JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

The first floor equalized

The first floor was equalized, all the tiles except in the workshop were placed.

Monday 13 December 2021

I remember sometime in June, I thought it would be quiet in November, we would have the house to ourselves, and then we would lock the door and go on a holiday. That has not happened. It has been hectic all through the autumn, and now we are entering the winter, and we still have not had any holiday. When I look in the schedule now, it is booked until December.

Today the tiler worked elsewhere, and we had the PVC people coming to prepare the first floor. They would not arrive until after lunch, so I had a leisurely morning. I just had to work from our old home as I usually do.

Yesterday I had prepared a place to work from in the living room. I had my table, the extra monitor, a chair, a cupboard door working as a desk on two trestles, a keyboard, a mouse, and an electric carpet to keep my feet warm. I just had to come with my laptop, plug it in and start working.

Two hours early, I got a phone call. "We arrive in 30 minutes. Are you there?" I had to do my final preparations, pack my laptop, chase off into the car, and drive to the new house, put the laptop at my workplace at the new house.

Shortly after, the people came, two young men, enthusiastic and with strong arms. They started the work of sanding and preparing the floor. In fact, it was warm enough on the first floor, a little too hot for the two men. It is not that easy to set the temperature correctly with the heaters. On the ground floor, where I was working, it was chilly.







It is the person to the right who is Brett.


One bag of stuff was not used; it went back to the shop.

When they left, our electrician arrived on our driveway. He mounted switches and outlets in the washing room on the ground floor. We also got a switch for our sheep in the utility cupboard. He tidied up the cupboard, so it started to look nice and tidy.

I worked for my office work from the new house and fixed a critical bug; it was productive.

After work, I hooked up the small trailer and drove to our old home. This is because tomorrow, I will have the yearly checkup of the car, and I want them to check the lights of the trailer as well.

Tuesday 15 December

I almost forgot to bring the car to the yearly checkup planned for today. Luckily I got the car delivered on time. The garage looked at the car's electricity and the trailer and concluded that the trailer had a problem. They offered to repair the wiring of the trailer. I got the car in the evening, but the trailer had to stay at the garage another day.

We went to look at the new house to see the progress of the tiles. The tiler had placed tiles along the rest of the south wall. He had also removed the ladder to the first floor and cleared out the area below the staircase.

Now we cannot climb to the first floor. I thought the tiler could put tiles below the ladder suspended 30 centimeters above the future floor, but apparently, that was not an option. Oh well.

When there is no ladder to the first floor, we cannot work on the first floor. We usually work in the house on Wednesdays, but we need to find another plan for tomorrow. Perhaps we can clean out some stuff.

The tiler has some pressure to get things done before Gijs comes to the house the following Monday.

Wednesday 15 December

I worked half day from our old home. Then we went to the new house via the hardware store. We picked up floor protection paper to put on the floor to protect from damage.

There were two white buses and two plumbers in the new house. One plumber trainee and the tiler. The house was full of activity, and we did not really fit in properly. Due to the pandemic, we don't fit in any crowd these days.

The team had already cleared out stuff, including our paint that they moved out to the container, so I brought that back in again because the paint must be stored above freezing temperatures.

We have not had many freezing temperatures yet this autumn.

The basin was mounted in the washing room today. The room is more or less finished. It will need a silicone kit at some point, and then it is done.

We discussed the plan with our plumber, and he advised us to buy more protective paper. The entire floor beside the workshop room will be tiled on Friday, and he said it was best to get that area covered. That means that Gijs can use the official front door to his liking on Monday. The coffee corner can be moved to the living room, leaving an empty workshop ready to be tiled.

The tiler started tiling in the utility room, and all was prepared for the coming days.

We left the plumber and tiling team and went to our old house. On the way, we bought two more rolls of floor protection paper.

In the evening, I picked up the trailer at the garage; they had repaired the lamps. It worked flawlessly now.

After putting the trailer back, I emptied the trunk of the car; moved over the rolls of protective paper to the container. I gave the sheep more to eat. Then it was time to go home, and I could not find the keys to the car. I searched for the keys for about twenty minutes. They turned out to be hanging in the front door, and I had it opened so that I could walk in and out. So bad.

