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The move – part 1 (Isle of Man & England)

3 May 2012

Although I’m not convinced that anyone will actually find this interesting, I’ve promised to blog about my move from the Isle of Man to Åland, Finland. As it happens, it looks like it will turn into a three-part post. So here goes – part one:

Leaving the Isle of Man

Bye bye Isle of Man!

Having woken up early, we stuffed our little MINI Cooper with cat carrier (containing a slightly annoyed Assar the cat), luggage and all the things we’ve been using for the last month or so. Luckily, my mum and her husband had helped us move all the furniture and bulky items to Finland a few weeks earlier. None the less, when we finished packing, the car looked like it was actually bulging. Hopefully it would hold together for the next four days.

Then off to Douglas and the Sea Terminal and checking-in. After we’ve boarded the ferry, we went upstairs and settled down in a row of recliners, getting ready to get some breakfast. The sea looked calm, not as choppy as we’ve feared after the stormy weather we had the other day. Little did we know..

The Irish sea was not friendly this morning, and as the ferry was a catamaran, it rolled heavily with the waves. I hardly managed to eat anything of my breakfast and Fiancée was looking sea sick as well. Only Baby girl was happy, climbing up and down the seat over and over again for 30 minutes. But as she suddenly stopped and sat down staring empty-eyed in front of her I suspected she also has succumbed to the sea sickness. And yes, she had: suddenly she threw up all over herself and her seat. Which was the point in time we realised we had forgotten to bring a change of clothes from the car. Instead, Fiancée had to run to the onboard souvenir shop and get her a t-shirt, which happened to be black with a death angel bike rider printed on it. Ah, well..

Heathrow Airport

Saying goodbye to Baby girl at Heathrow airport

After we’d safely arrived in Heysham, we set off along the M6 towards Heathrow Airport. Fiancée, Baby girl and Assar the cat were scheduled to go on the plane to Stockholm the next morning, so once we’ve arrived at Heathrow, we took in on a nearby hotel for the night.The morning after was a stressful one, however: I had to get up in time to get Assar the cat to SAS Cargo on the other side of the airport (which took much longer than expected, with rush hour traffic, multiple offices processing discrete parts of the documentation and confused staff). By the time I got back to the hotel, we realised we had to ditch the breakfast and rush to the airport check-in.

After having checked in all the luggage (amazing how much stuff is required to travel with a baby!), we settled down for a sandwich and coffee. Then it was time to say goodbye as they had to go through security. Suddenly I was all alone..

Getting to Harwich

You have to imagine a soundtrack consisting of Barenaked Ladies

My next leg on the journey was to get from Heathrow to Harwich to catch the Dana Sirena to Esbjerg in Denmark. As it wasn’t more than 112 miles, I settled down for a relaxed trip. Suddenly I remembered the mix CDs Amy so kindly sent me in time for our move. However, I know from before that our taste in music don’t always mash, so it was with some trepidation I inserted her first CD. Barenaked Ladies poured forth from the speakers: “If I had a million dollars, I’d buy you a green dress. (But not a real green dress, that’s cruel.)” I must admit I LOLed. Good start, Amy! And as the mix CD continued to play, I found myself incapable of switching it off. It was like a quirky radio station you just can’t tune away from. And it did make me happy. Thank you Amy for making my trip easier!

I arrived in Harwich in good time and had time to shop for some snacks at the local Morrisons superstore and get myself a Filet-o-fish burger at McDonalds (and free WiFi!) before my phone rang. Fiancée and Baby girl had arrived safely in Stockholm and had met up with my mum in order to pick up Assar the cat at customs. However.. A date stamp was missing somewhere in his pet passport and he would not be able to enter Sweden. Instead, he either had to be quarantined for 6 months or put down. In addition, the customs office was closing for the day in 20 minutes.

Goddammit! I now had to get the required documents from the Isle of Man, and we knew the information was spread across three different offices. So, 15 minutes and six international phone calls later, I believed I’d chased up the missing information and could only hope that they’d fax it over in time to the customs office, which was closing in.. erm.. 1 minute.

Nail-biting time ensued. Then, after about 10 minutes, the phone rang: it’d worked! Assar the cat was free and on his way with the family to his new home! Phew! I could now relax and board the ferry to Esbjerg, Denmark.

