Posted in agriculture, Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, care for the earth, climate change, Collapse, Earth, EU, Trees, Wildlife, Woodland

Developing a Woodland from Zero

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From monoculture rushy land to woodland in under twelve years.

Not just any woodland, but a food forest woodland, as you can see from one of the thousand plus trees planted above…a Greengage!

This is the only lawn here, enjoyed by Jack!

DSC01549There follows a series of forty plus photographs taken here at Bealtaine Cottage in July 2016.

DSC01548DSC01494DSC01547 The Bealtaine Cottage Land Restoration Project was started in late 2004.

DSC01495It was a challenge for one woman with zero resources to restore what was deemed by the EU as “Poor Land”…a term I vehemently challenge!

DSC01496DSC01497There is no such thing as “Poor Land”  just ABUSED EARTH!

DSC01498DSC01499DSC01500As with all EU projects that entail putting Mother Earth first, there was zero funding for this!

DSC01501DSC01503DSC01504Not to be deterred…(I never am!) at the age of forty eight, I took on a mortgage to help buy this bereft, sad-looking little place, with the dream of returning it to Eden.

DSC01506DSC01507DSC01508I believe the Earth is sacred.

DSC01510DSC01509DSC01511The rest of the story is told here in these photographs…

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The fact that I have planted this entirely on my own, growing much of what you see from seeds and cuttings, makes this a workable model for anyone to follow…

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Posted in Climate, climate change, Earth, Ecology, Gaia, Nature

Giordano Bruno

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I have been reading much of late…in particular, two books by James Lovelock, setting out the case for Gaia and the ensuing extreme weather generated by a change in our climate, among other things, some would argue! 

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DSC01462This is not a blog about Climate Change or, even, extreme weather…enduring it is quite enough!

DSC01467This is about an extraordinary human being, who, 400 years before James Lovelock, set out the case for our Earth being alive…as I know her to be today!

DSC01464For this and other beliefs, Giordano was burned at the stake in the year 1600.

DSC01471Giordano Bruno, born Filippo Bruno, was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, and astrologer.

DSC01472He is remembered for his cosmological theories, which conceptually extended the then novel Copernican model.

DSC01470He proposed that the stars were just distant suns surrounded by their own exoplanets and raised the possibility that these planets could even foster life of their own (a philosophical position known as cosmic pluralism).

DSC01469He also insisted that the universe is in fact infinite and could have no celestial body at its “centre”.

DSC01463Beginning in 1593, Bruno was tried for heresy by the Roman Inquisition on charges including denial of several core Catholic doctrines (including Eternal Damnation, the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the virginity of Mary, and Transubstantiation).

DSC01460So, you can begin to see why I have warmed to this rather extraordinary and brave human being!

DSC01458Not, as some would imagine, for having strong views…but for daring to question!

DSC01457Bruno’s pantheism was also a matter of grave concern.

DSC01456 The Inquisition found him guilty, and he was burned at the stake in Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori in 1600.

DSC01452In short, Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake just over 400 years ago for maintaining that the Earth was alive!

DSC01449After many years of isolation in the science community, James Lovelock was acknowledged as the bearer of truth, sometimes a painful burden to carry in a society fixated with staying well inside the box!

DSC01447I know from my intimate work with Mother Earth, that she is indeed alive.

I open myself to her communication.

DSC01439Her voice grows louder with each passing day…indeed, many of you hear or feel her communication.

DSC01432The change in acceptance of James Lovelock’s Gaia theory was summed up in a declaration published by scientists from the four international research programmes in 2001 which said…

DSC01428“The Earth system behaves as a single, self-regulating system,comprised of physical, chemical, biological and human components. The interactions and feedbacks between the component parts are complex and exhibit multi-scale temporal and spatial variability.” DSC01426We need to make peace with Her…and to do that we need to listen!

Thank you for supporting Bealtaine Cottage…there is a link at the top of this page where you may choose to purchase a book, calendar or map. Blessings X Colette

Posted in Climate, climate change, Collapse, Uncategorized

End of Empire and Climate Chaos

www.bealtainecottage.com 054The greatest concern of our times is happening on a daily basis and affecting every one of us.

Weather volatility is real and happening and the Ostriches in power appear impotent against the great forces of Nature.

www.bealtainecottage.com 029The gabbling media assault our senses with celebrity highs and lows, sport and highly edited titbits of what is happening internationally…all the while keeping away from any real conversation about the chaos that is the weather all around us and those dreaded words: Climate Change.

