Before I signed on the dotted line agreeing to move to Hong Kong, I applied for British citizenship. This was because I was worried about all the 'what if's - what if I don't like living in Hong Kong? What if I want to come back to London and for some silly reason they don't let me in? What if Liddle Sis, ultrabioman and I want to live together in London again at some point in the future?
I got my old boss and a friend from school to act as my referees.
"Do you think I'll get it?" I asked my old boss. M.O.B. grinned.
"We seem to give crooks British citizenship all the time, I don't see why an honest solicitor like you wouldn't get it," he said.
My solicitor handling the application thought so, too.
"I don't suppose you've committed any acts of genocide?" he asked. We were filling in the application form.
"No." I said.
"Have you ever been involved in armed conflict?" he asked.
"No," I said, "sorry to disappoint."
"I'm sorry I'm asking these inane questions. The British government seems to think that if you ask criminals questions you'd get honest answers. I'm sure you've never been investigated for any involvement in terrorism?"
"No." I said.
Yesterday I received an inconspicuous white envelope. I tore it open somewhat carelessly. It turned out to be my certificate of naturalisation. Thank God I didn't tear it. Now I have to apply for a British passport, tell my employer of my change of nationality and go through the process of applying for a replacement work visa. But it's all worth the knowledge that I will not be denied entry to a place I consider most close to my heart.