later, it’s more coffee and perhaps some card games and patience. This is the basic structure of their everyday life, everything else is a variation, but the variations also have a familiar and predictable pattern: a motorbike ride somewhere or other, shopping trips to the village (when Ragna is with him, these always include a visit to a café), or surprises, such as a fishing trip to one of the lakes not far from home. When they come back, it’s time for coffee again. Maybe they will also listen to the radio; that can lead to a discussion and even an argument. But after a spot of reconciliatory activity, in either the bedroom or the bathroom, everything’s fine again. Sometimes they can spend the entire morning in bed, and they can stay in the bathroom for hours. But those are the rare exceptions. Of course they take a certain amount of time mending things, clearing up and doing housework. At regular intervals Ragna does the washing, while Johan chops wood. Ragna bakes and irons, while Johan fixes the vehicles and repairs things round the house. Just before he’s finished, he will step into the kitchen and rub his hands, then give an affected shiver.
‘Ah, a little coffee wouldn’t be a bad idea, I think,’ he might say, and so he will take a well-earned coffee break.
Naturally, Johan and Ragna’s chores are seasonal. Now it’s spring and there’s little to be done. In autumn they will trawl the moors for cloudberries, will fish and hunt and