Posted in Permaculture, Personal, Smallholding, Sustainable Living

A New Beginning for Bealtaine Cottage!

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Today is an exciting and very uplifting day for Bealtaine Cottage and me! DSC09687For the past year or so it’s been utterly frustrating not being able to share on this website.

DSC09689Restrictions were placed upon me in relation to upload space for photographs, as I had used up virtually all of the allocated space of 13GB, which is that allowed on the Premium Plan from WordPress.

DSC09691Well, today I paid for an upgrade which allows me unlimited upload space…a treat for myself and, I’m hoping one for you too!

DSC09693As I type there is a lovely soft rain falling outside, refreshing and renewing the earth.

DSC09694The same has happened here for me on the website…I feel a sense of renewal and excitement!

DSC09696To be honest, writing and photographing Bealtaine Cottage and Mother Earth constitutes my first love!

DSC09695Much as I love the interaction on social media, it can be very time-consuming and ultimately takes away from the work I do here!

DSC09684The payment of an extra 200 Euros was necessary for the extended plan, but this liberates me from the strictures of what I can put out there for everyone to enjoy.

DSC09697I will continue with the Bealtaine Cottage Good Life website and am working on a plan to do a sort of “joined-up”daily blog…watch this space! DSC09698And so the story of Bealtaine Cottage continues, moving onwards and upwards!

DSC09699“Country things are the necessary root of our life – and that remains true even of a rootless and tragically urban civilization. To live permanently away from the country is a form of slow death.”
Esther Meynell

DSC09700And so I hope to continue bringing the country to you!

DSC09701Sharing this little sacred space in the west of Ireland, with the world…

DSC09702 The seasonal changes, garden, wildlife and Mother Earth…

DSC09703The song of the Goddess and her inspired Permaculture…

DSC09704Thanks for staying with Bealtaine Cottage…

This is a new beginning…Welcome back!

 

Thank you for supporting this blog

Posted in Abundance, Angels, Bealtaine Cottage, Earth, Family, Gaia, Garden, Inspiration, Life, Personal, Spirituality, Wild Flowers

The Tipping Point Moment

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com 001 “Right now over  70% of the world population is convinced that something serious has to be done about the dangers facing the planet. …Most of humanity wants to know how to make the change. It’s one of those tipping-point times where things can change unbelievably fast…”

~ Paul H. Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson, The Cultural Creatives

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com 004Words of wisdom.

Words of vision.

The coming times; a glimpse of what’s to come.

These times are infused with uncertainty and fear.

Many people deal with this by switching off.

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com 005The Tipping Point has arrived.

Most of us know this to be a truth.

We know it deep in our hearts.

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com 007There is a panic among those who hold power over us.

This is manifested in the shifting sands of policy as things appear to fall apart.

Our governments have sown the seeds of chaos…in what they have done and what they have failed to do.

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com 008The most insidious, Machiavellian, duplicitous human beings are rampaging and corralling us all into dark times.

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com 010“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.” 
― W.B. YeatsThe Collected Poems

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com 011For several years, as I have written this blog, and photographed the exquisite and the beautiful that is Mother Earth, I have attempted to inspire and encourage a return to Mother Earth.

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com 013For those who dwell close to her, quickly find the connection to life and spirit they have searched for, and in the finding is birthed a renewed sense of humanity, compassion, goodness and joy.

These are the values we have, as humans, innate within us.

permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 045

The intuitive, intrinsic, spontaneous gifts of the Divine which make us as one.

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com 012

Those we have elected as Trustees of Our Planet are conjuring wars, corruption, hatred and despair; thrusting us into the darkest of times.

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com 005
As the falcon turns, hold on tight to what you know to be the truth. 

_____________

Bealtaine Cottage is free and has over 850 blogs, as well as over 3,500 photographs.

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life is a mere 12 euros per year and allows me a small income, to keep doing what I love doing most…writing about Mother Earth and photographing her.

