Saturday, February 28, 2009

Morning walk.

I think this is mole heaps, but it can also be water vole heaps too. We have plenty of both here.

I woke up real early this morning, around six am, and saw that it was light outside :-) It took the sun an hour to get above the horizon and now it shines from a clear blue sky. The morning walk was perfect even if it was minus ten degrees (14 F) because there were no wind at all. We walked down to the creek and I think I heard some geese somewhere over the forest.

Can You see the little hole. That´s one of the entrences for the water vole straight out to the water. I´m particular fond of water voles (as long as they don´t get into my garden :-) ) I watched one several hours when I was young when I found a pond in the forest just outside Gothenburg and it didn´t care about me at all even when I came real close to it. But if it comes into a garden it´s a real pest. It can also spread a dangerous disease to us, Sorkfeber. Can´t find an english name for it but directly translated it´s Vole fever. A nasty decease that with bad luck can kill You.

This time of year is called springwinter here. It´s when there´s over freezingpoint and sun during the day, but below freezing point at night. It can last for some days up to a couple of weeks. These kind of days are perfect to have a little picnic on ones favourite places. Nothing extravagant, just a thermos with cocoa or tea/coffe and perhaps some cinnamon buns or cheese sandwiches. I have one such place by a big stone in a cow patch nearby. Many up north take the opportunity to crosscountry ski or iceskating these days.

The edges by the creek is so hard frozen that there were no problems to go down there even for me. To be honest it´s more like a huge ditch now, but there was a creek here long time ago.

Today it´s the fourth heat of the song contest. By looking at what kind of artists that will be competing tonight I´m pretty sure this time I woun´t like much of the songs. But I was surprised last week so lets hope I will be this week too. Next week it´s the heat for those who almost made it to the finals. Sometimes they can go really far in the final, because then we have heard those songs more than those who got directly to the final (perhaps I should tell You that if the songs wins their heat it´s not allowed to play them on the radio or tv or anywhere. If they are played before the final they are disqualified. We really take this serious :-) :-)

I was walking thinking of everything and nothing when I saw that my dogs were watching something. Just in front of me were several deers. I forgot to take a picture of course, but then I saw this one two hundred meters away (656 feet) and got a picture of that instead. If You click on the picture You can see the deer better.

Now I´m going to enjoy this springwinterday as much as I can!
Be good!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Almost no snow left now :-) I really hopes this means that spring is comming! But here they don´t think that spring has arrived until the Cranes has.

And so another working week has passed and February will soon be put behind us. I can´t say I´ll miss it. I think that is the worst month of the year. Now March will come and with that the hope of spring and longer days. It sure helps when the snow almost is totally gone :-) But March and April can be treacherous months here. One day it can be sunny and hot and the day after snow and several degrees below freezingpoint. Last Year the winter didn´t come until late March so one never knows.

The ground is deep frozen so all water that comes from the snow and ice has no way to go. We have gotten several new small ponds.

I actully saw the beginnig of dawn this morning! The sky started to be a bit lighter at east already at six am :-) At midsommer we will have daylight almost for eighteen hours here. Further north the sun woun´t go down at all at that time. I always get a bit sad when midsummer arrives, because then it will turn and become darker again. Midsummer is by the way a huge holiday here, but I´ll describe that when that day comes.

This is an actual pond and the surface has started to look a bit less shiny. But it´s frozen to the bottom so one could still ice skate on it.
The heat from the stowe is slowly spreading through the cottage now. In a way it´s more difficult to heat up the cottage when it´s just over freezingpoint outside. I don´t know why but it´s like there were some kind of bubble around the cottage when it´s several minusdeegres outside. The cold outside sort of helps keeping the heat inside. Now when it´s warmer the heat sort of slips out so much easier. I don´t know if that is right at all, but it feels that way anyway.

