Wednesday, August 31, 2011


There seems to have been a slight miscommunication between myself and the hotel with regard to the prints I'm recolouring........I've just been told I've been working for the past week on the wrong flower..........

*kicks self*

I've come to the decision that I MUST be more productive than yesterday. So with this in mind I'm going to take a deep breath and start again (all the while focusing on anything other than the amount of time I've wasted over the past week grrrr). Of course what I really want to do is scream for a while and pull out all my hair but somehow I don't think baldness is the answer here.

I'm still not sure which flower I was supposed to recolour (will get confirmation before proceeding) but it can only be one of these. With any luck I'll be able to post the recolour of the correct flower tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

London Blues

I seem to be having some adjustment issues this week.
I have to admit that this is a problem I hadn't anticipated coming back to London. It seemed logical to me that I'd have no trouble settling back into my life, it's not as if I haven't lived here in this very house for at least 22 years of it!!

Why then is it such a struggle to get back into the swing of things after only 3 months away?!?!

I listed all possible reasons in my head. I added things like, you miss your boyfriend, your frustrated by work, you hate dealing with immigration, blah blah blah, boo hoo hoo until finally I came to the core of my unhappiness..........

English weather sucks!!!

I'd like to spend today curled up in bed but I can't. As I also can't seem to make myself dye fabric and print patterns I'm faced with a conundrum. Whilst I think of a solution to this I'll upload some images so at least there's a visual to accompany my whining.

I've decided to opt out of attempting to do anything by hand today and cheat using photoshop instead. I can't say exactly how this will be received by my boss but I guess we'll see on Friday!
Until then, TTFN!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Making my blog pretty again

Apologies to anyone who visited my blog in the last few days expecting to see pretty things and was greeted instead by long rambling complaints about my lack of success with the immigration department. I will try to keep those types of posts to a minimum!

In an attempt to win back your favour here's some pretty things.

I've been asked to recolour and rework these pieces from my website to match the colour scheme of other rooms in the hotel. For those who are just tuning in, this is an ongoing project with a hotel abroad that will hopefully be complete before Christmas.  I can't wait to see it all come together!! :)

I'll add the other colourways as I go so be on the look out for them.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Important Immigration Status Update!!

I've just remembered something that I didn't include in my previous posts that is crucial to the application!!!!

While speaking to that last useful immigration officer on the phone I discovered that applying for immigration status in Barbados is only possible for those people who have lived in Barbados previously. Some people may have had a work permit or a student visa etc. which allowed them to reside in Barbados for longer periods and those people will be entitled to apply for immigration status.

I have never lived, studied or worked in Barbados and therefore do not have and never have had a permit or visa. I am only able to apply for immigration status because my parents are citizens of Barbados although neither of them were born there. My Father received his citizenship through his Father (who was born in Barbados) and my mother received hers by marriage.

If you are in a similar situation you need to include proof of your parents citizenship; the original copy AND a photocopy along with the other documents listed when you apply. This is NOT stated on the application form but if you don't provide the immigration office with this information your application will not be processed!!

If this whole process is starting to sound like more trouble than it's worth, you might find the following information helpful...............

You DO NOT need a visa, permit, immigration status or in fact ANY further documentation for a long stay in Barbados if you are travelling on a British passport!

It is at the discretion of the immigration officer at the airport when you arrive in Barbados how long you will be allowed to stay. The length of your stay will be accepted or denied based on your responses to a standard set of question. These will be things like 'what is the purpose of your visit?' 'where will you be staying?' etc. So, if you are clearly a tourist holidaying for 2 weeks (or even 6) you will have no trouble. But booking a stay of 6 months with the intention of working without a permit would obviously be ill advised!

So basically you can stay as long as you like within reason!

If it is believed that you intend to stay for any unlawful reasons (or if the person you're dealing with simply doesn't buy your story about the deep love you've developed for their country and your wish to spend the next year on one long holiday WITHOUT the intention of working) you will be made to change the return date of your flight.

