• Back on line… we have now settled in Bolivia!

    It’s been a long time, hey? Well, Carly and I have had many (nice!) changes in our life lately… We are actually writing this post from La Paz, in  Bolivia, where we’ve moved in to our new home. So after more than two years of living from a couple of backpacks, we’ve now settled down for few years… These last two years have been beautiful though, and certainly worth every penny! Spending time with family and friends, building cob houses and natural building in Southern France, volunteering in a farm in Palestine, learning permaculture in Jordan, working in Yemen, Haiti and Central America, hang gliding in Grenoble, celebrating a friend’s wedding…

  • Plant the seed of meditation and reap the fruit of peace of mind

    Are you prone to stress and anxiety? Do you suffer from one or several addictions (coffee, wine, chocolate, sex, legal or illegal drugs, or even your iPod, a football team, a famous star, etc – you pick!). Does your mind wander constantly and jumps seemingly without control from one thought to another? Do you tend to judge yourself and the world negatively rather than positively? Do you have trouble focusing your attention on a given task or feel agitated? Do you sometimes feel like you have a ‘fog in your brain’ whereby you lack clarity about what you want/should do? Do you suffer from conditions such as psoriasis, chronic fatigue,…

  • Dear readers… thank you!!!

    Dear readers, To kick off the new year, we’d like to warmly thank you for your continuous reading and support throughout 2011…   Indeed, Making Sense of Things is growing, and was viewed more than 53,000 times in 2011! The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people, so if it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 20 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.   Here are some more crunchy numbers for you: Most visitors came from Australia. The United States & The United Kingdom were not far behind. We also had visitors from New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Israel/Palestine, India, Indonesia, Thailand,…

  • How to recycle a pallet into an… armchair… and more!

    We are always thinking of ways to reduce, reuse and recycle so recently, when I realised how common it is to see wood pallets thrown out in nature, on the side of roads, parking lots or junkyards, I thought ‘what can I do with those?’ The good news is that with a bit of imagination and some DIY, there is a lot of potential in these seemingly useless wood stocks… I recently made this garden armchair from a pallet found in a street near where we are staying in Palestine! I know it’s far from perfect, but hey, it’s only my first attempt! 🙂 Here’s how I did it. How to upcycle…

  • Growing forests in deserts…

    It has been a long time without posting… we do apologise for such a long silence but the truth is we’ve been extremely busy! We spent most of August hiking in the Swiss Alps and we do hope to be able to share with you our experience with the makers of the über-famous Gruyere cheese… Anyway, after this great holiday, we then went to Jordan to study permaculture. We ended up doing a Permaculture Design Course for two weeks in Amman (it’s now Carly’s second PDC!), followed by a week of conferences/discussions/experience sharing in the Wadi Rum desert, exchanging about agriculture and water harvesting in arid climates; cross-fertilisation of the aid and…

  • “Faced with inhumanity, we must be more human” – A witness account of the Oslo tragedy

    Erik Abild, a Norwegian friend of mine whom I met while working in Gaza, yesterday shared his thoughts about the horrendous and absurd killings which just occurred in Oslo. We particularly appreciate his call for greater humanity. As he puts it perfectly: “Today, here in Norway, many politicians and people state that “today we are all AUF” (the name of the youth party). And we are. Just as we all were Japanese when the earthquake struck, or as we all are Somalis when we read about famine. This feeling of community is a part of being human. And this communality, the shared experience of humanity, is essential to hold onto.…

  • Brie à la Carly and Jean!

    Hey, the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company has written a beautiful post about Making Sense of Things – it is nice to have such feedback, check it out 🙂 We take this opportunity to say that we enjoy engaging with you, so don’t hesitate to leave us some comments, or share this blog among your family and friends. Also, if you have an idea of a post you would like covered, we welcome any suggestions, articles, or recommendations. Leave This Blank:Leave This Blank Too:Do Not Change This:Your email: … Read the rest

  • Week 4 at Cob Camp – Hard work and fun

    This week started with Marco and Linda departing camp and Anita and Martin making a real effort to progress the project positively and constructively. A real highlight of the week was when Laurence came to camp to give us an edible weeds tour of our area. She taught us how to identify what we could eat that was naturally growing around us and how we could eat it.  She pointed out blackberries, wild sage, Jerusalem artichoke, daisies, yarrow, hog weed and more… here are some pictures… Fitting in with this theme, Wayne decided to teach us all (in a humorous TV cooking show style!) how to make delicious elderflower cordial…

  • Week 3 at Cob Camp – Community Matters

    Most people want deeper links to a community as modern society is individualistic, insecure and fractured. Many don’t know where to start to lead different lives and those of us who do, seem to grapple with making ‘community’ work. How do we live co-operatively, thoughtfully and simply with each other whilst conserving natural resources, sharing responsibility for work and providing meaningful, dignified and safe work – including successful projects? All of us on this course are from Western societies where we’ve been encouraged to be highly individualistic. Given we need to learn new skills for living together with others (especially giving up personal space) this group has done remarkably well…

  • Week 2 at Cob Camp – Planting, rescuing, cooking and eating food. And making stuff out of leather…

    Week 2 of the cob building course was (nearly) all about FOOD!! Planting food, skip diving for food, cooking creatively, making a stove and oven, eating, discussing… it really seemed to be our focus all week! After our first skip dive at the local supermarket bin, we organised the camp kitchen and enthusiastically embraced communal cooking with our rescued food. We made scrambled eggs, with smoked salmon and goats cheese, frittata, salad nicoise, salsa, potato salad, creamy pesto pasta, coleslaw, ratatouille, couscous, nettle and goats cheese quiche, garlic pizza bread, chocolate brownies, spaghetti and more… but the best creation all week was Sunset Bin Crumble with Sam’s Special Sauce. This cob-camp…

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