Be The Change You Want To See!

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Sustainable living in full sunshine as the Indian Summer continues in the West of Ireland. The back door remains open and the rain barrels stand empty.

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This has been the driest September I have recorded in the ten years spent here at Bealtaine Cottage.

There is something afoot in the climate…it has changed into a series of extreme weather events.

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And so we must adapt as best we can, for there is nothing being done by governments here in the west.

It’s all talk and taxes!

The majority of people I have spoken with are concerned, but not to the point of implementing real changes in their lives.

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People appear to be looking to others, to see what changes are being implemented and then tending to follow suit, to a greater or lesser degree.

In this respect, I feel energized to keep writing my blog, to let people see that it is possible to live sustainably in style and comfort!

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it is the choices we make which empower, or disempower us.

No corporation, government or institution want you, the human being, to know that!

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Many imagine that their personal choices make no difference in terms of impact on their environment, but they do!

Each choice, every decision that is implemented, has a direct and cumulative effect on the planet, for everything is connected!

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I have a visitor this weekend. I have chosen to make a vegetarian cottage pie…this is the filling and it tastes yummy!

There is no need to be part of the killing industry, no need at all.

As a vegetarian and aspiring vegan, my health is good and I have lots of energy.

I have visited the doctor twice over the past ten years.

I feel good about that choice, for I truly love all animals.

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My guest will have home made pizza tomorrow and here is the sauce being cooked on the stove.

Cooking the day before allows all the flavours to infuse.

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And we shall eat in a style that does not cost the earth in an unfitted kitchen.

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If we recognise that there is immense change ahead for us all in the climate chaos manifesting, then we can build as much resilience into our homes and lives as possible.

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My guest will stay in the Eco-lodge, heated to perfection with this small wood-burning stove, where the kettle sings constantly ready for tea.

Be the change you want to see!


  1. Oh I wish I could send you some of our rain! My seeds have sprouted and the plants have begun to grow, but I will be lucky to see blossoms on things like my pot marigolds and beebalm. The pot marigolds or calendula I use so much in healing salves etc and I strive each year to harvest enough here at home to fill my needs.

    It is arare day, the sun is out and the sky is blue…I had almost forgotten what it looked like through our daily deluges of rain and thundershowers. The weather inconsistancies worldwide are disconcerting…I am really concerned as to how we are going to continue feeding the world population as our food belts have become arid or are washed off the face of the earth.

    On ahappier note…your photos are as delightful as ever and continually pull me to visit Ireland. My family heritage is founded in Munster in County Clare, so I am determined to make the trip some day….

    Hope you have a nice visit and I pray for some rain to come your way!
    xx bj

  2. Within a year or two I will be moving into the bunkhouse at my daughter’s new property. It is small and I will get to make it into my home from the floor up. Only 1 room and your Eco-lodge is an inspiration to me. A way to make the rooms and yet keep the openness. I love your blog and have learned much from you. Thank you.

    • Mary, if I had to move it would be into a tiny home in a huge garden…it would be liberating for sure and mean no more enslavement to endless things and house-cleaning! Good for you!
      Blessings XXX

  3. Hello Draftyinkblot. I have researched, and all sources, including the Vegetarian Society says that B12 CANNOT be absorbed through vegan sources. B12 is actually a bacteria type thing from the soil and processed in the gut.. Apparently humans have lost the ability to do that because of our overly sanitary evolution. So we need to get it from an animal source or supplementary pill or liquid.(at least that is what all literature tells me.) A B12 deficiency of takes a few YEARS to become known, but once you have it, serious, often permanent neurological damage occurs. (At least that is what ALL the information I look up tells me.) I’m trying to find some real live people who have been strictly vegan for over 10 years, and do NOT supplement and are ok. Because that is the ONLY thing keeping me from going vegan.

    • Thankfully, it’s an inexpensive and easily obtained supplement (though maybe this isn’t true everywhere?). The one I found was to be taken once a week. I’ve also seen in stated repeatedly that a shortage of B12 is also not uncommon among people eat meat anyway though for a strange reason only the vegans get warned about it!

