The view from my window

The view from my window
The view from my window

Monday, 31 December 2018

Health!

I suspect most of us take it for granted … that is, until we lose it don't we! I know I certainly do. But sometimes life has a way of giving you a kick in the butt to make you sit up and take note! My eldest brother was taken violently ill about three weeks ago, totally out of the blue, with horrendous stomach pains and severe vomiting. He couldn't even make it up the stairs! His lady friend drove up from her home about 120 miles away to be with him and he was in hospital last week having a camera put down his throat. They were talking cancer but also the possibility of an ulcer and were awaiting the results later this week. I spoke to him last week and he looked pretty good, but then yesterday when I called he had been unwell again and didn't look too great, having lost 20 lbs in three weeks - and there wasn't much of him to begin with! Well this afternoon I got a message from my sister to say that he had been taken to hospital, in incredible pain and vomiting "black stuff". Ever since his lady friend, M, had arrived she has been taking care of him, picking up his prescriptions and trying to get him to eat but he was up constantly every night vomiting and she made the decision to call the ambulance today. They have confirmed that it is indeed cancer but are not sure whether they have caught it early or whether it has spread! They will know more later when all the test results are in! Bloody hell, what a shock. Whatever happens, he is in the best place he can be both for himself and for poor M who has been through the wringer for him! I just sent her a message to thank her for everything she has done for my brother and she was really moved. You see, they got together about two years after my brother's wife died and while the oldest son is perfectly fine with their relationship the younger one (who is 50) is, to be blunt, being an absolute twat! He has been rude to M from the beginning and it is now getting worse. He should be ashamed of himself after all that woman has done for his dad! And to be honest, I have never seen my brother as happy as he has been these past two years. She is a good woman and son number two needs to grow up! Anyway, we are keeping our fingers and toes crossed that the outcome will be treatable!

On a slightly happier note, I spoke to Steve yesterday for the first time in 10 days and he looks really good. He has had his last round of chemo (for the time being) and is slowly getting his strength back. He was already bald so the chemo didn't affect that but he shaved his beard off and so far it hasn't come back and those hairy Polish arms of his are somewhat less hairy but otherwise he is doing well. He has been to the hospital and they are looking at a bone marrow transplant in February followed by four to five weeks in isolation. But he's getting there and very positive! It did get me thinking, though, that thank God they live in the UK. When I hear people from other countries worrying about medical insurance and co-pays I can only thank God for the NHS. Neither of them will get any kind of bill for their treatment - I know this "free" treatment is paid for out of taxes but I, for one, think that that is the way it should be everywhere. Not living in the UK, I'm very lucky that I have excellent, worldwide medical coverage through my employer (even in retirement) as prices for medical treatment in Switzerland are horrendously high. But again, thank God for the NHS and the foresight of Aneurin Bevan who founded it in 1948!

And just tonight I hear that "little" Jimmy Osmond has just had a stroke at the age of 55. His second, apparently. He was appearing in theatre at the Birmingham Hippodrome and felt unwell, but being the supreme professional that he obviously is he finished his performance, signed some autographs and was then taken to hospital. God speed Jimmy!

And talking of "health" I thought my own puny efforts at getting fit/losing some weight had fallen at the first hurdle today as I made the mistake of plonking myself down to read and I don't remember getting up again. Despite the beautiful weather I talked myself out of going for a walk (I know, I know) buuuuuut around 4 o'clock I metaphorically gave myself a kick in the butt and decided to do Jane Fonda's workout. Yep, I still have the tapes. Tapes, can you believe it! I used to do her workouts many moons ago and eventually found even the advanced tape easy, but now!!!! Well let's just say a few years and a few (ok, many) pounds heavier I knew it wouldn't be pretty. And it wasn't! But I did it. The beginner's tape is about 35 minutes long but I knew I would feel so much better afterwards (I had been getting back and neck ache from lack of exercise). But by golly, the shoulder stand at the end! If you really want to see how much blubber you have on your belly try to get yourself into a shoulder stand! I tell you the weight of my boobs and my belly almost suffocated me! Like I say, it wasn't pretty but I did it. And I hope hearing about other people's health problems will be the catalyst to make me get serious about getting fit this time. You can't take your health for granted forever!

I definitely didn't look like this!

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Two for two!

