Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sun, Sun, Sun

It's been super nice the past two days- crystal clear with a warm sun and a cool breeze. Yesterday, Grant and I finished the drop ceiling with spotlights over the deck. Grant said it looked like a yacht. I have to say I'm pleased with it. (Photos are on the webgallery now).

We cleaned up all my gear and then Britt & Ronnie and Callan & Janne came over for dinner. We had a great time. Janne thought the ceiling looked good, which meant a lot to me.

Today and tomorrow will also be nice weather, we hope to go boating with Olle and Annika. I'll have a lot of photos, I'm sure!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A time-lapse movie

Here's today's action compressed into 45 seconds. Grant and I are working on a drop ceiling over the deck, you can see the boards going up one by one. Also look out for Sooz following the sun.

UPDATE: Swedish TV is showing Citizen Kane tonight. Perfect.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Just about the perfect day

Firstly, it was sunny and warm. We gathered at the midsommar meadow to decorate and raise the stång, and to set up tables for the afternoon's celebrations.

Ole invited us onto his boat for the traditional procession of boats around the island, which was a scenic and fun ride.

Then we joined friends for cake and coffee on the meadow and enjoyed the youngsters dancing around the maypole, as it were.

The evening was capped off by an invite to Britt and Ronnie's house for a barbeque with friends and family. It really was a wonderful day- and to make it better (for me at least)- it was my birthday! Perfect.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A fairly lazy day

We had hoped to go to Nämdö with Janne to pick up some groceries at Guns Livs and perhaps to have a spot of lunch. But the weather put paid to that, Janne thought it imprudent to be out in his little boat with the weather so blustery. Instead, he and I took the Waxholms boat into Stavsnäs and we did our shopping at the local ICA on a 3 hour round-trip.

On the back, Stavsnäs was as busy as I'd ever seen it, which makes sense, given that it was the afternoon before midsummer. The weather cleared in the evening and the forecast for tomorrow is good, which is important, as it is the big island celebration tomorrow. As usual, new photos are in the summer webgallery.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Is it Tuesday? I've lost track of time.

It's about 9PM here on the longest day of the year. The weather has been very typically Swedish June; an hour of sun and an hour of rain and then repeat. We managed to get the shed oiled and the roof paper on, just in time for the afternoon showers. Janne joined us for dinner last night but otherwise, we've just been hanging out and enjoying life. Lots of photos are on the Summer 2011 webgallery.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Rainy Day

It was, as forecasted, rainy today. Rutger and I managed to get the door on the shed before the rain really got heavy. Sooz and I hitched a ride with Rutger at noon and went to Gustavsberg for a 90 minute blitz of shopping. We topped up our groceries and decided on a grey stain for the shed, plus a heavy roll of roof paper.

I hope to finish the roof tomorrow and we'll stain the shed over the next few sunny days. Photos are in the Summer 2011 webgallery.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

First day: hard at work!

I had a quick night with Marcia & Rutger, and Rutger came with me to Aspö this morning. He went straight to work with Grant and I on the shed and we managed to get it mostly done before gin & tonic time.

The forecast is for rain tomorrow which seems hard to imagine given the clear evening. The 'dance floor' opened on the midsummer meadow tonight and we went over for a quick glass of champagne to celebrate its inauguration. Sooz and I cut the rug a bit ourselves. More photos and info later but for now, the jet lag is striking me hard...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Almost there

I'm in Heathrow, about to board my SAS flight. Good 'ol Rutger will pick me up and then we'll head to Aspö tomorrow morning. It's cool and drizzly here, which is not surprising, of course, but a good change from what I've been dealing with.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The shed saga

After a great deal of misunderstanding and calling back and forth, the shed finally arrived on the dock today. Thanks to Sooz and Marcia and Rutger, and Helene at the Stavsnäs harbor, it all got figured out. Phew! Tonight Sooz and Grant and Janne will haul it up our way from the dock. Now all I have to do is assemble it!

I leave this evening for London and I'm really looking forward to it; Ollie and I have been dealing with lots of 100+ days. A few nights at half that temperature seems like heaven to me.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Eaglet has landed

...that would be Grant, who successfully negotiated the London-to-Aspö trip today. He's safely home with his mother, as well as Marcia, who got to stay another night.

