JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Stayed at our cottage in Sweden

This week we stayed at our cottage in Sweden. On Sunday, we drove back to the Netherlands.

Monday 27 February

It is the first day of our holidays! Not that we are doing nothing. I suppose we are not that kind of people. If we are supposed to do nothing, we have to follow a course in it because we don't know how to do that.

In the morning, we went to the local hardware store and bought a new battery for the tractor. The old battery was broken because we had not been here often enough during the pandemic. With the new battery, the tractor started!

The plan for today was to finish the preparation of the fallen trees so we could get them with the tractor. All the branches had to be cut off. The branchless trees had to be cut into pieces that we could hoist onto the wagon.

It was beautiful weather for cutting branches from trees!

My parents had an electric saw for cutting branches as well. We could borrow that to try it. It was great for smaller branches.

Tuesday 28 February

Today we took out the tractor to make it ready for hoisting trees. It still has the snow chains on, and we can not drive on the municipal road with the chains on.

The next task was to put on the winch crane on the tractor. That went smoothly. DW did not remember how to do that, but I did, and she was still impressed with how well that went.

Now we drove the tractor with the crane to the wagon, and the process is getting more complex. I parked the tractor with the rear end towards the big doors to the hall where the wagon was parked. There the crane is put down and taken off the tractor again. The feet of the crane needs to be set really high, but I had forgotten about that. The wagon has to be hung up on the hook. The hook needs to be lowered. The thing is that the hook and the arms are connected to each other. So to lower the hook, the arms need to be loose and disconnected from the crane. We disconnected the crane but too low. Now the wagon could not be put on the hook below the crane. There was no way around this than putting the crane back onto the arms. We did not realize the crane was still too low. When the wagon was on the hook, and the hook came up, the beam reached the crane again. This was a mess. Now the crane was still not firmly connected and riding on the beam. Here we strapped the crane to the wagon and continued. Moments later, we could put out the feet of the crane, and all was fine.

I thought DW would think this was a messy operation and be disappointed, but she was okay with the result. Moreover, she was happy that we solved the problem!

From there, we went on to the next mistake. Namely, not to give the wagon wheels a fresh air fill-up. There was no load on the wagon, so all looked legit. Little did we know.

Here we took a break from the tractor project. Instead, we went to the city to go to the second-hand shop. We also went to the grocery store.

We continued to the forest to hoist tree trunks when we came home. After four trunks, it was clear that two wheels did not have enough air. I drove the tractor to the nearest neighbor, and we could borrow electricity for the compressor there. Then it was easy to fill up the wheels with sufficient air. Then the day was over; it was getting dark. The tractor stayed at the neighbor's.

Wednesday 1 March

This morning, we discovered a group of around five red deer (Cervus elapus) grazing on our property. We are still not used to this population, but they are used to being here.

They are new inhabitants in this area; they have been here for five or six years. Previously the elks and the roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) ruled this part of Sweden. Both elks and roe deer are still in this area, but we don't see them so much anymore.

DW baked bread this morning. It is the fridge bread that I blogged about the last time we went to the cottage on 4 November 2022. It is delicious!

After breakfast, we decided to go out into the forest and continue to hoist the tree logs. The tractor was already ready to work with, parked at the neighbor's house. Today DS came with us to help. He is not used to waiting, so it is tricky to amuse him if there are no obvious things to do.

When working together, one person waits while the other finishes a subtask. The electrical chain saw we borrowed from my parents was doing well. DS could cut branches with it, and that was fantastic. When hoisting the logs, we sometimes found that a branch had been forgotten, especially under the logs; those could DS cut. Until the battery was empty, that is. Then he walked home to the cottage.

At lunchtime, albeit a bit late, we brought the current load home. Here I am, posing in front of the trunks. These were massive trees. Then I drove the tractor back to the cottage.

DW shot a movie of me driving a load of tree logs to the cottage.

While driving, I noticed the motor's temperature was slightly higher. That got me thinking that perhaps I should check the coolant fluids of the tractor as soon as possible. But first, we had our lunch.

After lunch, I went to the local hardware store to get coolant liquid. The tractor swallowed the liquid as if it was lemonade and started burping. The burping went on for a while. Then it was silent, and the tractor was happy. I think I neglected to check the liquid for a long time. I mean a really long time. According to the instruction manual, I must fill up even more coolant. That is for another day.

We unloaded the logs from the wagon. That is an intense moment when the heavy logs are rolling off. I think some of the logs are well over 700 kilos.

I parked the tractor in front of the workshop house. There we gave all wheels a checkup of air pressure.

I am worried we got leakage in the front tires of the wagon. As if it is sipping out air slowly. We did not get out in the forest again this day. It was a lovely evening, but we decided we had worked enough in the forest for today.

Thursday 2 March

This morning the left front tire of the wagon was empty again. The rate of air leakage appears to have increased. We rechecked all tires, and all were fine except the left front tire of the wagon. This tire has been leaking since we got the wagon more than ten years ago. It has actually fluctuated. We decided to go to the forest and bring in the next load of logs.

The logs in this area were thinner. At lunchtime, we hoisted almost all trunks onto the wagon, just a couple left. That was when I discovered that the tire was not in good shape. We decided to leave the rest of the trunks, drive to the nearest neighbor, and fill up more air there.

