Ancient Wisdom

Hello ,

Greetings from Spain.
You will be pleased to know it's pretty windy today and the electric keeps cutting out.
So it's disrupting work flow a bit but that's life.

Last week I was telling you about the "Mooch" and some some good and bad news.. you can read about it here.

I also promised you an update on the Rodrigo situation.
The reason Rodrigo is living in my house in Spain is that he is effectively a refugee.
From previous newsletters, regular readers will know that Rodrigo (who is Brazilian and is married to an English girl) had his visa revoked, and was on track to be shipped forcibly back to Brazil and separated from his wife and family. They (the Home Office) would only return his passport when he was actually on the plane to Brazil.

We ran a campaign that was only partially successful, in that they grudgingly allowed Rodrigo to move to Spain rather than Brazil. Here he was able to go through a process to reapply for a visa back to the UK. Rodrigo and his wife have jumped through more hoops than a troop of circus lions, and spent every last penny on outlandish fees, attended interviews in Malaga and Madrid and so on. Finally, the application was made.. that was back in April.

The original guideline is that visa applications should take no longer than 15 days.. on closer inspection that is working days, so three weeks.
Rodrigo checks the home office website for an update on his visa, every day he is disappointing.

At the end of everyday we sit on the terrace to take in the view, Rodrigo is happy he has somewhere to live, but imagine he didn't, imagine he was unable to support himself, without a passport he can't travel anywhere, cannot even hire a car.
Separated from his family, and left stranded. How can our system do this thing to real people?
You can't phone the Home Office, you can't email them unless you pay £5.48 for the privilege of sending an email. Which they have done repeatedly asking why the delay? At first you'd get fobbing off replies, but now no answer.

It's like a wall of silence.
We take in the view, the moon is reflected in the sea and Rodrigo tells me today is 73 days, excluding weekends and bank holidays. He has been away from home six months.
Maybe, maybe next week, he will know something. Maybe. There are tears in his eyes, every evening the same.

Back home in Sheffield his wife Jess is doing everything she can, writing letters seeing our MP, getting online support. She even goes to the office block where the passport is residing on some callus pile on some uncaring desk, the armed police outside know her now they are friendly but there is nothing anybody can do. It's like a wall of silence.

Because someone - I think Mrs May, decided at some point that net immigrants should be less than a hundred thousand people per year. This became a government mantra, a political statement. Written in stone.
But think about it.. this statement, as a policy is in simple error, it is seriously flawed in concept.

You got to have rules about who can come and live in our country, that's only right if those rules are fair and just. But by setting a number, you make a rod for your own back, you can only control that number by a) changing those rules.. or b) by delaying the system. so the numbers come right in the short term.
Can you change the rule that a man and wife should not be parted? Well that would be a human rights violation.. so no. So you have to just delay it is the only option. You can delay forever. You can delay to the point the applicant needs his passport, and gives up and clicks on the link (they make this easy) to cancel the application and return the passport. Maybe they have stats that after so many days such a percentage give in.

The result I believe is discrimination, we get upset when gay people are discriminated against, when people of colour, or disabled people.. it's right. We should.
Jess a Yorkshire girl, who fell in love with a Brazilian boy, is being discriminated against for no reason other than an arbitrary target. It is nothing less than DISCRIMINATION writ large, and institutionalised in the name of politics.
If someone took away your partner, husband or wife, and sent them away to another country, to wait and wait, for no good reason. How would you feel?

In the dark old days it was a crime if you fell in love with someone the same sex as you, now it seems today it is a crime to fall in love with someone of a different nation.

I feel for these guys, I don't know what to do, we have run the petition before.
I'm just reaching out to people who might influence the situation, because I believe Jess and Rodrigo are not the only ones,
Of course the issue is bigger than Rodrigo and Jess, it seems lots of people have or are facing the same issue - here in the UK.
I read in the news that a third of babies born in the UK are born to mixed nationality couples. A third, that means like it or not we are a multicultural country. So this issue affects so many people and as we leave Europe after Brexit will it improve?

Life goes on :)

Salt lamps.. sold out almost within hours (the main sizes). But if you missed out, don't worry too much there is another container almost here I think docking today, so should be with us inside a week.
We are I'm sorry to say a long way behind with orders, partly because of the Salt Lamp rush, and the Cocktail Bath Bombs rush.. Soap Flowers another high demand line is also stretching us. But we have a volunteer weekend team, coming in to try and catch up. So hopefully back to some kind of normal soon.

Next week I'm in the UK.. so news from there next Friday.

Take care.

And thank you for your business..



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