Ian and Julie
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Julie was born in Brentwood and I was born in London but moved to Brentwood when I was 8, though we went to different schools and didn't meet until many years later...

We got engaged on the 1st April 1967 (bit risky that) and married in March 1968 staying for the first couple of years in Brentwood during which time Nicola was born and then the bank bought us a house and we moved to Colchester where Stuart joined the clan. Colchester, a lovely town the oldest in Britain but probably not a clever move, as I changed jobs at the same time and went to work for Honeywell at their International Training School in Hammersmith (London). A trip to work of over 2 hours each way (with a following wind). Meaning a 6.30AM start and rarely home before 8PM every evening. I loved the job but felt like I lived at British Rail.

This changed in 1974 when we moved to Germany (an early and real life version of 'No going back') to work at the Honeywell Bull School in Cologne and began living the good life in the Eifel mountains just outside a little village called Kommern. Nicola went to Kindergarten and complained, 'it isn't a real school' but quickly learnt German and Stuart was quite happy to use a mixture of German and English in his own version of an international language. Julie went out for a pound of carrots and came back with a lorry load.... Maybe our accents weren't quite perfect...

We had planned to stay for 3 to 5 years but instead of moving back to the UK we rented a house in 'Much' (pronounced like book but with an 'm' - or that's about as close as an English accent can get!) about 20 miles southeast of Cologne, living there until 1984 when, after deciding to buy our own house, viewing over 30 houses and driving the estate agents nuts, we walked into our current house and knew immediately this was where we wanted to live and so we moved to… well to 'Much' as Julie refuses to live anywhere else. The house for those who have not seen it is built into the side of a hill, is spread over 4 floors so lots of stairs to keep you fit and a 50 square metre living room open to the roof 7 metres above with tall windows to match, making window cleaning a 'north face of the Eiger' experience. But we love it and have now lived here for over 20 years. Nicola and Stuart have long since flown the nest though both live only about half an hour away and we oldies are left to our own devices, with the kids popping in now and again to see if we are ready for the twilight home.

I did have the chance to move with the company to France but as I think I mentioned Julie is a 'Mucher', so no chance. The reaction of the French was 'No problem - we'll find you another woman', I think they were joking....

I took early retirement and now enjoy a more leisurely life style getting under Julie's feet but with a part time job as a System Administrator for a local firm and I have done a couple of 'voice overs', dubbing German short advertising films into English and I translate a bimonthly German magazine into English and then there are the hobbies…………


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