JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Finished the ceiling of the ground floor

This week we "finished" the ceiling on the ground floor.

Monday 13 September

Our electrician came to our house this morning to connect the outdoor lamp. The original cable to the lamp was too short to be connected directly to the switch. It was possible to connect the lamp and the switch via a box in the ceiling. This was a small detail that had to be done before putting up the gypsum plates on the ceiling. Luckily he was available for this task this morning.

In the evening, we continued with the support beams. It is such a tedious task to get all beams on one level.

My wife worked on the beams running across at the seams of the plates.

Today we had two beams left. I started to put shorter pieces together so that we would not run out of support beams. That would be so annoying. Then instead of putting up the beams, we would need to buy more beams, and I am not sure we would get a second batch of the correct dimensions. In that case, I would need to do even more leveling hocus pocus. I was really not up for that.

Tuesday 14 September

Today we had a regular work-from-home day, as we usually do during a pandemic. We worked from our old home. In the evening, we went to the new house to continue leveling beams and mounting more beams for the seams.

We arrived well on time. I had a look at our belle de boskoop apples (Goudrenet), and they are still fine. No wasps have infested them yet. A neighbor told us their apples had been eaten by wasps. Well, I could have told her, or she could better have been following my blog.

Our outdoor scaffolds are still standing. We completely abandoned the outside project and are totally focused on the inside. At some point, we will be back, finishing the outside and removing the scaffold.

When all beams in the workshop were done as we needed, there were one and a half meters left of the final beam. We did not get many extra beams for the ceiling from the building company. If we had talked to them, they might have come with more, but now we did not need to try out.

I finished the leveling tonight, so we are now prepared to put up gypsum plates in the ceiling. Tomorrow we got a full day off to work on that; it will be great.

I still have not seen our ventilation specialist. I am wondering if he will show up this week? I think we might need to make plans around his part.




Wednesday 15 September

I was enthusiastic about putting up gypsum plates in the workshop. My wife was happy about the tasks for today but had no extra enthusiasm. For me, it felt like a victory that we managed to prepare for the tasks today in the evenings of Monday and Tuesday.

Although I had a day off, I got a support call from work right away when we arrived at the new house. I fixed that; at least, I thought I fixed it. Then we started working, and then I got another support call. I managed to work on gypsum plates, but I had to log in to work and look after things.

I took a photo of the first plate when it was mounted to the ceiling. Next to it, you can see two yellow cables. When we mounted the next plate, the cables got stuck between the beam and the gypsum. At first, we did not notice anything. We were struggling, and it was not easy. We got a bulge in the middle of the plate from the cables!!!

That was when our ventilation specialist and plumber arrived. He was about to work in our house today together with a colleague. Instead, the colleague would work in our house, and our own specialist would just direct him in what to do and where.

In the midst of this, I got another call from work. It was not a day as I had anticipated it to be, definitely not. Usually, computer systems can work without my support, but apparently, something was not totally correct at work today. I had to make a decision now, and I decided that work had to wait until tomorrow. I had done what I could for now, and now they had to wait until tomorrow.

When the plumber was finished and just about to leave, friends came to our house. The plumber left, and friends arrived in one smooth transition. We showed them the developments in the house, and they were impressed. They had helped us with hoisting gypsum plates on 17 July. It is so lovely with people being impressed by the achievements we are making. I am sure some of you reading this blog are also impressed, but you cannot tell me since I turned off the feedback section. I had to turn off the feedback because there was so much junk in there.

Can you imagine, while the first friends were at our house, more friends showed up. How is that possible? The best thing about it was that the first friends were friends with the second, which was all jolly and friendly. Except for one little thing, while sitting socializing, you cannot put up gypsum plates, can you? We agreed on coming together and do an activity the coming Saturday, so more about that later. With that, all our friends left, and we continued with the gypsum plates. There has to be some kind of order in the universe; after all, you cannot be social all the time.

We finished five plates in the workshop ceiling today. We also prepared the plate around the ventilation pipe. I think that I will paint the pipe white but leave it open. It can be a nice feature of the room. At first, it was the plan to build a gypsum box around the pipe, but I think that can wait or just paint it white.

I am happy that our ventilation specialist came to us today. It will be so lovely when he finishes the pipes. I have had significant worries about these pipes, and when I see that they are all done, a heavy burden is lifted from my shoulders. He just came to inventory what he had lying in our house and what he needed to buy more.

