We’re on our way (part one)

This week we began our long journey to our new life in Canberra and I’m keeping a diary of how things unfold as we up roots in Scandinavia and seek to put down new ones in Australia.

An empty house, looking out over the garden.

One last look at our empty house before we hand it over.

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Things to do on arrival in Canberra

We had some disappointing news this week. After all our meticulous planning in trying to ensure our belongings will arrive in Canberra in time for us to spend a comfortable Christmas, the shipping company told us that, yes, while the container would arrive in Australia in plenty of time, customs clearance is expected to take three-to-four weeks, meaning our belongings won’t reach us until mid-January at best. Continue reading

A collection of magazine front covers.

Finding work in Canberra

Whenever you make a big change in your life, it’s inevitable that you consider the odds of failure too – of falling flat on your face while others shake their heads and whisper: “I thought that might happen.”

This comes to mind most frequently when friends ask us if we have jobs lined up and waiting for us in Canberra and we say: “No, but we’re starting to look already and hopefully we’ll find something soon after arrival.” At this, they usually raise their eyebrows and the conversation shifts to the Australian weather: “Still, you’ll be arriving in time for summer.” Continue reading

The Boxtrolls

Last week, I took my youngest son to see the family movie The Boxtrolls. It’s a story about a group of ingenious creatures who live in boxes and fashion all their needs from the cast-offs of others. If you’ve ever seen The Wombles, you’ll have a general idea of what it’s about.

This week, in a classic example of life imitating art, it seems my family is attempting to emulate the boxtrolls’ lifestyle following the disappearance of 99% of our belongings into a container bound for Canberra.

A container mounted onto a truck.

Our possessions head off to Canberra in a container.

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How a successful city succeeded in upsetting people

One of the things I’ve taken a great interest in since moving to Denmark, is the way mainstream media creates and shapes the way a place sees itself.

For a long time, I’ve taken the view that, whereas the UK media largely adopts the “we’re all going to hell in a handcart” view of things, in Denmark, there’s a far more positive national self image. Continue reading

A baby's rattle.

Where will our family roots be?

A friend of mine asked me a very strange question the other day. “Where would you like to be buried?”

Perhaps I was looking particularly rough after an early morning flight and a late night of catching up, or perhaps he had some medical information that I wasn’t privy to yet. I floundered for a moment, nonplussed.

“Serious question,” he pressed. “Where would you like to be buried when you die?” Continue reading

The fears and the thrills of emigrating

It’s exactly 30 days until we board our flight to Canberra, but what was it that made us leave the UK in the first place, and why is it that we have no desire to return?

I can still remember all the significant moments in the months leading up to our departure from the UK. I’d been working for the same company for 15 years and I was in my late-30s. I had a great job, I really liked the company I was working for and there were plenty of potential ‘next steps’ on my career path. And yet I was restless.

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