  4. Hi, Collette! Loved today’s blog! It made so much sense to me; in fact, in my small way, I’m doing what you suggest. I recently bought a cottage (5 rooms) on a small city lot in a small town. My plan is to grow a lot of my own food and I, luckily, have rich soil. It’s basically a desert here, but once water is provided, most any temperate fruit or vegetable can be grown here. So I’ve begun my first Hugenkultur “food forest”. I had to cut several tree boughs which were interfering with the electric wires, so I just cut them into smaller pieces and spread them atop a layer of cardboard from the boxes i used for moving. Next, I had a load of mushroom compost dumped over them, levelled it (more or less) and planted a peach tree, 3 goji berries, 2 sea buckthorn bushes, a clove currant and a black gooseberry bush. Next spring I hope to plant veggies and watermelons to shade the soil, as this area gets full sun all day.

    It’s only a small area, 17’x17′, and maybe I overplanted it, but time will tell! Hopefully, all those branches will hold moisture gathered during winter so I won’t need to irrigate as much in future summers. I wish I could figure out how to insert a picture of it here but I can’t, so I hope the description is good enough!

    Keep up the good fight – you have many supporters around the world!

  5. i’ve recently started eating a predominantly vegan diet and i don’t use any ‘substitutions’. there are lots of great (free) recipe resources out there that prove that healthy, vegetarian/vegan eating is absolutely delicious!!! it doesn’t mean filling the “shortfall” with supplements, either (i used to think that was the case and that it meant having to use all kinds of processed ‘fake meat’) — when you choose the right, whole, foods, there are no shortfalls.

    every time i come here i leave inspired more and more — you always have me thinking of the next small thing i can do….so many ideas underway here as we prepare for winter. we’re renters also, so restricted in what we can do ( i dearly wish we could have a wood stove) but i’m discovering a million easy ways to add ‘insulation’ to our leaky old house. 🙂

    so YES — do keep writing….it brings me all manner of delight when i see you have a new post up!!

  6. My most favourite quote…..thank you for all the inspiration you give us.So look forward to the emails coming in……sending more inspiration!!
    Please, please keep up the good work…. and I promise we will keep on planting here, in our little part of Andalucia.
    Sending blessings and grateful hugs…..Sandra XX

  7. Thank you Colette….”Be the change” is my favourite quote!! Thank you for all the inspiration you give us, I really look forward to your emails ….Please, please keep up the good work!! Sending many blessings and a warm hug…Sandra xx

  8. Taking juices would be ok. But having to go to a store (even a health food on-line store) and purchase some kind of pills or liquids bottled by companies and packaged like all the other consumption goods, and take this every day, goes against my grain!

  9. Colette, you are such an inspiration to so many! Thank you. We can’t have a wood stove in our little rented cottage, but I’m working to get more thermal curtains installed and will be putting reusable bubble wrap all around our front porch windows this winter to turn it into a sun trap on warm days. I hope this will prove to be a passive solar way of heating the house, but we shall see. At the very least, it will create more of a buffer zone between inside and the outside cold and let me get started earlier on spring plants. I have to believe that every little bit helps.

    I also finished sewing those Wonder Ovens, and they really do minimize the amount of stove time! I made a lentil curry the other night and was able to put the hot pot into the insulated Wonder Oven pillows and then go outside to plant daffodils and chat with our neighbors while it cooked with no fire or electricity! I couldn’t stop smiling at the multi-layers of freedom. 🙂

  10. It is sometimes distracting and comfortable, change. thanks much for talking with us ath the Coffee Place in Carrick on Shannon in August. it was a miracle.
    It was a day of enlightenment for us.

  11. I really WANT to be a vegetarian, preferably vegan, but I have an issue about mandatory supplements. If we HAVE to take somebody’s packaged pill or ellizer to be healthy on a vegan diet, that is somewhat defeating the purpose. Any suggestions?

Your comments are welcome!