|The north wall of the staircase
Finished the ceiling of our bedroom
This week we finished gypsum plates in the staircase and the ceiling of our bedroom.
Wednesday 16 June
In the afternoon, we went to the new house. The plan was to put up gypsum plates in the staircase. But first, when we arrived, I rearranged the plates on top of the sheep shelter so that they got more shadow. Then, I took the plate we previously had as a floor on the platform of the stairs to extend the roof of their shelter. As a result, they got much more shadow around their shelter with the new roof. This was good because I had seen them inside on a warm day, and it was not feeling correct for me.
The sheep were glad to see us, as they always are. They are so sweet. It is Selma, with the split ear, that is the loudest of the three. The sheep that still got no name has a slightly deeper voice, and she is a little timider than Hannah and Selma. The unnamed sheep got poo on her back today. I picked that from her, and she stood happily waiting for me to finish my deed.
After the sheep got an improved shadow from the scorching sun, we started working on the gypsum plates. Here on the west wall of the staircase, we had a gap between the floors. The beam was not sticking out as it did on the north wall. I made support for the seams to overlap the floors. The two floors were not in a perfect line, so I had to connect them.
The entire plate weighs 23 kilos, so it is a bit of a project to get it onto the wall in the staircase five meters up in the air. We used our orange straps for this. We extended the straps so that you could stand on the platform and hoist up the plates. We took the first plate from the stack of plates on the ground floor. The second plate we took from the first floor. In that case, we pulled the plate up from the side of the platform. For this to work smoothly, we removed the railing of the staircase. It does not feel well to have the stairs without a railing, so we will put that back as soon as possible. This is strange because I can be standing on a scaffold next to the edge, which feels okay. Perhaps it has to do with a regular floor in a house that should not have an open hole? Once one plate is standing on the edge of the plate below, it is easy to screw it to the wall.
In the staircase, we also had a metal bar in the corner, holding the floors together. This is one extra measure demanded by the municipality to get the building permit. Our builder had never seen this requirement before. We would like to cover this beam so that we don’t need to see it anymore.
The beam was 4.7 millimeters thick, including the nails. I removed the board’s paper where the beams would be and removed material, so there was room for the beam without bulging. In the beam, I removed a couple of nails to screw the plate in those holes instead. This worked out perfectly.
Just when we had finished the corner plate with the metal bar, our electrician came. He had planned to do some work, but we made coffee and talked through the progress in the house. He got plenty of good suggestions for how things are done in a building like this. I asked if we could get an extra electrical outlet in the utility cupboard to turn on and off with a switch. We will use that for the electric fence of our sheep. It is turned on and off several times a day right now, and it is a bit inconvenient to unplug the cable. He promised to connect the electricity next week throughout the house, and that sounds fantastic, but he handed out some promises from time to time that he has not delivered on, so we will not dance the polonaise of happiness just yet.
Today, I discovered that our ventilation specialist had also worked on the pipes going to and from the workshop on the ground floor last week.
When our electrician had left, we went out in the garden and pottered around. I weeded in the flower garden, and my wife looked after berry bushes. The grapevine is not looking healthy. I give it water, but the leaves are dry. However, several things are looking excellent, so that is nice.
Thursday 17 June
Today we had a regular day working from home. It was warmer today, and I don’t like too warm weather. So after work, we went to the new house. I had decided to sow seed in the flower garden. I had two sachets of seeds: One was a butterfly mix, the other was a bird’s mix. I put these at the spots where I had initially sowed caper spurge on 9 May. I decided we should not have caper spurge because it is poisonous and it is spreading quickly. So now we got two flower mixes there. We will see how that goes if we get any flowers. Of the seeds I sowed on 9 May, we only got a few sprouting.
We had cornflower appear here and there in the grass. I moved the cornflowers to the flower garden. They look nice when they are together.
I suggested to my wife that the last sheep would be named Bea. I felt she would have a name starting with “B,” but I don’t know why. I start to recognize the voices of the sheep, and it is Selma you hear the most. Her voice is a bit sharp. Bea has the most pleasant voice.
We also worked on gypsum plates tonight. My wife cut the plate to be placed at the top of the west wall of the staircase. It had an arrow-shaped form. When it was ready to be mounted on the wall, I came and did that. It was warm at the top of the ceiling.
Friday 18 June
Today I worked from the office. It was an uneven experience. What shoes should I wear to the office? I could not go in my everyday shoes because they slowly turned into building shoes. The shoelace is replaced with electricity threads, and seams are torn. So I decided to wear more office-like shoes. Next up, I had to find the keys for my bike, and I found them! When all the things I need to go to the office were assembled and put in a bag I have not used for over a year, it was time to take out the bike. It had an empty tire because it has not been used for over a year.
The tire pump moved to the new house to pump the wheelbarrow wheel, so I had to find a spare pump. Apparently, the area’s cats own this part of the garden for over a year, so I had to navigate their toilet places. Then I was finally biking to work, and it was feeling great. When I arrived at work, I realized I forgot the chain to lock my bike. Well, I am a creative person. I parked the bike in the garage of the office. For this purpose, I used the space of one car. It was luxurious, but since there were very few people in the office, this was not an issue. Already next week, this might not be possible. Work progressed well, but I cannot say I was more productive in the office compared to at home. The office had an issue with the ventilation system in the building, so it was clammy air.
