South Park Self

just be still with me

Jumping through all the hoops set by the British in the visa obstacle course has caused me to go back to old blog posts in order to work out where and when I travelled at various points in the last decade. (Couldn't find my old passport, so thank heavens for the online diary). This has vouchsafed to me the revelation that I used to post an awful lot more photos than I do currently. I'm not sure why, although I suspect the post-exhaustion reconfiguration of my working day not to start at 7am has cut out a lot of the early-morning-Common shots, alas.

Thus, in mitigation, have some random cats. This photo demonstrates, variously, (a) the beautiful colour graduations in our feline population, (b) a slightly illusory instance of their actual and amicable co-existence, (c) something of the reason behind all the jokes about the Left Wing of the Evil Landlord's Bed, (d) the ineradicable fact that I still haven't got this focus thing quite down, and (e) ears.

Working at home is very civilised. I am contentedly noodling through a week's worth of plaintive student plaints, putting out fires with no more interruptions than the occasional need to replenish the tea supplies, dodge the nice charlady's vaccuuming endeavours, and wind the clock.
  • Current Mood: accomplished contentedly productive
The British visa-process is terribly un-British in that they ask you searching personal questions on no provocation at all. I cannot feel that my mother's maiden name or my monthly salary before tax are germane to my wish to attend a conference in Scotland. Honestly.
Very big hoops. Completely nuts for a country that relies on intellectual capital so much to discourage people from coming through its appalling visa process.
Also: you might get lucky, but don't expect the passport control experience to be anything other than shitty (shittier than last time you breezed through).
Still, Scotland is v.pretty, and conferences! Yay!
Applying for Swiss naturalisation is a bit like that - they want to know all the times I've visited Switzerland, ever, and why, with corroborating evidence. Had I but known! Sundry online records, photo albums etc helped me to pin down most of the visits, and some of the travel evidence (e-Tickets etc) were still haunting dusty corners of Gmail, but really. How could I have managed without all these online footprints?
Ah, see, that's where you're missing the point. It's a test to see whether you're Swiss enough to be, er, Swiss.

International travel is a Big Deal, and so you're supposed to keep all the records, lovingly kept/printed out and (ideally) mounted in an album. You keep all this material in storage in the loft or cellar, for posterity, because surely your grandchildren will want to know what you did on your visit to Switzerland in 1997, and see the photos.