JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Planted hawthorn

This week, we planted hawthorn, etc.

27 November to 3 December, week 48

We had a lot of rain and fog this week. The temperature slowly decreased to around zero degrees Celcius throughout the week. I have been bad at blogging. Instead of blogging, I have been working on the visualization program every spare moment, which is excellent fun. I do this because I want it to be ready next week on Friday.

I realize I should start plastering the staircase wall, but it is as if it is not happening. So, I am walking around with a bit of a burden about that. It would have been better if I had just started working on it, but then, instead, I continued on the visual effects programming again. And again, and again.

Some other things must happen, such as doing regular work and maintaining the sheep. Social things are coming up, such as a seasonal lunch at work. We will exchange presents at work, so I have to go and get them. That will be great fun as well. More about that later.

DW ordered more trees and brushes. On Wednesday, we planted 1 Myrica Gale (Gagel), 5 Sea-buckthorn (Duindoorn), and 24 Hawthorn (Meidoorn). We planted these along the west border on the top of the dyke. We still have 9 Myrica Gales and Sweet Chestnut Tree (Tamme kastanje) to plant eight. We got 24, so we got a little too much, actually.

The road is being constructed. We are at the end of the construction, so in theory, we have access to the road while it is being built, although not officially. The road workers open the road in the morning and then close the road when they are done for the day. We can still get to our driveway if that is necessary. This was necessary when we bought more hay for our sheep. That was on Wednesday. We arranged that we could buy the hay in the afternoon when the roadworkers were finished for the day.

We hooked up the large trailer and drove to the farmer. When we came back, we parked the loaded trailer outside our driveway.

Then, it was "just" about wheelbarrowing the bales to the hay shed. I still don't know how much each bale is weighing. I can handle one myself, but DW finds them (a little) too heavy. We bought 15 bales this time. It is okay for a couple of weeks.

Somehow, the weather has been dreadful for a long time now. Much rain. I hope the rain is filling up the water surplus, the groundwater. Then we can buy back the water via the water pipes in the summer. This is a good scheme because we have no viable solution for storing thousands of cubic meters of water on our property.

When thinking about the weather, it is as if there has been no moment when it was beautiful, but that is not true. I took this photo while walking around the office building with a colleague. It was sunny, and no mist, no rain. Let us cherish that moment for a while.

Do you notice that this photo is not straight and that the buildings are leaning over to the left? This is a "one-point perspective" motive. We can fix the photo so it is straight and make the building stand up. I turned the photo 0.5 degrees to the right.

Then, with the perspective tool, I can straighten up the building. In GIMP, you start the perspective tool with Shift + P. Then you can drag the handles of the sides of the photo. Often, the top handles need to be dragged out to compensate for buildings leaning into the image.

Here is the final result. I cropped the image to adjust for rotation and emphasize the one-point perspective. That makes it (more) square, but I am okay with that. I also made the image slightly darker to make the colors more saturated. That is a question of taste, I suppose.

On Saturday, we planned to plant the Sweet chestnut trees and the Myrica gale, but it was so frosty in the ground that we did other things instead. This does not matter because the plants are dug into a pit. They can survive weeks if so is needed. Perhaps we can plant them on Sunday?

We did compost maintenance! This is the first time we attempted this. The idea is simple: move the top of the compost to another heap, and the revealed compost is ready to be used. We put the reed (phragmites) cut-off from our biofilter in the base of our new heap next to the old heap. Initially, we were supposed to maintain the biofilter, but the municipality decided to do it for us, so they sent a person to cut the reed. Fine with me. At some point, we will need to sieve the particles from our compost to make lovely new garden compost. I am seeing a new handicraft project making a garden compost sieve.

Next, I attempted to take off the wheels of the tiny house. They are not supposed to be exposed to the elements. That will make them brittle. These bolts were tightened firmly. I decided to stop this experiment and get a screw gun. I am not sure if I should get a pneumatic or electric screw gun. This is to be decided later.

