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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Midsummer Rising

www.bealtainecottage.com

Farewell Bealtaine!

Rising on the last morning of Bealtaine and looking out the window of the lodge to be greeted by mist and sunshine.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe heat of yesterday rose in a mist over the valley and mountains beyond.

www,bealtainecottage.comRising towards Midsummer is a most magical time in the west of Ireland.

Between the rain and the sun, the jigs and the reels, the land has grown a mantle of green.

www.bealtainecottage.comFestivals are held in every village as birds, from thousands of mile away, fly low over the feeding grounds of this small island. www.bealtainecottage.comMidsummer customs prevail in much of Europe and certainly here in Ireland, where the traditional bonfire is part of the celebration.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe fire is lit exactly at sunset on the eve of the solstice and celebrations continue until sunset on the solstice itself.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe sense of abundance is quite tangible and visible at this time, helping to create a celebratory atmosphere.

www.bealtainecottage.comMidsummer  was seen as a time when the veil between this world and the next was thin, and when the spirit of the land itself held sway.

This is encapsulated in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

www.bealtainecottage.comThis year I shall be lighting the Midsummer fire with wood cut around the time of Midwinter, in honour of my  Mother.

www.bealtainecottage.com It is a time for gathering and spending time together and a celebration I look forward to…

www.bealtainecottage.comAs I walked I the gardens this morning, there arose a great sense of peace and harmony, again something which seems to be released from the very Earth herself each year, at this time of ascension to Midsummer.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe promise of a good harvest holds firm as the beautiful weather continues.

www.bealtainecottage.comHere is one of my favourite quotes by Carole Carlton…

“The festival of the summer solstice speaks of love and light, of freedom and generosity of spirit.

www.bealtainecottage.comIt is a beautiful time of year where vibrant flowers whisper to us with scented breath,

www.bealtainecottage.com (2)forests and woodlands hang heavy in the summer’s heat and our souls become enchanted with midsummer magic.”

www.bealtainecottage.com (3)

 For magical crystals…

https://bealtainecottage.com/charged-crystals-for-sale/

For seeds…

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

For Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…

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

 

The Enchantment of Belcoo

www.bealtainecottage.com 003It’s late as I write this blog…I really should be in bed, but the beauty of the day has filled me with enthusiasm to share it with you!

I made a journey to Omagh this morning to visit my mother.

The day was bright and the sky clear as I set off on the journey North.

I drove up around Lough Allen, across the border at Belcoo, through Enniskillen and onto Omagh.

www.bealtainecottage.com 005On the way I stopped by Lough McNean at Belcoo.

www.bealtainecottage.com 014 Legend has it that this was the scene of an ancient massacre.

www.bealtainecottage.com 006It’s a strange place, resonating some kind of ancient energy.

www.bealtainecottage.com 012The mountains around the Lough stand guard over deep, dark waters that mark the borderlands

www.bealtainecottage.com 022The landscape pulls one in as if by magic, forcing the eye to examine the shadows in search of something…something…some memory of being here before…

Many thanks for the continuing support for the work of this Bealtaine Cottage  website.

Blessings

The Girdle of Green

www.bealtainecottage.com 002An old castle on an island in the forest, not far from Bealtaine Cottage, and where I walked today with my daughter, Cara, whose birthday we celebrated, with a walk through this magical landscape on a glorious autumn day.

www.bealtainecottage.com 007This is Lough Key and the castle once belonged to the MacDermott clan who lived here hundreds of years ago.

www.bealtainecottage.com 003The castle is mentioned frequently in the ancient annals, being a focus for both fighting and partying.

Brian of the Carrick, Chief 1585-92, is reported to be last head of the clan to live on the island.

www.bealtainecottage.com 004 There is reference to Castle Island in the annals of Lough Ce as early as 1184.

During this time the park was called Moylurg and the Kings of Moylurg were the MacDermotts.

www.bealtainecottage.com 017The real pleasure lies in walking among the mighty Oaks that guard the Lough.

www.bealtainecottage.com 031This Oak tree was warm and welcoming…an ancient heart holding the history of the land within.

www.bealtainecottage.com 021Just resting against this tree made me feel joyous…what amazing energy and strength emanates forth from trees like this!

The mighty  Oak has had importance and great significance to the Celts, from ancient to modern times.

www.bealtainecottage.com 034This is where the ancestors worshipped and held important events in the old calendar, for the Oak Grove was considered sacred.

www.bealtainecottage.com 048Oak trees grow in almost every part of the world.

