Monday, 21 November 2011

A New Chapter...

A (very originally named!) New Blog from our new location!  Feel free to pop by, I would love it if you did!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Goodbye Denmark...

So, the day has come when it's time to say goodbye Denmark!  Thank you so much for the past two years!   You have at times been challenging, infuriating and blinking cold.  But you have also been interesting, educational, and beautiful.  We have learned so much as a family during our time here, learning to cope in a foreign land and all the experiences that go with that.  It's certainly put a different perspective on many things for me on life generally.  We will also take away many many fond memories, and so many great friendships too.  So for that at least, tusen tak! 

To my faithful readers, thank you for reading my drivel, the comments and support, and for following us on our journey.   You will be pleased to hear (or perhaps not!), that I will be back online shortly with a brand new blog in which to record our new adventures in our brand new country!  I hope you will follow me there (details to follow shortly)! In the meantime, I expect to be offline for a couple of weeks while we take a break between countries!

Thanks again, and watch this space!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Adieu Sylvia

Pretty soon I have to say a fond farewell and a big thank you to Sylvia.  Sylvia is our trusty car, thus named by the two small people because she is Silver (most imaginative I know!)!  I have formed quite an attachment to Sylvia, which thanks to my hatred of driving and cars in the past, my friends and family have found highly amusing. 

My relationship with driving has always been slightly sporadic to say the least.  I actually learned to drive at the age of 17, but despised it so much that when we first moved to London I was more than happy, as there was no real need for me to drive with the (mostly) excellent transport links on our doorstep.

Fast forward a good few years and we were faced with the possibility of moving abroad.  With that possibility came the harsh realisation that I could no longer put off doing a driving test, so I duly searched through the various adverts, and destiny put me in touch with my driving instructor "Cliff".    "Cliff" is obviously not his real name, but it's what I christened him because of his resemblance to the "King of Pop" Cliff Richards, so when he pulled up outside the house on my first lesson, I was naturally fooled into thinking he would be harmless.  Let's just say that "Cliff" was shortly thereafter re-christened "Evil Cliff", after the hours I spent being very told off each time I messed up a turn in the road (I can hear him now "IT'S A THREE POINT TURN; NOT A TURN IN THE ROAD!"), parallel parking, and any other (what I considered to be) minor mistake.   I came to dread these twice weekly, two-hour driving lessons, feeling sick at least three hours before the metallic mini from hell turned up.  My friend directly opposite used to take great delight in standing in her window and waving me off whilst laughing hysterically as I drove off up the road.  To also add to the pain was the fact that I was also paying a small fortune for the (dis)-pleasure London rates of around £26 an hour.  But, as I have said before, stubborn is my middle name, and I was determined to get this stupid test done and dusted once and for all.

Fortunately, having previous driving experience, it wasn't long before I had a test date in my hands.  Which I then failed for stopping around 2 metres from a set of traffic lights on red.  Really.    I hadn't really expected to pass first time, very few people do, but I was petrifed as to what "Cliff" was going to say when I got back to the car, as I knew he was well and truly going to kill me...    But au contraire, "Evil Cliff" had been replaced by "Lovely Cliff", who told me not to worry, it wasn't my driving at all, and he would drive back as he could see I was a bit stressed.   I couldn't believe it.  Where had "Lovely Cliff" been throughout my torturous lessons?

Soon enough my second test date came around and I passed (even though I made more mistakes than first time round!)...   In some ways it might be said that I have a lot to thank "Cliff" for.  His overly strict teaching methods certainly worked for me, and it did make me pay more attention to what I was doing, and ultimately gave me the confidence to drive when we arrived here.   I was however disappointed that he didn't sing Congratulations when I did eventually pass!

Anyway, I digress... Sylvia was therefore my first "real" car, she belonged to me.  I could play whatever I liked music wise, and nobody was going to shout at me for anything.   More than any other aspect of moving to a foreign land though, the prospect of having to drive in one terrified me more than anything!  So it gives me great pleasure to say that the only damage I inflicted on Sylvia during our time together, was a smashed off wing mirror in a (very badly designed!) multi-storey car park.  Thankfully, she didn't hold it against me, and went on to look after us through thick and thin, and in all weathers.  We have been on many an adventure together (including getting stuck against another car in a snow drift but that's another story).  So yes, I know it's odd to get so attached to an inanimate object, but I will shed a couple of tears when I have to bid her adieu.  I do wish she could come with us, I need her to look after us on the Autobahns!!

Monday, 10 October 2011

There is a Season...


The huge forest and lake not far from our house, is undoubtedly the place where we spent the most time out and about over the two years we have spent here .  When we first arrived we were told there was a lake nearby, but we didn't appreciate quite how big it was, and how diverse the changing scenery would be surrounding it throughout the year.