The rest of the day, I worked on the VFX program. I did the "final adjustments" in such a way that I am happy for now with how it works. It works on my blog laptop to run the show on my DJ set. When I finished the program with the sound effects, I tried to DJ a little. It went fine, but I could do with more training until next Friday.

Sunday, we decided to prepare our first floor for the vacuum cleaning robot. It was on 29 September that we got the S9+ robot. Since then, we used it only on the ground floor. DW suggested we should "just" let it out on the first floor to find its way, but I did not want that. I have a permanent nest of cables running over the floor in my office alone. If the robot were to chew up those cables, it would not be pleasant at all.

I had a plan! How would it be if the cables were hidden behind a barrier? Look, I am a nerd. I switch cables constantly. I connect and disconnect stuff all the time. I cannot have a cumbersome system for cable management. I need something simple. The small plank is 8" 2/3, and the long plank is slightly longer than 119 inches.

Suppose I had a plank held upright by two sides pieces. Easy enough.

DW was not entirely convinced by this plan; she had preferred that the floor could be cleaned under the cables. I do understand her hesitation, but I wanted a simple solution.

So it became my suggestion, but with an endnote, but that was later.

I took out a plank for my project. It is from the façade of our house. We have plenty of those planks left, so it is just a question of getting the thing together. I put the plank up on trestles right outside the workshop. It would have been nice to have the workshop in such a condition that I could do the work there, but unfortunately, it is too messy there. I will get back to that because it is affecting my motivation to do DIY, so this is not good.

The weather was good, and I would get this done today, so that was nice. I think the weather was sufficient for planting sweet chestnuts, but DW decided it was too cold for tree planting. I think getting the cleaning robot working on the first floor is a good idea, so I was also happy with that project.

I got the plank cut and screwed it together. It is simple indeed. When finished, DW turned the construction one quarter and said, "How about the sides were high enough for the robot to clean under? I had not thought about that. It had been a little more complicated construction, but she was right. It had been workable. Well, I was done and had no plan of reconstructing my barrier.

Now started the real challenge, to get the construction in place. I removed all cables, inserted the robot barrier, and then put all cables back again.

Now, one hurdle was resolved. The entire floor was not robot-safe just yet. We had a protective paper that curled up here and there. Stuff is lying around, ready for the robot to munch on. The robot is clever enough to avoid small things, at least that is what the marketing is saying, but give it a thread, and it will just eat it until it cannot get any more, and then it will start spinning on the thread molesting the rolls of the robot. I did not want that.

Before starting the robot, we had a short walk around the neighborhood. We had a look at the road construction further into the area. Here, you can see how the tiles are prepared for going to the road. By preparing the tiles like this, you automatically apply pressure on the tiles, making the road compact. The downside is that in curves, it is necessary to do manual adjustments. This road comprises only curves, which is unpleasant for the road workers. I am curious if this machine will be in our driveway next Friday when I need to bring DJ equipment to my gig at work.

When all was ready and we were back from our walk, we started a reconnaissance tour for the robot. I was curious to see if the robot would discover that staircase. It did! It knows that it should not fall down the stairs. That is good. You can see that the floor plan is complicated. This is because the first floor is still littered with boxes and stuff standing on the floor. The good thing about the robot is that you are confronted with that. I want a cleaner floor plan because it is less cluttered and gives more peace of mind.

The reconnaissance tour already took one and a half hours. We did not recharge the robot after this but restarted it to do a complete cleaning pass immediately. This actual duty pass was interrupted because the bin was full. It was the first time I emptied it by myself. Until now, the base station on the ground floor has emptied the robot, but now, I had to do it myself.

With an empty bin, the robot was sent off again to continue cleaning the floor. You already guessed it. The robot battery got drained. I had to carry the robot to the base station. It felt like I walked around with a family member!

About here, I found Merida on top of my office chair and desk. I had put my chair there to make the reconnaissance tour go as smoothly as possible. I wish the desk was cleaner than in the photo, but this is how it looks. She expresses, "I am fine here. Don't bother me". So I did not do that.

Here ends this week's blog. I think planting the first part of the brushes is a good achievement. Also, getting the cleaning robot running is suitable for our house.


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.