Time stands still. Until it doesn’t

Time. You always either have too much or not enough. It always goes too slow or too fast. It makes you stress or it makes you bored. Worse still, it turns you into an old fart.

It’s like that one arsehole kid in school who thought it was funny to jump out from behind a corner and yell “BOO!” – usually when you had your hands full of something likely to stain when you’re drenched in it. That arsehole has been hiding round the dark corner of my life for a good long while now, waiting patiently to give me the biggest scare of my life. Well, second biggest. Sitting at the end of the Pirate Ship ride at the Moomba festival years ago was enough to make me think I was gonna die. That thing is deceptively scary.


(image via http://www.iappsoft.com)

In 6 weeks I will have been in the UK for 5 years. That means it’s time to sort out my UK residency, hence the panic. In 2008, five years felt like an eternity. It’s always been something that I’ve relegated to the “oh yeah, I’ll deal with that one day” portion of my brain. Man I wish I could run that part of my brain like a computer, like an Outlook diary, so I’d get invitations and reminders and all sorts of blips and bleeps and handy pop-ups.

To avoid being shipped back to Melbourne, I first have to pass a “Life in the UK” test. Which means there’s a book to read.


And facts to memorise. The reading’s fine I guess, it’s the memorising bit that hurts. Can any of you UK readers answer these…


No, neither can I.

You know, there’s a page at the front of this book which says anyone who can read English at ESOL level 3 and above will have no difficulty. But for anyone who came to the UK a few years ago and has been learning English from scratch, it must be bloody hard. I mean, even I’ll struggle and I’m an Australian, someone who speaks a version of English, one that allows me to kind of understand most of what the Scots are saying to me if I ask them to repeat it a few times.

I was confident until I flipped to this page…


And I realised that I don’t even know UK cities. Look at number 8 – Bradford. Who’s ever heard of Bradford? Not I. Fark! And here I was thinking that actually living in the UK for 5 years would be study enough to pass the “Life in the UK” test. Why can’t they ask me about Sunday roasts and the weather and what I hate about The Tube?

What’s more, stupid me, in May I booked a trip for 10 days in September because hell, that portion of my brain forgot to remind me that prancing round on holiday the week before my UK Visa runs out is not exactly good timing. So I have to book my test for some time in the next four weeks, before I go away. Can I memorise 161 pages in four weeks? I dunno. The only tests I’ve had to pass in the last 20 years are those bloody Health and Safety things every new job makes you do at induction these days. Or is that just the UK? Ask me about H&S!!! Can that be on the test?

Ah well. They say we’re capable of amazing things when we’re under the pump. Maybe the thought of being forced back to Melbourne (not that I have anything against that fabulous city – I just don’t want to live there for the rest of my life) will be all the inspiration I’ll need for information to soak in.

So there won’t be much time for writing all the blog posts I’m miles behind on, starting a new blog I’m miles behind on, finishing the 3 month online course I’ve been doing for four months already, going to all the shows I want to see at the Edinburgh festival or spending hundreds of hours a week watching movies and TV shows… oh and work, which happens to include overtime this month so I’m working a gabillion days in a row from Monday. OK, maybe not that many. Maybe 12.

Hopefully I’ll remember next month when I’m sitting on my southern Italian rooftop terrace to make sure I soak up a good half a year’s worth of the late September sun. Because last time I had to give my passport to the UK Border Agency, it took them six months and one complaint letter to get it back.

On the plus side, there’s nothing like having no passport to force you to discover your adopted homeland. Maybe a trip to Bradford is on the cards…

7 thoughts on “Time stands still. Until it doesn’t

  1. Okay in an effort to save some of your time I have drafted a cheat sheet for the understandings. Apologies for grammar etc although I have stuck to the historical facts, I haven’t spent much time on it but it should help you with some of the immigration hurdles.

    The majority of the key points to be understood took place during the culmination of a seven hundred year long effort by the Venetian Oligarchy to infiltrate England. This infiltration was successfully completed in the period between 1509 and 1715 and continuous to this day in an ever-strengthening capacity in its various forms.

    This three hundred year old financial oligarchy is run by the “The Bank of England”, a private corporation that successfully continues to this day to operate outside of British Law.

    Transfer of Power from the Monarchy to the new Oligarchy in principal started with the English Civil wars being the first in a series of revolutions designed by them and culminated in the establishment of the Bank of England by King William in 1694.

    Although there were many involved in supplanting the Venetian system two prominent change agents were Oliver Cromwell and Prince William of Orange both of which were directly connected with the Venetian oligarchs and Jewish finance. During this phase King Charles 1 was tried and executed for treason and the monarch abolished. It was later restored with a limited power including restrictions on the raising of funds and taxes. The power of money now rested entirely with the Bank of England and this in turn controlled the empire, the newly established oligarchy by controlling a handful of Bank of England staff now had control of the entire empire.

