It’s in…

No this isn’t another revelation about our life and love, although I’m sure Mr Brennan will have supplied the ‘fnarr’ by now. ūüėČ

All my documents have finally been sent to the Ministry of Justice.

Last week I had my second appointment at the hacienda nad got the necessary confirmation of my identity to be able to download the digital signature when I got back home.

But first of all I had to download Mozilla Firefox as it was the browser that is recognised by the government system. Just another step in this ongoing journey.

That done I got into the government site yesterday and started uploading the documents. That in itself was quite a job. ONly PDF, PNG or JPEGs are accepted, and as they needed a copy of every page of my passport it took a while. I did try to upload a winzip file but it didn’t like that,.

So here I was sunday lunchtime uploading the documents when the power went out. Drama in the street with everyone asking “Tienes luz?” up and down the street. It was a general problem and came back on a coupe of hours later. So I started again, because of course nothing I had previously uploaded had been saved. At this point I was wondering if someone was trying to send me a message.

Finally al the documents were uploaded so I tried to send them, only to get an error message that I needed to download another piece of software for automatic digital signature. I swear the government will be reading this now… they probably have all sorts of trojans added in to check up on my browser use.¬† By this point I had had enough and was feeling out of sorts. I decided to leave the final clicks to today.

This afternoon I downloaded the final piece of kit and clicked, amazingly it sent without any problems.¬† The confirmation came back almost immediately (the first page of seven appears below, redacted) How long it’ll take before anyone looks at it is anyone’s guess. Hopefully they wont have any (too many) questions to follow-up on, but I could still be waiting up to 3 years, even though the government portal says 365 days. Fingers crossed everyone. If I do have to wait 3 years Catalunya may even be independent by then and I’ll probably have to go through the whole process again.

Citizenship confimation redacted_0001 (2)

 

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Citizenship update

Well, there I was thinking everything was going to be easy from here on in, what a fool I am.

Having got the webpage from the hacienda on which I had to apply for a digital signature/certificate to be able to apply for citizenship online I have today applied for one. But guess what? They sent me an email with a code on it, and now I have to go back to the hacienda to verify my identity before revisting the page to download  the cert.

To get back into the hacienda I have to make an appointment. However, being in Catalunya following the referendum I can’t make that until later on in the week.¬† Tomorrow there is a general strike. None of the offices will be open. This has had an advantage in that the company where I would normally teach a class on Tuesdays is also closed so no work for me. Although it also means my first catalan class of the new year has also been cancelled.

Anyway… Instead of fretting I have spent the most part of the morning scanning the documents ready for uploading. Once I get my identity validated, and then get the digital certificate I should be ready to go….. fingers crossed.

Although part of me wonders whether to hold fire on applying¬† or Spanish citizenship at all as I may be living in a different country soon. Then again as it can take up to three years for the application to be accepted (or otherwise) I’ll have plenty of time to consider a Catalan passport too.

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Citizenship

As many of you will know already, I am in the process of applying for Spanish citizenship. I took the ‘constitution’ test (CCSE) so long ago I think I have already forgotten everything I learned, and the DELE language test in April.

Finally I have all the documents together for the application to be completed, so this morning I went to the bank first thing and paid the fee, just ‚ā¨100, then went straight to the Registry to deliver my documents.

Like a good citizen I took my number and waited to be called. When it was my turn I explained what I wanted. The woman behind the counter apologised telling me that everything has to be done online these days. She explained how and told me I will need a digital signature from the ‘hacienda’ (another government office).

SHe explained the documents I would need to scan and atach to my application. I already have them all, and explained that I would need t oscan every page of my curent passport, inlcuding all the empty ones. I guess they want to check I don’t have any dodgy travels hidden away in its pages. That’s totally unlikely as its a new passport that I only got last summer and its never been used.

Before I left she asked if I was sure I wanted to take Spanish nationality as it would mean giving up my British Nationality. Except in a few cases (with South American countries mainly) it is not yet possible to have dual nationality. You have to have one or the other. I said I felt more Spanish these days and intended to live out the rest of my life here. She laughed politely and told me the adrees I needed to next visit.