The first flowers of the year in my garden, Snowdrops.
One thing I am sure of is that when it´s warmer and more moist in the air the fan belt in my car starts to squeek. Not only when the engine is cold but all the time. If the air gets dry the sound stops. Inside the car one can only hear some small noices, but outside it sounds like the engine is breaking down :-) It´s a terrible noice and people at work have really fun when they hear my car comming closer :-) I checked the fan belt and it´s okey and can´t get any more tight. Well I can live with that, the´re worse things in life than a squeeking fan belt :-)

But others are on their way. This is the buds of my yellow Christmas rose (Helleborus)

Have a nice day now and have in mind that we are one day closer to spring!

and here are the buds of my red Christmas rose.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I can imagine that You who doesn´t understand swedish think it looks strange when You try to read it, if You ever come across a swedish text. No wonder, we do have letters in the alfabet that most of You don´t have, ÅÄÖ . I´m not even sure if Your computors can show these letters to You or if You get strange symbols instead. I got the question if we think tha same when we read english, but no that´s not the case at all.

No pictures from today, but yesterday. I forgot the camera today and of course we met some dears thet weren´t afraid of us. Could have been fantastic photos of them. It took one day to melt down most of the snow.

One could say that we are fed on english from the day we´re born. We hear it in pop/rock songs and from our televisons every day. Instead of letting someone say what Oprah says but in swedish we have subtitles, so in Sweden we actully knows how Oprah sounds like :-) The only time dubbing is used here is in childrens programs. But even a six year old can sing most of the words (perhaps not correct, but close) in english when they hear the latest hit popsong. Doesn´t mean that they understand it, but they knows the words.

We learn english already in second grade at school also. I read a story in a magazine there an english woman that often were in Sweden said that it´s so easy to come to Sweden, because everyone speaks english, she said that we are bilinguale here and I think that it´s true. The only problem is that we are quite shy and don´t want to sound stupid if we should use the wrong word and we don´t like our swedish accent :-) But I would say that ninety-nine percent speaks good enough english to answer most questions one might have.

This is a good road now. The rest of them is mostly mud now. It´s impossible for me to have a clean home now. Even after showering sand is falling out of the dogs fur.

There is one problem with this though. By being very good in english, we´re getting real bad in swedish instead. We are more and more writing our sentences in an english way and that can sometimes be very funny. For instance I think the name on my blog would end with “the Crane lake” Instead of “the Cranelake” as I written, becuse You separate words in a way we don´t. I´ll try to give an example. In a store I use to go to they had a sign that should say : “If You have any questions ask our cashiers!” In swedish this is written : “Har du några frågor, fråga våran kassapersonal!” But they wrote: ”Har du några frågor, fråga våran kassa personal!” As You can see at tha last word they had separated kassa and personal. By doing that they really wrote: “If You have any questions ask our worthless staff!” Not really the same is it :-) :-)

So nowdays we have webbsights where they only show messages that is wrong in that way and it´s so funny one laughes till one is crying :-) So if You come here You won´t get any problems with english, well that is if You can make us start talking :-) But if we start we usually don´t stop :-)
Have a nice day now!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

There´s one thing I miss.

The best thing I´ve ever done is to move to the countryside. I don´t miss the life in the city at all, but there is one thing though that I do miss now when I moved here that I never will experience again. The joy of comming here from the city

Not much out there to take pictures of today, so I show You my dogs instead :-) This is Erna, the head of the family. Twelve years old april first. She doesnt see much and hears even less, but she´s happy and sprightly :-)

I used to rent different cottages up in Dalsland, a county just beside southern Norway. When I worked late shift at Volvo I never worked on Friday evening. So I packed my bags already on Thursday morning and when I drove home from work that evening picke up my
bags and what ever animals I then had ( I have had loads of animals :-) Dogs, cats, parrots, a rat .....) and drove all the way to the cottage in the middle of the night. The Joy I felt inside when I arrived to the cottage is indescribable. I was so happy that it almost hurt inside. And if I was going to work late shift the week after the weekend, then I stayed till Monday morning and drove home as late as possible.

