Time seems to be speeding away from me again - it is past the middle of January already (2009 is now over 1/24th gone...)
As well as all the usual stuff (hockey - played two matches in the new year - lost one and won one; TKD - have a competition coming up at the beginning of Feb, so am getting in Saturday practices every fortnight as well as the Sunday training; orchestra and Family Centre meetings), I've also kept on going with the sewing, now having two tops and a pair of trousers to my name, plus have started making a waistcoat for John.
Plus, we have the big next stage in our lives - we have started our emigration proceedings. We put in our expression of interest (EOI) in December; this is a basic questionnaire, which allocates points based on work experience, qualifications and age. Once you have completed the EOI (and paid your fee), you then go into a pool of other applicants, and, if you reach a required level of points (which, though it is always over 100, fluctuates month by month depending on how many people are in there and what their quota levels are looking like), you get selected to submit a full application for a visa (known as the Invitation to Apply (ITA). Whilst we knew that our points levels were ok (we had 115, which is above the basic minimum, but well below what we needed to get an automatic selection), we didn't realise that the base line for points was reasonably low at the time, and so I was very shocked when we got pulled straight back out of the pool in the next draw.
So, we have received our ITA, and the application is essentially asking us to prove the points that we have claimed for. Deadline is the middle of April. It will take the NZ immigration dept in London about 4 months to then assess the application, and, if all goes well, we will get our blue stickers (our visas) by the beginning of September. Which means that we could very easily be living in New Zealand by next November, and will have had our last Winter Christmas...
All a little bit scary!