I guess I shouldn't be bragging but I actually went out walking again today so that's 2 for 2!!!! Only another 363 times and I will  have a complete year of exercising! Ha! But seriously, the weather is so glorious at the moment - like early spring in fact - that I decided to set out once again around noon to do another short walk near my home. This time it took me an hour and I clocked up 5,300 steps so an improvement over yesterday. There is another, similar, walk to this one that I might venture out on tomorrow called the Bois de Fournet and that will certainly clock up a few more steps. I was a bit apprehensive as these walks go through some local woods where in previous years there have been tents and so on - obviously either a homeless camp or (more likely, according to the neighbours) a druggie set up, but either way it was broad daylight and there was nothing there when I went through. It's kinda sad though isn't it that, particularly as a woman, you have to be aware of your surroundings like that!

Anyway, I set off around noon and decided to take a few pictures as I went. I mentioned in a previous post my Nigerian friend, Stan, who used to have a little bar near the railway lines. That is now over as Stan has retired but he hasn't gotten around to getting rid of the "portacafé" yet. Stan's place has been sorely missed though as there is only one restaurant in the village which, while very good, is not open all that often and it doesn't have the same feel as Stan's place. Apparently they are going to build a café/bar in the village "sometime" but when that will be who knows!

A (perfectly legal) eau de vie still!
As I got near to Stan's place I saw that they had set up the "roving still" to make "alcohol de noix" or walnut alcohol (eau de vie I guess). They come around just once a year, collect the walnuts and then produce and sell their eau de vie locally. I believe, sadly, it's a dying tradition because, if I remember right, this tradition can no longer be passed on from father to son so will die out soon enough. I hope I'm wrong as it would be a shame to lose this skill (and the booze)!

"Chez Stan"
As I walked on further past Stan's I turned around as the clouds parted and (hopefully) got a really pretty view of our village!


From there I walked on through the woods to the Bénite Fontaine church (the church of the blessed fountain) where there is a spring water fountain where people come and fill up their bottles with "holy" water (a bit like Lourdes I guess, or at the very least like Evian which, while not holy, is renowned spring water). Actually the little area where I live is called "Les Champs de Chant" or fields of song in English. Originally I thought it must be because of the bird song but in fact it is because there are so many underground mountain springs that they "sing" as they run through the fields! Either way, our tap water is untreated, which means we can't sell it on to the local town when we have an excess, but which also means that we have beautifully sweet, untreated tap water!

The spring where people fill up their bottles

The church of la Bénite Fontaine
After that I headed back towards home. I think the entrance to our village is really pretty but have never been able to get a decent picture of it because I can't exactly slam my brakes on and stop the car in the middle of the road. This time, however, I was on foot so decided to take a few pictures as the weather was perfect. They were only taken on my phone but they're not bad are they!



A view of the church. The spire on the right is the chateau where my son is getting married in July.

So yep, that's two for two so far in the exercise campaign! But we'll see how the rest of the year goes though won't we!

In other news, I don't think the book I read was called "Eat the Frog" but the principle of "eating the frog" was enshrined in there somewhere. Basically it means if the worst thing you have to do at any given time is eat a live frog (not a dead one - that would be too easy here in France) then do that first and everything after that will seem easy. And it's true! How many of us keep putting off the "hard" stuff because we can't be bothered with the hassle!  Well that was true for me so I determined that today's frog would be to get my bloody visa for my trip to Sri Lanka in March! I had already tried numerous times and their damn site kept crashing so I thought rather than get riled up, leave it a few days and make that the frog for today. And guess what, it's done! I have no idea why it went through this time but I seem to have learned that it's better to walk away when I get frustrated and come back to it another day! I also sent off an email to the travel agents asking them to book my transfers to and from Colombo airport since I will be making my own way to Sri Lanka direct from Switzerland rather than flying back to the UK in order to fly out again.

And finally, sometimes I think if I had half a brain I would be dangerous! Frog number two for today was "get the bloody dead light bulbs changed"! In my TV area I have eight inset lights, two of which had blown and then a third went last week! But changing these light bulbs meant dragging heavy stepladders up and fiddling about with inset lighting. So I decided I would do just one today. That's all! So I hauled the stepladders upstairs and set about pulling the light fitting down (after turning off the electricity of course) and within five minutes it was changed! No sweating, no swearing, no hassle! But then, when I looked at the other two "dead" light bulbs it occurred to me that they weren't dead at all, they were just on another switch! Hence the expression "if I had half a brain I would be dangerous"! You live and learn I guess!





Saturday, 29 December 2018

Yikes!

