Back in the Native Land

Better known as Denmark. Denmark is the kind of country where one of the most publicised points in the new Plan to Save the Country from Economic Ruin is to cut child allowances for families with many children. As any idiot in this country knows, a Family with Many Children is a Brown or a Black family. To further alienate brown and black families, interpretation in hospitals and social services has now been cut to an absolute minimum. And, last but not least, Denmark’s development aid has also been cut.

I’m thinking that I have a copy of Dale Carnegie‘s How to Win Friends and Influence People in the original Danish translation. I could send it to the party leader of the Danish People’s Party (yes, that’s their name, directly translated. Yukk) in the hope she would understand that making friends is much better than getting enemies and alienating people. Or maybe not.

People ask me “What’s great about being back in Denmark?” and “What do you miss about the UK?”. Ah, well… I could say the weather:


But I would be lying. The weather hasn’t been better in the UK than here.

I could say the lovely people. That would be true for both coming back and leaving. I missed my friends a lot more than I’d thought I would – always imagining that we’d talk on FB, on the phone, on Skype and send lots of e-mails. This, however, hasn’t happened. Well, it has, with a few, but with the majority I’ve more or less lost contact except when I came to Copenhagen on visits. All rather strange in these modern times!

The lovely crowd of twitter-friends that I’m leaving behind will be much missed, as quite a few of them grew into so much more than “just” twitter-friends. Some of them are actually coming to visit me over the summer and I’m sooo thrilled! However, given the nature of how I met them, we’re in frequent contact – via FB, Skype and Twitter. I can’t say how much that pleases me!

I could say that I desperately miss British telly, radio and media and that would be absolutely true! If it weren’t for the brilliant phenomenon of podcasts (have I mentioned this before? Oh, I have? Really?), I think I would despair at the loss of R4, which has given me endless hours of pleasurable learning. Now I listen to DR’s (Danish public broadcaster) P1 which is not at all bad, but has recently been very severely hit by the government’s race for privatisation. You know how experience shows that privatisation leads to much better public service, entertainment, train services, hospitals, etc. You don’t know? Well, in all honestly, I can’t say I’ve noticed it either. But right wing governments seem to have this as a mantra. The small matter of missing data/research to support the claim is brushed under the ideological carpet.

On a lighter note, all the series that are my guilty pleasures, 24, Lost, The Good Wife, etc., are months behind here, so I’m not missing anything (and avoided Twitter when season finals were on). Which is good since I’ve had almost no time to watch telly in the month that I’ve been back.

Luck has had it that I’ve hit the ground running here as far as work is concerned. That has been a bit surprising, but surprising in such a nice way…

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Cold

From the BBC website
From the BBC website

With this image all is said about what was talked about in Great Britain in the first week of 2010. The Weather. Dane’s school closed, David working from home several days as South West train service severely disrupted and parking lot at work more than treacherous.

Constantly, you have to listen to people rant about useless councils and government because all roads aren’t cleared within the first couple of hours of snow, not for a moment considering their own reaction if billions of pounds were spent on snowploughs and grit which would then be sitting idle in council parking lots 99% of the time. In the UK it isn’t really an argument that things work like a clockwork in snowy conditions in places where they have snow 6 months of the year. They have the tools in place and it makes financial sense to have them there. For any household, big or small, pros and cons must be weighed before investments are made. Living in Denmark it made sense for us to own a snow shovel (wide, light, made of birch wood), skis, several toboggans and sleighs and  – not least – winter tires for the car. Over here it doesn’t really, at least not on our budget.

Personally, I don’t mind the snow so much, but I do mind the cold. I’m freezing ALL the time, draught swooshing in through windows and under doors in our listed building. It drives me nuts, lowers my productivity and dampens my mood. I long long long for spring and summer!

Dane in a wheat field, June 09
Dane in a wheat field, June 09
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