In the paper and studying for the life in the UK test

This past week has been a very busy media week for me. As part of my volunteer role with the Aberdeen Cycle Forum I respond to all queries from the media and they seem to come in waves. For months it’s quiet and then suddenly everyone wants to write about cycling and they call the Aberdeen Cycle Forum for an opinion.

There was quite a bit of media interest in the council’s plans to widen South College Street for cars. I got interviewed by The Press & Journal, The Evening Express, and a local radio station. I was very pleased to get such good publicity.

Then on Thursday the TV station, STV, contacted me for an opinion about a new bill which will allow local councils to introduce a workplace parking levy. They came and filmed me riding my bike and it appeared on the evening news. They put the go-pro on my basket at the front of my bike and filmed me from below, looking straight up my nose. It wasn’t a very flattering angle.

Then on Friday the Press & Journal rang again to get an opinion about an active travel survey the city council is running. Elizabeth and I both appeared in Saturday’s paper:


I’m really not qualified to do all this as I’ve had no media training whatsoever. However, I’ve picked up little bits along the way like don’t wear sunglasses for photos and have some talking points ready and stick to those main points you want to get across because they will edit out most of what you say. If anyone has any other tips please let me know!

It has been five years since we moved to Scotland and we’re now entitled to apply for indefinite leave to remain. This will cost us nearly £10,000 (£2,389 each) and Ben and I have to take the life in the UK test and get 75% or higher. In it there are questions about British kings and queens, wars, the judiciary, British sporting heroes, and books and plays. If you’re interested you can sit a practice test here. There are some very easy questions too so I don’t think we’ll have too much trouble but we’ve started studying nevertheless.

13 thoughts on “In the paper and studying for the life in the UK test”

  1. I have never heard of such a test…good luck!

    I’ve been to Scotland many times as a flight attendant, lovely place.

    It sounds interesting, your job. Cute picture of you two. My daughter and I cycle together too. 🙂

    1. It’s wonderful to be able to cycle with your kids. I hope you enjoy cycling with your daughter. I organised some beginner adult cycling lessons recently and one of the adults who attended was keen to learn so she could cycle with her kids.

    1. 10,000 Pound is a great way to make people feel welcome.

      The test in Germany is 25€.

      The formal application is 255€ for adults and for kids 51€.

      All costs combined (travel, translations, stamps) it still can be up to 900€.

      1. There’s also a £50 fee here to take the test so it will be £100 for the two of us in addition to the application form. It is ridiculously expensive. I guess they hope it will be a way to discourage immigration but they’re discouraging the wrong people because we know of other acadmics who have turned down jobs in the UK because of the prohibitive costs associated with visas and leave to remain.

  2. It’s just crazy. I was born & have lived in the UK for over 70 years and I’m sure I would have to study too. I dislike the xenophobic attitudes that seems to permeate a certain strata of our country these days, especially as in Scotland the mood seems to be to welcome folk from outwith the country. Ah well, in 200 years what will it all be like?

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