Bullet journal

My 2019 Bullet journal evaluation: Which features will migrate to my 2020 journal

Most bullet journalers are entering or have already entered in the period of setting up a new bullet journal. I am also, but for me it is easy to start a new journal, as I use a Filofax Clipbook A5. In the end of the year I remove all pages from my clipbook and store them. I then add new pages.

In my previous blogpost, I answered the first question that was in my mind in starting a new bullet journal: What happens to the old bullet journals? And since this is by now solved, I can continue to the next one, which is: Which features of my current bullet journal I will continue having in my 2020 version? I split the features of my bullet journal in two big categories: the collections and the monthly/weekly/daily layout.

Collections – Trackers

About this time last year I went through the process of evaluating the collections I have been using in my previous bullet journals. I knew that I have been starting a lot of them and I tended to quit keeping them updated towards the middle of the year. Has that happened to you too?

So in my 2019 bullet journal I kept only collections that were not abandoned and created only a couple of new ones in subjects that I evaluated as really interesting for me, such as books. And guess what? It was an absolute success, as I did not abandon them this year either!

These are the collections – trackers that were so successful for me in 2019:

  • 2019 Roadmap
    This is one of the two not so minimalist pages in my bullet journal. I have already explained the idea behind it here. I absolutely love this short overview of my year!
My 2019 roadmap, as I transferred it to the notebook for safekeeping.
  • Movies and Series watched
    These two collections are of interest for both me and my husband. We watch several movies each year and a lot of series, as it has become so easy with Netflix. These trackers usually end up a bit messy, as I tend to complete them while watching tv, but I love them anyway 🙂
  • Books read tracking
    The Books read collection is the second not-so-minimalist page in my bullet journal. I read about 40 books per year and I tend not to keep the majority of them. As a result, this page is the only way I can really imagine how it would be if I was. It is so fulfilling to see my drawn library filling up!
My 2019 library until now
  • Reading challenges and other book related tracking
    I follow a reading challenge during the year, called BRACE, and it is vital of course to track it in my bullet journal. In addition, during 2019 I decided to keep track of where the books and their authors take me. I track the origin of the authors, so as to have an overview and where and when the books take place. I have been trying to use these data to create some statistics, that I found quite interesting!

Collections – Functional pages

The bullet journal is an incredible organisational tool. I keep a few functional lists that help me in my everyday life:

  • Waiting on…
    I consider this one, one of the most useful collections I use in bujo. Quite often I order things from the internet, or expect an email or a letter from somebody for a follow up. These are things that tend to be forgotten or lost inside a daily or weekly log. As a result, I keep a special page where I note what I should follow up. 2019 was a rather quiet year, but I can’t know how 2020 will go, so I will keep in my new bullet journal
  • Wishlist without deadline
    This is a list of all the things I would like to do, but they are not eminent and I do them only when I have time and mood. Not everything was done, but at least the majority was!
  • When did I last…
    In this list I note things like when I change toothbrushes, clean the windows and the fireplace, or any other task that is donea few times per year, but not regularly.
My “Waiting on” and Wishlist without deadline pages for 2019

Monthly/Weekly/Daily layouts

These are the second most important component of my bullet journal. At this time last year I took some decisions about the monthly/weekly/daily layouts that I have used during the years I have had a bujo. To be honest which of these layouts you use depend on the particular occasion and phase of your life.

During all of 2019 until now I have used a one page monthly log, the running task list for weekly and I didn’t have any dailies. By the way I found out that the running task list is also called Alastair method for weekly.

  • One-page monthly layout
    I know that a one-page monthly layout is perfect for my personal life, so I will continue using it. The months that were full of my gardening activities I kept a second one-page monthly layout dedicated to my plants.
  • Running task list or Alastair method for weekly
    I have found this layout really useful for me. I was mostly staying home and I did not have strict deadlines for the tasks to be done, so by using a running task list I avoided rewriting tasks. Now that my weeks have become more busy already, I will have to reconsider about which layout will be more useful for my 2020 bullet journal. But I never prepare my weeklies too much in advance, so I can change my mind whenever I want.
My current weekly for personal tasks

I think after this evaluation I am ready to start my 2020 bullet journal. Are you evaluating your previous versions yourself? Are there any interesting conclusions you have drawn? Please be kind enough to share them with me!


