So Highly Thought Of

Old Jan 27th 2006, 8:42 am
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Default So Highly Thought Of

Okay, before I say all this I just want everyone to know I'm not trying to start a crap fight. This is not intended as a DISS! 'Tis merely my own curiosity/mind at work.

Around the time I was moving to the USA alottaa people were giving me all this leaving wisdom/advice about my future in America. Being 15 at the time, I wasn't particularly interested in what people had to say to me about it. I never quite believed it was actually going to happen; that was, until I arrived on America's door step. Over the past 2 ½ years, the advice and opinions of friends and family continues to roll in. This becoming more noticeable and advice more frank, now that most know I have decided to move back to the UK in a couple months and carry on my life there.

Being slightly older now and I think! More mature I have had this experience here, in America, which has made me think a hell of a lot about life, definitely more than I ever would if I had not moved. I have learnt the hidden values and now know the important things that matter to me the most in life. Thus, I have decided to return to England. All completely based on those 2 ½ years of bored pondering.

Bringing me back to everyone's advice, everyone is so ridiculously negative! I'm not totally sure why either? From my parent's to my grandparent's; all, seem to think America is the place to be, that I would be wasting a 'great opportunity' to live a better life if I left America, to return to crappy old England. I am confused to how England got such a bad Rep' within my family and how America according to them, is the 'shit'.
I’m not concerned with there opinions affecting my decision, quite honestly because I think there’re invalid opinions. I like to think of advice as something that is true, has been well thought out and given honestly with a known background of what’s going on. Can’t really say somebody’s opinion is complete advice, even though when they say it, it is intended to be advice.

Just a couple days ago, I was talking with my Nan over the phone. My Dad had told her that my car was for sale because of the upcoming move. After a quick chat about that, she seemed eager to get to her opinionated advice chat. She basically told me I should really think about what I was doing. I asked her how so? She replied saying that America is a better place. I’ll get a better education here; have a better chance of succeeding and having all the things I ever dreamed of etc etc. After wetting my appetite for wanting to say she started telling me a load of rubbish about how bad England was!?!
Now I have heard of the term “Respect your elders” and I do for the most part. Although I would never give my Nan a return speech over the phone, I would at some point want to tell her my way of looking it at it eye to eye, as well as the others who think the same way.

It is elevating to a point where it is starting to piss me off. People are seeing things in a way that absolutely everything evolves around a rich lifestyle. In the end that is what it all amounts to. You don’t go to school to come out with a crap job and no nothing. You go to school to come out, get an awesome job, buy a super big house, buy expensive cars, travel etc… Most of my family has visited; they have seen the lifestyle I am currently living in and that is what they imagine my future could be like if I stayed, living the rich lifestyle. My dad did pretty well for himself here, in relative comparison of value in material goods in England, it’s a big joke. Stuff we have here is nicer by far. Don’t really hold anything against my Nan and others for thinking the way they do, although my Nan growing up in the days she did… I can maybe understand why she is so overwhelmed by how much stuff we have. In her retrospect, what she used to have at 17 it is understandable.

I think that’s enough for now lol – may add more tomorrow. I was just thinking aloud (with my hands) and venting slightly after another bullshit talk with my Dad. If anything’s confusing, my apologies I’m trying to sort my thoughts out; I’m just as confused.

My question to you guys is: Do you have any family members that think very highly of your current country/lifestyle compared to your original or their’s? Jealous or envy you maybe?
I know a lot of people here have/are/are planning to move back. I’m wondering what do people think about you supposedly ‘chucking away’ that big house and 2 cars to come home, live in a shack with a metro. Do they understand the real reason behind it all?

Chris

One last thing - For the Grammar Nazis. It's 2.30am. I don't care.
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Old Jan 27th 2006, 9:24 am
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Default Re: So Highly Thought Of

To be honest - it's never easy!

The only thing I would say is give it a try, go back for a while and see how 'You' feel about the UK.

