Palt skedar (dumpling spoon)

Teres’ mum asked me to carve her a new “palt skedar” (translated to English it means dumpling spoon).  I looked through my pile of split firewood logs and found a nice piece of Birch.  I haven’t carved any spoons for some time so this one took about 6 hours to make.

The traditional palt skedar has holes in it to drain water from the dumpling as you can see on the left of the picture below

but because Teres’ mums name is Anki I put an “A” into the bottom of the spoon.

Here is a final picture of the shape of the spoon from the side, showing the hook to hang it up with.


A couple of updates

The Siberian Nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes ssp macrorhynchos) is still alive and visiting our bird table most days

I have seen it eating Sun Flower seeds, fat and bread.

I decided to add a bedroom to the snow shelter I built with Emma.  Firstly I removed all the fresh snow from the back of the shelter and then piled new snow on the back and allowed it to freeze.  Once frozen, I cut a hole in the back of the shelter from the inside

And hollowed out the new snow to make a second room large enough to sleep in.

The bed is raised so that cold air sinks below the level of the bed and the small distance between the bed and shelter roof help to trap warm air.

Work on cabin in garden-2

I purchased two sheets of tin 2 x 1m, a roll of 5cm thick fire insulation and 3m of flue.  Most of the flue inside the cabin would not be insulated as the hot flue will provide additional heat.  I wrapped the insulation around about two thirds of the flue and stitched the edges of the insulation together with thin wire.  I then wrapped a piece of tin around the insulation and cut the ends of the tin and bent them over to hold it in place (as you can see in the picture below).

The minimum requirement of insulation is 5cms where the flue goes through the timber roof but I decided to double this by adding another layer of insulation at the point where the flue would go through the roof.  Around this insulation I put another piece of tin

I cut a hole through the cabin roof

and inserted the flue through the hole

On the roof I bent over the edges of the outer piece of tin and screw the edges to the roof to hold the flue in place, as you can see below

I shaped a piece of tin to go over the flue and cover the area of roof I had cut out, applied a bitumen sealant and screwed the to the roof the prevent rain getting in.  I also made a tin cap to go over the flue to prevent rain getting in.  While I was doing this work, the temperature was -30 degrees and fingers kept freezing to the metal.  On one occasion I made the mistake of holding a screw between my lips while I worked and of course my lips froze to it and I had to wait for the screw to warm before I could remove it!!

I screwed another sheet of tin to the timber wall behind the uninsulated flue, to prevent the wall getting too hot and the work was then complete.

Work on cabin in garden-1

I was concerned that the cabin we had purchased and moved to our garden

would not b sufficiently insulated for guests to stay in during the winter.  Upon removing a section of the chip-board that lined the cabin, I found that there was only 4cms of insulation and of more concern was the fact that who ever had built the cabin, had lined the whole thing with plastic!  This had been preventing air circulating in the walls and so there was much mold, moisture and some rotten timbers.  I removed all the chip-board, plastic lining and the insulation, and put a heater in the cabin to help dry it out for a few days.

In order to increase the depth of insulation I also had to increase the depth of the timber framework.  Unfortunately the guy I buy all my sawn timber from here in the village still works in feet and inches and so all the timber I purchased I had to cut again into metric dimensions.  This took quite a lot of time.

After increasing the thickness of the walls I this lined the cabin with a thick, bitumen impregnated paper which we call “forhyvningspapper”.

This reduces moisture, but allows airflow.  Once the paper was up, I put 10cms of insulation on top.  The person we bought the house from had left quite a lot of new wood panels so I decided to use these to line the cabin.

After completing the walls, I did the same thing with the roof, but put in 20cms of insulation.

While out in the forest one day I found a little wood burning stove on the site where an old cabin had been demolished.  The stove would be just right for the cabin so I decided to install it.  So before completing the ceiling I cut a hole through the roof where the stove flue would go.

Not having much money now meant that I could not afford to buy the expensive insulated flue I required, so instead I decided to make my own.  But more about that next time.



A lack of power

I am almost finished now working on the cabin we have in our garden

and I will be writing about the work I have done next time.  One of the final jobs was to fix in electric cables and fittings and connect the power cable from the house to the cabin.  This we did on Saturday with the help of my friend Tommy.

