Epic Visa Fail

I was totally gutted to have to leave New York and so decided not to give up there. I flew home and booked myself an immediate appointment with the US Embassy in London.

I filled out all the forms for a second time, paid the money for a second time, sat for five hours for the second time (read an entire book) and got a big fat no for a second time. Apparently my request to extend my tourist visa for a further six months was denied due to my not having ‘strong social and economic ties to the UK’. The fact that 90% of my family live there isn’t enough. I don’t own a property or have a permanent job. I’d say that both these things would prevent me from being able to take a six month trip to America anyway. It appeared they were scared I was going to go back and then do a runner, like a Mexican after midnight. Yes, this is why I’d asked so politely for a legal visa. Fuckwits.

So I cried a bit more, ate some chocolate, and decided not to give up. I loved living in Brooklyn and loved the general attitude of the people I’d met. Except people who worked in Rite Aid, and the owner of the French cafe down the road, and anyone who drives in the city.

My next idea was to hit all the UK nanny agencies and get a permanent nanny job in Manhattan. Cunning plan. I went for an interview with an agency where it all went so well. There were loads of jobs in New York- everyone wanted an English nanny- and I hit it off so well with the girl who was interviewing me that we hugged at the end. New bezzie mates.

I returned home to sit in the September sun with my nieces and await my new Manhattan-based life. It took a week for the agency to contact me and let me know that although there were several NY jobs on offer- I was too old for all of them. Nice. So far I’d been told off for not owning any property, having any kind of UK-based career and now I was too old. But I had gained a good West-Country tan whilst waiting to hear this…

Plan F went something like this. Move to London. Get job as nanny with very wealthy American family living in London- in the hope that they would decide to move back and take me with them. In hindsight I can now see a few holes in this plan but I was getting pretty desperate.

I’d emailed Spanish Dave and asked him to marry me. For a green card. Sort of just like that …and it didn’t go down so well, I think I’d made him cross. We had a small email falling out and then made friends again but it was clear that he wasn’t going to be my knight in shining armour, or even just my knight in rusty armour. But he did let me store my collection of vintage Playboy mags at his.

So the old move to East London to live on my friend’s sofa whilst job-hunting. Not really the highlight of  my life. There is something very depressing about being poor in a big city, especially in the run up to Christmas. There were some good parts to it- the whole parents splitting up thing had meant my Mum’s Audi TT was going spare so I’d driven that up to London. Me and my friend K bombed around with the top down a few times until I really didn’t even have any money to put petrol into it.

I quite enjoyed the walk to the job-centre, signing on for my jobseekers allowance with some drunk people and lots of teenagers. What is this country coming to eh? Afterwards I’d head to the builders cafe across the road because they did cheap breakfast but also because some of the Polish builders were damn hot.

I’d pretty much decided I was returning to America at the end of Feb come what may- my nephew was due in December and his mummy- Mrs Love-Bird- had to go back to work. There was simply no child I would rather nanny for. So I was still on the hunt for a child-minding job to keep my CV up-to-date in between.

During this wonderful time of unemployment (no-one wanted a temporary nanny) I attended some classes. Paediatric First Aid. 120 English pounds for almost an identical course to the one I’d already taken. Bloody expensive certificate. And I got my CRB check done- really nice to see I don’t have a criminal record, I was a little worried there for a moment. Maybe I’d forgotten something? Maybe those parking tickets from New Zealand had caught up with me? But no, all was ok, except I still didn’t have a job.

And what does a single woman do in London with no work? Other than watch Jeremy Kyle…

Resurrect Husband Watch is what.



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