Every country is viewed differently by individuals, 'my' UK is different from 'your' UK - don't let anyone else tell you anything else.

Why don't you thank everyone for their advice, (politely of course), get on a plane a have an adventure.

Keep an open mind about the UK and what opportunities may present themselves and then you can decide with your own knowledge of the place if you like it or not.

Life is a journey, (it really is!), just think of the UK as a 'side trip', you can always go back remember.

Good luck!
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Old Jan 27th 2006, 10:28 am
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I think Paddy has hit the nail on the head so to speak. I would say give it a go but don't burn any bridges. Enjoy and have the adventure.

When I was talking to my mum about returning to the UK from Oz she kept on saying are you sure, the UK is not what it was etc etc....some of my friends were excited about us coming home and I think others just surprised.

I think in many ways coming home we are so much happier but our lifestyle isn't the same. Hubby works hard and long hours, we don't have "cash" over for luxuries like holidays etc but then again we are "starting over" whilst so many of our friends have been settled here for years with tiny ridiculous mortgages etc. we are just beginning....all again.

We are happy, we made our decision and that is that......for now..!!Who knows in a few years time we may think differently.I won't deny that I miss many things in Oz but then I missed many things about the UK too.....all swings and roundabouts....

Life is for living....go and enjoy whatever you can and be happy. No guarantees in life excpet the obvious.....the rest is up to us !! Good luck.....
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Old Jan 27th 2006, 10:59 am
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now ive told some people im going back to the uk, a lot have said "you must be mad", its crap here...weather, crime,schools etc etc etc etc etc.......

we are going back with virtually nothing, and will have to start completely afresh. i scared about that, and sure i will have days where i think "what the hell am i doing in this box, when i rented a house with a spa in the bedroom!"....but, having said that, it means theres a "deeper" reason for going back. its the essence of what makes British people British in the traditional sense...a quiet, almost humble pride to the point where it seems annoyingly unpatriotic, but its like that friend that does all the work behind closed doors, quietly getting on with it without bravado, while the gobby one in the office talks the talk and takes all the credit.
we dont shout about how great we are - years ago we didnt have to. however, as other countries do and we dont (we just moan ), it just adds to the fact we look worse than we are.

....or am i talking crap?!!!

I JUST WANT TO GO HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

im dreading the first day back at the old school gates though with the "why on the earth did you come back comments" cos unless theyve done it themselves, theyll never really understand....

also: the stepford wife ideas you imagine before you go. honestly, i wanted to bake bread in oz before i got here! But when "perfect lifestyle" is in your face 24/7, its no longer perfect - its not a treat to barbie on the beach, its part of the role of being here - it becomes a chore if you do it all the time rather than a treat, just like washing your car every sunday.
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Old Jan 27th 2006, 11:28 am
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Default Re: So Highly Thought Of

Hi Chris

I'm not sure I can answer the questions you posed but I wanted to respond to your well thought out post.

It's obvious from what you've written that there are some common points with families that threaten to "disjoin" ......and caring family members being afraid of this happening and the possible repercussions. For instance, it is natural for your parents and your grandma to try and put you off leaving what they deem to be a better life. Your parents are probably deep down afraid they will lose you to the UK, a country far away from where their family now resides, a country they left to better themselves...... and your grandma has probably witnessed her children doing well for themselves and therefore rightly wants the same for her grandson and doesn't see this as being possible in UK. In essence, as you probably know, your parents and grandma love you dearly and as all caring families do,they worry. And they worry because they care. And with all due respect Chris, you do what all sons /daughters do....you fight for independence, the chance to let go and make your own mark on life. This is normal and understandable.

So how to reconcile the differences? THAT'S the hard part ...and the truth of it is there is usually no easy answer.