However it is not Climate Change any more…the media have completely missed out on that conversation!

It has evolved rapidly into Climate Chaos!

The Fairy Wood at Bealtaine CottageI would like to offer words of comfort and reassurance, but that’s not possible, for I live in the real world and events are happening too fast for me to be able to offer predictions that will reassure!

Last night I slept with both windows open in my bedroom, bathed in warmth from the wind that blew all night from the south.

The wind chimes on the veranda played ceaselessly…something that has never happened before.

I use all my senses to try to build a picture of what the media refuses to inform me about.

The big news is that the Jet Stream is out of control!

Imagine a Spinning Top, rotating smoothly at first…well that is how the Jet Stream SHOULD be!

Now picture the same Spinning Top as it slows, rotating wildly…that is what is happening to the Jet Stream and causing the wild fluctuations in weather across the globe.

All the information about this is out there on the internet…make Google your friend and inform yourself…that’s if you can bear it!

I have gone past the need to research, for I witness the changes, log them, keep a record of temperatures and rainfall patterns…and have done so for all the time I have worked on the Bealtaine project.

So, what is the point in telling you this bad news?

I have nothing to gain.

In fact, there is a strong possibility that I will lose subscribers.

The old adage of “shoot the messenger”pertains to what I have written here…so be it!

023So, let me tell you about the people I hope to reach with this news…

People who care for the future.

Those who have awakened to what it means to live a compassionate life.

Especially those who are unafraid of change and to implement change in their own lives.

Sammy Bear and meIf there is a Universal Consciousness…give it the name Goddess, God, Divine, Mother Earth…whatever you know it by…then that consciousness must surely want us to care as deeply for our planet as we care for ourselves.

Adapting is the way forward and should be at the top of all political agendas and policies.

Here in Ireland we are headed into a general election.

Farmers appear to be ill-informed in relation to Climate Change and as they hold much power in the outcome of elections, there will not be much informed debate on the doorstep!

Meat production is now at an all-time high in Ireland and there are few, if any, politicians who are prepared to risk the fury of farmers in regards to changing that!

The relationship between meat production, consumption and climate change is there for all to Google and Youtube.

The complacency regarding our habitat and climate change disturbs me.

I shall be quizzing each and every politician who knocks on my door…but as for intelligent, informed answers, well, I won’t be holding my breath!

Feel free to share this post…

And…I had to add this wonderful interview with Jane Goodall…

Posted in Climate, climate change, Collapse, COP 21, Country Living, Earth, Uncategorized

Love in a (not so) Cold Climate

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With the back door wide open and the birds singing out a chorus more resonant of Spring than Winter, welcome to Sunday morning at Bealtaine Cottage in the west of Ireland!

Despite the mild Winter, snow has fallen and added a seasonal touch to the landscape…in fact it remains on the mountains to the north of the cottage and here and there on banks and ditches.

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I’ve been very busy in the gardens since the end of December, pruning hard, cutting back, washing the tunnel, cleaning pots and generally trying to stay ahead of the work that will suddenly seem oppressive at the start of Spring!

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If previous years are anything to go by, the Spring will be very short and Summer will make itself known in mid to late March!

Shocking I know, but that is the measure of it!

So, for a gardener like myself there’s nothing else for it but to adapt!

Seeds are sown in the propagator and compost will be mixed today in preparation for the potting on that is to come in the next few weeks!

It’s a case of just getting on with it as best I can!

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There is a distinct difference in the shadow patterns as the outline of the roof of the cottage falls beneath the tree tops…

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“Much of the oxygen we breathe comes from plants that died long ago. We can give thanks to these ancestors of our present-pay foliage, but we can’t give back to them. We can, however, give forward. When we are unable to return the favor, we can pay it forward to someone or something else. Using this approach, we can see ourselves as part of a larger flow of giving and receiving throughout time. Receiving from the past, we can give to the future. When tackling issues such as climate change, the stance of gratitude is a refreshing alternative to guilt or fear as a source of motivation.”
Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone

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Sowing and planting, growing tiny trees in pots of hope, tending Mother Earth with love…brings me joy.

Sitting here, with the back door open in the middle of January, may be a cause for concern, but it is over-ridden by the call of Mother Earth from outside.

