It’s been three years in the making, but today I finally learned to stop panicking whenever I discover a bill in the letterbox. Today I almost wet myself when my chosen pension society sent me an annual contribution prediction of 50% of my salary for 2009.

“They want how much?!?!????!”

After sending a ‘confused foreigner here’ email to my accountants, I finally calmed down enough to actually read through the paperwork. It seems that since arriving here as tongue-tied beginners in the local language I had taken to glazing-over whenever staring at (rather than ‘reading’) a French-scribed communication.

But today I grew up a little, after all my language level is somewhat improved in recent months; I take pride in now being able to follow most television programmes without the need for subtitles. Furthermore, with the exchange rate ripping a massive hole in my pocket, I knew that every minute I spent asking my charge-by-the-second accountants stupid questions was going to cost me.

The fact was then that the reason I was being treated as a pyramid-selling banker on-the-run, was because I hadn’t actually told them how much I had earned last year. Oh, is that all?

Presto: form filled out; in the post; sleep soundly (ish).