Week 2: Spreading the news
From time to time chilly doubt creeps over me. The day after we arrived with my in-laws in the Odenwald was one such time. We hadn’t yet broken the news, and as I rehearsed our reasons to myself they began to sound rather weak. Why were we doing this?
We’d arrived with a loaf of Husband’s rye sourdough bread, and that went down very well. (A German audience is demanding when it comes to bread, all family loyalty aside.) Then Husband chose his time carefully. Over a convivial lunch in the flower-filled garden on what was the first sunny afternoon they had had for a while, he briefly outlined the multiple stresses of his work, then described the plan.
‘You’re going to quit your job?’
‘I’ve already resigned.’
‘You’re going to sell the flat?’
‘It’s already sold.’*
A moment of silence.
‘Well, I’m all in favour of that.’ (Mother-in-law.)
‘It’s your life. You should enjoy it!’ (Father-in-law.)
‘I’m so happy for you. I think I knew how stressed you were becoming.’ (Mother-in-law.)
A hearty thumbs-up from fellow guests, Husband’s uncle and aunt, a slew of advice on how to choose the right home, and many questions about how to set up a baking business – since the baking plan is growing by the day. Plus recollections of holidays in Portugal: how nice the people were, how beautiful the landscape.
Of course it’s a great idea. Did I say I ever doubted it?
Now we need to find somewhere to live in the Algarve. Next stop: Faro airport. It’s becoming high season, so flights are expensive unless you travel at very unsociable hours – so that is what we will be doing.
* We sold our flat in a trice. (More on that later, unless I decide the whole London housing thing is too distasteful for words.)