Three things you should know

London Winter
Definition: A supreme force that sucks all will to live from you.

I have never ever before hated Winter. I guess there’s a first time for everything. Maybe it’s that the days here are a bit shorter (since it’s a bit further North than Vancouver). Or that whether there is precipitation or not it is always cloudy and grey. Or maybe it’s that the wind chill makes you want to throw a temper tantrum at Mother Nature for being so bloody downright cruel all the time.

And then when the sun comes out and you get a high of 10 degrees you realise how complete and utterly depressed you were and you just couldn’t accept it because there was no real explanation other than the lack of good weather. I GET IT NOW ENGLAND. I UNDERSTAND YOU. Let’s blow this fascist popsicle stand and re-settle somewhere with better weather.

Other than my seemingly daily temper tantrums at Mother Nature, life has been good. Kickboxing continues as always, which fills most of my weeknights. The rest of my spare time I’ve put into several social events around London, sitting around at home (cause in this weather you don’t want to do anything usually), or BAKING.

Yes, that means cake. I’ve decided to start a new project in which I bake something new for the office every other week. Bekah’s Baking Bonanza truly began with a Red Velvet Cheesecake and then was today followed with a Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake. Every other week I will put a poll to the office of four things I can bake, and they will vote. Whichever gets the most votes I make for the following Monday and the runner up gets put in the next vote with three other new options. Sounds fun, right?

I’m hoping that baking (and plenty of wine consumption) will keep my mind off of travelling for a few months. Since my awesome employer has said they will sponsor me to stay here a bit longer, it means I need to save money to do so. The problem is the border agency likes to make it really difficult and expensive. Here’s my cost breakdown:

  • Visa application cost: £512
  • Maintenance funds: £900
  • Round-trip flight to Vancouver: £650

That means I need to spend £2062 just to continue being an exceptional resident and employee in Britain. Those maintenance funds are to prove I can support myself in the UK (even though I already have a job) since I don’t qualify for public funds assistance, and they have to be in my bank account for 90 consecutive days prior to my visa application. “But why the flight to Vancouver?” you ask. Well, you see, there’s this really stupid rule where I cannot directly switch into the Tier 2 General sponsorship visa from the current visa I’m on (Tier 5 Youth Mobility). My current visa is the only one you’re not allowed to switch directly from. Of course! So this means I must return to Canada to re-apply from my home country and I am at the mercy of Ottawa, passport-less, while they process my application for anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks. Sounds fun, right?! No. Just….. NO.

The reason I put myself through this is because my current visa expires in August, and I feel like I’m not quite done with Europe yet (despite the shit weather in London). I need at least another couple of years to get in some more travelling and my career is going well. Perhaps I’ll be able to afford a short trip in the spring before I go back to Canada in June to handle my visa application – something close like Edinburgh or Barcelona maybe.

So what were those three things you should know?

  1. Winter in the UK sucks. Avoid it at all costs.
  2. I’m becoming a master baker. Laugh all you like –  you’ll be coming to me for advice and goodies soon my friends.
  3. I’m planning on staying in London for a bit longer.

I know there are people out there searching. Searching for baking tips, cool cake recipes, help with UK visa applications, and perhaps the meaning of life and why they’re here. I can help with all of these, except that last one – you’ll have to see my awesome LDS friends for that one. Feel free to get in touch if you need advice on any of the first three though.

Love always – BEKS


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