We skated on the lake when it froze in Winter, and sledged amongst the trees in the forest.  In the spring when the buds began to unravel on the trees, we relaxed in the knowledge that warmer weather was on its way...   We watched people swimming in the lake in the summer (and tried to ignore the clouds of mosquitoes on each walk we went on), and rushed out on many occasions to catch the amazing sunsets late in the evening.  In the autumn, we spent a lot of time here, taking in the kaleidoscope of colours on display, and keeping a beady eye out for blackberries and chanterelles along the way.    We appreciated the beauty here whatever the season, and really loved having this place on our doorstep.  I know that this is the place that we will all probably remember the most when we think about our time in Denmark....

Hoping to have time for one last pilgrimage on Thursday morning before the removal men arrive!...

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Saturday, 8 October 2011


Star Flyer

And so the goodbyes begin. It's quite a strange feeling really, and as well as saying goodbye to people, we are also saying goodbye to places as well. Tivoli was first on the list as it closed for the season recently... 

The Little Pilot

As the first place we visited together as a family, (almost as soon as our feet touched Danish soil), I will always have a soft spot for Tivoli. We have plenty of happy memories from the many (many) times we visited. For those people that are about to move to Copenhagen, this will be one of the places that you visit the most, believe me (make sure you buy a season ticket, it will pay for itself in a few trips!)!  We took so many guests here, that at times I will admit to being thoroughly sick of the place, but it was really nice to visit it one last time to bid it a fond farewell.

The Galley Ships

 We had to make sure that we went on almost every single ride for old times sake, bidding farewell to our favourites, Den Flyvende Kuffart (The Flying Trunk), a trip through the tales of Hans Christian Andersen, (which it is worth alone for a listen to the English narration -. when you get to the Little Match Girl listen out for the part about the "gooooze"), The Mine (a leisurely journey through a "diamond mine", complete with giant sneezing pink dragon), The Galley Ships with its manicly spinning viking ships, and a couple of turns on the traditional and very beautiful carousel.  The first time Small Boy ever went on this he started off astride a small rhinocerous.  The ride turned once, and the rhinocerous reappeared without him.  Panic gripped, until I saw him high upon the giraffe's back, he had obviously had a change of heart!

We saved the best, the glorious Rutschebane  for last (and went on it 4 times in a row)...    This elderly wooden roller coaster (one of the oldest in the world) comes with a brake person for each train, employed soley to deploy the brakes before and after each big dip (can you imagine that job?)! This is a ride we all love, and you can't help but laugh most of the way round (I do shut my eyes at the top, where it looks like you could go careering off the edge though)... I remember my Dad convincing my Step-Mother that this ride was really tame, but all you could hear was her screaming "Oh my Gaaawd" all the way around! It's fantastic in a chuck you out of your seat, leave your stomach behind kind of way, and my strange children both adore it (sit at the very back for maximum effect!)... 

Tivoli will reopen in a few days for Halloween, when it's covered with thousands of pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, and then of course in December with it's Christmas Market, and its myriad of potent Gløgg and æbleskiver stalls... Sights all worth seeing, but to me, Tivoli will always be best late on a summer's evening, when it's quiet, and when you will see people that have been going their whole lives, relaxing and enjoying themselves...

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Postmand Per

Or Postman Pat as he is better known in the UK would LOVE the Post & Tele Museum in Copenhagen.  As one of the last few remaining child-friendly museum's we had on our list to visit before we depart, we popped over to check it out.

The Sorting Office (with one post-person on strike!...)
There's the most fabulous children's section spread out over the third floor, with a couple of rooms based on Danish stamp illustrations, complete with big slides and trees to climb (!), and another with lots of post to deliver! My miniature post people spent a good hour sorting the mail, stamping it, and then delivering it to an assortment of  lilliputian houses...very cute, especially with their long flailing uniform jacket arms, and oversized postman hats.

We had a quick refill in the beautiful restaurant/cafe overlooking the roof-tops of the city. It also overlooks the Roundtower, so we had a laugh at Small Boy's expense as we reminisced over the fateful afternoon we spent there!

Back inside we learned about braille and how to punch out our names using the Braille alphabet. Both children were fascinated with this and learned alot about how visually impaired people use computers and telephones etc.

Then it was onto the main floor of the museum, which is full of really interesting stuff (although I will admit to being dubious about this before we went inside!). There are lots of machines to fiddle about with, some of which neither Small Boy or his Big Sister had ever seen before, including this beautiful Telegram Machine. Unfortunately Bulgus insisted on making a guest appearance in this photograph, please ignore him. I try to.

The most fun was had on a beautiful old wooden operating switchboard with all the wires and buttons etc. still intact. Small boy was the designated "operator" and was put in charge of putting calls through to his sister who was "on hold" on a telephone quite far across the other side of the room. All was going swimmingly, until she started asking him to put her through to double-digit numbers such as 25 and 37, which at the age of 4 he is still just getting the hang of!  After much dawdling and hesistation on behalf of "the operator", the rather irate "caller" lost her temper and shouted across the room "Could you please just put me through to someone who knows what they are doing??"... Which is still making me laugh at least 24 hours after the event.

 A great museum, with good exhibitions and great facilities, and best of all - it's free!
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