Cottage and Gardens

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Morning at Bealtaine Cottage is a lazy affair as far as the cats are concerned.

No sooner do I get out of bed than the cats find a warm spot to snooze away the morning!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe morning was dry and with no threat of rain, it was important to get into the garden and get some more work done.

Most of the work is coppicing and logging, to make a new wood pile, ready for next winter.

www.bealtainecottage.comI am yet to get down to the Bog Garden and clear around the ponds and besides which, my waders have sprung a leak!

I shall wait until the weather warms up and then do a summer clear.

Moss has grown everywhere over the course of a wet Autumn and Winter.

It’s possible to collect bags of it just on the gravel on the lane-way!

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Masses of buds everywhere, especially here on the Red Robin (Photinia).

I cut it back quite hard last Autumn!

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Cleaning the steps and pruning back the Beech trees and roses.

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Another eight weeks or so and the London Pride on either side of the steps will be in bloom.

The Willow fedge will be growing and greening!

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Euphorbia is greening and growing…and spreading a lot!

Time to pot some up for gifting later in the year.

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Magical reflections in the magical gardens… even the smallest amount of water in a container, pulls the sky down into the garden!

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And the silver Moon Pennies of the Lunaria have endured the ravages of the winter in this little sheltered spot under the Laurel arch.

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The stillness and warmth of the cottage is comforting after working in the cold air outside.

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In the pantry…the lovely happy faced terracotta jar was bought for £4 in a Charity shop and holds all the garlic grown last summer in the potager beds.

It has little air holes and keeps a cool temperature inside…just perfect!

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This is another bargain picked up at a Boot Fair and costing £8…it holds a candle inside and is a storm-proof garden light.

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The shower room window faces south and catches lots of light…a good place to over-winter plants.

Renewal

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The evening descended as I moved back and forth from the barn with baskets of wood for the stove.
I stopped to catch the evening light, aware of the taste of early Spring in the evening air.
www.bealtainecottage.comThe clear sky had given way to hues of blue as the hands of the clock moved towards six o’clock.
The day was closing as the Blackbird sang out its territorial song.
www.bealtainecottage.comThis is the first time using my new laptop.
 As I type, I listen to Laudate Dominum by Mozart…a most beautiful and evocative song, all on this little machine! 
www.bealtainecottage.com It will take me time to get used to the way it works…it’s very sensitive, but a joy to be able to sit in this warm, cosy spot and write.
Thanks to all who made this possible…thanks and blessings to you. XXX
www.bealtainecottage.comTomorrow I shall walk the gardens and photograph the changes that are appearing by the hour.
I popped some pips from an organic lemon in this pot last year and here they are earlier today!
www.bealtainecottage.com As I drove from Sligo today, I noticed new lambs in the fields near the sea…it’s much milder there and so the season starts from the coast and moves daily inwards. 
www.bealtainecottage.comThe speed at which Spring moves across the land is thrilling and the energy it carries with it is insightful, allowing us to see Mother Nature at her most magical.
For tonight, under an early Spring sky, the little lodge beckons, the wood stove warms the interior and the kettle boils atop for tea.
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The coming days and weeks will be filled with preparation for the wondrous event that will renew the Earth in this small part of western Europe.

Celtic Spring

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A weekend of storms has settled into sunshine and showers.

mum at Bealtaine CottageThe funeral of my darling Mother is over.

The future for those she left behind has re-started.

A lovely calm has descended upon Bealtaine Cottage.

www.bealtainecottage.com permacultureI returned on my own last night, preferring to spend time alone.

The evening was filled with lighting stoves, making tea and feeding pets.

My mother was a great pragmatist, being a war-child…she was adept at knuckling down, to doing what had to be done!

So, it’s easy for me to follow suit.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe next few weeks are going to be very busy, as there’s masses of work to be finished in the gardens and much preparation for the growing season ahead!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe next few weeks will see the Willow opening and bees beginning to emerge, rather tentatively, from hibernation.

www.bealtainecottage.comIf there is to be any good Willow for cutting this year, then the coppicing needs to be done now!

www.bealtainecottage.comOne lazy week will never be caught up with!

www.bealtainecottage.comImbolc is welcomed in on the 1st day of February.

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureThis marks the start of the Celtic Spring…always a month or so earlier in these far reaches of Europe. www.bealtainecottage.comThe earth begins to dry out and warm up…lovely days ahead!

Bealtaine Cottage frogs in the pondThe ponds will throng with frogs and toads, all making merry in the Springtime revelry!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe wheel turns.

www.bealtainecottage.comMother Nature never sleeps.

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureSpring is on her way!

A Rite of Passage

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A mighty storm rages around Bealtaine Cottage as I write.

The morning is filled with roars and whoops of wind as it smashes in from the Atlantic Ocean, enveloping the land with angry energy.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe gable end of this little cottage faces into the west and the worst of Nature’s wrath.

The trees slow it down, calming and sifting its robust anger.

I sit by the table near the window on the north-side, occasionally glancing out when the tempest noise rises.

cropped-www-bealtainecottage-com-0341.jpgOver recent days, the need to be with my mother has taken over, as she gently leaves this world, moving and shifting in little caresses of energy, back, towards the Divine.

cropped-0056.jpgHer rite of passage will be completed sometime very soon.