When I got to our old home, I realized I had forgotten to turn on the electricity for the sheep at our new home. It was a terrible evening. So I went back again and turned on the electricity for the sheep.

Thursday 16 December

Around lunchtime, a neighbor called me. "The sheep are loose; they are right now in front of your house." I had to get into the car and drive to the new house. When I arrived, the sheep were back inside their fence. A little group of neighbors had enticed them to get back. I just had to congratulate our neighbors on succeeding in the endeavor.

When done with the sheep, I had a look at the work of the tiler as well; he was busy with the hall between the utility room and the workshop. The tiler was alone today. He agreed that there were many people yesterday. I asked him if he thought it would be possible to tile the entire floor with the remaining tiles, and he was sure it would work out fine. I did not ask him what he would do next week. I hope he will continue on the floor of the workshop. We will see.

It was a short lunch break, then I returned to our old home. After work, we went back to the new house to check up on the progress of the tiles. I had the idea that we should put extra sticks in the fence. The tiler had finished almost the entire hall between the utility room and the workshop. A couple of tiles were missing at the front door, but I am sure he will manage to place those tomorrow.

The south hall has a width of two tiles. The workshop and utility room hall is almost three tiles wide. We had to climb over the newly laid tiles to the tiles of yesterday. That way, we could walk around the utility room and back in via the staircase to reach the electrical switch for the sheep in the utility cupboard.

Tomorrow the floor joints will get filled with anthracite-colored cement. Then on Saturday, we will be able to walk on the floor.

We placed additional sticks in the fence to make it more sturdy, and I walked along the fence to check the rest of the sticks. I found another place where the fence had got unstable. It is the wind wiggling the sticks back and force. The anchor point in the ground is hollowed out, and since this is clay and wet weather, the cavity gets bigger and bigger. Then it can fall over. We learned by this that we need to check the fence regularly.

Friday 17 December

Today we worked from home. No delivery, no sheep escaping, no nothing. Just working from our old home. After work, we went to the new house to give the sheep their food supplement, hay, and water.

The plumbers and the tiler were busy in our new house. The entire floor except the workshop was tiled, and the joints were finished with an anthracite color. The floor looked absolutely fabulous, and it was possible to walk on some parts of it. It will be entirely dry to walk on tomorrow morning.

Next week Wednesday, the plumber expected the workshop floor to be fully tiled as well. I am really looking forward to that. About that time the heating system will be finished as well.

Tomorrow morning we will fetch the large trailer and go and get some more hay. The sheep do keep us busy.

Saturday 18 December

We got the hay! This time we bought 10 packages of hay. We stuffed two in our new shed and the rest into the container. It is much drier in the container but easier to get hay from the shed. It is possible to create a better roof on our shed, but not today.

I made a photo of the packs of hay stacked in the container. It is a dark photo, but it works well as a support for my memory; for the rest, it is a lousy photo.

The next task for today was to spread protective paper for the floor. We got plenty of rolls of tape and a couple of rolls of protective paper. The hall was almost finished. Then we put paper in the kitchen half of the living room. We did that so that we could create a coffee corner. Then we had lunch in our new coffee corner, and after that, it was time to set up the temporary stairs!

The most convenient way to get the parts of the Crab 48 scaffold was through the official front door at the north side of the house. That is the door we rarely use. We always go through the door at the workshop. The plan next week is that Gijs will use the front door, so it was about time to make treads so that it is easier to go to the door. My son and I used a full-size pallet with a half size on top. I screwed these together so that they would not slip around. The downside of this is that the wood will get slippery at some point. We will see how that goes.

We ran out of wood chips to make a path to the front door from the driveway. We used straw instead. Then we could carry in the pieces of the Crab 48 that we needed to build the temporary stairs.

We took down the stairs on 3 October. That is 76 days or two months and 15 days ago. It feels convenient to just walk on the stairs to reach the first floor.

It is remarkable that it took so long to put in the floor heating, cast the anhydrite, and tile the floor so far that we could put up the stairs again.

It is also notable that time passes by without us noticing it. I had no idea it was 76 days; I had guessed much fewer.

