While Rome Burns…

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There are no solutions to the instability in the world that I care to offer, as my voice is irrelevant in the scheme of things that cause mayhem and war.

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I can only offer advice on what works for me…on what keeps me sane in a world filled with lunacy!

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Keep grounded!

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Do what you have to do and do it well!

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Look ahead into the seasons and make plans for planting, working, visiting and caring for the world around you.

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Think about ways in which you can heal the world around you, be positive and nurture.

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Don’t allow the mayhem to grind you down…life went on after the Fall of Rome, as well we know!

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Remember, even as war, austerity and breakdown of society is happening right now in countries around the globe, people continue to look after their children, grow food, make food, wash clothes and generally get on with life as best they can.

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For all the negative and dreadful news we are battered with on a daily basis, remember there are real people around you doing good things!

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The mainstream media rarely reports on good people.

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The next time you share a conversation with someone, compliment them on a little thing to lift their spirits, for it will be paid forward, it will!

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I can say, with absolute certainty,  there are many more good people on this Earth than bad…and sometimes, those we perceive to be bad are just hurting.

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The world is as beautiful, peaceful and abundant as each of us are prepared to make it!

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Blessings for a wonderful weekend XXX

As a member of the other website you get to see another 95 blogs not available publicly. The latest one, “Radical Changes” has been posted today, 29 November 2016. Here’s the link…



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The transition has begun.

Knitting has been brought out from hibernation.

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The final seeds have been sown.

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And  the flowers and herbs continue to thrive in the potager beds, the warmth of the gravel and stones keeping them in a summer state.

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Seasonal adjustments are happening all over the northern hemisphere, as the days draw close to balance and equinox. 


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Berries are in abundance this year, some say a sign of a harsh winter, but that’s to be seen.

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Cotoneaster, Hazel, Blackcurrant and Fuschia all here together.

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The changing colours are so very gentle and subtle, but they’re there if one looks…

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Blackberries ripen near the stone circle, as the leaves mottle and turn towards Autumn.

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The Sloes on the Blackthorn are ready to pick…these will make some fine Sloe Gin for Midwinter.

The Sloes are pricked with a pin and pushed into a bottle half-filled with Gin.

The bottle is then sealed and buried in the earth until Yuletide celebrations, when it is ceremoniously dug up and partaken of!

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Deep within the Fairy Wood, Autumn creates some more magic…

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These tiny mushrooms are growing on a dead branch of Goat Willow.

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Crocosmia Monbretia in all its Autumn glory.   

Co-Creating With Nature

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Being brought up, as a child in a terraced house without a garden, I have often wondered where my passion for Mother Earth, growing, gardening and the environment emerged from.

I’m still thinking about that!

What I wanted to share with you today encompasses an afternoon’s work here at Bealtaine Cottage.

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Well, this afternoon I opened up a completely new path through the trees and shrubs planted over the years, into a beautiful world created by Mother Earth and nurtured by me through many seasons.

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Today, the inner voice I share with her drew me down into the Fairy Wood, slowly cutting a path into a very special part of this land.

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She has been left alone, protected by brambles and branches to create something very beautiful and exquisite.

The tree is an old ash which had been coppiced.

When a tree is coppiced, not only does one get a massive amount of wood for the stove, but the tree sends up multiple shoots, which in turn become trees, like this.

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The stones around the base are now deep in moss.

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Primroses and Ferns have naturalized in the woodland earth.

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Lords and Ladies adorn the base of the tree in red jewels.

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I just had to share this amazing little path with you.

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Mother nature is just amazing and re-generative!

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Ten years from rushy, monoculture field to magical, permaculture woodland! 

Our Most Ancient Human Roots

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Ireland in Autumn…a special time.

The chill of early mornings and the ripening of hedgerow fruit.

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Blackbirds swooping low over woodland paths that wind out from the cottage. 

Grass, wet with early morning dew and mist rising from the valley, wisping skyward towards Kilronan Mountain. Autumn in the permaculture gardens of bealtainecottage.com 001

The morning bridges late Summer and early Autumn in an ethereal, almost magical way. 

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There is nothing for it but to step into the gardens and be amazed at the gentle progression of the season, for we are, in essence,  seasonal beings, dependent on the cyclical nature of the Earth.

