Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Have a verry Happy New Year!

And so another year comes to an end.To me it makes no differns at all, the only thing I care about is that spring slowley but surely is comming back to this frosen land. Outside it´s some minusderees and a gentle rain is slowley falling. No time to be out on the roads then.

Almost all ditches is frosen now, as You can se in the brown coloured water we have a lot of iron in the grounds here.

When watching tv yesterday I realised that I´m lucky being borne in this country. All over the world there are wars going on, people starving and dying from simple diseases we don´t have to worry about and there are natural disasters like tornadoes and earthquakes all over the globe.

My cats followed us on the walk as usual, this time very quiet though.

We haven´t had a war here, or been involved in one, for almost two hundred years now. I still have a job so starving is nothing I have to worry about. Even if I didn´t have a job our social security net would keep starving away from me. If I need health care, whatever it might be, I wont have to pay more than 1900swedish kronor (about 237,5 amerikan dollars) a year for hospitalcare and the same amount for medicine.

We occasionally have a storm that makes our lives problematic for some time, but nothing compared to what happens on the American continent or in Asia. If someone dies here in a storm it´s because they go outside into the wind. We actully had an earthquake here last week, but if You come from California Yuo would laugh at it. But for us it was one of the biggest we had, 4,6 on the richterscale I think it was.

There´s a light glowing in my neighbours stable. I get a Christmasy feeling looking at this picture.

We also have something we call “All mans right”. As long as one don´t walk around in anyones garden, you can walk around wherever one wants too, doesn´t mattger who owns the forest or field. One can pick berrys and flowers (unless they are endangerd) where ever one are and camp for 24hours without asking for permission from the landowner. There´s a lot more one can do, but also what one can´t do, but thats the general idea.

Finally I got a picture on a deer. It watched us for a long time before it decided that we were no threat.

We also have a lot of problems in this country, but that I´ll save for a nother day :-)

Have a very Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It´s funny some times. My neighbour drove away ten minutes before me today, but we parked next to each other at the same time by the store where I buy fire logs to my stove . The funny thing is that we came from direktley opposit directions when we arrived :-) I bought some birdseeds and big fleshbones to my dogs. So now I have bits and pieces of bone all over my kitchen floor :-) It was on my way home I made the two small videos You can see below.
The old whitebeams finally fell after years of being attacked by the polyporus.

The cat Bertil followed us on our walk today. Suddenly he stopped to follow us, so I thought that he had turned home again. But suddenly we hear a high miaus a bit away. Orvar, who is much bigger than he´s smart, runs away to meet tha cat. He loves that cat and became so happy to find him that he started to jump. Unfortunally he also jumped all over the cat :-) He weighs about 40-45kg (think that´s about 100pound), so that was a little much for the poor cat. But he wasen´t injured by that, just a bit disheveled.

This old rest of a spruce have had theese polyporuses for many years now. I pick them from time to time because i like them as ornaments i my cottage.

On our walk I came to think about all the polyporus that grows on the trees. Did You know that these aren´t nor plants neither animals? They belong to a group for them selves. Anyway, we have had three big whitebeams in the forest for many years, but the two latest storms made them fall. They had been attacked by polyporus and that made them frail. Even though they no longer stand uppright, they still blossom every spring. That says a lot about old trees.
Be good!
I tyhink that theres two different species on this one. Because the big green one has never had any brown-red edge all years I´ve seen it.

I hope I´ll get the two videos in the right order now :-) They would have been longer but once again i pushed the wrong button :-) Well anyway, it´s a nice morning today. Just one degree minus and almost no wind.


Monday, December 29, 2008

It got even colder today. Minus thirteen while I and the dogs took our morningwalk. But the sun shined and the wind weren´t there at all. I wondered for a long time why there were so much trafick today, the noice from the bigger raods were quit loud, but then I remembered that it´s Monday today :-) My first week of vacation has ended and the second has started.
The pictures today is from all dog walks I and my dogs took this day. This is around eight in the morning. The sun is not up yet and it´s minus thirteen degrees outside.

In one part of my cottage there´s only one glass windows, so I have to put in extra glass in wintertime. Sometimes there´s a little bit of water on the glass and it freezes cold days.

In Sweden if one worked at the same place for one year (or more ofcourse), one get five weeks of paid vacation. Everyone have that by law. But this Christmasvacation we have worked in kompensation time the whole year. So I still have five weeks in the summer to look forward to :-) This perhaps sounds much for You in other countries, but on the other hand we have almost no other holidays. At autumn there´s none at all and in springtime we have easter and a few other one day holidays.

I love the contrast between the dark spruces and by frost white coloured birches.

A crabappletree shadows the dogyard summertime. It gives loads of apples and unfortunally my dogs loves them. They do get a lot of gases in the stomac and guess how it smelles in my home then :-)

It´s arond 2:30 pm and the sun is going down. It will still be light outside at least untill 4:00pm.

