JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Removing polystyrene

This week, I removed the polystyrene around the foundation of the house. That way, I can mount plates more easily.

Monday 17 June

This was no spectacular day by any means. I worked from home, and DW celebrated her sabbatical. She had a haircut today. Next week, we will attend the DDs exam. I will also need a haircut to appear in some style next week.

Tuesday 18 June

Today, I worked from the office. It was a long day. After regular work, the plant commission repotted more plants.

After supper, I looked at the shed builder's emails. He asked for the information that I sent him. We could not accept the offer tonight because the bathroom was missing.

It has been some time since I recorded the progress in the garden. Well, at least in the part of the garden I am busy with. It has been a tough season, and we are not doing exceptionally well this year.










Wednesday 19 June

I woke up with a wry neck. To treat this, I put on a scarf. Usually, keeping the neck warm helps it go away. Before work, I had coffee while hunting for slugs in the garden. A woman walked by, and she chuckled when she saw me. A knife in one hand, a cup of coffee in the other, in my wellingtons, and a scarf. I look perfectly normal like that, don't I?

Today, I worked from home for the first half of the day. After lunch, I had a visit from a friend who visited us for the first time. I told stories about what we are doing here, and he read the blog, but now he can see it for the first time. He liked the garden, the house, and the sheep. It was nice to hear appreciation for the hard work.

When the visitor had left, Merida caught a mouse! This is her first mouse catch. She liked it a lot, it was great fun. I spoiled her fun because I did not let her continue to play with it, half molested. I took the mouse and ended it from its unfortunate position. Rest in peace.

Then, I started the next more significant project: Mounting plates over the foundation. The foundation is covered with expanded polystyrene, and I must remove it to cover the foundation with plates. You could think that polystyrene is required for isolation, but that is not the case. I have talked to the builder about that.

There are several methods for removing polystyrene. One can use a saw to cut it away. The problem is that it will cause a lot of plastic waste around the house. Another method is to melt away chunks of the polystyrene, which I have chosen.

I got an electric barbecue lighter for this task. We bought this in a second-hand shop in Sweden, and I had no clue that it was intended to be a BBQ lighter at the time. It was not until I bought the second lighter that the person behind the counter praised it for being practical for lighting BBQs that I knew what it was.

In two hours, I removed the polystyrene at around ten meters from the house. That might mean that in ten hours, I will remove all polystyrene from the house. We will see. For today, two hours was more than enough.

It was such a lovely evening. I replaced the battery of the raised bed.

This evening, I ordered the cement boards. It was a sufficient order to have the plates delivered home.

Thursday 20 June

Today, I went to the office. In the evening, I fetched glass plates that a neighbor did not need anymore. In the process, I had another lumbago crisis. No complete lumbago, but just enough to scare me. It hurts, but I can function normally. I have grand plans for the glass sometime in the distant future. I hope it will be good. I want to get myself an AC/DC tungsten inert gas TIG welding machine and be able to weld aluminum. I want to create a glass cabin made of aluminum for plants or a mini greenhouse. I suppose there will be more news about that in the future.

Tomorrow, we got a bring-your-own lunch at work, but I was feeling too sorry about myself to get anything done. I have been working on the plants at the office in the evenings; that has to be enough for now.

We got the message that the plates will be delivered tomorrow. That is indeed a speedy delivery! This is the GGoedkoop hardware store in the Netherlands. Highly recommended!

Friday 21 June

This morning, we moved the nets of the sheep in such a way that the plates could be delivered. Then I went to the office. We had lunch, and it was great! The cement boards were delivered! The package does not look much from a distance, but each board is 2.6 meters (102 inches) by 1.25 (49 inches).

We bought a ready-made dinner from the alternative grocery store in the evening. It was a hummus bowl. It was delicious, but it was not luxurious. That did not matter because it was highly convenient.

This evening, I recalled that it had been 5 full weeks since Meridas last epileptic seizure. Anything longer than two weeks is good news, but it is going fine now.

Saturday 22 June

DW went to a wool-spilling event in the morning. I added an extra part to the sheep's fenced area. I think it is suitable for a couple of days of grazing. Then they need to move to a new area.

Then, I started removing polystyrene around the foundation. I worked on that until lunchtime when DW came home. I had been sitting in the smoke of burned grass and smelting polystyrene for several hours. I was pretty tired at this moment. I had reached the end of the west wall at this point. We had lunch and, after the lunch, a well-deserved nap.

After the nap, it was time again to burn polystyrene. I went on until the supper. This time, I reached a little further than the door on the north side of the house. This is the official front door, but it is rarely used. We did not get the building permit without it because it was part of the house's escape route.

After supper, I transplanted more beetroot to the raised bed. I did all sorts of small tasks. The sheep got fresh new water, and I even washed out the water bucket.

I buried the bukashi compost. I weeded in the garden at the sea container. Some slugs lost their lives. The sheep were curious about my whereabouts.

I even had an evening walk with Merida. She followed me, and we walked around the neighbor's house. It was exciting for Merida because she usually does not go so far. There were all sorts of scents she was not used to.

It had been a nice day.

Sunday 23 June

This morning, I was stoked to continue working on the foundation project. I have not found a simple name for the project. I went out to remove polystyrene around the house as soon as possible. It was getting warm today, so I figured I could start early. I held up nicely until lunch. By then, I had removed all polystyrene around the house. I inspected the east wall, which will differ slightly from the other walls. We also put up the plates the builder provided when we worked on the vertical planks. Those plates are about half of the necessary height. It will be challenging to remove these. The solution will be that we keep them as they are. I put an additional layer below the first layer. For this to fit, I had to keep a little of the polystyrene but not at all irritatingly much. I will fill it up with gravel so that it will be invisible.

For the rest of the house, I will use the new plates. I brought out all sorts of tools, and I had to rebuild the entrance ramp as well. Before I had got all the bits and bobs, it was already late in the day when I could start working on the south wall. That was when I discovered I did not have everything necessary to tighten the ventilation of the foundation. We have a ventilated foundation, but the ventilation shafts must be adequately sealed so we don't get rodents roaming around in the cavity below the house. I remember we had mesh material that could be used for this, but I could not find it. It was too late to get a replacement at the hardware store. We also need a couple of other things as well.

I started this project and should be happy that the electric BBC lighter method worked well on the polystyrene. That happiness is not what I feel when I cannot find what I am looking for, and it is twenty minutes until the shops close.

Instead of working on the foundation, I planted more beetroot and made more slug fortresses for the chard coming up already. It was such a lovely evening.

Neighbors came over for a cup of tea. As I said, we have more social contact here than at our previous house.

Here ends this week's blog. The main achievement this week was that I started finalizing the foundation. It is a long overdue project, but it has started! I have not broken my back this week either, which is good, and Merida caught her first mouse!

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.