Surviving the winter

We’ve entered ‘meteorological spring’, though Bornholm is still largely in winter mode and real spring still seems out of reach. There are a few signs of life emerging though – snowdrops and celandines stubbornly blooming and fresh green ramson leaves unfurling in the woods. When the sun comes out a few over-excited birds spill out in song and skylarks have begun to return to the fields.
But we have survived our first Bornholm winter and it really hasn’t been THAT bad. The survivability of winter was one of the most frequent questions asked us by locals and visitors last summer, which did make us a little bit nervous as autumn faded away. So has it been as awful as feared?
Well not really. Yes its pretty cold and there’s been some stormy weather when you fear for the roof, and there’s been a few days of gloom, drear and fog BUT terrible it hasn’t been. There’s been a fair bit of sunshine too to tempt us outdoors, even to the beach which has been completely remodelled by a raging river and some big easterlies.
We did get a bit of snow, enough to open our neighbouring ski hill for the first time in 3 years, but we only got our car stuck in it twice which wasn’t too bad. The boys did enjoy throwing snowballs at their parents, sledding down our meadow and trying skiing for the first time, but they were less keen on trekking a mile to the car when it was -8 degrees. Unfortunately we realised too late that our cross country skiing boots are still in England so we missed skiing in the lovely snow – sob.
Life has been much more comfortable thanks to our investment (and Katrin’s hard restoration work) in new windows and secondary glazing for the main house and in central heating that was piped to the house last summer. Now the wind doesn’t howl through the house and we don’t wake to freezing rooms every morning.
We’ve spent quite a few days cutting and chopping wood to keep our stoves burning and to make sure there’s enough firewood for our Spring guests – though most has been ‘found wood’ or windblown so we haven’t had to do any serious tree felling this winter.
We do seem to have been constantly busy what with language school, website design, holiday flat renovations and child wrangling – and there’s been little time for relaxing and creativity – maybe next year?
For much of the winter we’ve been host to a procession of Bornholm’s builders and finally the new bathrooms in the studio flat are ready for the coming summer. Now we just need some adventurous people to stay in our lovely yurts and bell tents to justify the disruption and expense! Our popular little studio can still be booked as a flat until the middle of July and then from September and we’ve already got quite a few bookings. Hope guests will like the new layout, though there’s still painting ,limewashing, and furniture moving to do before the first of them arrive at the end of March.
We do hope that spring will finally have sprung by then – though winter hasn’t been that bad it is still outstaying its welcome!

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