Hiking route: Valle Verzasca, Ticino, Switzerland

Autumn is the hiking period for my family and this year we did three amazing routes. The first one was the 5 Lakes Route, an alpine route on Mount Pizol in the canton of Saint Gallen, described already in a previous blogpost. The second one was the Verzasca valley route, in the canton of Ticino.

For our hiking, we chose a cute small valley in the geographical centre of Ticino, the Verzasca valley. It is a rural and largely untouched valley with steep inclines and numerous waterfalls. It is formed by the Verzasca river that flows over rock through the narrow valley and has many natural rock pools and places to bathe. The Verzasca valley extends over a length of 25 kilometers in north-south direction. The altitude of the valley floor is from 500m to 900m above sea level, so the hiking routes along the valley are not too demanding. The surrounding mountains have an average altitude of 2400m, so the routes that includes crossing over a pass are of moderate difficulty.

We decided to do the Verzasca valley route from north to south, starting at Sonogno, the northest village of the valley that is accesible by car, and finish at Lavertezzo, more than 17 km away, from where we could take the bus back to Sonogno. The duration of the route depends on the website you check and the person that wrote about it and can vary from 3 to 6 hours. In any case, we considered it a full-day activity, especially since we did it two days after the alpine hiking at Mount Pizol and we were not planning to hurry around.

We reached the Verzasca valley by car from Tenero, at Lake Maggiore. Via Valle Verzasca runs north, along the Verzasca river. At the southern outlet of the valley the river is dammed, forming the Lago di Vogorno. We stopped at the 220m high dam, which is considered to be one of the highest dams in Europe and is famous for the “GoldenEye” Bungee Jumping, the setting of the opening scene of the James Bond movie “Golden Eye”. It is absolutely scary! Then we continued further north, to Sonogno, where the street ends.

Sonogno is a cute alpine village, with traditional stone houses and narrow alleys. A bit northern of the village and only about 15 min away, there is an impressive waterfall. You can walk right next to the small pool that the waterfall creates or a bit higher on a hill that give the opportunity of beautiful pictures.

The waterfall at Sonogno

The following morning we woke up early and got ready for our excursion. It is a rather easy to moderate route, with not big ascents and desents. Nevertheless, it is advised to wear proper shoes, especially if the weather has been rainy. In addition, it is better to carry your supplies of water and snacks, as there is nowhere along the path to get supplies.

Our starting point, the village of Sonogno is at 919m above sea level and more or less the highest point of the route. The path starts at its south end past the athletic facilities, with a beautiful bridge over the amazingly coloured river.

Verzasca river from the bridge at Sonogno. The colour is amazing.

From Sonogno, the path runs along the river from the right bank, till the village of Frasco, while the street is from the left one. At Frasco, we had to cross over the impressive Vecchio Ponte stradale and head to the left bank of the river, while the street continues from the right bank. This is quite common in all of the route: the path and the street are on opposite banks.

The path continues from Frasco to Brione firstly through meadows and traditional farm houses and then approaching again the riverside. At about the middle there is Gerra, where we saw a beautiful waterfall.

At Brione we stopped to have our lunch break. There were turquoise natural pools formed by the river around here and it was the perfect place to have our own outdoor bbq swiss style, with cervelas, the most typical Swiss sausages. We collected wood from all around the river banks and while I was cooking our sausages my husband decided to go for a swim. Well, it was a bit cold the water!

After a quite long break, we continues our hike towards Lavertezzo. As it was already past midday, the route became a bit less populated and it was nicer for us to pay a bit of attention to the river, that becomes more impressive from this point further. There are bigger boulders and formations where the turquoise and emerald colour of the river is more distinct.

About six hours after our start in Sonogno, we reached Lavertezzo, which is at 545 meters above sea level. It is a typical Ticinese picturesque village, with several stone buildings. Its main attraction, though is the 17th century double-arched bridge over the Versasca river, called Ponte dei Salti and known also as the Roman Bridge.

