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Citizen of the Dunny

Today I officially became a British citizen! I attended a ceremony at Dunfermline City Chambers, mouthing the words to God Save The Queen while seagulls squabbled outside.

Citizenship

The Provost told us new inductees that we should be "proud of our achievement". But obtaining citizenship is not so much an achievement as a display of endurance and financial commitment. It's been 6.5 years and about £2,500 in Home Office fees. Now that I'm on the other side I can freely bitch about those stinking Home Office fees.

Cynicism aside, I loved the minor pomp of the ceremony and it's great to be an official Fifer. Eh! KEN!

I reluctantly moved across the water to Dunfermline in 2005, just before I married Doctor G. I thought it was a grotty hellhole – incomprehensible accents, crappy shops and pavements strewn with exploded kebabs. But now The Dunny feels like home. Even if we could afford to move back to Edinburgh I think I'd stay here. As much as I miss Edinburgh's cafes and concerts, I like my tiny commute, my kickboxing club, the countryside access and laughing at the stupid peacocks strutting down the high street.

How could you not love a town that gives you a commemorative mug for becoming a citizen?

Citizenship-mug

It features stunning Fife attractions like historic Culross, St Andrews cathedral, the Rosyth Dockyard and the Forth Rail Bridge (The Greatest Feat of Victorian Engineering™).

And a puffin.

Citizenship-bridge

And for some unknown reason, a Chinese dragon thingy.

Citizenship-dragon

Catchy slogan, eh?

Citizenship-fife

So with dual UK/Oz citizenship I have permanent access to two lovely nations and my wrestles with bureaucracy are finally OVER! Unless of course we move back to Australia and Gareth can experience the joys of the Department of Immigration 🙂

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About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m an author, copywriter and old school blogger. I love telling stories about life and helping my clients to tell theirs. Find out more about me and how we can work together.


39 thoughts on “Citizen of the Dunny

  1. Shauna, this makes me feel strangely emotional.

    (Perhaps I ought make myself another coffee?)

    Congratulations, my dear. Hope you sing God Save The Queen very loudly and as out of tune as you can….

    and should you EVER come back here I promise NOT to take you anywhere near anything Home and Away related.

    XXX

  2. Fifi, I feel strangely emotional too! I dunno if that’s stupid because all I did was fill out stupid forms and take a stupid test and give them a shitload of money.

    It also makes me miss Oz like mad. Like I am cheating on Oz or something. VEIRD!

  3. I read your tweet as “Hurrah! BeCOME a British citizen today” and got super excited, because I momentarily thought that the country (empire?) was having an open enrollment day or something.

    🙂

    Congratulations! I know it’s been a loooooong time coming.

  4. Congratulations! Re: the chinese dragon, I thought it was a smiling barn. It reminds me a bit of the Luna Park entrance.

  5. Congratulations! I had it rather easier (as I have English parents) but it’s awfully handy having both passports – even travelling in Europe.
    I took my NZ one into Turkey (no visa required – you do with a British one) just for convenience and to Oz too.
    You’ll always be Aussie though (as I am a Kiwi) even though you’ll go more and more native here. Proud of both your homes!
    It’s amazing what makes you homesick though – mostly the food 🙂
    I’m glad you’re safely a citizen – now I have to try and think about the reverse for my Polish wife!

  6. Congrats, Chickybabe!

    I’m not looking forward to becoming a US Citizen, costs a bazillion bucks too. And tests. I hate studying for tests.

    First up though is getting Kiddlywink her Aussie citizenship. But we’re still waiting for her birth certificate to arrive. Bloody bureaucracy, takes forever. (I find it amazing we have to send them original documents through the mail, and hope they send ’em back intact. This IS the 21st century, right?)

    Congrats, again. Will have to make some crumpets for breakfast, in yer honour! 😉

  7. Congratulations, Shauna!! I’m just about to hand in my application for naturalization myself. And girl, the griping I could do about the offices over here…

  8. Huh. I know I posted a comment this morning. Where did it gooooooooo??

    Anyways, congratulations. You have proven your tenacity, determination and downright refusal to be beaten by bureaucracy. I suspect that was the point of the whole frustrating exercise. Only the seriously stubborn need apply….

