JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Another gypsum week

This week we mounted the plates we moved upstairs last week.

Monday 19 July

We have a new week full of activities. All the water that fell last week over more southern parts of Europe has not totally retracted, but it is going better. People are still in shock, and there are loads of things to clean up and repair. Here where we live, we got no such problems. Just yet. It is hard to say what the future will bring. This area is a former seafloor. It is flat. With loads of rainfall, it will flow to the nearest lowest point, and usually, that is a canal made for water. There are places such as parking garages etc. that might get filled, but we will not have violent streams through the city center. Around the area, we got a reasonably modern dyke. It is high and well constructed. In other parts of the Netherlands, there might be dykes that are older. Obviously, authorities maintain the dykes, but especially our dykes got a high-security class. I like that.

At our new house, we cleared rapeseed and other weed next to the driveway. I think this will be part of the next fencing area. We intended to clean up the rests after they had been grazing for the four first grazing areas. The current area the rapeseed is in such a late stage it is pointless for them, so we cut the rapeseed before they were let out to graze. When cutting the weed, you walk around, and the grass you want to reveal is being walked on.

For the sixth area, I suggested we cut the weed a couple of days before so that the grass can heal. The first day it did not happen. We will see how that goes.

The snap peas (In dutch suikererwt “Delikett”) are doing fine. I wrote about our seeds on 26 May.

These peas are delicious when boiled in a thin layer of water for one minute and then served with butter and a small pinch of herbal salt.

We also got squash flowers. It is growing well in our vegetable garden.

The only thing that has not worked so well is the beetroots. They seem to be incredibly delicious for snails.

The stack of plates that we finished moving yesterday looks majestic there in the hall on the first floor. It is more convenient to have them lying down when cutting parts off. We will put them somewhere else another day, perhaps. I was thinking that if we finish the southeast bedroom, then we can put them there.

We finished mounting one plate in the ceiling this evening. That means we have done three ceiling plates in the southeast bedroom. The size of the plate was not perfect. We are trying to do things really well, and it hurts when the measurement of a plate goes wrong a tiny bit. On the other hand, it could be placed, and that is what matters. We will go after plastering every seam in the house, so we got another chance to fill in a little gap here and there. It is One step at a time.

The ladies are doing fine. Tonight they were jumping and running a lot. They even brawled a little with each other. At one point, they even banged their heads towards each other.

Tuesday 20 July

Today I had a meeting at the office. I went there for the meeting, and when done with the meeting, I went home again. We recently had a surge in infections. The graph shows cases per one hundred thousand people. At the peak, ten thousand people per day got infected. Luckily it is getting better again. At this stage, I start to get really annoyed by people knowingly spreading the virus.

After work, I went together with my daughter to the physiotherapist. He explained the surgery of her knee. He had a knee model, and he folded the plastic knee, pushed the plastic front muscle to the side, and showed how a knee looks inside. There are two knobs on the upper bone. When the leg is stretched, the knobs are resting in two bowls on top of the lower leg. All this stuff has better medical terms, but I don’t know these. The bowl is supposed to be elastic so that it absorbs shocks when walking. On both sides, there are elastic hinges, and at the back of the knee, there are two hinges, and they are crossing each other.

The upper elastic of the crossed hinge was damaged in my daughter’s case, and the cup had let loose on one side. That was all fixed now in operation last week. So now it is time for recovery. It will take some time to get the knee working again.

I am not especially worried that she will not fix this. It sounds like it is a lot of hard work to get back, but it is possible. We are there for her support. Two times per week, she will go to the physiotherapist. From next week it will be possible to be picked up by a bus driving around patients.

After the physiotherapist, we went to the new house to look after our ladies. They got their food supplement as usual. They were a lot calmer today.

We mounted the fourth plate in the ceiling of the southeast bedroom. It is tricky to get the screws in at the top corner of the room. We usually use the Philips 2 with a flange. For a straight wall, that is perfect because the screw is screwed into the gypsum at the perfect depth, but not more. The thing with gypsum paper plates is that the screw must stay at the paper layer. If the screw is deeper into the plate, the screw will hold less of the load. Because of this, we have a bit with a flange so that the screw stops at the correct place.

In the corner, I need to screw in more along with the plate. The flange is causing damage. This time I tried without the flange, and this worked out pretty well.

Wednesday 21 July

Today I started the day with regular work, and after lunch, we went to the new house. I really wanted to put up gypsum on all walls and ceilings of the southeast bedroom. It was warm outside, but the house is still comfortable inside. Well, near the ceiling on the first floor, it is much warmer.

When we finished the ceiling, I had the feeling that this will be possible. Gradually the sound in the room is changing. There is more and more echo in the room with gypsum plates.