The impressive Ponte dei Salti

At exactly this point, the rock formations are enormous. Even if you don’t want to do the whole of the hike, it is worthy even just to drive up to this point and stop at the parking that is available exactly before the bridge. The river is much deeper here and it is a common place for bathing, although it is considered dangerous due to the currents.

Bullet journal

What happens to the old bullet journals?

It is again almost the end of the year and the time to take decisions about my bullet journal. There will be a series of decision to make, but the first question that came up is a crucial one: What should I do with my old bullet journals?

I started bullet journaling in 2016. In that year I had a simple notebook, but already from January 2017 I moved to a Filofax clipbox, that I adore ever since. This means that I have the luxury of just removing all of the pages at the end of the year and start filling it up again with new pages. I have been keeping the past years, by making a simple book-binding of the loose pages and then storing them in a box. But this doesn’t seem to be the most efficient way after four different years.

My four years of bullet journaling and the evolution to pure minimalism 🙂

Are old bullet journals useful?
This is the first question to answer, in order to find a solution.

Most bullet journalers will answer yes. The bujo has been our companion for quite some time, it includes personal notes, collections that are still interesting today, maybe notes for a project or a recipe. You can’t just throw that up, right? But for sure not everything that is in a bullet journal is interesting, so as to keep it for the years to come, no? And how easy is it to find the information the moment you are looking for the notes on the project or the recipe?

I should note at this point that I am not a very sentimental person about a lot of things. Besides my bullet journal, I am following a minimalist way in my life too. I tend to keep only a few things (that honestly end up in a lot if you have to move). For example, I read a lot of books, but the majority I give away through Bookcrossing. So starting to collect several bullet journals on a shelf doesn’t comply with my way of living.

What is important and what not?
If you decide that you don’t want to keep bullet journals for the sake of keeping them, this is the next question that occurs.

Well, most monthly and weeklies (or dailies if you have – I don’t) are not exactly the most interesting pages in your bullet journal, don’t you agree? In 2017 my husband and I went on a long trip in the southern hemisphere and I kept some kind of journal of what we were doing every day, in a monthly format. These monthlies are messy, but even two years later, I consider them quite interesting. Or if you have had a baby or some other occasion that you have been noting in your bullet journal, you might find that interesting to keep for the years to come. Nevertheless, most of my weeklies are full of house chores, business or doctor appointments and other boring things.

I have a similar problem with my collections. As a junior journaler in the beginning, I was keeping a lot of collections and tracking several things. But as the time was passing, I was abandoning them. By now I keep only two collections: my yearly overview (for more information check my post “How to track your year in a glance!“) and some trackings about the books I read during the year and the reading challenges I follow. I also use my bullet journal for notes about the projects (knitting, crocheting or paper ones) that I do during the year and my gardening. Most of these I would like to keep and not throw away. I can imagine that you have also some collections that you would like to keep.

So what should happen to the important things and what to the not important ones?
And this is the difficult question, which I think can have several answers.

Personally, I decided to separate the wheat from the chaff. I have always liked notebooks and stuff and I had a couple of empty nice looking notebooks that I couldn’t get rid of. So I decided to transfer the important things from my bullet journal to another notebook.

I have been using my bujo to make notes while I knit or crochet. I have created a nice template so as to keep track of my projects, but it soon ends up messy while I work, with notes of the modifications I do to the pattern I use (and I do a lot) here and there. These notes are handy when I do them and important for later if I want to reproduce anything, but it would help if they were a bit cleaner. As a result from quite early, I started keeping a separate notebook about my handwork. So I just move my knitting or crocheting notes to this notebook.

From the working notes in my bullet journal to the saved noted in my knit/crochet notebook.

During 2019 I started doing gardening. Surprise, surprise most of my notes are in my bullet journal in templates for gardening that I have created. But these were also working notes and the tables in the end of the year looked quite full with information and plantings of the same vegetables that were overlapping. And since this was also information that might come handy again next year, at least so as to decide which seeds worked and which not, I ended up creating a notebook dedicated to gardening too.

From the working notes about gardening to my notebook dedicated to gardening

So the only things that are left are my personal collections, which include, my annual roadmap, my book and reading trackings and any notes that I have kept from books. These are the pages that have sentimental value for me, so I decided to choose one of the most special notebooks that I have been keeping and dedicate it to my own personal collection of memories and notes.