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Posted in Baking, Bealtaine Cottage, Books, Culture, Dogs, Frugal Living, Personal, Spring, Uncategorized

An Evening with Mr D’Arcy

www.bealtainecottage.com

Snow is falling this evening.
It has fallen in small flurries all day, only to melt and try again.
This evening the snow is sticking.
A near full moon rose in the afternoon sky.
Spring has scurried back under a blanket of white.
www.bealtainecottage.comThe oven is very hot as the stove has been kept topped up with wood, so I have slid a tray of vegetables onto the top shelf to roast…always a healthy, tasty meal.
What remains will be blended into a soup, with stock and red lentils…tomorrows lunch!
DSCF0480I visited the library in town today and borrowed  books and DVDs, always good value, as the yearly membership of less than ten euros covers all loans, unlimited throughout the year.
DSCF0478Tonight will be a cosy time watching Pride and Prejudice, (The BBC version) on DVD in the lodge, wood-burning stove hot and kettle boiling for tea atop!
www.bealtainecottage.comIt will be cosy enough to enjoy the thought of snow all around the cottage.
www.bealtainecottage.comIt is a dreadful thing to be cold.
If I relied on Electric, Gas or Oil, I would be huddled in blankets for sure, as all are prohibitively expensive.
The advantage of the wood stove is that I can even burn old pallet wood in it and be assured of heat.
The skips in cities are filled with waste wood and many people are cold…this is nonsensical!
www.bealtainecottage.comEarlier today, as the sun shone into the cottage, Jack spread himself across the floor, enjoying the day that was.
www.bealtainecottage.comIt was lovely to watch him lapping up the Spring sunshine.
www.bealtainecottage.comThere has been a small lapse back into winter, but Spring is here!
Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Bees, Family, Garden, Imbolc, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Permaculture, Personal, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Celtic Spring

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

A weekend of storms has settled into sunshine and showers.

mum at Bealtaine CottageThe funeral of my darling Mother is over.

The future for those she left behind has re-started.

A lovely calm has descended upon Bealtaine Cottage.

www.bealtainecottage.com permacultureI returned on my own last night, preferring to spend time alone.

The evening was filled with lighting stoves, making tea and feeding pets.

My mother was a great pragmatist, being a war-child…she was adept at knuckling down, to doing what had to be done!

So, it’s easy for me to follow suit.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe next few weeks are going to be very busy, as there’s masses of work to be finished in the gardens and much preparation for the growing season ahead!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe next few weeks will see the Willow opening and bees beginning to emerge, rather tentatively, from hibernation.

www.bealtainecottage.comIf there is to be any good Willow for cutting this year, then the coppicing needs to be done now!

www.bealtainecottage.comOne lazy week will never be caught up with!

www.bealtainecottage.comImbolc is welcomed in on the 1st day of February.

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureThis marks the start of the Celtic Spring…always a month or so earlier in these far reaches of Europe. www.bealtainecottage.comThe earth begins to dry out and warm up…lovely days ahead!

Bealtaine Cottage frogs in the pondThe ponds will throng with frogs and toads, all making merry in the Springtime revelry!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe wheel turns.

www.bealtainecottage.comMother Nature never sleeps.

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureSpring is on her way!

Posted in Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Celts, Personal

A Rite of Passage

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A mighty storm rages around Bealtaine Cottage as I write.

The morning is filled with roars and whoops of wind as it smashes in from the Atlantic Ocean, enveloping the land with angry energy.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe gable end of this little cottage faces into the west and the worst of Nature’s wrath.

The trees slow it down, calming and sifting its robust anger.

I sit by the table near the window on the north-side, occasionally glancing out when the tempest noise rises.

cropped-www-bealtainecottage-com-0341.jpgOver recent days, the need to be with my mother has taken over, as she gently leaves this world, moving and shifting in little caresses of energy, back, towards the Divine.

cropped-0056.jpgHer rite of passage will be completed sometime very soon.

I have watched her quiet dignity hold sway over the comings and goings of support staff, family and friends.

My Mother greets her final journey safe within the home of my brother, her first-born child.

Her bedroom, where she grows smaller, like a womb, comfortable and quiet.

cropped-www-bealtainecottage-com-0162.jpgThis week has been filled with indescribable emotions, but all relating to love.

During this time, my computer has gone on the blink and I have been unable to write and post as I need to…

I need to write… and having a fully functioning computer, that I can use in the warmth of the little lodge, where I over-winter by the wood-burning stove, will be comfort itself.

This will be the beginning of a portable Bealtaine Cottage too, as I will be able to write and post wherever I go.

I am grateful for that!

Thanks and blessings to you, my generous friends!

old pictures saved by Dylan 4421My mother in the early days of Bealtaine Cottage, surrounded by animals, her grandson and magic in the gardens.

