I treated myself to bagels for dinner at Espresso House, after working late.

Even though I don’t drink coffee, I have their loyalty card app, only because of their cream cheese bagels. Those bagels are my first choice when I’m out and about and need a meal, fast and without a fuss. I guess it’s like McDonald’s for some people. Except the bagels taste much better.

Adrian gets his first professional haircut, at the barbershop on the corner of Spånga Torg.

Our microwave oven decided to die this weekend, along with the water pipes. It feels like we only just bought the previous one, but it’s probably roughly as old as Adrian, and I guess one cannot really expect longer life than this from low-end kitchen appliances.

Last time we went shopping for a microwave oven, it was a real hassle trying to find one that had a simple interface. We wanted two knobs – time and power – but almost all the ovens had lots of cryptic buttons and programmes. I think the one we came home with was the only two-knob model in the store. This time I was surprised at the choice we had. I wonder if the tide might be turning, and the producers are becoming aware that more complexity is not what people want from their ovens.

– Are you not tired?
– Yes, I’m tired… but I want to read!

Defrosting our frozen pipes.

We’ve had frozen pipes before, when the pipes underneath the house were replaced. After that happened, we had heating cables wrapped around those pipes that we can plug in when it gets really cold, and since then we haven’t had any real problems with them.

Unfortunately the pipes that froze this time were not those pipes. This time it’s the pipe from the street in to the house. And that one does not have any heating cable, just plenty of insulation wrapped and packed all around it.

Or rather, it had insulation. We’ve been crawling around (literally) in the crawl space underneath the house, demolishing the enclosure around the pipe and ripping out most of the insulation, so that we could aim a heat blower at it.

The crawl space was amazingly dusty. I hadn’t expected it to be clean, but I still wasn’t prepared for the amount of dust in there.

Anyway, we now have running water again.

The unfortunate coincidence of polar weather and a week-long skiing holiday led to not just very cold skiing, but also frozen water pipes at home. So now we’re making do with buckets and bottles and basins.

The kids find this an exciting adventure; I’m thinking of all the manual washing up that we’ll have to do.

When I was a child, we had no running water in my grandma’s summer cottage where we spent all our summers. We had a well in the yard, and carried buckets of water from there to the kitchen. In the kitchen, there were two buckets of water on a stand, a dipper, and an enamelled basin for washing. For baths and washing clothes, we took the train to town, to my grandma’s little one-room apartment. It seemed like the most natural thing to me, but I guess it must have been a bit of a hassle for the adults.

I’m happy with the whole Idre experience, despite the Arctic temperatures – except for the food. All the restaurants here seem to be stuck in the 1990s when it comes to catering for vegetarians. In the rest of the Western world, veganism is growing and even meat-eaters plan meat-free days. And here I have to eat the same boring halloumi burger every day. Not only that – it’s the same halloumi burger that I had to eat daily two years ago.

Today we lunched at the restaurant at the very top of the mountain, and they at least had a good fish soup. On the other hand, the kids’ buffet did not include a single vegetable, not even a lonely piece of cucumber or grated carrots.

This time at least we’re staying in a self-catering hut so I can cook proper food for dinner, with plenty of vegetables and generous servings to everyone. (On Tuesday, when I was exhausted by the cold and didn’t have the energy to cook, we had dinner at the hotel. The portions were so small that Adrian and I had to top up with another dinner when we got back.)