JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Prepared the garden besides the driveway

This week, I prepared the garden beside the driveway.

Monday 6 May

Today, I worked from home, and DW went to her office. I tried to let out Merida, but it would mean I had no control of the garden door. That did not feel right, so I stopped that experiment. I let Merida in and closed the door.

Tuesday 7 May

Today, we both went to our offices. The driveway was enclosed in the sheep area, so we had to remove the fence, drive out the car, and put it back. Luckily, the sheep have respect for the car, so they stay out of the way. It was quiet on the road because families with kids of school age were celebrating the May holidays.

A couple more pieces found their place at the puzzle table at work.


This text is written for a rational audience that likes to contemplate unique and controversial points of view.

It is written in a style that can easily be confused as advocacy for one sort of dogma or another. You might think this is how my ideas will remain forever, but that is untrue. I change my ideas when they suit me.

Likewise the text is not intended to change anyone's beliefs or actions. That you have to do yourself. If you quote from this post or link to it, please take responsibility for what happens if your audience doesn't agree with this type of contemplation.

I have been thinking about the Russian war in Ukraine. I heard an inspiring interview with Professor Elliot Cohen in episode 795 of "Ukraine: The Latest" podcast. He points out that the systematic use of sexual violence by Russia changes the stakes. The West is not realizing this.

Russia has been good at presenting itself as a relentless juggernaut. Perhaps stupid but unstoppable with limitless resources, and that is just not true.

The national character of Ukraine shows ingenuity and resilience. They work across disciplines to solve otherwise unsolvable problems with nearly no means. The national character of Russia, on the other hand, looks like it has been lobotomized. Putin is an aging autocrat; he will not be able to continue the war for a long time. When he is gone, I doubt anyone will be the natural successor to Putin, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine is run from the top down, no top, no war. At least, that is my best-case scenario. Russia is currently losing almost one thousand soldiers per day. The economic future of the country is being amputated. Where are the mothers, sisters, and grandparents of the almost 450 thousand dead Russian men? They are lobotomized, have no clue, and are not protesting this war anywhere near to what would be necessary.

Ukraine is suffering a lot but is building its new national identity. It is building more than that. The country is innovative, and I believe the military know-how will not be exported to Ukraine in a few years. In the future, Ukraine will have the know-how.

When I listen to the general commentary about the war in the Netherlands, the situation in Ukraine does not sound optimistic. In Dutch media, the picture presented by Russia prevails. The national character of The Netherlands is that if you can sell your Neighbor to the occupiers, then that is what you have to do. Sure enough, the previously state-owned bank ING is listed as one of the main contributors enabling Putin to circumvent sanctions. As the Dutch say, "Wiens brood men eet, diens woord men spreekt," translated: Whose bread one eats, whose word one speaks. The media landscape in the Netherlands is pretty much in the hands of the same forces as ING.

In the Netherlands, many think that Russia will win this war, but what they don't understand is that if a lobotomized country tries to forcefully merge itself with a highly innovative and well-motivated country, it will not work. Russia will lose this war as inevitable as it lost the war in Afghanistan. Lobotomized Russia wants to merge itself with 36 million thriving functional individuals. It is doomed to fail. It can take a long time before Russia loses this war, but they will lose it.

Then, there is the motivation for Putin to start this war. I think most people have swallowed Putin's lie without sufficient critical thinking. The lie is that his motivation is only to restore the tsardom. It can be partly intended, but it is not the whole truth. If we look ahead and see what climate scientists predict about the future, they talk about widespread famine. So, how do you avoid famine? Well, you colonize Ukraine; it is that easy. If this is the truth, then the likelihood of a nuclear attack on Ukraine is not realistic. You don't contaminate the breadbasket you are trying to capture, not even someone like Putin. In that respect, it is more likely to attack another part of Europe, such as the headquarters of NATO. If that same operation had the effect that large producers of agricultural products (around the NATO headquarters) would be essentially shut off, then for Putin, that would be even better because he owns the world's food production and dominates it. The competition is eliminated. I don't say it will happen, but it could happen unless we prevent it from happening.

