British Citizen

With Her Majesty.

On Tuesday I had my Citizenship Ceremony at Sheffield Town Hall. This has been a long process and there was a period where I thought we would have to leave the UK but thanks to having great friends and family we were able to bear the financial and emotional burden of having an application denied. The ceremony itself was great, it was very well organized and felt very official. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to sing the national anthem but instead hummed the tune. After the ceremony there was of course tea and biscuits! The Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Magid Magid was overseeing the ceremony and I got to shake hands with him. He was very smiley and happy and we wish him the best of luck in his Mayoral-ship.

Meeting the cool Lord Mayor Magid Magid of Sheffield
March 2010, Just before we emigrated to the UK.

We decided to move back to Europe in July 2010. Ga had come to NZ to live with me but we quickly realised that it would be impossible playing chess Down Under so we always knew we would move back to Europe. At first we thought of Leiden or someone on Mainland Europe but I think that the language barrier would’ve been an issue and therefore it made sense to be in the UK. We settled in London, I found a job, made new friends, travelled, we got married and then we moved to our new home in Sheffield. It’s been great living in South Yorkshire!

I’ll always feel proudly Kiwi, I had a fabulous childhood growing up and still many friends and family back in New Zealand. But now, there’s another part of me too – I don’t think I would ever say I’m English but British is the term that I would be happy to use. You can read an old blog post I did about being a citizen of the world and why I switched from playing chess for New Zealand to England. I now know  that talking about the weather is a mere formality and I do get very upset when people aren’t queuing sensibly (who knew it could be so difficult). I also miss when I’m abroad and I think that ad breaks shouldn’t be on the telly (thanks again BBC). Soon I’ll get the red passport and be able to travel without restrictions in and out of the UK!

I’m off to London for the week before the British starts in Hull on the 28th July!