You may be able to extend your stay at a later date by visiting the immigration office in Bridgetown and requesting an extension. The immigration officer will decide the length of this extension based on another set of questions. You may also be asked to prove that you will be able to support yourself financially during this time.

Sooooooo the moral of the story is be prepared to answer questions and come armed with proof!

If you're still curious about this process and are looking for more information on this subject (or other related topics), have a look at THIS!!

The link above will also direct you to the contact details for the Barbados Immigration Department.

Just as I thought I was getting somewhere..............

I am currently on hold to speak to a commissioner at the British High Commission in Barbados and thought I would pass the time by sharing with you, the people of the internet, the exciting time I've had today!

For the past few days I have been gathering the documents I need in order to apply to obtain immigration status in Barbados. After locating my birth certificate (and identifying that I am not in fact married and therefore don't need a marriage certificate) I gave myself a congratulatory pat on the back for doing so well :)

Armed with a slightly smug sense of self-satisfaction I went in search of the certificate of character that I needed from the police. Considering the experience I have gathered over the past few months I should have known better than to assume that this task would be anything less than painfully difficult and slow.

I made the assumption that I would  need to contact the Criminal Records Bureau. I spoke to an unusually helpful man who told me that I would need a Subject Access Request which was provided by my local police station. Knowing that it would be futile to visit my local police station (what with it being closed most days, often to include days when it's supposed to be open) I decided to poke around on their website.

This website had 2 forms on it but I was unable to decipher from the descriptions of each form which was the right one! Sooooooo I decided to call the helpline where I was directed to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) website where I found a form called ACRO!! I was excited because I thought I'd found what I was looking for with basically no trouble at all but sadly this was not the case.

I noticed at the top of this form, a list of countries that accepted it for the purpose of visa applications. Barbados was not listed here. I asked the helpful man if he had information about other countries that might accept this form. He did not.

He told me to call the Barbados High Commission.

This made me sad. :(

So far I have not received particularly helpful information from the people at the Barbados High Commission. I decided I would skip on calling them until I absolutely HAD to, and instead called the Barbados Immigration Dept. I got static twice and couldn't speak to anyone so I gave up.

Begrudgingly I called the Barbados High Commission and told the woman who answered the phone what I needed. The conversation went like this,

Me: Hi, I'm applying for immigration status in Barbados and I'm trying to confirm that the police certificate I have here from the ACPO is recognised in Barbados as a suitable character reference.

Her: don't know about that. What are you trying to do?

Me: *slightly enraged but holding it together* I'm applying for immigration status in Barbados and need a character reference from the police. I have one but need to know if it's the right one.

Her: ..........I can't deal with that here, I'll put you through to someone who can....... holding for phone person number 2..............

Me: *explaining the same thing I explained to phone person number one*

Him: Did you just get transferred here??

Me *still trying to hold back angry explosive shouting* ......yes

Him: Well we don't deal with that here

Me: *rapidly turning red and steaming at the ears*

Him: Let me transfer you to the department that deals with that...........

..............holding for phone person number 3.............

Me: *reciting my request for the third time*

Her: I wouldn't know what form you need

Me: .................Thank you, you've been very helpful *click*

Having no success there I decided to call the British High Commission in Barbados who seemed to have more information. I spoke to a helpful person who put me through to someone else who was supposed to be helpful. This second supposedly helpful person was not in her office........

So I drank some tea and decided to get back to it later.

After about an hour I called the British High Commission again and was transferred to a person who I was assured would be able to help me. This person could not.

I was told to call the Barbados Immigration Department.

I hadn't been able to reach anyone there the in the 7 times I'd called since yesterday (this is not an exaggeration) so I was less than impressed at having to do it again.

Miraculously someone answered and gave me the direct line of some all knowing super being that could answer ALL my question and who WOULDN'T put me on hold or use the words 'well I ain't really know bout dat, you wud haff tuh aks *insert name of magical immigration elf here*'

This person/ magical immigration elf told me that as long as the certificate can confirm my criminal record (or lack there of) it would be a suitable form of character reference.

I think the lesson here is BE PERSISTENT!!!

