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Destination Copenhagen

So it turns out that this has been a significant week for me personally. Only three days after I took the decision to cease the pursuit of selection to become a MEP, a further decision taken by someone I don’t know and I’ve never met has had further important implications. My partner’s efforts to get employment here and hence stay in London beyond August this year have not succeeded, and so she will be returning to Copenhagen this summer, and that means I will be going there too. Theoretically something could crop up which changes the plan, but that’s highly unlikely. From September I’ll be living in Vesterbro.

So what am I going to be doing there? Essentially the same sort of stuff I do just now – social media and web communications training, and communications consultancy. I’m my own boss, my work is flexible, so I can base myself anywhere. I’ve done some work in Denmark in the last 12 months anyway, I know some folks just across the Øresund, and I could theoretically do some work in Stockholm. There’s also a daily ICE train from Copenhagen to Berlin. I’ll have to cut back my UK and Brussels work a bit, just due to the practicalities of travel.

I am of course going to have to learn Danish, a process that fills me with dread. I know I will eventually succeed, but the process of learning Italian and Swedish in the past as an adult has been neither fun nor especially successful. Friends assume that because I can speak languages I enjoy the learning process – sadly not so. I enjoy communicating, not the process of slogging away learning rules and vocab. Døde røde rødøjede rådne røgede ørreder med fløde… Plus to get to the level I need to be able to work in Danish is going to be a long and tedious slog.

There are advantages of course – Copenhagen is a charming, beautiful and cycle-friendly city, and it’s much more relaxed and somehow normal than London. It’s not going to frustrate me in an everyday basis in the way London does. I’m looking forward to understanding what makes Copenhagen tick, and to do new things and meet new people. And of course the main reason for going is because of the person I am going to be living with, and that matters more than any of the other things.

Fingers crossed all of this works!

Photo: "Copenhagen Bikes" by CxOxS on March 31, 2007 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution

12 Comments

  • helena |

    Good luck Jon, I’m sure you’ll do great there!

  • Tom |

    Enjoy Copenhagen. It is a great city. I live across the Öresund in Lund. A nice place but a little a quiet compared to Copenhagen! Learning Danish will indeed be difficult, however as you have some Swedish already it should not be so bad. I think the biggest barrier is how well people speak English – you are rarely forced to communicate in Danish/ Swedish here, you really have to push people to speak to you in Danish if you want to improve.

  • Nina Bjerglund |

    Hey looking forward to having you (and especially Karen!!) here. We will do our best to make your integration go as smoothly as possible.

  • Stuart Bruce |

    Hi Jon, good luck. Copenhagen is a great city and boasts my favourite airport. It’s a shame I don’t get out there as much as I used to, but I am hoping to be out in the autumn to do some work and then cross the bridge to visit people in Lund so would be good to catch up when I visit.

  • European Citizen |

    Wow, Jon, indeed you’ve had an interesting week. I remember your post questioning the lack of focus and stability in your work but it seems that has now turned out to be quite advantageous.

    I was a bit disappointed to read that you would not be trying to run as an MEP but Danish politics might work differently (hint, hint). People like you are the ones we need if we want to change the EU for the better.

  • Jon |

    @John – yes! I’ll be in Hamburg early July as well.
    @Tom – bunch of people on Twitter have told me I should visit Lund (somehow never have stopped there although I’ve passed through loads of times). Sometime in October I’ll go there.
    @Steph – sure. I’m in London second half of July.
    @Stuart – yes, do say hello! I’ll be there from early September onwards.
    @European Citizen – I doubt any traditional party anywhere is going to function very differently to Labour…

So, what do you think ?