Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Working Together as a Team -

This is a close up of my sea side cabin, located approximately 1.5 hours north of Bergen, Norway. It's a family retreat, where everyone goes to relax and fill the soul with the time and space that daily life takes away from it. My husband aquired this property from an elderly family member over 20 years ago, and when he took it over it was falling apart in every sense of the word. All the windows had been broken by storms, two of the walls were rotting out, some of the floor boards had broken through to the stone basement below.

Since I have joined the picture 11 years ago, the two of us have been working together (in every sense of the word) to rebuild this place. We've replaced the roof. We've extended the building and extended the kitchen on one side (where one can see the white door) while adding a bathroom with a ecological toilet and a space promised for a small foot-pump shower (which is a big improvement from the bucket in the basement that was available when I first moved here) as well as adding a second bedroom on the second floor.

This summer we'll be extending the wooden porch around to the sea side of the cabin.

8 years ago we build a porch in front of the doorway. Before there was only wet dirt and cracking cement. We also added the fiberglass roof so that we could be outside when it rained.

3 years ago, after replacing the roof and extending the cabin, we added a porch on a second side of the house. At the far end where the railing is we've enjoyed many breakfasts looking over the sea, while listening to my mother-in-law shouting good morning to us from her own cabin further up the property.

Now we're going to extend the porch into a balcony on the sea-side of the cabin.... both to get even closer to nature and to find a bit more privacy.

Now the problem is that while we do have access to a concrete mixer, it is located further up the property. And considering that it rains an awful lot on the west coast of Norway, the ground is almost always saturated with water. After a quick discussion, my Viking husband and I decided it would take just as much work to mix the cement by hand as it would be to take the concrete mixer up and down wet grass.

The descion was made pretty quickly. I had dug the holes to solid rock while Viking searched through all of his materials to find planks that could be used to make forms. I would mix the cement and he would carry it and fill the forms. Mormor would make sure the kids did not get in our way.

The lesson begins:

Two parts sand from the wheelbarrow above....

Plus one part gravel.....

Plus one part cement.....

(Which in the end, when using my shovelfuls, turned out to be about 4.5 parts sand to 3 parts gravel to so-and-so much dry cement. But in the end, it was good cement).

There's the dry mixture.... almost looks like BisQuick Mix, doesn't it?

And there's the final, usable product. Which also resembles BisQuick Mix when the milk has been added.

After almost 2 hours and 9 small batches of cement later, all the forms were filled.

And always the romantic, Viking needs to leave his mark.


Kreativlink said...

Woah! You have been superbusy! But it sure is worth it. Such a lovely place!
Hehehe... I love that mark in the cement :)

Dina Fragola said...

Wow...even with all the works you still want to be done, it is heavenly!

antigoni said...

Bravo!!! You are very lucky!!! it's beautiful!

ingermaaike said...

A truly beautiful spot, great work!