I can now confirm for anyone who might be wondering (or about to embark on a lengthily telephone adventure) that THIS IS THE FORM you need to fill in if you live in the UK and need a certificate of character reference from the police!! I annoyed that I spent the better part of today trying to confirm something that I was 90% sure of to begin with? YES!

Is it better to be safe than sorry? I think so! :)

Have I saved anyone else the trouble? You tell me!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Barbados Immigration Information

Hello all! I'm in a new location for a while, back in London so the nature of my posts might be a little different to normal. I won't be here for long, just have some work stuff to organise, not to mention all the boring immigration stuff I still have to deal with.

In fact it's the boring immigration stuff I want to talk about right now. I have had a fair amount of trouble just locating the correct information I needed in order to move to Barbados. I realise that it's quite an obscure place to move to (by that I mean fewer people up and decide to move there; it's not exactly Australia or the US). But I figured it might be a good idea to share my findings with the people of the internet!

I can't speak for other countries because I've never tried to move anywhere else but I have to say that finding any information from the UK is close to impossible unless you know EXACTLY what you're looking for. Perhaps it was naive of me to think that I could just type 'Barbados immigration' into Google and instantly find the one form that would apply to my specific situation. BUT once I realised that there was more than one form (duh) Somewhat more sensibly I went in search of information that would tell me which form I needed but failed again to anticipate the difficulties I would face in doing so.

I found no magical website where everything was clearly labelled in a way that makes sense to the average person. I found no forms online and NO helpful people at the Barbados High Commission.
I thought I'd had some success when i was directed to an online document which looked very official and certainly seemed to have all the information I'd ever need. This however turned out to be the most long-winded, confusing and ultimately unhelpful document ever written.

Deciding that I either lacked the know-how to locate the information or that I had found it and was too stupid to make any sense of it I gave up and convinced myself that things would be easier in Barbados.

Luckily I was right!!

I called the Chief Immigration Officer on (001) 246 426 1011 and spoke to an actual person!!! I told this person that i was trying to move to Barbados. I explained that i didn't know what I needed to do but had figured there must be a form somewhere out there that would allow me to stay in Barbados. I even went on to explain that I didn't need to become a citizen. Anything would do as long as I would be granted permission to live and work in Barbados indefinitely.

This is basically how the conversation went,

Me: Hi I'd like to move to Barbados please! How can I do that?

Him: Were you born here?

Me: No

Him: Have you lived here before?

Me: No.

(so far I felt it wasn't going well)

Me: Both my parents are citizens

Him: But you are not?

Me: No (duh)

Him: Until two years ago our policy made exceptions for people whose parents were citizens but that policy has changed. Since you are over the age of 16 this would not apply to you anyway. We also used to fast track (that's my phrasing not his) people who had been living in Barbados for more than 5 years but that has also changed. Now that policy only applies to those who have been on the island prior to 1998. (I'm pretty sure it was '98, I must admit to tuning out slightly at that point as this information didn't apply to me)

Me: do I proceed??

Him: You need to apply to obtain immigration status. Come to the immigration office at Careenage House, The Wharf, Bridgetown, Barbados and collect the 'Application for Immigration Status and Non-National Registration.

Me: Ok, will I need to bring any ID or other documentation with me?

Him: No, just collect the form, fill it in in triplicate and send it back.

Me: Ok so once I've done that how long will it take for the application to be processed?

Him: It takes three years to gain immigration status but there's no guarantee.

Me: Wuh???

Him: This application is just the VERY first rung of the ladder. Your application may be denied at this early stage.

Me: What would my options be if that were to happen?

Him: You have non really.........

Me: So..........let me see if I'm understanding this correctly........what you're saying is that I'm welcome to try but it's entirely possible that I won't be successful and if this is the case then there would be no other way for me to live in Barbados. Ever.

Him:....................outside of marriage, no.

Me: Guess I better get married then!

Him:*nervous laughter* what's the deal with this marriage thing?

Him: If you get married you would go through a similar 3 year process but during this time you would be permitted to live and work in Barbados.

