – Lisa

  14. Oh Shauna, I’m sorry to hear the crap news. Perhaps it’s worth ringing them and asking them specifically WHY you weren’t approved. It must be some silly little detail.. GRR. I’d be cranky over anything else.

    It’s a shame you can’t just send ’em to your websites and have them read and come to the conclusion yourself. 😉

    Take care and don’t panic, things will work themselves out. Sending big hugs,

    @ Typepad & WordPress

  15. Wow! Are those people at Immigration bureaucratic idiots no matter which country you’re from? Although, my uncle works for Immigration (sorry Uncle!), my husband and I had hell of a time navigating through their bologna to get his citizenship, which should have been a very logical and straightforward situation if they didn’t get hanged up by the details and paperwork.

    The system sucks!, but I hope everything turns out okay for you.

  16. That sucks about the marriage being questioned, you will just have to work on them officials big time! And as for the massage, rather you than me, I still have too many hangups to have some stranger touching my body, eeewwwww.

  17. So sorry to hear that Shauna, thats really crap of ’em to deny your permanent Visa thingy because they question your marriage. I know plenty of people actually do those fake marriages, but it must be really painful to be doubted like that… Say to yourself that they are just bureaucratic asses (here in Lux we have plenty of them :)) and why dont u try calling them and asking what went wrong there?
    Anyways i really feel for you and your man, and i hope you’ll get that sorted out! Hugs, nath xxx

  18. I have found it impossible to get permanent residency, im limited to 7 year stints UNLESS…. unless…. I am willing to retain citizenship. Dual citizenship — the other other white meat– ever considered? 🙂 PS. i AM indeed going for it… as soon as my chickenliver self can get over the weirdness… less than a year? perhaps next summer!
    ALl the luck to you both Shauna, Sometimes being an international family has its little frustrations but somehow things always seem to work out for the better 🙂

  19. Aww, Shauna, sucky though this is, I’m sure true love will prevail… everyone knows the British government are a bunch of knobs.

    By the way, we here in Oz are definitely NOT rooting for you…. there are limits, you know! (little Aussie joke there)

    *ahem* Sorry, I have my straight face on again now. Hope it all works out for you.

  20. Arg! Government unbearable-acrcy, especially over there. When I lived in London I had to go to “Aliens Registration” — what the hell kind of country informs their permanent visitors straight off that they’re from another planet. How welcoming is that?! I’m sure if I had gone through with my engagement (at the time), I would have been faced with the same nonsense you’re facing now. Why not give them your blog address as proof — the archives don’t lie!

  21. What a nightmare dear DG. It WILL all be OK, of course, and a funny story to tell your grandchildren someday. I can relate a bit. I am an American currently residing in the UK with my EU husband and baby son (who has both of our citizenships). He started working for a British company, and we stupidly assumed we could live here together. I was given a six month visa that allowed me to live, although not work here (as long as I entered the country every time with my husband!). Now, as a tourist I can live here for 6 months, which I helpfully pointed out to the fabulously rude UK embassy employee. She then said that I could apply for a year long visa if I relinquished my passport for several months. Lovely. There is something very, very wrong with this system. No doubt with ever system..Good luck.

  22. I have immense faith that in this situation, all that is right will prevail 🙂 stay strong!!

    On the topic of massages however, it is actually really common for massage to make you emotional because it is stimulating all sorts of previously dormant nodes and glands and things. That is why it is really important to have a great masseur who’ll take care of you (as well as beat the knots out of you). Combined with all the expectations and fears you had going in then I think it was the completely rational response 🙂

    Take care!

  23. Bastards. Well, if they don’t see sense you can always bring him back to Australia. Or send a letter bomb. Whatever.

  24. Sorry to hear about the HO decision. It’s a hurdle, but you’ll overcome it – look at all you’ve achieved – this won’t stop you. As others have said, send them your blog archives; to my eyes they document a lovely marriage. You’d hardle suffer a tortuous bike ride for example, if there wasn’t love there! Good luck!