This is where some of her lovely energy will be found, for me, in the coming days.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI found my father here after he passed and came to understand that energy does not disappear…we simply have to re-focus our eyes and listen with our hearts to recognize it. (Mum and Dad, on a visit to Bealtaine about five years ago. I took them to the top of Kilronan Mountain!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Celts believed in the Transmigration of the Soul.

Living at Bealtaine for almost ten years now, I have come to understand that belief.

Death is not the end, but a Rite of Passage.

Blessings and thanks to you all XXX

(My Mother passed away this morning. I spent yesterday with her.)

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Cats, celebrations, Christmas, Cottage, Country Living, Eco-Living, Family, Garden, Home Made Wine, Inspiration, Life, Permaculture, Personal, Summer, Woodland

The Closing Chapter

Bee on Nasturtium flower at Bealtaine Cottage

Summer began to melt into Autumn at Bealtaine Cottage amidst a flurry of bees and butterflies, more than ever witnessed in the permaculture gardens.

garlic harvest at bealtaine cottage permacultureHarvesting began and the kitchen was a place of jam jars and bottles, all waiting to be filled and labelled.

Blackcurrants almost ready for pickingThe glut of blackcurrants became wine, jam and chutney, with even more added to the freezer.

free tea Open days and workshops seen a steady stream of visitors to the cottage and gardens.

The woodpile in the barn at Bealtaine CottageKindling for the winter stoves continued to be collected and stored in the barn.

Bealtaine Cottage Potager beds todayAnd the Potager beds kept growing!

Blackcurrant ChutneyThe recipe for Blackcurrant Chutney was added to a blog post that had runaway success!

Bealtaine Cottage ValerianValerian flowered…

Rambling Roses at Bealtaine CottageRoses bloomed…

The Lodge at Bealtaine CottageAnd all around, flowers showed off with total abandon!

poppies, poppy seeds and dried seed-headsI collected seeds…

Foxglove seed and more seeds…

harvesting seed at Bealtaine CottageDrying and labelling in every container I had to spare!

Poppy seed heads at Bealtaine CottageSeedheads were stored for winter flower arrangements.

Fairy cats in the fairy woodAs the boys played in the Fairy Wood.

A path from the Fairy WoodIt was a magical time for all!

006Summer never really went away, for the wine of that season kept bubbling with life.

cottage garden harvestAnd the harvest continued…

potato harvest at Bealtaine CottageAs potatoes were lifted…

misty morning at Bealtaine CottageAnd misty mornings began to appear.

hanging webCobwebs shimmied in the morning breeze…

Buddha at BealtaineAs the light and shadows began to change.

flowers for MichelleMy son got married and I designed and made the flower arrangements, on a lovely day with my new daughter’s mother, here at Bealtaine.

Dylan and Michellw wedding 031Everyone came to the west of Ireland for a three day wedding in a 500 year old castle. Here I am with my eldest daughter.

harvestAnd when all was over, the harvest continued.

wine, kitchenAnd the cottage fell silent…

Recycling in the permaculture gardensBut not for long, as friends delivered cardboard for mulching…

apples and sunflowersAnd helped with the harvest.

fairies 035Lords and Ladies made an Autumn appearance in the Fairy Wood.

open weekend bunting by the gateAnd the cottage and gardens were opened for a special fundraiser in aid of Leitrim Animal Welfare.

www.bealtainecottage.com 013Raising a magnificent sum of money for a wonderful charity.

www.bealtainecottage.com 014Autumn continued into Winter…

www.bealtainecottage.com 012And logs were stacked in readiness for the stove.

www.bealtainecottage.com 008The days darkened as Midwinter approached…

cropped-029.jpgAnd candlelight illuminated the dark days.

www.bealtainecottage.com 010Bringing cheer to the silent grey…

www.bealtainecottage.com 025And soft light into the Midwinter Cottage.

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So few do, but if you choose to make a small donation, then Bless You! 

