dsc05339As the days grow shorter and the evenings longer there is a quietness in the gardens and around the cottage that is rather haunting.

winter sunrise at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardens Much of what I do now is centred around preparing for the Midwinter Feast and the continuing festivities of Yule.

BgQ7qv3CEAAL835 Family and friends will be arriving from as far away as Canada.

dsc05353 A house has been rented for the days that are in it, for Bealtaine Cottage is small!


dsc05352Baking is underway in the kitchen, making full use of the hot oven in the even hotter Stanley stove that is burning constant to keep the cottage warm. permaculture 043

dsc05329Cakes and bread are then being moved to the freezer in the barn and will be ready to assuage the hunger of visitors and guests alike. dsc05349The cake stand has been dusted off for the festivities.

dsc05331I am transforming the Lodge into a big dining room, moving beds and other furniture out and a huge extending dining table in.


dsc05333dsc05334This was brought over from the tunnel where it had been in use for years as a potting table, but a good clean down and polish, followed by the adornment of a starched table cloth, has lent the old table an air of noble gentility.

dsc05335dsc05336Candlelight will soften the decrepitness of the piece and even add a touch of shabby chic!

dsc05337In the event it isn’t really about grandeur or showing off, but about coming together to celebrate…something we have almost forgotten how to do.

dsc05338The remembering that less is more…that a pot of well made soup and home baked bread is unique to that day and all who partake of the feast.


dsc05345It is not about shop bought, ready-made food, or flashy decorations that will still be intact in the landfill when you are long gone from this sacred Earth. dsc05343

dsc05344My little bathroom has had a coat of paint applied and a polish-up!

dsc05346Remembering the importance of gathering and celebrating…this is real civilisation!



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  1. beautiful post again…. the old table is lovely – i feel old tables and chairs are just the best! I luv the real wood, the heaviness of the old pieces, and knowing there is a history that they hold…. lovely words and photos …. wondering do u decorate a tree for the holidays?

  2. Thank you for the reminder, Colette. I have been considering whether to keep our celebrations only family as my kids will be home only a few days, or extend some invitations to others. We have been several years rather isolated just dealing with our own issues, and yes, to a large extent I have forgotten how to gather and celebrate. Now it is a stretch. It feels uncomfortable, potentially invasive, to invite others in. But I think I will anyway.

  3. Lovely blog, Colette, and such a pretty, warm and welcoming cottage, full of colour and love. I wish you and your family a happy Yule and the joy that the coming together brings.

  4. My comment was supposed to read “well cared for” (not “well armed for”)–the not-fully-healed hand strikes again. 😀

  5. Beautiful. Your guests will be well armed for. Oh, that I (and others who enjoy your posts) could be a fly on the wall to be just a part.

  6. The cottage is looking lovely Colette. I think it is so exciting preparing for the festive season and being with people you love and care for. I have made most of my gifts and some of my family have too, as I told them it means so much more to receive a gift that has been made with love. I make my own cards anyway so they have all been made and written. Beautiful photos Colette and I love the table . Blessings to you all xxxx

  7. Lovely post Colette. It’s so uplifting to see you enjoying the preparations for your gathering. I am sure that you will have a great time and will look forward to hearing how it all went. Thank you for sharing your life with us and for the timely reminder about what’s really important at this time of year…appreciating our abundance, sharing it with others and gathering together (if we can)and just enjoying time together. My own experiences have taught me that time with those we love is the most precious thing…no amount of gifts, money or possessions can make up for that. I remember one of your podcasts that said “In the end there is only love”…how true. Love to you and yours Colette as you prepare to share and enjoy yourselves together xx

Your comments are welcome!