I have watched her quiet dignity hold sway over the comings and goings of support staff, family and friends.

My Mother greets her final journey safe within the home of my brother, her first-born child.

Her bedroom, where she grows smaller, like a womb, comfortable and quiet.

cropped-www-bealtainecottage-com-0162.jpgThis week has been filled with indescribable emotions, but all relating to love.

During this time, my computer has gone on the blink and I have been unable to write and post as I need to…

I need to write… and having a fully functioning computer, that I can use in the warmth of the little lodge, where I over-winter by the wood-burning stove, will be comfort itself.

This will be the beginning of a portable Bealtaine Cottage too, as I will be able to write and post wherever I go.

I am grateful for that!

Thanks and blessings to you, my generous friends!

old pictures saved by Dylan 4421My mother in the early days of Bealtaine Cottage, surrounded by animals, her grandson and magic in the gardens.

This is where some of her lovely energy will be found, for me, in the coming days.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI found my father here after he passed and came to understand that energy does not disappear…we simply have to re-focus our eyes and listen with our hearts to recognize it. (Mum and Dad, on a visit to Bealtaine about five years ago. I took them to the top of Kilronan Mountain!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Celts believed in the Transmigration of the Soul.

Living at Bealtaine for almost ten years now, I have come to understand that belief.

Death is not the end, but a Rite of Passage.

Blessings and thanks to you all XXX

(My Mother passed away this morning. I spent yesterday with her.)

For The Time Being…

Bealtaine Cottage Website is experiencing difficulties.

My computer appears to be on the blink, refusing to accept uploading of photographs and crashing at random.

Until the situation is resolved in some way, perhaps even a new computer (Second-hand, that is), Bealtaine Cottage will remain outside of the web.

A second-hand laptop will suffice, average cost of 250 euros.

If you feel able to help…

An update, today, Thursday 23 of January…target reached!

Blessings and thanks to all, including:Tracy Kruse at Goldkisses Art, Peter Hussey, Polly Perkins, Wanda Gibson, Jo Jeffery, Rosemary Fandel, Energetic Connection, Hippy Hound, Noel Cronin, Karen Williams, Nadine Touzet, and Deborah Hockney.

I  am now  able to buy a second-hand (guaranteed for 12 months!) laptop  this weekend!

 I am so very happy, because I need to keep writing, especially at this time, as my darling mother is passing, slowly but surely on her gentle way.  Mum loved Bealtaine Cottage and found great healing here. I am so glad that many of you feel the same …Blessings XXX

Seed the Future!

Propagator at Bealtaine CottageIn my small attempts to stand up to the Ecocidal Monsters of this world, I often feel like David (of Goliath fame), and then I am reminded of the massive opposition to Government and Corporate plans to control our planet and all the life therein!
Polytunnel at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardens in April 2013Amazing people like Elena from Greece, who posted seeds to me  last year…one of many subscribers to Bealtaine Cottage who is doing incredible work in protecting our Seed Sovereignty, without which we have NO future at all! home made polytunnel at Bealtaine CottageElena has written to me to inform us all about what is happening in two days time!
veranda at Bealtaine CottageElena writes:I am writing now to tell you that on January 20th there will be a big demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels about the forthcoming seed laws (maybe you already know this, of course). Activists from all over Europe  are coming to Brussels to be there, and events are being organised around Europe on that day. I will be coordinating the Athens events – a demonstration outside parliament, all urban farms open and giving away seeds/seedlings/information packs, hopefully some media coverage, as well as Greek blogs posting something relevant to seeds on that day (a movie, a small piece of text, etc)…
I thought that maybe you could also write something specifically for seed freedom on that day, as well – although I know that you have written so much already!
have a very happy new year
with blessings from Athens
xxx
Elena
Jan 12 Bealtaine Cottage 003Our struggle to keep our Seed Sovereignty is ongoing, despite the small successes we have had in various government buildings.
Aug 2011 Permaculture Cottage 008The problem is there is so much wealth tied up with seeds, food and food production, the Corporations are seeking total control!
April Bealtaine Cottage 2011 004Understand that this struggle is an ongoing battle to keep the seed!
Aug 2011 Permaculture Cottage 008I have harvested seed, like this Leek seed, here at Bealtaine Cottage for almost ten years.
Green fennel at Bealtaine CottageI allow all the plants to seed themselves and I harvest seed every year…No government will stop me!
July permaculture 2011 008No law will prevent me posting this seed to all the world.
July 2011 Permaculture Cottage 014This is the year for you to take your future into your own hands and save seed, share seed, gift seed and talk about the seed…it is your future, it is my future.
Without it we are slaves to tyranny!
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There is a wide selection of seeds available here at Bealtaine Cottage.
www.bealtainecottage.com 030If you would like some Bealtaine seeds for your own garden, then click on the link at the very top of the page.

Beyond Civilization

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The light is changing.

As it does, a new growing season begins to unfold.

This is the year of change, as more and more people realize, that civilization, as we have come to know it in these past decades, holds little hope of holding together.