The majority of the rest of the pages in bullet journal will probably not be important enough to retrieve in five years (or even less if it is about when i did the washing and when I cleaned the house).

My conclusions
This whole procedureof deciding and copying everything took me a bit of time, but the result was fulfilling. I know feel better with myself and satisfied that the information will be easy to find next time I need it.

Even for me, that I consider myself not so sentimental with things, it was not easy to decide to throw something that reminds me still of several things. I have copied the information that I consider today important, but I won’t throw all of the old versions of my bullet journal in one go. I have set the rule to myself that in the end of each year I will be evaluating if I keep the bujo of four years ago (as a whole or as part). As I result I will be storing only three full versions of a bullet journal. And if something needs more time to be evaluated objectively, the rule can be bent a bit.

So, I ended up with a running bullet journal, three dedicated notebooks (hurrah! some of the notebooks I have been keeping because I like them found their purpose) and three versions of past-year-bujos. Not bad I think. What do you think? What are you doing with the old versions of your bullet journals? Are you keeping them all?

My bullet journal and the three notebooks I have created for safe-keeping of the important information.
(Note to myself: I still need to modify the word Paper, so as to convert it to Garden)


Excursion to Ticino, Switzerland

In September there were a few nice days and my husband and I grabbed the opportunity to enjoy the autumn nature. We went for a small excursion to Ticino, Ticino is special for two reasons: it is the only italian-speaking area of Switzerland and it is in and south of the Alps. Thanks to the latter, this area is a bit warmer than the rest of Switzerland and as a result a common destination of holidays inside the country. They advertise themselves as the most Mediterrenean of Switzerland!

Driving up the San Bernandino Pass. We didn’t go through the tunnel.

There are two ways to reach Ticino from the north: you have either to cross either the San Bernandino Pass from the east or the Gotthard Pass from the west. In both cases there are tunnels that can save the time to drive up the pass. But if you have a bit of time and the weather is nice, it is an always nice drive up the Passes. For our excursion we drove to Ticino from the San Bernadino Pass and we didn’t use the tunnel and on the way back we took the tunnel at the Gotthard Pass.

A nice bridge on our way from the San Bernandino Pass to Bellinzona.

My husband spent several of his childhood holidays in Ticino. So we drove a bit around the nice mountainous but sunny even in the end of September area. We drove through Bellinzona, the capital of the canton, and Locarno, which located at the northern shore of Lake Maggiore.

We then continued up to the picturesque village of Arcegno (387m above sea level), one of places my husband has been spending summers and walked around the small streets that are surrounded by stone houses.

And then we headed again down towards Lago Maggiore. The view of the lake from the village of Ronco is amazing!

Lago Maggiore. Switzerland on the left and Italy on the right edges.

We continued our descent towards the lake shores and the touristic town of Ascona (196 m above sea level). There we had a walk along the paved promenade and enjoyed the sun and a swiss-italian icecream!

The paved promenade at Ascona. It was a bit windy, but sunny and warm

After Ascona we decided to start heading towards the Verzasca Valley, which was our main destination in Ticino. We wanted to hike this beautiful and narrow valley, but the description of the hike will follow in another blog post.


Alpine hiking route: 5 Seen Wanderung, Pizol, Switzerland

Hiking is considered to be the national sport of Switzerland. The hiking season starts around May and finishes around November, depending of course on the weather. This year, my husband and I did a bit of hiking and I am starting to enjoy it more and more. One of the most amazing hikes we did this year was the alpine route of the Five Lakes at the Pizol mountain, a peak in the canton of Saint Gallen.

The Saint Gallen Rhine valley with Lake Constance (Bodensee) in the back and Lichtenstein on the right.

The Five Lakes route, or Funf Seen Wanderung as it is called in German, is a mountain route that takes its name from the five alpine lakes that can be reached along the route. Besides the beautiful hidden lakes, it offers magnificent views of the mountain ranges around including the Churfisten and Alps of Graubünde and the Saint Gallen Rhine valley across to Lake Constance and Lichtenstein.

