Resilience of The Bealtaine Project as Drought and Heatwave Ravage Ireland

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Extreme weather conditions have struck once again here in Ireland.

Planting over eleven hundred trees over fourteen years has meant resilience for Bealtaine Cottage.

IMG_7610This continual onslaught of extreme weather is fast establishing itself as the new normal!

IMG_7611From the normally mild summers of Ireland and the UK, numerous locations in the Northern Hemisphere have witnessed their hottest weather ever recorded over the past two weeks!

This should be a wake-up call to plant…trees!

IMG_7612 Only three months ago the country ground to a halt with severe snow storms and massive fall of snow in 48 hours!

IMG_7613Now we are experiencing a heatwave and severe drought which we haven’t had since 1976!

IMG_7614There was a hurricane here in Ireland last year and a massive six hour thunderstorm that did incredible damage.

IMG_7615The Irish Meteorological service, Met Éireann says there will be ‘practically nothing’ in terms of rainfall for the next ten days!

IMG_7616And so it continues unabated!

IMG_7619There has been less than 20mm of rain since May 1st with twelve days of sweltering heat and temps approaching 32c (90F) with no end in sight.

IMG_7629This is the third major record breaking weather story in just nine months – from autumn hurricanes to winter snow storms and now a summer drought!

IMG_7632Have you noticed the effect of this heatwave and drought here at Bealtaine Cottage? Many of you are familiar with the Bealtaine Project motto:

“Plant like your life depends upon it, for it does!” ~ Bealtaine CottageIMG_7636There has been some leaf drop, but overall the land is in good condition and is surviving the extreme conditions well!

IMG_7639As I write this I am aware of extreme rainfall and flooding in Japan.

IMG_7642It appears that the entire world is experiencing extreme weather.

IMG_7643However, what is happening is a taste of what lies ahead, for whatever we do there are consequences.

IMG_7645Did we not all learn that simple rule as children?

IMG_7644If we fail to look after, respect and maintain our home, then it will fall down around us. IMG_7649The earth is our home.

IMG_7652We have treated Mother Earth with disdainful arrogance!

There is a video on this subject uploaded today over on the Bealtaine Cottage YouTube channel…subscribe for further notifications.

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“A Cottage and Three Acres,” by Colette O’Neill

Please email Colette if you would like a particular inscription in your book. From a desolate cottage set in 3 acres of monoculture sadness, to a vibrant, thriving food forest of life…the journey back to Eden over 13 years… Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€27.00

In Search of The Goddess Rising

This is the second book in the Goddess Permaculture series from Colette O’Neill at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland. In this book I explore the ancient landscape, mythology, literature and life around Bealtaine Cottage… in search of the Great Goddess. The price of the book includes all postage and packing to wherever you live in the world! Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€21.00

Bealtaine Cottage Guide to the Deep Midwinter

A little Yuletide book filled with colour photographs, recipes, reflections, lore, poetry and mirth to guide you through the wonderful days ahead. Fifty pages of sheer delight from Bealtaine Cottage to you. The book is fully bound and can be posted direct as a gift. Price includes P&P worldwide. Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€15.00

Special Offer

In Search of the Goddess Rising and The Bealtaine Cottage Guide to the Deep Midwinter…both books normally cost €36.00 but can be purchased together for for €32.00 which includes P&P Worldwide. Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€32.00

Magical Mythical Map of Bealtaine Cottage and Gardens

Beautiful map created by the artist David Gascoigne, especially for Bealtaine Cottage. The picture shows one side of the map…it is printed on both sides, see the photos on this page. The price includes all Postage and Packing to wherever you live in the world! Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€12.00

Times of Insanity…Seeking Reality

I rarely dip into the outside world in terms of mainstream media, for it unnerves me!

dsc04158I keep myself occupied in the world as I know it…the one where I weave wreathes from Willow and Dogwood…

dsc04159The one where cruelty and chaos are not allowed entry!

dsc04187You’ll understand my terror, for that’s why you’re here…to touch base with reality!

dsc04186Yes, this is reality…as it was meant to be and in the world most inhabit, is not!

dsc04185I have always chosen this reality, both as a child living in poverty and as a mother creating sanctuary for her children in London.

dsc04184I have always sought out Mother Earth, wherever she was hidden from view by retail parks and shopping centres, housing estates and suburbia.

dsc04183I chose this reality.

dsc04181I planted it, brought it forward, share it and allow it’s force to move out in waves of healing and peace.

dsc04180We all choose our own realities and what we allow carelessly in or strive to keep out!

dsc04179The Lughnasadh Garden is another reality being birthed at Bealtaine.

dsc04178Just as wanton destruction is being justified all over this Sacred Earth, the need for creation is more necessary than ever in the history of what we laughingly refer to as “civilisation!”

dsc04178 And, if you are brain-washed enough to think for a minute that politicians will lift us all up to a better life, then you should really seek your inspiration with them… and not here at this little portal!

dsc04177 Regardless of party/gender/colour or creed, politicians take us to war and care nothing for the protection of Mother Earth…and that in my view is unforgivable!

