New Dejlige Days Publications

I have added a couple of new ebooks to my shop on the Dejlige Days Welcome website.

First up is Dejlige Days Welcome Guide to Danish Bureaucracy – Getting you started. This ebook guide to bureaucracy in Denmark pulls together publicly available resources into one simple to use document. Finding all the information you need easily and in a timely manner can be tough when you are in a new country with a language you don’t understand, this guide takes the stress away. Click here to buy.

Secondly is a pre order Dejlige Days Welcome Guide to Having a Baby in Denmark (and the first year of parenthood). This e-book covers everything you need to know about having a baby in Denmark – from pregnancy to birth to the first year. Sections include where to buy what you need, the medical process, bureaucracy, places to meet people, classes, private clinics amongst other super helpful information. Pre-order before the publication date of 31st May 2017 and save 30dkk. Click here to pre-order

Don’t forget there is also a ton of free resources there too.

Stop b*tching and start a revolution

A lot has changed in Copenhagen over the nine years I’ve lived here but it is still a city I am in love with. It has matured into a different kind of love than the heady early days. I still get my breath taken away by the city, I still love the people here and our life. But most of the time it is the kind of love that makes you feel comfortable and safe.  That this is my city and my home – this makes me happy.

I do however see changes. With the supposed housing shortage here there are more and more apartments being built and it is changing the face of the city. For many, many years there was a building policy about the heights of building and whilst new applications are looked at carefully, this rule is being waived more and more, with high rise public buildings and apartments popping up in Nørrebro, Vesterbro and the city centre. These buildings set a precedent and I fear that the flat beauty of the city is slowly being eroded.

When I read that the iconic Palads cinema painted in its beautiful pastel colours by Poul Gernes in 1989 and has been standing since 1912 will be torn down to be replaced by some steel and glass behemoth it makes me mad (as it did a number of people who protested the decision).

There are plans to build yet another high rise apartment, retail and leisure complex on its site, so close to the incongruous building that is Axel Towers, I wonder if we are now on a slippery slope where Big Money and developers are deciding the face of our city.

I wrote about the changing face of Vesterbro before and talking to a friend who is moving out of her post 90s apartment there I hear the rent for this two bedroom place will be pushing 23,000dkk a month for the next tenants and this is living in the middle of bars and the Red Light area. With no cap on rents in modern apartments, how long will it be before the regular working person is pushed out of the market, both rental and buying, in the newly built areas, if they can ever afford to live there in the first place?

There are a number of active groups trying to save places from major development such as the biodiversity of Amager Fælled to Palads Theatre to trees all over the city. Many organise via Facebook so that is a good place to start if you want to get involved. I know there is an argument that these protests don’t work but sometimes they do and that is no excuse to sit on your sofa and do nothing.

If nothing else get aware and sign petitions. But if you are on your sofa take a visit to www.wechange.dk and add your signature to causes that mean something to you (this platform is one that anyone can post a petition on so there are some very micro interest ones) or start your own petition.

In a small country this can have more impact than in bigger ones. The petition against proposed development on Amager Fælled has 28,000 signatures and a decision is pending in parliament over this issue and there is a protest organised for the 7 May  Sandra Høj is the woman behind Rød Byens Trær and she works to protect valuable mature trees in the city from being cut down and has had some victories.

If you love eating in the current grungey Copenhagen Street Food you may want to get involved in signing a petition to save this from modern development and of course yet again more apartments. I know it’s a tiny bit of history being lost here (and by that I mean the old paper stores from when newspapers were printed here) but with each little bit of history being erased by homogenous modern developments the soul of the city is slowly chipped away. Remember the destruction is the Wall of Fame last year? Little but not insignificant.

It is time what we stood up to the big developers and show that there is value in the old and also in nature.  There are battles on many fronts and this is a war we may not win in the end but small victories count. So like a t shirt I bought years ago in the hotbed of political activism that is Berkeley, California says: *Stop bitching and start a revolution”.

Spring in Tivoli

Although the last week has been pretty wintery I was lucky enough to catch Tivoli in the sunshine. We missed the Easter opening but the park is still looking very fine. If the colder weather continues it is a great time to visit without the crowds (a silver lining!)

My Guide to a Successful Relocation is now available directly from me!

I have been selling my book via Amazon since I published it last year but I have decided to also offer it via my website too. I have a secure shop on the site and it is possible to buy the paperback version slightly cheaper directly from me, especially if you are based in Denmark or mainland Europe. It is a really useful book if you are planning on moving to another country (not just Denmark) or you are in the early stages of relocation. Thank you!