Me: *finger pyramid of evil contemplation* Thank you, you've been very helpful!

I failed to ask what reasons people may be denied entry into the country but I assume it's things like poor health or a criminal record. I say this because the form I collected puts a fair amount of emphasis on proving that your presence won't be a drain on the state. Fair enough! I'm lovely and any country should be happy to have me :)

The document below contains the information I was trying to find in the first place!! Having this list before I went to Barbados would have meant that I could have placed my application 3 months ago when I went to the immigration department to get the form in the first place!! My hope is that publishing this list will save at least one person some time!!


I should really apologise for the quality of the scan, It has been stuffed in a suitcase for the past 2 days. Unfortunately I can't make it any bigger either but if you're having trouble reading point 7 here's what is says,

'Letters from school(s) attended in Barbados, stating period of attendance.'

The text that's cut off at the top says 'IMMIGRATION' and if you're wondering what exciting things lie on the reverse side of the sheet I'll show you!

Again, sorry........that dark smudge over section 'f' reads,

'Two forms to be submitted for persons age 16 and over. All persons under sixteen are required to submit a single form.'

Also the medical form mentioned in section 3, b) comes affixed to the form and looks like this,

This one wins the prize for most illegible scan of the day! That blurry question refers to disability and compensation for injury. In any case, you get the idea. All these papers (including the actual immigration form itself) come stapled for your convenience and unlike the most long-winded, confusing and ultimately unhelpful document ever written they are easy to understand!

Obviously I have not yet come to the end of my immigration plight but I do feel a little closer. I'll make sure to update you as I go, please feel free to share similar experiences or tips with me in the comments box!

Oh! and as a side note!! If you're going to the immigration office in Barbados make sure you are dressed 'respectfully.' If you think you're over dressed, trust me you're not. I assumed this warning applied only to beach bums or people in assless chaps but apparently having your shoulders on show offends the sensibility of the average immigration officer..................

......................just saying............

Monday, August 15, 2011

Butterfly Fish

Fuelled only by the sound of Jamiroquai and a bag of Ruffles I sat down to create a partner for the turtles I posted last week. Check it out......

This is still pretty far from completion so keep a look out for updates!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Since my last post I did manage to pull it together......sort of.

.......anyway, I'm not getting in to that. The important thing is I finished my work :)
And in other news I'm another step closer to being done with my hotel project! I've just been asked to produce a piece to match this one.

I probably won't get a chance to work on it until the weekend but I'll update as soon as I put pencil to paper!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I'm bad at working

Perhaps because of the stress I've endured over the past few days (or perhaps due to my general laziness) I have failed in practically every area of my life.

Actually I think I'm being a little hard on myself. I have succeeded in completing the work I had to do for the hotel but in doing so I have neglected just about everything else.

As I sit here trying to complete my freelance work I find myself completely uninspired and terrified at the prospect of producing yet another half-hearted design. Yet even this fear has not propelled me into a frenzy of hard work. Instead I find myself drawing circles on my page in a lacklustre manner hoping that I may accidentally create something brilliant. Alas, this has not been the case so far.

I have turned to my blog in the hope that someone will suggest something genius that will pull me out of my slump. I have been given the following inspiration to help me BUT I have to create said designs by hand and considering my aforementioned laziness this would be quite difficult. Here in lies my dilemma! Please help!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Busy Busy Busy

I've had a pretty busy couple of days so I haven't had much time to draw anything new or even finish the things I'd already started. I've hardly had a chance to look up from the pile of emails I've had to deal with or get off the phone long enough to post anything so please accept my humblest of apologies for that!

On the bright side my dealings with the printer, framer and hotel seems to be over for now and everything that needed to be done does now appear to have been done. so with all my fingers crossed I await the arrival of Thursday when the prints will either arrive and everything will be shiny and wonderful or they won't and everything will be disastrous and terrible.

With any luck i'll get a chance to head out to the Crop Over celebration happening here today. Then at least I'll have some photographs of the event with which to hold your attention. One can only hope!