JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Our house is delivered!

Monday 22 June

Today was the day we have been looking forward to for over two years! We had decided to arrive well on time. We could not stay long because we also had to work, so it was much better to be on time and leave so that we could work as well.

When we arrived, there was already a trailer with material that had arrived early. The driver did not know where to put things. Then came the first employee of the builder. He did not know where to put the items, either. Not until the owner of the building company arrived, the driver could be told where to put the cargo.

The first to arrive at the building site this day was the delivery of building material.

Then the first builder arrived.

Then the owner of the building company arrived with a place to rest for the builders.

Then our house arrived.

The inspection chamber of the drainage of the road needed to stay intact. We did not want any issues with that.

Our house is unpacked!

Here is the first panel of the house being lifted off the trailer to the foundation of the house.


Here at this point, I tried to work a little from my laptop at the plot, but I had problems connecting to work. We decided to leave the building site and go to our old home.

I had a GoPro I could borrow making photos. I will, at some point, look into how to make a film or animation of the pictures it took.

In the afternoon, when we came back, the house was standing except for the roof.

The last wall element is put in place.

Outside, the builders were working on the last towing movements of the day.

Inner walls are placed on the ground. They will be placed tomorrow.

Max is backing out of the street. He has done a great job today.

This is the first room we entered. It is the hobby room on the ground floor. On the one hand, this room has few windows because the walls are needed for storage, etc. but on the other hand it as a door to the garden.

Here I am standing near the official front door of the house, entering from the north. In this hall, the hobby room is to the left and washing room and the utility room to the right.

This is the washing room. The wall to the utility room is not placed yet.

Looking from the washing room though to the utility room.

The hall takes a turn around the utility room along the south side of the house—all windows from top to bottom. To the right, you can see pipes from Gijs, the water pump specialist.

We continue along the south side of the house. Here we arrived in the living room, and to the right, we will have the kitchen.

Here will the kitchen be. It is half-open to the living room.

Here is the living room.

The pipe sticking up from the floor provides the air for the woodstove.

This is the living room on the other side.

Here we are standing on the south side of the living room looking back through the hall.

Here is the first floor without walls and the roof.

The house from the sky!

From this perspective, the house looks a little bit like a toy.

Right now, it is relatively empty around the house. That will change in the future.

The wall elements on the ground could be some kind of tangram puzzle.

Imagine the field behind our house with houses of neighbors.


Tuesday 23 June

Today it was a new day with new chances to take better photos of the new house. We woke up early so that we could have a look at the building site before we started on our regular work.

Just look at that sky. The sky looks like a poster when the roof of our house arrives on the trailer.

First, they start working on the building elements on the ground that Max left the day before.

Here comes the door-opening to the hobby room on the first floor.

It is fantastic how far the crane of the truck can reach.

Here is the wall element, almost at the final position.

Here is the last photo of the housing assembly before we went to our old home to work.


I have been worried that the plants that we are growing got overly developed root-systems in the pots we got. One solution would be to get bigger planting pots. Another solution would be to put out the plants in the ground. The drawback of this is that we need to give more water to more plants. This time we decided on the latter.

The willow plants got a ride from our old home to the plot.

The rapeseed plants, oats, phacelia grow so tall it can be challenging to see newly planted trees. We decorated each new willow with a stick and a little barrier tape flag.

When the planting was finished, we watered all plants. It was not finished actually, but we had no energy to plant all the trees we brought with us.

I put three jerry cans with water on a carriage. Then I got a water pump driven by drill on battery.

We also want plants to grow well at the new house. It is heavy to carry jerry cans of water.

With patience and practice, it will be possible to become a decent gardener.

The apple trees still in pots also want a lot of water. The branch that broke off during transport is not doing fine. I have very little hope it will survive.

These remaining plants had to follow us back to our old home.


We are using our sea container more and more. We found a new use for the straps that the builders are towing the building elements of our house. At the ceiling in the container, there are shackles perfect for holding the straps. Then it is a question of finding spare parts of wood lying around, there are some scraps that I managed to recover from the builders. They had a trailer for junk and scraps that I was allowed to take things from. I had hoped I could take much and much more, but today it was gone. I spoke to the owner of the company, and he said they have enormous amounts of scrap wood. Perhaps one day, I take our own trailer to the builders and dumpster dive into their scrap heaps. That would be fantastic. It is two hours south with the car. I will see if this idea is impossible or if there is a little bit of room for this.