I can share with you my experiences as a "once was" kid doing exactly what you propose i.e leaving my parents when I was your age and making my own way in life........and now having found the boot on the other foot i.e having a son who I agreed to leave in UK whilst we move to Aus, and another son who will probably leave us next year to return to the UK.

So how did I accept the change....and how did my son talk me round the concerns that we as parents have for our offspring and these enormous changes.

Well in my case Chris, I could sense my son was uneasy with the move to Aus and only two weeks before our proposed move we decided to talk things through. It was six months before his 18th birthday, so it was no easy task for my boy to confront his mother and father and tell them he no longer wished to join us in Australia. He decided UK was for him yet he wanted us to be happy in a country 12,000 miles away, one that had take two years to prepare for...and as we sat talking things through I could see for the first time that my son was an adult. He was able to put together a grown up counter argument against my wanting to hold on to his childhood......... and him wanting to embrace his own adulthood.

For the first time I realised my boy didn't share our dreams...he wanted dreams of his own. After much talking, much trying to convince him that he could find a better life in Aus, after much cajoling from my parents [his grandparents] ....we suddenly realised he was aiming to be his own person. He had a right to find his own way in life and we [myself and hubby] realised part of being a parent is learning to let go.

So in summary Chris I would say this: If you are resolute in moving to the UK then you need to be firm and logical in your argument. You need to find a way to communicate with your parents, to break it to them gently and honestly. They will probably be devastated as they also need to learn to let go. Explain to them you need to experience life through your own experiences and that for you, UK is somewhere where you want to be. Tell them you love them [in your own way of course] and reassure them it is the country you are rejecting, not them. Have a plan in place re what you intend to do when you go to live in UK, how you will manage, how you will cope in terms of support and how you will keep in contact etc, etc...

At the end of the day it is your life Chris. It sounds like you come from a very loving, caring and adoring family and from your post I see you have values as well as tenacity and a strong will. Treat your parents and grandma with respect whilst at the same time maintaining your individuality...and good luck
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Old Jan 27th 2006, 11:42 am
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Default Re: So Highly Thought Of

Originally Posted by phoenixinoz
Hi Chris

I'm not sure I can answer the questions you posed but I wanted to respond to your well thought out post. .......

.......At the end of the day it is your life Chris. It sounds like you come from a very loving, caring and adoring family and from your post I see you have values as well as tenacity and a strong will. Treat your parents and grandma with respect whilst at the same time maintaining your individuality...and good luck
fantastic post, im sure it will help chris a lot hearing the viewpoint from a parent who's been in a similar situation...
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Old Jan 27th 2006, 12:15 pm
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Default Re: So Highly Thought Of

Originally Posted by chance to be
fantastic post, im sure it will help chris a lot hearing the viewpoint from a parent who's been in a similar situation...
c x
Thanks very much m8
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Old Jan 27th 2006, 3:22 pm
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Post Re: So Highly Thought Of

There are some very thought-provoking comments on this thread.

It sounds like you have a similar character to my daughter, Chris. We went on an expat posting to Singapore when she was 10, then when she was 16 we relocated to the US as my husband transferred to the New York city office. My daughter had been at an international school but had an American boyfriend and knew quite a few kids at Singapore American School. She knew academically she was ahead of them (her school followed the British system) and she thought that many of the girls were immature and silly and she just couldn't relate to them. She was adamant that she didn't want to go to the local High School and just didn't fancy living in the States. She chose to go to boarding school in Oxford for her 'A' levels.

She is now 21 and a student. She's been out here loads of times for holidays (and sees a lot of her dad as he's often on business trips to London) but not once has she ever expressed a desire to live here in the New Jersey suburbs and much prefers London to New York City (even though she can now legally drink here LOL!). She's observed how people live here and it's just not appealing to her - she thinks many of them are too uptight, obsessed with material possessions and finds that to only get 10 days annual leave is untenable. She's been out on a couple of extended trips to India and the Himalayas and is totally independent....I'm really proud of her.

