JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Continued to put up the permanent fence

This week we continued to put up the permanent fence. The sheep got moved to a new fence area.

Monday 27 March

Today both DW and I worked from the office.

On the way home from the office, we went to the hardware store. We bought a multiplex plate for the front porch ornament of our cottage. The last time I talked about this ornament was on 5 November 2022. During a holiday to the cottage, I recreated the ornament by puzzling the original pieces together. I could not find precisely the type of plywood I was looking for, outdoor plywood. That is a standard product in the Netherlands, but they had not heard about it in Sweden.

I recreated the ornament's design and made it ready to be painted. Then I changed my mind and recreated it from a proper material again. Well, now I got that material, but it is too narrow. I will buy a bigger plate for the ornament.

Tuesday 28 March

I worked from home, and DW went to the office.

It was good that I worked from home because the spring for the auger clutch arrived today. It is small it easily fits in the mailbox, but the delivery person wanted to deliver it personally.

The other springs from china will arrive in a week or so.

Wednesday 29 March

Today I worked from home as well. Half day off. DW went to her office.

After work, I was eager to find out if I could mount the spring into the clutch. The original spring had openings in the loops, while this spring had closed loops. The first modification was to cut off a little bit of the loops so that I could get the spring to fit into the holes of the clutch arms.

Getting one side of the spring was easy, but getting the next was a huge challenge. The spring is so stiff that even if I put almost my entire weight on it, I will not extend. The next challenge is to maneuver the other side of the spring precisely while trying to push it open. That is nearly impossible.

You have to compensate with brain power for what you cannot achieve with muscle power. So that is what I did. I mounted the spring into the welding pliers. It is good because it keeps the grip. Then I took a plank to work as a pivot point. As near as I could come, I mounted a glue clamp onto the pliers. Now I could screw the glue clamp to push down the pliers and the spring.

Finally, after several attempts, the spring was in front of the hole. Then I tapped it gently into the hole. Then it was just a question of putting the machine back together.





Then I took out the earth drill machine, started it, and concluded it worked! It filled me with joy that I could repair the machine all by myself!

I drilled eight holes along the dyke. We had eight poles left from the stash that we bought on 20 July last year. I fastened the permanent sheep fence to the new poles. Putting up a permanent fence is less work than working with temporary sheep nets in the long run. All is relative, obviously.

In the evening, DW finished her latest knitting project. It was a beautiful hat! I could have it. That is good because I have no hat at the moment. She used to blog about her knittings, but that eventually stopped. It is actually she who inspired me to start blogging.

Thursday 30 March

Today we both worked from the office. It became a really long day.

The idea is that we go to the office together. I can park the car at my office, close to the train station. The office has its own parking space. Then she continues by train to her office. In the afternoon, all in reverse, she arrives at the train station, and we return by car. The challenge here is that I arrive early in the office, and DW continues by train to her office in Amsterdam. When she reached her office, I worked at least half an hour. In the afternoon, I can add another half hour. Things are acceptable if DW leaves her office strictly on time; when she stretches out her workday, I get problems. Suppose she works over half an hour or an hour. That means I got one and a half hours more work time.

This Thursday, I came before most colleagues. They said good morning to me. Then they started to leave in the afternoon and wished me a good evening. I was still sitting there. At some point, I felt a bit numb. I wondered to myself, why could that be? Well, I was a bit tired.

Friday 31 March

DW had a day off, and I worked from the office. When we gave the sheep their food supplement, we decided to lure them into the furthest part of their fence area. They were hesitant to eat there; it was scary somehow. We walked them to this part, and they were fine as long we stayed with them. When we walked away, it was scary again, and they returned to their home base.

Today DW ordered more poles. This time we will get the poles delivered to us.

In the evening, I baked homemade pizza. I used yeast dough this time. Great fun!

Saturday 1 April

It was drizzly weather today. In the morning, it started slowly, with just some moisture hanging in the air. I decided to take the brush cutter and trim the area near the road. This is a part outside the permanent fence, so any maintenance that has to take place needs to be done by us. Last season I had no strategy for how to deal with thistles. They overwhelmed us. I figured out a strategy this year, but it will only work if I am on it from the beginning.

As long as the weed is shorter than the bushes and trees we planted, it is possible to see what is what. It is game over when the weed is taller than the bushes and trees. The strategy is to use the brush cutter more often on the areas outside the fence.

Last season I was dragging out thistles. I was digging out thistles, using a lot more energy to remove a few. This year I will not drag or dig out thistles. I will only use the brushcutter. That way, I use less energy on the task and achieve more results.

Another issue last year was that the amount of compost produced was staggering. We cannot process that much compost, especially not with so many seeds. We even had to bring compost to the recycling center, which got out of hand. I will do regular passes with the brush cutter this year, and the weed is not allowed to grow over half a meter.

Since we will get a delivery of poles, it was time to move our small trailer out of the way. We had accumulated garbage in it for a long time, so now it was time to go to the recycling center with the trailer and empty it. That was feeling great.

After that, we went to friends to look after the cat. After we finished eating, we sat with it for a while. It started purring. I think we will have our own cat someday. This cat is unique because it can wag its tail gently while purring. I thought tail movements meant irritation, but perhaps I need to learn more Dutch cat language. My cat language knowledge is in cat Swedish obviously.

Sunday 2 April

This was a beautiful day. We decided to move the sheep to a new area. We had already anticipated moving them to an area between our property and our east neighbors. I found it a pity that we would not maximize the area as much as possible. We already have experience letting the sheep graze in areas with a stack of planks. If the stack is low enough, they gladly jump up and walk on it. When the stack is so high they cannot jump up on it, they leave it alone, perhaps rubbing themselves against it in case they get an itchy spot.

The area we anticipated had heaps of scaffold things, and I was willing to try to let them graze around those heaps.

We also had our tiny trailer and compost heap in the new area. When the sheep just came to us, we had the trailer inside the fenced area, and the sheep started hiding under it. After that, the light system of the trailer broke, and I thought it could be broken by the sheep, but we never found any proof of that. They are too big to hide under the trailer, but I blocked that area even if they were supposed to try. We used all four of our nets for the new area, and putting up the fence took a surprising amount of time. This is where our future permanent fence will shine. Here in this northeast region of the property, we can make the fencing work so much easier.

In the afternoon we went on a visit to friends. That was great. We looked at their house, and they got a beautiful house. Inside out, it is well thought out and well designed. It had been inspiring to see their house before we made ours. Well, I think we are happy with what we got. That is also important to appreciate what you have achieved.

DW worked a little in the vegetable garden today as well. She bought a white currant that she planted next to the net of the raspberries. She harvested some of the chard I sowed in the salad beds last autumn. She made a delicious pie with it.

Interestingly, the sheep returned to the home base under the rain roof in the evening, although it did not rain. I think the rain-roof worked so well that I would argue that we dismantle some smaller sheds, but we need to think more about that.

Here ends this week's blog. It was a fantastic feeling to be able to repair the ground drill. Although I would not like to admit it, I think it will take some time until I get back to plastering the staircase hall. There will be many outdoor tasks, so I must let the plastering loose for a while.

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.