Although we will unfortunately not be able to move to our new house until DECEMBER!!, the current owner has kindly agreed that I can start some of the jobs that we need completed before the winter.
The first task is to complete a 20m2 out-building where we can keep snow scooters, cycles and other outdoor equipment.
A neighbour kindly gave me three telegraph poles which i planned to use to construct a base for the out-building.
I measured and marked out the location for the new out-building (the old building you see is unsafe to use and will have to be demolished)
Once marked out I began cutting the poles to length.
and then jointed the poles at the corners to form a flat, level base
I am heading off to the mountains later this week on a fishing trip, but when I return, I must begin construction of the out-building. Fortunately there is something keeping an eye on what I am doing.
We have had clear blue skies for several days now and the temperature during the middle of the day is getting a few degrees above freezing.
We have a pair of Great Tits building a nest in one of the nest boxes in our garden.
Today in Koskuskulle village there were several small flocks of Snow Buntings flying around
and this evening there is a Tengmalm’s Owl singing here in Nattavaara.
Last Thursday (30th October) I drove to the cabin to drop off the trailer. When I got out of my car I noticed part of the door frame laying on the veranda floor.
On closer inspection I saw that my cabin had been broken in to!!
They had gone through all the draws
They found the keys to all the doors, but destroyed all the doors and locks anyway.
There were 5 other cabins that were also broken in to, including Teres’ parent cabin where they also broke 2 windows.
They took a variety of tools and cans of petrol and diesel + my neighbours grandson’s snowmobile!
We spent the weekend at the cabin, but instead of a relaxing, fun weekend; I spent the weekend cleaning and repairing doors.
On Saturday it snowed heavily, but we got out ok with the cars on Sunday.
I still can’t get out and about much at the moment, but the good news is that I will have my hernia operation next Tuesday (20/05/2014).
I have been taken some photographs, so I thought I would show some of them below.
I managed to get within 4 metres of the this Beaver, feeding along the edge of a stream
Here are some more Brambling pictures ( we have over 200 in the garden each day now).
We also have at least 6 Short-eared Owls displaying around the village at the moment (a sign that the small mammal population has increased significantly again). I haven’t yet got any really good pictures of them yet, but I’m working on it.
About 30 minutes after dark a single Badger appeared and began snuffling and digging around in front of me.
Fortunately I can use my Little Acorn camera as a standard camera when I want to sit and take pictures and the night vision facility means I can take pictures in the dark.
It was only there for a few minutes before moving on. I am waiting for a new fall of snow so that I can track it back to its set.
At another location in Nattavaara a Brown Bear had killed a Moose calf. I took some pictures of the tracks and measured them.
They were 16cms wide and so this was quite a large bear.
A took a the day off on Friday and so we travelled to the cabin on Thursday evening for a long weekend. My thinking was that I would have more time to do the work I needed to do……..unfortunately it rained all day on Saturday!!
My task over the weekend was to remove the front wall from the veranda and build a new one; which included building a 2 metre x 1 metre double glazed window.
I started by raising up the roof using a piece of 4×2 screwed across all the roof joists and two posts pushed under to lift up the roof clear of the wall
I then removed the inside and outside walls and the windows
Once the hole wall had been removed, I could start building the new one. The new wall has one large window in the front. Here is the hole where the window would be.
I had to build a series of supports onto the wall, so that the wall and window can support snow on the roof during the winter.
The section on the left in the picture above , which overhangs the food cellar will eventually be removed. In this picture you can see that I have already began building the frame of the new side wall inside of the old one. The black paper you can see is impregnated with bitumen and helps stop drafts and protect the insulation.
On the outside I screwed batons to the wall and then screwed boards onto the batons. An air space is left between the boards and then a board is screwed over the airspace. This way the wall has air circulating and prevents damp and mould.
I did manage to get the double glazed window build and fitted in place, but because it rained all day on Saturday I unfortunately did not have enough time to get the outside of the wall finished.
I have had a stressful weekend at the cabin, because I had to remove, raise and replace the veranda roof before we travelled home on Sunday evening.
My first task was to remove the corrugated tin, which I had to do carefully because it needed to go back on the roof once all work was completed.
And then remove the roof joists
I had to cut the new roof joists to the right length and fix them in the right positions with 60cms between each one. Once all the joists were in position I had to cover the roof with a water tight membrane and then fix laths on top.
Here are the new roof joists which are much ticker than the previous ones and so much stronger.
My final task was to put the corrugated tin back on the roof and screw them in place.
Sebastian helped with some of the work and was a great help. He also cooked bannock breads as a snack for us!
Emma helped me fix up a double level nest box for Lapland Swifts (which next in holes in trees) which we are trying to encourage to nest at the cabin.
I spent last weekend at the cabin removing the ceiling and walls in the cabin veranda.
We have been very lucky that he roof has not collapsed in the past, because who ever built the veranda, had one metre between each of the roof beams (there should be maximum 60cms between them). This means that I will have to remove the roof and re-build it. There was not insulation in the ceiling.
There was also no insulation in the walls which is why the veranda is too cold to use in the winter.
This door will be moved to the other side of the veranda and be replaced by a large window.
I will be working on the veranda next weekend and will write more next week.
I worked on Friday which was a bank holiday here in Sweden, so I took Monday as a bank holiday instead and had three days at the cabin. There isn’t that much to write about really because most of the time was spent inside the cabin completing work in the living room.
We have a corner now where we can wash and clean our teeth.
I have made wooden architrave frames around the windows
and cut and fixed up architrave around the ceiling and around the top of the panel. This wasn’t easy because nothing is square in the cabin and I could not just cut 90 degree angels in the corners.
My neighbours came to help me remove some tree roots from in frint of the cabin
and we felled a large Spruce tree that had become rotten in the centre.
Last weekend we were at the cabin. Teres spent Friday evening applying filler to the walls to ensure they were level, so that she could later apply wallpaper.
On Saturday morning Teres glued a special thick wallpaper to the walls which also helps to create a flat surface to apply the actual wallpaper to.
Then on Sunday morning she started applying the wallpaper to the walls.
By late afternoon Teres have completed the wallpapering.
Spent the weekend digging under both the cabin and sauna, and then using a bottle jack to raise up the cabin and sauna, to make them level. In the picture below, you can see that the cabin has dropped slightly, though the veranda is level.
Once raised up, I placed pieces of wood on the pillars to keep the cabin level.
I have also has my Little Acorn camera fixed to a tree at the cabin for three weeks, but the only picture it has taken is of this Pine Marten (Martes martes).