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.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

June 2012 - kitchens, logs & Murphy!

Well folks I feel that I must apologise to my readers for not posting - I could say I've been busy but that would imply I've been working hard!!!!
June saw us in Sweden again with Murphy this time & lots of work to do following a winter storm. We were joined by my Mum & Dad for a fortnight & they helped us with our chores & of course Dad sign-wrote Daniel's vans!

Not long after we arrived we visited Nordvik agricultural college where Daniel learnt his craft as a farrier
and we also helped him driving a prom!
Our first job was to install Sarah's new kitchen - with lots of help from Tommy & Ewa who performed the opening ceremony
we also jacked up a corner of the cabin to try & level it a bit!
The big job of the summer was to clear a number of trees that had been felled by the wind in a storm the previous winter. Sarah bought me a chainsaw
& with Dad's help stacking & tending the fire for the brashings

we were able to get everything ready for the "horsepower"!

And here's Sarah moving logs with Lilleman!!!!
Ewa, Tommy & Daniel invited us to join them for Grillekorv at a local lake

& they took us all out for an evening to try & spot bears - as you can see we did see one!
 Ewa & Daniel also took us to Faboden, a summer farm that opens it's gates to the public

Mum, Dad, Sarah & me had a day at the coast. We stopped for a picnic at a shelter in the forest on the way but didn't stay long - the insects were eating us alive!

Daniel decorated the carriage for Midsummer & took us for a trip around the village although first Sarah had to wash Fia in our garden!

One of the things I did with the some of the timber that blew down in the storm was to make some log seats to go around our camp-fire. We got some foam mats (there are some places you DON'T want splinters) & invited Ewa, Tommy & Daniel to a "cowboy cook-out" to christen them!

Sarah started to get Murphy used to "Nice Beaver", I had to push & steady the canoe. I think next year he'll be OK & we'll be off for some overnight trips in the canoe!

I did get one afternoon's fishing at Simmesjon on my own - no fish but a gratuitous pic of my tricked out Sparton float tube!


Monday, 28 May 2012

BTS National Trombone festival

I know, another sad old git event, but I had a blast rubbing shoulders with some of Europe's top trombonists!

This was the trombone choir on the saturday - recognise the short, fat, bald one in the middle?

And here's the three Don Lusher finalists performing with "Bone Fracture"

Murphy's Birthday!!!!!!!

Happy birthday Murphy!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

007......another gig!

The "James Bond Experience"

Another great evening with the Beeston Big Band helping the Notts/Derbys Inner Wheel raise money for Arthritis Research. The band was swinging & Steve & Vicky's singing was amazing as ever!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Artemis Archers

I've recently joined a new field archery club in Belper that offers everything I want in a club - great woods, a warm welcome & a opportunity to shoot with my Dad (& nephew when he visits)!

Here's my Dad taking a shot!

Say hello to.........Murphy!

Life just wasn't the same after we lost Rolo in January, the house felt cold & empty & I don't think either Mrs Labrador or myself smiled until we met.........


He was recommended to us by Helen at Wagtails (check them out if you need a sniffer dog) after he failed an assessment with them and was due to be returned to the Blue Cross in Bromsgrove - where we met him. He'd been rescued from a life as a stray in Southern Ireland.

He's great & has made us all smile again!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Another great gig!

The Beeston Big Band played at the Postmill Centre in South Normanton last weekend to help Alfreton Rotary Club raise some much needed cash for Alzheimers UK.
Here's a couple of pictures......

The band was swinging & it was Vicky's debut gig singing with us too (she normally plays tenor sax with us). Absolutely  fantastic!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Dashing through the snow.........

........on a one horse open sleigh,
o'er the fields we go,
laughing all the way, ha ha ha........

Well we would have been if our faces could move at all in minus 24!!!!!!!!!!

Not so much snow this winter so our planned trip with my parents to clear snow from the roof of "Munch's Hideaway" became a trip to play in the snow.

We had a play with our kick sled

....and everyone had fun on skis!

But someone got a bit clever & fell off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The funniest bit was watching Dad try to get back on to his feet!

Big thanks to Daniel, Tommy & Ewa who always do so much to make us feel welcome in Sweden & introduce us to something new & horsey every time!

Friday, 20 January 2012


Thankyou everybody who has sent their kind & touching messages of support. They have given all of us the strength to look to a future without Rolo & perhaps start to see more than just a huge void.
There was one message sent to me (by Robbi via BCUK) & which I'd like to share with you all,

from your best friend........................

......grieve not,
nor speak of me with tears,
but laugh and talk of me
as if i were beside you....
i loved you so -
'twas heaven here with you.


Sunday, 15 January 2012

My best friend has gone forever.....

At about 3am last thursday I said my last goodbye to the best friend I have ever had as I sat on the floor with him at our local vets. He had had more than his fair share of health issues - hip displasia & diabetes, which required daily injections but he was always happy & loved a game!
Unfortunately the dark cloud of (suspected) cancer cast it's shadow. Rolo was sitting happily with me wednesday evening though as the evening wore on he disappeared & we found him looking very ill in the dining room. We took him to the vets who put him on IV anti-biotics & fluids & promised to ring with any news. At half past one on thursday morning we got the call we were dreading, they had done tests & found a large tumor in his abdomen which appeared to have burst releasing fluid into his abdomen causing severe peritonitis. I sat with him whilst Sarah went home to collect her Mum so Rolo could have all of his family around him in his last moments which were mercifully peaceful. I'll leave you with some pictures of my best mate, so you can all see him in his prime & enjoying life.

We can pretend! (a grouse butt on the North Yorkshire Moors)

Rolo never grew out of a cuddle!

 He loved Christmas.....

....& his birthday!

Finally, my favourite picture taken at Burgh St. Peter in Norfolk at the end of a morning flight (unfortunately with no ducks).