2020: A year we will all remember…


Each of us will remember 2020 as the year that changed our entire way of life, globally.

Yet Vivian and I will remember 2020, particularly December, for a very different yet equally life-disrupting reason.

For Brittons, it’s been ‘the norm’ to have our European friends reside and work alongside us in the UK.  In fact where I live there are a couple of Bulgarian families in the street and I’ve come to know them all, which won’t surprise any of you that know me. They’re lovely people but after a number of years their English, which is poor at best, still hasn’t really improved.


Porto, Portugal

Porto, Portugal



Recently Vivian took an English test. A relatively expensive English test and that naturally got me thinking so I said to Vivian: “How on earth did the Bulgarians pass their tests?”

To which she replied: “European Union. They probably didn’t even have to take one…

So, by contrast, we have a girl, my girl, that is University educated, came into the country with funds to sustain herself, worked here for many years and happens to speak better English than many people I know and yet she is required to pay for a test.

But that’s only a small piece of the problem puzzle. The reality of living and working in the UK for a non-European citizen is that there are considerably more obstacles to overcome than the ‘freedom of movement’ previously provided Europeans prior to Brexit. Then there are the cost implications. #mindblown

Faced with limited options, time and an almost impossible situation, it was a ‘sink or swim’ moment for us a couple so swim we did, metaphorically, all the way to her Motherland of BRAZIL.

Where we go from here and what we do genuinely remains entirely uncertain and largely unplanned.

All we can pray for is good health, good times and embrace the hand we’ve been dealt as the start of a hopefully long-lasting love story as a pair of Unlikely Travellers.