Remembering…

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

 

The Other Website… https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-good-life/

 

 

 

Country Cottage Journal ~ A Christmas Eve Message from Bealtaine Cottage

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The cottage is quiet.

Outside the remains of the storm huff and puff it’s remaining fury.

Inside the thick stone walls it’s Christmas Eve.

There will be a full moon on Christmas night, the first one since 1977.

But, this morning, the rays of the Midwinter sun illuminate the grey morning and all is quiet.

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Quiet is a welcome word after a night of howling wind and relentless rain.

DSC07785My blessed thanks to those of you who sent me good wishes and gifts.

I am heartily grateful to receive the appreciation of friends.

DSC07784Friends like Heather, who made me this beautiful brooch, stitched with love.

I have pinned it to the lapel of my jacket…it is a thing of beauty indeed!

It is the little notes, gifts and donations that bring a sense of being appreciated.

I am indeed blessed to live my life in the service of Mother Earth and able to live without the needs so many feel they must have, forever indebting themselves to the corporate machine that is destroying her.

DSC07782As I write this journal, the radio informs me of another storm on the way.

I will soon light the traditional candle in the window of my small sitting room.

candle and spiral at bealtaine cottageThe placing of a lighted candle in the window of a house on Christmas Eve is still practised today.

It remains a symbol of hope.

PaddyDog Designs at Ballyfermoyle, sold in the Bealtaine Cottage shop on EtsyHope is what Bealtaine Cottage is all about…hope and renewal.

I am a woman and a pragmatist who looks to the future.

Full moon over Bealtaine Cottage IrelandDespite the wars of man, the fear of climate upheaval, the greed of those in power and the relentless drum-banging of the corporate consumer world, life, in all it’s imperfections, is sacred and beautiful.

DSC07780On this blessed Christmas Eve, I will step out with my spade and wheelbarrow, to plant the future, in the form of five trees.

May you be blessed with love, light and happiness on this wonderful day and in the days of light to follow.

XXX Colette XXX

Support the work of the Bealtaine Project…

Subscribe to the second website, growing daily and now with over 90 new blogs and several thousands of unseen photographs, as well as podcasts and stories… Visit:

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Please Note…

The posting of seeds and pendants will resume on 27th of December. Please do not place any orders until that date.

I am nestling into Yule, preparing to celebrate the Midwinter with my family and friends.

Bless you all and have a wonderful Midwinter and Christmas, filled with love and contentment.

I will continue to post on the Bealtaine Cottage Good Life website during this time.

Colette XXX

Country Cottage Journal

Preparing the cottage for Yuletide and the Midwinter Feast has been underway for the past week or so.

A smaller stove has been installed in the sitting room and much of the furniture in the cottage has been moved around…a great swap has taken place!

The end of all this turmoil is almost in sight…I breath a big sigh of relief, for the organising of sleeping arrangements, food and fuel is next on my “To-Do” list!

This is a great time of the year for working indoors and in many ways it’s also a good time to prepare for the year ahead, get work done and a sense of order into the cottage.

The weather has been stormy and wet, leaving little time for any works outdoors anyway.

Despite this, it’s lovely to walk in the aftermath of such weather, as mists arise and sunsets glimmer…

Presents are made and wrapped and put to one side, to be taken out after the feast and distributed amidst excitement and anticipation.

Many of the gifts are cherished, home-made and unique.

It’s interesting to note that this appears to be much of a trend now as the big manufacturers are attempting to emulate the same “home-made, folksy, country craft” look.

It also shows that people are tired of the commercial glitz!

As I write, sitting here in the small study at the front of the cottage, the rain pours down from the heavens.

Storm Desmond is casting it’s remains down upon us!

I have posted Ancient Bog Oak pendants, hand crafted by my brother Hugh O’Neill, to many countries.

There are a few left should anyone want a gift posted from Bealtaine Cottage on their behalf, though time is limited to a few days for posting in time for Christmas.

This is the link…

https://bealtainecottage.com/craft-shop/

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Blessings to you all on this stormy Saturday…keep snug and warm!

Make It, Mend It.

As the Winter nights draw in, we have a sense of being confined to home. This is the time when many people feel there is little to do, often resorting to whiling away the evenings doing nothing much…and I speak from personal experience more’s the shame!

The reality is actually quite different from that which we first encounter, for this is not time we have to pass, but down time allowing us to catch up, prepare for the lighter days ahead and make plans.

There lies ahead of us a mere 5-6 weeks to that most busiest of holiday seasons, Yule…Christmas.

This is the perfect time to give home-made gifts…especially edibles!

