With my camera in one hand and mug of coffee in the other, I set off with jack for an early morning stroll around the garden and down as far as the end of the driveway.

DSC09753As you can see it’s a beautiful morning!

DSC09761My mind, as ever, began to focus on the beauty of all around me…for I live in a constant state of disbelief that all this has manifested from such barren land in little more than a decade!

DSC09760We live in unprecedented times.

DSC09720In what was promised as a post-war era of plenty on this abundant and beautiful planet, deceit and greed have overtaken and consumed the dream.

Mother Earth has been harnessed and shackled to the corporate nightmare.  

DSC09754War appears to be never-ending.

As George Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

Jane Goodall, a wise and compassionate woman if ever there was, speaks and writes about the issues facing us today, in a world where little makes sense…

“Michael Pollan likens consumer choices to pulling single threads out of a garment. We pull a thread from the garment when we refuse to purchase eggs or meat from birds who were raised in confinement, whose beaks were clipped so they could never once taste their natural diet of worms and insects. We pull out a thread when we refuse to bring home a hormone-fattened turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. We pull a thread when we refuse to buy meat or dairy products from cows who were never allowed to chew grass, or breathe fresh air, or feel the warm sun on their backs.
The more threads we pull, the more difficult it is for the industry to stay intact. You demand eggs and meat without hormones, and the industry will have to figure out how it can raise farm animals without them. Let the animals graze outside and it slows production. Eventually the whole thing will have to unravel.
If the factory farm does indeed unravel – and it must – then there is hope that we can, gradually, reverse the environmental damage it has caused. Once the animal feed operations have gone and livestock are once again able to graze, there will be a massive reduction in the agricultural chemicals currently used to grow grain for animals. And eventually, the horrendous contamination caused by animal waste can be cleaned up. None of this will be easy.
The hardest part of returning to a truly healthy environment may be changing the current totally unsustainable heavy-meat-eating culture of increasing numbers of people around the world. But we must try. We must make a start, one by one.”
Jane Goodall

DSC09719There are some main differences between the times we live in and a few decades ago here in the western world.

DSC09755Do you remember?

Do your parents recall?

Have you ever had this conversation…the one that begins with “consumption of food and acquisition of material goods never used to be like this!”

DSC09750My diet as a child consisted of tiny amounts of meat two or three times per week.

DSC09749Milk was limited to what was given out free at school.

DSC09747Ice cream only ever was a Sunday treat during the Summer months.

DSC09748Sweets were literally a treat…very rare indeed and brought by visitors to our home!

DSC09746Clothes were handed down and rarely bought new!

DSC09745Toys and games were what one got at Christmas or birthday if one was lucky!

DSC09741Compare all that to now…

We have a consumer society gone mad!

We are devouring our world!

DSC09738Our happiness levels have plummeted.

Seasonal food and life is unrecognizable to the majority of younger people.  

DSC09729“Someday we shall look back on this dark era of agriculture and shake our heads. How could we have ever believed that it was a good idea to grow our food with poisons?”
Jane Goodall, Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating

DSC09726Oh Jane Goodall, what a wise woman you are…but I hope that day comes soon!


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  1. So true Colette. I remember exactly the same kind of childhood and even we children, if we saw a child being spoiled (envious though we might have been) knew instinctively that it wasn’t right. Nowadays I see so many parents feel obliged to give in to every demand their children make. I suppose it is because they feel guilty as both parents have to work. I agree with Kassie Anne regarding anticipation. The build up to the special occasions and treats WAS thrilling.

  2. A wonderful post, Colette, I’ll share it if I may. I would dearly LOVE to believe – we HAVE to believe – that we can put a stop eventually to the “corporate nightmare” ; it invades every aspect of our lives. It is our bounden duty to resist at every opportunity.

    On another matter – I love the new look of the blog – great size photos and lovely font. Lynne x

  3. Our lives have sped past the pace of the natural world at lightening speed. Hopefully now we will come full circle and realize that the pace of nature is the most natural and healthful way of life. Its nice to know that each of our little threads can help unravel the mess we have created since the industrial revolution.

  4. Today’s Guardian newspaper has an article about the extraordinary cornucopia of the fossils at Messel in Germany, diverse fish, insects, birds, reptiles, mammals… https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/may/18/the-fabulous-fossils-of-messel-a-colourful-world-of-birds-and-beetles Your post and photos reminded me of how richly creative Life is when allowed to unfold unhindered. Scientists say we have entered one of the handful of great extinction events that Earth has experienced during its history, except that this time it is not caused by asteroid strike or extreme climate change (although that too seems to be on its way) but by humans. Yet even during such events there have always been refugia – sanctuaries where pockets of life have survived, ready to seed the world once conditions improved once more, and create another diverse chapter in Life’s creative expression. I think of places like Bealtaine Cottage as kinds of refugia on a micro scale, places where Life can flourish… We can each, by working with and listening to Nature, help create refugia.

    • Just the word, this lovely, hopeful word, Refugia, has made me cry…for often it feels this way. I walk these 3 acres in stunned silence seeing how much Mother Earth has packed in here…much, much more than I have planted…and realise She knows this is Her sanctuary…one of many small Refugia. It breaks my heart that it should come to this.
      Blessings X

      • I watched a very heartening video talk by Dr Bruce Lipton today on spontaneous evolution – https://www.hayhouseworldsummit.com/lessons/an-introduction-to-spontaneous-evolution It made me realise that we have needed to go through all this materialism in order to develop technology and that ultimately our potential is limitless. When we learn to use technology in a benign and Earth-centred way a new evolution will unfold. There is a reason Earth puts up with our blindness – because She takes a much longer view and She knows that we are headed in the right direction even though it may not appear that way. Towards the end, Bruce Lipton says “We’re here to tend the garden and to increase awareness.” Wonderful insights too into the role of women and the grandmothers. (A complete aside on my part, but female killer whales have the longest menopause of any non-human species. Why? It’s thought it is because they play a critical social role: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/03/menopausal-killer-whales-are-family-leaders )

  5. Thanks for doing what you do, we are gone mad and have being going mad for a very long time. Reading 16 Lives Rodger Casement by Angus Mitchell, The O’Brien Press Dublin, at the moment. Casement’s writing on his observations in the Congo and South America how man and madness go hand in hand once money and greed take over. When will we, collectively, rise above the need in us, to exploit. I hope that day is soon.

  6. And as children, we ENJOYED things more! I’m in my 60s and live in the US. And while in my childhood home we usually had meat daily, it wasn’t in such large amounts, and as you said, “treats” were just that -special treats, not something daily taken for granted. And things LASTED longer. When someone’s TV broke a repairman would come to the house and replace tubes, etc and fix it. It was the same with most appliances -and they usually lasted for DECADES! People made a living, supporting families, repairing appliances. And only getting toys and things for occasions like Christmas and birthdays was FUN, because of the anticipation.

  7. Never truer words spoken, it’s all down to greed and money. The welfare of the beautiful animals do not seem to be thought about at all, it makes me so angry. A lady I know thought it funny when she asked her 8 year old grandaughter where apples come from and her reply was the supermarket….. How sad is that …..what is happening??? Once again some wonderful photos, I can’t believe your Roses are out, mine are still in tight bud. Blessings xxx

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