Veberöd Chronicles

(Very) sporadic insights into the life of a family in a small Southern Swedish town

Monday, May 30, 2005

The earth moves at Ängavägen 25

There have been plenty of upheavals the past couple of days around our house, all of them however involving earth and all for the better. The replacement of our old waste system, which had been forced on us by the local council in November 2003, finally got around to happening. The old system was a three-chamber setup about 25 years old, that wasn't to the environment committee's liking. The council has decided to have all these replaced by the end of 2005. A couple of days ago we had read of house owners in Dalby being threatened with 50 000 SEK fines if they didn't get theirs done soon. We had the choice between fitting a newer version of the same thing or getting connected to the council network. We chose to do the latter but were forced to install a pump as it's not downhill from our house to the mains.

We had managed to get hold of a guy from Torna Hällestad who had a couple of days spare to do the job. A baby digger small enough to reach round the side of the house was delivered the evening before all the way from Trelleborg by the contractor's nephew. (Here it is in action). The little man in action At 8.00 sharp (when else?) on Thursday morning the machines and their masters rolled up. I had been frantically removing bushes with a spade so that they would be able to squeeze in with the baby digger; it had been taking me about 20 minutes per bush. However when the big machine turned up they scooped one up whole in a couple of seconds, with more roots than I had ever managed by hand, which made me wish I had been more savvy about the capabilities of diggers... On the other hand it gave us inspiration for a bit of garden remodelling (vide infra).

The baby digger made a trench from the connection point out in the street down the long side of the house and round the back to where the pipes from both the big house and the cottage ran into the old tank. In doing so they revealed just how poor the soil is in that part of the garden, about 10 cm of fairly good earth on top of endless sand. A trench with a man in it We therefore ordered 20 cubic metres of good earth from the contractor to spread out and hide the mess. Next came the heavy artillery: the big digger to remove the old septic tank (or whatever you actually call it in English). A few chops and it was rubble. Goodbye old septic tankThen the new system was put in place: a deep plastic tank at the bottom of which sits the pump. The latter both pumps the waste "uphill" and chews it up (this bit really doesn't bear thinking about actually...) Our new waste tank before installation. An electrician connected the pump to our fuse box directly through the side of the house wall and we were ready to go. An alarm was also installed to warn for possible overflowing of the tank, which had an annoying habit of going off once or twice a day when we flushed the toilet, but this was later put right.

After this it was a question of putting things back to normal as much as possible. While the big machine was here we got them to take away all the bushes around the patio on the north side of the house. Later I moved these down to make a complete hedge around the vegetable patch. This is a big improvement!

Well there you go, now you know more about what comes out of our house than you want to or need to...

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Don't touch that dial

We apologise for the sporadic nature of this blog (is anyone reading it anyway?) It's not like there's nothing happening, it's just that there's never any time to write about it... Saskia's been for her first two visits to her new school here in Veberöd. The first day she was there for two and a half hours and broke the ice so effectively with her new classmates that she even ended up giving them a rendition of "Vimsiga Små Fröknar", a song she learned at dagis. She liked it so much that she wanted to go back for another morning. Saskia will have a Dutch girl in her class, Dieuwke. It turns out that there are at least four families here in this village of 5000 inhabitants with one or more family members from the Netherlands! There are apparently even a couple of Scots in the surroundings, but I haven't met them. To find out this kind of stuff you have to get your hair cut in the village, not in Lund...