Low tide

IMAG4435Early morning swim. Thought I’d be on my own but it was like a symphony down there. All the birds are back from their winter holidays. Hönö is actually popular with bird watchers, especially after a storm, lots of strange birds blow in.
The water was the lowest I’ve seen this year, which made it more painful to get in the water. Had to walk further out on slippery pebbles to get deep enough and it takes more willpower to do it bit by bit but once in it was great. 5°C in the water now. IMAG4437 IMAG4436

Garden weather!




Mmmm sweets!

the hedge- my arch enemy

the hedge- my arch enemy

Aaah…amazing what a bit of sunshine can do! Spent all day in the garden with the chicks. Cut down the hedge, the smallest one in the garden felt less impossible than the one at the front of the house that I tried to take on a few weeks back. I cut it down with a handsaw which I counted as enough exercise for the day and skipped todays jog. Then took on expanding the veg patch in the garden. Plan is to make the strawberry patch smaller and plant more spuds(potatoes) instead. The big veg patch by the barn will give me peas, pumpkins, mangold and stuff for a couple of years until the soil is good enough to plant potatoes again. All garden magazines and gardening books seem to say that the best way to plant is doing it in a rotating three or four way turn. For example pumpkins in one section, peas and beans in one, spuds in one and then move along the following year so that the different plants will add/take various nutrients from the soil. I had great company by the hens. As I was digging they followed me munching all the yummy worms.



Pidgey is now taking after Bugget laying on the eggs. We gave her a few of Buggets internet bought eggs. They spend all day and night in the henhouse but today, probably because of the warm weather, the ran outside, flew around and made crazy screaming noises! They eat some grass, seeds, drank, had a super quick sand bath, rested two minutes in the sun and then ran back inside. Amazing what a strong motherly instinct they have. Bugget has been pushing two eggs away every morning. I worried there wouldn’t be any chickens but someone told me some hens do that with eggs that have gone wrong. I used a flashlight and toilet roll to see through the eggs and sure enough- two of the eggs looked different from the others!

Virgin journey

IMAG4402 IMAG4415 IMAG4418 IMAG4419So finally I got to go out with my darkroom box! I built the portable darkroom last week but didn’t have time to try it out until today. Now thinking logically one would have tried it out in the garden before going on a journey, well… Tried to keep my hopes down but part of me couldn’t help thinking -it’s going to be perfect on the first plate, I’ll be blown away by the result. Sadly it went to shits. All plates came out dark=overexposed. After a paus I came to senses and realised the box was leaking light like a sieve. Not all bad though. Next time I will remember to bring everything and now I know everything will fit in the box. If I can get the box light-tight next time will be success. Soon I hope.

Reclaim the land

So finally the barn is project nr one once again. I started clearing the in-between the barns in autumn but now, with the help of the neighbouring barn’s owner, I made some progress. Looks like it’s all cleared but the “ground” is about half a meter taller than on the other side. There is so much junk, old tiles, broken glass, dirt etc that has accumulated over the years. Of course being two people instead of just me made the job much easier. I also ended up swapping my dad’s old broken guitar for a couple of old scratched Rolling stones vinyl singles and another real treasure “Lelle gale” by Harald råg. My uncle played bass in that band years ago and I remember playing that single over and over again! Now the remains of the band are called Sörns(I hope I’m not stepping on anyones toes now, skipping parts of history or getting facts wrong?) and they are the stars of the island I’d say. All their songs are about island life and fishing.

Also reclaiming the garden from the hens. So far they have had their way with the flowerbeds and it looks like a small tornado has flown through. Now some plants have started growing. I put a short green fence up surrounding the flowerbeds but let them keep the berry bushes and all the hedges of course. We’ll see how that goes.

Reclaiming veg patch is going slow. I built a compost and lined it with some woven garden textile to keep out ivy and other stuff growing next to it. Some of the old logs that we found in-between the barns I put out as frames, they are probably dosed in kerosene(?) but I figure they have been rained on for at least 40 years, it should be gone? I hope? Anywho, soon time for a new floor soon and then it’s business in the barn!
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A real treasure!

