Digital ditches

in OCD7 months ago (edited)

It was a pretty good day today with the family, even though Smallsteps has got a bit of a flu going on at the moment. Nothing major - a runny nose that woke her up at three in the morning. After lunch, she and my wife spent a couple hours in the garden collecting (eating) berries (mostly raspberries, gooseberries and red currants) while I started cutting down some small trees and pruning bushes away.


Some of the strawberries picked and frozen last week and eaten on crepes specially made for Smallsteps - her first pancakes ever

Unfortunately, we have had to add an additional large process to our renovation plans, as the rainwater drainage systems haven't been done correctly (not at all in some cases) and we will have to dig trenches and put in pipework. While the house is dry, there are a couple of areas around the house where the ground is sopping wet and there are some plants growing that should have never been put near a house, as their roots can get into the "secret ditch" (drainage system around the house foundation) which is clear now (we checked with a camera) but has to be taken care of before it poses a major issue.

One of the areas that needs to be landscaped is the driveway, as many years ago they raised the road and now the driveway slopes away from the storm water ditch, leaving a swamp in the middle of our yard. The previous owners chose to do nothing about this - we have to. Because there is so much earth moving going on, we are also going to remove the "hedge" (a mess of random trees and bushes) and replace it with a proper hedge, which should bring a lot more clarity to the space. The house is now painted, but I won't do a before and after until it is complete, as due to this ad hoc work to be done, the plinth will be painted later, hopefully in August. The white is great however and it looks like a different house now.


Since there is so much earth-moving to do, we are also getting them to level a place for a future deck and also where the glasshouse will be positioned. The glasshouse will be created out of our old windows and will be around 10m2, which is the limit before a building permit is required. The additional cost for this work is insignificant considering what else they have to do and having the prep done while they are already here means saving thousands later to get them back. Due to the ground freezing and the thaw, foundations are very important to get right, otherwise the ground will move during the winter and tear buildings apart.

As you can see from the picture above, I am in the early stages of modelling the house so that we can have a better idea of what we might want and be able to relay this to the contractors clearly. I haven't put in the changes in ground height yet and might not other than the driveway into the garage in the basement, as it might not be that important for the visualization. Then again, it might be so I will see how hard it will be, since I have to hand measure everything.


Being able to model the house (even inaccurately) is a huge advantage for us, as we are quickly able to see what kind of space we will have to work with and what is possible. It also gives the opportunity to test theories and ideas in a few minutes without having to invest large amounts of time. I am getting a little faster at modelling now and my wife can comment or "try" and I can get a working copy for her to look over quite soon.

I quite enjoy the modelling (not the measuring) process and it reminds me a bit of my high scholl graphics classes, which meant technical drawing with set squares, isometric projections and Rotring cartridge pens. I really enjoyed that class as it allowed me the possibility to use my imagination in a way that it is predispositioned to perform. I wasn't the greatest with the technical drawing side, but my ability to imagine the visual "reality" of an object from a flat projection was suited.

Tomorrow we (I) will continue with the upstairs demolition as guests cancelled due to our daughter's flu. Understandable given the conditions, but their reluctance wasn't about Covid-19, it is that their son has a confirmation camp starting this week and they don't want to pass anything to him before he goes, as that would rule him out of the trip - something young people look forward to and tend to enjoy.

It is a pity though as my wife is going to make a cherry pie using cherries from our own trees! I am really excited about it, more so than I probably should be - but I still find it brilliant that we have edible food in our garden. But, I won't get to eat it all as the neighbors have invited us over for a barbecue before work starts again on Monday for some of us, myself included. Luckily, we have a lot of cherries on the way so a second, third and fourth pie are not out of the question - then apple pie season will start ;)

Hopefully, you are all having a good weekend and making plans for your future too. I am off to bed now as I have been up before the sun and the sun is still rising before five in the morning.

[ Gen1: Hive ]


With all the pressure you guys are going through, having a nice weekend with the family can be very helpful. :) <3

It is nice to have a chill for a bit for sure. Did you have a good weekend?

I just actually came form a camping trip which took us around 6 days of adventure.
So yeah! I had an awesome weekend! :D

I'm posting about it actually, feel free to check em out. ;)

Will do :)

Awesome! :)

First pancakes ever? A long way to go to catch up to uncle Galen then!

Pretty cool to model the house, even if it's not totally accurate. I can hear 'What if we have this here, and that there' already :)

It is also awesome to have your own food growing, I would love that, someday.

I am supposed to be back at work on Monday too, although I've just read that Spain is back on the list of countries where a 2 week quarantine is required when returning to the UK :)

First pancakes ever? A long way to go to catch up to uncle Galen then!

She will have to have pancakes for 2 of her 3 meals a day for the next 25 years ;)

"what if we spend more money we don't have"

Back to work after 4 months is going to hurt :D - do you have to quarantine or are you okay?

That is a lot of pancakes - the caveman diet is much better.

