Sunday, July 31, 2016

It's been a wild week!

And we're leaving today, sadly.

The weather has been so perfect, and we've been so busy outside doing fun things, that I haven't had time to keep the blog updated or manage my pictures.

Suffice it to say there'll be lots of pictures and many interesting updates in the coming weeks.

UPDATE: The photo page has been updated. Enjoy!

Friday, July 22, 2016

We're on our way again

Off to Stockholm again tonight to spend the last week of July in Aspö. Stay tuned for more reports of our escapades!

Monday, July 18, 2016

The 6 hour work week

I read recently about an experiment in Gothenburg with a 6-hour work day. It seems to be working well, for some organizations at least.

Paradoxically, productivity seems to be enhanced by the shorter working hours. “What we can see today is that employees are at the very least doing the same amount in the six-hour workday, often more than they did in the eight-hour day,” said the manager of a Toyota repair facility.

The idea is that workers who are fresher and less stressed can contribute more in their shorter working day, to the benefit of all.

Sweden has a long history of experimenting with work-life balance.  It's one of the things I love about the culture there.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

A house of shipping containers

Using shipping containers for building projects is all the rage these days. The interesting thing is that containers can be left visible, as in the house shown here, or camouflaged into a more traditional look.

The trend has now come to the archipelago as well. I found a recent article in the Skärgården newspaper about a family building such a home locally.

My English language readers can click this link for a Google translated version of the article.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Internet Update

I received an update about the archipelago's internet access plans over the past few weeks, and it's not good news, I'm afraid.

When we were visiting the farm shop on Östanvik, one of the owners, Stina, told us new installations were going to focus on the numbers of permanent residents.  Given that Aspö has only a handful, that would put us low on the list.

This was confirmed in a letter I just received from the Nämdö fibre association. Not only will priority be given to permanent residents, but any grant monies will be given in an "all or nothing" format. Previously, applicants could receive a portion of their submittal, so money was spread around. Now, it's going to be only an island or two a year being wired. This puts Aspö even further down the list.

As I said recently, this bothers me less than it used to. My wireless broadband is pretty good these days. In fact, I've just signed a yearly contract so I can keep it on year-around. This will allow me (and you) to access my weather station every day. I'll also be able to use my webcam to have a peek at the conditions, although I'm not sure I have enough bandwidth to keep it on all the time! We will see.

PS. If you're wondering about the photo, it's Tim Berner-Lee's first web server.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Back home

We flew back on Independence Day today (the real one, not the Brexit kind) after a lovely weekend. As always, it's was good to be home and Ollie was very happy to see us as well.

It was a lot easier to leave this time as we'll be back in three weeks, the last week of July. More on those plans later. But for now, back to real life.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Catching up

I've been bad at posting, my apologies. Lots has been going on— and nothing's been going on! We've had pretty good weather, with a couple of spectacular days. Sooz has been working hard on her tan, I've been watching the football, and we've painted the doors and trim a nice shiny blue. The highlights:

  • The midsummer celebrations with Peter and Jeanette's family and a fantastic smorgasbord after.
  • Olle helping us drag the boat into the water- and rowing it halfway around Aspö himself! Sooz and I both tried to row but we just made the boat spin around drunkenly.
  • A visit from Rutger and Marcia and Marcia's mom. We had a beautiful Saturday and a rainy Sunday. Rutger gave me seamanship lessons with my little boat. We spotted a mink of some sort on an nearby island.
  • Sooz and I took a few boat trips, one again to the farm shop at Östanvik where we bought a lovely piece of lamb for dinner.

I've puttered around with lots of little things. The days and weeks seem to fly by, even without any huge construction projects! We have kept the photo page updated, though.