Two steps forward, one step back. That sums up the week as far as our plans to buy a house and start a business in France are concerned. Unfortunately, the backwards step is more of a gigantic leap. It couldn’t be any bigger if Neil Armstrong had made it.
My employer has announced plans to merge with not one but two other companies this year. It’s exciting for the business, and it means it will be able to far more ambitious in its plans.
However, back-office functions – such as communications, my area of expertise – will be the first to be affected by the merger. I get it: there’s no need for three communications teams, nor finance, human resources, IT and so on.
I’ve done the maths and know that if I were offered a redundancy package, it wouldn’t be enough to fund a move to France.
Add to that the uncertainty caused by the forthcoming referendum on Britain’s continued membership of the EU. The pound has plummeted against the euro, hitting a three-year low. That makes the prospect of buying a property considerably more expensive in the short term.
So, our dreams for a cheese and wine business in the south west of France are firmly on hold.
On the plus side, no one else has put in an offer on the house we found in Castillonnès at New Year either. As you can see from the photo above of the front room, the place needs some work, to put it mildly. It’s the kind of house only a foreigner would buy, so presumably other Brits will be put off too – which narrows the competition.
“Unfortunately, the backwards step is more of a gigantic leap – it couldn’t be any bigger if Neil Armstrong had made it”
The setback hasn’t stopped our planning ahead, mind. Damon found a training course yesterday on selling and caring for cheese. It’s run by the Guild of Fine Food and looks perfect for our needs. We’re going to sign up for that.
Plus, of course, my six-week wine tasting course starts next month.
Also next month are the national Excellence in Diversity Awards. I’ve been shortlisted for the Diversity Champion of the Year Award. It’s for the work I’ve done alongside my day job to make the company a better employer and landlord for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
A win might help me keep my job – or make me more attractive to other employers. Keep your fingers crossed for me!