Posted in Animals, Art, Bealtaine Cottage, Buddha, Cats, celebrations, Childhood, Christmas, Crafts, Inspiration, Life, Personal, photography, Spirituality, Thoughts, Winter

Midwinter Cottage

midwinter cottage 002

The air is still.
The storm has passed. 
Stillness and silence pervades the cottage.
Jack is in his bed, and the boys continue to doss away the morning in the Lodge.
A midwinter scene repeated all across the northern hemisphere.
midwinter cottage 006Someone remarked on the increasing silence they noticed in the world around them.
Midwinter is a silent time, suffused with echoes and occasional sounds from strange places.
Places that are more difficult to pinpoint on the landscape…it’s a trick played on us by Mother Nature as she paces the dormitories of sleep and hibernation.
midwinter cottage 014Candles illuminate the darkness, dispelling matt grey for moving shadows.
Jingles of Christmas on the radio, some lovely, most rapaciously dreadful, urging the listener to get out now and spend, spend, spend!
And so the radio is switched off and music switched on, low and evocative.
Midwinter enchants us all with memories of stillness and light, fires and food…times past, selected for our personal album of memories.
midwinter cottage 005I found this photograph recently.
It was taken around Midwinter, in a photo-booth in London, when I first ventured away from home and Ireland.
Scents were what I most missed.
The scents of home, like turf and coal smoke, wisping out of chimney pots on rows of terraced houses.
London was filled with new, more exotic scents, especially places like Portobello Road Market on a Saturday morning, where Patchouli oil perfume lingered in the air.
midwinter cottage 004Working patchwork, brings me back to early days, in London and the sheer wealth of fabric shops and stalls, Laura Ashley and the love of William Morris retro!
midwinter cottage 007Colours, fabrics and textures continue to fascinate.
midwinter cottage 003Natural fabrics hold most memory…perhaps because they are from the natural world, where energy is hosted.
midwinter cottage 009Sackcloth and old lace cover a jam jar, filled with Honesty.
midwinter cottage 010Cotton gingham of various colours in the kitchen.
midwinter cottage 012Willow, wood and clay pottery, mugs and bowls.
midwinter cottage 015The morning, washed by soft midwinter light…not to be bought and packaged for Christmas, but absorbed by the celebratory soul.
midwinter cottage 013Blessings from this midwinter cottage…
 
Posted in Celtic Mythology, Celts, Inspiration, Life, Personal, Spirituality, Thoughts

Not Our Enemy!

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“Nature is not our enemy, to be raped and conquered. Nature is ourselves, to be cherished and explored.” — Terence McKenna. Wise words from a human being who explored his sacred journey to the end.

cropped-old-pictures-saved-by-dylan-3678.jpgThis really is about a mindset, a way of seeing the world around us.

A time of evolving away from fear of the dark.

www.bealtainecottage.com 009I was mindful of this last evening when I had to go out searching for Sammy-bear, in the dark, armed with a wind-up torch…oh, how I wish I’d wound it up fully and charged it beforehand, for there I was, walking, winding and calling, in the dark…crazy cat lady!

www.bealtainecottage.com 005Walking back up through the gardens, in the moonlight, Sammy-Bear doing his best to trip me up, for he loves to wind himself around my feet as I move, my mind wandered onto these words of wisdom.

As I called to mind what Terence had said, I began to look around me in the moonlight.

I stopped and listened.

www.bealtainecottage.com 003Here and there I heard the sounds of birds in trees and bushes, as I disturbed their sleep.

It became apparent to me that I was not alone and all around me was in its natural state.

www.bealtainecottage.com 026Yet, since writing and film media began to create images for us to consume, we have been drawn away from Nature, in the pursuit of fear-mongering.

I wonder why this is?

Exploitation of our deepest fears?

www.bealtainecottage.com 022Our deepest fears lie within us, not without.

www.bealtainecottage.com 002Realizing that Mother Nature is not our enemy, goes a long way in addressing all of our fears, including the deepest fear of all…our own mortality!

www.bealtainecottage.com 012The ancients Celts did not have a fear of mortality, for they believed in the immortality and transmigration of the soul and this was why Julius Caesar feared them so.

It is not possible to control those who do not fear death.

www.bealtainecottage.com 024This was also why the early Christian Church was so powerful…no fear!

www.bealtainecottage.com 007My grandmother was a mighty cool woman, who spent the last 38 years of her life on her own, going to bed alone and blessing the light of another day.

The night before my stillborn niece was buried, my grandmother kept the little white coffin in her bedroom, with her, close to the most powerful energy in the family, that of the matriarch.

Life and death were deeply intertwined and sacred for her…

www.bealtainecottage.com 027Whatever any one of us believes, it is a universal truth that Mother Nature is there to support us.

She is not our enemy!

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A Little Bealtaine Cottage Christmas Book…

I am going into a second print run and will be ready to post again by Friday 15th of November!

Sad to add that all the lovely cards are now gone! (I can post seeds with the booklets!)

