I can’t believe my luck. I’ve taken on responsibility for my company’s international relations and will be making frequent trips to Paris. I should pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.
The only thing that could make my happiness complete would be a pay rise.
This has all come out of my work trip to Paris in July. Together with my director and chief executive, I went to see the city’s largest housing association, Paris-Habitat. They own more than 120,000 homes in the French capital.
They showed us some rather ambitious new homes they are building, including a ‘tower of biodiversity’ (pictured), on the Avenue de France in the 13th arrondissement. It’s very different from the sort of homes we build in London for social housing.
It was clear from that last visit that we could learn some things from them – and that they could learn from us too. That’s precisely what this addition to my role is about. I’ll be nurturing some of the keener minds at work – our ‘talent’, if you will – and enabling them to go and see how things work in Paris.
“It was clear from that last visit that we could learn some things from them – and that they could learn from us too”
It’s a sad indictment of the British, though, that only two of the 15 or so people I have spoken to about this initiative can muster anything more than a ‘bonjour’ or a ‘merci’.
On the plus side, that’s why I get to accompany them on their trips to Paris… So, even without a pay rise, it’s put a spring in my step as I set off for the office each day.