If we stay at the motives of Putin to go to war with "The West" for a little longer, I must say I heard that Putin has been humiliated many times over by various statesmen in the last decade. For example, the moment Russia was removed from the G8 group because it did not "qualify." So, okay, we can perhaps say that a couple of presidents of the US and other nations have been bullying Russia and Putin. So much, in fact, that Putin has been "humiliated" personally. Now, if this triggers your empathy for Putin, please understand that such humiliation does not motivate someone to kill up to a thousand men of your own people per day. If this is the case, your morale is broken, and you must seek a doctor.

In episode 799 of Ukraine: The latest, the guest was Aliona Hlivco. She talked about Russian disinformation campaigns. She talked about Russian spy activities throughout Europe. We must be vigilant and watch out for Putin's long arms.

Wednesday 8 May

Today, I worked from home in the morning and was off duty after lunch. I plan to rent the tiller machine like last year on 18 May. This year, I am ten days earlier. Last year, it did not significantly harm how the growing season progressed.

DW went to a wool spinning event in the morning with a friend. After work, I reworked the sheep area so that I had access to the driveway and could quickly drive away with the small trailer. The sheep had been eating from the grass, which was good.

The trailer was full of garbage, so we had to take it to the upcycling center before going to the rental shop.

All went well, except I had forgotten my legitimation. I think this has to do with the fact that I am using my phone to pay, and now it has not occurred to me. I had to have proper legitimation at the rental shop. So bad. I went home to get my driving license, return to the shop, and rent the tiller machine. Meanwhile, DW was shopping at the second-hand shop. She bought two plastic trays that we can use to bring up plants.

I did not start the tiller machine right away. Instead, I cleared the area with the brush cutter. I had placed stepping stones and other stuff in the garden. I removed all those things. This kept me busy into the evening. DW went to her second wool spinning event; this time, it was in the neighborhood.

It was a beautiful evening. The sheep are unhappy because they want to move on to the next area. They still have plenty to eat along the road, but it feels less secure, so they try to avoid that as long as possible. If package cars followed the speed limit, our sheep would be more keen on eating near the road. As it is now, they get scared of cars speeding. There is not so much to do about it.

Another little afraid creature is Merida. While I worked in the driveway, I opened the door to the garden, and Merida roamed in and out as she used to. Eventually, I rounded off the activities. The tiller machine was placed in the sea container, and the brush cutter was placed in the workshop.

Thursday 9 May

Today we have a compulsory holiday. So this time, we celebrate 40 days since the fantasy figure came out of the coma. The coma trick was obviously magical back in the day. When the front figure of the organization pulls off a trick like that, it is mesmerizing and has been used in the company's marketing. In the Netherlands, this holiday is always celebrated on a Thursday. Some other countries celebrate this on a Sunday. I would prefer that. Today, I can use this holiday to start the garden season.

I noticed that the corn had tiny tips sticking out! This is the beginning. Now I will prepare the garden, and that will take a week. I will watch the sprouting pots, what can be planted, and when.

We started the work today by moving the temporary sheep nets so that the sheep could graze another area and we could get easier access to the compost as well. The sheep got an area between the two northern and eastern neighbors. That will last a couple of days.

For my part, I started the work on the garden next to the driveway. The garden is next to the sea container, but my spelling check program thinks it is inside the sea container when I write that. So to avoid that, I say the garden is next to the driveway.

DW worked with the brush cutter to remove grass where the sheep had just been grazing. She also planted the remaining Sweet Chestnut Trees. We received the trees on 24 November last year. The trees were planted along the west dyke.

When the time was right, I ran the tiller machine to loosen the ground. Then I spread out sand as I promised myself already last year. The sand got run over by the tiller machine. I carried wheelbarrows with manure to the vegetable garden in front of the house. Then, I carried more to the driveway garden.

Friday 10 May

Today, I went to the office, and DW worked from home. She opened the door for a long time in the morning so Merida could stroll freely in and out. She is getting more familiar with the garden right outside our living room. Slowly and steadily, Merida feels safe in this area.

At the office, there were very few people. Luckily, the right people were present, so it was a productive day.

This was the last day of work before the sabbatical of DW.

We had pizza with ice cream for dinner to celebrate the last day. DS was invited. We talked about different things, and as it happened, we started talking about the music I made lately. It turned out that both DS and DW did not like it. I understand that not all creative stuff I do falls into the taste of everyone. We talked about it, and I tried to figure out what could be improved.

