måndag 27 juni 2016

How to get a Spanish NIE from the Spanish Consulate in London

Recently I visited the Spanish consulate in London to get a NIE, this was quite an experience and I'd like to blog about this to place it on the web for others to be able to read.

The embassy has an unimpressive 2.0 rating out of 155 reviews on Google which made me dread to visit this place.

First lets go through what you need to bring and what you need to do beforehand.

Do you need an appointment to apply for a NIE at the London consulate?

 No you do not need an appointment, but you might need to wait a long time to get inside the consulate to meet the person handling the NIE applicatoins.

What do you need to bring (and what happens if you don't bring it)

 This is not said clearly anywhere on their website so here is a list based on what we brought and on the events when we visited the consulate.
  • Two filled out EX15 forms,.
    • The two forms should be filled out when you bring them to the Consulate aside from the final Signature field, Do not sign the final Signature field in the form, this needs to be signed in front of the person responsible at the Embassy.
    • You need to print this form BEFORE you visit the consulate, they will not give you this form so make sure you print it and bring it along.
    • You need to complete this form in CAPITAL LETTERS, they will make you fill it out again if you don't use CAPITAL LETTERS.
    • Note that the form consists of two pages and the second page needs to be handed in as well.
    • Download my guide on how to fill out the form here
      >> How to fill out EX15 - JPG
  • A Photocopy of your passport (the page with your face and passport number)
    • If you do not bring this copy they will send you out to the nearest Timpson shop to copy your passport.
      They wll absolutely NOT copy your passport for you, even if this is what embassies/consulates do in the rest of the world,
      Just to repeat this so you can save time when you carry out your visit, the Spanish embassy will not copy your passport for you, you need to bring a copy.
    • If you are not British or an EU citizen, you need to also provide a copy of the page containing proof of your right to stay within the UK.
  • £6,90 fee for the NIE, to be paid cash with exact change.

The queue outside the consulate

The Spanish consulate is located within an ancient building that wasn't built to be an office, this means not many people can be inside the building at the same time, and so there are always two queues outside of the embassy, one going right and one going left.

Don't be discouraged by the queue outside of the embassy, it always has a queue, you must however pay close attention to the embassy representative that is standing outside of the building keeping track of the two queues. This person is your key to get into the embassy, she will ask you for your errand and will keep track of when it's your turn to enter.

Once it's your turn to enter a policeman will check you for bombs and weapons and also scan any bags in an airport style x-ray scanner.

The 3rd floor

Here you will sign your form in front of the official in charge, you likely will have to wait on a wooden bench outside the notary's office while he/she handles other NIE applications. If you have filled in our application correctly (look at my guide) you won't have to do it again. If you haven't filled out the application and am lucky enough for them to have spare forms, you will need to complete the form now and the notary will be irritated because "you haven't done your homework".

Note at this stage that if you didn't bring a copy of your passport you will be sent out of the consulate to go and take a photocopy of your passport, it pays to have read this guide and to come prepared.

Remember to not sign the form unless the notary says for you to do so as the signing has to take place when this person can see it.

The basement

Once the notary has witnessed your signing and stamped your application you need to bring your documents down to the basement of the building. Find the window that says cashier, please bring as exact change as you can (£6,90) as they DO NOT take cards and there is no guarantee that they will have change if you only bring bills with you.


If you went through the above steps your NIE application will be sent in and you might expect an email within two to four weeks with your new NIE number.

How to fill out Ex-15 to apply for a Spanish NIE number.

söndag 27 september 2015

Shame on you Cooperative Childcare for denying us the use of the playground

It was a sunny lovely day yesterday, probably one of the last this autumn, and I was looking forward to the local dads club meeting.

Dads Group SE18/28
The Dads Group SE18/28 is a group for male carers, we meet at Brookhill Childrens centre the last Saturday of every month and socialise with each other and our children.

We've met at this venue for just about two years and the group is a great bunch of dads with an even greater mix of nationalities and cultures (Carribbean, Nepalese, Nigerian, European).

Today I turned up at Brookhill Childrens centre just past 11 o clock and said hello to all old and new faces, both children and adults as this is what the Dads Group is about. It's not just about the dads chatting away on their own, and it's not just about playing with your own children, we speak and engage with everyone, adults and children.

Dads Group kids group photo - March 2015
Dads Group Brookhill - March 2015
After barely 2 minutes in the outdoor space we are confronted with staff from the Cooperative childcare, the nursery we are in opens up into the same outdoor space as them, and they are having an open day, they don't want us to use the outdoor space since they want to show it to parents who are interested and might show up on the open day.

Apparently it's bad for a nursery to have happy children playing in the space during an open day, I would have thought this showed what the nursery would look like on an ordinary day?

If we had shared the indoor space then there would have been a risk of the children being too loud (albeit low) for the staff to speak to their potential clients.

The outdoor space is large, and it wouldn't be difficult to either find a quiet corner, or go inside of the nursery for a longer conversation.

Some Dads left in protest, others like me stayed for the sake of the children, they know about Dads Group and look forward to it, to have left the nursery would have disappointed them.

We did get to use the upper floor of Brookhill, a much smaller patio sized space, a lot less space to move around and no climbing frame.

