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lördag, november 10, 2007
It is no surprise to learn that a road is always less predictable in winter than in warmer weather. Irrespective of whether it's snowy, icy or just wet, the surface always gives relatively less grip than in summer. According to several reports I've recently read, an icy road is:
When you live so far north, this becomes an issue starting around about this time of year and the big question arises - will we put on the winter tyres now or later? Yes, you read correctly, in winter, we are obliged by law to have special tyres on our car to cope with the ice and snow. We also need an ice scraper, de-icing spray and a special spray to allow the key to fit into a frozen lock, but that's a whole other blog entry! While we can fit the tyres anytime after October 31st, it only becomes compulsory after December 1st, so we usually consider the weather before going to the mess and trouble of changing over to our studded tyres.
What worried me slightly was that we were going to Stockholm for a few days and there was snowy weather forecast for Friday - just when we were going to criss cross the city on various errands and then drive the 330kms homewards. The morning before we were leaving, I looked at the paper to see that there had been THREE rollovers on our own local roads just that day. It began early in the morning when a semi had just been loaded with new dishwashers from the Electrolux factory. Story and picture by Åke Karlsson from Corren (Swedish only).
Nobody was injured in the accident, but my guess is that if you have just asked Santa for a new Electrolux dishwasher for Christmas, you might be out of luck.
Lars-Göran thought there was no cause for concern as it was on highway 50 and we were not going that way. Later in the day, and on a different road, another semi overturned on the icy roads. This one was loaded with wood chips and again nobody was hurt, but still it's a worry. Story and picture by Jan-Christer Persson in the same day's Corren (Swedish only).
And while the police were attending that accident, a few kilometres away, an animal transport truck, loaded with 40 calves overturned just near Mantorp. you can click on the link that says "Se alla sju bilder" to see the pictures of the rescue. If you understand Swedish, there is a TV link ("CORREN-TV: Se räddningen") showing them leading all of the animals to safety.
Again, no one was hurt and all of the animals are okay as well. But any of those accidents could have been so much worse. I wanted the winter tyres fitted for safety, but Lars-Göran thought it was still too early in the season, though he agreed that we could leave a day earlier to get most of the errands done on the Thursday, leaving just the vet on Friday. What do I mean, "just" the vet? There is no "just" about it. Once we get madam there, she's going to make our life hell.
So we left on the Wednesday afternoon instead, with the car loaded up as though we were refugees. Our to-do list was long, but it involved seeing some people we are very fond of, so that would make life a bit easier. Our first stop on the way into town was to our friends at Södertälje. I had rung Beth to offer her three of my house plants that have grown to jungle size and are just too large now for our place. She has a lovely big home and I know they'll be looked after well, so I was happy to drop them off to her and catch up on some gossip. And of course to say hello to dear little Oscar, who is cute as a button!
And check out that attitude. Already giving me the finger. Is he a chip off the old Aussie block or what? Beth and I were in hysterics about the finger while Lars-Göran just watched us with the same expression you'd reserve for some poor, demented lunatic and remarked that there was no hope for the next generation of Australian children with people like Beth and I for parents. Whatever can he mean?
Lambi had done her usual stroll in with a perfunctory greeting to Beth as she sauntered past her on the way to the cat food! She's such a greedy little opportunist. Beth's cat, Lille, on the other hand was aghast at the sight of Lambi and had the full dunny brush tail thing going. I wish I had my camera handy as it was hilarious. Her back was arched, her tail was fluffed up and she was not happy. Lambi of course, confident that everybody in the universe just loves her, was completely oblivious to the body language, so she just wandered up to Lille for a chat. And got a swipe across the nose for her trouble. Oscar on the other hand was fascinated with Lambi and sat transfixed.
We spent the night with Lars-Göran's mum and in the morning we set off for Nynäshamn to leave our boat mattresses to have new lining sewn into them. We also took the opportunity to catch up with our friend Ulf, which was great. We had lunch with him in his new kitchen and caught up on all of the news. After that, we went to pick up some new boat toys from shops in Haninge and Nacka Strand before making our way to Älvsjö where the Scandinavian Boat Show was taking place.
We wandered around the display, looking at a few yachts and going onboard a large catamaran (Lagoon 380) to have a look at what it was like inside. I've always been curious about what sort of living space they had and all I can say is that it is quite cramped. Lars-Göran was happy as they had real fruit in their fruit bowl on the salon table, so he snaffled a bunch of grapes. You can't take him anywhere!
