Buckling up for St Jude

IMAG3661Wonder what they will call the storm in Sweden? The last really bad one was in 2005, they named it Gudrun.
I’ve spent the day storm-proofing the garden and barn. Took a walk down the harbour and most of the shops have closed but so far the wind’s not very strong. Our first year on the island I was terrified every time the wind picked up. Our house is built more than a hundred years ago and there are lots of noises and creaking, you can feel the walls vibrate. Then a neighbour said to me -don’t you think if there was something loose or weakly built it would have blown away or collapsed years ago?
Now I don’t worry about the house but we do have three really tall pine trees outside, swaying in the wind… There are hardly any trees at Hönö but my granddad planted some outside, one for each child(should have been one more tree though).  IMAG3659

I just hope the chickens will be alright. A couple of days ago they came running up to the fence and chuckled away desperately, turns out the hatch had blown shut and three of them got locked out in the rain. They were soaked, poor buggers! Lucky thing my understanding “chicken-talk” is improving. Now I can hear if they are upset or if there is danger nearby. Pretty cool I think.

Night night garden

IMAG3638Aaah so nice to have some time for gardening again.
I’ve had to go “in to town”= the mainland, more or less every day now. It hasn’t left me much time to do anything else than the most important chores. Today I made up for it with a day in the garden with the chicks. They are more like hens now but still haven’t laid any eggs so until then I think I’ll call them chicks.

I raked leaves and covered the flower beds and the chickens followed and uncovered them. I planted some more roses in the vegetable patch and made sure not to dig the cockerels up…and found some crabs. One day when we where given plenty there was a couple of dead ones and my daughter made me promise not to throw them in the bin. I guess I had forgotten about that.
I cleaned the henhouse out and put all the droppings in the compost along with old apples and leaves. There’s gonna be some kick-ass soil come spring!

Pieces of a puzzle

Top right is Astor Olofsson my grandmother's brother

Top right is Astor Olofsson my grandmother’s brother

At the library today I found yet another piece of my past. They have a small exhibition on for the public about the history of Långholmen. The politicians want to evict all the people who have summerhouses (and have had in their families for at least a hundred years) on the tiny island and build a seven story tall luxuary conference center and spa there instead. Plus fill in one end of the harbour and make the other end deeper with dynamite.
I really don’t understand how they think, what’s wrong with doing the best with what’s there already? Not saying everything should stay the way it’s always been but refine the treasures you have instead of bulldozing them.

Anywho, there was the story about the herring smokery and turns out my gran’s brother was one of the owners. This was back in 1950 and they smoked up to 1,5 tonnes of herring and mackerel in a day! It was kept going up until the 70’s. A nice fish smoking business and restaurant would be better on that little island me thinks.

Treasures on a plate

a bit spooky...

a bit spooky…

Here is one of the wetplates from the other day. Some of the treasures I’ve found under the floor.The exposure is pretty bad but I made a number of glass negatives which came out great. My plan is to make Gum bichromate prints with them and have so far made one coating and it looks great!

Blog-post 100 by the way. I started out mainly to document the restoration of the barn for my own use but then it grew and spread out and now there’s a bit of everything. It is also very nice to get comments and input from other people. Amazing what an encouraging comment can do when your stuck or having a bad day! Thank you.

Photography assistant needed

IMAG3591Or on second thought, maybe five is enough? There was a little gap between the rainclouds today so I brought my camera out and shot some wet plates. The chickens are getting braver and venture further for every day so I don’t dare to leave them for too long when they are loose in the garden. If I do go to get something they all chuckle when I come back and come running over. They were very curious of the big camera and ran around the tripod legs like slalom sticks in a ski slope. Even if they weren’t much use as assistants I thoroughly enjoyed their company!

I’ll post some wet plates as soon as they are dry enough.

Winter- bring it on!

to some it may look like chaos but to me it makes sense

to some it may look like chaos but to me it makes sense

That’s it! I gritted my teeth and finished the rest of the cementing. A lot of time was spent trying to figure out how to make it straight. Then fitting washing, washing-up, recycling, shopping, mixing chemicals for tomorrow’s photography session into the day. Hey! I did finish and my cousin gave me some reassuring  words the other day that if it’s not completely levelled there are things you can do afterwards.
It gives me a huge breather though, if the weather went below zero I would have had to wait until spring, now I can take my time and not rush it which suits me very well for the moment.


IMAG3575Ooouch my back. Just realised the other day that cementing you do when there’s no frost. We had a couple of frosty nights but now the weather’s warmer again, I bet not for much longer and think this will be my last chance before spring. So I mixed a wheelbarrow full of cement and got working. Heavy work!
Didn’t think about it getting dark so early and completely forgot to feed my children. In the end I had to call it a day at three cementblocks. Only 6 to go.

Some things are better not knowing

Over the weekend I took a course in Window restoration. I knew my windows where in a bad shape. Last winter I did some emergency fixing up indoors but there is still a cold breeze coming through on days like this and it’s only gonna get worse. The course was excellent and I learnt a lot. One thing was, everything that’s loose is better gone because it will suck up water and damage the window frame. In Sweden the soft stuff you put around the window glass is called kitt but you pronounce it shit. I removed the loose kitt/shit on the bottom of the bathroom window…and realised there was not much behind the ruined wood and look up to see that there’s a gap of about 1cm between wood and glass because it’s sunk.
Now I understand why the bathroom is so freezing, we’ve more or less had a single-glass window not double. I will have to ignore the old saying “don’t restore windows during any months that has an R in them.” This sure can’t wait ’til May!