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Marija Gimbutas frames this beautifully, eloquently in concluding her book, “The Language of the Goddess,” writing: “The Goddess gradually retreated into the depths of forests or onto mountain-tops, where she remains to this day in beliefs and fairy stories. 

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Human alienation from the vital roots of earthly life ensued, the results of which are clear in our contemporary society.

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But the cycles never stop turning, and now we find the Goddess reemerging from the forests and mountains, bringing us hope for the future, returning us to our most ancient human roots.” 

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Maria Gimbutas, a foremost archaeologist of her time, in this most brilliantly researched book, goes on to conclude, “The Goddess in all her manifestations was a symbol of the unity of all life in Nature.

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Her power was in water and stone, in tomb and cave, in animals and birds, snakes and fish, hills, trees and flowers. hence the holistic and mythopoeic perception of the sacredness and mystery of all there is on Earth.” 

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Joseph Campbell, who introduces the book, writes; “One cannot but feel that in the appearance of this volume at just this turn of the century there is an evident relevance to the universally recognized need in our time for a general transformation of consciousness.

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The message here is of an actual age of harmony and peace in accord with the creative energies of Nature which for a spell of some four thousand prehistoric years anteceded the five thousand of what James Joyce has termed the “nightmare” (of contending tribal and national interests) from which it is certainly now time for this planet to wake.”



Your Power, Your Choice!

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Solar panels!

Many permaculture garden visitors ask me why I have no solar panels?

My stock answer is that I cannot afford them…but that hides all the other reasons why solar panel are not high on my wish-list of add-ons to Bealtaine Cottage!

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I see the issue in much more simple terms…frugality!

Over the past ten years of developing Bealtaine Cottage, I have successively scaled back on my use of electricity.

From getting rid of many of my original electrical appliances and refusing to replace those that have given up along the way, I have the equivalent of a roof load of solar panels!

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We are a wasteful society that is easily swayed towards consumerism, failing to take responsibility for our waste, when there is NO AWAY…just Mother Earth!

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Studies in America, for example, have shown that 20% of all electricity produced is wasted. (Dr Helen Caldicott)

This is interesting as Nuclear power represents 20% of all the electricity produced!

The correlation between what we waste and our environmental concerns can be very revealing!

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According to statistics produced by the WWF “Power plants typically only turn about 30% of the energy input into usable electricity.
We are losing up to 75 % of the energy in the fuel at the start of the process. Energy companies could do much better – combining power and heat production can lift efficiency to over 70%.”( http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/aboutcc/cause/wasting_energy_eff/ )

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In a detailed study in 2001, the International Energy Agency (IEA) found that from 3% (Switzerland) to a scarcely credible 13% (Australia) of residential electricity used in OECD countries was standby.

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“I was amazed when I first learned the dimensions of standby power,” said Robert Priddle, IEA executive director. “In my own home, appliances that I thought were ‘off’ were actually consuming considerable power.”

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 You have immense power…the power to choose!

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Your power to consume is there as a choice.

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It is MY DESIRE  to have a wind turbine and solar panels, but it is MY CHOICE to live lightly with Mother Earth. permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 001

Understand power…but more importantly, understand YOUR power!


Bealtaine Cottage is free and has over 850 blogs, as well as over 3,500 photographs.

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life is a mere 12 euros per year and allows me a small income, to keep doing what I love doing most…writing about Mother Earth and photographing her.

To subscribe, a small donation of 12 euros per year, will add your name to the subscriber list.

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There are problems all over the Earth.

I don’t have to make a list…you know what is happening that is causing so much concern.

The problems are all rotating around destruction and involve peoples of all cultures and religions.

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Despite all our differences, there is really only one common denominator we all share…Mother Earth!

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Despite years of belonging to a particular religion, of all the sermons I listened to, the words, “Mother Earth,” were never mentioned by any man.

Surely we need to teach our children love and respect for our home?

Surely this should be at the forefront of all religious teaching? 

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The one missing element of understanding is Mother Earth.

The “Financial Markets,” predicated on what is extracted from Mother Earth, care little for the destruction caused in extractive processes.

What is left behind, the degradation and loss, is of no concern.

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The “Markets,” are talked up and down, as though there are multiple Earths!

We know there is only one.