The Druids made their magic wands from only three woods…Yew, Oak and Apple.

www.bealtainecottage.com 054

As the sap begins to drop in the trees and the leaves turn colour, Ivy, that has previously been shaded out by canopy, emerges into its own, as a permanent reminder to us all that spring will return.

www.bealtainecottage.com 057The evergreen girdle of Ivy, on many trees, keeps a host of small birds and insects warm and fed over the dark days of winter.

www.bealtainecottage.com 043Similarly, the girdle of Moss, around the base of the mighty Oak, will secure the winter for many small creatures.

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or visit the Etsy shop and purchase a hand-made or vintage product.

How is That Agriculture?

Veranda at Bealtaine Cottage

Food is now grown under mass monoculture systems of what is called Agriculture.

This is the madness of monoculture…

The Earth’s soil is depleting rapidly, at more than 13% the rate it can be replaced.

Massive amounts of chemicals and sprays are need to keep food growing.

How is that agriculture?

Veranda at Bealtaine CottageMonoculture is now being extended into the very seeds we use to grow food.

We have lost 75% of the world’s crop varieties over the last century!

Monsanto want to reduce that even more!

How is that agriculture?

Potting up in the polytunnelOver recent years, we’ve had hundreds  of millions of tons of herbicides, pesticides, pollutants and chemicals dumped onto crops, polluting our soil and waterways.

How is that agriculture?

Hanging basket at Bealtaine CottageMore than one million chickens are kept at any one time in intensive warehouse conditions.

Pig farms can house several thousands of pigs at a time.

How is that agriculture?

Buddha at the back doorIn many of these pits of despair the animals never see sunlight or touch earth.

Is 20,000 pigs in a warehouse now called Pig-Farming??

How is that agriculture?

The Nursery at Bealtaine CottageThe quality of life for those animals in factory farming is so horrid, that many people cannot bear to look.

How is that agriculture?

The plant and tree nursery and Missy

“Beginning in the fifties and sixties, the flood tide of cheap corn made it profitable to fatten cattle on feed-lots instead of on grass, and to raise chickens in giant factories rather than in farmyards. 

Iowa livestock farmers couldn’t compete with the factory- farmed animals their own cheap corn had helped spawn, so the chickens and cattle disappeared from the farm and with them the pastures and hay fields and fences. 

In their place the farmers  planted more of the one crop they could grow more of than anything else:  corn. 

And whenever the price of corn slipped they planted a little more of it, to cover expenses and stay even. 

By the 1980s the diversified family farm was history in Iowa, and corn was king.”

~Michael Pollan

 

Katharine Gun and Tony Blair…a Tale of Two Englands

April 2011 Bealtaine 028Ten years ago Tony Blair stood up in the Mother of all Parliaments and told a yarn  about Iraq.

April 2011 permaculturecottage 047It was a story about weapons of mass destruction and the need for people, other than himself, to take to the gun and the tank, the bomber jet and the bomb and go invade another country.

One that had not threatened the security of the state.

One that would pay a terrible price for the fact it had a wealth of oil.

April Bealtaine Cottage 2011 013Meanwhile, Katharine Gun was a young woman working at GCHQ, specializing in speaking Mandarin.

April 2011 Bealtaine Cottage 027Katharine became aware, through her work at GCHQ, that there was an official drive for the invasion of Iraq, that included spying on the UN and working to ensure a UN mandate for a war based on lies.

April 2011 Bealtaine Smallholding 004To her everlasting credit, Katharine decided to go public with the information, in a bid to stop what was to become one of the most horrific slaughters of human beings not recorded! (It was decided in both London and Washington that a body count of civilian death was not needed!)

Bealtaine Permaculture march 2011 013

“On a per-day basis, the highest intensity of civilian killings over a sustained period occurred during the first three “Shock and Awe” weeks of the 2003 invasion, when civilian deaths averaged 317 per day and totalled over 6,640 by April 9th, nearly all attributable to US-led coalition-forces, reaching 7,286 by the time of President GW Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech of 1st May 2003″ ~The Guardian

May 2011 Bealtaine 007

Katharine Gun lost her job.

Tony Blair went on to become one of Britain’s wealthiest ex-prime ministers.

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The Circle of Greed, The Spiral of Life and The Tipping Point

Bealtaine Cottage in April 2011 025The tipping point has been reached.

Reading this report from yesterday quantifies everything that is wrong with our approach to food.

You see, Salmon, used to be a seasonal food.

Bealtaine Cottage Gardens  in April 2011 001Much like other seasonal foods, it was enjoyed as a celebration of a particular time of year.

I remember this time as a child.

Fairy Dell at  Bealtaine Cottage011The salmon would return to Ireland to spawn…swimming furiously up the rivers to lay their eggs in dark, sometimes shallow, pools of freshwater, having survived a momentous journey across the Atlantic Ocean and into the fast, freshwater rivers of the west of Ireland.

