A year ago we arrived in Denmark. We had taken our last cab ride to Heathrow and checked our small amount of luggage in. All of our worldly belongings were waiting for us in Copenhagen, having left on a large yellow container lorry the week before. My husband had almost been strangled by his loving wife for having a set of darts in his hand-luggage!! I didn't even know he owned a set of darts, and neither it appears did he. Trying to take them on to an aeroplane (although unwittingly) proved to be quite unpopular with the security staff who kept us waiting for much longer than necessary as his punishment. We laugh about it now! We just had time for a bowl of cereal and a nervous cup of tea for breakfast before getting on the plane and departing for our new life! It felt very odd.
Later that afternoon we picked up our car and drove to the hotel for the first night. As a treat, we took our rather bewildered children to Tivoli for the very first time (!), it was a beautiful warm evening, and I remember thinking I might actually quite like it here...
The following morning we drove to our new house, and there in the driveway was the enormous removal lorry, whose removal men worked at lightening speed to get our stuff unloaded and into the house before they legged it. We found out later that they were supposed to actually unpack for us as well - thanks then boys! Actually, I was quite pleased that they hadn't unpacked as at least I knew where everything was! We prioritised the children's rooms so that they would feel more settled with their own belongings around them.
The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi & The Battle of the Pink Robots was played constantly during the first few days on the first nervous drives to new places, (my son liked the "robots" in it) and it proved a bit of a welcome distraction for me - as someone who hadn't had any need to drive in London, and was now driving on the wrong side of the road!!
So, one year on, have we learned anything? Well yes, definitely, the following would certainly be true: -
How adaptable and strong we are as a couple and as a family. We have settled well and I know that we can do this in our next country too (cheesy but true!);
That we are great hosts - I know this because of the amount of guests we have had in one year - the fact that they keep coming back also helps!;
How bad I am at learning languages, but luckily my husband has learned Danish really well, and I can't get over how much the children have picked up too (I rely on them to help me count in the shops now!);
How quite often problems I have with the country are usually a reflection on my experiences in the UK and how we do things different culturally. Like all countries, not absolutely everything is great here, but most of the time it is a good place to live and half the time (excluding THE rude woman in the supermarket) most people are friendly and helpful, and we have made some great friends from Denmark and all over the world (some of whom are moving on soon which is hard, as having been here for a year now, it's starting to happen and it's really the first time I have had to deal with it);
I could go on and on, but I won't. I am looking forward to all the further adventures we will have while we are here, and it looks like it's going to be for a while longer yet. But in the meantime, the Flaming Lips went on in the car on the way to school yesterday morning and I reminisced on a beautiful sunny September day (until the brief storm), just like that first one a year ago.
And instead of saying all of your goodbyes - let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn't go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round
I have moved to aresidence.co.uk - Head on over to aresidence.co.uk love Penny x