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Sacred is not to be found in Bank Vaults; Parliaments; Stock Exchanges; Temples; Churches…but on where each one of us is today: Mother Earth.

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Each bomb, bar of gold, barrel of oil, tank of gas, is painfully extracted, at great environmental cost…the real price of which is never, ever measured; for to attempt to do so would crash all the economic markets!

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We are living in denial, in a Disneyfied world of our own warped imaginings, where the insane is justified and mainstream!

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At some point we may just realise that…

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…our greatest common bond is not our humanity, it is what nurtures our humanity…our Mother. 

The Days Between Light and Dark

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Bright sun illuminating the garden, gave way to the gentle, patter-drip-patter of rain, as it slowly enveloped the cottage.

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The great change is steadily colouring the sights and sounds of Bealtaine Cottage.

Curly Kale can tolerate the changes well, needing much less light than many other vegetables…this is a good Winter green to ensure health and vitality as the daylight lessens.

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The days between light and dark merge as we approach the Equinox…the balancing point before the descent towards Midwinter.

Spiders busily spin and weave and everywhere the light dances playfully.

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Green turns slowly in the mixing pot of early autumn colours that inspire dreams of drifting through woodland, kicking up leaves in a playful, seasonal dance of joy.

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What lies beyond this Equinox is a time filled with darker evenings, not to be scorned, but embraced as a time to rest, nurture and be nurtured.

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As we enjoy this late Summer glory, the days of “mist and mellow fruitfulness,” lie ahead…what a beautiful time of year this is!

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Walking the gardens here this morning is sheer Heaven on Earth.

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The air is warm and still.

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Birds call out to one another. 

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“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables 

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“Fall has always been my favourite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”
Lauren DeStefano, Wither


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Blessings from Bealtaine Cottage


Much appreciated! 


A Permaculture Day Out

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As we begin to embrace the beauty of early Autumn, I am getting requests about the availability of B&B at Bealtaine Cottage over the coming cooler months.

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Lots of you want to visit Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens and they will remain open all the way through the year! bealtainecottage.com 006

For those who want a little bit more than just a visit, I am offering a Full Day Experience which includes Lunch and Dinner. bealtainecottage.com 076

This affords the opportunity to spend a full day here, asking all the questions about permaculture and Sustainable Living you ever wanted to!

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See how it all works first hand!

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The cost remains the same as before.

Lunch…15 euros.

Dinner…20 euros

Garden Visit…10 euros.

So a full day is only 45 euros, with all the food you can eat!

Oh, and that includes lashings of tea and home-made cake!

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If you’d like to book a day, that will change how you see the world and your own life, contact coletteoneill2010@hotmail.com Permaculture at www.bealtainecottage.com 012

For more details and booking.

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Days are limited to a maximum of 4 people only per day…this is a cottage after all!

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I look forward to hearing from you!

A Simple Life

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“A simple life is not seeing how little we can get by with—that’s poverty—but how efficiently we can put first things first. . . . When you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever does not support these, whether it’s clutter in your cabinets or commitments on your calendar.”

Victoria Moran

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Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things. ~Elise Boulding

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Yesterday, I found myself with two juicers.

Through fortune and kindness, my life had become too full, and so I gave one away, to a friend who needs to take good care of her health.

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She was delighted and my cupboard was, once more, roomy and ready to receive.

To live in a state of abundance, it is necessary to practice frugality.

One cannot work without the other.

Abundance needs space to grow!

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Clinging onto what one does not need creates clutter, confusion and chaos.

Is it any wonder the world is in such a state?

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We don’t need to increase our goods nearly as much as we need to scale down our wants. Not wanting something is as good as possessing it. ~Donald Horban

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The sculptor produces the beautiful statue by chipping away such parts of the marble block as are not needed — it is a process of elimination. ~Elbert Hubbard


I have two websites… Bealtaine Cottage and Bealtaine Cottage Good Life.

This site, Bealtaine Cottage, is free and has over 850 blogs, as well as over 3,500 photographs.

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life costs 12 euros per year and allows me a small income, to keep doing what I love doing most…writing about Mother Earth and photographing her.

Making this small donation adds your name to the subscriber list.

You will then have access to the website and full blog as published twice each week.

This amounts to 104 publications per year, at a cost of 12 cents each!

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