Bjerkehageveien,  Summerhouse

…. and the ice stopped singing

I will guess none of my friends have listened to the sound of ice. You will probably say it’s bullshit, but it’s definitely not. I wish you all could be here and experience it.

This happens every year on our lake during the spring when the water level under the ice varies. The sound varies from thunder and crash to a high pitch, and to something that sounds like a low moaning sound. The last sound, is when the ice breaks up, with large flakes of ice crystals drifting. A strange sizzling sound.

There is one condition though that has to be in place, a clean surface of ice. We had this, but then came some days with heavy snow. The snow effectively silences any sound. The ice stopped singing for now.

The lake after the snow fall

This winter has been hard, not only because of going in and out of several Covid related lockdowns, but also because a cold and snowy weather. Not since my childhood can I remember so cold temperatures for such a long period. More or less all of January and first half of February had temperatures down to minus 20. In addition there was a lot of snow. However, when some sort of spring came, it came fast. The 2 pictures below is taken with 10 days between. But, then it all turned around again.

Summerhouse with snow and cold temps, Feb 17
10 days later

In between staying in the summerhouse, I have helped Espen making a roof over his outdoor kitchen and wood-fired oven. End result was not bad, but had some challenges along the road.

Because of the Covid, we have more or less had no contact with the boys and their families. It felt good to be able to be outside and work together.

Framework
Framework

Last year we decided that we needed a bigger greenhouse. We had a nice area on our plot that we found suitable. When we starte to dig it out, we immediately got to know that the previous generation used the area as a garbage dump. There was no garbage collection at that time. We also got to understand that they also liked alcohol in past times. We found loads of empty bottles, gin, cognac, brandy, vodka. However no wine bottles! Believe it or not, but also found one milk bottle. When we gathered all together, it filled up 2 big wheelbarrows. Another item we found, was a dug down oven. This one has not been removed yet as it will take a lot more effort to get up.

We started the process of digging and making the floor frame late last fall and we manage to finish it during the winter when there was little snow.

The greenhouse with aluminium framework and glass panels was delivered to our home. With the help of a jack trolley, we managed to get it up on my trailer. The glasspanels only weighed in on 150 kilos, so quite a heavy load. The package of glasspanels was move over to a ski sledge and pulled on the snow down to our summerhouse, this was the only solution we had.

I am quite happy with the job of erecting the greenhouse, as it has kept me busy for several days. Nice in these Covid times.

Today I have added electricity inside the house. In our harsh climate it is a definite demand for plants, to have some external heating.

A system for automatic watering will be added next week. In this way, there will be no need to be onsite all days during the season.

The previous generation was drinking too.
Outer frame
Floor framework in place
Floor laid and base mounted
Aluminium framework in progress
Aluminium framework erected
Glazed and ready for summer

Last weekend I had a really pleasant surprise. My grand daughter Amalie sent me a mail with one drawing, the one below. May I say I totally melted with tears in my eyes. There is not much contact we have had with our grandchildren, so it means a lot.

Amalie, my little elf

At the time of writing, we head into the Easter week. Weather is still very unstable, a few hours with sun now and then, but mostly rather cold and rainy. However, the rain has removed a lot of the snow, only a few patches left here and there. Soon the real spring will be here. We are starving from lack of sun.

Come on sun, get out and say hello to us. It will help getting over the issues with the pandemic. We are still waiting for the vaccine. If we are lucky, we will have the first shot before end of april.

There is hope. I get so jealous to see all the sunny pictures from Cyprus. By late August we should be able to go down again, inshallah 🙏

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