In October of 2005, after almost 20 years with Twinings (the tea people), I was made redundant. After consultation and a lot of deep pondering, we decided that I should take it as early retirement (at the tender age of 56) and start planning for our future – a future with a pension a great deal less that we had bargained for, but a future that was within our immediate reach.
For the next half year my job was to make plans for retirement to France; to locate a house in France that we could happily buy and live in and to do all of the preparatory stuff that takes lots of the one commodity in which I had become suddenly rich – time. To reduce the number of unknowns and thus the risk of nasty surprises. In short, to ensure that the transition was well and fully planned, costed and prepared for. Oh yes, and to put in a good few house-hunting trips to France.
In May 2006, Clare also resigned from Twinings after over 18 years and the Channings set out on their great adventure; to prove what we had suspected for some time, that there is more to life than Twinings.