Incidentally the next-door neighbours are a US-English couple. They have had a couple of transatlantic moves and are staying here until the husband gets US citizenship. Their daughter (now 18) joined the local High school at 16 and apparently had a dreadful time of it - she just didn't 'fit in' and as soon as she graduated moved back to England and is doing a graphic design degree there.

You have to focus on your dreams - no-one is living your life but you and it's a big world out there. If you decide eventually that you want to return to the US the door isn't closed until you are 21 and you would then need to qualify via a work/student visa or maybe even marriage to a US citizen...but that's a long way off! You're young enough to travel and explore other countries - the world is your oyster.....you may choose to go backpacking and live and work Down Under for a year for example - thousands of young Brits do it every year yet few Americans leave their own country and are very insular.....sadly my 17 year old son whom has been in the US since being almost 12 is now having the same insular outlook which alarms me somewhat.....

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Old Jan 28th 2006, 3:47 am
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Default Re: So Highly Thought Of

Originally Posted by Englishmum
You have to focus on your dreams - no-one is living your life but you and it's a big world out there. If you decide eventually that you want to return to the US the door isn't closed until you are 21 and you would then need to qualify via a work/student visa or maybe even marriage to a US citizen...but that's a long way off!

This is precisely the thing that may concern parents in this situation - the prospect that he may be closing down his option to stay in the U.S. with them and that perhaps 5 or 10 years down the line will regret it.



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Old Jan 28th 2006, 6:32 am
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Originally Posted by JAJ
This is precisely the thing that may concern parents in this situation - the prospect that he may be closing down his option to stay in the U.S. with them and that perhaps 5 or 10 years down the line will regret it.

Jeremy
Isn't life about living...and sometimes about regret?

As long as this is clearly explained and understood, then there's very little any parent can do about it. From experience, there is very little that can be done to persuade these adults to stay and if forced, then they can legally leave when 18 anyway. Personally I believe it's better for them to go with our blessing and to help them wherever possible, than it is to put obstacles in their way. If within 5/10 years they have not found their happiness, then they can always return as long as the visa has not expired. Chances are that if a "child" returns to the UK and settles, then they have made their own life anyway, and so probably don't have anything in common with your new life. Then there is of course the chance they may wish to re-join. As long as they understand what this may mean i.e the risks, pro's and cons associated, then so be it. The choice is theirs.

I know when I was that age there was no way in hell I would let anyone dictate to me how I should lead my life. I was very headstrong and adamant in what I wanted out of life and looking back I didn't go far wrong, even if I did make a few mistakes. It never killed me. In fact it made me more responsible and more determined to stand on my own two feet. I contribute my independence to my parents for being loving, caring and letting me go. Ironic that now I'm grown up, my parents are to join me for the autumn of their lives [they are emigrating to Aus where we are].

Isn't it funny how each and every one of our lives take such twists and turns depending on our own individual decisions in life

Anyone who has a "child" wanting to return will know they don't care about visa timescales. They see that their new country is not for them and they want to go "back home". Usually no amount of persuasion cuts the mustard.
As long as they clearly understand the possible repercussions, as long as you assure them they can always return within the visa timescales, as long as they know you will love them regardless as to how many miles apart you are......then what else can you do? Doesn't mean they wont regret it in 5/10 years, but tough. They too have to learn to make their own decisions in life, and live by them, good or bad.

The reality is we have no right over our children's lives. They are on loan to us until they are adults. We use this time to give them the skills and values that help them make their own decisions in life. Every loving parent hopes that along the way their child makes the right decisions in life and that they take the right twists and turns. This comes from our guidance throughout their childhood and the hope this then helps them lead fruitful and happy lives in adulthood.

Sometimes we as parents need to learn to let go too.

