Thursday, November 26, 2015


Time for my seventh annual Thanksgiving address. Looking back, quite a bit has happened. We lived in London at the first posting, then moved to Texas, and now we're back in the UK. Grant's graduated high school and college, and moved to New York. Ollie, though, is still with us. Today marks seven years on his repaired back. Although he's slowed down a lot, he remains (just like Sooz and Grant) handsome and happy. That is plenty to be thankful for today.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

World Toilet Day

Today is World Toilet Day, as set by the United Nations.

I realize all my postings about toilets are half in jest, but the issue of sanitation is serious business. Over two billion people don't have access to any kind of toilet facility at all. 

WaterAid, a worldwide charity active in both the UK and Sweden, is working to raise awareness (and money) for toilet construction in the third world. As they say, "having access to water and toilets transforms people’s life chances, leading to better health, education and economic opportunities." Every dollar (or pound, or kronor) spent to improve access to sanitation and water provides 4 timereturns in economic and social benefits.

I am choosy about the charities I support, but there's no question I'll be donating on World Toilet Day, and I hope my readers, do, too.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

House prices in Stockholm

They're pretty darned high, and only going higher. The Economist has a good (although slightly technical) article about the problem and the difficulty of addressing it.

Between these issues, and the huge growth in Varmdö kommun, I'm glad we built when we did!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Dark Danish Prefab

Here's a pretty cool-looking prefab from the Danish design firm Vipp. Better known for its all-black designs for the kitchen, Vipp has branched out to an all-black home, the Shelter.

One thing I like about the Shelter is that it's all-inclusive. All of the hi-spec fixtures and fittings are provided for a fixed price of €485,000.

I'm not sure about the black-on-black esthetic, though. In a sunny climate, it would likely be damned hot, and in a Swedish winter, I think it'd be pretty gloomy.

That said, it is a very good-looking structure!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Another webcam

When I visited the house a couple of weeks ago, I left behind a second webcam to go along with my moose-cam. I set one high up on a shelf so I can have an eye on the inside of the house. Here's a recent look at its view.

There's not much to see, really. At night it's ghostly grey. Frankly, it mostly makes me pine for our little stuga.

More practically, though, I have moved my Netatmo weather station into the bathroom. Now I can have a check of the temperature of my 'warm room' over the winter. I suppose the next step will be the ability to actually change the temperature after I check it. I will look into that.