JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

The heating system project stalled

This week the work on tiles progressed as planned. The heating system project, on the other hand, came to a halt.

Monday 6 December

Today was the great day when Gijs started installing the heating system. Until the afternoon, that was also my impression. Both my wife and I worked from our old home, so we could not see how the work progressed. In the afternoon, I texted Gijs to take coffee and cookies from the coffee corner when having a break.

The reply was not encouraging. "I am not at your house… My colleague Robert is in quarantine; thus, the planning is discarded" He ended with smileys crying of happiness. I don't see the humor in this situation, but perhaps I am a rather humorless person.

There is not much to do about it. I hope Robert will not have a too lousy time with Corona. I was more concerned about myself. I had been drinking coffee with Gijs and Robert last Friday, so I had no idea if I were infected as well.

In the evening we arrived at our new house. The plumber and the tiler were busy with the last work of the day. We admired the progress done today. The living room had got the first tiles along the south side.

Tuesday 7 November

Today arrived the last missing basin. It has taken a long time to get it. It has been challenging to understand why it went so wrong. Now we have it, and it makes us happy.

The tiler continued laying tiles in the living room. We arrived at the new house while he finished the last part. The plumber offered us to borrow his scaffold, which was nice.

When the tiler and plumber left, I carried the scaffold to the first floor. I placed it in the northeast bedroom. My wife mixed a double portion of mud.

The scaffold of the plumber is much smaller than our scaffold, and it is made of aluminum, so it is lighter. We worked side by side on plastering seams. It was charming. Unfortunately, I emptied the bucket quicker than my wife anticipated, so she barely finished what she started. I will be more considerate next time we work from the same bucket.


Wednesday 8 December

Today I worked half day. I am still feeling fine. Perhaps I did not catch Corona this time either. That means I managed to stay away from the disease for two years. Wikipedia says the pandemic started on 17 November 2019. The second anniversary is a fact.

It was beautiful weather today. The tiler had a day off, so we had our new house for ourselves.

My wife continued on plastering. I got to enjoy the nice weather while working on the hayrack of the sheep. The openings to get to the hay were too narrow, so our sheep could not reach far enough in to get hay.

The top part of the rack kept the hay above the ridges. At the bottom inside the openings, they could not get far enough into the center of the rack, so the hay formed a stable pillar of hay.

Today I took out the jigsaw and cut the openings wider. The idea was they would be able to reach further, and they will be able to reach from both sides.

We will see how they do with this adjustment. All logic implies that this will work. The ladies are wasting a lot of hay, but that is not our primary concern. We will look into that another time.

We will know if our sheep received this well in a day or two. The new "stable" was used correctly. The hard ground here is also an excellent thing. Today we got in contact with a farmer selling straw. We can use that in the stables to have something softer and dryer to lie on. That will be fine. We will go there on Saturday morning to pick up 9 packages of straw.

The Sea-buckthorn bushes (Duindoorn) in the flower garden were full of buds in glittery bronze color. I am looking forward to the next growing season; it will be fantastic. I will enjoy every minute of it. I got a list of trees and shrubs from 24 April when we ordered trees and shrubs the first time. You can see in that list all the different varieties we have planted so far.

In the afternoon, I went inside and helped my wife plaster another stretch in the bedroom. It was not easy at all. This time I was diligent in not emptying the bucket too soon. Now there was a rest we had to throw away.

Thursday 9 December

I am still feeling okay. Robert probably did not give me Corona. Today we worked from our old home the entire day, and in the evening we went to the new house.

The sheep were absolutely content. They greeted us with the kind of sound indicating that "Here we are." It sounds different than "We are hungry!" The latter is more intense. Selma especially has a remarkable voice when she is hungry. Now they were lying, making minor cuddly sounds, and it made us happy. The last modification of the hayrack was working.

The plumber and the tiler had already left for today. I wonder if the tiler will have a day off tomorrow or if he will be in the house.

This was the week when the heating would be turned on. Now it is just a week when the ground floor is tiled. That is not bad either, but I had not anticipated the week like this.

I have a slight worry that there will be collisions in tiling and heating installation activities. For now, I am putting those worries out of my head, and then we will have to deal with it when it happens. It can also be so that the tiler and the heating installation slide alongside each other in a smooth, effortless coincidence.


Friday 10 December

As if Gijs could read what I wrote about yesterday, he called me in the morning. He said he wanted to inform me about the planning, but he could not give the exact planning. Perhaps Monday or Tuesday next week, he could (start on) finishing the heating system. In the morning, I said he was welcome at all times. He did not want to hear that and objected in a way to that expression. Later, I thought that perhaps he is not welcome at all times if we want to avoid collisions.

I called the PVC company coming following Monday to sand the anhydrite floor. They planned to come in the afternoon. They said they would probably work on the floor for two to three hours. It is perhaps not wise to simultaneously have the tiler work on the floor.

After work, we went to the new house to give our sheep their food supplement and to speak to the plumber. The plumber, working as an employer of the tiler in a way, had decided that it was better to have the tiler work elsewhere on Monday due to the activities of the PVC people.

Besides, the plumber suggested Gijs would not come next week if that was an option. Then after that week, Gijs could have full access to the utility room without any collisions. I tried to reach Gijs already that Friday evening, but that was impossible. We will see how this unfolds.