IMAG4411Finally after so many years, well ever since I was a kid when my mum told me about the treasure chest they found in my grandmothers(ours now) garden, that I wrote about in an earlier post Digging for treasures, I’ve wished that one day I would find a coin in the soil. So far there has only been lots of old iron nails and animal remains. Today I started digging in the vegetable patch , well actually before I even put the spade in the ground, voila! A coin! Tried to make out what it said and at first thought the text said SKF like the famous Swedish ball bearing factory, thought maybe it was a novelty cap of some sort. After rubbing it a bit the number 1820 stood out and after some research it turned out to be a copper skilling(schilling) from 1820. Almost 200 years, so cool! Don’t know if it’s worth anything but that’s not important

21 days

imageBugget has decided she wants babies. She’s been laying in the nest without a break, screaming at anyone coming close. At first I thought to just leave her at it. The killing of the cockerels last year is still a sore wound in my heart but the more people I asked for advice the more sense it made to let her have her way. I decided to put my feelings aside and think more of Buggets feelings. So today we lifted Bugget and put 10 fertilised eggs (bought of the internet)in the nest for her to look after. If everything goes well she’ll be a mum in 21 days! Still a bit young to be a mum but hopefully responsible enough. And then sitting down in the sun on the stairs outside I realised…I’ve put myself in exactly the same situation as last year! Now I have to build a bigger henhouse. Some people never learn eh?

Aah, now I get it!

imageEvery time there’s mist or the first snow it’s impossible to stop me from going out with my camera. This week I had the opportunity to borrow a very famous Swedish brand of camera so when the mist rolled in I was even more eager to head out. Looking through the viewfinder was like a revelation! Now I know what all the fuss is about. Crystal clear. Maybe too sharp? Or maybe it’s just because I’m used to my old second hand cameras. It will be exciting to develop the rolls of film, whenever that happens, I’m not back in that darkroom until the weather goes bad.  image




It was my plan to be superhuman today. Woke up early and full of energy and by eight o’clock I had run 5km, done two loads of washing and answered all my emails. After a tiny break, first coffee on the stairs outside in the sun, I planted another bunch of flowers and veg. The plant and seed exchange day is coming up and I desperately need to make some space in the barn. To use up some of the wood that takes up a lot of space in the barn I decided to build a compost. Pretty successfully as well! Some small adjustments tomorrow and it’s ready to use. I borrowed a chainsaw and got working on the hedge. My gran always used to sigh and say she wished someone would cut the hedge real short. I love all gardening but must admit cutting the hedge is my least favourite chore. In Gothenburg all the elms have been killed by the elm-plague, but not here. When it’s fully grown in summer it’s about 2m tall and very wide, veeery hard work. So today was to be the day. After one hour of chainsawing no one would be able to see any difference, apart from half the lawn full of branches. I decided to call it a day, trim the sides a bit more tomorrow and then just wait for the plague to take them. I had pictured the whole hedge done by the end of the day so I suppose I’m not superhuman after all, but still happy with all today’s achievements and lots of hours in the sun.

Oggy also happy about the sun

Oggy also happy about the sun

Wet wet plates


everyone is prettier on a plate

IMAG4365 IMAG4368 IMAG4364Somehow I managed to hold a workshop this weekend eventhough the majority of the weather was mist, rain and even snow. I didn’t think any of the wet plates would come out well but lo and behold! The Ambrotypes we did today were made holding an umbrella to save the camera from getting wet. Funny thing with fellow photographers, most of us have one thing in common, we hate to be in the picture. While my other students usually take portrait after portrait these guys were photographing wood and bushes. In the end I sacrificed myself and convinced them that we’d take group shot. We all agreed the wet plate technique brought out the best of our features. I’ve had plates taken were you see every wrinkle and blemish and it makes you feel 20 years older but this time it was the other way around.