Just over a month ago, I was stood at Gatwick airport with my family, waiting for Berkay to walk through the arrivals doors. Me, my mum, my dad, stepmum, sister, nan and grandad all met up at the airport armed with welcome balloons and banners. We waited for what seemed like ages, playing ‘spot the Turkish person’ as people walked through the arrivals doors, hoping to see a glimpse of Berkay. “What a lovely welcome ‘Berkay’ will have” said one passer by, “Aww, you obviously don’t love me like they love Berkay!” another woman said, as she walked through the arrival door to be greeted by her husband, who didn’t have balloons or banners! I swear we took up the whole area in front of the arrival doors. Finally, I spotted Berkay and announced to everyone ‘there he is!’ – at this point Berkay had hidden behind the doors, half in jest and half real ‘oh shit, I’m really here in England’. He then walked through the doors, I gave him a cuddle and most of my family burst into tears and joined in the hugs and kisses.
Airports are always emotional, and that was a really surreal moment, a moment we’d been waiting for for years.
That was 5 weeks ago, although it feels like even longer, and now he’s been here for over a month slowly settling in. Does he like England? No, not really, but I always knew that would be the case. It’s so different to Turkey and it takes a lot of getting used to. I know how hard it is to leave everything you know and move to a foreign country, and I also know how hard it is to leave the beauty of Fethiye and move to England. When I first moved back here I hated it, but now it’s definitely home and once he adapts I’m sure Berkay will like it too.
Berkay’s first week in England was spent running around from place to place (with the help of my dad!) picking up his biometric residency permit, registering at the doctor’s surgery, sending off for his national insurance number and getting a bank account. All of this involved so much paperwork – I thought that once he had the visa the hard part was over but it was really only just the beginning.
After being here just 3 weeks, Berkay found a job in a Wetherspoon’s pub in London. A very lovely Turkish man is the manager, who actually reads my blog and only knew of Berkay via reading it. He messaged Berkay when he got to the UK and offered him a job. Berkay went to meet him one Friday evening to chat and sign some paperwork, and when I met up with him after work he was so excited telling me all about it and how much he thought he was going to enjoy it. Since then he’s had two weeks of shifts and has done lots of overtime hours, especially with it being Christmas. He really enjoys it and it’s great for him to get out of the house, he hadn’t worked properly since October when the hotel in Calis closed for the winter so it had been the longest he’d ever not worked, besides being in the army. Its work that he’s used to doing, waiting on tables etc, and he’s used to being on his feet all day. The best part is that a lot of the other staff are Turkish too, some even from Fethiye, and I think that really helps him feel a little more at home. Being able to get out of the house, get the train to work and find his way around, get paid into his own bank account etc all helps him get his independence back and I think he’s feeling a lot more settled now that he doesn’t have to rely on me as much, he’s getting used to the system and day to day life here. He’s definitely a hard worker, all the extra shifts and how quickly he found/accepted a job are proof of that!
Last week, Berkay celebrated his birthday here – we met up after work and went to a BBQ crab shack restaurant. I know how much he misses fish and going to the fish market in Fethiye so I think this was the next best thing. Lobster, mussels and crab – I think he’ll admit I did a good job choosing that, even though it was a bit messy trying to eat it!
Overall its been a lot of adjusting for us all the last few weeks, Berkay especially, but he’s getting there and settling in. It’s funny to think that this time last year I was in England, he was in Turkey and in the army and we were spending Christmas apart with just a minute’s phone call to each other everyday. I thought we’d never be in a position to apply for the spouse visa. Now, we’re married, in the same country, living in the same house, I have a permanent job, Berkay has a job, we’re saving money, working towards moving out and very much looking forward to our first Christmas together as husband and wife.
I’m sorry for not keeping this blog updated as much as usual, I’ve been so busy with all of the above, as well as working, Christmas shopping, present wrapping and everything else! I hope that after Christmas things will settle down and I’ll have more time again.
For those who ask about Boncuk – she’s absolutely fine and happy on Berkay’s family farm. It’s not possible to bring her here, but she’s happy and we still get to ‘speak’ to her on Facetime and Skype. We miss her a lot, but she’s in the best place and well looked after. I love this very festive photo I took of her two years ago.
I hope you all have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year, lets see what 2017 holds for us all!
Keep the blogs coming and enjoy yr first xmas as husband and wife x x x x x x
Merry Christmas to you and Berkay, it’s been lovely reading your blog, enjoy your first Christmas as husband and wife love Elaine and Tim x x
Lovely to hear you are both doing well and Berkay is settling in England nicely.
We holiday in Calis every year, sometimes twice and I love to read your blog.
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Don’t worry too much about your blog, spend your time enjoying your husband, the blog can wait!
enjoy your first christmas together as husband and wife, make lots of nice memories 🙂
Lovely pictures Danni have a fab Christmas x x
Love reading ur blogs have a lovely Christmas together as husband and wife. Xx
W H A T A J O U R N E Y ! You both look sooooooooo happy.
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas,
& Wishing you Heaven in your Heart and Starlight in your soul.
So glad you’re both happy and together. Merry Xmas
Merry Xmas to you both love your blogs xx
Have a wonderful Christmas. Look forward to more of your news in the new year. xx
So glad you did not give up but followed your dream – even though it has been hard at times! Have a Happy Christmas and all good things to you both in 2017 xxx
2016 has certainly been your most eventful year hasn’t it? I ‘m so pleased everything has worked out for you both. Wishing you and Berkay all the very best for 2017 and beyond xxx
Merry Christmas! So glad you’re together and seem to be settling in well. We’ll have to visit “Berkay’s pub” next time we travel to London 😛
Merry Christmas. How lovely of that man to get in contact and offer Berkay a job! Amazing ….. I’m so happy for you both you deserve all the luck in the world and an amazing 2017 🙏🏼❤️️🎉🎉🎉
I’m sure if you and berkay want to bring bonchuk back to England you should be able to at the cost of about £1200.it’s worth knowing just in case berkay decides hen can’t live here without him.paws Bulgaria used to bring themcant think of the others but could find out if needed
Miso pleased you are both happy and berkay has landed himself a job bet he feels like a millioair after the poor wages in turkey.hope you have a long and happy marriage here in England and you both get settled into an house you can have the pleasure of choosing yourselves good luck keep your blogs coming.xx