 If any kind visitor to this blog would like to support the work of Bealtaine Cottage, then…

This is the link to the details of how to purchase  your own copy… https://bealtainecottage.com/christmas-book/

Blessings X

Posted in Culture, Current Affairs, Earth, Inspiration, Life, Personal, Spirituality, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Reclaim Your Humanity

August 2011 permaculture cottage 014Compassion is the bedrock of humanity.

Without compassion, we become robots of the  state and are enslaved. 

Bealtaine Cottage August 2011 permaculture cottage 002Compassion means  understanding the suffering of others.

How often do we regard our leaders as being unaware of the suffering of others?

April 2011 Bealtaine 013Compassion is regarded as a fundamental part of the greater social interconnection of humanity.

The people we revere most in history often turn out to be those who nurtured compassion for others and for the Earth.

Bealtaine Cottage 2nd August 2011 Permaculture Cottage 007Having compassion for humanity often means rejecting one’s ego and focusing our full attention on the needs of others.

The humanity within us often attracts us to compassionate people.

Bealtaine Cottage Poppies2nd August 2011 Permaculture Cottage 001This was so very evident in the days following the death of Princess Diana.

Much of humanity mourned the loss of so compassionate a woman.

Bealtaine Cottage August 2011 permaculture Cottage 020My abiding memories of Diana is of her wearing protective clothing as she inspected an area that had been land-mined…a campaign that made her unpopular with the warmongering elite, and how gently she held the baby suffering with Aids.

Bealtaine in September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 004Her passing left an enormous void that has not been filled.I cannot think of one celebrity who can fill her shoes…very sad to admit after such a long time since her death.

Our society, as portrayed by the media, appears to lack that very essence that connects us to the Divine…compassion.

Bealtaine Cottage in September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 001If we wait for our leaders to make compassion a trademark of good society, I fear we may be waiting a very long time.

It is down to us, each one of us, to cultivate and grow compassion in ourselves and those around us…Imagine, as John Lennon once sung…

 

 

 

 

Posted in Angels, Climate, Garden, Herbs, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Permaculture, Personal, photography, Spring

Looking Back at March 2012 in the Photo Album of Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens

Bealtaine Cottage march 2012 008The gardens came back to life with new leaves on the Photinia

Bealtaine Permaculture March  2012Blossom opened on the Nectarine tree in the polytunnel.

Sunday morning Permaculture garden mar 2012Rhubarb seemed to grow in spurts overnight!

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture March 2012Home made Blackcurrant wine was started as I began to empty the freezer.

Bealtaine Cottage March 2012Lichens opened up in the warmth of the Spring days.

Bealtaine Cottage March 2012Beautiful, delicate colours of Spring.

Bealtaine Cottage March 2012The warming sun began to work it’s magic on the north facing gardens of Bealtaine Cottage.

Bealtaine Permaculture March 2012Garden benches dried out and warmed up enough to beckon the visitor to stop awhile!

Bealtaine CottageSun, glorious sun…this old piece of driftwood stood up to it’s eighth winter of storms and winds.

Bealtain Cottage Permaculture 004As always, there was an early crop of herbs and greens from the tunnel.

Bealtaine Cottage March 2012 Donegal Bay

Late March was so warm, we headed off to the beach for a swim in the Atlantic Ocean here in Donegal Bay.

You can see the Hills of Donegal in the background!

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Current Affairs, Growing Food, Inspiration, Permaculture, Personal, Thoughts, Uncategorized

What Your Government Fails to tell You…

Bealtaine Cottage Barn

Television News Stations do not tell you the news.

They give you the views of the elite, who own them and run them.

Bealtaine Cottage Willow CatkinsThey feed your children dumbed down shows that make them feel inadequate.

Bealtaine Cottage steps down into the gardenYour doctor does not ask about how YOU are, what you ate last night for dinner, how you slept over the past week.

Bealtaine Cottage Vegan FoodDoctors prescribe drugs on behalf of the multi-national drug companies who offer them lots of incentives to do so.

Bealtaine Cottage Organic Potatoes grown under PermacultureThe US government fails to support the integrity of the consumer, or even afford integrity to the consumer, by refusing to allocate information relating to GMO’s on food products!

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensMy Irish Government are allowing GMO potato trials and refuse to discuss WHY this is so allowed!