He noticed that none of the new boat sales people approached him as a serious customer and I pointed out that if you watched them, they all made a beeline for the prosperous looking people in business suits and Rolex watches. Lars-Göran was dressed in jeans, casual shirt and a cardigan with a hole in the elbow. He didn't really look like someone who could drop 2,000,000kr on a new yacht. Of course he might be an eccentric multi-millionaire...
We were interested in looking at a bowsprit and an electric windlass, so we talked to the sales people at both Lewmar and Båtsystem, asking a lot of knotty questions that they struggled to answer. But in the end we got the information we needed and now we at least know what kind of windlass to order, which we did. The bowsprit is more problematic as we are not sure what it will look like, so we may build a model first and see what we think before shelling out a lot of money.
There were other things to look at and at least a dozen stalls selling those awful Croc shoes, which we avoided. Many of the stalls had bowls of lollies out, so we did the lolly tour of the show, with my eagle-eyed husband sniffing out any goodies and heading over to the stall just to get lollies. Hopeless, isn't he? One insurance company had a big bowl of cashews and chilli nuts laid out enticingly, but the salesman was guarding it carefully, so I waited until he was busy talking to someone and was able to grab a few while studiously avoiding making eye contact.
It's quite expensive to go to one of these exhibitions, with entrance price plus coat minding for both of us coming to around $90. We didn't use their overpriced car park nor did we buy any food as I saw that they were asking $12 for a slice of pizza! Are they nuts? Still, as far as we were concerned, it was good to get the detailed information we needed, have a demonstration of the products and see what was available - all under one roof.
We had another night with my mother-in-law, which she really likes. I can cook her a special dinner and spend some time chatting and she can get her fill of petting Lambi, so we all get some benefit. Then in the morning we took our electronic triducer to Silva to see if it can be fixed and then we took Lambi to her vet at Upplands-Väsby. She has been a patient here all of her life, so we like to keep coming here, even if it's a long way to go. The level of care is outstanding and they are always very thorough and very professional. Which does not impress Lambi one little bit. Now get me out of here!
She searched every square inch of the room to find a way out. She even tried to jump up to the window to break out, but as you can see, she is far too tiny for that. We tried to pick her up and reassure her, but it was not to be. She threw us a look that said "Traitors!" and continued her frantic search for an escape route.
I felt like a real heel for doing this to her and I wished I could explain that it was to help her that we were here. She paced the room, shaking like a leaf, panting and getting worked up. We held her at intervals, but she always struggled down to see if she could will herself through the glass partition and out to freedonm. She even tried to enlist the help of a soft coated wheaten terrier who was out in the waiting room.
But all that scratching and scraping was in vain because soon the vet arrived, checked her over and then the assistant put her to sleep so that they could scrape the tartar from her few remaining teeth. Fortunately there were no teeth to be removed and only very light tartar, so it was cheaper and faster than we had expected.
We then put her in the car in her basket and made tracks towards home, missing the snow that fell several hours after we left. It feels so good to be back in our own space again, though I think it's going to be several days before Lambi forgives us. At least there was no bad news, no additional health issues apart from her heart murmur and she was declared to be really fit and well by the vet. Maybe she will live forever. That's my wish for Christmas, anyway.
Lambi is just TOO cute!
Glad to hear you got to Stockholm and back in one piece - all those trucks falling over!!
I have given your blog name in as one of the most interesting over at poefrica's blog.
Even though I'm not really a dog person, I have to say that Lambi has wormed her way into my affections. She's smaller than most of the cats around here, so an idea size for me.Skicka en kommentar
I can't tell you how uneasy I was about the slippery roads and my man being so blasé about it. About half way to Stockholm I saw snow on the fields around us which he tried to tell me was fertiliser! In November? But we are all safe and will be going back in a week or so for another visit and to pick up stuff we've ordered.
A lot of people ask me about the name of the blog and I think it draws people who see it listed somewhere. I never really thought that much about it - it was just something I liked and thought would be amusing, thinking that my blogging career would last about a month! If you are curious about how I came to name the blog, you can read my reasons here.
This month's postsSlip sliding away (lördag, november 10, 2007)
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