This is Hector. He nad his brother was born September sixth. Nothing went well that day and he, his siblings and mother were close to die that day. But a caesarean saved him and three of his siblings. Four puppies died unfortunally. Hector is scaringly intelligent and figure things out that I thought a dog couldn´t figure out :-)

But now I can´t get that feeling any more and misses it sometimes. In the beginning after mowing here I culd feel tha same going home from work when I realized that I didn´t have to drive to Gotheburg again :-) I must admit I liked to live in Gothenburg, but compared to living out here it´s nothing.

This is Orvar. A big kind giant that loves all living things exept big men. he was scared once in the gardencenter I had by a man that thought he knew how to handle dogs. he didn´t know that at all! Like his grandmother he wants to take care of all animals he can find :-)

The head news today is that our Crown Princess is going to get married next year early summer. Well of course her fiance is getting married too :-) There are strict rules for a monark to be to get married. At first her father must approve to the marridge. If he doesn´t ther´s no marriage. After getting the King on her side the governement must approve. If not, there´s no marriage. But now they all have approved so now they can get married. She is used to all attention a monark gets, but I´m not sure her finace is yet, even if we all know that they will get married for a long time now. Hope they will have along and happy marriage anyway.
Now I´m going to make a pot of tea and enjoy the evening, hope You will too!

This is a really bad picture that shows how our deers look like, but it´s the best I´ve gotten so far. They are fed by my neighbour every day four pm and don´t care if there are dogs nerby :-)

Monday, February 23, 2009

The ditches aren´t well kept everywhere, but then they give shelter for small birds and other animals instead :-)

I had planned to sleep a bit longer than usuayl today, just because I got up so early all weekend. My boss was informed so it would not be a problem at my work. Well I did sleep longer, a whole fifteen minutes and then I woke up and couldn´t fall asleep again :-) My dogs were happy anyway because they got some more time than usual this morning :-)

Just before I got out of the car they said that the sky was clearing up now. Well I wonder in what part of the country :-)
The third heat of the song contest were at Saturday and for once I liked the songs that are going to the final in some weeks. There fore they will probably come last in the final :-) I never like the songs that wins You see :-)

We have an old well in one of the cow patches. I lived here for eight years but only discovered it last summer.
My throat is beginning to feel sour so I´m probably getting a cold again. Last autumn i got a cold five times and I´m a bit tired of that now. I can´t remember ever getting colds this often before, but I´m not alone. It seemes we all get them very often nowdays. Something I never get though is what we call “the winter womiting decies”. It is what it says and it always lasts three days. But this is something I´m immun against it seemes. Every one in the county can have it, but not me. Some of us have a defect in one of our genes that makes us immune and it´s nice to have a positive defekt sometimes :-)

It still has water in it and a Birch. The water is probably full of iron like most of the water in the village.

I downloaded an upgrade from Windows just now. I thought it would be like always, that I could work with the computor while it upgraded itself. But no! Sometimes the computor locked it self and it took minutes to change from one place to another. I know that is a luxury problem, but it´s annoying anyway :-) Well I needed the upgrade because my firewall have gotten the idea not to start up with the rest of the computor or decide to shut it self down when it got tired of working. Lets hope this will fix the problem now.
Have a nice evening now!

Two foot prints frozen in time.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The only picture I got on the way to pottery class this morning. It´s Kungälvs Fästning (Kungälvs fortres) The tower You see is Fathers hat. There were another tower too before called Mothers hat, but it fell long ago.

I promised to take some nice pictures on my way to pottery class today, but it was so foggy that it was impossible to take more than one picture. I couldn´t see if I was aming the camera at the fortress because of all the other cars. What does people do on the roads att nine am on a Sunday? Why aren´t they still asleeep? There can´t be that many pottery classes going on I think :-)

This is the second thing I made. Can You see that it´s a head of a cat?

