JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Accepted a bid for the old house

This week we accepted a bid for the old house. I finished plastering the hobby room in the new house.

Monday 25 April

This morning we received 40 droplets of rain. That is about half a millimeter of rain in our rain gauge. Not much after such a long time without rain, but better than nothing.

Today, I decided to quit the aquarelle club I have been a member of since 2007. It was a difficult decision slowly growing in me. Before the current season, last summer, I had said to the club that I would not come because of Corona and because I am building a house. I held a chair vacant at the club. Sometimes the club could not gather because of the pandemic, but as things improved with Corona, the club got together more regularly. As time progressed over the season, it was not feeling right for me anymore to keep a chair vacant.

The house will not be finished before the beginning of the next season. I will be busy with the house, and if I am not busy with my hands, my head will be busy. There is less time and room in my head for painting art. I will need to create the space for painting in both my head and the house, and I don't know when I can do that or how I will do it. That, combined with feeling the pressure that I should go to the club, is not what I want right now.

I have the drive to create things, so that will continue. It is not so that I will stop entirely with painting. It is just that the conditions need to be correct.

The second thing is that currently, I "own" the website's domain name of the club. I would like to have it transferred to the club. I also want the maintenance of the website to be done by someone in the club. So I made suggestions for this, and I think it will work out well. The website has not been maintained for several years, which is not good. It is better when that is done within the club.

After work in the evening, I decided to start preparing for beans. There will be pumpkins and corn on the south side, and on the west side of the container, I would like to plant runner beans.

I sowed five corn seeds yesterday. Usually, I take a photo of the pots, but I think I missed that on the corn seeds.

I started clearing weeds along the side of the container. Last season we had nothing here, but the season before that, we had tomatoes that looked promising until they got sick.

After two hours of work, I cleared up much of the weed. There is a winegrape stock and three honeysuckles (Caprifoliaceae) planted here, and they obviously stay.

I managed to clear most of the new bed, but I will go over it again. Then as a finishing touch, I top with compost.

Monday evening, I got my 156-week writing streak achievement badge from Grammarly; it was a dog. I have blogged every week for the last 156 weeks and checked over 7 million 381 thousand and 534 words since 7 October 2017.

Tuesday 26 April

I decided to bike to the office this morning. I was a tad unconcentrated or somewhat unprepared, so starting the ride took longer than it should. On the way to work, I got many beautiful parks to choose from for my commute. The consequence of being late was that I had to leave late. But it was a beautiful day, so that was fine. There was no time to continue on the new runner bean bed when I came home. That will be for tomorrow.

Also today there were more house tours held at our old house. The real estate agent reported the progress in the evening. It sounds like we will be able to sell the house, not that we were worried about that.

Wednesday 27 April

Today is king's day in the Netherlands. We got a compulsory holiday to celebrate the king, so we decided on doing that with DIY in our old house. We had a slow morning, sitting and blogging in bed with a cup of tea.

I moved the tray of difficult seeds from the fridge to the new salad bed. The tray has been out of the fridge for a couple of weeks. That did not give anything and then back in the fridge again for weeks. It is time to have it outside again, but the outdoor temperature is almost frost-free, so they will be fine outside. The only seed that worked on this tray was one rosemary. It is so shy!

I wanted to germinate runner beans to plant on the container's south side. While searching for the beans, I found we had yellow wax beans. They also got a bucket!

I found other interesting things, so I decided on another tray of buckets. All the saved empty rolls of toilet paper were already used, so I had to figure out another way. Then I recalled I also had plastic buckets. I took a paper tray and lined it with a plastic bag, and then I filled the trays with soil and sowed various things we had seeds of:

  • French beans
  • Russian Dragon
  • Calendula
  • Peulen Shiraz
  • Rudbeckia hirsi
  • Lobelia erinus

Some are for the flower garden, and others are for eating. It is much better to pre germinate the seeds before putting them in the garden.

When the seeds were done, I moved the scaffold up to the hobby room again. With this, there were no more excuses for not getting on with the plastering project. I made an inventory of all the walls (not the ceiling) to see what I still had to do.

Then I could put a checkmark when I had done that part. I made places where I had to apply more plaster black, and places, where I had to sand became white. This worked beautifully. When done with this, I only need to get back and sand a few places, and then the walls are done. Now the finishing touch on the ceiling.

In the evening, a group of three alpaca men came walking on our street. They live on a farm near ours. The owner and two friends took the animals for a walk. We came to talk about the wool they produce and what they eat. Alpacas are remarkable in that they choose a place to poop and then keep that. Sheep poop and pee all over the place. If they don't look out, they can stand peeing on a sister.

Friday 29 April

Hey, Jens, you skipped Thursday? Well, nothing happened except I worked from our new home. No, gardening or plastering. Friday on the other side started with surprise because we had invited a carpenter to come to our new home on Friday morning, but we had forgotten about it. Four minutes before he arrived, we had finished breakfast! Then he came. It was a carpenter who specialized in building kitchens from scratch. He came, and we discussed our wishes, and he made notes, and we discussed different options. It did not take long. He will come back with an offer for the project.