Now it´s dark outside and I think that I´ll spend the evening reading little in some of my gardeningbooks. I´ve read them all before but some of the I can read on and on without getting bored at them.
Be good!

And so I say goood night.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

It´s going to be a cold night. Not a cloud in sight and that means cold at winter. It´s already minus eight degrees (centigrade) outside and it´s only early evening. Really lucky I got my goldfishes in to my cellar in time :-)

Isn´t it beautiful with the frost on the trees.

Last night something wondered around in my garden, probably some deers or perhaps a fox. Because when I let my dogs out for the last time yesterday they suddenly started to bark a lot and my cats ran inside the house in a hurry. It took some time to get the last dog inside the house again.

Here one can find cranes early mornings summer and spring. Today it´s only cows.

I had the idea to take some pictures by the lake where thw cranes stay every spring, but to my surprise there were alresdy a lot of persons teher taking pictures. They had big teleskope cameras, so it must have been smll birds far away they took photos of. I promise to take some pictures there the next time m going that way and also take pictures when the cranes have arrived. Outherwise I have done nothing special today, exept for the video in my earlier blogg this day.
Be good!

This is unfortunally not a rare sight in these sourrondings. Huses and other buildings are slowley falling apart.

By the creek.

A new little video today. Unfotunally I can´t se the quality before I get it into the computer, so You have to bare the poor quality :-) I´ll learn how to take a video proper soon :-)

Have a nice day!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I went out to what once was an island in the shallow lake that once were here. It´s still islands in a way, because they are a bit difficult to reach if the summer isn´t very dry or the winter very cold.

There has been almost no wind today, but the one we had was utterly cold. Perhaps the winter has decided to come at last? I really don´t care for winter, but it´s better to have one kind of whether than what we have now. Cold a couple of days and warm a couple of days.

The island is a couple of meters high at most. This is its highest point. For some reason small plants of spruce thrive here.

I haven´t done much today, exept for the video You can se befor this blogg. Low quality but it is the firts one I´ve ever done :-) Tho comming ones will b be better I hope. Fed the birds outside ofcourse and made some rice porridge (is that what one call it? ). So now it´s not much left to do but eat the porridge and watch some tv i think.
Have a nice day!
One or two trees were cut down a long time ago and now some small animal lives inside what´s left of them.

This is my first ever attempt to make a video :-) I´m not sure that You can hear my voice during the walk with my dogs. There will be an ordinary blog later today.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas is more or less over for this time. My family is scattered all over the country and why risk ones life in the crazy Christmastraffic whith stressed people and slippery roads? So I spent Christmas eve with friends instead. I must have been nice this year because the Christmas gnome gave me a present :-) We all laughed at their Christmas tree, it was really ugly this year :-) Of course we watched Donald Ducks Christmas show also.

You must agree, this is an ugly Christmastree :-)

This is some of the films that wee see every Christmas and we´re not happy when they trie to change films :-)

The mouse from Cinderella.

The friendly bull Ferdinand.

We did get a white Christmas in the end. Not white by snow but by frost. It was -8 degrees (centigrade) when I woke up early Christmas day. It was a really nice walk, because the sun shined and the wind had taken some vacation. When we came home it went to check on my goldfishes. They live in a big plastic pot in my garden (made to have small trees in, but it workes perfekt as a rainbarrel too). There was an ice layer about 5cm thick, so I decided to take them in to my cold basement for the rest of winter. If the cold will continue, all water would turn into ice and the fishes would die. Perhaps You think it´s cruel to have them outside so long inte the winter? I would lika to say it´s on the contrary. The original goldfish is a coldwater fish and lives a longer and healthier life if they can have a cold winter. In tropical aquariums they seldom get very old. It´s a different thing with the ones whith long tail and round chubby bodies. The can´t stand cold at all. So now my goldfishes lives in a temporary home in my cold cellar.

This is the pot I have my goldfishes in every year, exept cold winters.

But now their in their temporary winterhome.

We did get a white Christmas, but wite of frost, not snow.

This, I think, is the rest of an old stable.

Today I had to buy dogfood and birdseeds so I went to the grosary stoore in Gudhem. They really have taken good care of the roads I can say. No ice at all, but on the other hand we did have some mist instead. Mist and minus degrees makes the trees beautiful!
Have a nice day!

Unfortunally there are a lot of houses just standing falling appart. This I think has no chance to be rescued.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Merry Christmas to You all!

This story happend about fifteen years ago.

