Yesterday I brought the story of my wife’s daughter, husband and baby up to date (click HERE), how they had decided to emigrate to South Africa, and that yesterday was the big day for them to head off to the airport.
I knew that Debbie would be having mixed emotions over this, since although we are both delighted to have our house back after four months of feeling like guests in our own house, it also means that she will not be able to see her daughter or 10 month old grandson for at least a year, and so things were pretty emotional last night, as was expected.
Mostly things were ok though. Her younger daughter had come round to see them off to the airport in the afternoon. They went by taxi since there were 3 of them as well as 6 suitcases, so it would have required 2 cars to take them to the airport, and it was easier to say goodbye at home.
Debbie and her younger daughter managed to tidy up quite a lot in the house before I got home, but fact is we are still left with a baby crib, a stroller, and a number of other things to either get rid of, or to store until we can ship or take them out there to South Africa.
I think it will all take time for us to settle down and to make the house our home again. Hopefully re-arranging the living room and getting our new couches in next week will make the difference that we need.
Debbie of course has a picture in her head of her little grandson waving at her from his car seat as the taxi pulled away, and not being able to see him for ages is really hurting her. We just hope that they can get settled quickly and get an internet connection set up, because having access to a webcam makes a world of difference.
Last night we followed the track of their plane as it left Heathrow, headed south over the English Channel, down over France, and by the time we went to bed it was over the Mediterranean Sea.
So Debbie was really upset in bed, thinking of them, as I knew she would be, but for once she did get a decent night’s sleep, although I still tossed around a lot and woke up at 5am, not really going back to sleep before the alarm went off at 6:30am.
I checked the flight status when I got up, and they had less than 30 minutes to go. By the time I left for work this morning, they had touched down safely in Johannesburg. I am assuming that Debbie hasn’t heard from them yet, since she hasn’t emailed me.
We have both been wondering how the flight went, since sometimes having a baby on board makes it the flight from hell! This one has mastered the high pitched squeal that goes straight through you, and gives you an instant headache. He uses that and other screams for just about everything, from when he is frustrated to when he wants another spoon of food, so either he will have been knocked out by the motion of the plane, or it will have been a long long long flight…
A Startling Revelation
One really interesting piece of information did come to light however, something which is really frustrating and which just shows how red tape can shape your life.
If you read the previous article, you may recall that my wife’s daughter’s husband overstayed his original visa when he arrived from South Africa ten years ago. He had applied to the Home Office (the UK equivalent of Homeland Security) for a resident visa, only to be told that it was the wrong type of application, even though he completed the forms that he was told to fill in.
Since it’s such an expensive and complicated process to get a resident visa in the UK, they decided instead to move to South Africa, where my wife’s daughter could easily get residency.
Well, in the airport, as he expected, her daughter’s husband was pulled aside where they check the passports, and after some questioning, they called the Home Office to check on the status. What a surprise they had, when they were told that he should have been issued a visa 4 months ago!
So, instead of having to sell or give away most of their possessions and to move to the other side of the world, they could have stayed here in England and he could have had a job..
Talk about bureaucracy and how people who don’t know you can really change your lives!
A similar thing happened to Debbie and I when we were trying to get her a visa for the USA, you can read about it HERE, and this forced us to change our lives, which is why I moved back to the UK last July, so that we could be together..
So our complicated story continues, and I will be sure to let you know what happens in the next few days, weeks or months, depending on how much news there is to report, or to what extent I run out of other things to write about.
FINALLY – FOR THOSE WHO WERE WONDERING
Some of you might be wondering how we were able to track their flight on the internet. We use a site called Flightstats.com which allows you to enter a flight number, and it will give you all sorts of useful information, plus if it is in an area where the data is available, you can see the plane on a map in real time.