At the moment I'm not getting up as early as I would like yet (early days, early days) as I just don't seem able to go to bed much before 1 or 2 a.m. so I'm getting up around 9 a.m. - I'll have to get that sorted soon as I don't want to be getting up so late as a general rule, even if I am a night owl by nature! On a normal weekend I get up and have breakfast while sitting and reading the news but I know I'm going to have to make sure I don't start blog-hopping immediately after as that is death to any possibility of being productive. So this morning I determined that at least one trip to the tip/recycling centre was in order if I'm going to get a handle on this decluttering malarkey. With that in mind, I loaded up the garden clippings from yesterday's foray into trying to put my garden to bed then, in a fit of inspiration, dashed downstairs and dragged two very old suitcases up and threw them in the car to take to the tip also. There was nothing wrong with them but they are at least 30 years old and have seen better days. I hate throwing things away but I hate them cluttering up my home even more. The good thing, though, is that I always see people going round the tip looking to see what they can take so if anything is even halfway decent I leave it next to the bin rather than throw it in. For the first time in all the years I have lived here I noticed they also had a clothes recycling bin there, which is good because when I took a bag down to our local clothes bin a couple of days ago it was so full I couldn't get my bag into it. I suspect the bin at the recycling centre will be emptied more frequently. One of my foibles is that when I decide something has to go, it has to go now, so that I have no chance of changing my mind, so if I can get stuff down to the tip the same day it will be very positive! I also have a bag of 5-6 winter coats to get rid of but I will be taking them down to the food bank when it opens in a few days' time. They are only open to clients on a Tuesday evening and, unfortunately, this year, both Christmas and New Year's day fall on a Tuesday so I'm not sure they will be open before the week of 7 January. It's a strange feeling getting rid of even just one bag don't you think, as there is an immediate feeling of "lightness" just to get one thing out of the door. Well there is for me at least. It doesn't last that long but a good feeling nonetheless.

After my trip to the tip and the post office  I tootled off to my little local market for a few things then headed back home. It was about noon when I got home and I suddenly had this flash of inspiration. Why wait until 1 January to start exercising again. Why not just start now! I know, inspired right! But these past couple of months I haven't been exercising at all, whether it be walking or going to the gym, and I have really missed it. Well my body has! I guess the excuses were pretty good - too busy with meetings, too much to do with getting ready to retire, too many parties to go to, and so on, but in the end they were all still excuses weren't they!

So I decided that as it was dry and still light, now would be as good a time as any to go for a walk. It's cold of course (a couple of degrees above freezing) but actually mild for the time of year. And for me at least, cold is the best time to go out walking as I hate walking in the heat. So I put my fitbit on and headed off up hill round the back of our housing plan. It turned into a 45 minute walk and clocked up 3,500 steps. I don't listen to music or anything like that as I like to just daydream and, exactly as I knew I would, I felt sooooo good when I got back. It really is great therapy isn't it!

But the whole point of this post is that I already know that if I sit down and start blog-hopping early on I won't get anything done that day. So I will have to limit myself to reading just the news first thing in the morning, get some work/exercise in during the day and only start reading/watching TV later in the day. The scary thing though is that even with adding the 3,500 steps on my walk, I only got in 6,000 steps today! That is really sedentary! On a routine day at work I would get in 6,000-7,000 steps without any additional exerice, I guess with getting to the bus, maybe walking from the bridge and then just walking back and forth to the photocopier, but to have a "normal" retired day tally of only 2,000-3,000 steps is scary. I'm going to have to do some re-thinking of this whole set up I can see! If not, given that I love to cook and now have the time, I hate to think what kind of nightmare it will be looking for something to wear to the wedding!


Friday, 28 December 2018

The square root of bugger all ...

… is what I did on Boxing Day. I think I literally sat on the sofa all day flicking between books, the computer, and the TV. It was so bad I think my backside is now square and flat!! But you know what, it was very nice! It's not something I would want to do often but very occasionally I suspect that might be a real treat. Actually, I'm just sitting here with an old, unused 2018 diary making lists of all the things that need to be done or that I want to do. The nice thing is I can tick a few things off each day from here on in and they will all get done - although not necessarily any time soon.