And for the many visitors to Bealtaine Cottage this year, there will be small pots of hope to take away…

Subscribe to Bealtaine Cottage Good Life website here…

https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-good-life/

Posted in care for the earth, Climate, climate change, Collapse, Uncategorized

Climate Collapse

This has been difficult to write.

I expect to lose many subscribers.

Truth-tellers in an age of illusion are not welcome, in any circles!

However, truth be told, I have never sought the high opinion of others, so I am prepared to speak the truth, as I see it!

Some of you, maybe even many of you, will decide to unsubscribe to this blog.

Be that as it may…I must press on!

Climate Change has turned the corner…the one that faces into uncertainty and fear.

Yes, I am fearful for what lies ahead for my children and grandchildren.

DSC02199I am fearful for what I have come to shape my entire being around…Mother Earth.

The violence and uncertainty that lies ahead.

I am not going to put an excess of climate information in this writing.

Step outside and tell me what you experience.

That is all you need to know…FEEL what is happening!

DSC01461There is something very wrong!

Feel it in your entire being!

DSC01104Yet…there is hope…for where there is life there is hope and I have always been a pragmatist, optimist and carer.

Hope for me is in the form of pledging…and knowing that I have done my best…that is all I can hope for!

I will do whatever I can to help stop this mad spiral dance of death!

Here is what I pledge…

Only vital air travel…use rail and sea!

No more meat or dairy!

Don’t buy it unless I absolutely cannot do without it!

Power down…use the bare minimum of electricity.

Walk or cycle whenever and wherever I can.

Avoid goods wrapped in plastic.

Absolutely NO VOTE from me to any politician who supports war, on any level…and that includes abstention!

No supporting Fracking…I will not even have a gas lighter in my home! Many in the anti-fracking movement choose gas cookers over electric cookers, despite living within sight of wind turbines!

As for that most contentious of issues…Here are a few facts that may persuade us of our complicity and responsibility in this growing nightmare scenario!

DSC00874A kilogramme of beef protein reared on a British hill farm can generate the equivalent of 643kg of carbon dioxide. A kilogramme of lamb protein produced in the same place can generate 749kg. One kilo of protein from either source, in other words, causes more greenhouse gas emissions than a passenger flying from London to New York. ~ George Monbiot, The Guardian, 22 Dec 2015

DSC02047This is the worst case, and the figure comes from a farm whose soils have a high carbon content. But the numbers uncovered by a wider study are hardly reassuring: you could exchange your flight to New York for an average of 3kg of lamb protein from hill farms in England and Wales. You’d have to eat 300kg of soy protein to create the same impact. ~ George Monbiot The Guardian, 22 Dec 2015

Climate breakdown looks inevitable – unless we all change our diets. ~ George Monbiot

As a footnote, I am appalled at how all climate scientists I have read so far, have completely IGNORED the effect endless wars in the 20/21st centuries have contributed to Climate Change.

Now that alone should make one think of what we are NOT being told in all of this!

Mother Earth does not lie…step outside and experience the truth!

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Bealtaine Cottage, May 2004

The Bealtaine Project was  initiated, funded and planted by Colette O’Neill, an Irish grandmother, who, twelve years ago, attempted to prove there was no such thing as “poor land,” just abused Earth!

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Bealtaine Cottage, obscured by over 1,000 deciduous trees, May 2016.

This was done simply, by caring, planting and nurturing 3 acres of such land in the west of Ireland, back to life! 

The Bealtaine Project continues to grow here, on this website and in the hearts and minds of good people all over the world.

Thanks for your support

 

Posted in climate change, Collapse, COP 21, Uncategorized

Country Cottage Journal ~Truth and Lies

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

You had best sit down with a cup of tea, for the truth is quite shocking!

You may not agree with what I have to say.

You may even still be in denial about what is obviously happening and what indeed lies ahead!

Most of those I have spoken with on this life and death scenario have blatantly told me they do not want to know!

In some ways, I don’t blame them…for it is easier to continue life with one’s head in a realm of make-believe and “happy ever afters”, where one has not got to take responsibility for one’s life.

The reality is far too disconcerting to have to look at!

The elephant in the room is, of course, Climate Change.

Politicians, negotiators and big corporations have all been talking the talk about our future.

Let me say that again…Our Future…NOT the future of Mother Earth, for she will go on!