Everyone seemed to have had a good day, from what I could see on our video chats. The girls were sunning during the day and in sweatshirts at night. Ollie and I are sweltering in 100+ temperatures all day, however.

One snag is that the shed is held up in some transport confusion, despite all my careful arrangements. Sooz and Marcia are on the case, although I'm really worried that if delivery is delayed this week, midsummer traffic next week might really screw up my schedule! Let's hope for a good resolution tomorrow.

UPDATE Tuesday- the girls have sorted out the shipping issue and the shed should arrive tomorrow (Wednesday).

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Eagle has landed!

I just video-chatted with Sooz and Marcia out on Aspö. It was a sunny afternoon and the girls were already tanning. They decided to rent their own boat, which made sense given the volume of supplies they bought. Fortunately Marcia is in great shape, and so did most of the carrying from the dock!

The house is good shape and all is well. Sooz has promised to send photos and I'll put them up when I receive them. UPDATE: Photos are on the 'Summer 2011' web gallery now.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Entryway Rug

One of the things that's been on on my "to-do list" was to find a rug for the front door entry. That area gets a lot of traffic from dirty shoes, and none of the various IKEA rugs we tried seemed to fit or wear very well.

We looked in England for a nice rug but nothing was the right size, and cutting one to fit was way too expensive.

I hit upon the idea of a sisal rug a couple of months ago, and found a few places on the internet that would make a custom rug for a reasonable cost. I had to convert my centimeters to inches, so I've ended up with a rug 3'8" by 5'11".

Sooz chose the material and the colors, I placed the order online and it arrived the other day. It's inexpensive and small enough that I won't have any issues with customs into Sweden, and assuming I measured correctly, it should be perfect. I'll bring it along with me next week and there'll be a photo on the gallery as soon as I roll it out.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sooz is on her way!

She's probably 35,000 feet above above Chicago as I write this, enjoying her inflight beverage. She'll connect in London onto our favored SAS, and be in Stockholm mid-afternoon (local time) tomorrow.

She and Marcia will shop for groceries (along with fashionable accessories, I would imagine), and the girls will spend the weekend on Aspö together. Grant (and the shed) show up next Monday.

The weather looks pretty good for the next week: mostly sunny, temperatures in the high teens C (high 60's F). I'll pass along any reports she sends from Scandinavia!

UPDATE Wednesday morning 8AM: Rutger just called and he has picked up Sooz at Arlanda. She had a good flight- although she realized she didn't bring the stuga's key with her! Fortunately Janne has a spare. But lesson learned for next time...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Shed!

Believe it or not, I've finally bought a shed. I saw a decent deal on one of the cheap Bauhaus sheds in May, but when delivery was added in, the deal wasn't that good. Plus it has very thin walls, about 16mm, which is barely half an inch.

Last summer, I had found a shed from Polhus with walls twice as thick but also quite a bit more costly. This year, however, they've introduced a new model, the "Lelle," which is a bit smaller and cheaper.

I've arranged with Christer from Polhus to buy a Lelle and have the shed kit sent to the big Waxholms dock on Aspö the week before I arrive. Conveniently enough, Grant will already be there so he can bring the lumber up to the house. I've talked to Janne and he said he'd help Grant move the big pieces with his 4-wheeler. Typically, Janne only uses his vehicle in the off-season due to traffic on the island's paths, but he said a few weekday evening jaunts are no problem.

With a bit of luck, (and hard work by Grant), the shed kit will be on-site, ready to assemble as soon as I arrive on the 18th. It should be a fun building project for Grant and I, and Sooz will get all of my tools and parts out of her guest house.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Ollie

My furry little boy is 8 today. The photo at the left was taken on Memorial Day. Although he is not enamored of the Texas heat (or its thunderstorms), he sure likes our pool cleaner, stalking it all day.

It struck me recently that Ollie is now about my age, (depending on the conversion formula one uses). I certainly share many of Ollie's symptoms of middle-age: we both really feel it the day after a lot of physical activity; we're less of a morning person than we used to be; our doctors are prescribing us more pills; and Sooz has had to cut back on our dinners to keep us trim.

On the plus side, he is still as handsome and charming as ever, another trait he shares with his owner!