One thing I did do though was cancel my automatic toll contract. Since I was using a toll road every day, twice a day to go to work and back, I had a contract with the toll company to the tune of €55-€60 a month (I can't remember exactly) which got me a reduced rate on the toll that I used the most and then standard rate on any other tolls. I had a badge on my windscreen and could just go through without stopping (as long as it was only around 30 km an hour) and the monthly bill was debited automatically. Well this was one of the first things I wanted to cancel since I don't want to be paying €60 a month for something I don't need any more. So yesterday a friend and I went out there to cancel our contracts and set up a pay-as-you-go contract, which only costs €1.90/month for the automatic badge if you use it, plus standard toll fees, and nothing at all if you don't use it. The "telebadge" is very convenient so I wanted to keep it if possible but, as I say, not at the cost of €60/month. No problem, everything was sorted in about 10 minutes and I will now be that much better off each month.  My poor friend retired in August 2016 and hadn't given it any thought so she has indeed been paying €60/month since then while using probably only about €10/month in tolls so she, at last, cancelled that too. Kids today!!! Whatever can you do with them!

On the way back I wanted to stop in the next little town from us to check out their swimming pool (or nautical centre as they call it). Our local town only has an outdoor pool (unless they've built an indoor one since I was last there 20 years ago) so I have this vague idea (very vague actually) that I might start going swimming once a week. When I say "vague" the thought of me in a swim suit and swimming hat is probably enough to kill that idea before it even gets off the ground but we'll see. Again, as I say, my idea is to try to do some kind of activity, if not every day, but most days, so I'm trying to gear myself up to that. I already have a 90 minute yoga class to check out on a Tuesday afternoon in the next little village to me as that is one of the things I want to take up again, and a hiking group, but I also don't want to commit to too many activities until I get a feel for how this "retirement thingy" actually feels. Right now, all I can say is that it feels like I have a huuuuuggggeee weight of traffic jams lifted off my shoulders already!

In other news Christmas day was very nice, spent with my kids and their partners and a friend. I actually didn't stress about this one - it's probably psychological because I know in the future I won't have to get everything done in one mad rush at the end of the work year. I cooked pork this year and actually set it off in the slow cooker at 1 a.m. since I was up anyway and it worked out perfectly. I made a gratin since I love it (to hell with the others) and other stuff and at the last minute thought I would have a shot at making yorkshire pudding for my youngest as he loves it. I do too but I have never been able to get the timings right since they need to be in a really hot oven and then trying to keep everything else hot is what always throws me. They didn't turn out too bad this time (well they all went) and my eldest basically took a second entire Christmas dinner home with him as leftovers. For once I didn't make desert as my friend always brings cookies or mini pies and they went down really well too.


I think I mentioned in a previous post that I had bought morph piggyback suits for my sons for Christmas, well they loved them, and since I already had one for myself we did a fashion parade. The photos didn't come out very well but they were really funny, particularly on my sons because they are taller and the suits looked better!



Since my youngest and his fiancée already play in our board game evenings I invited my oldest and his wife to our next evening, which is on 12 January at my house and they said they are going to come. So with that in mind, we got out a game called "Time's Up" and played that for a while, as well as "guess who I am" (not sure what the real name for that game is) and it was good fun.


A little later the daughter from next door came round with her (relatively) new English boyfriend. He was a good sport and joined in easily so I wonder if they will join our group. It's always nice to have new blood, although to be honest there are sometimes difficulties with the different cultures/languages. Obviously most of these games are French and sometimes I will have no clue what I am supposed to be "guessing" since I don't even have French television. OK if you have to guess "Harrison Ford" that might be easier but some of the French celebrities just go straight over my head. Lily is Swiss so I had her guessing the name of a local Swiss politician who would seem to be as "morally bankrupt" as it is possible to be. Some very, very dubious expense accounting going on there and the local Geneva population are trying to get him out. He, like most of them, is clinging on by his finger nails. None of the others had a clue who I was talking about but as soon as I gave Lily a few clues she got it. So like I say it isn't always easy given the different nationalities involved but it is fun, although I wonder if next time, if we are about 14 or so, maybe we should split into a couple of groups and play cards. With that evening in mind, I have beef braising in my slow cooker at the moment as I want to try out a "French dip sandwich" idea which, if I like it (we used to like this kind of thing before but made slightly differently), I will make a bunch of them as my contribution to "dinner".

So on that note, I'm looking forward to a quiet New Year's eve. I don't particularly like to go out on NYE and I certainly don't want to be on the roads so I will snuggle up on the sofa and try to stay awake till 1 a.m. here to watch the fireworks in the UK. I don't always make it but ….

And finally, thank you to those ladies who sent me Christmas cards in the Christmas card swap organized by Anne (New Happenings). Seeing your cards, though, does make me realize how appalling my handwriting is as yours was so lovely. Now in my defence I left this till the last minute and was trying to get all my Christmas cards mailed from work on my last day so there was a tequila-sodden "leaving party" going on behind me in my office. Not that I think my handwriting would have improved much without it but that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it.

