JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

We received the container


Monday 15 June.

At the building site, there was not much activity today. We had a regular day working from home, but it was so much to do that we skipped the lunch walk. That is not a good trend. We need to get back on our feet. On the other hand, we had a very productive weekend with preparations for the container, so that compensates.

I found a bug at our old home that I have never seen in this garden before. Assumingly there will be many more animals that I find in the garden wondering what it is. This specimen is resting on the garden fence.

They called us from the building company and asked us to arrange water at the building site tomorrow. Since it was time to water the plants tonight, that could be arranged. After the plants had their water, I went back home and filled the jerrycans again and brought them back to the plot. I prepared two blue and one white jerrycan for the builders. It was a lovely evening when I brought the jerrycans. It would have been a fantastic evening to put out the chairs and just sit in the sun and see the sun go down. Listen to the birds and the bumblebees humming around the phacelias.

Tuesday 16 June

It was a grey day today with rain in the forecast, but I only noticed a few occasional drops. In the evening, we went to the plot to see what the builders had been doing. They removed the sides of the mold. Along the sides, there were beams mounted. I believe they will install beams for some inside walls as well.

They brought bags of mortar. I have no idea if that is the correct name of it. What I do know is that they got a concrete mixer. They use the mortar between the wooden beams and the foundation floor so that they are mounted firmly.

They also brought hair spray for kids. This item makes me curious. I would like to know what this product is doing at a building site. I use hairspray on my 3D printer to make prints stick to the build plate. Are they doing something similar here? Tomorrow I will be at the site while the people from the building company is present, then I will have a chance to ask about this.

They prepared jack posts (acrow props) at various places. I think it is called jack posts in the US and acrow-props in the UK. In Dutch, it is called "Bouw stempel," and that translated back to English literally means building stamps. Room for confusion here. "Is that your collection of building stamps?" There are many words for this. I think that when the building elements arrive next week, they will be placed on the beams, and then anchored to the steel props. That way, the building elements will receive extra stability during the build. Then when all parts are appropriately fastened, the steel columns will be removed.

Along the dirt road, there are drainage inspection chambers. We got one on our side next to the entry of the driveway. The neighbors on the other side of the road also got one. The story is that the chamber of the neighbor has been damaged by our foundation builders. I have no idea if that is true, but there are witnesses. To avoid further damage, I marked both with barrier tape. Somehow when I see it now, I think of a little shrine. Tomorrow at noon, the container will be delivered, and next week the house. There will arrive some seriously big machines here, and drivers don't necessarily see all little things around them, so it is probably a good idea to mark up the no-go zones. Better safe than sorry.

Before we went to the plot tonight, I found a bumblebee on a plant in our old garden. When we came home after we visited the plot, the bumblebee was still sitting there. I made a couple of drops of sugar water and gently moved the little fellow to the plate. He started to drink the water, and after an hour, he had recovered so much that he decided to fly home.

Wednesday 17 June

Today's huge event was the delivery of the sea container. We were told that it would be delivered in the afternoon. This is a regular working day for me, I cannot just stay away from work for several hours. This was a little tricky. To begin with, I could use my lunch break for the first part, but then when that was done, I had to work again. I got a laptop with a built-in internet connection, so theoretically, I would be able to work at the site.

When we arrived, it was hot and sunny, and we realized we had no place to sit in the shadow to wait for the trailer. We rearranged the heap with pallets so that it would produce a little bit of shadow. There we sat next to each other. Me with the laptop working from the plot and my wife, she was knitting. She had a day off. It worked really well to work like that.

The builders had brought steel plates used to prevent damage when heavy machines are driving off-road. I really like this. The more I work together with these builders, the more I appreciate what they are doing for me. The experience two months ago that we had with the road builder was an exception. I have not noticed that kind of attitude from these people. I can really recommend Knol Akkrum and Eigenwijs Bouw. Well, the project is not finished yet. Mutch can still happen, knock on wood.

When we arrived at the site, I had a chat with the person from the builder. I asked him about the hair spray. He explained that he had a string they use to mark up lines, it has a powder that makes a marking-line. The color in that string is not water-resistant. If it rains, then it is washed out. This is prevented when they spray the line with the hair spray. Clever!

After a while, the lorry arrived.

We got a "white" container!

It looks huge. The driver placed one extra leg on our driveway and another on the side of the dirt road.

Here the lift begins. Then it stopped! The crane was hyper-modern. It sensed that the ground was giving away.

Since our builder had placed steel plates, the driver decided to try one of those.

This would work! The driver was confident.

We were almost finished with the placement when suddenly it all stopped again. The ground was giving away still.

The security system would let the driver put the container down, but he was not allowed to fine-tune the placement of the box.

Security and all that, the container came down a little hard. Some of the foundation stones broke on the impact.

It was also white on the inside.

After placing the container, the steel plate was returned as if nothing had happened.

Mission completed. The driver went back with an empty truck, and we were happy with the result.


The driver was a fan of this area. He told us he had been delivering containers here since the beginning. There were people like us building houses, but there were also people building their homes of these containers. He told us about various activities people have here with businesses and environmentally friendly initiatives. Perhaps I get a new reader of this blog, you never know.

We spoke the foundation builder today, and he said they will prepare the ground around the foundation so that the housebuilder can place the house. That means he will do this Thursday or Friday, and they will need to drive around a little with the digger. I hope it will look nice afterward, and I hope they leave the red zone intact.

I worked a little longer in the afternoon to compensate for the lost hour when the container was delivered.

