JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Fascia boards for the south wall

This week, we started preparing the fascia boards for the south wall, and we moved the scaffold and ordered more support beams.

Monday 29 March

Last week was a bit chilly, but there is warmer weather on the way. The grapevine we got at our old house has not started growing leaves for the season, but it is not long until it starts. I can be wrong on this, but I think it is better to move the grapevine just before producing leaves. When the grapevine sense that warmer weather is on the way, it wakes up and starts growing. Monday evening after work, I dug out the grapevine. It had sent roots off under the old neighbors’ patio, so those I had to cut off. I could salvage some roots into our garden, but I had to take away garden tiles to follow the roots. I made a mess of the old front garden when working on the grapevine.

I planted the grapevine in front of the sea container in the new garden. I think it will be possible to let stems from the grape climb along with the container. It can even make the container look pretty. It will be exciting to see how it goes if it will survive the move to the new house.

It was late when I came home. I came back into the old house ten minutes before the curfew started. I heard that the curfew is planned to start later to let people enjoy the summer a little more. That is so nice. There is a civil government in the Netherlands.

Tuesday 30 March

This evening I started over again on my music production. It is not as during my most busy days when I composed music when I spent hours creating music. I forgot almost everything about how to do it. I remember a very nice feeling when it worked out well, and I think I am missing that feeling. I started following a tutorial on how to make house music. Starting from scratch again.

Wednesday 31 March

Today it was glorious weather. It was the first Wednesday in a series of eight in a row that both my wife and I got a full day off from our regular work. The sequence is only broken by 12 May because I could not get the whole day off that day.

We are currently transitioning from working on the west and the north wall to start working on the south wall. It has taken a surprising amount of time to finish the north wall. The plan for today was to get more beams for the south wall and new plates to cut and paint into fascia boards for the south wall, and when we had those things brought home, I would continue working on the beams, and my wife would paint the last things on the North wall.

At first, we thought we should drive from our old home to the hardware store and then continue to the new house, but on the way, we realized we did not know how many fascia boards we still had standing at the new house. We went to the new house first to count the boards; we did not measure the thickness. When we arrived, we could not resist walking around checking how the trees are growing. The birch trees take the lead. They got many small leaves already.

We counted the boards we got, one, and went to the hardware store, open only on weekdays. There we got one less good news. They did not have the beams in stock. Worse, they don’t sell those at all. For the fascia boards, we asked if they had them with the FSC rating. They had one without FSC that was cheaper, and then they had with FSC, and it was 50 euros more per plate.

There was one compromise: if we bought the fascia boards without the prepainted surface, it was possible to get FSC boards much cheaper. We decided on doing this. It is suitable for our minds that we are not actively buying boards that cause deforestation of the Congo rainforest. It is outrageous that you can buy non FSC boards at all in the Netherlands. It can be that the non-FSC was adhering to another quality norm, but it did not say on the product info, so I don’t know. There is no reason to support deforestation. Now there was one minor issue. The plates were too big to transport on the roof of our car. We went home again and hooked up our trailer, and went back again. You are allowed to drive in the store with the car and trailer. That is special! The plates fit perfectly well in the trailer, so that was nice.

My wife painted the last things to be painted on the north wall, and it is now finished! Then she marked up the fascia boards from the material we bought today. Then I cut them, and here they are. They are ready to be sanded and painted many times.

I worked on the beams with the beams we still have. We will have to order more beams, but that is for another day.

I started working on the plan for the door that we created on 19 March. Here in the photo, I put up the two beams next to the door. In the plan, they were marked as C. There was just one small detail. There was no support at the bottom. I solved that by opening up the blue foil and installing wood behind; I could mount the beams C with this adaption. I said that D and E would come first on the plan, but there is also not enough support at the top beside the doors. The solution is to extend C up to the upper floor.

I made the beams above the door into ventilation beams so that no moisture will be permanently trapped above the door. I also had to route the electricity for the lamp above the door. On the south wall, I decided to make sure that the top part of the wall will have to line up with the bottom part. There are places where the floorplates between the floors are sticking out. It is not flush with the wall, next to the door that is such a place. Here I take away a tiny part of the beams so that the beams create an even surface. It will be so much easier to mount the red planks when I make this preparation at this stage.

When I took a picture of the south wall to document today’s progress, I noticed that the beam above the door is not straight. It is curved. I think I have to look into that on Saturday.

When the north wall is finished, we can perhaps take down the scaffold and reuse it for the south wall. Perhaps my wife can work on the fascia boards, and I work on the scaffold on Saturday. We will need to decide on the beams as well. Are we going to order 37 by 24 millimeters beams? How many do we need?

On Thursday evening, we worked on our annual tax registration form. It needs to be finished on 8 May this year, so we were well on time. Because of the new house, there were much more to fill in this year.

Friday 2 April

After work, I took out our Santolina plant and our Dasiphora fruticose. The Dasiphora is old and a bit crippled, but we will try it anyway. I dug it out of our old garden and placed it in a pot—the same with our Santolina. Tomorrow we will bring them to the new garden and give them a place there.

When the plants were sorted, we ordered the beams for the south wall. We found a woodshop online where you could order 24 millimeters thick beams that were impregnated. They were not 37 millimeters wide but just 36, but that is fine. The critical side is the height, and that is the same as our current beams. It will take a week to get the beams brought here, but we have plenty of things to do, so that is okay. We can paint the fascia boards, move the scaffold and use our current beams as long as possible.

