An education

Moving to a new country is a giant juggling act. You can’t know everything about your new home from the moment you arrive but you strive to gather enough information about the essentials so that nothing critical falls to the ground and smashes.

Occasionally, you miss something – like when using the wrong type of tick treatment cost Mr Pup an extra three weeks in quarantine. And a few weeks ago, we missed something else that we probably should have known about, but didn’t.

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Ask the family: Mr Pup speaks

A cockerpoo dog.

Mr Pup still shudders when he thinks of his time in quarantine.

The member of the family who had the most difficult journey to Australia was our family dog Mr Pup. The many weeks of quarantine were particularly hard on him, not to mention us. A full year later, I asked him about his first year in Australia and whether the upheaval has been worth it. Continue reading

Ask the family: Our youngest shares his thoughts

In the second of my guest blogs, nine-year old Mini-CBRbound uses his best handwriting to share his thoughts experiences from his first year as a Canberran. It’s not for the faint-hearted, he paints a good picture of deprivation in the early months after our move, but it perks up towards the end. Mini’s participation bribe was an extra hour on the Xbox – I can hear the squeals of excitement from the rumpus room right now.

A boy leans against the side of a bed while filling out a questionnaire.

Mini-CBRbound adopts a curious writing position to share his views of a year in Canberra.

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Ask the family: Canberra through the eyes of a 12-year old

For more than a year now, you’ve been reading about my thoughts and feelings on our move to Canberra. But, as I have mentioned, there are other members of the CBRbound family too, so over the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing their views of our move and our new life here in a series of craftily incentivised questionnaires. First up is 12-year old Maxi-CBRbound, who was bribed into participation with the promise of a bowl of snacks.

A boy writing answers to a questionnaire.

Maxi-CBRbound deals with what he termed: “Extra homework.”

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Placing the accent on life down under

A few weeks ago, Miley Cyrus affected an Australian accent for a TV prank which was more Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins than Paul Hogan in Crocodile Dundee.

Normally, the doings of Miley and her type wouldn’t register on my radar, but I’ve developed a keen ear for accents of late, particularly since I started detecting the early signs of an Aussie accent in nine year old Mini-CBRbound. Continue reading

School of thought

It will be several years before we can objectively assess many aspects of our move to Canberra but thankfully, for the most important of these – the kids’ education – we can assess their progress along the way.

This week, our boys received their first Aussie school reports and, while there’s room for improvement for both, the signs are that they are in good hands when it comes to developing a love of learning.

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Fight club

Moving to Australia from Denmark has provided us with some stark opportunities for comparison. Most notably, in the way our kids – mini- and maxi-CBRbound, now aged nine and 12 – become assimilated into the Aussie way of life. As this happens, it’s understandable that we idly compare how they might have turned out if we’d never made the move. It’s like a personal version of the movie ‘Sliding Doors’ is constantly playing in our heads.

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Questacon’s magic formula

The Questacon logo on the glass of the building's entrance.

The main entrance to science and technology centre, Questacon.

It may sound strange to have saved our most anticipated family day out for nearly six months but, as I have written before, there really is so much to do in Canberra.

But all this time, ever since our plane’s wheels first touched down here, discussions of every CBRbound clan day out have been punctuated regularly with a single interjection from the kids: “Questacon.”

A model of an astronomer staring skywards.

Questacon’s mission to inspire and educate is clear from the outside.

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Run for your life

Three competitors' vest numbers for a race.

The Canberra 5k was our first race in Australia but it won’t be our last.

This post is going to make me sound all athletic, and really, I’m not. But since we moved to Canberra, I’m a darned sight more athletic than at any point since childhood.

Last weekend, Canberra hosted the Australian Running Festival. A two-day series of races ranging from a 5km run to a 50km ‘ultra-marathon’ (as if a marathon wasn’t enough of a challenge).

Back in December, fresh off the plane, a 5km run through the heart of the city’s parliamentary triangle seemed like a fun thing to sign up for, so we did – me, mini-CBRbound (aged 8) and maxi-CBRbound (aged 11). Continue reading

A corner of a foreign field

Something we’ve come to appreciate about Canberra is that, unlike other cities of a similar size, which may boast one or two minor tourist attractions to bring in out-of-towners and entertain locals, Canberra’s status as Australia’s capital means it is disproportionately bursting with things to do from its outer suburbs to the city centre.

It’s taking us a while to get through them all – partly because our initial burst of new arrivals’ excitement has been replaced by getting on with real life, but also because we’ve been keeping a few things up our sleeves for when the kids deserved a treat or just needed to get out of the house. Continue reading