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My first Mulch

My first  Mulch (reposted from website blog... trying to get things back on one blog....)  It is autumn. The crops in the front garden beds have been harvested and the exposed earth is already hosting a number of weeds. It’s time to prepare for the winter… it’s time to mulch.  If you’ve never heard of mulching, don’t worry, neither had I till a couple of months ago when I began my journey in the wonderful world of permaculture : A perfectly efficient system that strives to use the least amount of energy to produce the optimal yield, providing favorable conditions that allow nature do its work so that you can do less. Starting from the bottom up:  Everything begins with a good foundation, which in the garden means healthy soil. The soil on our land is very poor, and although I succeeded in producing an abundant harvest of fruits and vegetables this year, it’s been a lot of laborious watering and a constant stride against weeds and opportunistic plants. I did not know t
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Lessons from Nature

The lessons that mother nature tells us are boundless. Endless. In the most simple ways, she gives us clues to living. In a storm, you don't have to worry about trees that move with the wind like the pine, it's the ones that are completely solid that could fall. Moving with the wind verses being stiff: Adapting, going with, accepting, letting go, empathising, accommodating, flexible. These trees stay rooted. You know the feeling - of trying to stay standing against all odds until you fall on your face. Literally in my case: When I was a little girl, I had the habit of falling unconscious. When I went with it, my body would collapse gently onto the floor. When I'd try to resist, I'd fall flat like a board and scar my face. The fainting was sometimes caused by sunstroke, or the burning lights of the TV studio. I do not take well to heat, in spite of my middle eastern blood. I sometimes brought fainting onto myself - without intent. I was a bit of a  shayt

Lessons from a fox: On beauty

A fox family lives on our land. We became aware of them early this spring. It began with a kit standing clumsily by the door to our house. We were drinking our morning coffee and could not believe our eyes. The little thing was adorable, slightly smaller than our cats. Over the next few weeks and months, we met the rest of the family: two additional siblings and the parents. Our land is abundant with food, cherries and mice, so the foxes stayed. They must have quickly learnt that we were no threat to them, because with every day, they became more and more brave. They would see us standing at a relatively close distance, look up and continue doing what they were doing. Observing them became our daily (or rather nightly) activity. They were beautiful golden/red foxes with healthy looking fur. One afternoon, after a storm; a new fox made an appearance on our terrain. Given his size, we could tell that it was a male. He was not of the fox family. His fur was unevenly patched with what

Naast een Moslim in een vliegtuig. (Deel een van de serie: Allochtoon op zoek naar een editor)

Het is onvermijdelijk,   als je naar een Arabisch land reist, om een Moslim in je directe nabijheid te krijgen. In zulke gevallen, is het geheim kalm te blijven, als dat kan.    Op weg naar Jordanië: Ik loop naar mijn stoel 11A. De stoelen naast mij zijn al bezet. Twee jonge mannen die er uitzien als Arabieren. De man op de stoel aan het gangpad heeft zijn paspoort nog in zijn hand; het is groen en dun met twee zwaarden erop en een palmboom. Een Saoedi (Moslim dus.) De Saoedi’s hebben weinig visa's nodig (een rijk land) en dus weinig pagina’s in zijn paspoort.   Ik glimlach tegen de mannen en wijs met mijn vinger zonder te spreken. Ze staan op en laten mij door met een Engels "Hello." Ze denken dat ik geen Arabisch spreek. Goed. Ik antwoord in het Engels. Ze beginnen Arabisch te praten. De normale conversatie tussen vreemdelingen in een vliegtuig: waar ze vandaan komen en hun eindbestemmingen . De man naast me spreekt met een Libanees accent. Hij draagt een

In search for a pseudonym... I stumble upon Wilders' Fitna.

Fitna.  Is an Arabic word that is most commonly translated as ‘strife.’   It could also mean 'enchantment' and even 'sin.'    In its essence, it means: To make something appear differently than its nature.   In the Quran, we are told that Moses ‘fatan’ the ropes and so they appeared as snakes. Wikipedia does a good job at dissecting the word linguistically, so why recreate the wheel.   I would however like to point here to the original meaning of the verb ‘fatana’ and that is: to burn.   Adding to Wiki that it could thus be seen as an alchemical word… the burning of metal to distinguish the gold.   Seeing through falsehood and finding the truth.     Fitna is one of the many words that has been hijacked by the modern language.   If words were to rebel, Fitna would stand in the frontlines. But in spite of the negative association of the word – or perhaps as a result of – Fitna is also a woman’s name (amongst certain groups like the Bedouins.)   In that ins