It´s nose is a bit long, I can see that now. But to never have done a cats head I think it´s pretty good actully :-)

It had snowed all night so there was about 10 cm (4 inches) of new snpw on the roads here at home, but as soon I came to the bigger roads they had already plowed them clean. During the day it got really hot and the snow melted away really fast, in Kungälv not here. But it was so warm that I had to turn of the heater in the car on my way home :-) Perhaps we can wish for and get an early spring after all?

I made a birdbath too. The glass pieces will melt in the owen and make some nice patterns I think. The bottom is uneven because then it´s easier for the birds to stand still when they are bathing.

Some of the things our teacher has made waiting for their new owners I think.

In the pottery class I finished the thing I started making yesterday. The head of a cat. It became so much bigger than I first imagined it. So I hade to let the chin of the cat rest on a towel. I´m pretty satisfied with it though. After that I made a birdbath and a “Welkome sign” to hang on my front door.

This one I showed You yesterday when she had not finished it. Now it looks like this and I think it´s great!

By the way, my photo didn´t rech the finals in the photo competition, but I´m happy with it anyway :-)
Enjoy the rest of the weekend now!

Inspired of our teacher one of my "class mates" made this dragon. I think it´s really good! Don´t think she has done anything in clay before.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The body of the periwinkle was easy to do. It´s not solid as one can think. under the body there´s some newspaper as filling.

I have had real fun today at my pottery class. But I had to go up 5:15 am. Naturly Hector had to go out 4:45 am so it was no use to get back to bed after letting him out and then in again. I went from home at seven and the roads were completely empty then. It´s real nice to drive then. I can drive in the speed I like and look on the surroundings if I want to. The road to Kungälv is really beautiful and I´ll try to take some pictures on my way there tomorrow.

The shell was more difficult to do. I pressed the clay flat and rolled it around newspaper. Then I rolled it together in the shape it has now. This is the side that was against the table at first. I think I managed to make it less flat after a while.

As You can see this side isn´t that flat. But I´m proud to have managed to make this periwinkle today. I haven´t done anything with clay for almost thirty years. I really hopes that the next thing will turn out good. That is more difficult to do I think and if I succed with it I would be even prouder :-)

I became best friend for tye day with one of our teachers dogs, a Berner sennen and I can say that my dogs sniffed me through thurully when I came home :-) I had an idea what to do today, a periwinkle. The body was quite easy, but the shell was the more difficult to do because it´s hollow. This is the first thing in almost thirty years I´ve made in clay and it was really funny!

This one and the next one is actully the same thing, but made in different ways. At first it was really difficult to understand what it was,

It took me almost three hours to do and now it must dry slowly for a long time until it must into the owen for the first time. After that it will get some colour of some kind. After that I started with something really difficult, but I wont tell You yet what it is. It may collapse during the night and then I have to start all over again. But the start of it is really promising even if I thought it would look like an alien while doing it :-) :-)

but after a while it was no problem at all. I´ll show You better pictures of them tomorrow. Can You guess what these things are? They are artichokes.

On my way to the class I listened to the weather forcast. They said that snow would come in over the coast at midnight to night. Midnight came early today, just about eight o klock am I would say :-) :-) But it´s a gentle snowfall so I don´t think i will get any problems tomorrow morning when driving to Kungälv again. I spoiled my dogs when I came home today. They have gotten some cow stomac and some pigs ears to chew on. I think they deserv that when I´m not at home for so long at a weekend. Have a nice day now and enjoy the pictures of my masterpiece of clay :-)

When this one is finished it will be great! I took this picture early this morning, You should see it now. Pictures of that will come tomorrow also.