And so end part one. Part two will take us through to Denmark and further on to Sweden.


I’ve included a road map of the trip so far.

27 Comments leave one →
  1. 5 May 2012 18:12

    Holy crap! What an odyssey for everyone, especially poor Assar! And I too love getting a good mix CD (oh dear, what an anachronism… but “getting a recommended playlist” just isn’t the same) for long journeys. Looking forward to the next post, even though I read your micro-dispatches on The Twitter.


  2. 5 May 2012 18:12

    Nice to know some Canadian music helped you on your journey!


  3. 5 May 2012 18:48

    YAY ANDREAS! I loved this post so much it made my whole face ache.

    You’re in Finland! I’ve been keeping up with the Andreas chronicles and letting Dad know where you are and what you’re up to. He’s actually gotten to the point where he’s asking, “Where’s the Fin-laynd guy now? Is he in Fin-laynd yet?” (I’ve gotten him to say it the way I do. Hee!)

    I have lots to say. (I know, I always do.) First – EVERYONE cares about your trip! Your trip makes for some interesting material! If they don’t care, well, what’s wrong with them?

    Aw, baby girl! That’s the first time I’ve seen her! She’s ADORABLE!

    YAY, I’m so glad you liked the CDs! I hope the moody ones weren’t too sad for road trip music. I like moodier road trip music, but I wasn’t sure if you would, too! I had so much fun making those, I’m glad they were a hit!

    They were going to put Assar DOWN? What the hell? That’s so upsetting! Who would ever choose that option? I’m so glad it all worked out!

    I can’t wait for the next installment! This is great, it’s like traveling with you!


    • 5 May 2012 19:44

      Aw, thank you!

      Yes, I’ve safely arrived in Finland. So I’m considered to exist after all, then? But still an assassin or spy, I guess?

      Thanks – yes, I think she is, but I might be a little biassed.

      The CDs were great! And I was eating Twizzlers until I got a tummy ache..

      I know – it was horrible! We wouldn’t have been able to afford paying for 6 months quarantine, so it was a real cliff hanger.

      I’ll start working on the next part tomorrow.


      • 5 May 2012 19:51

        Definitely still a spy. But at least he believes you exist now. He kind of has you & Ken mixed up in his head as one person and keeps saying, “Is that the German one that’s a scientist? Is that the assassin with dogs in Fin-laynd?” It’s a work in progress. But he agrees that your daughter is adorable. 🙂

        Oh, yay for the Twizzlers! They’re the best road trip food!


  4. 5 May 2012 19:32

    Thank goodness the cat made it. I was worried.


  5. 6 May 2012 03:25

    Thanks for writing about this. I find it fascinating. All the paperwork along with figuring out the logistics of such a move.
    Our family moved about 120 miles away from where we had lived the last 14 years. It seems like a walk in the park compared to what your family is doing.


    • 6 May 2012 06:36

      Thank you!

      Although in my experience, any move is stressful enough, regardless of the distance.

      I’ve updated the post with a road map to illustrate the journey in more detail.


  6. 8 May 2012 17:10

    Hej there – jag hänger inte riktigt med i svängarna… Flyttar ni till Åland?


  7. 8 May 2012 18:05

    Yay! Road trip! Glad you posted this, I’m really enjoying it. Plus when Baby Girl is old enough to date, you can fondly recount the time she barfed on the ferry while she’s standing there introducing you to her date.

    Also, glad you mentioned Assar. After the fire you didn’t talk about him and I was worried but didn’t want to bring it up.


    • 8 May 2012 19:15


      Hahah, yes I have to remember the barf incident so I can embarrass he properly!

      Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to worry you! If you look carefully at the picture of the window in the house fire post, you can actually see Assar the cat’s footprints in the soot as he examines what had happened:


  8. 10 May 2012 14:01

    ANDREAS! I don’t understand how you could take a picture on a motorway while driving! Shame on you!



  1. The move – part 2 (Denmark) «
  2. The move – part three (Sweden & Finland) «
  3. Moving from Isle of Man to Finland – epilogue «
  4. Friends |

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