Next up, we finished the east wall of the room. I must say that it looks special with all the walls and the ceiling covered in gypsum. Of course, we still had to do the west wall of the room. It is a little trickier because there is a light switch, a sensor for the heating, a hole for ventilation and last but not least, the door.

We did it! It was late in the afternoon, but we did it. Usually, we are doing a bit of pottering around in the garden after working inside the house. Today we did not have so much energy left for that, nor time. We watered some beans. We gave our sheep their food supplementary, and we even moved their fence just so slightly so that they would get more to eat.

My hope that they would eat for two weeks in the new area will not happen. They have eaten a lot already. We might even need to move them tomorrow night. It has been dry weather, so the grass is not growing that hard.

It was great to finish the southeast bedroom. Now we can move in things in this room that we would like to have out of the way. I think we will work on the northeast bedroom from now on. We got a stack of isolation plates in that room to be used below the floor heating on the first floor. Now we can move the floor plates to the southeast bedroom. The scaffold needs to go with us to the new bedroom. It will be great.

Our floor specialist called us tonight. He wants to have a look in the house together with his contact doing the anhydrite floor. They will come on Saturday at 8:30!

Thursday 22 July

This evening we decided to move the sheep to a new area. This time we moved our sheep to an area in front of the house. We actually used the house as a fence. The net starts at the southeast corner of the house. It then goes along the driveway to the road. It is following the road, around the flower garden, until the heap with compost. Then it goes back towards the house around the vegetable garden and along the west side of the house, and back to the northwest corner of the house, in total a good size regular villa garden. We removed the garden hoses that we had lying in this area.

They loved it!

As a result of this, we had the sheep complete turn around the house. We still have a bit of garden outside the dyke that they have never been to. Next, turn, they will see that as well. For the rest, they have been all over the farm.

Their new area got little surprises for them. There is a turf with clover. Here and there, oat. The oat is getting very dry, but they still like it. There is a lot more regular grass here. It will be interesting to see how long time they can eat here. The grass under the scaffold they have not had before. Last time we did not include that in their area. I got no high hopes for the grass under the scaffold. It has gotten too long. Once they walked on it, it will be lying down, and then it is not be eaten anymore. They will walk over it, and we will need to cut it while it is lying down. That is tricky work, but that is how it is.

We spent our entire evening moving the sheep. We did nothing on the gypsum plates tonight. When we were about to leave, they started running back and forth on the path in front of the house. They are still playful lambs, and they like that path. I just hope they will not get hurt while running.

Friday 23 July

In the afternoon, I got my new driving license. If you follow this blog, you perhaps recall I had a driving course and exam for heavier trailers on 30 October 2020. I passed! The thing is, I had to have the new category written into my driving license, but Covid-19 came in the way for that. I even had an appointment at the municipality, and they called me and told me that due to Corona, I had to have my appointment canceled. We still have the pandemic in full swing 6 months later, but I got my vaccine, so I tried to get a new appointment. It is also so that the successful exam has to be written into the driving license within one year; otherwise, it expires. It was about time to get this done.

After work, I did another thing that I pushed in front of me for a really long time. I switched from winter tires to summer tires. I bought two new Micheline tires for the front. At the back, I got Continental. I got a vague memory that perhaps I switched from Micheline to Continental, but it is unclear.

The sheep were next to me while I switched the tires. They did not comment so much on my activities. I recall when I changed the tires on 19 April 2020. There was no house and no neighbors. The dirt road was just barely finished. Now I am switching the tires on my driveway with the sheep next to me. In the photo from 19 April, you can see the clay next to the road.

I have to say that my winter tires are in good condition. They could do some extra duty all the way into the summer. Besides that, I have to say I get my uncle-in-law visiting us this weekend. He is really into cars. It is his passion. I know that if I have the winter tires on in July, it hurts his feelings, and I cannot have that. I would like to see I wash the car as well, but that is over the top right now. We live on a dirt road, and it is dirty. Even a car enthusiast understands the implication of that.

Tonight I feel grateful for the people I have around me. Obviously, my wife is most important to me. She is brilliant. My daughter is currently the patient at our old house. Walking with sticks; and she is having a lot of pain from the operation of her knee. But her situation is improving; it is going ever so slowly, but if we carefully pay attention to the improvements, things are fine and improving. It will be fantastic to see her smile without pain. Our autistic son is doing his best in his own way. Autistic people are the center of the universe, and so also my son. There are moments when I am frustrated about the progress of my son but not tonight. I asked him to do the dish at 09:57 PM, and he said he would do it at 10:00. I laughed at him and told him it is totally okay to do it in about 4 minutes. When the clock reached 10 PM, he was not delighted with my reminder, but he started doing the dish.