The Alps in the background

The total distance of the route is about 11 km and its estimated duration 4 to 4.5 hours. The easiest approach of it is to start from the Pizolhütte at 2227m and finish at Gaffia Station at 1861m. In total, it involves ascenting of 600 m and decenting of 1000 m. and is of moderate difficulty. The opposite direction is obviously a bit more demanding.

We reached Pizolhütte, the starting point of our hike, from the town Wangs, located at 509m above sea level, on the south of the canton of Saint Gallen, through a combination of gondola and chair lifts. The hut is located close to Wangersee, the first lake of the route. From there the path started climbing up and it offered broad view over the East Swiss and Austrian Alps. After about an hour of climbing, we reached Wildsee, the second lake at altitude 2493m above sea level. It really appeared as a surprise around a turn and it was breathtaking with its turquoise colour. From this point, we even got a glimpse of the Pizol summit (2844m).

The amazingly turquoise Wildsee (2493m above sea level)

From Wildsee, the path descented briefly, so as to reach Schottensee, the third lake of the route and a turquoise one as well. From the banks of Schottensee (2340m), the ascent began again, so as to reach the highest point of the route at 2500 m above sea level. From here we had an absolutely amazing view of the Churfirsten, the mountain range dominating over Walenstadt, my husband’s hometown.

The smaller but cute Schottensee (2340m above sea level) and in the back the Churfirsten mountain range

From 2500m, the path descended to the Schwarzsee at 2368m. As its name implies, this is a dark-coloured lake and it makes quite some contrast to the previous two lakes. It was about 5.5km to this point, so it was about the middle of the 5 Lakes route. As a result, we decided to have our short lunch break at this point and we were not the only ones!

The dark Schwarzsee (2368m above sea level)

After a half-hour break, we start the second part of our hike. 2.5 km or about an hour away from Schwarzsee, we reached the fifth and last lake, the green Baschalvasee (2174m).

The small green Baschalvasee (2174 m above sea level)

From this point starts the big and final descent of the route to the Station of Gaffia. It was quite some relief to reach it 4.5 hours (including the break) after we started!

From Gaffia we took the lift down to Wangs, enjoying the last views of the Saint Gallen Rhine valley with the Bodensee (or Lake Constance in English) in the back.

I am absolutely happy to have done this magnificent hike and, although as tiring as a 4-hour alpine hike with ascents and descents can be, it is so rewarding to have seen so beautiful views of alpine lakes and impressive mountain ranges! I do recommend it to anyone interested to see a beautiful area and experience Switzerland and the Alps!

Diverse DIY

Autumn feeling at home with a simple autumn wreath

Autumn is here! I am not a person that follows the calendar so as to define the season; afterall the climate is changing. But I do like autumn and its melancholy, mainly because of the beatiful colours nature gets. In central and northern Europe, there is enough green all around and it has started already getting the warmer orange and reddish shades that signify autumn for me.

During the past week, my husband and I spent quite some time in the nature, either hiking or walking in the forest or paths in the mountains. During one of the walks in the forest, I got the idea of creating an autumn wreath for our front door, so as to bring some of this autumn feeling at home. And the forest gave me quite a few first ingredients!

My ingredients once I brought them home. It is important to make the wreath as soon as possible, or the leaves will become too brittle.

I personally appreciate the elegance of a simple wreath. So I just combined a few tree branches with leaves in different shades, a few pine cones and a couple of dried champignons that I had at home by luck.

As base for my wreath, I used a small circle with gardening wire that I made last year for my Christmas wreath. I ended up with enough material for two wreaths and I tried two different ways of fixing the branches around the core circle. In the first one I used a bit of normal wire and in the second nothing at all, just twisting the still flexible branches around the gardening wire. I then used hot glue to adjust the small decorations, such as pine cones, mushrooms or small branches of my rhododendron that has turned bronze too.

I left the two wreaths to dry overnight, so as to make sure that the branches will stay in place and I hanged them the following morning at our door, one towards the inside and one towards the outside. And here is the result!