    Scotland officially joined Britain in 1707 by the Act of Union. This union started when Oliver Cromwell unprovoked, invaded Scotland and murdered many of its inhabitants, cleared the land and broke down its entire social, economic and cultural structure. Illegal land transfers and ownership was then negotiated with loyalist members of the Scottish nobility in exchange for allegiance to the crown. At the same time a major Scottish investment called the Darien Scheme failed spectacularly virtually bankrupting the nation. The Scots broken in all respects reluctantly joined the Union.

    The main reason for the second Jacobite revolution of 45 was due to the general dissatisfaction throughout Britain on the benefits of Union and the disgust at the Hanoverian King George 1 the non-English speaking usurpers ascendancy to the throne.

    Enlightenment is the manifestation of the Venetian system and includes the chosen dynastic families increasing their global power and the feudal system in which it is based upon. Attributes of the dynastic families include for the worship and yearning of physical and material pleasures in the present at the expense of spiritual and moral values. This system can be likened to Luciferianism and the worship of the Sun or Light. Typically this value set is only displayed within the inner workings of their system.

    The Industrial Revolution was an important development in the feudal system as it represented the first example of a repeatable and self-serving combination of science, technology and human effort to benefit the elite. Not only did it successfully enrich their wealth and power base it also served to enslave the rest, now the working class and institute a system of labour for survival and political control. The great minds of the time were held in high regard with the implementation of these schemes and the workers themselves translated this work-based survival as their true meaning in life.

    The Slave Trade was perhaps one of the greatest and most lucrative enterprises of the system. Not only a profitable exercise with respect to the sale of product, it also served to support the elites hierarchal view and created a lower sub class of human that were similarly lower cost than the existing working class. That great symbol of Empire the British East India Company took the salve trade to new levels and its arguable as to whether this venture had greater returns than its other business dealings in the drug trade. Although the elite were dead against abolishment they reluctantly agreed to it to appease some political elements. They were however massively financially compensated for this loss of property with salves under five years having to be released and the rest having to work for a further twenty years for board and food.

    Following the abolition the British slave traders and royalty had to re-register their businesses offshore in order to continue production and once this inconvenience was overcame the issue has never raised itself again.

    The British Empire has continued to grow from those early days when the Cromwell and his backers coupled with the Venetian naval and empirical strategy started to form a world power. Perhaps their biggest coup was convincing the world that the sun has set on it. The empire is still very much alive and prospering headquartered in Chatham house, operating in the City of London and controlled by a number of dynastic and royal families operating a new Babylonian type empire.

    Democracy has been successfully and effectively dismantled in parallel with the spread of this feudal system. There are now no pockets of democracy left in the empire and it is unlikely that it will arise in the current regime. In recent times there are also some very good examples of the removal of democracy by those Dogs of War particularly during the Arab Spring. Arabic nations that once had democracy have now had the oligarch regimes installed and all elements of democracy removed, Libya being a perfect example. Additionally the empire has recently sent one of it must trusted assassins, ambassador Robert Ford along with suitably equipped death squads into Cairo, Egypt. This has proven to be extremely successful with the divide and conquer tactic already paying dividends within a few days of deployment.

  2. OK, colour me incorrect… there’s at least one person who knows his shit! Jaysus Bardon. How do you keep that in your head? Well I guess you remember what you’re interested in. Politics, royalty, power, empires – that stuff leaks out of my brain like brain fluid after a bicycle hit and run… sorry, my neighbor told me that story recently and it stuck. Apart from gruesome near death experiences, I’m more likely to remember stupid movie crap like who owns the production company called Egg Pictures, or Plan B or Flower Productions than British history. But I shall do my best. I shall print out your notes and tape them to my loo wall. It worked for memorising Latin in High School…

    Thank you BTW. Very very kind of you to help a cyber stranger like that 😉

  3. Your a visual type person, I am an engineer.

    My mother is a historian, although strictly speaking she was, as she is now retired although she does the odd homie these days. But we have a different bent on history and politics, I used to share her views and then I went in the opposite direction. Some of your other readers may not agree with me here on the Venetian thing, which is cool and maybe Her Majesties Immigration Officer might take a dim view as well.

  4. Yeah, I’m not sure which version of history this book will contain 🙂 I saw David Sedaris (I’m assuming anyone even slightly well read knows him so I won’t explain) last night and he has just taken this test too. He said you’re asked what year women got the vote and how old you have to be to sell milk(???), so there’s 2 questions out of 24 for me. 10 more and I’ve passed.

  5. Well, I’ve just read the book and nary a mention of any Venetians in there Bardon, or much of anything you’ve outlined… quelle surpise! I’ve gotta admit, I only skimmed your bit last week but have just read it properly. I definitely like your version of history better, but shhh, don’t tell anyone.

      • Oh now I feel silly. Did a practise test yesterday after just reading the book once and not really ‘studying’ it. Passed with flying colours. Panic well and truly over. And I’ve still got 3 weeks up my sleeve. Hopefully now I’ve just put that in print, the universe won’t make a fool of me.

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