Saturday, 14 September 2013

Black Hole and the Visa saga

This post was written from a black hole on the outer edge of space.   Otherwise known as Norbury Junction!  For the first time we’ve been unable to get even the smallest Three Mobile coverage.  Hence the delayed post.  The annoying thing is we moved 100 metres and the signal returned! Sad smile

I’ll do a second post later today to catch up!

It was lightly drizzling as we slipped quietly away from last night’s mooring slowly passing nb Ashdown so as not to wake Andrew and Michelle, before mooring on the water point immediately beyond the bridge. Opposite was Talbot Wharf which still had the original building allowing boats to be loaded and unload under the extended roofline.

There were a couple of unusual coloured ducks on the southern outskirts of Market Drayton.  It’s not the first time we have seen one but they usually manage to fly away before I can take a photo.  Today we got lucky.

I think it’s a Mandarin Duck but with no internet I’m unable to confirm this.

The five Tyrley Locks came and went.  Mostly they were in our favour and it wasn’t until we reached the top lock that we met a boat where the crew were happy to stay inside whilst Jan did all the work.  We just beamed amused smiles to each other and carried on.

Once the locks were out of the way Jan went inside to bake Towpath Bill a Lemon Drizzle Cake.

Unfortunately he isn’t able to be here so I guess it falls to me to force the thing down my throat! Smile

An email arrived whilst we were stopped for lunch on the 48 hour moorings at Shebdon.  It was from the UKBA regarding my visa application.  The gist of the email was they couldn’t proceed with my visa application until they had an address to return my documents by registered post.  Now I had included a letter of explanation with the visa application describing how we lived on a narrowboat and continuously cruised.  Therefore we had no address.  This hadn’t previously stopped the UKBA and the Home Office both writing to an address we hadn’t provided confirming my visa application had been received and requiring me to provide my biometric information.  Why would they want to return my documents?  They were only photocopies of the originals taken and certified by the Manchester Settlement Service officer.  We don’t need the copies as we have the originals.  But who am I to fight the system when I need something from them!  I have to play the game.  My assumption is that officialdom is working on the principle of “If you always do what has always been done… then you can’t be wrong”.  The problem is now mine….. and as I’m the one who wants the visa I must provide the solution to the problem.  Every problem has a solution so we will fix it!

We passed a small day hire boat out of Norbury Wharf attempting to moor by a bridge hole.  After two attempts they found a novel method.  Jan looked back to see them tying the bow and stern ropes to a couple of handy trees on the far side of the towpath.  They even found it easier to tie them at chest height.  Hopefully they don’t decapitate a passing cyclist.

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