The wreath hanging inside. The branches are fixed with wire. Do you see my small mushrooms?
The wreath hanging outside. Its core is a bit bigger and the branches are only twisted around it. This one has the branches of my rhododendron

The Fall: The evidence for a Golden Age, 6,000 years of insanity, and the dawning of a new era by Steve Taylor

I usually write about books that I enjoyed reading. This book, though, disappointed me. Yes that is my opinion in one word: disappointing. Don’t judge me bad, I still think it is worth reading, but it starts quite promisingly and quite fast you realise that it is rather a book of pseudo-science than of real science. And let me explain…

This book presents a theory that society as we know it has developed several pathologies, all of which can be attributed to one major event: the Fall. It is practically a boom of the ego-sense, as a result of a major environmental change that took place 6,000 years ago, which led to war, patriarchy and inequalities, child oppression, monotheistic religions and abuse of nature. This boom affected most of the world’s population, but there are a few communities that stayed pure.

I personally liked the argument of the book and had high expectations about it. The main problem of it, is that it relies heavily upon empirical science and this is used especially in points where there is disagreement with the theory. For most of the book there are references thrown around, but quite fast expressions like “let’s assume that”, “it is probably a mistake to refer/speak”, “it is likely that”, or “I believe” start appearing everywhere. And of course you can make an assumption, but then present evidence about it, right? Evidence that is kind of generally accepted and not just cherry-picked to support your theory.

This is the main flaw for me. I am a scientist and I have written several peer-reviewed papers. This document would not have passed a peer-reviewed process, although probably it was not intended as one, but as an effort to explain science simply for everybody. But it is different to explain simply science and different to cherry-pick proof. Evidence is selected so as to serve the author and his theory. In one paragraph the democracy of the Athenians is selective and the native Indian American’s social structure praised as really democratic and a few paragraphs further the latter is admittedly also quite “special” too, but that is not important because the Indian Americans serve better our theory, as they are considered a pre-Fall nation and the Athenians a ante-Fall one. Commonly proven theories are merged with the ones commonly considered fake and this soup is used to prove the general theory of the Fall. The whole process of proving the Fall theory is further destroyed, when the author makes clear a few personal preferences of him, such as the far eastern philosophy (Buddhism) or the native American societies, even if these do not follow totally the pattern of his theory.

As I mentioned already, I started this book with every good faith that it will be interesting. In a lot of parts, I was mentally nodding to the way the author was presenting the theory. But quite quite often I was becoming sceptical about the argumentation and trying in vain to find true evidence in the text. Below I mention some of the individual points that contain a lot of discussion for me:

