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I’m not doing very well with this blog am I?  No!  Ah well, let’s see if it improves.

You may be thinking “He hardly posts at all these days and now he can’t even spell ’emigrating’!”  But not so, as that sentence nicely proves, I can spell ’emigrating’. However, I’ve just invented the word “semigrating” to describe the process of going to live a little over half the year in another country.  I know the rich have been doing it for decades to avoid paying taxes but I’m doing it in hope of gaining French and EU residency (and probably to end up paying taxes in France not in the UK even if that’s more expensive, which we think it might be).

Yes, it’s all about this damn Brexit.  We have owned a ski apartment in the French Alps since 2004, we bought it then as a pension for J whose career hasn’t created a pension for her as well as my NHS one did.  It also meant we could afford to ski quite a bit more than we would have been able to which, as J is very good at it and loves it, and as I am very late coming to it but learning (still), was great.  It’s meant that both children learned to ski, and tnp (yes, that’s the name he chose to go by in this blog!) to snowboard and we all love it there, 2000m up with a view of Mont Blanc out of the window.

That’s that very view, back from 2004 and our first stay there.  Very unusually there’s not a wisp of cloud on Mont Blanc itself, usually it has a small hat or scarf of cloud all its own, rather as Gibralta often has.  Not so unusually, the valley is completely filled with low cloud.  It’s an odd feeling knowing that down there it may be a warm day but the sky will be completely cloud covered while up where we are the sun is blitzing down with no cloud at all.  (Though, as it was January, at 2000m it was probably well below zero … well, it needed to have been, it’s not going to be plausible as a ski area if it’s above zero much of the day at that time of year!)

I’m digressing because I love it there and love that view.  Anyway, the point of this blog post is tell anyone I haven’t yet told more personally, that I’m off to live at least half this pre-Brexit year, 30.iii.18 to 29.iii.19, up there, hoping to gain French and EU residency rights.

Nothing is certain given the madness of Brexit but, unless the negotiations savage this, it appears that if I own somewhere in France and spend more than half the year there, I should gain French and hence at least some EU residency rights and that they probably also extend to J and the children.  This seems particularly crucial for them as S had pretty much planned her future around developing her Spanish and French through working, and perhaps more studying, and tnp has skills that will find warmer and more opportunities within the EU than in the UK.

Above all, we all think Brexit is bonkers but fear that the Maybot and friends still cannot now bear to admit the folly of all this and plunge on.  It’s extraordinary watching all this with mounting evidence that the leave campaign’s manipulation of social media messages through what sounds to have been blatantly illegal use of personal data without consentmounts; equally suspicious evidence that they ruthlessly ignored the campaign funding law; and as official costings now put all the Brexit options on the table as losing the UK money.  Despite all this, they plunge on.  Never since the charge of the light brigade?  Into the contract of death rode the … wallies in charge.

Oops, it’s one thing to wander off theme with a glorious picture of Mont Blanc, that was just bile rising.  Down, down, back into the bowels bile, gall bladder do your work!  Back to the message.

Yes, I’m sorry if I’ve not managed to tell you personally and if it will make the slightest difference to your life but I’m semigrating.  From early June I will be off for three weeks, back via the SPR conference in Amsterdam and on to the EPCA conference in Edinburgh then back to the Alps until September.  Back then for a couple of weeks and back around Christmas but otherwise I shall be mostly up there or somewhere else in France (ironically, I can’t stay there in the ski season as we need to let the apartment and there are cheaper ways for me to be in France than foregoing that income!)

More on this in the next few weeks and I fondly imagine that I’ll blog much more while I’m up there, with more ‘photos of the views and my walks, as I will have few distractions at all while I’m there so I think blogging will be one way to stay in touch with the wider world.

    5 Comments

  1. That view is stunning. I am failing to not be envious.

    You came into my mind today so I searched your blog out in case you’d added any posts. Any chance of restoring the ‘follow the blog’ function so it lets us know by email when you’ve written (like it used to)?

  2. Yay! Nice one, Chris. Thanks.

  3. Not for posting… Hm, or did the new (to me) floating grey ‘subscribe’ button only subscribe me to follow the comments of this particular blog post? Time will tell.

  4. Oh dear, I didn’t take in the “Not for posting”, or perhaps, without really noticing, I chose to ignore it as your comment resonated with me. Yes, I think you are right Helena/H, the old subscribe tick box system at the bottom of this reply only ever worked, or _should_ only ever have worked per post, which was not what I’d wanted! I _think_ I have now added a rather ugly “Subscribe to” that seems to be added to the bottom of my page as I look at this which allows you to subscribe to get Email updates whenever I put up a new blog post. Funny how some things in WordPress are excellent and easy, … and some seemingly aren’t! As you said … let’s time will tell if either of these work.

  5. Hi Chris,

    Not sure how I found this but good to read of your exploits after all these years. Semigrating seems like a brilliant idea, although gaining citizenship is not straightforward. My brother has lived there for years but still found it tortuous.
    If the theatre brings you to Stratford upon Avon then do please look us up.

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