So who or what do I feel allegiance towards? Not the stars and stripes, that’s for sure – I haven’t forgiven the USA for labelling me a Non-Resident Alien Spouse on my husband’s US tax returns.

I understand that when you marry someone, to a certain extent you also inevitably marry their family – but their country? Seriously? What does my personal financial status as a UK citizen have to do with a country I have no intention of ever living in, just because I’m married to one of its citizens who doesn’t live there either? I really resent the intrusion into my life, it upsets me greatly.

In fact, I haven’t forgiven America for requiring my husband to even file an annual tax return for a country he hasn’t lived in for 45 years, a country he’s never worked in and never will, just because he happens to be an American citizen by birth. He lives and works here in the UK and so pays taxes here, as do I. He was educated here, got married here, owns property here, and has also held British Citizenship (as a dual citizen) for the last couple of decades.

To add insult to injury, if (God forbid) something happens to my husband, it seems US tax would have to be paid by me on the lump sum of my ‘inheritance’ of our marital home and funds, as apparently it doesn’t count as a basic transfer of property between husband and wife because I’m – yup, you guessed it, a Non-Resident Alien Spouse. WTF? As if I wouldn’t have enough to deal with getting my head around death duty tax laws in my own country, I’d have to deal with all that crap too?

It seriously riles me up, makes me feel a bit like the wonderful Lizzie Bennett in Pride and Prejudice angrily telling the high-and-mighty Lady Catherine de Burgh ‘I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me.’

So I’m going to stop this little rant before I go any further; suffice to say that what with one thing or another, sadly America is not high on my list of favourite countries at the moment… so definitely no allegience from me 😦

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Allegiance




Word Prompt: Just Chillin’

I love spending time in nature – walking in the woods or along the beach, sitting in the park or in the garden, happily watching the rest of the world go by without me. But I also love spending time at home – cooking, reading, listening to music or having a long, hot soak in the bath. I’m an introvert at heart, so my chillin’ time generally requires me being alone to recharge my loner batteries from the daily drip-drip of all that necessary social conversation and chit-chat I can find so draining. I tend to find solitude soothing to my soul; it comforts me, cushions me, helps me feel safe somehow, giving me some much-needed space just to be and build up the courage I need to be able to face the world again… 🙂

Word Prompt: Just Chillin’

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Bug

This morning I decided I wanted to bake – typically it’s hot and sunny today and so the thought of having the oven on wasn’t perfect – but I knew if I didn’t make some kind of sweet treat to eat, it would bug me all day. As my husband would say in his native Louisiana, I had the envie for home-made cake, and nothing less would do.

We have a huge tray of cherries sitting on the kitchen counter, red and ripe and far more than we can possibly eat before they start to spoil, so I decided on making a batch of cherry chocolate muffins – quick to mix and easy to bake… yum!

Perhaps not too pretty to look at but absolutely scrummy to eat, and well worth the half hour or so of extra heat in the kitchen 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Bug

Digital Artifacts

Why do WordPress have to mess about with my uploaded images?

I always make sure to resize all my images to a reasonable resolution for online viewing, particularly as I use the free version of WordPress so have an eventual upload limit and like to save space, and yet whenever I try to insert them into my blog post as a tiled gallery they often look all pixelated and full of digital artifacts.

The thing is, once you click on any image in the gallery, all tiled images render perfectly well, so I know it’s not my uploaded images at source that are the problem. I’ve even tried inserting images individually into posts rather than as a gallery, but still they do not render correctly to my chosen resolution – it’s so frustrating.

I probably need to experiment more to find an improved optimum size and resolution for uploading to this particular platform to stop this from happening, but it really annoys me that ultimately WordPress gets to decide how my images display on my blog – surely there should be a setting somewhere to switch off any further image compression for control freaks like me?

Or am I just doing it all wrong in the first place? What does everyone else do to keep their images looking good across their blog? All advice gratefully received… 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Artifact

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 1 – One

I’m in need of a little creative motivation just now so have signed up for Leanne Cole’s 30 Day Photo Challenge, where each day I’ll be sent an email with a challenge. I don’t know if I’ll necessarily manage 30 consecutive days, or even get them all done in order, but I’ll give it a go!

Day 1 is simply ‘one’… so it’s maybe a bit off-the-wall but here’s one stone angel missing one hand…


West Ham Cemetery, East London