A wet and windy end to a relatively weird year.

Those nice Luxembourgers are paying me money for not being dead yet, even though I’m still working. Luxembourg has a fixed retirement age, so I have little choice but to accept it. They’ve told the other countries were I once worked to do the same, so the Irish are being rather nice to me too.

image: mechelen

The pension I get for having worked ten years in Luxembourg is roughly twice what I’ll get for having worked for twenty five years in the UK. More typically, the UK isn’t paying yet, though. How shall I put this: in the longer term, complements of the UK’s Brexiteer nationalist nuttiness, I am not optimistic that the UK will be able to continue to pay me properly as I get closer to the daisies. Moving to Luxembourg, and taking Luxembourg nationality, continues to be one of the absolute best decisions I ever made.

Ironically, despite all these nice rewards for not being six feet under (yet), my work is bringing in the best money I’ve ever earnt. Even more ironically, I’m contracting for a Romanian company, so I’m earning good money from a relatively poor country (in EU terms). Given the current economic situation, I find this more than a little bizarre, not that I’m complaining. I would actually like to stop working and do the weird pensioner thang, but it’s not happening. My client wants me to keep going, and, like an idiotic marionette, I keep doing so. I’m paying the Luxembourgers significantly more in tax than they’re giving me in pension, and their pension is rather good. (Addendum: well, I thought I was, but they’ve just given much of it back to me.)

Quite obviously the work will end at some point, and then I’ll really have to switch to being a misbehaving old git. I’ve got a poetry library, including quite a lot of the magazine stock of Peter Riley’s old Cambridge poetry bookshop, ready and waiting to be enjoyed. I’ve got a lot of music to catch up on and enjoy.

One other new thing I’m doing is learning Mandarin. I’ve completed the first course, and, much to my surprise, I passed. I’ll continue learning the language in Spring.