Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A bank holiday visit

It still floats!Ollie's dog sitter was able to keep him for the bank holiday weekend, so we decided to do a quick trip to the stuga. Our biggest job was to get the boat into the water. I also wanted to trim the posts for the deck railing. I'm pleased to report we were successful on both tasks! (The posts I managed to do myself, but the boat needed Olle and Annika's help).

We had a bit of trouble getting the engine started but it was all fine in the end. I was particularly happy with the way my wood posts worked out. I plan to install them on our next visit. I'll be bringing along a length of polyester hemp rope I found from Amazon. It looks just like old-fashioned rope but is resistant to rot and weathering. We will see how well it holds up.

I have a Flickr album of the weekend posted; it's also on the photo list along the right side too.

I have one special photo to show, though. Long-time readers with keen memories will remember Johan, my Cinderella provider. I needed a new back-up battery for Cindy (as we call her these days). Marcia gave me a lift to his store in Bromma on my way to the harbour.

I have to give Johan credit; he recognised me immediately, after almost a decade! We had a nice time catching up. So here's a "then and now" photo for old times' sake.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Rope railings

I've posted last year about my desire to add a railing to our deck.

Originally, I thought of something more temporary but the more I think about it, such a big deck needs something substantial.

I have some leftover 95x95 posts (equivalent to an American 4x4) which would make perfect stanchions. The internet has provided me with plenty of information on how to fasten such posts.

I've also bought a few rope samples from Amazon. I plan to do a bit of experimenting on our next visit and will advise my progress on the blog.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Portugal is the winner

For the first time ever, Portugal has claimed the Eurovision title. Salvador Sobral's fey ballad was a convincing winner, in both the the jury and popular votes. It wasn't my style, especially Salvador's overwrought performance, but I'm not that good at picking winners.

However, Sooz and I heard the song on the radio earlier in the day, and the song itself without the visuals was pretty darned good. Also, in the final performance of the night, Salvador was joined by his sister, who was the songwriter, and a good singer herself. I enjoyed their impromptu duet:

Next year, Lisbon!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The final is tonight!

We're hosting a party as usual this evening, lots of old friends and new ones, too, including one Eurovision virgin! There will be 15 people jammed into our little flat, which will be interesting.

As for the show, I'm looking forward to it. The first semi-final was terrible in my opinion. Belgium somehow made into the final with an insipid song. But what do I know? The bookies have Blanche singing "City Lights" at fourth favourites:

The act that is making me smile, though, is Moldova. It's a perfect Eurovision song in every way:

The fake saxophone, the backup singers becoming brides, the rubber-leg dance... all perfect.

An advantage for both the UK and Sweden is that they go late in the show: the UK is in lucky 18th spot, and Sweden is 24th of 26 performers. Going later is better.

All the chatter today remains around Italy and Portugal. The bookies agree with online polls that it's a race between those two. But it's Eurovison, so literally anything can happen! I can't wait.

Monday, May 8, 2017

A few more Eurovision videos

Lucie Jones was chosen to represent the UK this January in an one-hour BBC show (as opposed to the six-week extravaganza held on Swedish television. The good news is that Lucie can sing, and she has been working very hard on promoting her song. The bad news is that it's a minor key ballad. Those don't typically do very well:

I rather like the Netherlands' entry. Or I should say I admire their efforts to create a diverse girl group:

Denmark, Finland, and Germany all have blond divas belting out their songs. At least Norway tried something different:

That's enough for today. I'll be back after the semifinals.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Eurovision 2017

We're exactly a week away from the big show in Kiev. As usual, Sooz and I are hosting a viewing party. It's going to be interesting cramming a dozen people into our tiny flat, but that's part of the fun!

The hot tip is Italy, believe it or not. (The Italians last won in 1990 and have participated infrequently over the past 20 years.) Francesco Gabbani is the bookie's and critic's favourite right now:

Another hot tip is Portugal's Salvador Sobral, although it's not my style, neither the falsetto ballad, or the haircut. My gosh, what hair.

Sweden's own Robin Bengtsson is also doing well, and I have to admit this song is growing on me. Goodness knows we heard it often enough on Skärgårds radio over Easter!

And if you want a song that is both perfectly daft and yet also a possible winner, you can't do worse than Romania. Be sure to watch the whole song:

Yes, yodelling is still alive and well, at least in Eastern Europe. And that belt buckle! It's worth 12 points all by itself.

I'll share a few more as the big day approaches. I'm getting excited now.

Friday, May 5, 2017


I posted in March 2015 about Bemz, a company that makes custom covers for new and discontinued IKEA furniture in a wide range of colours and fabrics. Here, for example, is our old standby Kramfors sofa in shocking pink. (Don't worry, we're not getting pink.)

When we were at the house last, we both thought our couch was looking a bit tired. I visited the Bemz website and ordered a few fabric swatches in different colours and fabrics.

We will take a look over the summer and see what looks best. I wouldn't mind some colour, but Sooz thinks we have enough already. We will see who wins that debate! (Hint: It's going to be Sooz.)

Monday, May 1, 2017

April's weather

April was a typical Spring month in the archipelago: windy, wet (although not wet enough) and not that warm. I added the indoor temperature which shows very clearly the days we were at the house!

We'll be back at the end of May and I expect it to be a lot warmer then. At least I hope so...