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
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
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
click HERE for a gallery with more pictures of the new building
We can be reached at this email address
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. Ahhhh...it's so wonderful :)
The enthusiasm of Spring. I called it that because here Spring happens very, very quickly...in about 2 to 3 weeks it all transforms. It's totally amazing
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.
The opulence of Autumn. Rich harvests of magificent colour, astounding sunsets, warm luxurious bathing, Elk after Apples, Swallows' airborne acrobatics......hmmm....so indulgent is Autumn