The pastor (priest) in my parish asked me if I wanted to be the Christmas gnome at her sons Christmasparty at school that year. Didn´t have to think long before I said that it would be fun. So she gave me a costume, a beard and a couple of fake glasses to wear when I went there. I couldn´t wear my own glasses because her son would recognise me att once then (that was before it was popular with round glasses that I wore at that time). The last thing she sad before I went away was: “They will probably try to find out who you are, so bevare they will try to tare of your costume and beard. They are probably high with sugar you now”

The pictures today showes how it looks in Skara. A town that is about 1000 years old. I´m only showing the better looking parts of course :-) This is the old kathedral.
I turned up a bit early and sneaked into the school. I had never been to that school before, but I just had to follow the noise the kids made to find the right room :-) I hid behind an open door and tried to see what was happening in the classroom. They had eaten cake and candy so yes they were really high on sugar by the time I came there. They were all over the room at the same time :-) wondering whos father it would be playing the Christmas gnome this year. It was fun to see them playing around and wondering what father I would be, so I stood there and laughed for my self. Suddenly I see a small boy looking behind the door where I stod. He looked at me for a short while and then shouted : There´s a Christmas gnom standing behind the door crying! It was time for me to start giving away presents.
This is as much Christmasdekorations we usually have in Sweden.

The old railway station. There goes no trains here any more, but the building still stands.

Everyone who knows me, knows that I can´t see a thing without my glasses, so I had some problems to read the namnes on the small presents. In fact I had problems seeing anything smaller than a chair. At the same time as I tried to read the namnes the questions hailed over me. Where are Your raindeers? How can you come to every family in the world at Christmas?, why aren´t you fat? (In those days I wasn´t fat :-) ) and so on and so on :-) When all presents were given came suddenly one child (my pastors child of course)very close and tried to grab hold of my beard. He faled but that was the startingsignal to all the other children :-)

Ten year old children can run very fast I can say :-) I stumbled over a chair and ran out into a corridor trying to find the way out. I had my real glasses in my car a couple of hundred meters away, but I had really need for them then. The kids were only a few meters behind me when I found the door to the stairs. There were no time to run down the stairs so I jumped several steps at the same time. Of course I twisted my ankle because I coulden´t se where I was landing. But I continued limping as fast as I coukd. Then I almost ran into a glass door, but saw it just in time because there was a notice attached to it :-) When I came out the kids were about thirty meters behind me, but I didn´t want to risk anything. so I kept on running and fell over a low fence that I didn´t see. I wasen´t a beautiful sight after that fall, but I really wanted them not to know who I was. Don´t think anyone of them belived in the gnome, but at least their imagination started to work when they started to wonder who I was. One should not know everything in life :-)

This and the next picture showes Skara library. Beautiful buildings aren´t they?

When I met my pastors son ten years later i asked him if they ever found out who the Christmas gnome was that year. I had been successful! He was very surprised when I told him that it was I that was that gnome :-) Now I will take a couple of days when I wont be writing here, but I will start at second day of Christmas again.
Have a Verry Merry Christmas!

The old watertower in Skara. Must be one of the most beautiful of them all, old as new.

The mud has frozen this night. TI would like to say that this is moose tracks, but I´m not sure. The size is right for a small moose, but the shape of it isn´t quite right. Could be that the mud weren´t frozen and sort of glid together befor it frooze? Outhervise it might be tracks from Red deer. I´ve never seen one myself but they say that we have them in the area.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Even though there´s a lot of cars parked, there weren´t many people out to buy Christmaspresents.

The sun is shining and it´s almost seven degres (Centigrades) outside. It was wonderful to take the morningwalk with the dogs. Bertil, my other cat, followed us but he didn´t come home with us. Hope he´s careful out there, because he´s not big and would be an easy pray to a fox. I´d better go that way later today to see if I can find him.

It´s to light outside to se the the Christmaslights unfortunally.

I went away to Falkoping to buy a Christmaspresent this morning too. They once had a big voting about which town in Sweden that was the most boring and Falkoping won :-) If Your young it probably is and even though its the biggest town in my community I dont go there to shop for most of the time. The funny thing with that town is that the center of it doesn´t lie in the center of the town, it´s placed almost at one end of its area :-) It has grown to north east since it was founded.

It´s both stonebuildings aswell as..

treebuildings in Falkoping center. It´s acully quite beautiful to be honest.

Besides to buy a Christmaspresent I bought some tea too. They have a very nice coffe and tea shop in Falkoping. Expensive yes, but with good service though. They had tea whith the tast of Mullet wine and the smell was fantastic. Now when I boiled a cup I can tell that it tastes just as fantastic! Just like Mullet wine.

I like the railwaystation in Falkoping. I don´t know the name of the style though. Didn´t get a good picture of it because I sat in the car.

On my way home I went in to the groserystore in Gudhem (“Gods home”, nice name for a village isn´t it?) and whished them a Merry Christmas. They have everything one needs and arent espesially expensive either. If they don´t have it one just can order it, no problems with them.
One can´t get better service anywhere. Now it´s time to feed the birds and then maybe take a nap :-)
Have a nice day!