Our home and work in the Morbihan!

On a leisurely lazy Sunday afternoon glue to the TV to watch my Madrid derby Real Madrid (my team for life) vs Atlético de Madrid the sidekids , (ended 1X1 ),I sat to think for my blog. Well, so much travels , vacations, and historical bits of me and my life. One thing was missing where did I work? It’s a sensitive issue as better not to give too many details in case my boss is reading lol!

When I first came to France in August 2003, (because my French wife asked me move to France lol!!) ,I needed to have a job before the move. So ,already a French citizen (since 2000) , and many trips to France/Europe; decided to go on the job hunt with the help of the internet and some colleagues from my profession in French high posts.

The search began by making my resumé as the French would like it , their curriculum vitae or CV. And of course , a letter of candidate or introduction. A photo is essential in French CV. And started posting in the normal well known sites of the times like Monster, Cadremploi, profession webpages, and the APEC a site link to the unemployment office for management positions. The search took 9 months and found my job.

The CAC 40 big French company, had me go thru 3 telephone interviews before inviting me to the Val d’Oise dept 95 site for meeting the CFO and the director of Human Resources worldwide. It was a typical formal French interview , where after about 10 minutes they gave me an offer I could not resist. Now you need to know the standard of living and cost of living to make sure the package was at least same or better than what you had at home. It was much better ,thank youuu!!!

We prepare for the move ,and we had it as well easier than most as my French wife was already working in the freight forwarders industry with a French company part of the Groupe Bolloré entities by Miami international airport. The French manager in Florida, gave us an unbelievable price for a 22 foot container to move all our belongings over , it was 1853 USDollars door to door move!!!

Shortly ,after our arrival, I told her to contact another French contact who was a VP of the company in the USA, and he recommended a friend at Roissy CDG in the same field as hers. In about a month and a half ,she found her job with a major worldwide freight forwarder at the cargo section of Roissy CDG airport!!!

Roissy CDG

happy camper pickup by yours truly at Roissy CDG cargo

Our boys were in school at the nice Collége John Zay in Vernueil sur Seine in the Yvelines dept 78, near our apartment that I had rented in August 2003, shorly we purchase a house there in July 2004. And on we move to our wonderful French life, a decision that ranks as the best ever for us.

My boys went on to high school at Lycée Bel Air in Le Chesnay near Versailles and we purchase at Versailles by the Notre Dame neighborhood! Life move righ along fine, la vie est belle !!! My wife continue to work in Roissy CDG with same outfit, and I moved on to better and more exciting places with a major luxury Hotel chain with properties in Paris and Cannes (I was working  very near the Jardin des Tuileries…shhh). And I, in charge of the accounting department reporting to a CFO group.

Life move along quite nicely, and my friends and family back home were amazed of how happy we were. And of course, we kept it low key not to make them too jealous ::)  The moment we started telling them all our perks and benefits here and our five week vacation they just drop in amazement. We had visitors from our other life in Florida USA here and they were just stunned of the things we had here;even visiting and staying in our house.

Life went along fine, and the boys went on to preparatory private schools right in Le Chesnay and one in La Verriére just south of Versailles. They were experts in public transport , lol!! Better than me, they knew all the routes of trains, buses, tramways in the Paris western part, Yvelines, and Hauts de Seine as well as Paris of course. My wife continue with the same outfit of which she worked a total of 9 years before moving to Brittany.

Me ,the globetrotter always looking for opportunities, as my old university professor in Florida always told me ,keep your antenna up, for opportunities, never stayed put. Therefore, after several colleagues advice , I would do better in consulting on my own, did just that with an outfit in rue de Départs Montparnasse and working all over  France on missions as well as Switzerland, Nigeria and Brazil!!! Life was great moving along and always improvement that standard of living.

My wife had a car accident in Florida that lost her left eye,and continue working under the American system and initially in France. However, she was told here you can get an incapacity recognition and still continue with your salary. So , short of it ,she got it under Category II and was discharge from the Roissy CDG outfit with full salary, 50% by the French social security or Cramif services and 50% from her disability insurance carrier at work, Mercer. So sitting at home making the same salary as working!! Vive la France!

Then, something happened that will make our lives better nicer and happier. I was told to contact someone who was looking for a top ,lets just say accounting professional for a multinational company in the international market. I, of course, with my antenna ,contacted the person and the job was indeed good looking but in Brittany , the Bretagne west of France. Well, I have been on a business trip to Rennes , a factory, and with the family visiting Nantes for the castle of the dukes of Brittany that was not actually now in Brittany ;; tell it to the French psych!

