January 2010

I woke up this morning to a rather chilly minus 20, rather cold espicially in the living room! As it’s Sunday I decided to do some baking. I make my own bread and cakes and wanted to spend the day doing just that, instead I have spent most of the day trying to unfreeze the pipes under the kitchen sink, again. I knew it was going to be cold last night but never put any heaters in the kitchen and the pipes froze. I managed to make bread and pitta’s as well as an apple crumble too which I can’t wait to devour, I love apple pies and crumbles.

I noticed recently that there is damp in the bedroom. Well when I checked yesterday I noticed that that small patch was now all along the wall and went behind the wardrobe, not good. On the outside the wood is rotten and damaged but I have had to leave it as it’s so cold at the moment plus money is a little problem, still it’s on my list of things to do URGENTLY.
I also wanted to write today but at the moment I think that will have to wait. Instead this will have to suffice.

We have noticed lately that the deer are getting closer to the house and have tried to eat the leaves of the bush in the garden. There has been snow around here since the middle of December so I guess they are pretty hungry now and are looking for food. I haven’t seen any deer this year but the prints are everywhere in the garden, along with this print:

We think this is a large cat print taken nearby

We think this is a large cat which frerquents the area, in fact in a village nearby there have been 15 sightings or tracks found in the snow, maybe it’s one of them? I have forgotten the name of the cat in question but I will look it up and post it later on.

Who ever said life was easy wants to spend time here!!

I unpacked the car in the driving snow and put the heating on in the house. God it was cold and that was the inside of the house!
I decided to sleep on the sofa that night as the bedroom was so cold it burnt your nose when you breathed so with a hot coffee and Sky News on the TV I drifted off to sleep.
I awoke next morning to a nice warm living room and started getting the house sorted out and unpacking. I plugged in the water pump and nothing apart from a high pitch noise. I unplugged it and tried again. Same noise. Shit the pipes and pump were frozen. A quick recce of the house revealed that the tap in the kitchen had also frozen open and I couldn’t close it not even with hot water. I stuck a heater in the pump room and left it to warm up. In the meantime I noticed a mouse had enjoyed a bag of flour that I had left on the kitchen table. Now I love animals but can’t have any living inside the house with me, not mice anyway. I cleaned up the table and finally found and despatched the foe and setting up traps for any more that had set up home in my house while I was away. The temperature outside was minus 6.4 during the day and with the windchill that made the overall temp of minus 20! The snow was still falling slowly but it was only about 30cms deep. Deep enough if you live in the UK or other places that “shuts down” at the first snow flake but here 30cms is nowt.

Nothing but snow, trees and quietness everywhere

Water, Water Everywhere.

When the pump room had finally defrosted it spawned a few other shocks for me, not least burst pipes. The pump room was starting to get a nice amount of water on the floor from 2 burst pipes and the loo had another. Under the sink in the bathroom was another so I turned off the water and wondered what to do next.
Luckily for me the guy across the road worked with pumps and all things mechanical so after asking him he came over and within 2 days I was no longer swimming in water! Looking back it serves me right for the leaks as the pipes are not insulated, so I intend to do that shortly. In the meantime I make sure the pump room and kitchen have enough heat 24/7 in order to stop the pipes freezing again. The only problem with that is that electricity prices here in Sweden are extortionate but there is nothing I can do.

Snowy Morning

So here it is, the 14th of January 2010 and already I have had my fair share of problems, but I survived to fight another day. I am continuing my writing in between keeping warm and repairing this lovely old house, I am even in the process of writing a number of E-books, should be fun!

Deathly Quiet

Yes I made it home, just! Originally we should have travelled back to Sweden on the 4th but my girlfriend “broke the car.” She went to check the oil and not only pulled out the dipstick but also the housing it was in as well! Luckily there is a garage around the corner so we had to take it there and they fixed it.
That meant we had to cancel the boat from Rostock to Trelleborg for the 4th of Jan and rebook it for the 5th. We managed to get there, Rostock that is in one piece. It never ceases to amaze me with the “other half.” There were 5 of us in the car and a mountain of stuff to take back, it’s a wonder the suspension didn’t give way! In fact when we were boarding the ship in Rostock something under the car violently rubbed against the ramp making us all jump and me very, very twitchy. Luckily nothing had fallen or been dragged off.

No Cabin This TIme

We usually have a cabin for the 6 hour trip whether it’s going to Germany or going back to Sweden, but they (the ferry company) wanted 50 Euros for a cabin because, they say the ship (Robin Hood) was a better class of ship! So, we decided to watch TV in the restaurant which I am glad we did as the ship was almost empty. 5 cars and about the same in trucks so we had the ship almost to ourselves.
While we were waiting to sail back to Sweden we took some pictures of the harbour. The sea was frozen in places and really amazed me as I have never seen the sea frozen before!!

Ice on the sea in Rostock

Passing Ships

Anyway we made it back to Sweden to be confronted by falling snow. For the last 3 weeks all I have seen is the white stuff and I am fed up with it right now! We struggled on and I got my car which wouldn’t start after being in the frozen Scandinavian weather for 2 weeks so we jumped it, filled her up (Betty is her name after Betty in the Flintstones!) and I slowly drove northwards back home. It was a crawl to as the snow fell heavier and heavier the further north I went. I was only driving 200 kilometres but they felt like 2000. I finally got home in the early hours to a house that was colder inside than out.