View Full Version : 1 year and counting...

20th May 2008, 14:53
The original plan was to move to Malta in about 4-5 years and use the profit from the house to buy a bar/cafe and give that a go for a while. The outlaws (M-I-L is Maltese) are retiring out there next year, around April/May and the missus and I were going to live with them at first and see how things panned out.

Anyhoo, the missus has recently been diagnosed with MS and if things go tits up and it progresses enough to stop her working, we'd probably struggle to live as we are now, me being a lowly mechanical design engineer and all.

So, goal posts moved and we're going with them next year! The missus doesn't need to work, no rent/mortgage to pay, so I need to get a job ASAP. And try not to go mad living with the outlaws...

The question is, as I'm not that keen on my job/industry anyway, should I just go out there and see what jobs there are, or stick to what I know and 'carpet bomb' all likely companies with my CV, starting now?

Salary not of huge importance as the big cost of mortgage/rent isn't there, so I'm stuck in two minds as to what to do.

It's gonna happen though, house is going on the market in a few months, outlaws fitting the new house out in Marsascala so the lower floor is basically a self contained apartment and the dogs have just had their rabies jabs!

Any advice would be most appreciated!


20th May 2008, 15:16
Just a thought on the basis of a friend of ours who high tailed it to Cyprus and then had to high tail it back because their health service isn't up to the job - The UK housing market is a mess and likely to become a bigger one.

Do you really want to sell or would renting perhaps suit you better providing some income, but retaining that bolt hole back here should you need one in the unforeseeable future

You say that your accommodation out there is self providing - so - just a thought!

20th May 2008, 15:27
Given that you aren't keen on what you currently do, what career options do you have in mind? If a change of scenery/employer rather than a change of industry will solve your problems, then carpet-bomb away. But if a change of career is what your gut is telling you to go for, then I would suggest that your CV will need to be constructed around achievements that appear to be a good fit with whatever the change of career is, rather than just a record of your experience in your current field.

Resolve this issue first, then, either way, some research ahead of arriving out there would be my advice.

20th May 2008, 15:31
Rent out if you can, medical care may be mixed over here but it is free at the point of use. You may well need to return. I have some experience of MS here and in Europe though I know nothing of Malta. Health infrastructure is better in most EU countries. I hope that you have been in touch with the MS society (http://www.mssociety.org.uk/). Thay are a mine of useful gen. and can put you in touch with local help.

20th May 2008, 15:58
Thanks for the replies chaps/chapesses.

With regard to renting out, I do need to think a bit more about that. I don't know whether keeping a physical tie to the UK is a good idea for me because I reckon it would encourage me to run back here if it doesn't go swimmingly. (I moved to Germany in '98, for good or so I thought at the time, but got itchy feet after 9 months and came back. There again, I was single then and spent most of my time on the piss :\). I know it would probably be a good idea in the long run, but I'd probably spend more time worrying about who the letting agents have in it!

The health service side of things seem okay. We reckon that the missus should get her MS drugs free in Malta, which is the main thing and I haven't set foot in a doctor's surgery for 20+ years so I'll risk it. The missus has dual nationality so things shouldn't be a problem.

I just think for the sake of the missus's health, a climate like Malta would be perfect. The further you venture from the equator, the more prevalent MS is, so it must be the weather/diet! And she has plenty of family there.

I've hopefully got an iron in the fire with a company over there who do stuff I'm familiar with, so if that comes off, I'll stick with that. Or I improve my golf and turn pro in the next 12 months... :sad:

Effluent Man
20th May 2008, 16:22
I don't think prevalence of MS is weather or diet related. I remember reading somewhere that red haired/fair skinned people have the highest rates of the disease. Like a lot of ailments though I think the climate will help to alleviate some of the symptoms.

20th May 2008, 16:36
I don't think prevalence of MS is weather or diet related. I remember reading somewhere that red haired/fair skinned people have the highest rates of the disease. Like a lot of ailments though I think the climate will help to alleviate some of the symptoms.

I know, I know, but as long as I believe that, then I'll be more likely to knuckle down and make it work!
Plus, it's gotta be better than Manchester weather... :ok:

20th May 2008, 18:24
[obvious joke]

(M-I-L is Maltese)is that why she's always cross at you?

[/obvious joke]

21st May 2008, 00:17
Is the Cox'n's Cabin still going in Marsascala?