It took from 11am – 10pm to complete all the work.  Ironically at around midnight all the power went off in the village and when I awoke at 3am the house was already getting cold.  Power was restored briefly when I got up but at 8am the power went off again and did not return.

Unfortunately (like many homes here) when electricity was cheap to buy in the ’50’s previous owners removed wood burning stoves and chimneys, leaving us with no other source of heating.  The temperature outside was -15 and by 11am the temperature in the house had dropped to 15 degrees,  so I decided we would move out to the cabin.  I have installed a small wood burning stove in the cabin, so I made fire to warm the cabin prior to us moving.  To limit the number of times we opened the house door (letting in cold air) we gathered everything we needed into bags and then moved everything to the cabin.

I cooked soup on the stove

and by removing the top I could toast bread

The cabin was warm and comfortable

The children arrived at 6pm and with four of us in the cabin it became VERY warm!  We decided that Teres and the children would sleep on the bunk-beds and I would lay on the floor near the fire, putting in fuel to keep it burning all night.

Teres and the children constantly complained about how warm it was in the cabin and at one point I suggested they either sleep in the house where the temperature was now 8 degrees, outside where it was still -15 or even in the snow shelter!!  They wanted me to let the fire go out but I knew the cabin would chill very quickly if I did that, so we compromised with the small window open.

The power was restored in the middle of the night (a number of trees along the cable line had been blown down in the strong winds) and when we got up the house was nice and warm again so we were able to move back.

Scandinavian Airlines; oh dear, oh dear continued

Well the saga of my missing bag still rolls on…

My bag remained at my parents house in England until Saturday 8th Jan when my mum received a call from SAS saying that a delivery company would be collecting my bag either the same day or on Sunday.  They waited in all weekend but no one came, but late on Sunday evening a delivery telephoned and said he would pick up the bag first thing on Monday morning.  My parents called me at 6pm on Monday evening and still the bag had not been collected!!!  However at 8pm the driver arrived having been delayed in traffic and my bag was on its way back to Lapland (I naively thought).

I have emailed SAS twice about my experience and ticked the box requesting them to reply to me but have heard nothing.  Today (Friday 14th) I telephoned their lost baggage service to find out where my bag was.  After 15 minutes in a que someone eventually answered.  I explained the situation and he searched on the computer for the location of my baggage.  I listened to him tapping away on the computer for what seemed like 5 minutes until he eventually admitted “we don’t actually know where your bag is now”.

Oh dear I said…or words to that affect.

I will write to Heathrow for an update he said.

Can’t you ring them I asked?

No, we have to do it in writing.  I’m sure your bag will arrive with you soon, but it can take up to six weeks!!

I told him what I thought of the whole experience and that I had had no contact from SAS.  He gave me a number to SAS customer services ( I was surprised customer services even existed) and said you MUST call and talk with them and then he added “some people are having to wait three hours to get through to someone…”

So I called and was somewhat dismayed to hear a recording stating that “due to the recent volcanic eruption you may experience delays with our service….that’ll be the one in Iceland last April then!!!  I found myself number 16 in the que, but said a recording if you do not wish to wait, you can enter your telephone number and we will call you back.  I entered my number about 12 times both with and without the international code and each time a recording said “I’m sorry we do not recognise that number, please wait in the que”.  After a further 20 minutes someone finally answered.

She confirmed that they did not know the location of my bag and when I told her how disgusted I was she replied “there’s really nothing I can do.  What do you expect me to do, go to Heathrow and personally pick up you bag?”  YES I replied!

When I asked why no one had replied to my emails she looked on her system and said oh yes one was sent on 4th Jan and one on 6th Jan.  She informed me that they currently have a 6 WEEK delay in answering emails and so I should not expect a reply for some time yet.

Under the Montreal Convention airlines have 21 days to return your baggage or it must be treated as lost.  I informed her of this and rather dismissively she said “it will take as long as it takes to retrieve your baggage…..maybe up to 6 weeks.”  “British Airways are no better she added!!”

Keep your eyes open for the next installment and if you are travelling with Scandinavian Airlines  don’t have anything you will need during your holiday in your checked-in baggage!!