Saturday 11 December

This week I have not blogged much at all. Other weeks at this time, I had pages upon pages of stories and thoughts, but I am just at page three this week, and it is already Saturday. We had planned to go to a farmer to pick up some packages of straw. For that, we had to get the large trailer currently standing at a neighbor's house. We own the trailer together with a couple of other families from the same village. We had it on our driveway for some time, but it is currently standing at a neighbor.

This is the first time I have talked about the neighborhood of the new house as a village. Perhaps it is the only time I will do that or feel more normal as time goes by.

We had to pick up the trailer and go to the farmer, and we had to be there at 9:00 in the morning. All this succeeded. We rolled in at the yard of the farmer a little over nine. I had to reverse the trailer to the front of the big green doors of the barn. Have I told you that I am excellent at reversing with a trailer?

It was cold, and my hands hurt when I strapped up the packages of straw. My wife got pissed off by the process and had to sit in the car to calm down. I just have to have all straps firmly in place; I cannot stand it when the cargo is not strapped thoroughly. I suppose my need to have the cargo strapped properly can be upsetting, but it is for a good cause. My approach results in reaching the end destination without spraying our cargo along the roads. That said, I later figured I had one white strap still bungling along the side.

We left the farmer and drove home, and it was a gorgeous morning. The farmer had his land around his house. He grew potatoes and beets. He wondered where we came from. "Oh, that self-development area." He did not add "…pushing away farmers," but perhaps that was what he was thinking.

When we drove home, we were called by the PVC company. They wanted to bring things to our house. This was not expected. We had various dates noted in our planning, but there was no delivery of goods planned for today. Luckily we were on our way to our new home, so we were not far away. When we arrived, the goods were moved into the house. It turned out that on Monday, they will come to the house and prepare the floor for the PVC. I thought they would just sand the floor; it will also be flattened with some stuff.

It was fantastic weather today. My wife was plastering our bedroom, and my son and I built a temporary shed for the straw and the hay. That took the whole day to finish. It was dark when it was done.

We built the shed from pallets. These were the pallets that the gypsum plates were lying on. They were one meter 20 centimeters wide and two meters and 60 centimeters long. For the backside, we had a square pallet that fits pretty well.

In the afternoon, we brought the trailer back to the neighbor, went to the hardware store, and picked up stainless steel hinges and a fence lock mechanism. With that, we could fasten a door at the front of our shed.

At the hardware store, I also got some extra warm gloves. I did not want the same experience again as I had this morning.

This was a fun project. It looks much better than a heap with a tarp around it, and I am convinced it is better for the hay and straw as well.

The blue tarp used for the door was a rest from the shed we built for the sheep last weekend. We gave the sheep the straw bedding in their sheds, and I think they will love it. They were sniffing around and trying to get acquainted with their new bed linen. This will make them cleaner and warmer. It will be good.

When we received the stuff from the PVC people, they told us that the floor needs to be a minimum of 17 degrees Celsius when they prepare it. Before we went to our old home, we put up our two heaters, one borrowed by the plumber and one remaining of ourselves. Tomorrow we will see if it will be warm enough upstairs.

Sunday 12 December

This was a grey morning indeed. But that did not matter because we had no plans for doing anything outside. When we arrived at the new house, we concluded it was warm enough for the PVC people.

The shed we made yesterday had held up well against the rain we received during the night.

The first task for today for my son and me was to bring up the stuff from the PVC people to the first floor. I calculated that it was 413 kilos in total. 15 bags, 25 kilos each. Two buckets of 14 kilos and a jerry can of 10 kilos.

The next task was to remove all scaffolds and ladders and stuff in general on the first floor so that the PVC people could do their work in the best possible way. We placed their things in the bathroom and covered the floor with protective paper. I don't know what to expect. Will it be a total mess, or will it be a neat operation?

Today I had a good look at the living room and the new tiles. It will be nice!





My wife plastered a bucket in the bedroom today. We had lunch, and it was pretty relaxed. We went outside and planted the Crocus bulbs we ordered on 29 October. 'Romance' was yellow and 'Ard Schenk' white and yellow. I am curious how it will look like next spring. We split the bulbs evenly, so I got half of them and my wife the other half. She planted her bulbs around the water pond. I planted my half in the flower garden near the road.

I noticed we had green stuff in the pond. I made a fishing gadget, making it possible to drag the green stuff to the shore to scoop it out of the water. It worked. While doing this, several frogs came along. They jumped back into the water, all of them. It looked like I woke them up from their winter sleep.

Before we went to our old house, we started the heater fans again. The first floor will be warm enough tomorrow when the PVC people arrive.

Here end the activities at the new house for this week. The planning is now in the hands of people coming doing things for us. We try to make the different people fit into the general plan. It is complex and different compared to doing all the things ourselves. We did not know that we would get stuff delivered this Saturday. We had no idea that Gijs helper Robert would get into quarantine. We had not anticipated that the tiler would need so much time to work and that he would be so stubborn in where he is tiling and when.

On the other hand, we are friendly and adaptive, trying to do the best of the situation, but you cannot help thinking that it will be nice to have the new house to ourselves.

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.