April 2011 Bealtaine Cottage Laurel arch023It was easy enough to catch them, though not always legal, but then people rarely took more than they could eat or share.

Irusan at Bealtaine Cottage Fairy DellWe had no fridge in our tiny house and no freezer.

Barely standing room for parents and eleven children!

Inside Bealtaine Cottage 001The salmon was a great supplement to a frugal diet and the men seemed to understand the value of the sacred fish, for they were regarded as such in the old ways.

The Salmon of Wisdom.

The Salmon of Knowledge.

Pond in the Bog Garden at  Bealtaine Cottage There was a sense of compassion by the banks of the River Strule in Omagh.

An empathy even with this most magical of all fish… Fish Farms put an end to all this, injecting a venom of disconnect into the veins of human beings.

Mirror in the garden at  Bealtaine Cottage Greed over-ruled millennia of links between human and salmon.

This is what I have just read from yesterday’s paper…

The number of salmon killed by diseases at Scottish fish farms rose to more than 8.5 million last year.

New figures released by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) reveal losses from all salmon farms have reached nearly 10% of production.

The main problem has been the spread of amoebic gill disease, blamed by some on the warmer seas caused by climate pollution.

In 2012, 13,627 tonnes of dead fish had to be disposed of by 230 fish farms along the west coast and on the islands, compared with 9717 tonnes in 2011 and 7159 tonnes in 2010.

This has raised questions about how such large amounts of diseased waste are safely disposed of, and how the process is regulated. Sepa and local authorities both say it is not their responsibility.

Anglers and environmentalists pin the blame on production methods and are demanding a halt to any expansion plans.

“It is clear from these massive mortality figures there are major problems,” said Hugh Campbell Adamson, the chairman of the Salmon and Trout Association in Scotland. “When a large number of fish are closely confined, the likelihood of endemic disease is greatly increased.”

Fish farmer Grieg Seafood declined to comment.

HeraldScotland

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/disease-deaths-on-salmon-farms-soar.20177714

Imbolc and the Ascent of Spring

  Christmas eve moon above Bealtaine Cottage The ancient peoples of the Earth celebrated the seasons by paying close attention to the skies above them, especially at night, when clear, and observation was undertaken.

Bealtaine Permaculture Feb 12 004The Celts were particularly aligned in all aspects of their lives, with the precession of the Equinoxes and the timing of the seasons.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Feb 12 003Time was, and remains, cyclical.

It is only patriarchal religions that have enforced a sense of, and adherence to, Linear Time.

The Gregorian Calendar is an example of this.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Feb 2011 002Solstices, Equinoxes and  Cross Quarter days, such as Imbolc, were of great importance to ancient people for regulating their time.

Rhubarb Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Feb 2011 015The knowledge of when to plant, when to harvest, when to stay and when to move was imperative to the well-being of the Tribe.

Bealtaine Cottage Feb 2011 007Imbolc is celebrated, this year, on the 3rd day of February, at precisely 3.57pm here in Ireland.

Home made wine to celebrate Imbolc at Bealtaine Cottage Feb 2011 005The time differs accordingly across the northern hemisphere.

 The Celts named the cross quarters Imbolc, Bealtaine, Lughnasad and Samhain.

Happy Imbolc!

Saint Brigid’s Day, Imbolc and the 1st of Spring!

Brigid's Cross made at Bealtaine CottageMaking a St. Brigid’s cross is a special traditional ritual here in Ireland.

The ancient festival of Imbolc reminds us that deep in the earth lie the dormant seeds of new life and creativity

Brigid, the goddess of fire, whose manifestations were song, craftsmanship, and poetry, which the Irish considered the flame of knowledge.

 Bealtaine Cottage stone circleThis ritual marks the end of winter and the beginning of early spring, 1st February.

Bealtaine Cottage SpringBrigid’s crosses are made of rushes that are pulled from the ground and made on the day.

The rushes must be pulled,rather than cut.

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture It is the custom to hang the cross by the door, as this is regarded to protect the house from fire and all negative energy.

Imbolc marks the centre of the dark half of the year.

Following the darkness of midwinter it is the time to prepare for growth & renewal

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture According to tradition a new cross is made each St Brigid’s Day.

Bealtaine Cottage spring wellThe old one is then burned to keep fire and all bad energies away from the house. Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture winter sun

Imbolc fell midway between the winter solstice & spring equinox of the Celtic calendar, but now falls on 1 Feb in the Gregorian calendar.

I have been making Brigid’s Crosses today  for sale in the Bealtaine Cottage Etsy Shop.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/BealtaineCottage