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.