The job turn out great, I was in charge of 18 countries and 28 branches all over the world; travel was a big part of the package. All the trimming, better salary and perks and la vie en rose of France continues. Of course, I took it after a family discussion. I moved to an apartment in Brec’h near Auray in the Morbihan Breton dept 56 by June 2011. We had our twin boys followed for their schooling in Lycée Kerplouz between nice Auray and Le Bono, and later our house was sold in the Yvelines, and the rest move in to the apartment. A four bedroom 2 bath apartment about 30 minutes from my job by car.

Afte settling in with my father who after my Mom passed away in the Yvelines continue to stay with us. He is Retire with American pension so very much independent and still do all his things except the French paperwork as a carte de séjour visiteur ,that as he does not speak French (very hard to do at 83) needs to renew every year on a routine basis, we know all the staff and takes 15 minutes with an appointment here. My oldest boy came in on an alternate work study basis and doing all kinds of jobs as in the French system of stages and interim, CDD etc as well as my twin boys. All in different fields, one sales, other in wood craftmenship, and the last in gardening/paysagiste type ready for back to Versailles! My wife continues with her wonderful French pay system at home, and good deal as her health is a lot more sensitive than mine.

I continue in my multinational international French/Breton company here ,near Vannes ,already 7 years in it, time flies when having fun, the saying goes. It is true. I have an excellent group of people where I am the only non French born in our services and very human and nice bosses, CFO and Director as well as the President who always talks to me and emails me for direct advice sometimes. I participate or rather invited to all the Directors meetings and Finance get together which I choose to come or not if pertinent. I am on the list for trips to Asia, Americas, and Africa thru June 2018, end of our fiscal year. Actually,  it’s a castle property in ruins from 1504, all modernised, the only remaining parts are the the foundations and the outer west walls with a guard house and the old bakers oven outdoor.

In the meantime, from the apartment, we purchase a home in the nice country town of Pluvigner. 1000 square meters (about 11K sq feet) of land on a 255 square meters (about 2800 sq feet) of inhabitable home. 3 car garage, five bedroom or four as we used one for the game entertainment room, 2,5 baths, a open air terrace and an enclosed glass veranda. We had made the back on lawn or green grass and the front in Breton stone, pebbles with decorative real plants. OF course, now we have our puppy Rex almost 5 months a Borador!!! (cross pure border collier mom,and pure black Labrador dad). He is a charmer, and already well behaved in his manner: oh yes he is a boy!!! Poor wife ,she is spoiled as the only women in the family now. Update: My dear wife Martine passed away from pancreatic cancer on April 30 2018 19H.

Pluvigner is a small town of about 7K folks on a vast area of single homes stuck between Auray and Pontivy along the road D768 that connects to the beaches with the N165 and up to the N24 national roads to Rennes. About 1h30 to Nantes Atlantique airport and 15 minutes to the TGV line at Auray train station or sometimes for scheduling use the bigger station at Vannes which is about 35 minutes away. We have a regional TIM bus line 5 that can connect to Auray, Vannes, Baud, and onwards to Pontivy or Lorient. The town has about 8 bars and 5 bakeries, several restaurants and all the living services you need; the nurses come home to do all,and the doctor, pharmancy, etc are walking distances from home. In all ,we love it. Glad to be in the Morbiha, Brittany.

Now ,all is left is to get good health for some and continue for others and already thinking of retirement which will know officially to do it by 2020 at the latest. Right now planning the retirement place, either we stay here, or go to Bordeaux area, or Toulouse area or south of Madrid, Spain in Castilla la Mancha. Only time and good continuous good  fortune will tell. (update my retirement was august 2021 and we are staying put in Pluvigner:!)

I have given a general view without been too positive,hope my friends do not get too jealous; it has been a wonderful experience, our best so far. Wherever the future brings, we can say we had our way and glad of all we have done as a family together, or as one famous Muskeeteers once said, One for all and all for one!!!

Enjoy some of the pictures of our new town .  Have a great week ,happy travels, good health and many many cheers to all. Kenavo!!

4 Comments to “Our home and work in the Morbihan!”

  1. What an interesting life you all have! Best wishes in your new home.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! You have certainly had a very interesting and fulfilling professional and family life! What a contrast it must have been to move from sunny Florida to Versailles! I agree with what your professor said about always keeping your antennae up and grab opportunities as they come your way, as they seldom knock twice! You’ve done so much, I believe you have most definitely earned your retirement this year and I hope you’ll be able to do and enjoy all those things you have planned to do with your friends, family and now also gorgeous Rex. Vive la France!

    Liked by 1 person

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