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A heavily-inked sheet covered in swirls and crests and official stamp-like artwork arrived in the post the other day.
It was from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, and it said, 'Welcome To The United States'.

I've been living in the US for about twenty months now, so someone with paper-power loves that sentence. No one who has just arrived in the US gets that letter. People getting that letter have to have been living in the US for months, if only to take the time to familiarize themselves with the paperwork required to get it.

It was a letter telling me that I am now a legal permanent resident of the US, and my Green Card will arrive in the next few weeks...not in late 2007 as Krissa and I expected.

And, as luck would have it, I'd just returned from England, so it did sort of make sense. But they were flukey in that respect.

I suppose the government has sort of been giving me the cold shoulder all this time, like I was sitting on one side of the room and all the suits in Congress and the Senate were huddled on the other side of the room, ignoring me, but NOW I'm welcome.

1. People get very shirty if you take reading material with you to the toilet on aeroplanes.

2. In much the same way Victorian-era taxonomists named the best examples of a genus twice in Latin - felis felis, conger conger etc. ... some people warrant being called both asshole and arsehole. Krissa and I can provide this service simultaneously.

3. Never give your wife and your mother cause to combine powers and nag you to do something.

4. Snails are really, really weird.

5. 'Spume' ought to be a dirty word.

6. I had entirely forgotten about Anthea Turner, and very nearly managed to forget about Pam Ayres.

7. Downtown Manhattan in warm weather has a very welcome-home smell to it.

8. Apart from the roadworks by Cedar Street.

9. I've had a year and a half of coping with New York's thronging streets, dealing with its incessant stimulation, admiring the insane all-directions-at-once movement of the city, the heat, the cold, the rain, snow, smoke, fumes, wafting smells of roasted nuts and hot dogs, sirens, horns, shouts, traffic, lights, dirt and noise. I've had eighteen months of struggling to make it to work on time, to meet so-and-so on time, cursing the trains, grumbling about the open mouthed meandering tourists, the prices and the attititude on some people.
After all that it is an overwhelmingly wonderful feeling to walk along the bottom of deep streets and feel very much at home in them.


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This afternoon Krissa and I are flying out of JFK to England for a week or so.
It's raining rats and sprogs here on Wall Street. Normally the view from the 23rd floor is pretty good, and while the air is still clear, everything is grey and sombre. I'd take a picture to show you, but for some reason (and despite the masts at the exact same level as my office floor) the phone signal for the area seems to have died a death.

The gothic brown stone of Trinity Church below me is wet and dully gleaming, the graveyard a dark green. The grey in the buildings, the tarmac and the river is stronger, more pronounced. The city is a damp gritty echo of the sky, absorbing and reflecting the scudding colours like the sea.

Krissa did a little googling on my home town, Ventnor, and found The Ventnor Blog, which was news to me. I've spent too long thinking this blogging thing wasn't something everyone does - but then I haven't been blogging much recently, have I?

Typing is tricky - I have my left index finger bound in a big theatrical lump of bandages. On Thursday night (after the post below) I started cooking dinner. Pretty tired and in a bit of a hurry, with a post long day and a half beer inside me, I started chopping onions and then managed to chop my finger as well. It was no wimpy little cereal box I injured myself on this time - it was a full-blown macho 8" carving knife. There was a lot of blood which was nice to see - I hadn't checked in on it for a while, and you never know what's going on in there. I dripped a bit, cleaned it up with a couple of alcohol swabs, kept the pressure on it (as you do) and then stuck a couple of plasters on tight. Three days later after regular baths of antiseptic, alcohol et al, the wound wasn't closing up, and so Krissa very kindly accompanied me to the ER. There a doctor kept interrupting my explanations with tales of how stupid he'd been in the past. I should have come in straight away on Thursday - the cut warranted at least two stitches, and despite the pressure and everything he said I was being too harsh on the wound with the antiseptic; stopping it from healing. So now I'm two days into a warm water washing regime and a course of antibiotics.
I am a real fool sometimes.

I cannot wait to see my family, to celebrate my Mum's birthday, whistle at the parrot, take the mickey out of my sister (who is contemplating a career in the that's scary), and joke with my Dad. To see friends, familiar places, the quiet of Island nights, the life of the towns, the curve of the hills and trees across the plain...yeah.
I'm looking forward to going home.

Right, that about wraps it up for Tuesday.
Have fun, all. Take care.

I don't like to blog about things that are closely personal to me - which is why you don't see many posts about Krissa, to her detriment - if you followed this blog before I moved to New York to marry her you'll know that I was raving about how wonderful she is until the day I caught the plane, and thereafter fell silent on the subject. This wasn't because Krissa was less wonderful in the everyday, but because she became such a part of me that it felt almost sacriligeous to blog about her - a part of my personal life that I wanted to keep to myself, to treasure and to experience in full without the additonal external input of you lot, and while you would have cooed and complimented (come on, you're a cooing and complimenting crowd!) you would have affected things...and despite being a blogger for nigh on four years now, I didn't want that.

The other thing I don't like to blog about is work. Funnily enough,if you take away Krissa and work from the sum hours in my life, what you get are either non-Krissa-specific weekend activities or other stuff - which I'm always too preoccupied with to blog about as they happen. And THAT means I would have to write about them in the other two major spheres of my life - work time...or Krissa time.

We all know that Venn was the most boring child ever, so I won't draw the picture. But I hope that helps you understand why posts have been few and far between of late.

I'm only writing this because I got the afternoon off after working until midnight last night and beating a path back into the office before 8am today.

Life - she prevents the words.


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