Tonight we had our watering moment for the plants, so in the evening, we went back to the plot with filled jerrycans. At our old home, the weather was a pleasant hot summer afternoon. On the way to the plot, we could see black skies on the horizon. There was rain predicted but not necessarily directly over our apple trees. So we watered the plants and hoped that there would also fall some rain at the plot for the grass we planted.

Thursday 18 June

Today it was a regular work-from-home day. We had no time for any lunch walk. That is sad; actually, we had the momentum going really well, and now we are lost that. The tomatoes are progressing well, but the pumpkin seeds show no sign of sprouts.

At the plot, the builders were really busy.

We got a temporary road prepared to the south side of the house all the way to the dirt road.

The heap from the dugout of the foundation is now put back to fill the gap around the house.

Here I got the sun in the back. The foto is taken in the evening in June. We will enjoy the sunset from this side of the house.

After all my talk about the red zone, you would expect I am upset they intruded a little, but that is not the case. I am happy the builders put out steel plates!

The builders restored the inspection chamber, and then they put back the shrine decoration I had made.

I climbed the roof of the container, and from up there, I could take a better overview photo of the building site.

This photo is shot with a fisheye lens, and that makes it looks a little strange.

Can you imagine that on Monday afternoon at the same time, much of the house is already standing? Perhaps the ground floor is done.


This evening I bought two padlocks for the container, just for the sake of it. We will not keep any valuable things here: Mostly manual second-hand garden tools and wood for the exterior of the house. The locks will be the most expensive part of the container. Haha.

It had rained 7 millimeters since yesterday, and we have seen the grass sprout in front of the house! That means that we had the right timing for our grass seeds. Today I requested a quote for a water pump from a company in Nijkerk. I spoke to a representative at the company, and they informed me that the water in this area had too much iron in it. We don't see that as a problem because we will use the water in the garden. If it is a huge problem, then we can install a filtering system for not so much money.

The building company gave us an adjusted time schedule. There will be more time between that the house is placed and that they finish the roof. The roof will be watertight already from the start, but it will not get the roof tiles until after the holidays.

Friday 19 June

This morning when I watered the tomatoes, I discovered an intruder!

There is something I need to talk about that is a little less fantastic. There is no electricity at the building site. There will be none until September, at earliest. It might be November before we are connected. We looked into using solar panels, but we cannot afford an off-grid solar panel solution that can be used with power tools. This is a little frustrating, really. There are several ways to do it, but all off-grid systems include panels, the battery, and the transformer. It is not until we pay more than 2000 euros that we have a system that we can use a saw and other power tools. Then when we finally get electricity, we would have a redundant off-grid system. I had the idea that we could let our electrician make it so that some of the solar panels of our house would be part of an off-grid system and that we would have a switch somehow that we could turn the house from off-grid to on-grid and back. The thing is that no matter how we would do it, with or without an electrician, we would always need to buy something costly that we would not need from September.

Finally, we decided on a fossil fuel solution, and that is awful. For 200 euros, we got a generator strong enough for power tools. It is less expensive than the locks of the container. Today our generator was delivered. It was impossible to buy a proper oil for the machine.

There had not happened anything at the building site this Friday. The mallow had started flowering. I found out that one can make a tea of mallow and letting it cool down and then putting it on light sunburns. I got a bit sunburned when we were waiting for the container to arrive.

The onion flower is growing. It has lost the skin it had. I am a little anxious that we would walk over it, so I cleared a bit of the oat plants and rapeseed plants.

Saturday 20 June

The main event of this day is that we will come together with other members of the road association and build benches. We already prepared the building packages a couple of weeks ago.

But first, we had two other tasks. Getting oil and petrol for the generator. Secondly, we went to a second-hand shop for building equipment. There we bought a used scaffold of metal. There are several options, and right now, the aluminum type is the most popular. It is light and easy to put up and down. Steel is more cumbersome and less popular, especially for thieves. There are several systems, and they are not compatible with each other. It feels excellent to have a scaffold that can stay up without any risk of that it will be stolen and also that is sturdy. It will be delivered on Thursday next week. That is after the house has been built.

Then it was time for NL Doet. The corona secured, bench building party. We were 6 teams building a bench each, and all the teams could work with a safe distance from each other. I had brought with me various tools, but the thing I had no extras of, that that was drills. I had one set, and out of that set, there was one drill needed. We handed that drill around between the different teams. That went well until I placed it on a "convenient place" that I forgot about. That is a normal thing I have when building something. Putting things away and not for a single moment thinking about where it was. I am doing it all the time. So suddenly, I had no drill, but there was a second I could borrow, and after a while, the mine was found. It was great fun, though we had snacks, water, apples, soft drinks, cookies for everyone. The weather was fantastic for this event.

When the event was over, the teams went home, and we stayed and tried to get the generator starting. That was a difficult task. I dragged and dragged in the starter handle. After trying all sorts of things, it started.

Sunday 21 June

Today we went to my parents in law—my wife's mother his a gardener, such that she knows a lot about plants and it is her passion. Sometimes her problem is that plants take over where that is not what she intended. We came to help her remove plants and why not move the left-overs to our new plot. So it happened that we could get three bushes of hypericum. It is yellow flowers with red berries. We also got trees and a privet bush.

We went to the plot and gave the plants water, and we planted the hypericum and the privet. There are still some pallets over. We can better move them nearer to the container. The new bushes got a place at the tip of the plot near Mrs. PMT. We will have various sorts of bushes at that place.

During this planting of hypericum, we had an embarrassing moment. Initially, we had planted sticks Populus trees here, but we have not seen any action from them and decided that they were dead. I pull out a stick, and it was the only stick with new sprouting leaves on it. We took that with us to our old home and the bucket of water we have there. Let us hope it survives.

This garden exercise finished this week.

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.