  9. Congratulations! That is great that you get to keep Australian citizenship too. Otherwise, it would be a sad occasion. Good to know that they can’t wrest you from the arms of the good Dr. and send you home!

  10. Congratulations, fellow Scot! (As a bona fide resident of Dunfermline, do you get issued with a neck brace and some crutches? Every time I visited my old head office in Dunfermline, I was astonished by the number of people on the streets sporting those items – like a sort of watered down Dawn of the Dead sort of thing!)

    Also, my Dad used to take us to Pittencrieff Park when we were kids and we considered that a major jaunt (over the water!) and a huge treat. Still do, actually.

  11. A long-time lurker, it’s high time I came out of the woodwork to holler “Congratulations!”. You’re such a treasure Shauna, that they have paid you two-and-half grand for the honour of having you as a citizen.

  12. Well done to you. Nice to have the option of both countries. I left with one year to go for my UK one and regret it. From the European persepective of course, I had dreams of retiring to Paris and being a cranky eccentric cow with lots of cats and smoke blue smoke surrounding me like a halo. Now I am an old mum – I will be a cranky cow in Sydney with an emo son (just my luck) at retirement age.

    From our experience and other’s I have spoken to – Aussie citezenship is not so taxing.
    Dani

  13. Welcome to the land of autumn gales and washing up bowls. We’re honoured to have you. I feel our little Scottish-Australian-meets-Australian-Scot-in-a-Scottish-Scot’s-house tea party was a nice wee celebration of this momentous event.

  14. Congratulations and well done in surviving the marathon of bureaucracy. As someone whose done it both ways, (Dutch citizenship for me and Aussie visa for the Dutchman) I can assure you the Aussie version is still a darn sight cheaper and quicker than the Ducth one, and from the sounds of it, the english one. The worst is over! 😉

  15. Didn’t know which to p myself laughing at more: the fact you get a mug to commemorative your new citizenship, or the slogan inside it! I married a Fifer, but I remain unconvinced about ever living there, I must say. Think I’ll stick with Embra for now! 😉 But! Congrats on being … No, I can’t say a British Citizen, I’m a Scottish nationalist for heavens sake … Congrats on being … y’know! 😀

  16. Congratulations Shauna! It’s been a long time coming. As someone raised in Fife who was quite relieved to escape, I guess it all depends who your perspective and circumstances… and now I’m about to book the test for my Australian citizenship. Wonder if I’ll get a mug?
    Philippa

  17. Hooray! Congratulations & welcome to the citizenship-whore club from another dual passport holder.

    I was going to say it’s the most expensive mug you’ll ever own, bu someone beat me to it.

  18. Congratulations on becoming a British citizen! I hope to one day become one of those myself. In the meantime, my British husband has his US naturalization interview tomorrow so he’ll be joining the ranks of all you dual citizens out there. I doubt the USCIS will give him anything as great as a mug though! 🙂

  19. Ohhhhh! So lovely. Dig the mug. I feel emotional reading this, Shauny, I really do. The other day I clicked on one of your other blogs of 2004 (Crossroads or something it was titled) when you were trying to figure out how to stay in the Yooo Kay and there was no conceivable way, and it was tearful and dreadful, BUT LOOK AT YOU NOW!!!

    Dual citizenship, well, I don’t know what you’ll do if we ever go to some sort of War of Independence (doubtful. Had written an inflammatory remark about laziness of fellow Australians but thought the better of it and deleted).

    CONGRATS, sweets! Also, if Gareth ever decided to defect, I think they give you a gum tree at Australian naturalization ceremonies. BYO kookaburra.

  20. At my Nigerian son-in-law’s citizenship ceremony in Phoenix, AZ they actually had all the new citizens stand up waving little flags and sing along with the video “I’m Proud to Be an American” by Lee frickin Greenwood…no diginified America the Beautiful or even the more modern God Bless America by Irving Berlin. Surely the Brits are not quite so hyper boosterish.

  21. Hello!

    Seeing the list of “Previously on Pussycat” in the sidebar reminds me – there’s a café in Morningside (called Rocket) that serves Flat Whites. I failed to notice this until I’d already ordered a latté, but if I find myself there again I’ll get a Flat White and think of you! (Also to find out what they are.) The place seems to have at least 2 Australians working there, so presumably they’re authentic…

    Their lemon cake is very good, too.

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