Then we worked from home the rest of the day.

In the late afternoon, the real estate agent called us. She told us about the outcome of the house tours. We talked about the bids on our house and decided who would win the bid on the house. The real estate agent will contact the presumptive buyers and start exchanging the house. It is a process with its own procedures, and luckily the real estate agent will take care of that. If all pieces fall into place, the buyers will own the property on 1 July.

After work, I went outside and finished the sowing bed in front of the sea container. The weed has been removed, and I added several wheelbarrows with fresh compost. It will take a couple of days before I plant things because the seeds have not yet germinated, and it will be freezing cold at night. I do hope we get some apples this year.

I picked up tips and tricks from a podcast about planting vegetables, and one of the best ways to avoid problems with slugs is to pre germinate the vegetables and then transplant them when the plants are sturdier. Besides that, it is still too cold at night for vegetables, so we get an earlier start of the season by starting sowing indoors.

Saturday 30 April

This morning we started by going to the recycling center with the small trailer. It was packed with redundant stuff we had no use for anymore.

Then we went back to our new home and connected the car to the big trailer. The electricity of the big trailer did not work anymore. I think I could have removed the contact by dragging in the cable instead of the socket; as a result, some cables had lousy contact in the socket.

We went to a car parts shop and bought a new trailer contact. I replaced the old contact with the new contact at the old house, and it was €3.20, not that expensive.

Then we started packing things. The main goal of today was to move a bed for DD to sleep on because she would come to us later today.

We also decided to move one of our sofas to the new house. Our principle is to finish the room before putting things in, but it is convenient with a sofa.

When DD arrived, she started sorting her things. What to keep, give to second-hand, and what is garbage. It just takes a lot of time. Time is not what we got at hand. DD is busy with her study, and we have two months to empty the house and full-time jobs. We collected four bags of clothing to give to the second hand. The task is far from finished. I suggested we (DW and I) just pack the rest of DDs things in boxes and move them to the new house, and then DD can sort them from there. That is how we will do it. I know the risk is that the boxes will never ever be sorted, but what should we do? Tell the buyers, "no, sorry, you need to wait a year because we need to sort out old stuff first," it is simply not working like that. There have been several years for DD to come home and sort things, but that did not happen. We probably did not insist strong enough on her doing it, and we also did not sort our own stuff. The problem runs in the family.

Although bigger in size, the new house does not feature any extra space for storing stuff. We will need to downscale. We have made some efforts on redundant folders. It is getting better, but as I predicted, it takes time. It is also a process in our heads that needs to take place. What really matters to us? One good thing about the new house is that we really want to live in it. The old house was not the place we had planned to stay. In that way, we lived in a possible future. This somehow made us collect things that could be useful someday. It is better to live here and now, and if things are standing in the way, then do something about it.

We drove to our new home with the large trailer packed with a bed, a sofa, etc. Then started the unpacking and building it up again. DD got a temporary bed in my office, and DS got the bed. Later on, we will arrange a sofa bed. I do not want to have a full-size bed used 3% of the time in the office. A sofa bed is a compromise, but that is for later.

Sunday 1 May

It was cold this night as well. The four of the five corn seeds I sowed last Sunday have germinated. We had corn last year, but the slugs tried to kill them. This year the corn will get a better start. The larger pot is loganberry that we got from our neighbors. It will climb, that is for sure. We will need to find a place where it can climb. I would say along with the sea container, but we will see.

I notice that four calendulas have sprouted as well. It will be great with flowers!

Today we first moved the sheep grazing between our neighbors to the north. We removed that area and changed it so that they could graze between our southwest neighbors and us. We still kept their huts at the end of our driveway. We got a new agreement with the southwest neighbors that the sheep can graze on the edge of their property.

After that, we prune our willows a little so that they will develop a proper main trunk. If you don't prune, they will look like shrubs, which is not our intention. This took longer than expected, so it was time for lunch. Eventually, I could start plastering the ceiling of the hobby room. I finished the ceiling, so now plastering the hobby room is finished!

From here, DW will take over and start painting the room. It will be great.

A couple of days ago, we got plants from our neighbors. Among the gifts were Monstera Deliciosa leaves that we got in a vase from our neighbors. It was about time to return the vase. I potted one of the Monstera leaves, but we still got two. I needed to place them in our own vase so we could return the vase to the neighbors. We got one vase standing with branches from a flower giving purple flowers, so if I could pot those branches, I could move the Monstera into our vase. So I did. Now the vase of the neighbors was free. It looked so empty, and we got curly willow branches in the water as well, and our neighbors could get one of those. It has red roots in development. We went to the neighbors to give them our new plant gift. They liked it! We sat chatting at their house, and it was nice weather. We don't have a place to sit like that because we keep all areas for our sheep. We might need to make something.

When we came back from the neighbors, I started to clean up the branches from the acacia tree that I pruned a while back at our old house. The small trailer got entirely filled with this stuff. It will be challenging to get the branches out of the trailer.

This concludes this week of activities. The most notable achievement of this week is that we accepted a bid for the old house.

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.