Say what you like about Johnny Logan, but he knew the meaning of another year. As for me, I’m back in France for the start of another year. Coincidence, be damned.
The universe – or François Hollande perhaps – is trying to tell me something.
As a new year begins you can’t help but look back over the highs and lows of the year just gone. The high points of my 2015 included the six visits I made to France during the year.
In some ways, the visit to Paris in July was one of the most significant: it marked the beginning of a new chapter of my career. Since then, I’ve taken on responsibility for my company’s international relations. (OK, so far this extends only as far as Paris – though my Parisian counterpart and I have Amsterdam and Berlin in our sights.)
As part of this work, I have developed a programme of fact-finding visits for staff. I’ve opened the programme to everyone in the business and have lined up some of the very best people from the company’s talent pool for a two-day visit in March. I’m looking forward to that already.
“As a new year begins you can’t help but look back over the highs and lows of the year just gone”
I also had a great weekend in Nord-Pas-de-Calais celebrating our friend Michael’s birthday in April. We hired a house and used the weekend to explore the area. We discovered the beautiful Montreuil-sur-Mer, for instance, and were utterly charmed by Lille.
In fact, we liked Lille so much we went back there for a weekend early last month. That turned out to be very successful, allowing us to fill our suitcases with Christmas gifts – and our stomachs with fine food.
And here I am now, starting the new year as I began the last one, in Castillonnès, Lot-et-Garonne. The thing that singles out this trip is that we went house-hunting during our stay…. What’s another year indeed?