Our children and grandchildren are in danger!

Yet, some of the biggest fights at COP 21, in Paris, are over who pays for climate change…We know who will pay the piper!

Governments are not prepared to jeopardize economic growth to save humanity.

It will be the persistent, unrelenting, driving force of materialism, which will be our downfall.

This may also be recognised as greed.

That has been the death knell for all preceding civilizations and empires.

PosterThis time it affects us all, for this time, everything is connected, as we are to Mother Earth.

Most of humanity appear to have morphed into ostriches…and we all know what they do!

Posted in Climate, climate change, Ireland, Uncategorized

Country Cottage Journal~Floods

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Last night I encountered the severest rainfall ever…it was nothing less than apocalyptic!

I was awakened around midnight by the sound of gushing water.

It had been raining all day and the forecast was for the rain to persist until around 6am on Sunday morning.

Getting up and putting on my dressing gown, I opened the back door and switched on the outdoor light, to witness water rising up towards the door.

Grabbing a torch, I shone it along the back of the garden and was amazed to see waterfalls, cascading down from the hill behind the cottage, onto the gravel in my little courtyard.

It was horrendous…and very, very frightening!

I put my raincoat on over my dressing gown, slid into my wellies and clutching the torch, headed up the back garden, to see if it was possible to redirect the torrents.

I spent the next three hours with spade, hoe and rake, trying my hardest to channel the flooding away from it’s path of destruction.

I succeeded…eventually!

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This is extreme weather of biblical proportions!

The result of Climate Change due to the machinations of man…everything points that way!

Posted in Climate, climate change, Collapse, Consumerism, Current Affairs, Economy, energy, environment, Paris, Politics, sustainability, Uncategorized, war, wealth

Climate Change…The Elephant in the Room

The conference in Paris is underway as I write this.

World leaders have gathered to discuss, debate, harangue and eventually come to some agreement…hopefully!

However, there are two aspects of any agreement, that the mainstream media will ignore, in their reporting of the biggest threat to face humankind ever!

The first one is evident to anyone living in the developed world: we have to consume less, much less and, in fact, change our entire perspective of how we live with this planet…not, as many say, on this planet!  

This means reducing consumption of consumer goods, oil,  but, more importantly, changing our diets and expectations.

We have become used to buying food from all over the world, holidaying all over the world, eating more meat than any other generation before us and living in homes where heat is supplied at the flick of a switch.

You will not hear political leaders talk such talk, as this has no place in “economic growth”…

Western society in it’s present form is unsustainable…even without the massive problem of Climate Change!

(For example…did you know that there are, today, nearly 65 billion animals worldwide, including cows, chickens and pigs, crammed into Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)…Factory Farms to you and me!)

We eat meat as a snack food…unheard of when I grew up!

However, much as the mainstream media ignore much of the above, there remains a most important part of this problem unspoken of…

War and the Military machines of increasingly feudal governments. They’re right up there in the major league of Climate destroyers! 

Did Al Gore even mention the devastating impact of endless wars and military in his money-spinning presentation?

No!

Why?

It was an Inconvenient Truth.

It represents the Elephant in the Room that no-one wants to talk about! 

Last year, the UK government spent $60.5Billion on Defence.

A huge amount of money that could have provided solar power and retro-fitted insulation to millions of homes…yes, millions!

Here’s an article that evaluates the US military’s impact on climate  

“Militarism is single greatest institutional contributor to the growing natural  disasters intensified by global warming.” 

~J Lawrence 

Some of the facts, should you care to research them are staggering… for example, an F-4 Phantom Fighter burns more than 1,600 gallons of jet fuel per hour!

It is interesting that the spin on war and climate change has already begun, with the media posing the question does climate change cause war and refugees.

Refugees do not cause climate change.

It is time we did a little number crunching for ourselves!

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life membership is 12 euros per year and allows me a small income to continue to grow the Bealtaine Project both here in Ireland and in the hearts and minds of good people all over the world.

Please join…

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Posted in Climate, climate change, destruction, ecocide, sustainability, Uncategorized, war

Paris

The weather has been all over the place during the past few days. Storm Barney has apparently passed over, though as I write, there is a storm whooping up, quite suddenly too, along the valley and mountains, in from the Atlantic seaboard.

As you can see from the photographs above, taken yesterday, the sun shone brilliantly, though intermittently!