Cheers to you all and have a happy new year's if you are celebrating!



Monday, 24 December 2018

And so one chapter closes ...

The week before Christmas my two friends and I went to see the Geneva Amateur Operatic Society's production of the annual panto, The Little Mermaid. Well to be honest they talked me into it because since my kids grew out of it I have drifted away from the panto scene. It is a peculiarly British thing and I have to say that despite my misgivings I thoroughly enjoyed it. You know, all that "booooo, hissss, he's behind you" and in this case "no Queen Hypochondria, don't drink the coolaid"! It was lovely to see all the little kids dressed up in their sparkles and to recognize a few familiar faces from work with their children/grandchildren. A very good production so maybe next year will be a repeat!

Courtesy of GAOS
Courtesy of GAOS
As I have mentioned previously, although technically my retirement date is 31 December, Friday was my last day of work as my company closes until the new year. There was quite a bit of stress trying to get my meetings/related work finished up as well as all my administrative stuff done before I leave, plus removing personal stuff off my computer - not to mention the bloody traffic - so at the end it may have occasionally felt a little like the shower scene from the Mel Brooks' film, High Anxiety. He is a doctor in a psychiatric hospital and to say this patient "was having a bad day" might be an understatement. It certainly felt a little like that on occasion at work towards the end!


I was adamant that I didn't want a party, mainly because of the reason why I resigned, but also because it's just not my scene. So what did my colleagues do - they decided to totally ignore my wishes and bring the party to me! The buggers! They started streaming into my rather small office with booze, ice and glasses and off they went! Then they presented me with the most beautiful gifts (they had had a collection for me despite my wishes). At this point, the one-who-should not be named (OK it was Ali) decided to put some rather loud music on and the dancing and singing started! All the while I'm trying to clean up my computer and finish up! But you know what, it was lovely and I'm so touched that they did this for me. As the booze started going down someone went and got pizzas, then someone else got the G & Ts flowing and off it went! And, again, it was exactly my kind of thing. They couldn't have done anything nicer for me. Now I suspect there were some sore heads the next morning (not me - two glasses of wine and I was done as I was driving a few hours later and, as I suspected, the police were all over the borders). So it was water for me after that, but it is quite funny to see your colleagues getting tipsy. Gawd I will miss them.

When I pulled into my driveway I bumped into my neighbour who was just coming back from walking his dog in the local woods and who had the most beautiful bouquet of holly in his hand. When I explained to him that I had just retired he handed it to me and said "happy retirement". They are Jehovah's Witnesses so don't celebrate Christmas, but I thought it was a lovely gesture on his part.

I've only been "done" two days so technically it is just like a long weekend so far, but you know what, just knowing I will never again have to do that God-awful commute has drained so much tension out of me it is unbelievable. I feel I cope easily with work stress, and as I say I didn't mind my work and liked my colleagues but I really am already starting to realize just how stressful that commute was! So in the space of a couple of days I've gone from this ...


… to this …



… and this …


Anyway, I have no plans for this evening as my kids spend Christmas Eve with their in-laws or friends. That doesn't bother me at all as I enjoy snuggling up with a good read. In a minute I'm going to head down to the kitchen to prepare a few things for tomorrow when I will have my kids, their partners and one friend coming over (plus there is a standing invitation for my lovely Dutchman but I don't know if he will show). Other than that there's not much to do (for the first time in my life I have "not much to do" - and that feels great). So after watching the semi-annual spectacle that is my neighbours trying to load up their car to leave on holiday (next year I think I'll sell tickets and get the popcorn out), I wish you all a lovely day tomorrow. Merry Christmas and "health, wealth and happiness" in 2019!

Thursday, 20 December 2018

A little (true) Brexit trivia!

Well I haven't been posting lately because I have just been so darn busy trying to get everything caught up before I leave - both from a work point of view and from an administrative point of view. I had two smaller meetings at the beginning of December which, although easy because the economists I worked with are just so on the ball, still entailed follow-up and deadlines. Then I had my second "big" meeting (I have two a year) on 11 December which has meant working flat out preparing for that. The meetings themselves aren't so bad but there is a lot of frantic prep beforehand. This last meeting involved two huge reports (I would say 500 pages total) to be put together and translated (into French and Spanish) and published beforehand, so flat out doesn't even cover it! Don't get me wrong, I'm just the dogsbody in all this. We have economists, lawyers, statisticians, translators and so on doing all the hard work but some idiot (me) has to put them all together in a coherent form without getting the graphs upside down (for instance). There are always mistakes, usually no big deal, but you have to work with it. Also we have just started using Windows 10 and it is not without it's "particularities", to say the least. There certainly are bugs to be ironed out! One of these reports goes to the G20 meeting of trade ministers so I, personally, really would rather not get my graphs upside down! Anyway, that has kept me flat out but I actually enjoy it and get a lot of satisfaction when it all comes together. We have our moments as a team but I have to say I love the team I work with, despite the fact that occasionally the men seem to have more "hormones" than I do! Oh, and did I mention, it took me three hours to get to work that morning thanks to a four-car pile-up on the motorway! Can you see why I'm leaving!!!!

