So August….quite a month! Rich finished his temporary car job, we packed up our apartment in Valby, stored our belongings in a relative’s garage and headed off to England with three suitcases and four outfits for four weddings over four weeks. We left, not knowing where we going to be living on our return. We had come to the end of our Valby tenancy and despite two months of apartment-searching, we had yet to find the perfect long-term home. I am happy to say, two weeks into our holiday, we found somewhere, did a Facetime tour via my cousin and signed the contract soon after. We move next week and are staying with relatives in the meantime, who have been incredibly generous helping us out. Apartment-searching in Copenhagen is quite hard work and requires you to search a few times a day, call as soon as you see something that matches your criteria and make a snap decision – that’s if the landlord wants you. It’s so competitive they can be picky who they choose as tenants. So it was a huge relief to have got that sorted.
So onto the fun stuff. Four weddings and a nephew! We were incredibly lucky to be invited to these wonderful celebrations and it timed perfectly, with being in between apartments and jobs for Rich. We were able to stay with Richie’s parents in Sheffield in between all the events, which Lydia loved and it made our stay so relaxed.
Wedding number one was my university friends Tori and Abe who both went to Durham University and ended up getting together years after leaving. The wedding reception was held at Tori’s family home and it was a beautiful setting. Lots of champagne, delicious food, hilarious speeches and a great live band made it a fun-filled day with my uni girls. It was the first time in seven months that Rich and I had spent an evening together toddler-free, so it’s fair to say we partied hard.
Wedding number two was that of my younger brother Rob and new sister-in-law Sophie at the wonderful Priory Cottages in Wetherby. We all stayed on site in the cottages and enjoyed a weekend of family fun. My Dad took the service (he’s a Bishop for those not in the know); my younger sister Izzy did a reading, Lydia was a flower girl and I was unofficial videographer. This was my idea, as a gift to Rob and Sophie as they didn’t want to spend the money on a wedding video, so I hired a Canon C100 MKII and did my first wedding shoot – whilst wearing heels, drinking wine and enjoying myself. It was pretty special being able to see my brother and Sophie get ready before the service and capture their day. Lydia was just incredible from start to finish and walked down the aisle holding my Dad’s hand which just made my heart melt. Danish traditions included a mini bottle of schnapps for each guest and the customary cutting of the groom’s socks. This quirky tradition occurs late in the evening, as everyone is merry and dancing. The groom’s friends and family lift him up, take off his shoes and cut off the end of his socks. It’s apparently to make sure the groom won’t walk off with any other woman. My brother-in-law and Richie also had the same thing done to them, by our Danish relatives and it always causes much amusement and confusion! I caught this on film and can’t wait to edit it.
The day after the wedding, we got on a flight to Italy. Wedding number three was in Varenna, Lake Como. We decided last year, even before Denmark plans, to make this our main family holiday, along with Richie’s parents and his sister and family. We had a wonderful villa in Menaggio that was perfect for Lydia and her cousin Sadie to play in. Swimming every day, walks around the town, pizza, ice cream and prosecco made it the perfect wind-down. It also gave Rich and I the headspace to search and find our new apartment while we were here. When it came to the wedding, Rich and I hopped on the ferry to Varenna to enjoy another toddler-free afternoon and night celebrating the marriage of Richie’s school friend Charlie to the lovely Sophie. The setting was incredible, the food was typical Italian – divine and lots of it, and the wines matched it perfectly. Their wedding photographer was the brilliant Jon from S6 Photography, who also shot our wedding so I know their pictures are going to look stunning.
After 10 days on Lake Como, we headed back to England for more friend and family catch ups and then the drive to Durham for wedding number four! Lydia was invited to this wedding but we decided to have a final night off and save her from any more travel. Ben and Stephanie also went to Hatfield College, Durham and it’s where they met. So it was very fitting for them to return, as they became husband and wife. The Castle is a college within Durham University and was always a rival of Hatfield College, which is just around the corner. So whenever we went to the Castle as students, it was to sneak in when we weren’t meant to, or during a bar crawl. So this was the first time I actually got to appreciate the beauty and scale of the place. The ceremony was held in the gardens and the reception in the Great Hall, where students are lucky enough to eat their meals every day. It was a day filled with memories, wonderful touches and a first-dance that would give Strictly contestants a run for their money!
With the final wedding over by 28th August, it was time for Rich to get ready to start his new job on 1st September. But there was just one more celebration that I couldn’t miss and I stayed back an extra week with Lydia. My older sister Charlotte, who couldn’t make my brother’s wedding because of an imminent arrival, gave birth to a beautiful boy called Finn Alexander, just in time for me to visit him. In a fitting Danish tribute, Finn is my Dad’s middle name and the name of Dad’s uncle, who gave him the information to find his birth mother. That uncle, is the grandfather of my second cousin who we are staying with now. I back-packed down to London with Lydia, to stay with my brother and sister-in-law, fresh back from honeymoon and we had a lovely couple of days seeing family again and meeting my tiny new nephew.
Managing a solo parenting trip to London, made the solo parent flight back to Copenhagen very smooth. A sticker book and endless snacks got us through and asking for help with carrying heavy loads. And here we are, back together in Copenhagen, ready to start the next chapter of our adventure. We feel very lucky to have seen so much of our friends and family during August and take stock on everything we’ve achieved. We feel ready to be back and make our new apartment home. Rich is settling into his new job and has a company car (still getting used to Copenhagen parking rules!) We’ve finally invested in a family bike, after selling my car back in England. And we have signed a two-year contract with a one-year break clause on our apartment so no more packing up for a while! We just need to furnish the place…and we thought we’d host a party for Lydia’s 2nd birthday three days after moving in, because you know, we like a challenge and we like to have fun. So bring it on 🙂 xxx