Springtime!

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After an outburst of true winter with snow in the morning today, the rest of the day looked like this. Sunny and blue Sky. April is definitely here, no joke.

Today’s real blog post you can read in Swedish (or English via the Google Translate Plugin) on Grythyttanstation.com.

Welcome & have a nice weekend!

#30 of #blogg100

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Renovating an old Swedish railway station

Today I blogged on Grythyttanstation.com about our ongoing project with renovating an old Swedish railway station from 1875. (The railway station’s blog has a Google-translate plugin, which works quite well with translation to English. So you are welcome to try and read the full article there.)

Last year we were lucly enough to collect some money with help of our friends, family and other people equally nice/crazy/nerdy like us. That helps us now renovating the totally broken water and heating system of the house.

Last weekend it was time to slow-start the renovation season 2016. In order to see where the different pipes are going, we mounted an inspection flap in the ceiling of the old waiting room. We discovered that there are not only one but two additional layers behind the current one, that one sees in the actual waiting room. It is always very exciting to discover more history of the house:

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#17 of #blogg100

 

Midsommar Impressions

OK, this post should admittedly have been posted about a month ago.

Midsummer in Sweden is always on the weekend after the 21st of June. And in Sweden it is a bank holiday. Like some Norwegian friends love to point out, we are the only country having a bank holiday then… But they tend to forget that unlike them and the Danes, the Swedes have no Whitsun Monday off any longer… So I think we deserve this little extra, don’t you?

Here are some pictures…

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… and a little video about the dance around the “Midsommarkrans”.

And don’t blame me should these melodies stick to your memory 😉 .

How to take down a tree the proper way

Two in fact, and very old ones. Norwegian Maples. We had to cut them down almost entirely, since they were dead due to some incompetent cut-back about six years ago. Both trees got severely shortened then before midsummer, which is the worst time period to cut any tree, but especially this species since they just bleed and then dry out beyond rescue.

During the last two years big pieces of bark fell onto the road and we got worried about people potentially getting hurt. However, this time we wanted to cut them down the proper way and seeked advice. That we found with Curtis Bellows, an Arborist in Nora, not far away from Grythyttan.

He offered to come round and take a look at the trees, and then we agreed that he would do the job. Curtis is by the way a Canadian, and isn’t it ironic that he had to take down two maples, thinking of the maple leaf being part of the Canadian flag? On the other hand, as one could read in the Wikipedia article I linked to, this type of maples is kind of invasive in Northern America, so maybe doing this job contained also a bit of satisfaction…

It took Curtis the entire day, he started at 9am and he was still helping with cutting the wood into smaller pieces at 4.30pm, when it was almost dark…

We did help by securing the roads, so that no car got one of the big chunks of wood on top. When these huge chunks fell it made the ground vibrate, one could also feel that in the house even…

The following day we continued making a nice little pile of the still huge chunks of wood. We were definitely the attraction of these two days, with people sometimes passing several times that way, with or without dog as an excuse, looking at the work and the result in awe.

Nobody was really sad to see these trees go, and we learnt that they had been discussed for quite some time in the village because of their condition and the falling bark. Everyone was like “That’ll be a lot of wood for the fireplace”.

We were also extremely glad to get this job done, and thanks to the family within two full days of “Garden Gym” as we called it, due to the physical workout it involved. It felt really like one stone fell off with every chunk that came down.

Both trees were left at still a decent height to keep them as a part of the ecosystem. We had for example two bird couples breeding on the shorter one of them. So we kept their summer homes and hope that they will return next springtime!

Here some impressions of the job done.

We would also like to recommend Curtis to anyone who needs a job like this done. He is not only highly knowledgeable with an experience of over 10 years in this business, but also real fun to work with. Over the day it seemed he almost became a family member and it was almost sad to see him rolling home to his own family after a whole day of hard work.

Thanks Curt! 🙂

A day in Bergslagen

Winter in Grythyttan and the region of Bergslagen in Sweden. We arrived on Friday night with minus 25 Celsius and left today with minus 14 Celsius. Gorgeous weather, though, and the cold is not as bad a one might think if the right equipment is available.

Here some photo impressions – a day in Bergslagen.

Summerholidays 2009

One entire month without a single blog post, tweet or dent. Other people are only announcing their summer-offline-phase but I was really living it. And I must say that I feel somehow very relaxed, no feeling that I missed out on something etc. .

So what on earth did I do during the last 4 weeks?

Moving boxes and a few furniture up from the parents base camp in Germany into the new (gorgeous!) flat

– one day spent in all different kinds of “Baumarkt” that Norrköping has to offer (I have a pretty good knowledge now about prices and ranges at i.e. Bauhaus and K-Rauta)

– another day was spent at Linköping IKEA – resulting in buying one of these small espresso brewers for the oven, knowing which BILLY-combination we want (oak with glass doors so that we do not have to dedust all our books anymore)

– some days spent in (rainy) Grythyttan – on the only sunny day we had, we did not go motorcycling but mowed the lawn (boyfriend) and picked gooseberries and blackcurrant and made jam (me).