When you hear me talk, you probably get the impression we have no garden at our old house, but that is not entirely true. We got a one not that big, and we have not been altogether good at managing it. Strangely, the new garden has sparked a renewed interest in growing plants. That interest was not there before so much, and it is strange. We could have been doing things to make the old garden thrive, but in a way, we gave up on it. In retrospect, I don’t understand where that came from. Here is the daylily.

We also got a white mallow at our old house. At the new home, we got the pink mallow to grow nicely. The white mallow plant is a little bit like a cat. You cannot entirely decide what it is going to do and when. On several occasions, we planted mallow at a spot where it just died. Then usually between two garden-tiles, far away from the original place, you find mallow sprouting. Mallow often decided to lie down after a while. If you want to enjoy it standing, you will bind it up with a cord.

At our old house, we got redcurrant bushes. We have had these for around eight years. During this time, we started liking blackcurrant berries more than the red. We use blackcurrant berries in our breakfast smoothies. It is definitely on our todo list to buy and plant black currant bushes at the new plot.

Wednesday 24 June

Today we also got the compulsory potty house! Our is currently cyan blue.

The progress at the house went into more subtle development. There will be no cranes at the building for a while. They got that little crane with a basket, but that is all. Later, when the roof is delivered, there might be more crane work. The builders are currently installing window and door frames. All steps from now on will be much smaller.

The window frames on the first floor are still missing here. The south side has big full floor height windows.

I took this row of photos walking around the house. This is the west side of the building and a little bit of the south wall.

Here are the west side and a little bit of the north of the house.

Here they are busy with the window frames on the north side of the building. This is a photo from June in the evening. It means there will be sun on this part of the building in the evening.

Here are the east and north side of the building. We have the entrance of the house on the north side of the house. The door on the east side is a door to the hobby room.


Thursday 25 June

The main event of this day was the delivery of the scaffold. That was not such a picturesque moment. The company selling it arrived with a truck, and we unloaded it beside the trailer, and they left. It is heavy! Later in the evening, we moved substantial parts inside the container. There is no point stealing a part of a non-standard scaffold, and besides, thieves are reasonably lazy.

The house progressed nicely today. More window frames were installed today.

Friday 26 June

I put on my wristwatch again. At the beginning of the corona-crisis, I took off my watch because I wanted it to be easier to wash my hands. It has been inconvenient to be without it but practical when washing hands regularly.

The building of the house is progressing nicely. It has been difficult to express the feelings of the progress. I feel numb about it. It is like when you are used to traveling from one city to another by car, and you know that it takes a day. Then you make the same journey with faster transportation. The high-speed train, for example. When you arrive, you have that feeling I got with the house. Perhaps it is only me having that feeling, I don’t know. It has to to with time, that something is slow and tedious and suddenly it is quick. I worked on this project for two years, and then the builder comes and sets up a house in a week. It is difficult to understand.

Because this project is in such a historical phase, I have been taking many photos, on the one hand. On the other, I have done regular work as well, not being able to be at the site as much as I had hoped and thus missed chances of doing unique photos. That said, from the delivery of the scaffold, there is not so much to take pictures of. This continued today when we got one batch of material delivered. I took a photo of the house with a pile of stuff standing on the left side of the container. We left it outside during the night. It was not supposed to rain until tomorrow, so that would probably be no issue.

The bees and the bumblebees are humming around in the new garden. Our onion flower hatched. The ball is almost the size of a tennis ball. Here is bumblebee collecting nectar from the flower. Perhaps there will be thousands of onion seeds produced by this flower, and this part of the garden will be full of onions.

We got much work ahead of us. Since we started this project on 6 May 2018, it has been a lot of brainwork with planning and paperwork. Now we arrived in a new phase with muscles work in and around the house and on the plot. Already the preparations last weekend for the container were hard work. Now we should put the scaffold away from the road, and the considerable pile of material should move under the roof before it starts raining. Instead of all this, we went to our old home. We had been working for a week, and we were tired and had to have some rest. At home, it started raining.

Saturday 27 June

Today we went to the plot to move the material away from the rain. The first thing we noticed was that there had been raining during the night. I saw 1.5 millimeters of precipitation in the rain gauge.

