Common Ground

Originally posted on Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland :
In a world that appears to be coming apart at the seams, we are reminded, on a daily basis, by the mainstream media, that we are separate and divided on many levels. There are many aspects of our lives where we disagree. I know how that works, for I was born and raised in a place of separation…Northern Ireland. As I grew, left home, went to university and raised a family in London, I became aware of the importance of common ground. London is a melting pot of over twelve million people, where the…

Planting for the Bees in a Permaculture Garden

Originally posted on Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland :
London Pride ready to open flower on the steps at Bealtaine Cottage. Years of pushing and shoving by these delicate looking little plants have finally eradicated the creeping buttercup in the heavy clay soil. It’s at this time of year that bees are working hard and sometimes gardens are bereft of food for the bees. Not here! I have a policy that is enshrined in Bealtaine cottage gardens…plant for the bees, the birds and then myself, always in that order! One of the plants that was so severely damaged by frost several years ago…

The Power Within Us…

Originally posted on Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland :
Voting is not something we do every so many years to change the world around us. Nothing much changes. We continue to live in a state of unhappiness with the apparent status quo. All that is power seeks to continually remind us of our lack of power….but, it doesn’t have to be that way! Dis-empowerment is something we can choose whether or no to embrace. We can  be victims or not. We can refuse to acknowledge, becoming what we are meant to be…free human beings on a sacred journey. Or, we can vote with…

The Secret Energy of Midsummer

As the days of early summer move inexorably towards the Solstice, life at Bealtaine Cottage takes on a brilliant energy. Everything is growing! There’s a bench in my garden,  shaded by many beautiful trees, near to the lower pond, where I enjoy sitting alone, as early in the morning as I can manage… to simply be. “I can’t get enough of watching the bees and trying to imagine how they experience the abundance of, say, a blue Campanula blossom, the dizzy light pulsing, every fibre of being immersed in the flower. …” ~ Mary Rose O’Reilly Moments of such silence…

The Pursuit of Happiness

Originally posted on Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland :
There’s a high wind in the skies above the cottage. Wind-chimes are clashing in discordant harmony all over the gardens. The fire in the stove roars up the chimney, heating up the oven that beckons a cake or a loaf of bread to bake… The sun shines in a baby-blue sky and the cats are spread out on the warm earth. The back door to the cottage lies open to admit the warmth of the April sun… I went into town this morning to post off seeds and herbs across the world…little bits of…

Permaculture Brings Hope…before and after images!

Originally posted on Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland :
It’s been almost nine years since I began planting this smallholding in the west of Ireland. Many of you are familiar with the landscape as it looked then. The picture above shows Bealtaine Cottage after a lot of cutting and clearing, around the time that the planting began. This picture shows the same view today. As you can see, the cottage is obscured…melting into the gardens of intense production. The lonely, abandoned cottage on the first day I saw it. Disappeared into the Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage…nine years of planting by one woman…

Be The Change!

Originally posted on Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland :
I was listening to a radio show host, Roy of Hollywood on PRNfm radio from New York, tell a caller that change begins with government policy and one person on their own can do little to make a difference…paraphrased, but the essence is true to form. This philosophy is way off mark, for the reality is very, very different. Every action we take, everything we buy, consume or share, is part of the reality WE make, every minute, every hour, every day… I oppose fracking and therefore refuse to use gas… I also refuse…