Visa expiry dates are a small part of this whole equation.........
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Old Jan 28th 2006, 8:24 am
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Default Re: So Highly Thought Of

I just wanna thank everyone for the responses so far. I just got in so I haven't really had time or feel like reading them all at 2.30am in the morning . My reply will come tomorrow, keep them coming

Ta
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Old Jan 28th 2006, 9:31 am
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Default Re: So Highly Thought Of

Originally Posted by Englishmum
.....sadly my 17 year old son whom has been in the US since being almost 12 is now having the same insular outlook which alarms me somewhat.....

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That's a really good point EM.

Living in Aus I've noticed most of the people I work with have tended to stay in Aus for their holidays as it's such a beautiful place. They have never left their own country. I too have noticed this creates an inward looking mentality which isn't healthy.

This is probably the biggest downfall of living in such a beautiful vast country like USA or Aus i.e you don't have to leave it therefore don't experience anything different.
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Old Jan 28th 2006, 2:45 pm
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Default Re: So Highly Thought Of

Originally Posted by phoenixinoz
Isn't life about living...and sometimes about regret?

As long as this is clearly explained and understood, then there's very little any parent can do about it. From experience, there is very little that can be done to persuade these adults to stay and if forced, then they can legally leave when 18 anyway.


There may well be little any parent can do to stop someone at that age who is determined to move. But at the same time, there is absolutely no moral obligation on parents to facilitate it, financially or otherwise, if they think it's not a very smart move.

If within 5/10 years they have not found their happiness, then they can always return as long as the visa has not expired.

Getting back to the U.S. after that time period would be difficult, it would need a green card sponsorship as the child of a U.S. citizen which has a long waiting period and may not be possible if married.




Jeremy

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Old Jan 28th 2006, 2:45 pm
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Everyone's view differs for different reasons. When my husband and I announced we were moving to the US we had mixed opinions and I was quite surprised the lengths some people would go to make their opinions known. My great Aunt said we should not go. She felt sure we would be dead within a week by some gun tooting, drugged up, crazed gunman. I told her to quit watching Miami Vice. lololol Other "elder" members of the family who had traveled overseas said "go - experience it and if you don't like it, come home". Others gave the "get out of the UK quick before the NHS runs out of money and all but the politicians are employed". Then there were friends' comments. Most were disappointed we were "deserting" them, but then looked at it as a free holiday. A couple said they could not believe we were doing such a terrible thing, leaving a country we were raised in and others said they could not believe we were turning our backs on our family. Several close family members were happy for us, that we had been given an opportunity they never had, and that we were prepared to take it and wished us the best of luck.

Our response to everyone was that the opportunity had come up and we were not going on a whim but my husband had a job and we had an apartment lined up. We both felt that we had to give it a shot otherwise we could be spending years to come wondering "what if".

I know, like a lot of people who have "been there, done that" , if we ever do decide to return, there will be those who will say "I told you so" and revel in the fact it did not work out. But I hate to this say, but having been here now almost eleven years there are some friends of ours in the UK who are pissed because it has worked out for us.

As they say "there's none strange as folk".
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Old Jan 29th 2006, 11:14 am
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Default Re: So Highly Thought Of

Wow. . . Loads to think/write about! My head's spinning with thoughts when I read individual replies - challenge is writing one back.

So, I read over the entire thread and all the replies are excellent. Only one I was slightly disappointed with, was mine I totally missed the point and got a tad sidetracked – never got back on track to ask the question which you all answered! The replies were spot on and what I was looking for anyway, so thanks!
Small point which I missed also, was about how opinions were formulated even though they were so-so wrong. An example being: Someone saying the American education is system is superior and regarded higher than England's. All the wrong 'facts' coming from people were my main train of thought that inspired me to write this in the first place. (I was ) I probably shouldn’t write this late, but I seem more open to think although it’s twice as hard to write down and make sense at this hour.