But we are really puzzled as to what was the reasoning by person who made the decision to have us moved, what was it about the Dads club you didn't like?

I don't know how to interpret the events today, I have three main theories;
  • Was this a meeting with the new Tory privatised Britain?
    "This is business, we pay for this space,  you don't pay for it so you have to leave".

    Toryism following the harsh cuts being implemented, a formerly council owned childrens centre, now turned private pushing out it's non-profit work (Dads Group) in favour of business (the Cooperative childcare).
  • Was it snobbism?Did the Cooperative Childcare not want dads on their open day there because some of the dads were in track suits? Was it going to scare away some middle class parents to see these men and their children playing together?
  • Was it even racism, did the Cooperative not want black dads and black kids during their open day?

Whatever the reason
was to deny us the use of the outdoor space, you'd have hoped that the (nursery?) staff from the Cooperative would have been human enough to recognise the needs of the children they were sending off the playground.
Brookhill Childrens centre March 2014
Brookhill Dads Group - March 2014
Let me tell you Cooperative Childcare, if you knew anything about caring for children then you'd know they need space to move around, 6 year olds doesn't want to sit and read books inside a nursery on a sunny day. Neither do energetic 3 year olds, they want to try out the tricycles, kick a ball, or use the climbing frame.

It was difficult for me to explain to my two girls why they couldn't play in their usual place.
I expect your explanation to the Dads Group regarding your action will be no less difficult.

Emanuel Berglund
Long standing member Dads Group SE18/28

torsdag 2 juli 2015

A post just to warn others of scams on Gumtree

I posted an ad to sell a few things and was immediately contacted by someone calling themselves Rose Lama, willing to buy the item without looking at it and paying full price, but only via PayPal, and asking about details for my paypal account, when in reality it would be me who sent them an invoice to their email address.

Turns out its a Nigerian scam, so adding this blog post to add to Google's searchin indexing and so warning others in the long run who will find this article.
The emails came from the email address rose.lama401@gmail.com

Plenty more information about this scam in this article: https://www.paypal-community.com/t5/Access-and-security/scam-buyer-through-Gumtree-involving-a-payment-to-Nigeria/td-p/508334/page/3?profile.language=en-gb

lördag 13 juni 2015

A guide to Secret Cinema Events

A short guide to Secret cinema events for those who have never attended one, I'd like to divide Secret Cinema events into three different parts.

First part - Immersion and interaction
Secret cinema will recreate locations out of the movie and hire actors to play the characters out of the film but also for all the other smaller roles in the film, if you catch them at certain points they will re-enact parts of the movie, but you can also get involved with them and speak to them. There will be plots prepared for you to take part in with tasks you can get from the actors.

You will get around 2-3 hours to browse the buildings and interact with the characters that Secret cinema has organised. If you want to be a spectator that just looks at what others do then that's of course fine, but you will have the time of your life if you actually take part and pretend to be someone out of themed film.

My advice to anyone who is attending is to eat and drink before you reach the event, you don't want to waste time standing in queues to get food or drink during this magical first stage where you have the chance to really "live the movie".

I know the recent events are large and are attracting a lot of new participants, but I'd still want to say that I think out of respect to the other attendees you should make an effort to dress out and not to turn up in NIKE t-shirts or checkered shirts, floral dresses, it sort of spoils it for those people who made an effort.

Second part - Screening of the film
During the screening of the movie there will usually be some added visual effects and acting to accompany the movie. For example in Back to the future they had the Delorean driving up on stage and Biff and Marty fighting on stage.

Third part - The After party
Since you are in a place with a few hundred other people who dig the movie you just saw and you are all on a happy high, why not party with them? The after party will last until whatever venue they are at closes, for outdoor events it might not continue at all.

These are the three stages to a Secret Cinema event, though the concept has changed over the years.

tisdag 1 maj 2012

Borgmästarval i London

Som svensk i Storbritannien får man bara rösta i "kommunalval", men även för borgmästare om man bor i London.
Min röst kommer gå till Ken Livingstone som är progressiv, han införde dragspelsbussar i London och förbjöd duvmatning på Trafalgar square. Det senare hade enorma kostnader för rengöring och ärligt talat en stad som har ett rykte världen behöver inte ha fågelmatning som attraktion.
Den konservative kandidaten som är sittande borgmästare heter Boris Johnson och återinförde tvåvåningsbussarna i London trots att de har ont om plats för rullstolsbundna och barnvagnar. Dessutom kostade projektet enorma pengar då en helt ny modell blev framtagen. Det enklaste och kostnadseffektiva hade varit att helt enkelt köpa en existerande bussmodell, vilket Ken Livingstone alltså gjorde.

måndag 21 november 2011


Min son tillhör gruppen grävlingarna på sitt dagis.
I ett vackert collage beskriver barn och föräldrar de 17 olika länder som de har sitt ursprung från, England, Irland, USA, Danmark, Sverige, Slovakien, Litauen, Rumänien, Frankrike, Barbados, Jamaica,  Seychellerna, Nigeria, Ghana, Indien och Japan.

Väldigt fint att se föräldrar och barn göra detta collage, det är nästan så man vill maila det till Jimmie Åkesson, måste vara hans värsta mardröm.