Celtic Knot at Bealtaine CottageGovernments do not remind us that THEY are TRUSTEES of the people, the nation, our country.

growing organic seeds at Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureWe have placed them into a position of TRUST.

They are OUR servants!

Posted in Climate, Culture, Current Affairs, Family, Food, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Personal, Spirituality, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Winter

After Sandy…Humanity and the Kindness of Strangers

There are millions of American people without power.

Candles are now a luxury item.

Temperatures are plummeting.

Whole neighbourhoods are in darkness.

People are in real crisis and all the result of one storm, albeit a “super-storm.”

Many of those trying to make it through to normalcy are describing their situation, and that of others, as being like a “war-zone!”

We are but a few meals away from starvation, when it comes to the havoc being wreaked by Mother Nature.

The media and governments remind us continually that this was just a freak storm, a “once in a 100 years event!”

If that is the case then Ireland has suffered several freak weather events in the recent years…as “freak,” becomes “normal!”

Look back over recent years and recall just how many freak events in weather have taken place…

For several years we have had unusually heavy snow and frost in a land where the Gulf stream assures us mild and temperate weather all the year around.

The Earth is not in a happy state.

There are many ways in which we can help ourselves and the planet we inhabit.

The first one would have to be simply accepting that all is change and adapting to circumstances now beyond our control is the best we can do.

New Yorkers and people living on the East Coast of America are having to do just that.

There are signs of hope and support out there, as people come together and help each other.

NYPD have reported that in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, crime has dropped by 87% against the same time last year.

People are cooking communally and reaching out to others, sharing and caring, with and for each other.

In times of distress and hardship, humanity is rediscovering their immense ability to love…rediscovering community and friendship.

Humanity rediscovers itself in a time of crisis.

We are all one.

Our prayers and blessings are with all those who suffer, whether in war, conflict, climate chaos or bereavement…we are one.

Posted in Current Affairs, Gaia, Inspiration, Permaculture, Personal, Spirituality, Thoughts, Uncategorized

A New Earth Rising

There is something in the air.

A sense of possible…anything is possible.

What is it that has so inspired people all across the globe in recent months to feel this sense of optimism?

In a time of global meltdown, wars, ecocide and crimes against humanity being committed by our once trusted governments, we are experiencing a wave of hope and optimism,  almost unparalleled than ever in our known history.

Humanity now, perhaps more than in any previous time, has a wish to create a better world.

If we understand energy and the fact that all we have ever been and will be is energy, then we have begun to understand the meaning of happiness…Love is the most transformative power in the universe.

What it will involve and just how it will manifest is unknown…but this much is true, it is already being experienced by people across the Earth.

We live in the time of Gaia.

A time of recognising and understanding that we live on a planet that is affected by every little thing we do, for it is all connected, as described by James Lovelock.

“Through Gaia theory, I see the Earth and the life it bears as a system, a system that has the capacity to regulate the temperature and the composition of the Earth’s surface and to keep it comfortable for living organisms.” (p.30)

James Lovelock The Ages of Gaia. A Biography of our Living Earth, first edition 1988

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There appears to be a shift in consciousness, as we move towards the dates set in the Mayan Calendar, though this may be only a small part of the entire experience.

This much is tangible and understood : we are in a state of immense change, one which can either be embraced, or denied.

We live in interesting times indeed!

Each one of us is as important as every other being on Earth.

Nothing sets us apart from others, except our behaviour towards the Earth and one another.

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Posted in Childhood, Culture, Current Affairs, Garden, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Personal, Spirituality

The Return of the Divine Feminine and Earth Healing.

For several thousands of years there has been a dominance of patriarchal religion.

The role of women has been greatly suppressed and undermined.

As a consequence, we have forgotten and been denied the sacred power of the divine feminine.

As a woman growing up here in Ireland I was taught that God was male and women were subservient at all times to the male.

The role of the feminine was diminished at all levels of society.

I recall my mother having to endure a ceremony called, “being churched,” after childbirth.

The RC church regarded my mother and all like her as being “dirty,” following childbirth and that only a male priest could cleanse her and make her fit for the world in which she lived.

Mother was not allowed to attend church until this ceremony had been conducted.

Imagine a world where giving birth to a sacred human being made one unclean in the eyes of God?

Without the divine feminine in our lives, we impoverish ourselves of the sacred meaning and divine purpose of being alive.

Without the divine feminine in our lives we lose our ability to heal, understand, nourish and empower ourselves and our world.

