Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Today, the fortunes of this United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland took a turn for the better. That's right, I have been formally naturalised as a British citizen, conferring upon me the right to vote, stand for Parliament and box foreigners about the ears. In addition, I can wear a top hat, hail a taxi and be awarded an Order of the British Empire. I intend to do all of these things.

Pundits are already proclaiming today as "a great day, one which will go down in history", and foreseeing the reversal of the economic decline.

The ceremony took place in the Lothian Chambers, a masterpiece of late Victorian/Edwardian architecture, and was a tour de force of pomp and ceremony. After signing in and having our document's scrutinised for the final time, we were admitted to the ceremonial suite, decked out with Union flags, saltires and a portrait of the Queen. Several minutes ensued while the Lord Provost of Edinburgh was tracked down, during which the kids who were being citizenised rapidly got very bored. In the seat immediately in front of mine, a 9 year old investigated the contents of his nose, turned the shattered remnants of his sunglasses into a pair of fangs and was about to start shredding his Oath of Allegiance prompt card, when the Lord Provost hurried in.

After a couple of speeches about how privileged we, as well as Edinburgh and indeed the whole country are, we stood and pledged allegiance to Her Majesty. The national anthem then belted out from a cheap stereo for about 30 seconds, before stopping abruptly and we were told we were done.

All that remained was to grab the certificate, shake the Lord Provost's hand and avail ourselves of as much free tea, coffee and biscuits as possible. The first thing everyone did was to prove how extremely British we all were by forming a queue. No one really stuck around - no doubt they were all hightailing it down to the Post Office to apply for a passport in case the Home Office changed their minds.

Bronach and I then went to celebrate with a traditional British tea of Coca cola and some lemon tart. I nearly had my eye out with the thistle boutonniere which Edinburgh Council generously provided with the naturalisation certificate (see top picture), so we called it a day and came home.


alex_sotheran said...

Congratulations. Now we can finally go on holiday to theose 'Hot spots' the South African Passport won't let you into...

BondorBust said...

...like Malta, France, Portugal, The US of A, Iceland - in fact come to think of it, the only places you could go in the world without the visa were Swaziland and The Bahamas - go figure.

Lily Roth said...

My dear Mr. McKibbin,

May I offer you my heartiest feliciations? I eagerly await the day when I can swell the glad ranks of those fortunate enough to be called British.

Until that day, though, I will continue to box ears, both foreign and domestic, indiscriminately.

Yours, as ever,
Mrs. Lily Roth

Craig said...

Well thanks very much guys. I look forward to several adrenaline-pumped adventures in the world's war zones with you Alex.
Mrs Roth: I commend you on your approach to ear-boxing, and eagerly anticipate the day when you too are British.
BondorBust: Don't forget Switzerland, though to be fair they let anyone in...