  1. In the beginning there were small things, such as in page 20 the comment that “serfdom was common throughout Europe, especially Eastern Europe and Russia”. Well, a big part of what is today considered Eastern Europe was part of the Ottoman Empire for most of its middle-age history up to the 19th or 20th century, where serfdom was not the common political scheme. The population was conquered by the Turks, but there was taxation per head both for the muslim and the non-muslim population, so as to be able to manage the vast areas of the empire and the diverse communities it had. But ok that is just a small detail, right?
  2. At a point comes the romantic description of the Minoan Civilisation. They are considered un-fallen, with equality in their social structure and connection to Earth and nature. On the other hand, from the legend we know that they did have a king, king Minos, and there are definitely palaces that were excavated by Evans, a detail that doesn’t totally fit in the whole description of the un-fallen societies.
  3. Quite often myths are presented as evidence, for example Atlantis in page 150. I personally believe that myths contain fragments of real events, but they can not be used extensively as evidence de facto. I remember a sentence from the book “The Burrowers Beneath” of Brian Lumley “If you give to a legend a concrete location you strengthen it somewhat, and if that locations yields up something from the past, centuried relics of a civilisation lost for aeons, then the legend becomes history”. I think this is what the author tries to do in this book, by strengthening the legends.
  4. All throughout the book the status of women is discussed as being better in the pre-fall communities. And in page 118, the theory that these people heard voices in their head instead of “I”thoughts is elaborated. The example used is that a woman hears the voice in her head telling her that “she would better finish gathering food for the day and go home, because her husband might be coming home from his hunting expendition now”. Nice example to advocate for the better position of women in that era!
  5. In page 67 the position of women in ancient Greece is described. It is not totally wrong the description itself (yes it was like this in ancient Athens), just the generalisation that it was like this in the whole of ancient Greece, when it is known that women in Sparti had a different status (even if not totally equal to men, but still quite higher compared to the Athenian women) and there are theories advocating that the Spartian way was more common than the Athenian in the other Greek city-states.
  6. In page 179 “the female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy. The male brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding and building systems”. Doesn’t this argumentation imply that men are better in science than women, one of the main stereotypes of the current society that have been proven to be wrong?
  7. In another chapter, the book refers extensively to the Aborigines of Australia, but the Maori of New Zealand do not fit in the pattern, so they are neglected, although they would fulfil all the initial qualifications that the Aborigines or the Polynesian natives have. Is this cherry-picking?
  8. In page 234 it is argued that “linear time seems to have developed at roughly the same time as other effects of the second phase of the Fall, such as monotheism and intensifed warfare – that is during the mid to late centures of the 2nd millenium BCE.” That for me means around 1500 – 1000 BC. But himself the author presents as examples of the cyclical time the Mayans, which are estimated at ca. 2000 BC to 1697 AD, the Greeks, estimated (if we exclude the Minoans) at 1600 – 146 BC, and the Hindus, which are estimated at ca. 4500 – 2000 BC. How does the author result in dating the linear time? By connecting it to Judaism, that is the only monotheistic religion at the time. Don’t forget that Christianity appeared around 40 AD.
  9. Again in page 243, the environmental abuse is connected to monotheism and is traced back to “the beginning of the Iron Age, around 1500 BC.” And a bit later it is argued that ” early polytheistic gods were associated with natural phenomena, presiding over mountains, rivers and seas”. As I mentioned in the previous point, Judaism did appear around 1500 BC, but Christianity that replaced the polytheistic religions of Europe did not appear before 30 to 40 AD. So it seems that the dating of the Fall theory is based on Jusaism, which would be an exaggerated extrapolation for the religions of the rest of the world, wouldn’t it?
  10. In page 239, I quote from the book: “Many of us are fairly indifferent to social and political problems until they affect us directly” and the author finds me nodding to his comment. Then he continues with examples, mentioning “the issue of nuclear power may not bother us until a power station is built a few miles away and the children in our town develop leukaemia”. This is how an argument starting nicely ends up awfully with a generalisation that is unacceptable from a scientific point of view!
  11. In pages 246 – 7, there is a beautiful example of demonising science too. I quote from the book: “Modern science is carried away with a desire to manipulate all natural and biological phenomena, to completey understand the world and construct a complete explanation of everything, which will give it a satisfying sense of control and conquest. In this regard, it’s not surprising that most scientists are men, since the male ego craves for this kind of dominance much more than the female.” How can such sentences appear in a text that want to prove itself objective and scientific! As a female scientist that have been working for years in promoting the environment and convincing people for the climate change, this sentence is absolutely unacceptable! The author should read the book The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan. Although yes there are people that abuse science, science in itself is rather pure and not a way to dominate.
  12. In page 250 it is admitted that the evidence of the theory lies in the fact that the cultural changes the book talks about happened at exactly the same time in history and to exactly the same human groups. This is only true as far as it concerns Judaism and the Simitic part of the human race. All throughout the book there are points where exactly this way of proving seems to be faulty and empirical.

In general, it is a pity! The theory would have been so interesting to be proved and the author’s outlook for the future is full of hope. That’s why it is still worthy to read it, but it should also be important to distinguish between what is science and what is pseudo-science and not present the latter as the former. I mentioned it earlier, but I will say it again, that as far as it concerns science, Steve Taylor should read the Demon- Haunted World by Carl Sagan (you can see my review of this book here). He will find out that he falls totally in the category of pseudo-science Sagan describes. Most of us scientists go through the process of having our theories controlled, by our peers. I did mention it already, that I do not think this theory would have withstood any peer review.

Have you read this book? What is your opinion about it? I would be happy to hear some more comments about this book!

Cooking · Diverse DIY

Cat treats with chicken

Our kittens are our princesses at home. I try to make games for them and give them treats from time to time, especially when they return fast in the evening when I call them or when I want to teach them something. There are a lot of treats and snacks available, but I decided to try making some of my own too, especially since I can arrange how much meat they include and how much flour.