I have just stepped out from the cottage to snap these, literally a few minutes ago.

Another storm has just swept in from the west!

The colours are uplifting I think, even though there is an inherent violence accompanying them.

Mother Nature is venting…

DSC07460The clock moves to just after 4pm and the sky outside is darkening fast.

DSC07463I rejoice in days like these, for one feels alive and adrenaline pumps to the surface, as the full force of Mother Nature moves across the sky and the trees tremble.

DSC07461There is a conference in Paris today…on Climate Change.

I received clarification today of what I have long suspected…for we know that everything is connected…

It is simply this…that the War Machine, the military might of the West, guzzles the most oil and is the largest emitter of CO2 on our planet!

DSC07474War and militarism are the key components of what fuels Climate Change!

DSC07465Everything, yes everything is connected!

DSC07443Jack worries not…there are times I envy him!

Posted in climate change, Ireland, Permaculture, population, weather

Severe Weather and Climate Change

An incredible storm has raged all day long and continues into this dark, cold night.

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The wind has howled around the cottage, shaking the trees so fiercely that the ground has trembled!

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Thunder and lightning, hailstones rattling the windows and snow…this is the worst storm I have witnessed in over ten years at Bealtaine Cottage!

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The scary aspect of this biting cold, storm-ridden, night is that only two nights ago, it was positively warm; in fact the dramatic rise in temperature woke me up before dawn.

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As the weather becomes more and more wild and extreme, so everyday life is affected.

Even as I write this blog and upload photographs, the power has cut out twice, leaving me to start over…though some of the writing is automatically saved.

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It is past 9pm here in the cottage and the storm has not let up all day.

Still, I have made the most of the time, moving the beginnings of my Blackcurrant wine into demijohns, where it will bubble and work away in the coming months.

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The back of the cottage is a little more sheltered…indeed this storm is raging from the north of the country.

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Temperatures have plummet by 10 degrees over the past 48 hours.

Despite our best efforts to ignore it, climate change  is fast turning into the crisis of our present time…and looks likely to be a problem of growing enormity.

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Mother Earth has endured over two hundred years of industrial impacts, as well as an ever-intensifying human population, all demanding energy, food and an ever-increasing standard of living.

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On the day my mother was born, there were just over one billion people living on Planet Earth. Bealtaine Cottage homespun wool

On the day she died, this had increased almost sevenfold, to over seven billion!

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As the natural world is plundered, many species are in sharp decline.

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The sustainability crisis is second only to climate change, as the greatest threat of our times.

new compost heap bordered with willow at Bealtaine Cottage

I have kept diaries over the past ten years and have noted rare, extreme weather events become the norm!

This is not going away.

We have to face into this problem and start developing solutions.

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I write to encourage, help and inspire mindfulness for our beautiful world and have photographed and written over 870 blogs on the Bealtaine Cottage site, as well as over 110 videos on YouTube…all free from advertising!

You are very welcome and appreciated by leaving a comment, liking, sharing, or even leaving a small donation. Blessings X

Blessings
Posted in bog gardens, climate change, silt harvesting, water gardens

Silt Harvesting…Benefiting From Climate Change

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When beginning to plant the land here at Bealtaine Cottage over ten years ago, one of the most important tasks was to dig out drains and create two large ponds.

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The upper pond is mainly to catch the silt washed down from the hilly land behind the cottage.

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The lower pond as a pure delight for humans…a place where the sky is pulled onto the earth and light is reflected upwards, back towards the sky.

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In order to keep the reflective powers of the water, it is essential for me to clear the pond weeds and plants every year.

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This is an arduous task, but a beneficial one for all the trees here in the Bog Gardens.

As I pull up the weed, huge roots packed with fertile silt come up with it.

This is then spread around trees and shrubs in the gardens.

There is a substantial amount of fertility spread this way.

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However, further back, in the silt pond, the sandy, loamy soil is dredged out in buckets.

All this is happening because of extreme weather, causing heavy rains that leach the soil on the hill and wash it down into the stream that feeds the ponds.

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In the face of climate change, it is imperative we adapt in these small ways, for much of our topsoil is being washed into the oceans.

Besides which, silt is one of the most productive soils known to humankind!

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, climate change, diet, meat-free, places to stay, Sustainable Living, Vegan, Vegetarian

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!