At the hacienda I went through the usual rigmarole of passing everything through the security machine only to be told that if I didn’t have an appointment I wouldn’t be seen. Eye roll. The receptionist gave me a leaflet with the number on it to make the appointment.

I’ve just called the number and made the appointment… for tomorrow morning. Slowly but surely…

27 citiaenshipformJust one of the many forms to be completed.

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A Meeting of Minds

The club was busy tonight, packed with the usual heavenly bodies and a few out-of-towners looking for a holiday fling, or perhaps just a casual one-night encounter. Barry shimmied onto the dance floor, the rhythm of the latest Eurobeat making it impossible for him to stand still. He was sure some of the old queens would be watching, they always were, and hoped the sculptured blond was too.¬†He’d spotted the visiting Adonis from his perch at the bar when said Adonis had sashayed down the stairs.

Barry knew the effect his favourite jeans had on some of the regular crowd and hoped they were having the same effect on his quarry.  He was too cool to look round as he moved centre-stage  but once he started to move to the music he casually looked that way to check.  He was watching.  Barry worked his way through his repertoire of dance moves, giving the object of his desire the occasional look.

Coming out of a rather demented spin Barry noticed the stranger take to the dance-floor. ‘Let the games begin,’ he thought to himself as he moved in that direction, idly wondering what his new dance-mate’s name was.

Step by step the two moved closer until they were dancing close enough to touch. ¬†Barry looked up and was greeted with a reciprocal smile. ¬†‘This guy really knows how to move,’ he said to himself wondering if he moved as well horizontally.

As the song ended Barry nodded towards the bar. His dance partner nodded in agreement and followed.

It was slightly quieter at the bar allowing conversation at a normal volume without shouting.

“What’ll you have?” Barry asked.

“Besides you?” Came the reply, “GT, no lemon, Jim.”

“No. My name’s Barry,” Barry replied as he ordered slightly flustered at the obvious come-on.

“I know. Mine’s Jim,” Jim told him. ¬†“You were wondering, weren’t you?”

“Err, yes,” Barry replied even more distractedly as he paid and handed Jim his drink.

“Cheers, and if you want to find out, I’m willing.” Jim told him.

“Find out?” Barry was having trouble keeping up with the conversation.

“If I move as well horizontally.” Jim replied. “Isn’t that what you wanted to know?”

“Oh jesus wept, I didn’t say that out loud did I?” Barry blushed.

“No, you’re okay.” Jim told him.

Sitting at the bar they sipped at their drinks and chatted, though nothing of consequence. Each time Barry tried to find out more about JIm he either ansered his question before it was out of his mouth, or avaoided them completely.

Barry couldn’t beleive his luck. He had managed to grab the best looking guy in the place. He tried to check Jim out as casually as he could. He was seriously interested but didn’t want to overplay his hand. He knew he was ‘punching above his weight’ he thought was the expression.

Jim leaned forward and whispered in his ear. “You should trust in yourself more. I’m not the best looking here, seriously, have you got a mirror at home?”

Barry blushed again, thrilled at the compliment which was clearly over the top, but also surprised that Jim had pretty much read his thoughts again. ‘Could anyone read thoughts really’ he considered. ¬†He took in all Jim’s features and imagined himself kissing those moustache topped lips.

“I can and I did,” Jim said leaning into Barry. “And I’d love to kiss, if you’d like.”

Barry leaned forward and gently brushed his lips against Jim’s. ¬†Inwardly he sighed. He wanted him badly. ¬†Jim pulled him in for a tighter embrace and a deeper kiss.

Jim abruptly broke off their kiss replying to Barry’s thoughts again. “Let’s go then,”

“Are you a mind reader or something?” Barry asked with a laugh.

“That and so much more,” Jim ¬†replied. “If you’ll just give me chance to show you.”