For the treats you need:

  • chicken breast cut in pieces
  • a tea spoon of catnip (if you want)
  • a spoon of flour
  • an egg
The ingredients needed

Start with frying the chicken with a bit of oil and set it a bit aside so that it cools.

When the chicken is cooled down, preheat the oven to 180 C in the air fuction.

Add all the ingredients in a hand blender and create a paste. Empty the paste on baking paper and roll it about 0.5 cm thick,

Cut it in squares using a sharp knive or a pizza cutter.

The paste rolled out and cut. Once baked I cut it to even smaller pieces.

Bake it in the oven for 15 min until it gets a bit of browned edges.

I let it cool down and cut the pieces even smaller. I store the treats in the fridge and especially Aria loved them!

Diverse DIY

A craft with jeans

It is already the 7th week of the Crafts Marathon organised by In my closet, which I am following this summer. This week’s task is to create something made by jeans. The idea comes from Serial Crafter Family. And for this week, I attempted something with sewing.

My craft with jeans: a sewing etui

It is the second time I participate in a Summer Crafts Marathon by In my Closet. The first time was a few years ago, while I was staying in the Netherlands. There was again a task with jeans and I found a brilliant idea for a sewing etui from jeans in a book. It was a cute way to upcycle old jeans and a brilliant organiser for my simple sewing kit, that I have been carrying around with me ever since.

Well. that etui does not look so good anymore and it was never perfectly done, as I sewed it by hand and I was an amateur 🙂 So I decided to make a new one this year!

My old etui, It is about four years old, if I am not mistaken.

I am not a skilled sewer, but the past year I have been trying it a bit and I think I have improved a lot. So this time I decided to use the sewing machine I have available.

The idea of the etui is simple. It looks like a book. You just need two pockets that are going to be the covers and then several pieces from the leg of the jeans that are the inside pages.

I sewed the two pockets each on a piece of jeans, so as to make it a bit rubuster, in order to have a bit more fabric for forming the final shape and because I did not like the colour of the jeans fabric from the back. I then cut big pieces from the leg of the jeans, so as to make several pages. I had figured out from my old etui that I like the thicker part where the two parts of the leg are sewed together. My needles can be organised much nicer through that part. So I made sure that I cut the “pages” in such a way so as to have that thicker part in different places. It is a good idea not to align these thicker parts in the “pages”, as it will be more difficult to sew through them. Don’t try to cut the “pages” in shape yet, as it is easier to do it in the end.

The different components ready for the assembly

Once you have two pockets and as many “pages” as you want, assembly the etui. I managed to sew with my machine through the seven “pages” I made, but it became far too thick to sew the “covers” too. These I sewed by hand. It is better to have a bit of space from the top, so that you don’t miss any of the “pages”. That was what happened to me in the first etui I made and I had to correct it afterwards, something that is far too difficult.

Once your “book” is sewed together on the top, start forming your shape. Make it as you want. I left a bit more space this time at the edges, as they tend to fringe with time . For that reason I sewed them with zigzag stitch too.

And here is a look into my finished seweing etui:


A frozen fruits recipe for warm summers

We are currently during the 6th week of the Crafts Marathon I am following this summer. This week’s task is to create something cool for the warm summers. The idea comes from the original creator of the Summer Crafts Marathon, In my closet herself! And for this week, I prepared a rather fast frozen fruits frappé. It is something between a sorbet and a frappé, really.

Apricot – Banana frappé

But let me start with the ingredients. For two portions you will need:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 apricots
  • 1 spoon of lemon juice
  • 50 ml almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp liquid honey or according to will
  • some raspeberries and blueberries for decoration

Cut the banana and the apricots in pieces and freeze them overnight, paying attention that they do not stick together.

The next day, take the fruits out of the freezer, let them defrost for 7 to 10 minutes and put them in a blender together with the lemon juice, the almond milk and the honey. You can use as much as honey as you prefer, depending on the sweetness of the fruits too.

Blend them all together until they are homogenised and serve them in a bowl decorating them with a few blueberries and raspberries. Eat with a spoon as long as it is still frozen!