Originally Posted by chance to be
now ive told some people im going back to the uk, a lot have said "you must be mad", its crap here...weather, crime,schools etc etc etc etc etc.......

we are going back with virtually nothing, and will have to start completely afresh. i scared about that, and sure i will have days where i think "what the hell am i doing in this box, when i rented a house with a spa in the bedroom!"....but, having said that, it means theres a "deeper" reason for going back. its the essence of what makes British people British in the traditional sense...a quiet, almost humble pride to the point where it seems annoyingly unpatriotic, but its like that friend that does all the work behind closed doors, quietly getting on with it without bravado, while the gobby one in the office talks the talk and takes all the credit.
we dont shout about how great we are - years ago we didnt have to. however, as other countries do and we dont (we just moan ), it just adds to the fact we look worse than we are.

....or am i talking crap?!!!

I JUST WANT TO GO HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

im dreading the first day back at the old school gates though with the "why on the earth did you come back comments" cos unless theyve done it themselves, theyll never really understand....

also: the stepford wife ideas you imagine before you go. honestly, i wanted to bake bread in oz before i got here! But when "perfect lifestyle" is in your face 24/7, its no longer perfect - its not a treat to barbie on the beach, its part of the role of being here - it becomes a chore if you do it all the time rather than a treat, just like washing your car every sunday.
c
This is awesome! I’m definitely on the same wave length as you. It’s a hidden ignorance and naivety people have. They imagine how good you have it and how good it would be if they had it. How PERFECT life would be with that huge house and 2 cars. The day someone creates an explanation to describe the situation; I’ll buy a drink and give a pat on the back. Stepford Wife idea was close ;-) Does anyone else notice the proud but silent Brit patriotism?

My ‘rents and I talk about this move quite frequently, maybe more often than not. More often than not it ends up with someone getting pissed off to. At the start I was quite open to what I was thinking and how I planned to do certain things to get my life on track when I was back. Over time this elevated into my parents picking out faults with everything that was said (almost to put me off). This actually helped me out though. For a start it gave me a motive to succeed in proving them wrong. I began researching certain things more so I would have more valid arguments and stronger counter points. It paid off pretty well to. Dare I say I usually come out on top when a question arises on how I plan to handle a certain situation, which is a good thing!
Number one topic is money of course! Overlooking the obvious irony, it does matter a lot in this situation. My dad brings it up often and quite rightly. The rate and value of American money there is difficult. Putting me through university now classed exclusively as an overseas student will begin to get a little pricey. I’m expected, and willing already to accept that a lot of money is going to be contributed by myself, to pay for myself. Guess this is that ultimate gain of independence eh?
Basically, they definitely know what’s going on, I don’t really tend to hide the fact I don’t like America… maybe a little too expressive sometimes. They are supportive in a hard realistic sense (parents), but drop very hefty hints about how non luxurious my life will be when I am back there lol. I say I probably won’t be at all bothered by it, but that could be a little drastic and more of a stupid thing to say without experiencing it. All the material goods are good to have around, there’re more like bragging rights than anything I would use though ;-), asides maybe the car.
A particular thing that bothers me, and definitely a question I would like to hear answered from you all – regardless of your country is; if someone asks me what I don’t like about America… I can never give them a specific answer. There is no specific answer as there’s more than one answer anyway, but I can never even begin to describe it.
Englishmum – Your daughter’s views sound very similar to mine when she was my age. I hope very much I can have the same stand when I reach that age also. It’s almost a goal to work towards :-)
The Visa/Green card thing is something I still don’t understand, especially all this Green card havoc going on at the moment. Did they temporarily stop giving them out now because something happened? My mum seems to support my move slightly more than my old man because she thinks that staying in the US may only still be a long term temporary move that could maybe hinder me if something were to happen.

Bollocks … This is going have to be cut short again because I am absolutely shagged and my bed has been calling my name since 8pm.

Again … Apologies for grammar, spelling, not making any sense, random talk. I wanted to quote everyone but it would have been to long so I picked some stuff out and talked.

Good Morning
Chris
Crispyuk88 is offline  

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