Friday, February 20, 2009

At the picture from above (that I mention last in my text) I can see that this is a rather large island in the bog. I walked along the "beach" and wondered how it might have looked here two thousand years ago. Could see my self camping by the beach fishing to get dinner :-)

The heat from the kitchen stove is slowly spreading through the house. The cats are outside hunting mice and the dogs are all sleeping in my bed :-) We took a long walk out on the bog when I came home from work. It was absolutly quiet out there, not even a bird could be heard today. It´s strange out there. I walked beside the island I´ve been to before, walked beside the “beach” as long as possible and took a slightly different way back. But I copuldn´t find where I had walked to the island. There were no footsteps to find in the snow. Perhaps a wind had wiped them away? But I couldn´t feel any wind. Perhaps that´s why I like the bug, one never nows what happens out there.

Here and there, there are some small shallow bays. I don´t know if it looked the same back then, but if it did this would be a perfekt place to take shelter over night.

Tomorrow I´m going to my pottery class. There is only one problem with that, I have to drive 150km (93,2miles) to get there. So I have to go up at five o klock tomorrow so my dogs can get a walk before I get away. Unfortunally my brother, that lives nerby where the pottery class is, is away from home. Otherwise I had forced him to take care of my dogs the time I´m away :-)

The root system of a fallen pine.
One can´t imagine how big this is from the other side. I´m 1,8 meters (3,3 feet) and this is higher than that.

I found a pretty good picture from abowe that shows the bog and surroundings where I live, one can actully see where i live. But perhaps it´s a bad idea to show exactly where one lives on the internet. Most people means no harm, but those who does are so much more energetic to give trouble to others. It´s a shame we can´t send privat messages between us here at blogger (we can do that in my swedish blogg), because then I could give You the adress to the picture. Tomorrow I´ll show You what I´m doing at the pottery class! By until then!

If I had continued 1000 meters ( 0,621 miles) I would have come to a lake in the middle of the bog. There are no real roads to this lake, only trails.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It´s nice to see how good isolation I have under the roof. The snow stays even if I get thirty degrees ( 86F) on the upper floor (wich happens now and again when I don´t stop in time :-) ).

Today I could write a lot about the Swedish governement, but I don´t want to bore You so I wont. But it seemes as if SAAB is close to bankruptcy and soon to be history. They say that ten thousand people will be without work because of that in Trollhättan. Not only those from the car factory of course, because it´s a small factory. But all small industries that is dependent of SAAB will also have to close.

This time it´s not fog that makes the mountine dissapere.
Yesterday evening I saw a documentary about a women from Main, Ann Murray Paige, that had gotten brestcancer and her fight to beat it. If You get a chance to see it, do so. It was really interesting. One of my best friends died of that. She was the one that got me to move from Gotheburg to the countryside and she is, indirectly :-), the reason that I have three big black dogs :-) She was a wonderful woman that loved life, but lost. Dispite being sick of the treatment, always joked and laughed. Sometimes I miss her so much. So please You women out there, check Your self! It´s a nasty way to go.

If You want to read a fantastic blog You should read “GeeGee´s Graffiti”. But I´m not sure we should call this fantastic blog a blog, because it´s so much more! I think we should call it a novel. Read it, You wount be dissapointed I promise!

Well the snow is falling outside and they have promised that it will get a bit warmer again. Not a minute too sonn I say. Now I´m only longing and hoping for an early spring. I want to get out barefoot and feel the grass under my feet. I want to get out in the garden and get rid of the weed and dig in the soil. and I want to listen to the birds in the trees singing their spring songs. But until then I´m happy for the silver medal we got in biathlon today :-)
have a nice day now!

One of those people that lived in my house before bred pheasants in these cages. Then he releesed them just to hunt them again in season. Wonder why he bother releasing them at all? That is the reason we have a lot of pheasants around the village :-)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My brothers paintings.

Here are some pictures that my brother has painted. The five first is from his last exhibition and the four there after is at least 24 years old and hangs on my walls here in my cottage. Unfortunally I don´t have the names of the paintings.

Here are the older paintings and the colours is a bit distorted because of not having the best of light with or without flashlight.

Have a nice day now!