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.....as the next page explains