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.

Monday: Real life has been put aside now. The kids finished school last Friday and our youngest played his last tournament for the local under-9s football team over the weekend, and today we move out of our home of the past nine years while making final preparations for our journey down under.

The day starts with my wife taking a final trip to the dump while I pack our suitcases – a big and a large one each, to take maximum advantage of Emirates’ 32kg per person baggage allowance, plus a cabin bag each – 12 bags in all.

A pile of suitcases in a hallway.

All our worldly possessions for the next three months.

Then we make a final trip to the vet so Mr Pup can have his final health check and we confirm that we have all the paperwork necessary for his trip.

Then it’s back home for an 11.30 handover of the house and to agree all the meter readings. After a final few photos and a few deep breaths, we pile into the car and head to a local hotel where we cram two adults, two kids and a dog into a room not much larger than a ferry cabin. This is home for three days.

The front of a single-storey house.

Our home for the past nine years now belongs to someone else.

Thankfully, free wifi means that I can work and the kids can play on their gadgets. Meanwhile, Mrs CBRbound takes all the dog’s documentation to be reviewed by the official government vet in Denmark, who confirms the paperwork to be in order and stamps Mr Pup’s export permit.

In the evening I sneak into Copenhagen for a farewell dinner with a friend while the others drop in on other friends for another goodbye.

After a fortnight in sleeping bags on the floor of our house, the hotel’s beds are blissfully comfortable and we sleep like we’ve crossed paths with Maleficent.

A dog sitting on a hotel bed.

Mr Pup has missed the comforts of a bed with feather pillows.

Tuesday: It seems the hotel has placed a family of four with a dog in a room next to a man working night-shifts and sleeping by day. He complains about a dog bark, so my wife and kids head out for the day while I try to work, typing as if my fingers were the feet of a ballet-dancing hamster. As some sort of recompense to Mr Pup, we sneak him a portion of bacon and eggs from the breakfast buffet before sending him into exile.

Dinner is spent with friends and former neighbours while our kids and their kids say their goodbyes, and we realise this will be our last home-cooked meal in Denmark.

Wednesday: A big day. Today Mr Pup flies to Australia, so it’s up with the larks to load him into his travel cage and drive him to Copenhagen airport. We’ll next see him in 12 days when he clears his 10-day quarantine and we collect him from the animal facility near Sydney airport.

Next, we drop our car off at the dealership we bought it from – they’ve kindly agreed to buy it back off us after it has given us 10 years of loyal service. Then it’s back to the hotel to do a bit more work, and then a last family dinner in Denmark at our favourite local pizza place, Bella Napoli in Roskilde. Tomorrow, we leave for good.

3 thoughts on “We’re on our way (part one)

  1. Eddy says:

    Hullo Mr CBR Bound and co.,

    I note the existence of Mr Pup, who will surely be interested in places to walk and meet new dogs and their humans.

    You may be aware of the official dog parks (Belco, Gunghalin, O’Connor, Yarralumla, Tuggers), but there are also lots of off lead areas (available on an ACT Government map via an interweb search). Perhaps more importantly, however, is where people actually go with their dogs. If Mr Pup is an on lead kind of pooch that enjoys being around other fit and gorgeous dogs and manicured grounds and architecture, then the central lake circuit might be a goer. Personally (and channeling for Truffle the wonderdog, also a somewhat silly Staffordshire pup), I’d rather go places off lead with normal people and scruffy grass. The Canberra dog walks website (http://www.canberradogwalks.com.au/) will give you some great ideas.

    I’d also recommend a number of neighbourhood informal dog parties that happen every day after work. The two that I’m aware of are in O’Connor, parking at the oval on Pedder St, and the Cook dog party (much bigger), parking behind the oval on Biffin St, or just walk from the shops (where there’s an excellent dog friendly caff called Little Oink). I’m sure there are numerous others.

    Good luck with your move!



    • Those are great tips, thanks Eddy. I was aware of the rules about where you can or can’t let a dog off its lead, but having all that info in one place is brilliant. Thanks for taking the time. After the sad experience of waving Mr P off at the airport yesterday, he deserves some recompense when we fetch him from quarantine, and I think we’ll start with a few of the walks and meets on your list. We hope to see you at one very soon. Best wishes, Mark


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