Today I am feeling angry with what I saw as I looked at the world through the poisonous media.

Even Social Media is being taken over by hate and vitriol!

dsc04171As I approach my birthday and my 61st year, I am becoming convinced more and more of the need to keep one’s head down and continue to nurture and care for Mother Earth.

dsc04170It’s all I care to do, for there is much destruction and violence all around that has reached a point of insanity!

dsc04169I don’t know where to go from here, except to keep doing as I do and keep this website going…where, I do not know! 

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(Thank you Alana!)

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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!

Microbeads…A Call To Action!

dsc03454You may never have heard of them…

Microbeads.

dsc03460Microbeads are tiny particles of plastic that have been added to possibly thousands of personal care products sold around the world.

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Microbeads are hardly visible to the naked eye and flow straight from the bathroom drain into the sewer system.

www-bealtainecottage-com-0261Wastewater treatment plants are NOT designed to filter out Microbeads!

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You may have heard of the Plastic Soup swirling around the world’s oceans?

Well, Microbeads make up a large proportion of that TOXIC brew!

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Sea creatures absorb or eat Microbeads.

These Microbeads are passed along the marine food chain.

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Since humans are ultimately at the top of this food chain, it is likely that we are also absorbing Microbeads from the food we eat.

cymhlcewkaaqkrwMicrobeads are NOT biodegradable and once they enter the marine environment, they are impossible to remove!

So, what can we do about this growing environmental disaster?

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You may want to begin by visiting http://www.beatthemicrobead.org/en/

My approach is a very simple one…use natural care products…meaning, create simple solutions at home!

Not too difficult with a little research and will save loads of money!

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Post any small solutions you may have in the comments section below…

Let’s get moving on this one…

A Lifeboat For Humanity

DSC01956It was James Lovelock who first suggested that there would be a very few countries which would escape the worst vagaries of the oncoming Climate Change…

DSC01955Much of our media remains silent about the problem and there hangs an eerie silence in the air around centres of political machinations.

DSC01954Our extractive mentality and the demand for higher profits combine to destroy our very own habitat..this is the truth of what’s happening worldwide…we cannot escape our acquisitive nature! DSC01953We appear to be caught in a vicious circle of greed versus need…and we know which one of those two is winning! 

DSC01951DSC01950This is another Bank Holiday weekend here in Ireland and the pubs, takeaway food shops and restaurants are doing a roaring trade! 

DSC01948Over 56 billion farmed animals are killed every year by humans.

DSC01946DSC01945These shocking figures do not even include fish and other sea creatures whose deaths are so great they are only measured in tonnes…has anyone else noticed the scarcity of fish like Cod and Haddock  in our supermarket deep freeze and the sly introduction of Pollack?

DSC01944DSC01941DSC01940Yes, fish stocks are in decline, as evidenced in the supermarket offerings!

DSC01939We are gobbling up our habitat at an alarming rate! 

DSC01937Throughout the world, about 900 million trees are cut down annually, as of 2014.

That equates to about 2.47 million trees cut down every day.

DSC01936But, hold on, I hear you say…what was that you said about James Lovelock and…? 

According to The Irish Times report in 2009: James Lovelock is perhaps the world’s leading thinker on environmental issues – and his prognosis for the future of humanity is grim. In Ireland to speak at University College Dublin this week, he tells RONAN McGREEVY why he thinks climate change is irreversible and why Ireland may become ‘a lifeboat for humanity’

DSC01927 Yes, that’s right, ” a lifeboat for humanity!” 

DSC01926According to scientist James Lovelock, we are on the cusp of a global catastrophe that will make the present recession look trivial.

Within 30 years, he believes, the Arctic’s floating summer sea ice will all be melted. The polar caps will no longer reflect sunlight back into space and, instead, the ocean will absorb sunlight, heating up. The permafrosts in northern Canada and Siberia will thaw out, releasing carbon dioxide (CO2). At the same time, the tropical forests, which play a critical role in taking CO2 from the atmosphere, will die out. Global temperatures will rise by between five and six degrees in a short period of time, rendering most of the world uninhabitable for the vast majority of mankind.