After work, I biked home, and it was feeling great to bike again. We went to the new house to look after the sheep. I was weeding in the flower garden, and my wife prepared a gypsum plate for the staircase. When she cut it to the correct size, I left the garden, and we pulled the plate to the correct place, and I screwed it onto the wall. This was the plate above the open hole in the staircase. My wife was standing on a ladder next to the hole, and I was standing on the platform. When that was done, we only had one plate (and a tiny bit) of the west wall over the door, but we stopped there.
Saturday 19 June
It was overcast the whole day but still warm from the last couple of days. We opened many of the windows of the new house to ventilate. The first thing we did today was finishing the west wall of the staircase. Next, we put up the plate above the door.
From here, we decided to start with the ceiling of our bedroom. For this, we used our gypsum plate elevator. We bought it a standard model and one extra module to get plates extra high. To get the extra platform high, you replace the elevator bar. The drawback of that is that the platform already in its lowest position is almost over our heads. Lifting 23-kilo plates above our head sounded like an impossible task on the one hand. On the other hand, doing all sorts of dangerous maneuvers high up in the air is also not nice. So today, we decided to use the standard height and put blocks of wood on the wall to put the plate on and then tilt up the rest of the plate into the ceiling.
After lunch, we decided to move the sheep to a new place to give them new grass. This took a surprisingly long time. Finally, in the evening, half-past eight, we were done with moving the ladies to the new patch. We had worked without breaks to arrange the new patch.
First, we made a smaller area inside the old patch. It had an opening towards the new future area. Then we could remove the fence and put it up as we liked. We made it so that it was in front of the new house.
It was tricky to get the fence around the apple trees, but we did that as well. Then we had the fence on top of the new dyke. When they entered the new area, it was apparent there was much nice grass to eat. They were pleased to walk around and experience the new patch. There are parts where the rapeseed plants are dominating. The sheep disappear when they are inside that area. We also have the path with wood chips, and they liked that too because it was so easy to walk on.
I hope it is not going to be this hard to set up new patches for the sheep. If we had some more spare nets, it would not be so picky about arranging the nets. Therefore, I will pledge that we buy more nets.
The rain gauge had collected 4 millimeters of rain, so we decided not to give the plants any water today. I did not empty the gauge, though. During the following night, it rained heavily. It should be raining a little with a few days in-between.
Sunday 20 June
We had worked hard yesterday. I could feel that in my feet this morning. I was sleeping very well, but I noticed heavy rainfall during the night. When we arrived at our farm this morning, I noticed it had rained 16 millimeters during the night because the rain gauge had reached 20 millimeters. Not bad at all.
The sheep likes our wood snippet path. But, unfortunately, they decorated it with poo.
Yesterday we used a trick to get the most of the gypsum plate elevator. We had blocks of wood on the wall. The plate was elevated to the block, and then we could lift the rest by hand. Today, it was not that easy to put up blocks because there is no wall to put a block on the other side of the ceiling. So we had to reconsider using the extra high elevator beam.
Sometimes you are stronger than you think. Lifting just a little more is no problem. It can be so that we were weaker in October last year, and now we developed muscles that lifting the plates above our head is no “big” issue. At first, we tried putting ladders on both sides of the elevator, but that would not fly. I use to say that things are not going to fly when I mean it will not work. So back on the ground, we finally tested to just put up the plate on the elevator. To our surprise, it actually worked unexpectedly well. It was a breakthrough for our feelings of the capacity we have.
With the plate on the platform, getting the scaffold at the right place was the next task. It has wheels, so we can roll around with it in this room, as well as the gypsum elevator. Then one person can elevate the plate while the other was standing on the scaffold and steering the plate to the correct place.
Behind this plate, there was also an electrical cable for the lamp. I drilled holes in the beams to get the cable to the correct location somewhere in the middle of the room. When the plate was screwed to the ceiling, I drew the cable route so that we are not screwing right through the cable.
Then we mounted the next plate as well. And then the next and the next and so on. But, no, I am kidding. We had visitors, a colleague of my wife and her husband, amiable and cheerful people. They inspected our work and our sheep, and they liked our farm. They also had a farm and experience of sheep, and they said we were on the right way here. So I think it is essential to learn as much as possible about holding sheep, and it is interesting to hear how professionals are doing it.
I took out the scythe and started trimming the place where the sheep had finished grazing. Unfortunately, they left a lot of grass lying down. This patch was grassed exceptionally efficient efficiently as one could have hoped. It is crucial to trim the patch they left so that the grass can come back before the season has come to an end. We discussed different methods to do that. I tried the scythe, but that is hard work. That will not fly very well.
This weekend our son was busy freeing the area around the helophyte filter to not be overgrown by rapeseed plants. This work was also suitable for when we create the edge of the helophyte. So we decided to tidy up the edge of the helophyte filter with the rest of our red planks. On top of that, the roof tiles we collected last weekend. It is a little challenging to do that when the entire construction is inundated in rapeseed plants.
Here comes the week to an end. In a couple of weeks, our son has had his vaccination. Our daughter is still waiting for her appointment. It will be good when all of us had the vaccination. Then we can start living a little more normal life. There are talks about removing precautions from Corona because so many people got the vaccine. My main goal of getting vaccinated before getting Corona came through. It was not without effort and sacrifice, but it worked out very well.
I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.
Here on this site I let you see my creations.
I create, that is my hobby.