After emailing the consular section asking them whether I should register, they have sent me a wee form to fill in. Basically just name and address. But let's see if that ever comes in useful.
I think British embassies should
help out expats. Other country's embassy's do. e.g. French.
What purpose do embassies serve? They're there to facilitate links and information exchange between two countries. What better way to do it than by helping out ex-pats? Just some basic information, a few pages on the website with the kind of information you can find on here would help a lot.
I briefly got to know a few people from the Embassy and, although I thought they were a pretty decent bunch, they are very different to your typical ex-pat Brit in Finland. They have no interest in Finland in particular, they just have chosen a career which means they have to move every 2-4 years. A lot of them were actually pretty unimpressed with the place ("You moved here because you wanted to?!?!?") and were dreaming of a more exciting posting to New York, Islamabad, Beijing etc.
So they are very cliquey and have no interest in learning Finnish, integrating, whatever. They're just doing their time. Only the very senior ones have a choice of whether they were sent here or to some other country*.
Also, the cocktail party thing riled me, because they do
have a lot of social events, thrown for staff and other British guests. The Embassy can pretty much invite whoever it wants, for example The Finn-Brit players are usually well represented, but as this is all paid for by HM Government, then surely any Brit in town has just as valid a reason to be there?
But, you gotta have connections... which of course is so very
But, what do I care? I don't pay UK taxes anyway. I guess when I moved abroad I was naive enough to think that British Embassies would be interested in fostering some community spirit amongst ex-pats: WRONG!!!
(*Footnote: It would also be fair to say that I am jealous of the Embassy Staff's tax-free incomes and subsidised bar!