Allemansr├Ątten, or the Right of Public Access, is one of the unique joys of Sweden. It allows anyone to roam freely in the countryside, swim and travel by boat in someone else’s waters and pick mushrooms and berries in the forest.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Lingon Vodka......

As promised, here's an update on the fate of the Lingon berries we picked whilst we were at the cabin in September.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Snow glorious Snow!

Katrin kindly visited the cabin to make sure everything's OK & took this photo for us!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

A musical interlude......

A bit off topic this, but I thought I'd share a photo of myself with the Beeston Big Band. I've played trombone with this fine group of musicians since 2003 & last April was asked to take over the musical direction. We held our Christmas concert last friday at the Boat & Horses in Beeston, the evening went down a storm with the band swinging through numbers from Glenn Miller & Count Basie. A big thankyou to everyone involved, my musical friends, our hosts at the Boat & Horses (where we rehearse), Tim Holyoake (the photographer) & of course our audience who helped us raise a few pounds for a local charity!

Sunday, 14 November 2010


Here's a picture of one of the regular visitors to the hay meadow behind our cabin!

Fungi & foraging........

It seems that foraging in the forest for fungi is a fun thing to do!

Well it is if you know what you are looking at.
There is an unbelievable array & quantity of fungi (svamp in Swedish) to be found all around the forest floor at this time of year.
At the moment neither Sarah nor I are confident enough to identify & pick edible 'shrooms from the forest but we had no trouble identifying another abundant autumn wild harvest, the lingon berry. These we picked, with our "Dollar Store" berry comb, & brought home to Derbyshire for we have a noble purpose for these fruits. Lingon Vodka, we'll report further when it is finshed & we have drunk some.........!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Mum & Dad....

Well, as I mentioned earlier my parents visited us for a week at the cabin. Dad has never driven on the "wrong" side of the road so when I collected them from the airport I made Dad drive back to show them just how easy it is! We had a fantastic week visiting Skarsa, Soderhamn & the Bolleberget Nature Reserve.

We walked in the forest close to Simsjon & visited Simmesjon where we tried to sink the pontoon.

We took the canoe out on Orsjon & managed to get everyone paddling, Mum, Dad & even Sarah's mum although Rolo fell in & decided that he'd rather swim for shore.

We also did a fair amount of cooking outdoors using our fire-ring & our new cooking tripod made for me by Launditch1 in Norfolk. For those who aren't familiar with his work, Launditch1 (you'll find him via Bushcraft UK) is a master blacksmith who works from a forge in North Norfolk & makes a variety of bushcraft related items including fire steels & of course camp-fire cooking tripods. The tripod proved to be fantastic for suspending our cast iron pot & it looked great too. I had asked for a twist in the legs that finished the tripod off perfectly & was complemented by the poker Launditch1 also forged for me. So, if you're after the perfect accessory for your camp-fire whether you're a bushcrafter or just like a fire in your garden look the guy up, you won't regret it!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

I thought I'd try poached trout!

Here I am, in my float tube at Simmesjon four days after the lake closed for fishing!

"It wasn't my fault your honour, the leaflet said it closed on the 15th & I only noticed the sign nailed to the tree when I got out"

I didn't catch anything but I was able to try out my new fins, a pair of diving fins I bought for £2.00 at Awsworth Car Boot Sale. Much better than the Caddis float tube fins I had been using & therefore to be recommended to all float tubers who are fed up with paddling like mad & going nowhere!

I did find a great lunch spot on the far side of Simmesjon, somewhere to sit & a place for a fire, just the place for a fugitive angler to chill.

Wierd poo!

Well here it is, came across this just a short walk from the cabin when I was out with Rolo. It's full of Lingon berries.
Do deer eat Lingon berries?
Do moose eat Lingon berries?
Or, perhaps, is this evidence of a bear living locally?
Perhaps a poo expert could let me know their thoughts!

September 2010

I did try to think of a snappier title for this entry but heh, I'm not the most imaginative of chaps!

August bank holiday weekend we drove back to Halsingland for another few weeks of fun & tranquility. It was touch & go as to whether we would even make it out to Sweden this time though as Rolo's blood sugar levels were all over the place (yes, we do have a diabetic labrador). But with improving levels & a great vet in Bollnas, the entire trip went without a hitch. My Mum & Dad joined us for a week, it was great to have them come out & stay with us & to be able to show them everything we love about Sweden.

We did a few of the same things again, a few new things & we cooked meals with the new camp-fire tripod forged for me by Launditch1 in Norfolk.

To be continued..................

Saturday, 7 August 2010

I needed to cut the grass.....

