Underground

This is half of the earth cellar under our house, behind the boiler room. It's built into the hill the house stands on so it keeps nice and cool all year round, doesn't freeze in winter and is a great place to store preserves ad so on. This is the jams, chutneys, cordials and spices section, with a few bottles of home brewed beer below. 

I feel I have too little chutney. I mean, I give it away to the needy! My sister-in-law was visiting this time last year, and I went on about the shortages, about having too little. Her comment: No Jan, you don't. This is a LOT.

The other half of the cellar is where we keep wine and spirits, and manymanymany empty bottles that we used to use when we brewed beer in a big way. Sweden only had lagar on offer 30 odd years ago, so we imported Boots Bitter Beer kits and brewed our own.

In between the two shelves are the winter tyres for the cars, complete with studs. Apparently they last longer if you keep them somewhere that they don't dry out - so a damp earth cellar is fine. Of course, there should be vegetables in here, potatoes and carrots and onions. We had such poor success with carrots and onions, that we gave up. And we don't grow spuds any more as we hardly ever eat them... This might change now we have more time.

It's been a day for sorting things out, doing admin, making lists, ticking off the jobs as they get done. I had water gym this afternoon with the wonderful Kyoko, strict and very observant - and with a refreshing honesty. When one of the newer participants couldn't get the hang of literally throwing herself out of the water and balancing her body on her straight arms (a tricky little number) Kyoko talked about even elephants being able to do this!

Anyhow, food shopping provided no blip inspiration, I thought about a gloaming shot of the garden as the light faded and the stags started their horrendous mating call racket. It just looked very dingy and dull. So here you have it, emergency blip of the earth cellar and all the delights contained therein. The plaster could do with some attention I see.

The Swedish government suggests we should all have enough food in the house to manage for "at least three days". In our case you could make that months, or possibly years!! Once a post-war-with-rationing-baby, always a hoarder of the necessities. My Mum had a fairly good stock of tinned food and dry goods, she had been trained by the scarcities of wartime. I know I am very fortunate to live in this plenty, and I am also very grateful. If my Mum hadn't died in 1977, she would have been 98 today - many on her side of the family lived well into their 90s so it's not impossible to imagine she'd have made such old bones. That's quite a thought; it would have meant a very different life for our family - but still with a cellar full of produce I think!

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