We allow the ignorance of patriarchy to diminish what we know to be sacred and special.

Without the understanding of the divine feminine we submit to chaos and fear.

The Earth and her inhabitants have had enough of chaos and fear…

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 120 AD-FREE videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

Over 1,000 blogs from Bealtaine Cottage in the archives here…check them out!

Posted in Animals, Cats, Dogs, Permaculture, Personal, Smallholding, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Cats, Dogs and Long Winding Paths…

There are hundreds of metres of paths here on the permaculture smallholding, all lined with plants, trees and shrubs and all needing to be cut back and tidied up now that the midsummer growth has peaked.

It’s a task I love, especially on a day like today where the sun is clouded over, but the air is warm and still.

Last night I watched a beautiful moon rise in the North East and several shooting stars.

This morning I was entranced by dragonflies around the lower pond as I weeded the margins of the water…standing in the cool water at one point just to cool off and feel the silt between my toes!

Missy is sitting here beside me as I type, emitting little fluffs of fur into the air as she moults.

They are drawn towards my face and cling to my skin, making me stop working to brush them away.

Her soft purring is compensation for the minor discomfort.

She loves to sit near me at times, just drinking in my energy and I hers.

The straggly leftover Tomato plants are all doing well and promise a modest harvest.

The seasons continue on their slow, steady course, despite the chaos of the weather.

Jack and Flo are like an old married couple, arguing over which side of the bed they want to sleep on!

In this case it’s baskets.

Flo often pushes Jack out of his basket and takes over completely, delegating poor Jack to the close confines of her small bed…

It’s only that he adores Flo that he tolerates this!

Posted in Animals, Badgers, biodiversity, Country Living, cows, Current Affairs, Earth, Garden, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Nature, News, Permaculture, Personal, Smallholding, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Woodland

The Protected Badgers of Bealtaine Cottage

Badgers are set to be culled in Britain.

A sad day for this beautiful creature, once more castigated and scorned by man!

Man has blamed Badgers for illness among cattle, despite constant injecting and manipulation of herds by man.

Cattle are seen as an “Agri-industry,” and are often referred to as such.

The real welfare and needs of these animals are often over-looked in the drive for yet more production of milk and flesh…so the Badger suffers the penalty for what is not fully understood!

Kill the Badger is the cry of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Gas them, shoot them, trap them…but kill them!

But, stop!

Have you ever looked into the eyes of a badger?

I have…and I can tell you it is akin to meeting an ancient dweller of this sacred Earth…un-nerving to say the least.

And after the initial shock, a kind of emotional trauma descends, making one want to cry…and I have.

We kill what we fail to understand, or connect with.

And as our own life begins to ebb on this sacred Earth, we are the worse for it…our loss as we wrap ourselves in layers of consumer death.

The Badgers of Bealtaine Cottage will live…but how many will be killed, their sacred journeys through moonlit fields over…our loss.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hl0sGQOTKwI

Posted in Abundance, Bees, biodiversity, Birds, Country Living, Current Affairs, Earth, Ecology, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Permaculture, Personal, Uncategorized

The Abomination in our Midst

Harvesting Redcurrants yesterday and today.

After washing and air-drying, I pack them into 8oz bag and store them in the freezer.

Redcurrant sauce is a delicious accompaniment to Nut Roast!

Many of the seeds that are dropped by the birds from gorging on this fruit, will, in turn become true Bealtaine Cottage fruit bushes…conceived, born and bred here.

I regularly give away hundreds of plants like this to visitors, as a way of practising the Permaculture Ethics.

Much of the Buddleia is now in heavenly scented bloom.

This tree was grown from a seed harvested here at Bealtaine.

And this beautiful white Buddleia.

Still no butterflies…just the one on the day my visitors came.

I’m hoping that it is just the wet weather!

Apple crops continue to look good despite the annual, “drop,” that happened during the week.

Now anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I abhor injustice.

I consider it unjust to patent seeds and plants.

This is wrong.

Everyone knows that this is wrong.

There is a feeling one gets in one’s gut when something is unjust and wrong.

Some prefer to train themselves away from this intuitive conscience, our remaining link to the Divine.

Well, I do not and will not.

If something is wrong, it is wrong.

Any politician who colludes in any way with the patenting of seeds and plants is not worthy to serve the people.

They, quite simply, should be cast out from office, as soon as it is possible to do so.