I spoke to work this morning, they agree that WFH is best for a few weeks. I'll also stay away from friends/fam, just in case.

I love the fact that I grow some of my own food, especially the fruit! Smallsteps is so lucky to have parents that give her the best in love and adventures.

Remodeling and planning out the house are so cool and what dreams are made of. Just the thoughts of making it right because it will be yours forever and ever, amen. That is just awesome. I love the pride in ownership. So many people don't. The age of disposable income is coming to a screeching halt. Then people will have to start fixing/buying things that last once again.

Oh, it sounds like you have nice neighbors. Good neighbors are hard to come by. Nice neighbors are normal, but, good ones... a blessing.

Have a great weekend!


I don't think I have ever seen someone eat as many berries as Smallsteps has the last week. Suoerfoods.

You are right about the age of disposable income ending. It is going to be painful for many who have squandered what they had and have little to show for it, including tradeable skills.

We are lucky with the neighbours, but two sets are over 80, so will likely change in the not too distant future. Who knows what we get then.

Enjoy your weekend too :)

Hehe! One can never have too much goodness.

I wouldn't worry about the two sets over 80 and what it will bring... if I am guessing right, it will be two more sets of people that have not squandered their money and are willing to go the extra mile to make their place a home. They don't normally get there being selfish, arrogant people... I think your timing for buying was impeccable.

I am hoping that when the others do move on, the neighbors will be similar to us - easy going and friendly with the neighbors. It is nice to chat with everyone and have the odd drink together without planning.

That is exactly why I love my neighborhood. Ours is mostly 40's and up, but, still, lots of young kids as in the Washington, DC people tend to have kids later.

Anyway, thank you for the words and... very much.

they look very appetizing ... sadly berries don't grow in over location but anyway enjoy


In Finland there are plenty of wild berries growing and if one has the energy, they can be collected from all over the place. Blueberries are everywhere.

you lucky to have such landscape here we live I Concrete jungle with high temperature and hot air

It is also minus 30C where I live in the winter at times :D

You don't need to be that accurate if you're just using it for visualisation, if you're actually planning with it you might want to be slightly more careful ;D and now we know what your house looks like too, yay :D

I don't know why those plant sprites amuse me as much as they do, I guess I'm tired

Yay for edible gardens! I was worried about my youngest's vege intake for ages because he was crazy about meat and basically refused to eat vegetables. Since we replanted our vege garden and restarted the aquaponics I haven't worried about that as he's constantly going to the aquaponics to eat peas and lettuce and misome leaves.

Is she not making the cherry pie now because the guests aren't coming? Was going to say I can't see a problem as it means more cherry pie for you.

if you're actually planning with it you might want to be slightly more careful

For sure and when I did the bathroom, it was precise to the point that the workers asked "umm, does it really have to be so accurate?" it didn't - but they did a good job.

I don't know why those plant sprites amuse me as much as they do, I guess I'm tired

It is Thuja. They look silly there but it is similar to what we will put in, though we are planting much smaller ones and they will take 5 years to get to that height :D

In Year 8 I did an agriculture class and we grew a garden plot each. It was amazing to see kids who had never really eaten vegetables (I was vegetarian at the time) chewing on uncooked turnips and enjoying it, because they grew it themselves.

She made the cherry pie for the neighbor's barbecue - and it was great :D


YES IT DOES HAVE TO BE SO ACCURATE [angry hyperventilating]

I am not an anal retentive perfectionist no >_>

They can grow up with small :D

I remember doing horticulture in year 8. I think someone sabotaged my corn plant because it actually grew tall enough that we tied a stake to it (because it looked a bit flimsy, I don't think where I lived was particularly great for growing corn XD) and it was starting to grow a corn and one day when I came back to water the plots (I lived close to the school so I voluntarily wandered over after school a few times to water everyone's plots as horticulture was only once a week) the stake (with the corn plant attached) had been pushed over. I righted it but it died.

Yay for getting cherry pie after all XD

They can grow up with small :D

She is growing fast, but will likely tap out at around 150cm :D

Horticulture sabotage is the most dastardly of all ;) I really enjoyed tending to the plot, but at the same time, I used to garden with my mum a bit when she would be in the mood to do something out there. It was relaxing.

It is interesting that so few kids these days know where their food comes from.

The boys will help with gardening if J is doing it or asks them for help. Middle child seemed to really enjoy planting out her flowers (which have since died) but then incredulously asked me "People do this for fun?!" when she finished up XD

It comes from the grocery store right XD

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they look very appetizing ... sadly berries don't grow in over location but anyway enjoy

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I hope smallsteps will be good and say bye bye to runny nose!

Cherry pie, apple pie.... Oh you are indeed lucky to have a pie made with fruits from your own garden!

Being able to do some modelling of the house is a great skill!

Ah there is so much work when it comes to a house. I can only imagine how many things have to be taken into consideration.