Sitting in the car I was aware that my belt was a bit tight because I’d put my back support belt on under my jeans. The night’s events had jarred my back and I was in a bit of pain. Even I can’t put weight back on that quickly. I pulled at the buckle and shock horror it came apart in my hands. “For fuck’s sake,” I muttered. I pulled my belt through the loops and threw it into the footwell on the passenger’s side. Turning the key I felt sure the engine wouldn’t turn over. It felt like that kind of day. It started fine and having set Maud to vocal (That’s what I call the google maps app) I pulled away.

The journey was uneventful thank goodness, although as the sun rose I realised I’d left my  sunglasses on the desk at home. At least I hadn’t left my reading glasses there. That would have been the end.

Having already been to the same place for the oral two days before I knew where I was going and found a parking space really quickly too. I stopped for a coffee and croissant to revive me a bit before arriving at the examining centre.

Once again everything was very well organised. Answer papers on the desks ready along with the requisite HB pencil.  Looking around the room it was clear I was one of just 4 or 5 ‘Europeans’ taking the exams. The amount of Arabic being spoken was another clue as to where most people were originally from. There were people of all ages, and for a change I don’t think I was the eldest.

The first exam was reading. At exactly nine o’clock the question papers were handed out and we began.  I found the questions easy and finished well before the allotted time. That gave me time to have a further look around and take in the limited eye candy there was too. It was clear that some found the test harder. An older gentleman near me was sitting with his friend. His friend had his answer paper angled so the older guy could copy.  They did this throughout the exams, but I’m guessing the writing would have been the paper that sorted it out.

The listening exam followed immediately after the reading. Again I found it easy. If I didn’t get 100% in each of those parts I will be surprised. The third part, the writing, was after a fifteen-minute break during which I called June to find out my little man was very perky. What a relief that was. The writing paper was the worst for me. Gender and accents are my failing. But again I feel I will have passed it.

I now have to wait up to two months for the results. In the meantime I am continuing with collecting the documentation necessary for my citizenship bid. Watch this space for more as it happens…

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