When I started blogging this evening, Microsoft word started asking questions. It wanted me to tell them how likely I were to recommend Word for someone else on a scale of one to five. I said four, and then it asked me why I said that. Here is my answer:

The grade cannot be five because this is the choice for a heavenly good product, and you can still improve stuff. Make the paste-option pop-up menu setting persistent, for example. Four is good enough. Who are you? You start with “We’d” and then continue with “contact me,” make up your mind; are you a person or a group of people? I’m busy, don’t contact me. I come to you if you fix your bugs, and then I congratulate you. Bye.

A short and concise answer. Microsoft has never needed any feedback from me before. Are they starting to be less self-confident? Either that or I am getting more and more important, cannot believe that.

Saturday 3 April

Today I started to remove the scaffold from the north wall. I began by removing the reels from the top level. Then I continued by taking down the second level. If we say that the ground is the ground floor, subsequently, we got the first and second levels.

The planks from the second level came down first and then the poles.

Then I removed the ground floor part of the scaffold. There is a tiny section of the first level left. I don’t need more material for the south wall, so I thought it was okay to have it standing there. You get an idea of how it will look like without the scaffold, which was good for now. It is better to have it up because that allows for climbing onto the west wall scaffold a little easier. There is a lot of scaffold material that I took down.

While working on the scaffold, my wife sanded and painted the new fascia boards for the south wall. There is a broad set for the front of the fascia, and there is a narrow set, the ceiling fascia boards.

Next up, I started building the remainder of the scaffold on the south side of the building. In the evening, the second layer was up. I was drained in the evening. Tired by satisfied with what we achieved today.

The wind came from the North-East meaning that I worked in the leeward most of the day when I built the scaffold on the south side. Every time I went around the building to get new parts, I got the cold wind in my face, and when I got back, it was nice and warm for someone in action.

Sunday 4 April

It is easter, but we are not in any holiday mood, partly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We got no family visits planned, and no one is coming to us. We did not even give ourselves an extra delicious breakfast. Throughout the day, I could see people coming and going on family visits. I suppose there will be a surge in Corona outbreaks because of this.

Today I started with completing the scaffold on the south side. The top-level got the reels, and we hoisted up the ladder. Until now, we raised the ladder by having one person standing at the bottom of the ladder and the other person raising it. It is a very heavy ladder, and it is just about what I can lift. We talked about it and decided to try another method. To use a rope to hoist the upper part and then put the lover part into the upper part. It worked very well. We got a pulley and a long rope. Actually, it is two pulleys and one rope in between. After hoisting up the ladder, my wife continued to paint the fascia boards.

The base of the scaffold got extended at the southeast end so that it will become sturdy. With this, we were ready to continue to work on the south wall. But instead of doing that, I did some groundwork.

I dug out and mulched the ground where the scaffold had been standing on the north side. Then I sowed grass there. That area has been surprisingly free from any form of weed or grass. On 22 August, the complete area was covered with weed. That day we started moving in the new scaffold. During the day, the weed got walked down. It never fully recovered from this. Over the winter, we had increasing problems with the clay, and on 1 January, I started putting out garden tiles as step stones. It did not improve the clay situation when we got the sewer installed either. The pipe is dug into the ground to the front door brought up fresh clay. The tiles made us spare the ground around the path. On 1 February, the wood chips arrived. The path on the north side was finished shortly after. The woodchips work nicely.

We still use the window in the washing room on the ground floor a lot. The electricity and the water are run through this window. Thus, I decided to put out some stepping stones to make it easier to reach the window without walking on the grass seeds. Later, when the grass is growing, we will not need any stones. Preferably we would have our outdoor electrical outlet installed, but our electrician has abandoned us. I suppose he is off to more profitable projects. We also need an outdoor water tap, but that is the same story, our plumber has not been working at our house for months.

On the south side, we will be more careful with the grass. I recently learned that the temperature outside has to be above ten degrees Celsius before the grass seeds start sprouting. Then it takes another two weeks before you can see the first straws.

The next project for today was to plant the Santolina and Dasiphora fruticose. I wanted them in the planting patch towards Mrs. EvdH. She is such a sweet lady; she loves color and is looking forward to the moment when our sheep arrives. It is best to put the plants at that place behind a fence because otherwise, the future sheep will eat them. Our neighbor presented a problem for us, her garden is not finished. She can plant things, but every square centimeter of her garden will be dug out when their garden man will take care of their garden, so it is not good to put plants there. She had prepared nine sunflowers and asked if it was possible to plant them in our patch. Of course, it was. I drilled nine holes for her so that it will be easy for her to plant the flowers.

It was such a lovely evening. I even had some time over to collect thistles. From tomorrow it will become colder. There will perhaps even fall some rain. In the worst case, it will snow. When I dug out thistles, I noticed that the soil was wet below the surface. It is dry, but the clay holds on to the moisture very well, so there is no shortage right now. On the surface, though, it is dry in some places. There are large cracks in the clay. Grass seeds need moisture on the surface to start sprouting. I don’t understand why we were so scrimp with planting grass. We got one large patch with grass, which is nice, but why did we not plant more while we were at it?

The patch with grass is doing really well. It took over from the rapeseed plants. Our soil is inundated with the seeds of the rapeseed plants (Brassica napus). The rapeseed plant cannot grow when competing with established grass. There is also a slight effect of fewer thistles when there is established grass, but they can still grow. When we planted grass last year, the rapeseed came out quicker and dominated the ground. Not until we cut the rapeseed with a scythe could we see the grass. From then on, the grass got more robust, and the rapeseed never reestablished.

We still got pots with trees waiting to be planted. I think it would be good to get them into the ground soon.

This was this week’s update on the activities at our farm.

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.