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!