Yesterday (18 April 2017), it finally happened. I had been expecting it for nearly a year, but at times it had seemed like it was never going to happen. Then it did.
So what was this momentous event? Well, in fact there were two.
The day started with me receiving German citizenship, to go with my UK citizenship. This marked the end of a process that had taken 18 months and involved passing a citizenship ("naturalisation") test, proving my competence in the German language, and hours of form-filling and copying.
During the process, I found the German bureaucracy to be thorough, if not speedy. And the civil servants were efficient, polite and helpful. "Thoroughness before speediness" (Gründlichkeit vor Schnelligkeit) is a common German saying. Quite!
Dual citizenshp is permitted for EU citizens, and after living in Germany for 28 years, just under half of my life, I feel very comfortable with this dual status. I shall continue to observe the laws of both countries, support England at football and other sports, and pay my taxes in Germany. If you have a problem with that, well, that's your problem.
I should now be able to vote in Germany's parliamentary election on 24 September. And if the British ever change the rule that prevents people who have been out of the country for more than 15 years from voting in parliamentary elections, I'll vote in the UK, too.
That change is unlikely to come, however, in time for me to vote in the snap election called yesterday for 8 June by British prime minister Theresa May. This decision, the second key event for me yesterday, had been expected since May took over from David Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister in July 2016 in the aftermath of the narrow refererendum vote for Brexit. But May had always denied she would call a snap election.
Ostensibly, May has now called the election to give herself an electoral mandate as prime minister and a larger majority in parliament, with the aim of strengthening her bargaining position in relation to the EU for the Brexit negotiations.
Few, however, believe that May's move is more than a clever — some would say cynical — political tactic to crush the main opposition, the chaotic Labour Party with its controversial left-wing leader, Jeremy Corbyn. If May's gamble pays off, her Conservative Party could be in power for the next decade.
The polls currently point to a massive win for May, but the past year has demonstrated more than once that voters can't be taken for granted.
The election will centre on the form of Brexit that Britain should aim for, and it is not clear that May's "hard Brexit" vision is what most voters want. (It seems more or less certain, by the way, that I will be able to keep dual citizenship even in the event of Brexit, although, again, you never know.)
Meanwhile, maintaining my record of being in the wrong place at the right time, I shall observe the British election in June with interest from afar — this time, on holiday in the United States.
But the German authorities don't need to worry. While on holiday, I'll be taking my new democratic duties very seriously and preparing myself mentally for my first German parliamentary election in the autumn. Honest.