|Finished the utility cupboard
||Finished building the scaffold. Preparing for the roof tiles.
Started building the scaffold
Tuesday 1 September
Today we worked from home. It is exciting right now with how the electricity and the water will be connected to the house. At first, we had ordered a service called building site electricity. For this holds several conditions, you will need a kind of box that should be standing outdoors, and in it, there are sockets to connect the electricity. The earthing of the box is arranged at the site by putting a metal pin into the ground. Also, for this service, you need to have an outdoor water tap dug into the ground. All these things need to be arranged beforehand when they arrive to examine the building site.
We got a real house, and there is no need for a building site service. We can do with permanent service. For that, there are other rules, such as the cupboard we just built. The house needs to be wind and watertight and possible to lock, so it is necessary with windows, I suppose.
The excitement came from that we had ordered the building site service, but we got the permanent situation, and when that happens, they disapprove of the site, and you are getting connected. We had to change the service type, but then all the planning agreements are falling and need to be replanned. Right now, the planning is almost finished for the permanent service type for our situation. We don’t have the final planning, but all parties have confirmed the switch to a permanent service type.
Besides our own planning, the electricity for the whole area needs to be arranged as well. The electricity service providers are currently putting cables along the road outside the house. It is a process with many parties, and if one little tiny thing is not according to plan, it appears they stall the entire process.
The tomato plants are doing great. They were perhaps planted too close to each other, but that way they can also lean on each other. It is the question if they will become red, I don’t know. If we get warm and sunny autumn, then they will be lovely.
In the evening, we went to work in the house. We added a couple of beams in the ceiling above the staircase. The entire south part of the staircase now got beams. Next, we will put beams on the north ceiling outside the bathroom on the first floor. I have great hope we will finish the ceiling tomorrow.
We talked back and forth about working outside. It can be a good idea to get started on the scaffold. On the one hand, it would be good with sand, equalizing the ground. On the other hand, do we then got sand on the ground, and do we really want that? Perhaps we want to have grass growing all the way to the house. This discussion has not finished yet. This is a work in progress.
After the plumber came to us, we got a better idea of what to do with the ventilation, but I need to prepare some drawings for the plumber that he will use as input for making a price offer for us. I have not started on that.
Wednesday 2 September
It was epic early autumn weather. The sun was shining, not too hot, and not too cold. The air was saturated with oxygen. But I was not going to make any much use of outdoor activities. The plan was to continue on the ceiling of the staircase. We finished the ceiling, but there were some mishaps along the way. The generator gave up. I was trying to start it for a long time, and suddenly the start rope broke. Then I found a replacement rope, and it also broke. I was simply wearing out ropes. What was going on? I was utterly frustrated by the situation. But hey, the weather was nice. I could not care less.
Nothing happened with that damn thing when I was dragging the start rope. I was so frustrated. We were just about to saw some isolation material, and we already had a hiccup with that, and the social atmosphere was not sunny at that moment, so to speak, more like the storm Francis. There and then, the generator gave up.
I tried to think logically. The most logical thing would be that the igniter was not working correctly. I am so bad at combustion engines. But I know the basic concepts of what things are, and this generator is simple. When looking at the igniter, it had something strange. The black cup that is providing it electricity came off too easy. I was thinking that last time it was hard to get the cap off.
In this process, we talked about our hiccup, and that got sorted. We had a look at the strangely looking black cap, and my wife said it looked funny that it had a little extra pipe. It turned out to be the correct observation. The igniter had a pipe with a narrower middle to be squeezed by a feather and in the cup. That pipe should be screwed onto the igniter. The screwthread of the little pipe had no grip on the igniter. It was worn out or something. They were not made for each other. When I turned the pipe upside down, there was screwthread getting a grip, but the pipe was not made to be used like that. That did not matter. I started to reengineer the pipe so that it had rounded edges that the feather of the black cap would not get stuck but open and snap into the middle of the cap. This strategy worked. The igniter got proper contact, and the combustion process was restored, and the engine started.
At that time, the working day was over, more or less.
I picked out the scythe and cut some more grass to make our grass field bigger. That was it. We had to leave and go to our old home.
Thursday 3 September
I made a little scribble on a paper to describe the mood of yesterday afternoon. Our generator failed on us while we are doing everything possible to prepare for getting electricity to the house. Playing by the rules. All this when we are reached by troubling news of challenges to get the electricity into the entire area. There is a planning mistake at the beginning of the street. Possibly a dispute about who did something wrong with the main lines, and I have no idea how long it will take to figure out that part and the digging and connection can continue as planned. Different parties are pointing to each other.
We decided not to go to the house in the evening. This does not mean we have not been busy with the house today. We ordered the wood for platforms of the new scaffold that we plan to set up. We will not put sand under the scaffold but planks. This weekend will be the right moment to work on the scaffold. Perhaps our decision not to go to the house this evening was an essential part of how the weekend would unfold. We had no idea about this on Thursday evening. We needed to have some rest.
Friday 4 September
In the evening, we were back at the new house and finished a few small tasks in the ceiling, and then we to took down the Crab 48 scaffold that we had set up in the staircase. We were busy with this for well over an hour. Then I was planning to cut some grass with the scythe and call it a day, and then we would go home and eat dinner, but something happened. I looked out of the window from the first floor from our future bathroom, next to the staircase. I saw that the box we got for the feet of the scaffold was almost empty. It used to be full of scaffold feet.
This discovery came as a bomb for us, and we were totally unprepared for this. The thieves left only four of the feet. If we found no replacement, then we would not be able to put up the scaffold this weekend. I was angry at the thieves but actually most angry at myself because I had been thinking that we should keep the feet in the container, but why did we not do that? I had no explanation for that. Why did they leave the rings?
