Rounding up 2008

The year seems to be ending on an upswing, or maybe that’s the effect of several very enjoyable parties at work and at home. As well as singing and drinking too much tequila at the ICES party, there was a wonderful dinner for over 100 colleagues in the main banquetting hall at Charlottenlund Castle and now we are preparing to fly over to London, Swansea and Edinburgh to celebrate Christmas and New Year with the distributed branches of the family.

Next year will probably be dominated by climate related meetings leading up to the big conference in Copenhagen in December. The expectation that the US will not only contribute its powerful scientific input (which it always has), but also its political drive makes the prospect a little less daunting.

We plan some travel in 2009 – to India in February, to the US and Canada in June and to Bornholm in July – and hope to meet up with a number of old friends along the way.

Patricia’s Christmas news 2008

Amongst all the things I’ve done this year, being a granny is the best. We skype regularly; Sam tells us what he has been doing, Rosie giggles at us in between mouthfuls of dinner and Emma just lies and looks alert. Visiting is better and I intend to do it more regularly next year.

I continue to navigate through the chaos at the Danish Red Cross Asylum Department. My main interest is still New Times. Other work has included teaching English and teaching on yet another project aimed at immigrant women who are poorly integrated into Danish society. I think it will probably be the last of such courses for me, but it was also the most memorable, not least because I had a splendid new colleague, Birthe, who embraced with enthusiasm the ideas of portfolios (see last year’s Xmas blog) and experiential learning. Thus one of the products of the course was a little book, an “inspiration catalogue”, of the teaching and learning techniques we had developed, published by the Red Cross. I am proud to say that it is now available for download on the Ministry of Integration’s website.

We are working on changing our lifestyles; we have a “no hamstering” policy i.e. only buying food we actually need and not having a store, turning off the lights and turning down the heating and wearing thermal undies. I do feel the cold, but I’m pretty healthy, can still run 5 km in just over 30 minutes, my aquarium is at its best and Oscar the cat gets more affectionate. Life is good.

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