I drew the outline of the stairs in the staircase so that our ventilation specialist can avoid making holes where the stairs will be. That was it for today. I had hoped to do more, but on the other hand, we kept going, and it is also good to be social from time to time. Now we consumed all spare gypsum plates. We cannot make any more mistakes. That is an important milestone on its own.

My wife harvested more squash today. I counted the stripes of the squash and concluded it had ten stripes. I checked all the squashes of the same type, and they all had ten stripes. Perhaps you are familiar with math in the botanic world? It turns out to be so that most plants evolve around a center point. Then all discrete things it needs, such as leaves and seeds, or in this case: stripes, are oriented around the center. It can be either a circle or a spiral.

Discrete in this respect refers to that they are indistinguishable from each other. In this case, it is stripes.

Then how many discrete things are there around the center? It turns out to be almost always a discrete number, but not only that, it is a number on the Fibonacci series.

You know Fibonacci? He introduced Arabic numbers in the Western world, and he came up with the Fibonacci series. It starts with 1. Then add 1 to get 2. Then add the previous all the time to get the new number on the series. You can see where this ends, a beautiful series of ever-growing numbers.

The problem with ten stripes is that it is not part of the Fibonacci series. The other side of the squash revealed the secret! It had a stem that had five sides. That is part of the Fibonacci series!

There are plants not adhering to the Fibonacci, but they are just annoying outcasts. The reason for putting stuff around the center with an amount on the Fibonacci series is that it is the most efficient way to receive rays of light from the sun. Sunlight is essential for photosynthesis, so it is a big deal.

This is it. There is no more to it than this, except if you are a bit quasi-intellectual. In that case, you might go around and fantasize about the function of Fibonacci as something magical. Perhaps you take the ratio of two adjacent numbers in the Fibonacci series and try to find it in all sorts of things. That ratio is called the golden ratio. Yes, it is a thing, but it is only a thing because it is the most efficient way to get maximum sunlight – for plants.

Humans often organize things in rectangles or a square, but that is inefficient from a natural point of view. Humans don't rely on photosynthesis, either. As soon as you try to squeeze the golden ratio into parts of a rectangle, then you miss the point with the photosynthesis. So what is this about? It is about art and photography where there are entire schools built around the belief in the magic of the golden ratio when it has been taken out of its photosynthesis context. It appears in art but also in architecture, and it is often not relying on photosynthesis.

Thursday 16 September

It was a beautiful evening! The sun caressed the grass; the grass processed photosynthesis!

We had the feeling that it got dark rather quickly this evening, but we were busy in the workshop putting up gypsum plates in the ceiling. We finished three plates. There is a tiny plate left to be done in the corner. I hope we can finish this tomorrow evening.

Tonight we used the last plate from the stack in the living room, and thus tomorrow, we can move out the empty pallet. That will be so great!

This stack of gypsum has been standing here since the house was built. We have not been able to use the living room to the fullest, and it was a little difficult to see how the room would be without the stack. Now we finished the gypsum plates on the stack. We managed to finish the plates and get just about right with the number of plates. There was no surplus for this kind of gypsum plate.

We still have green plates stacked along the wall. We will use those for the washing room on the ground floor when the ventilation is finished. We also got a surplus of gypsum plates with two sides indented for putty that we have no purpose for right now. For the rest, we got scrap pieces. What happens next is a bit reliant on what our ventilation specialist is doing. If he finishes the pipes in the wall and ceiling in the washing room, we will try to put up the gypsum plates there as soon as possible. If his part takes too long time, then we will start to work around him. In that scenario, we will move out all gypsum plates and place them in the container. Then when the floor is finished, we will move them back and finished the ceiling and wall in the washing room.

For the upcoming weekend, I think we will move back to work upstairs. Take the scaffold down and empty the first floor from stuff. We got a bunch of scrap pieces of gypsum standing there. Then we can start putting out the floor isolation plates.

Friday 17 September

Today we worked from our old home as we usually do during this pandemic. We finished our office work, and then we went to the new house and finished the ceiling on the ground floor!

The last time we carried a gypsum plate through the house to mount it in the ceiling. Well, that is not correct; we still got plates to put up in the utility room and the washing room on the ground floor.

This is the last place to fill in with a gypsum plate.

Here we are, done! I decided to paint the pipe white. This is the workshop, so it is acceptable to have a visible pipe here.

This is how the living room looked like after we removed the empty pallet and placed the table approximately where we want our kitchen table to be standing in the future.


This was such a great feeling for this week. We can start cleaning the first floor from stuff and put out the isolation plates on the floor. We will dismantle the scaffold as well.