Willow basket making Feb  Permaculture @ Bealtaine Cottage I do not say this lightly and the reasons I see for it are manifold, but the main contributors to the calamitous and increasing loss of habitat and stable environment on the planet, is civilization itself!

Jan 12 Bealtaine Cottage 005 Our civilization has created the perfect conditions for collapse of the very systems that sustain us.

Bealtaine Cottage FairyWe have watched the collapse of the financial world over the past few years.

There is no recovery!

Have you joined the endless queues in your local bank recently, just to be served?

Jan 12 Bealtaine Cottage 007Governments, like mine here in Ireland, are extracting carbon taxes from impoverished people and are not planting trees! Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureExtreme weather events are fast becoming an accepted part of our weather systems…have you noticed?

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Feb 2011 005 If you know how the Jet Stream works, or should work, then you will be aware of the reasons why climate change is happening.

Stanley stove at Bealtaine CottageQuote science for or against and waste time debating…or simply look around you and keep a weather diary.

Shabby chic at Bealtaine CottageSo, as always with my writing, I move onto the positive, the can-do…and what comes to mind is a simple skills set, that we need to acquire, if we are to move beyond the last years of civilization as we know it.

Permaculture Cottage ...September 2011 005These are skills we need to acquire and pass on to younger members of our society…the ones who will be left adrift, without the security blanket we have used and abused.

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  • Food growing
  • Healthcare…basic first aid! can you prevent someone from bleeding to death or help deliver a baby?
  • Craft skills…how to make and create from local resources.
  • Building and construction, as well as maintenance to keep a home dry, for example!
  • Cooking and baking…Home economics is so degraded now in general education, I wonder why?
  • Permaculture…encompasses all the skills listed here!
  • Fire-making…few young people know where to start and the basics!
  • Management of resources (NOT financial!)
  • Herbs and the vital role they play in good health, food and body-care.
  • Conflict resolution and society building without hierarchy.
  • Basic mechanics…look how people in poorer societies keep their cars on the road!

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It’s time to start putting plans in place for a better world.

June 2011 Bealtaine Permaculture 063The politicians are not bothered about our future, but we should be!

Writing, Posting and Sharing…

Living Lightly

poster bealtaine

It’s amazing how much one can live without.

And how much criticism one gets for daring to leave the accepted standards for today’s society!

I made this poster less than 24 hours ago and posted it on Facebook and Twitter.

 The reasons why people feel the need to denigrate such a poster are very interesting indeed.

www.bealtainecottage.com 067There is an overwhelming need, in most people, to conform to what they imagine to be the accepted normal in society, be that politics, religion, diet, dress…etc.

laying a mosaic floor at Bealtaine CottageStepping outside of this normal can be an uncomfortable experience for most.

Mist and trees in the permaculture gardens at Bealtaine CottageMaking the decision to live outside of it, however, is the opposite!

It is truly liberating!

The Craft room at Bealtaine CottageIf we are to progress in living on this little planet, then stepping outside of the current mainstream and taking the time to look back in, can only be beneficial in planning a way forward.

A way that will not cost the Earth.

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I write to encourage, help and inspire mindfulness for our beautiful world and have photographed and written over 870 blogs on the Bealtaine Cottage site, as well as over 110 videos on YouTube…all free from advertising!

I appreciate your comment, liking, sharing, or even leaving a small donation. Blessings X

A New Era at Bealtaine Cottage

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Smoke rises into a clear blue January sky.

The birds are singing like it’s Spring and black ice covers the road by the gate. www.bealtainecottage.com 012My friend Michael is here this morning to finally remove the toilet and install my compost loo.

The septic tank is, from today, a grey water tank!

www.bealtainecottage.com 008I have been using the compost system for the past year, keeping the flush toilet for visitors, but this is the time to finally say goodbye to a system that no longer makes any sense!

www.bealtainecottage.com 019Those who visit, or stay at Bealtaine Cottage, will experience a neat loo, that is both efficient and hygienic, adding to the environment rather than being a source of pollution.

I shall write a blog and post pics of the new loo in a few days time…

www.bealtainecottage.com 006Meanwhile, there are signs of life all the way through the permaculture gardens, with Daffodils pushing up through the more sheltered earth under the Beech trees.

www.bealtainecottage.com 027The sun is not yet high enough on the horizon to reach the paths in the Bog Garden, many of which will remain frozen for weeks to come.

www.bealtainecottage.com 026In the sheltered parts of the woodland, Ferns remain green and quite lush.

Many keep their life until new fronds unfurl in late Spring.

www.bealtainecottage.com 005The Willow continues to be cut, tied and stacked in the barn.

www.bealtainecottage.com 029Many of the Fedges will need to be pruned before Spring and vigorous new growth that follows.

This Fedge borders the stream that runs from the Spring Well.

www.bealtainecottage.com 038Many of the Bird Boxes around the gardens will need to be water-proofed with whatever I have to hand…usually a coat or two of gloss paint.

This does not seep into the wood and so does not harm nestlings in the box.

                                  Many thanks for the continuing support for the work of this Bealtaine Cottage  website.

Blessings