I’m making trips into London every week to meet with potential investors and to pitch institutional and angel groups. I’m also well into the final leg of solidifying my residency status. I currently hold both NL (5 year) and UK (Tier 1) work/residency visas, but only the British process leads to a dual passport. To put pressure onto the process. my UK visa expires in January and the Government is no longer offering renewals. Failure to convert will mean being forced from the country.
So I’m working hard on my Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), a frustratingly expensive and detailed review process that takes lots of huddled prep with my immigration advisor to complete.
After the day of investor and advisor meetings, then, I am ready for a good airing out, walking the boulevards or visiting a museum.
Christmas displays are up, twinkling blue and white bulbs offsetting red buses and incandescent storefronts. London’s damp streets are always crowded, High Street stores full of shoppers and alleyway pubs overflowing with commuters.
I’ve made a few preliminary forays into the larger stores, my father and my daughter celebrate birthdays in the coming weeks and it’s a good chance to get a sense of what might match up with people’s lives and interests.
London’s Christmas Market along Southbank has relocated to the Tate Modern this year, crowding the booth into the central courtyard against the featureless exterior. I’m reminded of the markets in Koln: each culture clusters their booths around the skirts of their temples.
The booths are consistent echos of previous years, with very credible Krakauer sausage and mulled wine on offer, but they get me thinking about the German and Limburg versions that I always enjoyed.
The Winter Wonderland is setting back up in Hyde Park, and the lights displays are coming to Kew Gardens, so there are some good events on offer after the 1st. But for tonight, it’s just a break before the commute home.
Traveling off-peak with my Railcard gives me a huge discount, but forces me towards afternoon meetings and evening returns. So, for tonight, it’s National Rail at 1930 and a drive down from Basingstoke, an hours run by podcast to Poole and dinner at 2200.
‘Fingers crossed that the visa and the fundraising both close in the coming weeks.