A land of great forests, masses of lakes, rolling landscapes, clean clear water, pure fresh air

A country with a reputation for taking care of each other with a special interest of looking after those less fortunate in the society

Sweden experience

"The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created-created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination" John Schaar

Such words as the above would have seemed alien and strange to me in 1986, but hindsight is always a good instructor.

It was in 1986 that I, a not exactly young and single englishman, travelled out of England for the first real time in my life. I went to Tenerife.At the same time another person had travelled there from Norway.We met, we fell in love (a life blessing we still continue to enjoy)

It's a story, our story, for us a beautiful and self-fulfilling story.
(we recently celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary).

In the course of our mutual journey into the adventures of life we chose to buy a house in Sweden. Impulsively we dashed over to Sweden and looked at just 3 properties, immediately deciding upon the third. In retrospect I feel it more likely that it decided upon us.

At first it was our 'holiday home'. Now it is our home base.

Years ago I used to say "I am here absorbing this place, it's beauty, it's tranquility".

Now I would tell you that I am here being absorbed by it.


Our immediate area is a 'protected nature area' . We have Beaver, Squirrel, Elk,
Red Deer, Lynx and even across the lake a Bear and a young Bear were spotted in a recent year.

The area of Dalsland is richly forested and a haven for Birds throughout the Spring, Summer and Autumn.

Our home lies beside the lake called "Vestre Silen" which is well over 30 kilometres
long and probably a few kilometres wide.

"Bengtsfors community is characterized by streaming water and longstretched, clear lakes.

The fact is, that Bengtsfors is the very heart of the wonderful, scenic province called Dalsland. Here You will also find thick forests, mountains and a great variety of flora and fauna.

It's 18 kilometres to our nearest shop. That's in a lovely small town called BENGTSFORS.

In the community of Bengtsfors there are 399 lakes that are larger than 2,5 acres, in total 30.000 acres of water.

Furthermore, the community is criss-crossed by parts of Dalsland’s Canal, which consists of 250 kilometers of locks, lakes and manmade canals.

Canoeing is one of the great experiences in Dalsland. The Dalsland Canoe Marathon (DCM) is one of the world's biggest canoeing races and takes place in August each year

Sweden experience

One of the most charming aspects of our Swedish 'home' was the wonderful old barn. Built over a 100 years ago it's timber had weathered into a magnificent character and texture.

Since Ragnhild (my wife) is a textile artist weaving large tapestries we converted one half of the barn into a studio with an end wall of windows overlooking the beautiful view of the lake. As far as possible we retained the outward appearance of the beautiful old building.

It wasn't long before our very welcome parade of visitors embraced some of the activities in which Ragnhild was involved, especially meditation. So soon we found ourselves with a dozen or so visitors - and consequently we added a couple of guest rooms at the side of the studio.

One of our more humorous delights was to close up the inner and outer studio doors before visitors would arrive. Thus the building simply looked like an old barn. When our friends would ask "where shall we sleep" we would say, "Oh, in the barn - come we will show you".

Many a friend was amazed when we opened the doors into the studio and guest rooms...pleasantly amazed :)The winter of 2002/2003 was particularly cold, down to minus 20C and below.

It was a 'harsh winter' in many ways..... 

"When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters - one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity" J.F.Kennedy

January 9th 2003 was a cold - minus 25C - winter's day.But it soon warmed up!!!!

Ragnhild had been working on some art in the studio and came into the house for some refreshments. On her way back out to the studio she saw a small plume of smoke rising from the roof. A fire had started despite our relatively new wood burning stove and insulated chimney system (installed just 13 years before).Our early attempts to stop the fire failed as it travelled under the roof, along the main roof beam and into the older uninsulated section of the barn. Within minutes the old section erupted like a volcano into an explosion of flame.

Clearly, even despite the arrival of the Fire Brigade from Bengtsfors -to whom we extend our sincerest thanks (as we do to the police and ambulance services who also responded rapidly)- there was nothing to be done. From the start of the fire to the first picture you see here was only about 20 minutes at most.

We were blessed with a windless day, which saved our neighbour's barn and probably our house - but our much loved building and it's contents were destroyed totally within a space of about 4 hours. 

We were, of course, insured but the insurance company's definition of 'Full Value' seems to be very different from other experts and vastly different from Central Statistics Bureau rebuilding costs for this area. So, we advise you to CHECK YOUR INSURANCE POLICY

Our 'crisis' created within us a determination to rebuild - and this time we could decide the design from the beginning, instead of adapting an existing building. Even as we watched the images shown here we determined to rebuild. Much work had been put into the old building for it to serve our purposes, now it was all gone. It was a very substantial loss.

We 'picked ourselves up' and got on with the planning for it's replacement building.
All is change in this life's walk, that is the nature of the experience we call life. To resist change is to resist the urge of life itself. To accept the challenge of change is to continue the adventure of experiencing with all it's potential for self-revelation, self-fulfillment. When we do so, we should give all our heart to the adventure and not seek to hide in the memories of the pathway we have already walked.

click HERE for the gallery

Sweden experience

Have you noticed that when we are engaged upon some 'great
endeavour', we seem to have reserves of energy and determination
that even surprises ourselves?

On 27th May 2003 the 'metal dinosaur' began clawing at the burnt
remains of the old building's foundations. On June 18th 2003 we started
to pour the first concrete to the footings and base of the new building.

Within 53 weeks we welcomed our first visitors to the functioning

To this day I do not fully understand how we managed this...myself and
an average of just 2 other people working on the new building.At times we had more people working and at other times less. The second picture from the top on the left shows some of our family members - 3 nephews - ages 21,11 and 9 - helping with the concrete blocks that made the cellar and garage walls.

We used 1500 concrete blocks, 53 cubic metres of concrete, tons of steel reinforcing, over 2800 metres of 2x6 timber, over 1500 metres of 2x8 (floor) timbers and 2x9 (roof) timbers all at 60 cm centres. Later we installed a 13KW NIBE heat pump that draws it's initial heat supply from a 140 metres deep bore hole. This heat pump has been amazingly reliable and still functions well after more than 17 years. We also installed a 90 metres deep well to supply water to the building for toilets,etc

In place of our much loved 'old barn' we tried to create a building that was functional and in harmony with it's surroundings. We've even coated the outer walls with an old traditional treatment that will darken as it weathers.

We extend our most sincere thanks to all who worked with creating this building - with which we are truly delighted. We also extend our thanks to those who built the original building - for all the pleasure and joy we received as a result of their work.

click HERE for a gallery with more pictures of the new building

We can be reached at this email address


Summer Gallery

The extravagance of Summer. Usually long daylight hours, high temperatures and masses of sunshine, bathing in the clear watered lakes, lots of canoists and holiday folk.'s so wonderful :)

Spring Gallery

The enthusiasm of Spring. I called it that because here Spring happens very, very about 2 to 3 weeks it all transforms. It's totally amazing


Winter Gallery

The wonder of Winter with it's amazing displays and extremities. It's awesome ability to totally transform a landscape - within a few short hours - and yet create a magnificence of beauty that is a true counter-point to the colourful rest of the year.

Autumn Gallery

The opulence of Autumn. Rich harvests of magificent colour, astounding sunsets, warm luxurious bathing, Elk after Apples, Swallows' airborne indulgent is Autumn


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