Why hello there! Remember me?
I know it’s been incredibly long since I last posted but unfortunately, life just seemed to get in the way. There have been a number of different things going on, which have eaten up my time and consumed all my energy. Even more than that, they have felt a little like I was losing control of my own life, which was not great, or should I say more terrifying than anything! The way I’ve just described that makes them sound like bad things but on the contrary, they are all really great! However, I can’t say I really dealt with all the different things in the best possible way, which is probably what made the experience so difficult to get through.
Because three months worth of blog posts is just too long, here is a quick highlight of what’s been going on:
Our Own Apartment
Yes. That’s right. We bought an apartment in Copenhagen! This was one of the biggest challenges we have faced here to date. Buying your own property is complicated enough in English with all the legalities and financing but try it in Danish, then you’ll get the real meaning of challenging. We did get ourselves a lawyer to make sure we weren’t getting ripped off but honestly, for the most part, I felt like I was signing my life away! Saying that, we are super happy with the apartment and love that we can finally set up the place as our own. Check out our Ikea haul! As you can see there was a lot of furniture to build!!
We moved from our old rented apartment gradually as we were lucky enough to have found the new one only a five-minute walk away. A number trips back and forth with jam-packed suitcases meant we only had to make two trips in a friend’s car with the bulkier items. Even though our old apartment was a bit of a shock for us when we first arrived, we gradually got used to its little quirks and over time it became home. As we left it at the end of November, I remember it being a lot more emotional than I expected.
My First Job in Denmark
This was probably the reason that contributed greatest to my feelings of lack of control and took over my time the most. Through my network, I was able to secure a 3-month contract as a project coordinator for a research group at the University of Copenhagen. Woohoo! I was super excited and so grateful for the opportunity but also a little down that it was only a 3-month contract. Returning to work after nearly a whole year and into an area that was totally out of my comfort zone, I struggled a lot and had the steepest learning curve to date. I was losing sleep and stressing about work all the time, it kind of consumed me. My Danish classes suffered, as did my self-confidence. There was no way that a life like that would have been sustainable so I did something about it and tried to acquire some more clarity at work. This helped a lot but the stress was still there in lots of different forms and continually aggravated by the apartment paperwork as well as many other things that I mention below. Having started the contract in October, it did come to an end in December and although I was sad to be leaving (especially as I was finally starting to find my feet) a part of me was glad that I no longer have to worry about it. Now, it leaves me with a clear mind to start the New Year with a new adventure.
Love this tree silhouette from my window at work on a cold winter afternoon
The Novo Nordisk Layoffs
For those of you who don’t know, Novo Nordisk (the company my husband works for) announced 500 layoffs this year, which completely threw a huge spanner in the works. This was especially stressful for two reasons. One, the reason we have been living in Denmark is because of my husband’s job and two, we had just bought an apartment!!! It was nearly an entire month from the first announcement until the final decisions were made on who would be asked to leave so the wait was pretty uncomfortable, to say the least. Thankfully, my husband was safe and we were glad that our world was not going to be completely turned upside down!
Family Visits and Diwali Back Home
Since October, we have also had a number of visitors here in Denmark. Then we had our weeklong trip back home to celebrate Diwali (the Hindu festival of light) with our family. These visits were a lovely respite from everything that had been going on and we were very glad to have family around us. However, given how busy we have been these last few months, we barely had the chance to keep on top of things. Don’t get me wrong, we never once wished that we weren’t having visitors or making visits! It just meant our time was prioritised differently and it goes without saying that we always look forward to time with family.
Fancy a newspaper chair and footstool – something we spotted at the Design Museum!
The beautiful Skovlyst Brewery that we walked through the forest in the dark to visit 🙂
Until I started working, I had no idea how much time I was actually dedicating to learning Danish as a result at the start of my work contract; I ended up missing quite a lot of lessons. I did rectify this very quickly as it’s so easy to fall behind but I felt the effect of work on my progress immediately, which worried me slightly as I was due to sit my very first Danish exam since starting the course in January 2016! But thankfully I passed and am continuing the course. I’m over half way now so it’s going to take everything in me to push to the finish line, which I believe is in November this year. My biggest fear though is that I get to the end of the course and I’m not fluent in Danish 😮 . Hopefully, that’s not the case!
So there you go all the reasons why I couldn’t muster the energy or brain power to turn on my laptop and starting writing. Apologies!
After those bumpy three months, where emotions were flying all over the place, we decided that a quiet Christmas (or generally just a break from everything to recover) was just what we needed. For that reason, we didn’t fly back to England over Christmas and instead used the time to celebrate my husband’s birthday, spend some quality time together and de-stress. We really missed spending the time with family, which is what we always look forward to around that time of the year but the few days we had to ourselves were cosy and relaxing just the way we wanted 🙂 .
New Years was spent Danish style this year at a friend’s apartment, where we enjoyed lovely homemade dishes together in great company and with a perfect view of all the fireworks. We even started the New Year with a couple of Danish traditions including literally “jumping” off a chair into the New Year and eating Kransekage (a cake tower made of concentric rings of batter that usually incorporate some form of marzipan and is decorated with icing, Danish flags and sparklers). Danes are only allowed to use fireworks during the New Year period so it’s not surprising that they go totally crazy during this time. It was the first time in my life that I witnessed fireworks being let off from the middle of the road right outside our friend’s apartment! Let’s just say that I was glad to be indoors, protected by the closed window and that I’ve never experienced a view of fireworks such as that in my life before. We felt like we were actually inside the fireworks and seeing the bursts of light right up close at eye level. Amazing! I had actually been advised to wear goggles if we were planning to head outside during New Years in Copenhagen. So that gives you a little idea about how hectic it gets out here!
Quite blurry but check out our New Years kransekage! Can you spot the cake tower under all that decoration?
Anyway, things are finally settling down and I really can’t wait to get back into writing. I have missed it. Although, I have had a couple of new ideas that I would like to try with my posts so maybe I’ll take a shot at it and give you guys something new in 2017 😀 .
I hope all of you have had an amazing start to 2017 and wish for it to be full of happiness, positivity and lots of new adventures!
Until next time…