21st May 2008, 01:27
It's not the weather that relates to MS...it's more prevalent if you GROW UP in a 'moderate' i.e., northern climate. Doesn't matter where you go after that - in terms of contracting MS or not - the warmer climate will be more comfortable for her though. I haven't practiced in quite a while, but the thinking a little while back was that MS is caused by some type of virus. I hope that your wife gets better. MS tends to have periods of 'remission' and then relapse, though it is progressive. There has been a great deal of research into MS and other similar illnesses such as myasthenia gravis, and I know that several new medications have been developed with more in the pipeline. Good luck also with your change of scenery!
P.S. Has she been positively diagnosed with MS? I've known some patients that were told they had MS and then turned out to be something else...including heavy metal poisoning.

21st May 2008, 08:28
P.S. Has she been positively diagnosed with MS? I've known some patients that were told they had MS and then turned out to be something else...including heavy metal poisoning.

She had the diagnosis confirmed in November/December last year after having a trio of tests; lumbar puncture, MRI scan & an eye test (forget what it was called). It seems she has relapsing/remitting MS, so fingers crossed it doesn't get any worse. I know the climate won't make it go away, but as you say, it's possible it could alleviate some of the symptoms.

Not heard of the Cox'n's Cabin reynoldsno1, but I'm sure the missus & the outlaws know it, if it's still there. I usually go in Summer Nights in Marsascala, and make sure the Cisk hasn't gone off. Usually takes a gallon to be absolutely sure... ;)
I've actually only been to Malta a few times myself, but the missus has been going since she was a nipper, and by the sounds of it, she's been in every boozer on the island!

9th Dec 2008, 16:02
While I'm on, I may as well update this thread.
House now sold (for a £10,000 loss :() and have just moved into a rental house (the move coincided with me having shingles) where hardly any of my furniture would go through the front door. Good planning on my part, as ever. Plan was to ship all our furniture to Malta end of last month, but tits went up and it didn't happen, so unfurnished house it was...

Job front kind of sorted, but will probably change my mind and try to find something else before I get there anyways, so no real worries on that front.

Only 4 and a bit months to go now... :sad:

9th Dec 2008, 19:38
Hope your not planning to spend any of your time birdwatching while your out there. According to the RSPB there were only 6 :uhoh: pairs of breeding birds in the whole archipelego... The locals are quite fond of blasting absolutely anything with feathers regardless of whether they are endangered, protected etc etc.

I would certanly check out the hospital situation out there or at the least keep in contact with your current GP/NHS trust here in the UK in the event your wife needs any specialist attention in the future. Otherwise enjoy the weather, you lucky b*gger :ok:

Loose rivets
9th Dec 2008, 22:15
As I read through, all sorts of alarm bells are going off. Only because I made several seriously bad decisions just about the time I'd decided to retire at c 62.

You've sold up. Well, that's done and dusted. That ten grand will be wiped out very soon with the fall in prices. That would be my guess. So, that's not an issue.

Have you spent much time on an island that is what...8 x 11 or some such? I used to drive to the north or Malta...look at the sea, and then drive to the other end, and look at the sea again. Then across it. After the first 20 or so times, I'd to stand on the coast a let out some sort of primordial scream. Well, inside, anyway. Residents of the Channel Isles tell me that you've got to have an island mentality, or you'll start to swim home within a few weeks.

You may want to keep very quiet about your plans where the medical issues are concerned. One of my greatest mistakes was not knowing that I would lose my rights to medicine in the UK - despite having paid all my working life - if I spent more than 90 days outside. It's cost me a lot of money in the last while, and made it necessary to keep property - and be in - the UK to facilitate this last issue. As it happens, I hate where I am and am missing friends and the pub, so coming home is what I'm going to do anyway, but be warned, I had the NHS financial guy on the phone to me here for well over half and hour. He was very nice, but the law was made in 1948 it seems. How swapping between EEC countries alters this I'm not sure, but I hear that it's not plain sailing. If I'd not chatted about spending time in Texas, noone would have given the proverbial toss.

There is a local family in Essex that couldn't make their minds up about being in Oz. L-S-Short, their stuff got out of phase with their trio of oscillations, and was in Oz while they were back in Essex.

Having said all this, there's a lot going for following One's dreams. I loved small town life, but often wished that I'd seen more of the world, that wasn't through a airplane windshield, when I was younger.

I'm sure everyone on Pprune wishes you wife well. I know of two people that have been diagnosed decades ago, and mostly seem fine. Good luck .LR

10th Dec 2008, 09:20
Thanks for the reply, LR.

I’ve only been to Malta a couple or so times and I hear what you’re saying about the ‘island mentality’. Hopefully, being a Brit, we’ve all got it in us somewhere, so I’m not too worried. Ze Germans don’t call us ‘island monkeys’ for nothing! Unfortunately, I won’t be retiring for a good few years, so I should have enough on my plate to keep me busy and thinking too much about ‘home’. Between the boozer and the golf course, I don’t intend doing a great deal in my spare time anyhow.

