Sunday, 30 November 2008

A weekend away from the paint brush

So, since I've been in Sweden, I haven't published many entries. Marianne now tells me that she has put a link on the Bombadil website to m'blog, so I am endeavouring to do a little better. Especially as it's the weekend and I'm not painting her huge living room!

I've been looking around the Relaxation Suite for Useful Things To Do. I've drawn up the plans for the stud walling that needs to be put in to create the bedrooms, but this is awaiting the approval of Marianne and Niklas, who will arrive on Thursday. I was going to paint the ceilings, but having looked up for the first time I've discovered that they're all covered in insulating tiles. Quite tasteful and attractive and they certainly cannot be painted. I'm not going to paint the kitchen/hallway etc until Sara has chosen the paint (it's her home as well and I don't want to get into trouble for painting it the wrong colour). So I decided to do some work on the West Bedroom. Well, what will become the West Bedroom once a short section of partition wall is erected. The are two little rooms each with a toilet and a wash basin in this area; the plan is to position the wall so that the door to one of the WCs is within the bedroom, creating a sort of an ensuite. Not the sort of ensuite with a shower or a bath, just one with a bog and a basin. But useful none the less. The problem: The wash basin in the toilet that is to become the ensuite has no plug. The plug wasn't missing, it was never designed to have a plug in the first place. The basin in the second WC however, did have a plug. So I set about swapping the plug holes. An easy job, or so I thought. I fitted the new plug hole in the ensuite and all was well. Then I went to fit the plugless hole in the non-ensuite WC; it was too long. Being of different designs they were of differeing lengths and the position of the waste pipe meant that it wouldn't fit. Grrr! I toyed with the idea of swapping the basins over, not because this would solve the problem (it wouldn't) but because the one in the non-ensuite was more compact and took up less space. I decided against this course of action as they were both fitted with monoblock mixer taps which are a swine to fit in the first place, let alone trying to reposition them once the supply pipes have been cut to length. So I swapped that plughole with another in the bathroom (from one of the 8 washbasins), tightening up a few compression fittings which stopped a few slow leaks in the process. It seems that things in a Swedish house are the way they are for a reason. Well never mind, I won in the end.

I went for a bit of a walk today as well, around the lake until I could see Bombadil Towers from the far shore. I hasten to add I didn't walk all the way round the lake; it's very big! I took some rather wonky photos on my mobile phone, which I will post as soon as Marianne arrives with the USB cable. I must buy a proper SLR camera - this place is so photogenic. I think it's the light.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

I'm here!

I've arrived! The crossing from Harwich to Esbjerg was terrible, there were force 10 gales and 7 meter waves. I fell out of the bunk five or six times... The boat docked at 18.00; I arrived in Nora at 05.30, having driven the trusty old Merc through the night. It's very beautiful in Nora, there was snow a few days ago but it's cleared now.

Number one priority here at the moment is to paint Marianne and Niklas's living room, and lay the carpet, before the grand piano and the 3000 books arrive next week (hence the lack of blog updates). Everyone else has gone back to Trolhattan until the "big move" on December 5th, so it's just me here. The other day I went and made friends with the lovely Swedish lady in the paint shop and bought a huge quantity of paint, and made a start that evening. The living room is big. No, it really is. It's massive. I measured it so I knew how much paint to buy - it's 18 meters long and 20 meters wide, and the floor area is 350 square meters. The ceiling is also 3.3 meters high. I found a huge (and heavy) wooden step ladder and started painting the bloody ceiling, it took forever; I was going up and down the ladder the whole time. Then I had a Good Idea; I fixed three broom handles together, then attached tha paint roller to one end, and got rid of the ladder. Then I was able to walk around on the floor and paint the ceiling. I was incredibly suprised and very happy when it worked!

Sara and I have moved into what used to be the "relaxation suite", a rather brilliant name that is staying. Or the "chill hut" for informal occasions. Although it's not much of a hut. It has 8 huge rooms, 4 toilets, a bathroom with 8 wash basins, 3 shower cubicles and a sauna. There's a big drying cupboard in the hallway, a bit like an airing cupboard, but it's connected to the heating system. The heating system is amazing, there are radiators everywhere, the entire bathroom floor is heated and there is also a ventilation system to bring fresh air in. It's a crazy bonkers place, ysterday I found a cleaners' cupboard with a mop cleaning sink in it - it turns out to be perfect for cleaning paint brushes. There is a drinking fountain in the kitchen also... I was going to get rid of it, but I've decided now we might as well turn it into a water feature.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

I'm getting old

I went to a bar last night with some of the people who I used to work with. They're all teenagers. The bar had put on a sixties night - great music, but way too loud. That's how I know I'm getting old - twenty-four hours later and my hearing is still not quite right.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Quote of the day...

"I hear you're moving to Swindon." - Unidentified colleague.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Slow news day

Preparations are continuing - mainly in the shape of large piles of miscellaneous objects that are growing daily. Otherwise, I've just been practicing my levitation.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Shopping for essentials

Today I bought a map, a coat that promises to keep me warm in temperatures of minus 20 degrees, and had a cup of tea.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Welcome to m'blog.

I've created m'blog to keep anyone who is interested up to date with my move to Scandinavia.

2007 was an unusual year. First of all, my very good friend Lisa Sanford and I completed the Plymouth-Dakar Rally. It's a bit like the world famous Paris-Dakar, only you take a car that cost £100, which makes it a lot more interesting. Then another friend, Marianne Rugård Järvstråt, set up a publishing company and offered to publish my writing. So I had an excellent idea for a book and a publisher. The result is a rather fine book called "It'll Be Fine". Not content with merely publishing my ramblings, Marianne then offered me the chance to work with her at Bombadil in Sweden, which of course I jumped at.

So there is a ferry booked from Harwich on the 21st November, to Denmark, from where it is either a treacherous or an easy drive up to Nora, somewhere south of Stockholm, depending upon how much ice there happens to be. Fortunately, I have a bit of experience of silly journeys, so it shouldn't be too bad.

I'm still not entirely certain what I'm going to be doing. I understand that there is rather a lot of painting to be done, and some floors to be laid, once the "laminate versus carpet" debate has been settled. Then there is the Spring Festival to organise, with some special guests. And a bit of general publishy fun in the middle.

I'm not going to write m'blog daily - it would be nice, but it's an unrealistic expectation. Probably around once a week, or if something interesting happens. So check in from time to time and see if I'm still alive.

Please note that I shall not be using the word "blog" as a verb, either.