12 February 2012

Good morning to you all on another f***ing freezing morning in beautiful downtown Byfield. I had hoped that last weekend’s snow was going to be gone by Monday morning and, in the early part of the week, it looked like that might be a possibility. If not gone by Monday perhaps Tuesday or Wednesday? The temperatures in the early part of the week played their part – a few degrees above freezing which turned the snow into a delightfully slushy, muddy quagmire. Thursday evening, however, brought another round of plummeting temperatures and another fresh provision of powdery snow. Friday night was, apparently, the coldest this winter at -18 C (0 F in old money) which I know isn’t much to you in the great frozen Northeast but temperatures that cold are somewhat unusual for the UK.

The weather forecasters are predicting at least another week to ten days of Arctic conditions. Children and dogs seem to enjoy the snow and while I enjoy looking out on it for a day or so, any more than that is just not necessary, thank you very much! Thank goodness for my flannel-lined trousers!

Mind you, the UK has actually escaped the worst of the winter conditions which have been affecting the whole of the continent and we in Byfield have fortunately, once again, escaped the worst of the conditions here. We had an e-mail from Erik Benson earlier in the week “complaining” about the temperatures they are enjoying in Cognac (-12 to -18 C) which is not really why they moved to France! And then, yesterday I was watching the England v Italy match in the Six Nations Rugby – snow all over the pitch at the beginning of the match and then, by the end, it was snowing quite heavily – in Rome for goodness sake!

I ran across the following on the Guardian web site the other day about some small design projects. A bit of investigation revealed an intriguing little story which will undoubtedly be of interest to Sanford and all those who love indulging in his saunas. It seems that a family in the archipelago of islands between Finland and Sweden had tried for twelve years to obtain planning permission to build a sauna in their disused boat house. Apparently, the authorities continually refused permission until eventually the owners contacted a design firm with the instruction to find a way around the planning regulations.

The design firm came up with a couple of solutions. It seems that the authorities could not prevent the owners storing a boat in their boathouse (seems pretty obvious to me). So, the design firm came up with a design for a Sauna in a Boat.

Sauna in a Boat

As well as getting around the planning regulations, the design had the added advantage that one could drive the boat out into the lake and dive off the top. However, the budget of £25,000 was a bit too much.

So, they came up with their second proposal. It seems that there was no restriction on the construction of mobile structures and so the team designed the Sauna on a Sledge! This has the advantage of allowing the owners to drag the sauna out onto the frozen lake in the depths of winter.

Sauna on Ice

And, at only about £3,500 it was certainly more affordable than the boat suggestion. Here’s a photo of the finished project as well as a short video of its construction.



[vimeo 36370802 w=500&h=281]

So, while there may be no need for Sandy to construct his sauna either in a boat or on runners, just think how grand such a structure would look down on Sauna Point in place of the annual contraption of plastic tubing and polythene sheeting. He could even build a water slide from the sauna down and into the Lake – wouldn’t that be fun?

Finally, we have to end on a sad note this week, I’m afraid. Lucy lost her father early in the week after a short stay in hospital. He had been quite poorly for some time but no one really knew how serious it was. In the end he was admitted to hospital on Monday and passed away on Wednesday night. Poor Lucy and her brother James have been having to deal with all the ramifications which clearly has been very challenging for them. Keep her in your thoughts this week.

Love to you all,