Archives for category: bagging






Apparently, the younger generation is less interested in the environment and taking action to save nature. Therefore, Conservation International is broadcasting a set of videos under the title “Nature is Speaking” featuring actors who give voice to oceans, rain forests and other beauties.

Soil is one of my personal favorites and the message in the video is very poetic and touching. However, it doesn’t tell me why exactly the soils are disappearing and why it is important to take action, not only for future generations, but also for our own personal happiness!

It is complex. In previous posts I have written about soil as a non-renewable resource on the human scale. Soils contain nutrients that we, and other organisms, need to survive. Soils are disappearing at rapid rates. Often, it is thought that technological innovation provides solutions to such problems. Indeed, we can create artificial fertilizers and we use it extensively; this is industrial farming, and also small-scale gardening. To create these artificial means, we need energy, and most of what is used right now is non-renewable energy. The use of artificial fertilizers is also not good for the environment, as it disturbs ecological balance and contributes to soil degradation.

Most foods that are on the world market are produced through industrial farming, even though enough studies have shown that organic and small scale farming are the best way to future food security. It is a difficult problem.

I like the soil message, however, as long as the link between the conditions of the worlds soils, our daily lives, our personal choice for happiness is not clear, the message may not make the intended impact. GET UP and OUT and BE HAPPY! (and eat good food when you can)








No this is not about some exotic way to unearth precious mushrooms in the Dutch polder land. It is a translation of the names of the two dogs I am currently looking after, Truffel & Bliksem. They are super sweet and funny, and each has a distinct but very different character, behaving together like an old, odd couple.

Animals (and plants) can teach us valuable lessons, at least that is the idea of the fable, in which anthropomorphized animals, plants, and inanimate objects take on human qualities to reflect something back to us. Living with Truffel and Bliksem has been very enjoyable, but also confronting. Like living in an animated fable, they have shown me, and taught me something about myself, especially regarding my recently ended long-time relationship.

When it is time to move on, I will remember Truffel and Bliksem, they will guide me on the road ahead.



In this day and age, the Digital Age, many believe that new technologies are instrumental in breaking boundaries, forge different partnerships, and establish new democracies. Although the way we now communicate with each other is revolutionary and changes the way we maintain social relationships, it is not unprecedented. The developments during 16 and 17th centuries were also supported by a revolutionary communication tool, namely the printing press. Beside books and maps, it was also used to print and disseminate propaganda material and pamphlets at scales never possible before.

Benjamin Schmidt, in his book Innocence Abroad: the Dutch Imagination and the New World, 1570-1670, presents an interesting idea regarding the use of such propaganda material. It goes something like this: In these pamphlets, the Dutch appropriate the position of the underdog – namely by identifying with Native Americans – in an effort to stand up to the Spanish (Catholic) domination, the Protestant could act as allies. In doing so, they paved the way for justifying dominance in trade relations with peoples in the Americas, whether peaceful or NOT.

It is time for me to delve deeper in the polder mentality…





In anthropology, we can use the term ‘built environment’ to indicate human intervention in the land, and this can range from ephemeral elements to large urban areas. As a concept it is useful to understand the range of landuse as an integrated whole. At the Biennale, the majority of projects are –still– focused on built environment as buildings. Only in a few cases was the larger landscape /rural region at the forefront.

Cultural heritage and preservation efforts (supported by UNESCO) have also long been dominated by large monuments and sites, but as mentioned in earlier posts, this is changing with the recognition of intangible heritage. Even the upcoming conference of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), a professional association dedicated to the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places around the world, is centered on Heritage and Landscape as Human Values. Thinking about this is part of my upcoming writing task.


My running objective today is to go to Macerata Feltria to visit the Pitinum Thermae, getting in ‘touch’ with the local water sources. The name of both the town and the Terme refer to its Roman past. The Terme in Macerate Feltria takes its water from the natural sulfur spring.

In general, I love public baths, especially when build around a natural water source or completely in natural setting. My favorites so far include Jemez springs, New Mexico, kulttuurisauna in Helsinki, where you plunge in the Baltic Sea to cool off, and the tidal hot springs of Yakushima that are incredible!

I pack my things and am ready to go. Silvia told me it is about 8km, but It includes running up the next high hill and I hope I can run back after bathing. I underestimate myself. It takes me less than 45 minutes to get there and I spent about the same time in the pools. One is a hot sulfur Jacuzzi, and the other a cooler herbal ‘bubble’ bath for the legs. It is interesting that in mainland Europe many of these baths are frequented by older or injured people, as part of the health system. I enjoy the hot sulfur, and the old ladies, and finish my time with some herbal water to invigorate the legs.


It is still early, I have a coffee and decide to run to the next body of water, the artificial lake of Mercatale (Lago di Mercatale), where I hope to have my lunch break, an maybe another dip. I cross the dam and get on the unpaved road along the lake, but there is no place to reach the lake. The boat dock/recreation area is still under construction. Lunch will have to be up in Sassocovare. I climb up, have another coffee, my banana, some frutta secca and enjoy the view from a park bench under a tree, overlooking the lake.


Time to return, I follow the valley road to Bronzo and run back to ‘my hill.” It is hot and finish my water.