I think our three sheep are fantastic. They are no humans, obviously. Sometimes I like Selma a little less because she is bleating so much, although I have to say she is sweet as well. The ladies are funny too. Like little children running back and forth on the path in front of our new house. Simply funny.

Saturday 24 July

Today we had to be early at the new house. We had to be there at 08:30, and already that was a compromise. Gijs, our heating expert, had rather seen that we would be there at 08:00, but that was off the charts early. Now we arrived at 08:34, and Gijs and Danny were already there. The purpose of the meeting was to figure out how to do the floors in the new house.

Danny was a specialist in anhydrite floors. We looked at different places in the house. The door’s heights, etc. We got things to do to prepare for the floor:

  • All the gypsum will need to be applied to ceilings and walls.
  • At the bottom of all walls downstairs, the surface of the gypsum will need to be extended down to the concrete floor.
  • The backing of the wall to the utility room needs another layer of 18 millimeters plate to carry heavyweight.
  • The backing of the utility area on the first floor will also need the backing of 18 millimeters.
  • Around the stairs, we will have to build a bucket.
  • The bathrooms need to be done with regular concrete. It will also need a bucket at the door,
  • We also need to build a bucket on the first floor in the utility room around the hatch to the crawling space.

The good news is that we get the floor a little thinner on the ground floor and on the first floor. That is excellent.

We will strive to get the floors done at the end of October this year.

When Danny and Gijs left, we started working on the house. First, we took down the scaffold in the southeast bedroom. Then we moved all the plates we put in the northeast bedroom into the newly finished southeast bedroom. The last time we moved these boards were 22 November 2020.

Then we started building up the scaffold in the northeast bedroom.

Here is the room without the boards. The isolation is still missing from the ceiling. It is stacked into the corner.

Putting out the base of the scaffold in the northeast bedroom.




With the scaffold in place, we put back all the isolation that had been falling down. This time we also had the electricity for the lights mounted.

The first plate to be mounted at the top of the ceiling had to be narrower than the full 120 centimeters. That means it would not reach the top of the platform of our gypsum lift. We solved that by clamping on a bar on the platform. That way, the gypsum would come higher up on the platform and reach the top of the ceiling.

So! The first plate.

Then two more plates.

We stopped working on the ceiling today when we had put up five plates.

After the work on the gypsum, we pottered around in the garden and gave the sheep their compulsory portion of food supplementary.

People were arriving at the field today that turned out to be future neighbors. They will build a house not far from us. The house was supposed to get two separate apartments for two young couples.

It was warm today. The weather forecast had predicted 28 degrees Celsius, but it was not that warm. Luckily. Our sheep had it warm, though. They were lying next to the house, breathing heavily. They got plenty of grass to eat, and that makes me happy. Selma was still bleating when they got plenty of grass, but that is okay. She is not bleating so intensely when there is a lot of food. We use her bleating as an indication of how much their surplus is. We are still learning how this works, and our sheep are learning what to eat and where.

We found they are even interested in the heap of weed that I collected. It is so funny that our sheep find things to eat in the heap I collected because they skipped eating this stuff earlier.

Sunday 25 July

Today I woke up, and I was tired, exhausted. It had rained heavily at our old house during the night. At our new house, not a single drop had fallen. That is no good. Our farm could use a bit of rain. Our sheep welcomed us as they usually do. They still got plenty of grass to eat, which is good.

Here is a slideshow with the progress in the northeast bedroom.

First, we put up the sixth plate in the ceiling.

Then we started working on the east wall. The plates around the window are not that difficult.

The triangle is a little more complicated, but this time it went smoothly.

When I fastened the last plate of the east wall, my uncle-in-law arrived, and he brought with him presents in the form of two sides of a bench. He also had a couple of garden tools for us. That was nice.

When our visitors left, we continued with the east wall of the northeast bedroom. The triangle here was really stubborn. We were tired, and it did not go smoothly anymore.

Apparently, the triangle had become slightly more extensive, but it came into place after removing some material at the top. Now we got three rooms with gypsum all over.

While we worked on the gypsum plates, it rained 2 millimeters. At some point, we had to do an emergency fix to the fence. Our ladies had figured out that there is foam plastic in the house’s foundation, and it was interesting to bit on. We could not have that. We had to close the fence, so they did not get to the house.

It was a lovely evening. It was one of these moments that I would just like to stay at the new house until it gets dark pottering around in the garden. We had to eat and also look after the patient at our old home. It is going better and better with our daughter’s leg. She got plenty of rehabilitation to do, but there is an improvement. One step at a time.

This concludes this week. It was hard work again. It feels good that we got a more precise date for when the floor will be constructed. We will need to work towards this goal. It feels like it will be possible.

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.