Friday, November 28, 2008

First steps

Reuben took his first steps yesterday, aiming for a better position from which to empty a shelf of its pots and pans. He has been able to stand up unaided, and to cruise around furniture, for a month or so and we have dreaded/anticipated this moment in equal measure. It was lovely to see his pleasure in his new ability as he tried it out yesterday and again today.

We spent the whole morning in a social security office in Glen Burnie, applying for a social security number. I'm not sure of the extent of what it will empower us to do, but it's required for our Maryland state drivers licence, health insurance and credit card applications. Thankfully we have been able to open a bank account without one.

My application was accepted - my card should arrive in two weeks or so. Mrs and Master Hope were not so successful. As dependents on my 'R1' category visa, they hold 'R2' visas. The US Immigration services were (crystal) clear that persons holding 'R2' visas are not allowed to work. So they both indicated this on their application for a social security number (i.e. the ticked the box saying they were 'legal aliens not allowed to work'). But we need to get further confirmation that they are not allowed to work, that is we need an employment authorization declaration stating that they are not authorized to work. Even Reuben. Who is one next Thursday.

But we're going to take our lead from him, who with the wisdom of youth has thrown himself (all too often literally) into living our new lives here. We shall celebrate any successful steps with gusto and shrug off the inevitable set-backs. See you in the Glen Burnie social office in a few days then, right after we get a car that works!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Key transitions

Ever since I went to university (way, way back in the mists of time now... 1996 I think) I have had a set of keys on me. At uni these were the keys to my accommodation block (Unit 3, Badock Hall) and to my room (I forget now.. 217?). Then I had house keys, work keys, and car keys.

A key in my pocket has always been a solid reminder that I have somewhere to go that is mine. A base. Space, to which only I have the (sometimes shared) access. After all, I have the key.

But last Tuesday we gave our (borrowed) house keys back to Kate and Doug, got in a car (thanks James) and were driven to a hotel (and they gave us a swipe card for our room). It was 24 or so hours later, in Severna Park, when we were given our new (borrowed) house key.

In that 24 hour period, I walked around without a key in my pocket and felt it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bye for now...

We leave Bristol this afternoon, stay in an airport hotel at Heathrow tonight, and fly to Washington D.C. tomorrow morning.

Thursday morning we'll wake up in Severna Park, MD.

Saturday, November 01, 2008