Saturday 16th May – Stockholm here we come.
Today we’re up early so Ion can drop us at the train station. We’re off to Stockholm for the weekend. We arrive at 12.30 and walk what Daz said would be 1 km to our Connect hotel (very cheap, but the breakfast was really amazing and everything is fresh, new and clean… we had no window in our room, so it was great sleeping in the pitch black and waking late… so refreshing after the brightness of the farm and the cocks crowing!!) but turned out to be nearly 2 km after we came out the wrong entrance to the train station and had to circumnavigate it! Once our bags are dumped we’re back out, using Stockholm’s equivalent to London’s Boris bikes to get around.
There are some geocaches at some major attractions so that’s where we head. We visit the Town Hall, the Palace, then into the Old Town- Gamla Stan which is really beautiful with narrow cobbled streets and then into Södermalm and finally onto Skeppsholmen(Daz notifes a fun Fair/ amuzement Park over the waters and gets V excited, more later!). The weather is fine and we enjoy finding the geocaches and seeing the sights by bike. It’s great fun and quicker than walking.
Sunday the weather deteriorates. At first it’s light showers but soon this turns to torrential rain. We spend over an hour looking for a cache at the Central train station. Many of the tracks are undercover so our GPS doesn’t work. We use various methods and attack points including Daz’s pacing method before finally locating it.
At this point we’re soaked and at a loss as to how to proceed. However after a couple of beers and an improvement in the weather we head to Gröna Lunds Tivoli – a fun Park with lots of rides that Daz spotted yesterday. The poor weather has kept most people away so there’s barely any queuing and once I overcome my fear we do all the scary rides repeatedly!! The best or ‘worst’ ride is ‘Insane’. Daz just giggles nervously throughout whilst I’m giving vent to full on screaming. We’re the only adults on the scene apart from the occasional parent and the average age is probably about 13. I’m left wondering whether we should be seeking some culture and drawn by some museum or other but fxxk it – it’s really good fun!!!!
We’ve also stopped to find another cache that has 945 favourites – it’s a false piece on the bottom of a art sculpture – ingenious!
Monday we take Daz to a barber’s to correct the damage I did to his hair a couple of weeks ago. The number 3 Daz asks for is definitely shorter than the no. 3 in England or does the barber need to go this short to eradicate the mess I made!
After the hair cut we wander into the city centre and become seduced by retail therapy and buy a few things. To be fair we have been wearing the same ‘shit’ for the last 5 months so it’s nice to buy something fresh and colourful. Then it’s into the food market which was shut yesterday. And it’s packed. Hotorgetshallen has loads of fabulous food stalls and the biggest queue is for Japanese fast food so that’s where we decide to eat. Daz has spent over 2 and a half years trying to get me to eat Sushi to no avail so today he gets some spicy tuna Sushi dish but it’s not a patch on my pulled pork sesame tacos. But of course he eats nearly half of mine whilst I just have a taster of his before realising mine is the better dish.
After lunch we head back into the Old Town before catching the train home.
Tuesday, Wednesday 19th & 20th May
Work continues with the chicken coup and electric fences (these fences will eventually take until Friday to fix as first you have to check the integrity of the fence without electric running through it, then go back to the farm and plug it in to go check the current and find all the breaks!!! Tedious!) Peanut and Little Nut get a temporary enclosure on the garden lawn made so they can enjoy the long grass and Daz is hoping for a dry spell so he can continue mowing the large lawns. Ion flies home early Tuesday and will be away for 10 days. Máté, he’s the new volunteer who arrived on Friday from Hungary, spends his time trying to start the chainsaw, maintaining it and cutting wood.
Thursday and Friday 21st & 22nd May.
Finally the chicken coup is completed and now all we have to do is let the chickens know they are moving and demolish their old house. And so starts the great Swedish chicken round up… Squawking, flapping, and running about, and that’s just Daz in his excitement! It takes us a while to catch all the chickens and put them in their new home.
Then we have a teaparty as a house warming. Christina brings a little table and cloth and puts it inside the chicken coop with some special food treats for the chickens to enjoy … A little Swedish joke! The idea is to keep the chickens in later tomorrow and feed them so that they get used to the new home, but it doesn’t really help as late on Friday we spend another hour with brushes herding the chickens from where their old house was which is now demolished and totally cleaned out across the yard to their new home.
We miss a couple of roosters and can’t get them over at all so we decide to leave them.
During Friday whilst Daz is filling the water troughs with the hose he gets distracted and wanders off. 2 hours later Christina comes over whilst we are getting the horses ready for some clients and askes who left the water running! Unfortunately it’s more serious than we think as the well has run dry and we now have no water in the house! Christina says it will take about a day and a half to refill and get water again! OMG no flushing toilet so Daz tells Manon she must wee in the woods. Later she tells me she’s desperate for a wee and I ask why she doesn’t just go in the house but she says she’s not allowed and must wee in the woods. Bless her she believes the lies we tell her which become more numerous when we realise how gullible she is.
We have 2 lots of clients today, both for a 2 hour ride. One of the young girls has never ridden before so Christina asks Hels to walk with her horse for the ride to ensure she has no problems… For 2 hours!! Whilst out on the ride everyone is speaking Swedish and the next minute the front riders start trotting, leaving Hels and her rider behind. A little shouting later and they realise Hels didnt understand their chatter that they were going to trot… As it was in Swedish!! Anyhoo the message is passed and now Hels has to run beside her horse and young rider as they trot along the road!! Finally the fences are done.
It’s been a long and tedious job – my least favourite chore on the farm because it means switching off the electric in the barn, walking out to the furthest fields, making a ‘fix’ or replacing poor wire returning to barn to switch electricity back on then back out to test the new wires. And so on each test showed poor current in the wires.
Later back at the farm the lack of water is taking its toll as people need to use the toilets so we decide to go get some water from the local riding arena and whilst we are out also get some pizza as it is our last Friday on the farm… Needless to say there is a queue for the toliets at the pizza restaurant!
Saturday 23rd May – more converts to geocaching – or are they?
After doing the basic chores we borrow the car and go geocaching in Falkoping. It’s the series we did our first weekend here in March when there was still ice on the ground. Today it’s a lovely spring day and it’s a beautiful walk but whilst Máté seems to enjoy the challenge, Manon seems totally non-plussed even though most of these caches are pretty ingenious.
After the walk we show them the town centre which is completely dead on a Saturday afternoon. This seems strange to all of us – why do the shops close at 2pm on a Saturday and where is eveyone – because they’re not in town. After the tour it’s O’Learys for a pint. We finish the day with a fab movie Kingsman. Thanks to Daz’s brother’s ingenuity we now have access to all his movies. Fxxking Ace!!! Thank you.
Sunday 24th May
We don’t do much today. 2 clients are coming for the 4 hour ride so Manon and Christina are out for hours and we watch some movies.