Sunday, February 28, 2010

History and Dinner Without Andre'

We received two very old pictures of this mill.  We were thrilled to get them.

The Mill Today.

Does anyone remember the movie "My Dinner with Andre"?  We saw it twice, found it so "different" and it became a fad of sorts. Wonder if Larry David saw it too, then used it as a model for the Seinfield series and Curb Your Enthusiasm?  You know a show about "nothing".

We did not have a dinner with Andre, but Andreas was here, along with his parents Helena and Lennart and his younger brother Johannes. They live at the very end of our little road. So far we had only waved at each other as they drove by.  It was time to get together I thought,  as I like feeling more connected with  my neighbors,  not so anonymous!

As it happens,  Lennart's brother Magnus is the man who started the renovation of this old mill.  Oh, way back 20-25 years ago or so.   Magnus and his wife Annika lived here as they started their family.  They worked on the renovation, removed mill stones,  removed and replaced rotten beams,  had no running water,  so lugged water up and down stairs.  All this while babies were being born. Their eldest son was born in January, they draped extra tarps around his bed and added an infra red lamp to use when they changed his diapers!  Talk about true grit, true pioneering spirit.  This was all told to us during an evening here, when we shared food and talked for hours............ there was much to learn........ much to cover and I now wished we had more time,  as we have many more questions to ask.

Lennart tells us he purchased his house and also did major renovations!  The roof was caved in and it was a shamble when he bought it.  He lived in one room, chopped wood in the kitchen when it was cold, so he too is one of those hardy souls.  Totally amazing guys!  The two brothers say they learned that work ethic from their Dad, who did room additions, built boats and remodeled houses in his spare time when they were little.  Nothing was impossible, you can do anything you put your mind to, was his motto. It shows what an amazing influence ones parents can have.  Hurrah for "The Power Of Parents"!

At a later date it would be fun to tell more about the history of this old mill.  As pointed out by Magnus, it burned twice and was reconstructed.  How these mills were built in the first place is rather remarkable, some of them three hundred years old.  Built with these heavy timbers, big boulders, heavy millstones, wings and big moving mechanisms.  No blue prints or drawings,  just raw knowledge.

Other historic notes is that 300 years ago yesterday the Battle of Helsingborg was fought.  The Danes came across the sound on ships in the night with 14,000 troops.  One of the bloodiest battles in Swedish - Danish history ensued.  More than 3,000 soldiers lost their lives along with countless horses and many, many more soldiers and horses were wounded.  The Danes lost the battle and returned home.

A 100 years later the Danes tried to take Helsingborg again while Sweden was occupied in a war with Russia,  again without success for the Danish army!  Since then there have not been any such battles. Sweden has not been intrenched in a war like that, for the last 200 years!

The snow has been melting in "rapido" speed!  The sun is shining, the birds are singing, people are out riding horses and bikes (not that they ever quit doing that even with the snow and /or the rain) on this lovely day with almost +45 degrees F.  According to predictions it should snow again within the next 
couple of days!  But, spring is getting closer, we can feel it!

1 comment:

  1. Loved the old pictures of the mill. It looks like the storage area did not have doors along the side at one time. Where was the entrance? The history of the mill sounds facinating. Like you folks we like old historic things. It is especially neat for you because you actually own a piece of that history and to now be able to get some of he details is really exciting. We know you are probably building a scrap book.

    We had another four inches of snow here last night. In February we had 9.5 inches of rain and now have a season total of 35 inches.