I say especially edibles because much of what passes as Christmas food in the shops is really quite mediocre.

For real taste and great packaging, nothing beats home-made!

Jam, wine, knits, biscuits, bakes…the possibilities are endless!

And the other half of this title?

Mend it…the economy of home management. Sewing, knitting, darning, painting, upcycling…a good lamp to work by and work away!

Of course, all this is about skills, and no better time to learn a new skill than by joining an evening class and meeting like-minded people.

Come to think of it…there really is very little time over the course of one winter to get half of it all done!

If you’re short of ideas on sending gifts abroad, then have a peek on the Bealtaine Cottage Seed site.

https://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/

I’m happy to act as Mother Christmas and despatch beautifully wrapped seeds, with a card including your message, to deserving recipients all over the world…

The Waxing Moon on Christmas Eve

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Evening approaches.

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The Eve of Christmas…Christmas Eve.

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A new moon rises on the day after Winter Solstice.

This is the third day after the New Moon.

Today it is known as the waxing Moon.

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It is always a time of hope and optimism.

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I have just returned from town and the craziness of shoppers who are ill at ease, attempting to buy food and fripperies they may not even use, for the siege mentality has taken hold.

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In reality, most shops are closed for only two days, but we have been conditioned to be reliant on shops rather than ourselves and neighbours.

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Yet the beauty is there to behold and it’s not found in shopping centres, that’s for sure!

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Step out, look up!

Better still, go for a walk and try to get into the real darkness, so that when you look up you can really see the glory in the heavens.

Blessings to you all X

Thanks for your appreciation.

Human Resources

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The Corporate Christmas is well under way, de-humanizing society and sterilizing traditions and beliefs.

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Human Resources is the new term for people who are employed.

This is how the Corporation views you…as a receptacle for stuff…So much stuff!

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Who owns the stuff?

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Do you own it or does it own you?

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You insure it!

You clean it!

You watch it.

You worry about it!

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It does not care for you.

You die, the stuff remains!

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Keep acquiring the stuff.

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Send some of your stuff to the landfill dump.

There is nowhere for the stuff to go…there is no away…stuff rules!

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The precious life you have is dominated by stuff that doesn’t care.

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Every last bit of that stuff has been excavated or tortured from Mother Earth.

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Forests have been ripped from her for the creation of stuff.

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Trees are cut down to create elaborated hardwood boxes to inter the dead…impregnated with chemicals before being buried in the earth…decades of pollution for the Great Mother to have to deal with!

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The Great Mother…perhaps if we had more understanding of the Mother Goddess and less of the patriarchal dominant society that is predicated on universal abuse, we would be living more harmoniously on this Sacred Earth today!

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I’m off to clear out more stuff for the Charity Shop and simple gifting to others!

However, Teddy stays!

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Why I No Longer Celebrate Christmas!

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Christmas fever is widespread as the orgy of spending takes hold.

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Ordinarily sane people are in-debting themselves to a year ahead of pay-back as they tread wearily around shops filled with Chinese imports!

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Some years ago I made a decision to opt out of mainstream.

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I had come to the conclusion that much of what I lived by was the result of not questioning, but merely going along with everyone else.

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Now, I must point out that once one begins to question the status quo, all sorts of issues raise their Medusa-like heads…religion, education, government, consumerism, et al! www.bealtainecottage.com 014

Every aspect of how I lived, and what moved me, was called to the fore of my interrogation.

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In much the same way as I gave up eating meat, smoking and spending our civilisation out of recession, I gave up Christmas.

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Christmas became something older and gentler for me…it morphed into Midwinter.

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I say “morphed” because there are aspects of Christmas I continue to appreciate, such as gift-giving.

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These are not the small-mortgage gifts however, but gifts of warmth and food and home-made trinkets.

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Midwinter lasts longer too, for this is the time of Yule.

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Yule marks the rebirth of the sun.
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It is a potent symbol of death and rebirth – going from the darkness into the light.
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Yule starts before the Solstice and continues on until New Year’s Day.

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There’s no rush, no crazy dash for the check-out.

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Yule is a time and a time that makes sense to me.

www.bealtainecottage.com

An Irish Christmas Blessing

The light of the Christmas star to you
The warmth of home and hearth to you
The cheer and good will of friends to you
The hope of a childlike heart to you
The joy of a thousand angels to you.

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For lovers of Bealtaine Cottage, there is a second website, growing daily and now with over 85 new blogs and hundreds of unseen photographs, as well as podcasts and stories… Visit:

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life Membership~ Subscribe Today!