Absolutely flabbergasted, we decided to move all of the remaining parts of the scaffold into the container. That was an unrealistic goal in itself, but we were so shocked that we did not think through the situation. The work with the scythe and the dinner got canceled. We started moving the long vertical pieces into the container. They are also the most massive parts, and I also suppose the most expensive. Of course, a thief is not only thinking in terms of how much something is worth but also how easy it is to get hold of. We got two versions, two meters, and three meters. We secured the long part.
When we finished moving the stack of long scaffold pieces, it was almost entirely dark. It would be difficult to move the rest. We would need to work until the morning. From that point, the plan had failed. At this point, we were starving. Then we got the idea to sleep in our new house. That would be the first time we did so. The reason for sleeping in the new house was not so lovely, but it was a good idea.
My wife stayed in the house to keep an eye on the remaining parts of the scaffold, and I went to our old home to gather camping equipment and what to eat, and then I went back to the new house. Indeed the thieves had stolen the part that is most easy to take with them “by hand,” but we don’t know if they will come back. Next time they perhaps bring a truck with a lift, and then, within 5 seconds, they got a thousand kilo of scaffold material.
I think we started eating two hours before midnight. For the bed, we had decided to use isolation material. The isolation is from a company Pavatex, and we got Pavaflex to isolate with. The isolation is packaged in square packages. A couple of the packages on the floor became our temporary bed and on top of that sleeping bags.
Saturday 5 September
In the morning, we were looking around the house and found how the thieves had entered the fence. It was on the west side of the house. The thieves had been walking so much that there was a path outside the fence. The path went to a similar opening in the building fence of my neighbor. I sent him a message asking if he was missing anything from his building site. It takes a few times walking before you create a path in the vegetation we got around the house. They must have put some effort into moving the stuff, so this was hard-working petty thieves.
The first task of the day was to go to our local shop of second-hand building material to see if they had scaffold feet that could work a replacement or the stolen feet under our scaffold. The correct feet were in stock at the second-hand shop, so we could get replacement feet already in the morning. No, these feet did not look like our stolen feet. I told the salesperson that if someone offered him to buy 36 new feet inscribed with “Rix,” then it was mine stolen feet. I could see him thinking, but I could not see what he was thinking. Perhaps he was traversing his inner Rolodex for possible suspects. What do I know?
The issue is that we got no visible traces of breach. The thief could open our fence with a regular wrench, and that is what they did. They had been climbing along the wall to see if they could open the turn tilt window that we had put in tilt mode on the ground floor, but they were kind enough not to break the window. If they had done that, we had an insurance task. Now it was just lost and not much to do about it.
The neighbor arrived and had a look. He was not sure if all wheelbarrows were still present at his building site. Those were from his builder, and perhaps his builder had them stored somewhere else, he did not know. He found a drone on his plot. Perhaps the thieves had been looking around with a drone to see what to steal?
On the one hand, the drone theory seemed plausible, but that indicates that this was lazy and smart thieves. Then they are standing there and remove the bottom ring of every foot they pick, making noise and spending energy, that is so totally opposite the drone operator’s attitude. Another thing; if you are so thoughtful to bring a drone, why are you so stupid to forget it?
The money we had to pay for the replacement was surprisingly little. If you consider the risk of dealing with people angry that you are stealing from them and the work they had put into moving the things compared with the money it is worth, then this was petty theft.
At the second-hand shop for building material, we also got a massive stack of planks of size 40 x 20 x 3.2 cm. The plan was to put these under every foot of the scaffold. I must say this was a successful morning!
When we came back to the new house, we removed our Crab 48 and started working on the foundation of the new scaffold. All the newly acquired feet on the planks, and we made sure everything was level. The building is not that difficult when you are still standing on the ground. We worked our way up from the ground, putting up the vertical bars. Now we had these in the container from the activities the night before. Here we go again, transporting the bars out of the container.
In the evening, we had finished the first layer of the new scaffold. Okay, at this point, you could no longer easily steal any feet, but there is plenty of valuable scaffold material lying around. This was the reason we decided to sleep in the house again. The table we bought is handy. There is no electricity, so we need to light a candle. Apparently, there are old Dutch schlager songs about putting a candle at the window. Here is my wife at the table.
Sunday 6 September
We woke up to nice weather. We ate breakfast at the house and started working. When sleeping in the new house, you can start early. We continued with the building and finished putting up the top of the first layer. At that level, we will put the planks when they arrive. Then we got a platform to work from, and at that point, we will build the next level of the scaffold.
We also had some rest today. A couple of friends came to us and had a look at the house and the garden.
I took the time to take out the scythe that I had been holding off since Friday evening. We were not feeling that we had mounted enough of the valuable parts, so we decided to sleep in the house again. Slowly we gathered routine in doing this. The next morning it was time to work from our old home again so we would not eat any breakfast in the house.
Monday 7 September
After we woke up, we went to our old home and did the regular morning ritual there. It is nice to have all things in a finished house, shower, stove, microwave, etc. Then we worked from home as we are used to in the times of the Corona pandemic.
After work, I went to the new house and started moving more parts of the scaffold that we have not yet mounted. I placed the short vertical bars in the hallway of the ground floor inside the house.
After dinner, we decided to sleep in the house again. My nearest neighbor was busy at the street in the pitch dark, and I had to get some tools from the container. Suddenly I heard him asking, “Is it, you Jens?” It was delighting that he asked that. He is bothered by the story of the theft. We will have a neighborhood where we care about each other. I like that.
This concludes this week’s blog!
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.