In the evening, we watched a press conference of the Dutch prime minister and the health minister. The Netherlands is going into a lockdown. Non-essential shops will be closed but open for pick-up service. Contact professions such as hairdressers etc., will be closed. The military will help out with booster vaccination injections. These are the preparations for the omikron variant of Covid-19. This situation sucks, but I am totally supporting these measures.

Sunday 19 December

It was a gray morning, but the weather forecast promised a glimpse of sun throughout the day. When we were about to go to the new house, I discovered a massive blob of clay on the car this morning. I let it stay.

We did all major mandatory tasks yesterday, so what should we do at the new house today? One optional task would be to set up a tree with decorative lights that would look nice.

I had a second thought about the treads we made for the front door. It will not be suitable to use just a pallet. We still got a roaster that we could use, but it is narrower than a pallet. Yesterday I ruled that out. Today I gave this a second thought and decided to use that roaster. It has the advantage that less dirt will be brought into the house. The wood construction that the heat pump came with fit well with the size of the roaster. I rigged that up, and it looked charming. Unfortunately, I did not take any photos of it.

While redoing the entrance, my wife rigged up our decorated tree. We call it Julgran in Swedish. She placed it in front of the big doors in the living room.

Next, we went planted 25 single-seeded hawthorn (Eenstijlige meidoorn, Crataegus monogyna). Where did this come from? Well, we have signed up to take part in a planting campaign. Earlier this year, in March, we planted 300 trees and bushes for the previous seasons planting campaign.

I wrote about the previous campaign in a couple of blog posts in March and April. On 21 April 2021, I published the list of all plants we had ordered in that campaign. I do recall that last time the delivery got delayed considerably. This time we ordered much fewer plants, and we ordered via neighbors. The trees and bushes are now delivered to neighbors and ready to be picked up. We can have some plants staying in their garden and pick them up later. As a funny little fact, Yves Saint Laurant, from the clothing brand, is backing this planting campaign. No idea why.

This time we ordered 50 shrubs. There is still a chance we get some blackcurrant as part of an ongoing exchange between the neighbors. We will see. Here is the complete list of the things we ordered this time:

Latin Name


English Name


Dutch Name




Our Order,

Amelanchier lamarckii

Juneberry/Serviceberry/Shadbush/Snowy Mespilus





Crataegus monogyna

Single-seeded hawthorn

Eenstijlige meidoorn



Corylus avellana

Common hazel




Malus sylvestris

European crab apple

Wilde appel



Prunus spinosa






You just don't go and plant 25 hawthorns. Obviously, we first had to get the ground drill that we currently had lent out to a neighbor. We had to get informed about his shed building project. Then we went on to the other neighbors currently keeping the plants. They were doing great, just back from a holiday. We discussed the possibility of keeping our sheep on their land. That was possible. We will see how we arrange that nicely.

We got our Single-seeded hawthorn and went to our new home. It was dusk when we came there. Now it was just a question of starting that drill. I had remembered the usage wrong. I activated the stop button with the idea that I made the machine ready to be started. It would not start. After a really long struggle, I had a second look, and indeed, I had switched it off. When flipping the switch, it started right away.

Then I drilled 25 holes, actually 26, and then we planted the hawthorn in the holes. We planted the bushes in between bushes we already planted last time. The idea is that we will create a hedge, but a hedge that is woven with living bushes, but to do that, the bushes need to be planted close enough. Up until now, we had too large spaces between the bushes. We did not know last time. My wife studied the subject of woven hedges and concluded we could fill up the spaces between the bushes we already planted.

After planting the hawthorn, we did a few finishing touches on the protective paper in the hall, and I adjusted the stairs a little.

I concluded that the promise of the weather forecast of glimpses of sun that did not work out. We had a solid sheet of the gray sky over our heads the entire day.

Here end the efforts of this week. The first floor got equalized, the tiles were laid on the ground floor all the way until the workshop, the temporary stairs were mounted again, we covered most of the tiled floor with protective paper.

We are so emotionally ready to get the house to ourselves. That will be so great. Now we just need to hold out for another two weeks, and then the house is ours.

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.