Life Sounds…

Gentle rain falls from the sky between bright sunshine and winds that swirl the clouds above. This is a lovely weekend.  Flowers and seed-heads adorn the interior of the cottage. Lovage wine is being prepared in the kitchen.  Today’s video is simply the sounds of a day in late June, 2012, as the heavy rains subside and the sun breaks through. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQdz32XJZnY

After the Flood…

The rain has ceased. The sun has made an appearance and the streams are gushing forth from the hill behind the cottage. I have just been out and captured the sights and sounds of the water on video. The stream bed that snakes it’s way through the Fairy dell is brimming with sparkling rainwater. It’s hurtling along and moving through the Spring Well in the wood. This usually only happens during the winter months, but Ireland is seeing more and more heavy, monsoon type rains fall during the second half of the summer. In a land noted for it’s “soft…

Reflections on an Irish Hedgerow

Flo has taken over Jack’s home…a girl after my own heart…and poor Jack, he looks so downtrodden! As soon as he dares to exit the basket, Flo spreads out so as to deter Jack from even getting his paw back in! I’ve been out looking at the hedgerow and the incredible growth so far this year. I’ve made a short video that you can click on at the end of this blog. It’s an observation on how to make the hedgerow deeper and a safe wildlife corridor, as that is what the present day hedge has evolved into. Indeed, without…

Edible Permaculture Gardens at Bealtaine Cottage

It is early evening as the clock shows and the day has been long. I was up and working by 6am, so this evening will be early to bed! Summer is like that here in the west of Ireland. Much work is finished by early afternoon, so the evening is a time for gentle reflection on a working day. One of the jobs I managed to get done today was that of polishing the stove in the sitting room. It’s a long, messy job, but gives the stove such a mighty face-lift that it’s worth it! Oh…is that one of…

A Few Minutes of Truth…are you ready for this?

Rio+20. The truth is more terrible than we could have imagined. The truth hurts. The truth will set us free. Yes, that is true…for it will set us free, but only after a terrifying journey headlong into the abyss. That is what I encountered after listening to Dr Vandana Shiva say a few poignant and awfully truthful words outside of the Rio+20 Summit. I am not going to paraphrase any of what this mighty woman had to say. It has touched me deeply and I am still in shock. Take the few minutes to listen to her. Please. Let me…

Midsummer in an Irish Permaculture Garden

Fruit, flowers and vegetables are all in abundance in the permaculture smallholding of Bealtaine. Roses are in over-production and some are well on their way to becoming the wonderful, vitamin-C packed hips of harvest for the Autumn.  Missy continues to direct operations, while listening to the calls of the Pheasant on the hill behind the cottage. Pumpkin plants are making their way up along bends of Willow, as Peas vie for their territory along the same climbing frames. All is in full growth and bloom as the day turns into a weekend of stillness and calm after the high winds…

The Breaking into Two Pieces of the Mayan Calendar…

The wind has risen around Bealtaine Cottage, paying no heed to the time that is Midsummer. Rain and high winds have battered the west of Ireland. The air is cold and woollen jumpers are the order of the day that’s in it! The south side of Bealtaine remains sheltered, so it came as a surprise that an errant gust of wind managed to destroy the Mayan Calendar that hung on the south wall of the cottage… Even in Winter, this area remains still, calm and protected… More surprising is that one half remains on the wall… The other on the…

Visitors to Bealtaine Cottage on the Day of the New Moon

I am over-whelmed right now. My visitors have left. It is always sad to say goodbye and even though I had never met these lovely people before, I feel as though I have known them all my life… Monika and Rita had travelled all the way from Austria, with their driver, Sigi to visit Bealtaine Cottage. Both have followed the Bealtaine Cottage blog and YouTube channel and got in touch with me some weeks ago to organise the visit. We have shared a most beautiful and interesting afternoon, walking through the gardens and talking about permaculture, life and sacred journeys….

Making Elderflower Cordial…Summer in a Bottle!

The Summer harvest has begun in time for the Solstice…Elderflowers are in abundance and the making of Elderflower Cordial captures the energy of the summer solstice in a bottle of sweety goodness! 30 heads of flowers, 4 lemons, boiled spring water, sugar and citric acid to preserve the cordial well into the dark days of midwinter. It’s a very simple process. First boil the one and half litres of water you will use, then stir this onto the 1 kilo of sugar and leave to cool. Then grate the lemons and slice into thick slices. Add all to the cooled…