Making jam! Funnily enough I gave away all my good empty jam glass collection to my mum and my sister, not knowing at that time that they would have come in handy at my end as well…. Murphy again. Thank goodness there is the mother-in-law’s collection that I was allowed to plunder.
My first jam ever was simple Blackcurrant one. Followed by a slightly more sophisticated Gooseberry jam with 10 year old Whiskey from the Isle of Jura in Scotland. The next jam was with Blackcurrant again, this time with Grappa that ripened in Madeira barrels (in other words: the expensive Grappa, not the one that one can also use to clean motorcycle parts). Comment of the boyfriend when coming into the kitchen after I poured the Grappa into the jam: “It smells quite strong when the berries get cooked”. I told him later that 4cl of his favourite Grappa went in there and caused the smell. Since he loves jam he didn’t seem to mind. Luckily.

The next range was Redcurrant jam with Black Seal Rum from Bermuda, and yesterday was the last shift for this year. Gooseberries again, with Cassis this time. Quite decent as well, if one can judge it by the taste of the fresh and still warm jam.

Making jam is quite job-intensive, especially cleaning the (bloody!!) berries, but also very satisfying when the results are unexpectedly good. So I will do it again. Next year.

Anyway – now it is back to work and normal life again. That means retraining the late-breakfast-stomach to normal eating times, less jam cooking (but maybe sewing curtains instead, yay) – and surely taking part in all the exciting things “cooking” at work 🙂

Motorcyclinglast but not least! As previously said, there is a certain shortcoming in that this summer, though, mainly due to work with the new flat. But – we managed to watch the 44th Classic Race on Sviesta which was great as usual. One can see motorcycles from the 30’s in action – the ones you otherwise only see in Motala’s Motormuseum, which we also visited when my sister and her husband were over for a week.

We also met Kjelle from the Guzzi club on the way from Grythyttan to Norrköping. Together with three other club members (including Il Presidente Nicke) he is now on the way down to Mandello Del Lario, the hometown of all Guzzis. Needless to stress that I envy them???!!! Right now they are in Prague – and a really great diary they have. I just don’t know why on earth they chose Bloggagratis.se over WordPress.com… But never mind.

So – what have you done during summer?

There is by the way a nice saying “A weekend would not be a weekend if it would not be spent doing something totally pointless.” I reckon that applies to a certain degree to holidays as well, doesn’t it?

So far so good!

May I just say….

Enjoy the summer. It is as always far too short!

 

Update – a picture from a beautiful afternoon in Stegeborg, a place with quite some history.

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Weekend = time for Grythyttan again!

Like a colleague said “You go there very often, don’t you?” Yes, true. Partly because my partners mom lives there and her being over seventy means that she needs some help with getting everything ready for winter, stuff fixed etc.. Apart from that it is a beautiful landscape out there. Just nature and right now in all autumn colours you can imagine. It is like being in a whole different world where different things matter – something along the lines of computer, ipod, blackberry getting swapped with saw, hammer and screwdriver.

This weekend however, there is a whole different challenge. Swedish countryside meets technology. Even if gadgets are pushed into the background as described, one needs techie stuff out there in order to have a good connection to the outer world.

So we will be – installing broadband, yes. The telecom company digged the wholes, laid the cable and established the connection into the house. Now we will have the fun of laying the cable inside the house. Last weekend we had fun with the measure tape and planning. We will need to drill a whole into the ceiling to the upper floor, luckily all made out of wood. That inclines that one better makes sure that 1. the drill comes through at the right point and 2. no other cables get damaged ;-).

Already in the morning today my beloved has the challenge of finding a long drill – 45 cm length should do… and Bauhaus will hopefully deliver what we need. Apart from that about 40 m cable will be involved. So this should keep us busy until Sunday afternoon. Lots of Fika breaks with tea and kanelbullar included of course.

Apart from that it is time for – winter tyres! So hopefully we also get an appointment with the tyre shop for the little car. Changing we could easily do ourselves, but we also want to get the wheels balanced. Here one has tyres with studs – means little metal parts that give a better grip on ice and snow, better than any average winter tyre. In Germany with warmer winters than here, studs got forbidden already a long time back. Reason: it seems to kill the road surfaces. However, Germany being much better covered by “Winterdienst” which clears the roads, might not need these little helpers. Although maybe people in the Alps would prefer to have these in addition to snow chains. However, in Sweden and most of the country being proper countryside, studs are definitely much needed.

Weekend joy, here we come 🙂

….and another significant day….

Today is a solar eclipse, new moon, my dad’s birthday, the funeral of the aunt of my beloved, my brother’s first day at work at a cabinet maker (he does an apprenticeship) and the first day for me to be out and about alone on a longer ride on my newly bought lovely Moto Guzzi v35 Imola up from Linköping up to Grythyttan. Let’s see what else is under offer today, hopefully not me taken too often the wrong turns! Oh – I forgot – water discovered on Mars is the the other big headline today! Anyway, where was I? Yes, motorcycling.

I bought Elisa almost a month ago, she turns 25 this year, by the way but has only 15000 kilometres under her belt, well, that figure already changed within last week to around 15300. She quite seems to enjoy to be out and about again and really doing a bit more excercise. During the past years she did about 500 km per year at the most… Almost a disgrace for such a pretty lady. Picture to follow in one of the next posts, some still have to be made. However, this is her Tech Spec if there is anybody interested. However, Elisa is silver-grey and not red.

So, let’s hope I make it alright and also back on Sunday night – it is supposed to rain on the weekend… not much fun… so let’s have it today!

Trevlig helg!