When filling up the air, it started to siss from the tire. This was not a good situation. We decided I drive the wagon back to the cottage anyway. So I did. The tire was flat when the wagon was parked in front of the heap at the cottage. There we unloaded the trunks onto the heap. Now at least the load from the trunks was removed from the wagon.

The tire did not look damaged, and the rim was fine, too, so this was not hopeless.

Here at this point, the neighbor came by and had a chat. He knew a person that could repair farm equipment.

My parents came this evening, and we ate dinner. That was lovely.

Friday 3 March

This morning I decided that the first thing to do was to remove the wheel. I had no idea where to go next, but that did not matter. We had a little hydraulic jack suitable for the job in the workshop. We also got a jack in the car, but I decided on the hydraulic jack.

Next, I took my big wrench and started to turn off the nuts. Actually, I did not even know it was nuts in the beginning. I thought it was bolted, but the heads looked like they were nuts. Anyhow, I had to remove them. I started with a big wrench but called off that plan after I dented one nut. I had to have a wrench socket for this job; that was clear.

I went to my parents and borrowed their wrench socket set. It featured twelve-notch sockets. It means the socket applies force to just the tip of each corner. Indeed, it will still work, but I just mangled one nut and was not prepared to do the next. Not that I did not try, but there was another challenge. My parents set was not made for the amount of force I was prepared to use. I looked at how the handle bulged and called that off. Either I would damage another nut or bend the handle of my parent's socket set. So I abandoned that plan.

I decided to go to the local hardware store and get my own socket wrench. They are such friendly people there. They had a handle for half-inch square sockets. Meaning the handle fits a square hole half an inch wide. The other side has various sizes, and I wanted the socket for 24-millimeter nuts. The issue was that all the 24-millimeter nut sockets were not in stock. The handle they had could be extended; it was excellent. Then the hardware store owner let me borrow his own 24-millimeter socket. He also had tips and tricks for me that I could use, and in case I got the wheel off, he suggested what tire shop I would go to. It worked!

The most stubborn nut had a thread that was a little broken. It would be better to replace it with a new one if possible.

Then I went to the tire shop, and on the way, I dropped by the local hardware store and returned the wrench socket. The tire shop was open, and they could help me right away! Brilliant! The wheel had a tube, and it was leaking around the valve. They got replacement tubes lying on the topmost shelf. The workshop was impressive. Then they put the new tube into the wheel and put it all back together.

I could not believe my eyes how simple this was. Then I went to another shop for agricultural equipment to ask them if they got replacement nuts. They had a set of nuts!

Finally, I got my own half-inch, 24-millimeter wrench socket!!! I was so happy that the puzzle pieces fell into place on such short notice.

I returned to the cottage and put the newly repaired wheel with the new wrench socket. I replaced all nuts with new shiny nuts.

So what should we do next? Well, go back into the forest and get the rest of the trunks. It was not that warm today. I can really not complain about the weather this week.

This time nothing failed. We got the timbre back to the cottage. This will be good firewood.

Instead of calling it a day, we put the wagon in the wagon hall, the winch crane in the winch crane booth, and the tractor in the tractor hall. It was late when we were done with this operation. I realized that most of the lights on the tractor were broken. I should really try to get them fixed another time.

Saturday 4 March

Saturday, we consumed most of the day cleaning and packing. Since we also rent out the cottage, we do not want to leave the house messy. Although cleaning dominated the day, we also visited a second-hand shop in a nearby city. I bought two steel support feet, adjustable in height, and I found an outdoor lamp. DW bought a couple of bowls and dishes. We also bought a mirror, and we will bring that to the Netherlands another time. For now, we parked the mirror in the cottage.

We decided to bring some firewood for our wood stove in the Netherlands. I placed the wood, so it was still possible to access the spare wheel. You would not like to stand along the autobahn and must take out all the wood and luggage before getting to the wheel. Now we have to take out all the luggage, that is not so bad.

Sunday 5 March

The sun lit up the treetops when we left the cottage; it was minus 6 degrees Celsius. I drove the first leg of the journey. When we came to Örkeljunga, we switched so DW would drive and I could rest. It was minus two degrees Celsius in Örkeljunga.

When leaving the cottage, I felt that life there is totally different from our life in the Netherlands. It is two separate things, and not we traveled from one life to another. We have both these worlds, so they should coexist, but it does not feel like that. It is like separate realities. I talked with DW about this, and she also said that when she talks to her friends about our cottage, it is challenging to bring over the feeling to others about how fantastic it can be to bring in timber from your own forest.

DW drove the rest of Sweden, over the Öresundsbridge through Denmark to Rödby. There before the ferry, we switched back again. It was not many cars on the ferry.

The sky was beautiful at sea.

We had no traffic jams in Germany. It snowed a little once, and it rained, so I was happy with our winter tires.

We switched drivers in the Netherlands, so DW drove, and I could rest.

When it was about to get dark, we came home. Our sheep greeted us and wanted to hear how our holiday was. I told them all the details, and they were happy to hear we had a good time. They told me they had been in good care of by our friends. They even suggested they get another patch soon to graze on because the current patch is a bit worn out by now.

No, just kidding. Sheep, don't talk. But the ladies looked happy to see us.

Here ends this week's blog post. We had great fun!

I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.

Here on this site I let you see my creations.

I create, that is my hobby.