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.
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.
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.
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.
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.