The genre of music was not appreciated. I have made country, rock, pop, and disco songs lately, so that argument surprised me. What else should I do? Opera, church choir music? Rap? The rhymes did not sound right. To me, a perfect rhyme is more like a mathematical truth. Your viewpoint cannot change it. The rhyme fits, or it does not. I used almost no near rhyme in the songs; in that case, we could debate artistic sophistication, but that subject did not come up. The music in the songs did not sound right. I wouldn't be so sure about that; there are distinguishable instruments, such as drums, bass, guitars, synths, and so on, that sound realistic. What else do you need? Hyperrealism? I am a little disappointed with the sound quality in crescendo moments. It sounds a little broken at those points. DW had not even noticed those things. I want the bitrate to be 250 instead of 192, but she cannot hear the difference. DW had an example of a song she did not like; she mentioned its first few words. The issue is that the song has many more lyrics than the first few words. It was a song about climate change, but she had not noticed.

I don't know if I should be bothered. I need to express things and will continue to do that.

Saturday 11 May

Today, we worked in the garden. DW moved sheep manure to the no-dig garden in front of the house. First, there is a layer of manure, then a layer of compost, and finally, a thin layer of soil from bags of compost we picked up from the recycling center. It was heavy to fill the wheelbarrows and move them to the garden.

I planned to use manure compost and mix it with the tiller machine. The manure is a lot of hay that the sheep have discarded. I want to tear up the hay blobs into smaller chunks. The tiller machine is good at doing that, but there needs to be a good balance between dry and wet substances for the mixture process. For that, I wanted to use old compost as well.

Ideally, we should use all old compost this spring, but it is silly to have a shortage back at the no-dig garden. Because of that, I switched focus and started bringing manure and compost to the no-dig garden. Then, when that is done, and DW is happy with it, I can have the rest of the compost and manure in the driveway garden. At that point, DW was a little exhausted from transporting material to the garden. It was a delight that I started to move in wheelbarrows as well.

The no-dig garden got the compost layers they needed, and there we stopped the garden work for today. We had to prepare for visitors coming to see us. I went to the grocery store to buy some things, we cleaned some as well, and DW made an excellent dinner.

Sunday 12 May

Today, we started the day with gardening. I had to finish the tiller machine work because I have no more days off to play with it. I emptied the compost we have been working on since we came to the property. Actually, this compost also had material from our previous house. Now, all the compost material has been spread out. When that was done, I used the tiller machine to make the ground at the compost more even. Now we can sow grass here.





The vegetable bed has received the manure from the winter and the compost. I have not counted the wheelbarrows, but there have been countless wheelbarrows. When all wheelbarrows were dispersed and mixed, I lowered the depths of the tiller machine so that it would cut to maximum depth. That is about 20 centimeters. I hope the added sand, the organic matter of compost and manure bound by half-melted hay, will do wonders.

The pre-sowed pots are sprouting very well. There is plenty of corn and courgette. There is less pumpkin. The potatoes are also doing fine.

About here, I discovered that DW received a package from Italy. It is a scientific study of bean growth throughout Europe. She will attend this study and report back on the development of the seeds.

After lunch, we headed off to the PILs. It was lovely weather, and they enjoyed sitting in the sun, drinking tea, eating a cookie, and talking about little things such as the garden, the birds, and things happening in the village. It was lovely.

On the way home, we stopped at the squatting man. The Squatting Man was made by Antony Gormley in 2010.

Hovering on edge between land and water, a 26-metre-tall squatting man looks out over the Markermeer. Fascinated by the malleability of the polder, Gormley found inspiration for this gigantic artwork in the new landscape of Flevoland. Driving through the polder, he discovered a rhythm of straight lines formed by canals, fields, and windmills. Exposure recalls the network of power towers spread across Flevoland like some giant nerve system.

The artwork resembles a transparent human figure and can be spotted from a distance. From close up, this complex feat of engineering becomes ever more abstract and impressive. Antony Gormley often creates sculptures with human forms, using his body as an example.









When we came home, we had dinner and went hunting for snails. It is that time of the year.

This week's main achievement was preparing the vegetable garden beside the driveway.

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.