Except for Wednesday, we did not see our ventilation specialist this week. I hope he will come next week and finish the pipes to put up gypsum in the wall and ceiling in the bathroom. We will see.

Saturday 18 September

Today we were going to fill potholes in the dirt road together with neighbors of the area. This was the activity that got planned last Wednesday. This was an informal event; someone had a pile of rubble granulate that we could use. Almost all of us had a wheelbarrow, and we got a hand tamper as well. We got together this morning rather spontaneously.

On beforehand, our hand tamper received some funny jokes: it was associated with a parrot stick. During the day, it gained some profound appreciation. It is also a challenging tool to use. It is heavy, and you are ramming it to the ground, and it is a bit hard on the hands.

Nevertheless, we filled holes, and it became a grand success! Holes were filled, and all were happy. The mist dissolved, and it became a beautiful sunny day.

After the hole-filling action, we went to our new home and started clearing the first floor. I disassembled the scaffold we had used to reach the ceiling. I brought the pieces to our container. Our son brought the rest pieces of gypsum to our trailer to bring it to the recycling center. My wife was mounting gypsum plates in the window openings. It is good when we have tasks that we can work on side by side.

It became more and more empty on the first floor as the day progressed. It feels like we will manage to do most of the things before the deadline of the floor. That is a nice feeling.

In the late afternoon, we started moving our sheep to a new area. Until now, we had the sheep outside the dyke and on the north side of the house. They could graze from the west side until a bit of the east side. Many dandelions are growing there. On the north side of the house, we got plenty of grass that they don't like so much, and I have no idea why.

Now we let them come to half the house on the north side, and then the area is near the helophyte filter, behind the container, to the dirt road on the east side of the driveway, and back behind the container. When we were busy moving the nets, our sheep were bleating a lot. Since the last time they were grazing here, it has been growing more grass here. That is really good!

It was a magically beautiful evening. It had been lovely to stay in the new house and spend the evening pottering around in the garden and see the sunset behind the horizon. That did not happen, we went to our old home.

Sunday 19 September

Our sheep were more relaxed today! They grazed their new area and were overall happy. In this photo, they are having a rumination break lying on the boards we will be using to cover the house's foundation. I suppose after we wash them from sheep poo, we will see how that goes.

My wife continued on putting up gypsum plates around the windows today. It is looking more and more polished like so. The idea is that we use as much of the gypsum we got standing on the first floor so that we do not need to first remove it, put it elsewhere, and then move it back again after the floor has been finished.

I was busy with the bottom of the walls on the ground floor. There is a gap that needs to be eliminated. The walls need to go all the way down to the floor, requested by the people that will install our floor heating. For that, we bought styrofoam plates, and I sawed stripes into the proper dimension and used the stripes to fill up the gap. For the wall towards the exterior, it is visible styrofoam. For interior walls, it is easier to extend the gypsum with an extra stripe of gypsum.

The workshop was empty, so it was easy to start working with filling the gap there. Next up, I cleared the hall outside the workshop to continue filling the gap there. The tools we temporarily had in the hall moved back into the workshop. That feels better. I want the tools in the workshop. This time around, I will try to keep the workshop a workshop so that we are not establishing a "user pattern" that the workshop is also a storage room. Because of that, I kept bags of rest isolation material outside the workshop. We will see how this goes.

I worked myself through the hall all the way to the kitchen filling the gap. The washing room and utility room still need gap filling. I plan to continue filling the gap all the way to the living room, and then this part is done.

For me, properly finished tasks are the most satisfying. When we have pending tasks, they are often forgotten. Even when striving to finish tasks, we find places where a screw is missing here and there. Can you imagine how it would be if we deliberately avoided finishing a task?

After working indoors, we actually had some energy left to potter around in the garden. That is so lovely. It was not such a magical evening as yesterday, but it was beautiful enough. We cleared weeds in the flower garden and harvested vegetables to eat for dinner.

This concludes this week's activities in the house. We finished the ceilings on the first floor from a practical point of view. Strictly speaking, we still need to finish the ceiling in the washing room, but it is just a tiny area, so it feels like the ceiling is done.

The ceiling is an essential milestone in the project. It feels like a monumental task has been finished, and it has been finished well on time. From here on, we can zoom in on the deadline and move forward towards it without anxiousness. That will be great! It is also great to do things that we can work on concurrently, such as the windows and the gap below the wall. One can do the windows while the other is working on the gap. It is twice as fast!

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.