"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it." ~Theodore RooseveltToday began with an alarm at seven am to ensure we had time to travel from Cowley all the way into Paddington Basin. After tea and breakfast we set off--all the locks behind us now.
We stopped at Bull's Bridge Tesco store for a few bits and bobs, and topped up our water; we turned the boat and off we went back to where we were a year ago next week--before our lives changed forever with Les' cancer diagnosis. So much has changed in one year!
We've faced the challenge of cancer together and hopefully overcome it. We've cruised south again in order to be on the move as we like, but still near Watford for Les' prostate surgery on the 23rd. He's had the pre-op appointment for this surgery so hopefully all will proceed as planned.
After much hemming, hawing and faffing about I've finally been given the proper lenses for my glasses at the staggering sum of an equivalent of four hundred U.S. dollars. It is good to be able to see clearly again!
We stopped for lunch along the Paddington Arm at one O'clock. As we sat opposite each other sharing a lovely meal of cold potato salad and slices of freshly baked, warm Three Cheese Bread, my phone rang. It was our daughter-in-law Joanne. A letter had just been delivered by a courier from the Home Office. I closed my eyes and let out a breath.
"Please open it and read it to me Jo." Les stopped in mid chew and gave me an intense look.
"It says that enclosed is a Biometric Residence Card!" I punched the air with my fist and yelled, "Yes!!!" And then the tears came.
I've had many a sleepless night the past three months waiting to hear about my Indefinite Leave to Remain. It has weighed heavily on my shoulders since I arrived in the UK in September of 2011.
Nothing is a done deal until I have it signed, sealed, and delivered in my hand. The debacle with my glasses is a case in point of how my life usually does not fall easily into place. I am generally the anomaly in any given situation and this has happened repeatedly throughout my life in issues large and small--often enough for me to know not to count my chicks before they hatch. People who don't know me well often think I am a pessimist as a result. Those who do know me well and have witnessed my life unfolding, know I am a realistic optimist.
As Les and I continued our cruise into London the smile never left my face. I must say I do feel different! I am changed into a person who has gone from having one country to having two! And I know this sounds ridiculous--it certainly made Les laugh when I told him--but I feel double-more married to him now; I guess because the Home Office recognized our marriage is legitimate and we do love each other. We chose to marry each other and live together in this country and now we can get on with our lives without any worries about deportation or Plan B's involving my return to the U.S. with Les selling our boat and living as a house husband while we bankrupted ourselves attempting to seek Indefinite Leave to Remain in the U.S. for him. My happiness feels like a candle glowing in my heart. Things, as Les says, are falling into place.