I started this series of posts about major events in our lives once we’d been married for 40 years. We’re now well past that point but somehow the title still seems fitting.
I was sure I’d written a post about our permanent move to France, but I hadn’t as I discovered some days ago when Aiva from Our Crossings asked me about it as did Amanda from Forestwood. So here goes, it’s a two-parter.
I had always thought that we would retire abroad, most probably in either southern Germany or Austria, largely because we both speak the language and had already spent a significant amount of time there. My husband had spent over six years based there since the early 90s. But no, the acquisition of a holiday home back in 2001 near Nice proved pivotal.
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact triggers for our permanent relocation. Certainly there were more than one which prompted a re-evaluatation of our priorities. For my part, it was most probably the dawning realisation that while I loved the things my job allowed me to do, I was bored stiff by the job itself which frankly wasn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.
Indeed, it was becoming less interesting by the day as departments I had previously successfully managed were outsourced to others or even to other group entities. Furthermore, I was totally on board with these changes, they made perfect sense in the overall scheme. However, when I sat and thought about where all this was leading, I didn’t like the answer, or did I?
I was fortunate that my idiot boss decided to conduct a third-party evaluation of the effectiveness of his executive team. He most certainly didn’t like the answer to that one but it rather played into my hands. He feared I was after his job, I wasn’t. In fact I was probably the only person on the team who wasn’t. This was because I realised he was only temporary, just keeping the seat warm until another oft-discussed takeover went ahead and a prodigal son returned to the fold as CEO.
Also, there were lots of things I still wanted to do – and no, riding a bike wasn’t one of them. It was time for a radical change. Initially my plan was to resign, sell up in London and base myself in our French holiday apartment with regular trips to Germany to visit my beloved. He had a global role and I had planned to travel more with him.
While changes were underway for me, they suddenly were too for my beloved. A US company had acquired the German family concern he was working for and he decided to head for the exit. I did point out that it probably wasn’t a good idea for us both to be out of work at the same time! But, hey ho!
My beloved rapidly secured a position with a company that had previously been one of his major customers. This role would still allow him to circumnavigate the globe. He could be based anywhere he liked, so long as it was close to a major airport.
I’m not an accountant for nothing! I worked out where it would be most tax advantageous for us to be based: UK, Germany or France. And, surprise, surprise, it was France. That’s even without taking account of the weather, lifestyle, food, the French – yes, I know I gently poke fun at them but I love them really.
I now had two apartments (UK and Germany) to pack up and ship to France. Based in our former holiday flat, we began the process of looking for a more permanent location, our forever home.