The package contained different sorts of things, and it had been fantastic if we knew what each kind was supposed to be used for and when so that we could put them in the container in the optimized stacking order. It is easier to move things sideways, though. Two persons can rearrange the stacking order of two piles much quicker than it takes to put the planks at the back of the container. We just placed the material inside. There will be more material arriving later, so we left space for that to the left. To the right, we set the content we received yesterday. We worked as quickly as possible because we would welcome guests in the afternoon. Then we went to our old home and prepared ourselves for the guests and then we went back to the plot.

There the guests had already arrived. It was my wife’s sister with her husband. He is handy indeed and knows a lot about working with wood. She knows a lot about gardening. We showed them the property at the state it currently is, and we answered the questions we could answer. He wondered how the gypsum plates would fit on the inner walls. The beams were slightly more apart than the width of the plates. That is a good question I will talk to the builder about. He also wondered about the isolation material to be used on the inner walls. We have not talked about that with the builder as far as I can recall.

Our guests helped us move the scaffold to a better place. They also helped us move white plates into the new house that had been delivered to us. We damaged the door of the hobby room at three spots when we moved the plates.

Because there had been raining, we postponed the watering moment.

Today in the evening, we discovered that the pumpkin seeds were about to sprout. My wife planted those on 10 June. That was 18 days ago. I predict we will need to replant those quickly when they started growing.

For a couple of days now, I had the feeling that the tomatoes are still standing in their development. I think I will take a walk to the grocery store to find out if they have any leftover cardboard boxes that I could use to plant tomatoes in.

Sunday 28 June

Today we decided to plant more willows and water plants. The trees in the pots at our old home are progressing well, and some would need bigger planting pots, but go out and buy more planting pots costs money, so if that can be avoided, then that is good. Either new planting pots or we plant the trees at the plot. We worked our way along the west side of the plot, planting willows every four meters (13 feet). There are seventeen willows. The very last tree in the series of trees was supposed to be a Populus alba with silver leaves, but I grabbed the wrong pot, so there came a Salix babylonica Tortuosa. It is also a Salix, but it has curled leaves and curled branches. The tree before the babylonia is also a salix, but it had a green-gray surface. All other sorts of willow we planted until now had red stems. There are almost twenty varieties of Salix, so that is not strange that we don’t know what kinds we have.

The Populus alba went back to our old home for the second time, but now it got replanted with new fresh soil in a smaller pot. It will rest there for a while and recover from all the traveling.

At many places along the west side, it feels like the road builders have been driving. I know by now that every time I dig in the ground here, the anger about their off-road driving will bubble up within me. So also this time. There are also cracks running through the soil, and sometimes they can be several centimeters wide. When planting a tree right over such an opening, we noticed that the tree might not get so much of the water we are giving. The water is merely running away into the crack. Probably the tree will benefit from the water anyway, but we really want to provide the tree with the best chance of settling, and we cannot just take chances on this when it is so much work to get the tree in place. For this, we found a solution!

First things first, to plant the tree, I begin by digging out a hole. It is like carving in softwood or almost settled concrete where the soil is compacted by the road builders. When doing this, I try to make the dugout into small pieces because I will need soil to put back around the tree. With large chunks, it does not look like soil but more like stones, and that is not handy for the tree. When the hole is deep enough, I add water to the dugout. It turns into clay. I use that to seal the openings. Now I have a place for the tree where water will stay around the root ball a little longer than 2 seconds. Now I can put the tree in the hole and put the rest of the dugout back around the tree. Then I put a stick next to the tree with a barrier tape flag so that we don’t run over the plant by accident.

This is so much hard work. It is so hard to dig that ground by hand, and I was not entirely happy in the evening. All my spines ached. We could wait for more rain, but that means we have to wait forever this summer. We really want to have these trees planted.

When done with planting a tree, I have clay on my hands, and I look awful in General.

With today’s planting exercise, several pots became vacant. Now I can see what we already got among the plants to see what plants to give an upgrade.

I brought with me four trestles to the new house today. I had the idea that I could make a temporary table with one of the white plates that we moved into the house yesterday. It is not so that I got an urgent need for a working desk. It is just that if I need to sit and work somewhere at the new house, then this could be a table kind of. This will not work for any construction work, but it is excellent for a laptop and a cup of coffee. Equipment like this is more useful at the new house than in the old house. I am curious about what the white plates will be used for.

With this, the week came to an end. There are many questions to find answers for around the new house and garden. In the coming weeks, we will work on getting those answers.

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.