DOKK1 in Århus

I have been over to Århus a few times this year as I am supporting Copenhagen Housing‘s Århus arm in offering packages to people relocating to this city. One morning there I stopped by the public library/space DOKK1.

It is hard to define this fabulous places as just a library as it offers so much more. It is a library in the traditional sense with books etc to loan and it also houses a borgerservice section, but the rest of the library is dedicated to places for people to meet and have fun. All the spaces connect so the children’s section is not hidden away from the rest of the space. There is a feeling of flow and connection within the building and this makes it a very flexible space. One day a section could be a play area, another day an auditorium.The part that really blew me away was the children’s section, with games, places to play, dressing up boxes, a puppet theatre and a section where they can play with things we forty somethings remember from our childhood like a typewriter, something completely alien to our kids in the smartphone generation. There are also sections for study, relax, enjoy a coffee and also places where events take place. DOKK1 has an extensive list of monthly events.

A lovely little quirk is that this huge gong sounds every time a baby is born in Århus Hospital.And the best thing is all this is free as it is a publicly funded place, through taxes and business support. If you are in Århus, I would definitely recommend a visit to here. The architecture inside and out is amazing and if you are with kids of any ages it is a wonderful to spend an hour or two.

Whilst we have great library facilities in Copenhagen, I think the city could really benefit from a place like this, aimed at the community and used by them.

Refuse services in Copenhagen

So this may not be the most exciting title but believe me this information is gold, especially if you are new to the city or have moved from an apartment to a house, like we did.

How does it work?

First of all how does the refuse and recycling system work here and what can you put where? The kommune has produced this useful set of signs, which should technically be put on the bins, but these are so useful to have a quick guide to recycling. Here is the link to the one  in Danish and the one in English.

Where are my bins?

So now you have an idea of what you can put in what bins but the next question is where are these bins located. Copenhagen Kommune has a nifty site called Easy Refuse (www.nemaffaldsservice.kk.dk). You enter your address and in the summary page (overblik) you can see all the different bins associated with your address and their locations.

When will they be emptied?

You can also see how frequently they are emptied. In the calendar area you can find the schedule of collections to either print out or download to your own electronic diary. This is a godsend if you live in a house where you have the responsibility to put out your own bins. In our first week in our new house we forgot to put out our household bin until we heard the bin trucks at 6am.

In you live in a house (villa) you can see the bins you are obliged to have and the ones you can order if you need them, such as green waste, cardboard (strange this one is a request bin and not obligatory) and a compost bin.

But what about bigger items you need to take to the tip?

There is a web page dedicated to this (www.kk.dk/genbrugsstationer) where you can see the ones closest to you and their opening hours. There are guides to how the tips work and what can be taken there. There are also swap centres where you can take decent things you want to get rid of and also go and see what there is you might need. This website helps a lot with more detailed information about using the tips.

You can apply to have access to the tips 24 hours a day using your phone  – you can apply here.

This information is also on the Dejlige Days Welcome website along with a ton of other free resources and guides about life in Denmark and Copenhagen. Did you know you can also buy my book – My Guide to a Successful Relocation – directly from me on that website to. In many cases it will be cheaper this way than via Amazon.

10 books to help you explore Copenhagen

I wrote a while ago about fiction books based in Copenhagen or Denmark and today I thought I’d write about a selection of books which give you an insider view of Copenhagen. Although I have lived here a very long time I still enjoy reading these types of books, especially if they feature interviews or essays about the city. If you a new to the city these books are the perfect way to delve a little deeper into life here.

So here are 10 books to read about Copenhagen (in no particular order except size for the photo!)

Number 1 Wallpaper City Guide: Copenhagen

The Wallpaper Guides are a perennial guides to cities that not only look good on your shelves but also feature cool rather than fashionable places in the city. Concentrating on landmarks, hotels, 24 hour guides, urban life, architecture, shopping, sports and escapes outside the city they are perfect for both travellers and new locals.

Number 2 CitiX60 Copenhagen

This funky little guide features recommendations in the city from 60 local creatives. I found this guide refreshing as it doesn’t serve up the same old ‘hidden’ places as other guides. Just a question how many guides does a place have to be featured in before it is no longer a hidden gem?

Number 3 Copenhagen Green: The Guide

Copenhagen is a pretty green city but there are many more places to enjoy the outdoors and ‘green’ lifestyle than the usual spots. This guide will introduce you to a whole new aspect of the city.