What sets Lovelock apart from other climate scientists, most notably the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is the swift timetable he envisages and his belief that such change is irreversible and will take most of the human race with it. (Irish Times 2009)

DSC01925Lovelock is a former NASA chief scientist.  

DSC01923James Lovelock invented the electron capture device (ECD) whch alerted the world to the depletion of the ozone layer…remember the aerosol crisis?

DSC01922However, he is most famous for the Gaia hypothesis, now a theory, that the world is itself a living organism…and one I know to be true! 

DSC01921Though his predictions for the world are dire, his predictions for Ireland are of some small comfort. Because of our proximity to the sea, our relatively high latitude and our low population density, we may be spared the worst excesses of global warming.

He says Ireland, along with New Zealand, will be the “most fortunate countries on earth”. We will be a “lifeboat for humanity”, but a lifeboat can only take so many passengers.

~ Irish Times 2009

DSC01920Personally I think there will be many places that will make the transition successfully, but the criteria for these places will be different according to geographical regions.

DSC01919How do any of the generation that will meet this head on prepare for the crisis?

DSC01918Well we can begin by practicing living with less, using less, consuming less and growing more…and build a new way of living with Mother Earth from there!

DSC01911 It continues to be developed at Bealtaine Cottage…

 

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…

Postscript…

James Lovelock mentions other countries in his forecasting that  will also have the climatic conditions to sustain life…from my reading, these include the British Isles, Northern Scandinavia, New Zealand and Northern Canada. In this interview with The Irish Times in 2009 he was directly referencing Ireland.

Homelessness and Vulture Capitalism

DSC01744Why has the government of allowed Funds to cash-buy over 60% of when we have a ?

A simple question.

A simple tweet, made this morning, as I pondered what government is actually for…

DSC01723It concerns me deeply to imagine the almost two thousand  children who are awakening this morning in their homeless temporary accommodation…mostly Bed and Breakfast only hotels!

DSC01743I live in a comfortable little cottage, but grew up in circumstances not dissimilar to the homeless children of Ireland today, in that I was a child of an economically disadvantaged family. 

1624264_577952575629990_150204437_nThis is what economic inequality looked like in Ireland 53 yrs ago…that’s me on the left.

Eleven children living in a two bed-roomed terraced house.

mum-0071Yet over half a century ago, despite the cramped conditions, we had a house we called home!

My mother lived a long healthy life despite birthing eleven children…here she was in her eightieth year at Bealtaine Cottage.

DSC01742There should not be a homeless crisis here in Ireland…or anywhere for that matter!

DSC01741There were 5,811 people ‘officially homeless’ in emergency homeless accommodation in February 2016 – an increase of 48% over the previous February. This figure includes adults (3,930) and children with their families (1,881), but it does not include the ‘hidden homeless’ who are living in squats or ‘sofa surfing’ with friends or people who are living in domestic violence refuges.

~ http://www.focusireland.ie/resource-hub/about-homelessness/

DSC01739If every country in the western world can find endless money for war and bankers…need I say more?

DSC01738The Irish Government should be particularly ashamed this morning in the wake of yesterdays revelations that over sixty per cent of all houses sold last year in Ireland were to cash buyers…most of whom commanded the wealth of so-called Vulture Funds! 

vulture fund
noun

FINANCE
plural noun: vulture funds
  1. a fund which invests in companies or properties which are performing poorly and may therefore be undervalued.
    DSC01729In this so-called republic, for any child to go to bed hungry or awaken in cramped squalor is an utter disgrace.
    Shame on us all!
    **************************************
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    coletteoneill2010@hotmail.com
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    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…

Unweaving

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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.”
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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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The End and The Beginning

Just published on Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…

The End and The Beginning…

“What has been put in place here at Bealtaine Cottage is beginning to morph into a new era…there is a transformation happening.”

“There is no putting the genie back into the bottle!” 

(There is a link at the top of the page)

 

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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The Second Coming

There is a madness rising in the world.

I feel it quite severely.

Seek sanctuary in the sacred…your life, your family, your friends…but especially your home, Mother Earth. I hope against hope to keep beauty alive in this little place.

Politicians drag their overblown egos to parliamentary podiums to huff and puff their cursed words of war .

There is nothing to stop their vile spewing of death and revenge, for our media is the dog that laps at the floor!

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In a desperate attempt at solace, I turned into the pages of a book.

I was in search of inspiration, any small morsel of comfort, or even defiance.

cropped-cropped-old-pictures-saved-by-dylan-3678.jpgI picked up an old poetry book of mine and randomly opened it to find Yeats and this…

The Second Coming was penned in the stunned aftermath of WWI.

This time, I fear it takes the place of a prologue… for what lies ahead.

THE SECOND COMING

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)