Anyway, even though all that is now over there were then all the administrative "thingies" to get out of the way for my retirement. Since I dealt with this stuff when I worked in HR I knew exactly what I had to do but you still have to actually do it! This morning I ran up to HR and handed in my permit to work in Switzerland and with lovely Brexit on the horizon I have to start thinking about what the future holds for me and my one son who lives in France! Nobody can tell us anything. We had drinks with the British Ambassador two weeks ago and they can't tell us any more. As it stands, my oldest son is married to a Swiss girl and lives in Switzerland so can easily get Swiss nationality in the future if he wants to (in addition to being anglo-american). Boy would I love to see my lovely, hypochondriac son do Swiss military service! Yodelayhedee! Anyway, he has a permit for Switzerland through his work so that isn't actually a problem.  My youngest (the plumber) lives in France and always has since birth, except that my doctor was in Switzerland so he was born in Switzerland. Hence although he was born there he was not entitled to Swiss citizenship (they don't have "droit de sol") and as he wasn't born in France he wasn't automatically French either. It's like trying to nail jelly to a wall isn't it! As soon as I came out of the maternity hospital he was back "at home" in France. I did enquire about French citizenship for them when they were little but was told that they needn't "bother" since they were both British! Sooooo, since he and his French fiancée are going to get married next year in any case, they have brought the civil ceremony (the legal one) forward to 16 March (I think that's the date) so that he will already be married to a French citizen when the Brexit freight trains steamrolls its juggernaut way through!

As for me, I will meet all the requirements for residency as they stand at the moment in that I will earn over €27,000 a year even in retirement, I own my own home and have private medical insurance. If my younger son had to meet those requirements he wouldn't make it on the income requirement, being a lowly plumber. So what are they going to do? Ship him "back" to the UK to claim unemployment and a council house in a country where he has never lived! What a fiasco this whole bloody thing is. Oh, and I forgot to mention, the three of us Brits were not entitled to vote on Brexit - you know this "little" thing that only "slightly" affects us. I get so mad that I sometimes just think go ahead and pay the stupid costs of the vote that no-one had a clue what they were voting on except "let's control immigration"! That's a fair point and I agree with it, but the consequences are going to be so far reaching if they can't come to an agreement. "Piss up" and "brewery" come to mind!  In the end, I know we will be ok but we now have to start the laborious business of applying for French citizenship (which takes about two years, but I'm already taking evening classes on how to complain constantly! Don't get me wrong, I love France and I love the French but if there were a complainypants Olympics they would win hands down!). But what about the poor Brits in countries that don't allow duel citizenship? My sister was married to a Dane and has lived in Denmark for nigh on 40 years, has four Danish kids but the Danes don't allow duel citizenship. What a bloody mess. And doesn't the hypocrisy of the likes of the former Chancellor Nigel Lawson, who was a staunch pro-Brexiteer but who is now taking up legal residence in France, stick in your gullet! In the end, I think they will cobble through some kind of bastardized agreement because neither side can afford such a balls up, despite the chest beating from Juncker! I mean, nobody wants to see 800,000 job losses in the UK car industry and its subsidiaries alone do they! And again, despite all the above-mentioned chest beating, the EU would be in some serious financial schtuck too if they tried to screw one of their major trading partners (and net financial contributor)!

Anyway, the whole point of my post (and I have quite a few lined up since I am almost retired - yaaaay tomorrow!) is this. The EU has just issued a civil aviation directive whereby only EU majority-owned airlines will be allowed to fly intra-EU! Buuuuuut Iberia (Spanish airlines) is majority owned by British Airways, which means that come 30 March 2019, with no alternative agreement, if you want to fly, say, from Madrid to Barcelona or from Malaga to Seville you will not be able to take Iberia!  Ha, bloody ha! However, if you want to fly from Madrid to Gibraltar you're quids in. No problems. Don't all jump at once!