JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

First holiday in three years

We arrived at our farm in Sweden yesterday for one week of holiday.

Monday 1 August

The first thing I did was to turn on the mover robot named Hindrik. It is from the first Malmgren. Obviously, it was not just to turn it on. A cable was loose. It was not just to fasten it with a screw because the screw was stuck. For that, I used WD40 and a bit of pursuance. The next task was to reactivate the alarm system on the robot. It turned out to be the SIM card that had to be inserted properly. Then it started moving, and all was fine.

When we arrived at the farmhouse, I noticed that one of the roads needed clearing from shrubs and bushes. I used to know how a task like that goes at this farm, that you are doing all sorts of other things running up to the main task. In this case, our brushcutter is not located at the farm because then it could be stolen, and we have no valuable tools at the farm. So I had to go to my parents to get the brushcutter. I wanted to use the carriage I built for use behind the lawn mover tractor. But the carriage had one flat tire. So for that, I had to find a pump. Finally, I found a bike pump, and I could drive and get the brush cutter. I cleared the road, not that thoroughly, but enough for now.

We got two roads going from the main road to the farmhouse. One is straight, and the other curvy and more romantic. The curvy road we let neighbors use, and since a couple of months ago, we got new neighbors, and they plan to build a new house on that property. But first, the old house had to be torn down. That produced a lot of stuff that had to be transported to the main road via the curvy road. The consequence was a lot of traffic with heavy machines and the road, so it had to be provided with a new top layer. The road is still curvy, but this countryside character has gotten lost; it has a fresh layer of gravel. I think it will stay like that for the foreseeable future.

It is nice to have new neighbors. It is a young couple with a daughter that will live there. The house they will build will be in traditional style. It will look beautiful.

Our farmhouse is old, inside out. We replaced the electric stove, but that is about it. For the rest, the kitchen is like it was when we bought the house. We have no ambition to change this; it is excellent.

Tuesday 2 August

We did not do very much today. I had a sore back from working with the brush cutter. I knew there would be a glitch somewhere, and indeed that was it. Then I recall I had that before.

Today we went to the second-hand shop. We bought a TV because the current TV was broken. It played sound but failed to produce a picture. At least, that was the issue as I recalled it a couple of years ago. After restarting it, it would start. Now it had acquired more issues, apparently. Usually, we don't watch TV, but when people rent a house, they might want to watch TV, so we had to have one in the house. I could not get the "new" TV to work.

In the evening we had guests for dinner, my parents.

Wednesday 3 August

This was the day we would go with our third trailer to the biannual vehicle checkup in Värnamo. Incredibly, we got three trailers, but that is how it is. This trailer lives in the barn and has a peaceful, healthy life. It was considered to be okay.

I had put the "new" TV in the trunk, hoping I could replace it at the second-hand shop. There was one issue, the shop would not open until midday, so we had to find something to do in Värnamo. We went to the local art museum, Vandalorum.

On the way to the museum, another car drove into our trailer at a roundabout. It was a big smack. I went out and looked at the damage but could not find any. The car that drove into our trailer had a little dent on the registration plate, but that was it. It was a modern car, and he was lucky his airbags did not trigger. When that happens, the car is a total loss. At first, I could not understand why there was no damage, but later I figured out what had happened. The trailer has breaks that get activated by the weight of the trailer. There is a spring that will get pushed together to activate the breaks. The other car smacked into our empty trailer, but the spring of the breaks absorbed the impact. When we got to the museum, I was a little shaky, though. It took a while for me to calm down.

Vandalorum has three barns. In the first barn, there was an exhibition about Boro textiles. I connected with this subject since I had been repairing my jeans last winter. I will need to repair the jeans again because they have new holes.

There was another exhibition by a Swedish textile designer, and in the third barn, there was an exhibition by a local artist. Those two last barns did not connect with me so much. It was a great visit; we had lunch at the restaurant. We ate in the garden. In the garden, there were three small fields with linen flowers. They were really decorative.

After the visit to the museum, we went to the second-hand shop. It had opened. They took back the TV, and I went to see if they had a replacement. It was sold. There was another TV to get, but it looked older than the one I just returned.