The missus has family all over the island (and Gozo) and it appears that there isn’t a shortage of Brits to get out on the lash with, so I reckon the only stuff I’ll miss is the pi$$ing it down every other day and the local hoodies. Not a bad swap really. :ok:

Didn’t know that about the 90 days away from Blighty and the free medicines. Have to look into that ASAP. No matter what you do, there’s always feckin’ smallprint!

dead_pan, never been a twitcher, so the locals can blast away for all I care. I’m more worried about when they’ve finished shootin’ stuff and get in their cars and drive home. Christ on a bike, I thought it was bad in the Emirates… :eek:

Curious Pax
10th Dec 2008, 14:56
Not sure how they decide you've moved abroad, but my esperience may be relevant. Returned a few months ago from 3 years in The Netherlands, and the first time I needed to make a doctors appointment back at my old surgery here discovered I and the rest of the family had been de-registered. We hadn't told them that we were abroad as it was only temporary, and we liked the idea of having the option of UK treatment if necessary. Re-registering wasn't a problem, and cost hasn't arisen either - that may be because we were in an EU country.

However I don't know who told them we were abroad - the local health authority told the doctors to de-register, but no idea of the basis. The taxman knew we were abroad as we were non-residents as a result; the local council knew we weren't at our UK address as we had it rented out, and hence weren't paying council tax, but apart from that I can't think of any other route. Perhaps government is more joined up than we thought!

cockney steve
10th Dec 2008, 16:31
Forkandles...you only live once, the ONLY certainty ,is death.

Enjoy your foreign odyssey Research carefully,first. long as you're still alive,you can retrace your steps from a mistake and have another go.

Perhaps a small yacht would be more constructive and enjoyable than keep buying hangovers!

I think it's good advice to keep an "anchor" property here in UK.....you must divorce yourself from thinking of it as a home...it's a business investment, pure and simple....you pay a lettings agency to MANAGE your investment....long as the return is realistic,that's all that matters.

If you are adaptable, you shouldn't have problems integrating....think of the UK attitude....you might well be distainful of "Pakis", whilst forgetting that your mate Rashid and your work-collegue Abdul could both be labelled as such, EXCEPT... they speak, act,dress and socialise as English.

When in Rome.......Is great advice. go for it, just make sure you leave a strategic backstop in place.

31st Mar 2009, 15:15
Right then, 3 weeks to go 'til I get on the plane with the missus, with the dogs crated up in the hold and sod off to Malta.

Been let down on the job front, so nothing sorted. Therefore, today I have applied to be a trainee PI with a detective agency; a green keeper at the golf course; a property consultant; a fraud analyst with an online gaming outfit and re-applied to a company that knocked me back 6 months ago...

I finish work in the UK on Friday, container arriving on 16th for our furniture and I'm flying back in May to pick the car up and have a road trip to Malta!

Squeaky bum time is here! :sad:

31st Mar 2009, 15:27
Good luck with the move, mate.

Lived in Malta for a few years a long time ago. Lived in S Italy longer so know the climate/area/culture well.

When living in Malta I used to earn my crust crewing boats or doing maintenance on them. Would walk around Manoel Island and get jobs just by asking the owners.

(now moved to another island!)

31st Mar 2009, 16:48
Best of luck Forkhandles.
As Mr McCawber used to say,
Something will turn up!!!

31st Mar 2009, 16:54
You could make a killing as a house painter in Famagusta? or a fence repairman in Nicosia??;)

31st Mar 2009, 16:57
And the beauty of Pprune is we will all still be here, wishing you and Mrs FH well, and waiting for your news and tales.

31st Mar 2009, 18:19
You could make a killing as a house painter in Famagusta? or a fence repairman in Nicosia??;)

The commute to Cyprus would probably be a bit too much, Sprogget. :sad:

31st Mar 2009, 18:28
Absolutely Forkhandles. Slight information absorption issue going on here...:ugh:

24th Jun 2009, 19:58
Well, we've been in Malta for 2 months now. Still no job, savings are getting low, but the wine's cheap (5 litre box of Gozo red for €6), beer is reasonable (Cisk €1.80 pint) and the sun hasn't stopped shining! A far cry from Manchester!
The missus has got a job, even though the whole reason for coming out here was so she could sit on her arse and wait 'til I got home and cooked me tea, but she reckons she'll be bored, so whatever keeps her happy.

To be honest, don't know why we waited so long.
The Sea is 2 minutes walk down the road, I'll hopefully be getting sorted on the job front within a fortnight, I've got a tan and the missus' symptoms are few and far between.