“Yes please.” Barry replied.

Jim took his hand and led him out of the club into the cool night air. Their futures sealed.

26 glitter ball WIrtey ho

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Fixed

“They still don’t get it,” I whined.

“They have your best interests at heart,” he replied.

“I know, but for fuck’s sake I don’t need fixing. There is no quick fix.”

“Language!” he admonished. “But they don’t like to see you like this.” 

“I know. It’s no party for me either. Most of the time I don’t know what I want, yet others seem to think they have the magic words to make me better.  There is no ‘making better’. They always have to add their two penneth. Can’t they see that it has the opposite effect? They think I should keep busy, doing, always doing. Don’t they know my mind will always go back to the same place? If I want to do something I will, but if not no amount of nagging will change that. The more I’m pushed the more I’ll shut down.  I’ll simply not share how I feel.  And when they say ‘we’re thinking of you’, ‘I’m always thinking about you’ why don’t they tell me what they’re thinking? I think about food a lot but it doesn’t make a meal.”

“They’re doing what they think might help you, or make you more approachable. You’ve never been easy to handle, and now you have an extra edge. I’m sorry.”

“Not your fault,” I tell him. “Frustrating. I just … ”

“I know. I wish I could just hold you.” 

“Me too.” ……. “Waking up some days is more than I want to do, but I slide out of bed and go throgh the motions. I hitch up a smile.”

“You’re doing really well.” 

“Sarcasm?”

“Of course.”

“Hahaha…. Inside…”

“I know.” 

“Why can’t others see it and allow it?”

“It’s not what we’ve come to be used to.  Positive vibes and all that.” 

“If …” …  “I just …”

“I know, but the kids need you, now more than ever. “

“My turn to say ‘I know’. And I’ll be here for them …. but…”

“I know…” 

08-08 broken heart

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On their way

Last weekend was the launch weekend for #BerwickStreettoBarcelona, with a special launch lunch in one of Tony and my favourite restaurants on the seafront here in Vilanova. Along with some dear friends we celebrated the publication of my latest scribblings, and my most personal one so far, and probably ever.  I, and some of my best chums, read passages from the book eliciting laughter, surprised faces and tears. I really think Tony would have approved, especially as everyone was so well-behaved and no one ordered ketchup with their paella (read the book for related story!!).

front cover

Our Story.

 

IMG_6933

The best friends I could ask for. 

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Carla reads ‘Bollards’.¬†

Thanks to Nick Brennan Photography for the photos.

Happily I sold many copies on the day, and have had more orders since. Copies of the book are currently winging their way to England, Spain, Canada and Australia. ¬†All profits from the books are going to the fund I set up in Tony’s memory, the money from which goes to World Cancer Research. ¬†TONY’S FUND. ¬†(I guess I’ll never be rich). With the proceeds from the books and other regular donations I hope to tip the amount over ‚ā¨4,000 before the end of the year. So if you want to help with that feel free to donate (any currency accepted). And if you’d like a copy of ‘our story’ message me and I’ll arrange for a copy to be sent your way.

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Berwick Street to Barcelona

OUT TODAY

front cover

Today Berwick Street to Barcelona, memories of love is available to buy. ¬†It’s our story…..

******

Berwick Street to Barcelona is the story of our love, as seen through my eyes.  It’s one filled with laughs, tears, and plenty of sex.

After meeting in a shady cinema in Berwick Street in 1982 we enjoyed just over 34 amazing years together, before Tony died of cancer in February 2016.

In our time together we lived in first in Shaftesbury Avenue, then in Brockley in south east London, before settling in Vilanova i la Geltru, near Barcelona. We made countless friends along the way, some good, some great, some better forgotten.

Our life together was filled with some incredible adventures and experiences, some fun, others heart-breaking.

This is a compendium of my memories of all those times.

*******

To get your copy send me a request now. ¬†All profits will be going to ¬†Worldwide Cancer Research. ¬†Details below …

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/anthony-stiggants

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