Well, we didn't really need to cut the grass as it had been done for us by Katrin & we didn't really need an excuse to spend a weekend in Halsingland!

First stop was to visit "Jarvzoo", a fantastic zoo showcasing native Swedish wildlife & somewhere I had been promising to take Sarah since we bought the cabin. Loads to see in a really great setting, the highlight was bear cubs playing close to the boardwalk.

We grilled ourselves some rib eye steaks in the garden one evening over a birch wood fire. The fire ring came all the way from Cabelas & I'm collecting a hand-forged tripod from Launditch in Norfolk next weekend to add versatility to our "camp-fire"!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Alg Safari

If you look really carefully you'll see an Alg (Moose) hiding amongst the trees.
Four evenings during our time there we drove out around the gravel roads that lead into the forest close to our cabin to look for Alg. We saw them every night we went apart from the last, a couple of times we saw females with twin calves but never a bull. Unfortunately we only managed to get this one picture, Sarah's determined to take her DSLR next time!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Messin' about in a canoe.

Took the canoe out onto Orsjon from our local beach. This was Sarah's first time in my canoe, the "Nice Beaver" & after some trepidation started to really enjoy herself. We didn't go far as we'd left Sarah's mum & Rolo back on the beach but now I know Sarah's OK in "Nice Beaver" we can plan a few overnight camping trips for later in the year.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Gone fishin'!

Well here's my craft of choice for fishing anyway being superbly modelled by my wife, Sarah. A float tube proved to be a really effective way to get on to the water & target the perfect wild brown trout of Simmesjon.
Normally it takes three or four trips to new water before I can get a handle on it & catch anything. Well, first trip & five fin perfect brown trout all caught (& returned) on a small white & yellow fly I couldn't believe my luck, I've never had a first day on a new water ever go this well!
The pressure was on for my next trip. It was the day before my wife's birthday & she wanted smoked trout for her tea. Well wha' d' ya know, fished hard but could only manage one (plus a couple of perch). At least not a complete disaster & the trout tasted fantastic!

Saturday, 3 July 2010

June 2010

First proper trip, packed up the car with fishing tackle family (Mrs Labrador, her mum & Rolo) & headed to Harwich to catch the overnight ferry to the Hoek van Holland. Two day's driving later we arrived at our better place for a whole four weeks of peace, quiet, fishing, canoeing & generally playing in the forest! Unfortunately there were still some jobs to do but hopefully there aren't too many more. After settling in for a couple of days to get over the drive I decided it was time to go for a walk in the woods to check out a few places to fish. First lake I visited was Simsjon. I parked close to a small hunting Stuga which had it's own smallbore rifle range! I Walked into the woods past an Algjakt blind, crossing winter snowmobile trails & over the bridge where the lake flows into the Simean. Over the bridge & on through more dense woodland with plenty of Alg sign to a small peninsula where I found an unoccupied fishing Stuga. Later that afternoon I drove on to Simmesjon which is known for it's quality as a trout fishery & where later on I'd be paddling around in a float tube..................(TBC)

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Supply trips

Any excuse to get to Sweden, so we decided we needed to do a couple of short trips to take supplies out to Sweden & to organise some furniture. The first was in October 2009 & was uneventful apart from the embarassment of my credit card company deciding that my card must have been stolen just as I was paying for a load of furniture in Ikea. Several phone calls & lots of help (Swedish people are the most helpful & friendly) later we were on our way with a trailer full of beds, chairs, etc!

Anyway, back again in March 2010 with another car full of stuff plus my canoe on the roof! We arrived at the house to find two & a half feet of snow in the garden. There had been a lot more on the roof but our Swedish friends had cleared this for us so as to avoid a roof collapse before we had arrived (or even asked or knew about this particular potential problem). We had more time there in March & with less furniture to build we could go out & play in the snow. There were some great snowmobile trails in the woods close to the house & my wife was able to try out her cross country skis, I walked as I can't seem to stay upright on skis at all! On one day we visited a small traditional Baltic fishing village called Skarsa, first time I've ever seen the sea frozen, not something I ever saw whilst living in Gt. Yarmouth!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

A mid life crisis!

Well, sometime last year my wife & I had a joint rush of blood to the head & bought a small cabin in rural Sweden. We'd travelled extensively throughout Canada & the USA & knew we wanted to live somewhere where there was forests, lakes & a lot more freedom than we enjoy here in the UK. Visa's & a little matter of needing to be able to drive there meant we couldn't look across the Pond hence Sweden!
So here we are, a cabin in the woods in Halsingland, Sweden. A place to relax, to fish, to canoe, to hunt & to be out in the woods.