Before moving over here, somone gave me a helpful list of all the things to get done before you leave Belgium, and when. One of them was contacting the Commune to let them know that you will no longer be living in the country as of the date you leave and the other involved calling the Belgian (or British - I forget now) Embassy to let them know that you will be moving to England. It was then that I found out that I was moving to England as an 'Expat' seeing as I have Belgian ID and as far as the Belgians are concerned - am Belgian. Through and through.
Admittedly, people have never really understood which nationality I am (half English, half Belgian - by marriage) as I wasn't born in England and have spent very little time here previously - apart from 9 horrible years in boarding school and holidays dotted around the world. Some people enjoy that nomadic way of life, but I certainly didn't so was happy when I finally found my roots, albeit not in England. So after 25 years living in a country that I was - and still am - happy to call "home", I had to move and then decided living in England to be a good idea. But I hadn't realised that I would be moving as an 'Expat'. It all seems so wrong.
When I am eventually installed in my new house and have paid off a few bills the woman at the end of the phone has instructed me to contact the Belgian Consulate in Manchester (I think - all this seems to have happened months ago) to let them know that I'm here, shove some bills under their noses as proof so that they can issue a new ID card with my new address.
Well, if I can travel around as before, using my ID card, then it's much cheaper than having to buy a passport.
The day I need a passport to travel to further shores outside the EU will be the day I can afford to buy one, so in that respect, it's not such a bad idea. No doubt I shall still be sent Belgian election forms every two years, but it's a fair price to pay to avoid the horrendous expense of a passport.
So hi England. I'm a furriner.