Number 4 88 Sights in Copenhagen

The strapline of this book say it covers ‘the well known, less known and completely unknown’. It does exactly that and there are some fascinating places in the book that would otherwise remain hidden to you. A book to help you really explore the city. Look out for this book in various bookshops in the city, I got mine in the bookshop in Magasin.

Number 5 The 500 Hidden Secrets of Copenhagen

This is possibly my least favourite of the books here, simply because a lot of the places in the book are not really hidden. Nevertheless it lists fives of many different types of places in the city from food places to historical castles. It is a worthwhile addition to your bookshelves as a reference book to help you find places you need. But skip the 5 Danish phrases section as there are grammatical errors in the bit.

Number 6 Secret Copenhagen

Now here is a book that lives up to its title. I had heard of literally a fraction of the places in this guide and I am certainly going to explore the secret Copenhagen more with this book as my guide.

Number 7 Destination Copenhague

This is a beautiful little book of mainly photographs of the city with addresses of places featured. I love it as it really is ‘my’ city in the pages here.

Number 8 The Monocle Travel Guide: Copenhagen

This is also a guide with lists of places to visit, shop etc but also features a section of fascinating essays about the city and also some really interesting walking tours. This is a book to understand more about the culture of the city as well as places to go.

Number 9 Lost in Copenhagen

I simply love the typography of this series of city guides. This guide is the most hipsterish of the selection here as is shown by the fact the only two neighbourhoods it features are Vesterbro and Nørrebro. The interviews in the book really show you another side to the city  including ones with a Christiania resident, fashion designers, DJs and food bloggers, amongst others.

Number 10 Startup Guide Copenhagen

This is part of a series of guides about the startup scene in a number of cities and is the book to have if you are looking at starting up here or want to be part of that scene.

I picked all of these up in various shops around the city but most are available either via the links in the titles or via Amazon.

Family Fun over Easter

For those of you still in town and looking for some family fun here are a few suggestions.

Experimentarium in Hellerup will have the roof terrace open over Easter and there are tons of easter related activities happening here over the holiday week. For more information (in Danish).

The Frilands Museum has a special opening for Easter from Thursday to Monday. If it is a sunny day this a great place to enjoy some fresh air. They have a number of activities available over the weekend too. For more information (in Danish).

Rosenborg Castle has Easter activities for children where they will learn how to be part of the Royal Court of Frederik IV. For more information (In Danish)

For arty children the Glyptotek has Easter activities inspired by the works in the galleries. For more information (in Danish)

SMK has its kids’ workshop area open over the holidays and there are also tours especially for children. 

At the National Museum children can make the traditional Danish gækkebreve. For more information here

Carlsberg Visitors Centre will be running easter egg treasure hunts. For more information here

Of course Tivoli is open now and the Spring displays are always worth seeing.

For more inspiration Børn i Byen website has compiled twenty five family activities over the holiday week. See the list here.

 

 

 

 

Cherry blossom avenue at Bispebjerg Cemetery

The cherry blossom avenue in Bispebjerg Cemetery used to be a secret place for only those in the know. Over the last few years it has become a huge tourist attraction. Last year they put signs up to help people find it and this year I hear there will be 150 people drafted in for directions and I guess maybe crowd control!

I’m not sure I’ll make it up there this year, so these photos are from 2015. It looks the same every year, which is the beauty of it. Get there early or late to miss the crowds.

Easter creativity

I used to create these kind of photos for the blog a long time ago but after my accident and then my pain and medication cycle I lost some creativity.  In fact I lost all my desire to create anything like this. A few weeks ago I watch a series of videos about making Easter flat lays (you can check it out here) and I suddenly found that I was ready to do these again. And it was fun. A lot of fun.

I made a huge mess of all the things I wanted to include and dashed around looking in my boxes of vintage bits and bobs for items that would complement the Easter decoration I have.  Almost everything in these photos come from shops like Tiger, Søstrene Grene, the supermarket or Notre Dame. All super inexpensive and I get most out each year, adding a few extras. There are of course more expensive items from Royal Copenhagen, Georg Jensen and my favourite ceramicist, Helle Gram. And some things I have made.

Add in some fresh flowers (this year from my garden), some little chocolate eggs and sugared almonds the scene is set. I will be putting these decorations up later in the week to coincide with the end of term for my son. Whilst not a religious person I love to celebrate Easter as it marks the real end of winter and start of warmer days.

I hope these photos have made you smile and given a little inspiration for your own Easter decorations or table.