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British Government refuses to let Babushka visit her grandchildren this Christmas

Galina with Tosha and Tolii 2012

Our boys Tosha and Tolii with their babuska Galina – “Baba” – during her visit to us in January 2012. Hopefully our MP can make smiles appear on our boys’ faces again this Christmas.

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(updates have been added to the bottom of this article – scroll down)

Some disappointing news: the UK government has refused to let Babushka (“Baba”) – real name Galina – visit the UK this Christmas to be with her grandchildren, our sons Tolii and Tosha.

Katya’s mum has been visiting from her home in St. Petersberg, Russia for 14 years without any issue. Until now.

The UK government now claims that they are not convinced that 76 year old Baba has somewhere to sleep and won’t take a job away from another grandmother. Or words to that effect – see below.

Also, earlier this year, 25 June 2013 to be precise, the UK government announced (HERE) that it had eliminated the right to an appeal whenever a family visitor visa is rejected. Great. Not.


The UK Government’s decision is especially disappointing this year because grandpa – Andrew’s dad – died earlier this year and so won’t be with us around the Christmas table either – see  ‘In memory of Brian Henry, my dad.’

Thankfully “Grangela” – Andrew’s mum Angela – is here with us. She lives in town near us and doesn’t have to worry herself about any jobsworth government bureaucrat getting between her and her grandchildren.

We have informed our MP, Sir George Young, of this whole sorry tale and are hoping that he might be able to find out why, after 14 years of family visits, the UK Government has now resorted to such cruel behaviour.

» Continue reading British Government refuses to let Babushka visit her grandchildren this Christmas »

Cycling through daylight’s darkness in Bath’s Two Tunnels

Two Tunnels Before and AfterOn the first real almost-spring-like day this year, Tolii, Tosha and I (Katya was ill) headed up to Bath to cycle in the darkness of the Two Tunnels.

Thankfully, there were plenty of things going on in the daylight too: a fun festival with burger stand and beer tent.

For the past few years, Sustrans (a registered charity) has been converting a disused railway line into a shared path that people walking and cycling can enjoy on their way to work or when out for a bit of leisure.

I wrote a story about it over on The Joy of Cycling where I also embedded the video that I made.

What isn’t written there though is how my kids and I got separated just at the exit of the shorter of the two tunnels! You’ll see them riding ahead of me, then they » Continue reading Cycling through daylight’s darkness in Bath’s Two Tunnels »

Whoosh! Tour of Britain 2012 Stage 8

Racing up Guildford’s cobblestone High Street in Tour of Britain stage 8 are Mark Cavendish (rainbow jersey – world champion) and Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (gold jersey – race leader).

We popped over to Guildford to watch the first pass through the town of the Tour of Britain 2012 on its 8th and last […]

Now a One-Car Family

Never before have we been a one-car family.  We are now!

I have taken to using the train for my commute into Fleet this year; and the time had come to renew the insurance on the X-registration (2000) Honda Civic, plus we had to pay a hefty repair bill to get it to pass […]

Whitchurch Winter Wonderland after Travel Troubles

The Square, Whitchurch, Hampshire

The snow has stayed to the delight of our kids!  There were many opportunities to take some very pretty pictures around town (see our gallery).  That is, once I got into town after work… » Continue reading Whitchurch Winter Wonderland after Travel Troubles »