Saturday, December 24, 2016

God Jul!

I've posted previously about the tradition of Donald Duck's hold over Christmas Eve in Sweden.

The show is on in a few minutes. We're in London, so we will be watching over the Internet. I'm sure Rutger, along with a big chunk of the country, will be watching live.

Merry Christmas and God Jul everyone!

Monday, December 19, 2016


I'm writing this from the temporary Saluhall in Östermalm this festive Monday evening. It's been a busy and successful 24 hours!

Yesterday's trip went like clockwork. Despite threatened train strikes and forecasted fog, I arrived to Stockholm on time, and my bus- train- boat journey out to the stuga went without a hitch.

It was just becoming dark as I disembarked the Waxholms boat yesterday, but I had my flashlight so the walk home was uneventful (if a little creepy).

The house was darned cold when I arrived, just a bit over freezing. I fired up all of the radiators but it took a few hours until I was warm enough without my coat. By bedtime, the bedroom was nice and cozy.

This morning, I met Andreas from Varmt och Skönt who had our luftpump, along with a load of extra parts and tools. It took two trips to get it all up from the dock.

Andreas went to work immediately. He was clearly someone who had done this a few times before! I tried to help, but frankly, my biggest job was to stay out of his way. When everything was done, I was amazed at how quiet the unit was—and how much heat it put out. The best part was the wifi connectivity, which allows me to run the unit from my iPhone anywhere in the world. I'll never again arrive to a freezing house.

Now I'm back in Stockholm, enjoying a little bit of festive time before I fly home later tonight. Thanks to the great wi-fi at the food hall, I'm able to upload all of my photos to a new album. Enjoy!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Installing a Värmepump

I've posted a few times in the past about installing a heat pump in our stuga. A värmepump would allow me to heat the house much more efficiently. It would also allow a bit of cooling in a pinch, as well.

Installing one has always been on my list of "one of those days" projects. The problem for me was the installation, as it has to be done by a professional, and delivery on an island makes the project quite expensive.

Olle sent me a message about a promotion run by our electric company, Vattenfall, a few weeks ago. They were offering a subsidized price on värmepumps, along with installation, an internet remote control, a 2 year warranty, and a discount on power charges as well. A great deal.

I got in touch and things moved rapidly. The company were very professional and not fazed at all about an island installation. (Nor were they troubled in speaking to me in English.) The upshot is that we will install my new Värmepump next Monday the 19th!

I am going to take a quick trip over to assist with the installation, arriving on Aspö late Sunday afternoon. I'll bivouac in the house overnight and meet the installation crew Monday morning. They tell me it should take 4-5 hours to get the job done. We'll all take a taxi boat back in the afternoon and I'll be home in London Monday night.

The big advantage of installing it now is that our ability to visit the stuga over the next few months is greatly increased. If we want to do a long weekend, I can dial up the heat so we arrive to a nice toasty house, and start enjoying right away!

I will of course, be updating on the whole process, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Solid Wool

Sooz and I visited a market in Hackney recently and saw a fascinating chair made out wool, believe it or not.

We spoke to the designer, Justin Floyd, who told us his chair were made of local wool which had very little in and of itself. He's developed a way to mix the wool with resin and come up with a totally new material, which he's dubbed "Solid Wool".

It's similar to fibreglass but perceptibly different. The woolliness comes through, making the chair look and feel warmer.

Sooz and I liked the idea and the chair itself. Long-time readers may recall I looked into Welsh wool as insulation for our house when it was being built. We're not huge fans of our simple IKEA chairs. A couple of these would add a lot of comfort and warmth to our breakfast table.

I'm not too keen on the dark colour though; I'd much prefer white. Good news there, though: Justin is prototyping a model with lighter wool and should have one in January. I will stay in touch with his company and see how it turns out. It would be fun to have a bit of Devon in out little stuga!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

November's Weather

Attached is November's weather summary. There was a good amount of snow and rain in the beginning of the month, totalling 2.3 inches (or 5.8cm). I'm all for winter precipitation!

The temperature dropped in the middle of the month, although there were not too many days below freezing.

We did see some significant wind gusts, however! Peaks of 30mph are pretty area in our inland position. I would imagine the shoreline had it far worse.

It's great fun to look at my weather station on my phone. It keeps me connected to my little stuga when I'm not there!