There and then, I started searching for the problem and found it. Sweden switched from SD to HD broadcasting last autumn. We did not know that because we were in The Netherlands because of Corona and building a new house. Older TVs cannot handle the new format: DVB-T2. I decided to take the TV we just returned and get an extra DVB-T2 box. The DVD-T2 box is nothing you buy at a second-hand shop; those are found in a shop for new stuff, so we went there.

When we came home, I put back the TV and connected the box. It did not work! This was slightly frustrating. Before the pandemic, I installed a new antenna. Perhaps it was pointing to a transmitting tower that had been retired? I searched for active towers and found that the antenna was not pointing to one; what it was pointing to is unclear. Back then, it worked, that is for sure. So I brought out the ladder and climbed to the antenna. I could turn it to point to the active transmitting tower. In the worst case, I had to move the whole antenna, which was unnecessary. The new direction worked! Now the TV system was slightly complex, so I made an instruction on how to turn on the TV. Now all should be settled for people renting the house.

During this process of working on the TV, our new neighbors came by and had a chat. There was no time for inviting them for a cup of tea.

Thursday 4 August

Today it was sunny and hot. We took a walk around the property. We walked "Jens Stig" that I built in 2013. That was nine years ago. Then we walked over the "Jens Bridge" I built in 2015. One plank had to be replaced on the bridge. We will see if I have time to do that. The links here are links to YouTube videos about those projects.

Not far away from the bridge, there was a deer cub. It was not a fantastic photo of the deer, but it was hot, so we moved on to see more of the property. I saw elk dung and footprints, so they were not far away. In the forest, we found huckleberries. We also found that a neighbor cut his forest, which was less pleasant. But we still have ours, so all is fine. Some of our trees had fallen over in a storm so I could collect them for firewood. Not this vacation, though; it is not enough time for that. The tractor stays in the barn this vacation.

After the hike in the forest, I started repairing the light on the workshop house. The motion detector had stopped working in always-on mode, so I replaced it. It was so warm.

Friday 5 August

Today I cleaned the car for the first time in three years. I had no peace of mind to do it earlier, and now I had holidays, so it was time to do it. This felt great, much better than I had expected. It was also a lot more work than expected. It was filthy.

The next task for today was to pressurize the water tank. You connect an air compressor to the tank and fill it with air. That air ensures the water in the system is pushed out with sufficient pressure.

A neighbor came by with his dog. We had a chat with him, and we exchanged telephone numbers with each other. He came from Luxemburg. I think this neighbor plays accordion, and perhaps we can jam together.

Saturday 6 August

This morning I went to visit another neighbor. He got a factory in another village. I went to visit him in his factory. That was so interesting to see what he was up to. He had the company with his brother but unfortunately that brother died a couple of years ago. So now he was on his own.

Next up, I started packing the car. The first thing I packed was the tiller machine. I got this machine from my parents. They don't use it anymore, so I could have it. I removed the spare wheel to get space for the tiller in the trunk.

I started thinking about this project before the pandemic. First, I thought I had to bring a trailer. Then I figured a trailer would make the journey much more expensive. I had a lot of time to think about this, and eventually, I concluded that the tiller would fit in the trunk if I removed the spare wheel. At least I hoped so. Now was the time to try it out, and it worked! I was absolutely delighted.

I had to get the spare wheel in the car as well, obviously. Also, two plows, a harrow, two steel wheels, two small wheels, two big wheels, and two support wheels. Two cutting wheels and various ground knives. There was a gear set to make the machine go extra slowly. If I get this to work, I have a complete agricultural machine. But we take one step at a time and first get it to the Netherlands.

On this day, we also packed other things we had brought and cleaned the house so that others could rent the house. This is just tedious work, not exciting at all. The regular packing had to be stoved into the car's back seat.

Sunday 7 August

We left the house early in the morning and drove towards Rödby in Denmark. I drove through Sweden, and DW drove through Denmark, and when we arrived at the ferry, we got a place on the third level.

We did not take regular roads through Germany this time. Instead, we had a stop at an Esso at Haselunne in Germany. It had so cheap petrol I had to take a photo of the pump when I had finished filling up the tank. That is almost half the regular price in the Netherlands. I have no idea how that is possible.

When we came home, all was fine with the flowers, the vegetables, and our sheep. They were glad to see us, obviously.

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.