Castillonnès house front room

I will survive: setbacks

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!

This entry was published on Sat, 9 Apr 2016 at 07:59. It’s filed under Places and people and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

13 thoughts on “I will survive: setbacks

  1. Hope it works out for you Graham. We know all about unexpected hiccups!
    Stay sane, if its meant to be it will work outx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I will keep my fingers crossed for you for the Diversity Champion of the Year Award.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice positive attitude as major life changes are looming. Hope things work out for the two of you. My daughter and her two little girls 3 and 6 are headed for 7 weeks in Orleans in July. I’ll be joining them the middle 3 weeks. Found lovely and inexpensive apartment, girls will attend Centre Loisirs pour enfants. Grown ups will head off each day for sightseeing near and far with mini trips to Paris and beyond on weekends.


  4. They won’t lose their best communicator! Mon amie… And you can speak 3 languages…. And I believe some English!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. martyneumeier on said:

    Graham, I think Castillonés is a great town that will continue gentrifying because of it’s charm, its proximity to the Bergerac airport, and that little nice hotel/restaurant, Les Remparts, that keeps bringing people in. A facing on the square would perfect. You just have to snag it at a low price to account for the renovations.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sorry to hear about the problems but something will turn up – it always does. Just keep looking – and writing the Blog. Good Luck

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jenny on said:

    Get Keeley to tell you about the sommelier course in Bergerac. She had a lively chat with maître D at tours de vent as he has just done it-and how could they get rid of you? When will you know?


  8. Bonne courage et bonne chance!

    Liked by 1 person

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