  25. Geez Shauna, how crappy for you guys. Our pantsy government couldn’t run a p*ss up in a brewery, what do they know about real love…twats!!
    In answer to your question about the gym, it was the one at work, we’ve got lots of new equipment and it looks quite impressive for a broom cupboard! Lots of love Shauna and don’t let the b*st*rds get to you, you’ll make it x x

  26. Oh. I feel terrible now. I left a light hearted comment about Aunty Helen and The Bungle bungles on your other blog and I feel like I should have said something more supportive.

    I truly hope everything turns out well for you and SC.


  27. been there, done that – sux!!!!!!!! but i was the legal person and my partner was the french man not allowed in Australia – Willy Brigit did nothing for french immigration status! He had to fly out and then fly back in and we started the process again! Costy baby but worth it! OR you could bring bagpipes over here! We will make him feel fully welcome to be sure!

  28. Dear Shauna

    So sorry to read your latest news. Not good but you will be fine – somehow.

    Still your biggest doggy fan.

    Woof Woof xxxx

  29. Bummer about the authenticity of your marriage. My friend Karlene went through the same thing here in the states. She met him in the Phillipenes, and they wanted to move back here. So she had to come back alone, and wait for the the paperwork, and proving everything is legit before he could come here. It took over a year, and she had to have her baby all alone, and her husband didn’t get to see their son in person until he was over 3 months old. Good ole homeland security. Hope it turns out better for you.

  30. Hey chicky,

    What doesn’t kill you, makes you stonger! Just remember that all things happen for a reason. This is just a wee minor set back, and something to tell the grandkiddies!

    Just keep up the good work, everyone is behind you 110% 🙂

  31. Sorry to hear of your trouble with the immigration office. I hope you can fight it and win!

    Massages are awesome. I had my first one last year and now wondered why I waited so long for one. I was nervous about my size and now I wonder what for. They are doing a job like everyone else.

    Hope things are looking up for you soon.

  32. Good grief! You should just submit all of your blog entries that mention Gareth. Surely, they can’t think you have the time to make up all those lovey-dovey stories?!
    Hope this all gets settled soon!

  33. Awwww dg … you’re such a sweetie, that’s why we all luv ya, because you have such a spectacular way of describing how we all feel. Sounds like it was perfect timing for that good ol massage… go you!

  34. I with the “send them a link to your blog” comments. That’s just ridiculous and I’m very, very sorry.

  35. Man, what a pain in the ass. I can say that when I read your archives, I teared up more than once when you’d mention your relationship with Gareth… sounds like the real deal to me! Sooner or later, the matter will settle… until then, hang in there, dear!

  36. Thanks shauna, I was reading w.n.p this morning with a tear
    in my eye for you. I can’t believe what utter shites they
    all are. Doesn’t matter if its the immigration here or Oz
    or NZ, they make your life a misery. I had no idea the British
    one was so strict – I mean whadda they want from us? Blood? o yeah
    they did that already…rahhhhhhh.

    What gets on my nerves is that you jump through the hoops
    for them, they think about it for about a millisecond and
    then…computer says no.

  37. Shauna, this is outrageous. The Home Office was found a year or two ago to be employing illegal immigrants as cleaners for its offices, so how they can do this to you is beyond any sane person. Serious suggestion: could you show them your blogs? They are all dated, detailed and with comments…it would be a hell of an effort to falsify. You can but ask. And if that doesn’t work, tell the papers (you have a Daily Mail contact already and they love this kind of story). Don’t worry, it will work out. God I hate Labour.

  38. hang in there babes,we are all behind you,we will all go and kick ass for you be it through the internet on there door step or over the phone, just give us a shout and we will be right behind you all the way 🙂

  39. Oh, hell, Shauna. 🙁 Really hope you get this sorted (and I have no doubt you will), but gah, how upsetting. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you.

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