So, we had it sorted: Ken had decided Germany. We told Siemens; we told Newcastle; and naturally, we told Germany. We told everybody else.
You just know that something has gone wrong, don't you!?
The short version of the story is that when they (Siemens and Ken) started to negotiate the nitty gritty, it all fell apart. Siemens were inflexible on certain issues and so was Ken. The differences were too great and so Ken declined. I was gutted. Although I could understand Ken's perspective, I didn't realise until he declined just how much I had been looking forward to moving back to Germany. Of course I was aware that it wouldn't be the same as last time as our experience there was to a large degree a result of those whom we met and befriended, some of whom are no longer there, but all the same the lifestyle and climate were enviable compared to Macclesfield!
Now we are moving to Newcastle. Or just south of there at least. There are some benefits: The climate is certainly much drier than Macclesfield (actually, I believe that rainforests are probably the only places on earth wetter and damper than here!), but it is significantly colder. I grew up in South England so even here feels cold: Newcastle is colder still! However, on the plus side housing is cheaper so we should be able to buy a larger house which will ameliorate the situation somewhat.
Do I sound somewhat negative about the impending move? It's partly prejudice on my part. Growing up in the south, anything beyond Bristol was up North (crazy when you look at a map but we had to travel past or through Bristol to go anywhere) and all the North was uncivilised and industrial in my mind. When you hit Scotland all was well again. Psychologically there was this geographical blank, except London and where Dad lived, which was very nice and surrounded by beautiful countryside. Macclesfield seemed very adventurous at the time and now this will be considered southern compared to where we will be living. Take a deep breath, count to ten and then slowly exhale...
Then there is the motive for the move. Ken has an exciting new job to go to and I don't. This isn't pity, just that whenever I have made a move before there has been an inner motive and this time there isn't. I will have to make a life there and I am not really too sure what I will be doing. I may eventually return to teaching but I sincerely doubt that. I will probably have to pursue something else. In the meantime I will have to find alternatives to all the things that I value and enjoy here. Could be exciting, could be disappointing, could be draining. And then there will be the people who will no longer be such a significant part of my life.
Sorry if I sound glum today, it's just that the "For Sale" sign went up this morning and I spent all of last week getting the house ready for prospective purchasers. It's not home any more, it's a show home. Of a kind. Actually, that has been a really good motivator to get lots of little jobs done! Thank you Ken, Mum and Parents-in-Law who have all helped! And now we are leaving.
I'll let you know how we get on.