Flew back to the UK last month to pick up the car and drove it across France and Italy with a mate, then jumped on a ferry at Civitavecchia for a couple of nights before landing back in Malta.
Paid €20 for a couple of pints in Versailles on the way, so we supped up and headed south until we got to Monaco, where, surprisingly, it was only ('kin only!) €4 a pint.
They had just started setting up the circuit for the Grand Prix when we got there, so we had a drive round and I couldn't resist wheel spinning away from pole position on the grid! Watched the Manchester Derby in The Priory (good name for a pub!) then headed off towards Italy.
Went to look at a Leaning Tower and the Colisseum on the way to the port, but I think Italy is a bit over rated so we parked the car up at the docks and got drunk.

I even got to vote in the recent Malta local elections. It turned out one of the wife's relatives is a local councillor, so I was instructed, by the M-I-L in no uncertain terms, to put a mark next to his name... Hopefully, he'll sort these frigging roads out, 'cos they're doing my suspension no good whatsoever!

The dogs seem to have got used to the climate pretty quickly. Registered them at the local vet, which I might add, is a whole lot cheaper than in the UK. Sandflies are a problem out here, but they've got collars, so should be ok.

The only problem so far is the TV. BBC Prime is a right load of shite, but until I start earning, I'll have to put up with it.
Any recommendations from you guys as the best path to go down for Sky/Freesat/A N Other out here?

Right, need to pop to the fridge for another can. Life can be so tough at times... :E

24th Jun 2009, 20:32
Any recommendations from you guys as the best path to go down for Sky/Freesat/A N Other out here?

Yes mate, an 80cm dish (or larger) and any digital receiver will get most channels (I think not Channel 5). We bought the receivers from Lidl at about €28, work fine. Buy two, point a second dish at Hotsat/Eurobird, give you thousands of channels (mind, 99% of them total rubbish but that's another story).


24th Jun 2009, 20:54
Sounds like it's going to work out well for you there! Has to be better than Yookay.

Got any pictures of those collared sandflies? Not seen them before.

24th Jun 2009, 22:29
You winding me up frosty?
The dogs have got collars to protect them from the nasty sandflies, not the... oh, you are, aren't you? ;)

27th Jun 2009, 15:39
Is the Cox'n's Cabin still going in Marsascala?

Can also confirm that the Coxswain's Cabin, which I assume is one and the same, is still going. Bulgarian food apparently, but I just got pissed instead. Can't take a Brit anywhere, can you?

27th Jun 2009, 16:53
Forkandles - great to read things are going well. Good luck with the jobhunting.

TV? We moved to Oshkosh, WI 8 years ago and decided not to get a tv back then. Still don't have one and still don't miss it. We have really good internet connection, and decent compooters/laptops. We download all the good stuff from Home - UKNova (http://www.uknova.com) which we watch without commercial breaks :ok: Or we listen to Radio 4/Scotland/etc online. We get all our news online - bbc website or Times website or whichever news website we choose.

I just bought a car with Sirius radio (satellite radio) and haven't changed the channel from the BBC World Service yet. I love being able to listen to that instead of the crappy options we have here - religious radio, right wing nutters radio, rock radio, blahblahblah - that would be country & western...

Try life without a tv, especially if you can get t'internet, you might be pleasantly surprised :)

29th Jun 2009, 02:03
he'll sort these frigging roads out, 'cos they're doing my suspension no good whatsoever!

Some things never change it seems - lived in Malta 74-78 - we used to say it'll be really nice once they've finished it....

Put inner tubes in the car's tubeless tyres - the sidewalls go some considerable time before the tread....

29th Jun 2009, 11:57
Hi Forkhandles

I am also an expat and also live inMarsascala

TV you can get whats called sharing for € 25.00 a month I have the number of the guy and for that you get all UK Sky channels bar BBC ( but theres a way you can get that) you need to buy dish but if you have sky system from UK he will pay for subscription. bit complicated but ill explain.

Work if you fancy a job as a property consultant i can hook you up.

Fancy a drink maybe in the Coxswains cabin with the tall Bulgarian

Look forward to hearing from you.


29th Jun 2009, 12:25
Check your PM's Chris!

21st Apr 2012, 01:48
...well, that didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped.
Back in Manchester.
On my own.
The wife has decided I'm surplus to requirements. And that, as they say, is that!
No wife? Check.
No home? Check.
No job? Check.
And it's fecking raining as well... :sad:

21st Apr 2012, 03:23
Seen it, done it, got the T shirt.

Plus side? It gets a hell of a lot better and in years to come you'll probably say to yourself "Should have happened sooner".

In the meantime commiserations.

Loose rivets
21st Apr 2012, 03:36
Forkandles. It could be worse, you could have all those things, and be 72.