In the meantime, as we have to deal with this abomination in our midst, saving seed and sharing it as Nature does with us, is the most important thing anyone can do.

Now is the time to save seed.

Time is against us.

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Posted in Cats, Country Living, Culture, Current Affairs, Ecology, Garden, Inspiration, Nature, Permaculture, Personal, Uncategorized

As We Awaken…

The weekend lies ahead.

My Connemara visitors have left…sad to wave off such great folks!

Missy and Che are both fed and pampered.

The Tea cups are washed and stacked on the draining board and the last of the muffins packed away into the freezer…for if not I would surely eat them…well, I may share them with Jack and Flo!

Missy appears to be more tolerant of Che, for today at least…he may be taking his life in his hands by getting this close tomorrow!

We talked and talked about such interesting things…it’s a pleasure to share time with like-minded folk!

 By understanding the Universe as a vast, holistic system and our Earth as a part of that complex and unified system, we can start to bring about the restoration of the natural ecosystems that hold it all in place.

This is why so many visitors are drawn to what is happening here at Bealtaine…the restoring of the ecosystem  on three acres can be mirrored anywhere.

To begin, it is essential to honour and trust Nature…that is what I have learned at Bealtaine Cottage.

For once we let go of the urge to control and dominate Nature, we become open to understanding creation itself.

We simply do not yet have the words to articulate this wonder.

We have been constrained in all aspects of our living for so very long…

 Terri brought me big generous bags of wholefoods from her shop in Connemara…I feel utterly spoilt!

I may visit Connemara to give a talk on Permaculture…thank you both for the invitation!

As we stood together in the garden nearest the cottage, we spotted a Butterfly…I hope this is a good omen of lots more to come!

We live in such strange times.

I feel blessed to be here, at this time, for so much has been revealed.

More and more people are becoming conscious, as though they have awoken from a very deep slumber.

We live in interesting times, we live in dangerous times, but most of all, we live.

Today, I was reminded of that.

Life is good.

Posted in Abundance, Bloom, Cats, Cottage, Country Living, Culture, Growing Food, Herbs, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Personal, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding, Thrift, Uncategorized

Growing Grapes in Ireland…Outside!

Those who follow this blog will know that I grow grapes in the polytunnel, very successfully.

This recent experiment is about growing a fruitful grapevine outside, in Ireland.

The first thing is to try to emulate the conditions most favourable for grapes and a recent visitor to Bealtaine cottage spent some time giving me lots of good advice to this end…thanks Sigi!

Sigi grows lots of vines in Austria and is very knowledgeable indeed on this subject.

First, the vine detests wet feet…so ensure that the soil is very well drained.

Well in this case I replanted the vine onto the gravel at the back of the cottage, which faces south, banking it up well.

Stone collects the heat of the sun and holds it well…thermal mass! I added lots of stone around the plant.

Sigi advised me to keep to one main stem, so I cut it back and will cut some more too.

Recycling tins…this one has been serving the Sedum for about 3 years now!

Just punch a few holes in the bottom using a hammer and nail!

The experiment with the tomatoes outdoors as opposed to the tunnel is good so far.

This one is cropping earlier than the several in the tunnel!

Everything in the raised bed is growing fast and furious…less than a month after the first stone was set in place!

Plenty of time yet for sowing seeds…I started these off on Saturday.

The Rudbeckia on the left were transplanted from a small pot.

Harvesting seed from Parsley…save seed, it’s our independence and our future!

Borage flowers adorn the water in the tunnel…ensuring lots of bees visit the plants in here, there’s lots of Borage!

Today’s video…and yes, Missy has barged in!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vejVN3L1_LU

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Climate, Country Living, Eco-Living, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Personal, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized, Winter

A Day Indoors at Bealtaine Cottage

It is cold and windy…quite an icy wind at that! maybe the predictions for snow are coming true…brrr!

An indoors day at the cottage…just a quiet time with some thoughts, reflections and maybe a little painting…

watch…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPaDutKYC6M

Posted in Earth, Garden, Life, Personal, Spring, Uncategorized

Reflections from Bealtaine Cottage

“Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you. ”
― Christian D. Larson

Posted in Angels, Art, Childhood, Christmas, Cottage, Country Living, Garden, Inspiration, Music, Permaculture, Personal, Poetry, Spirituality, Thoughts, Trees, Uncategorized, Winter

A Life in the Country ~ Wildly Enthusiastic About Little Things…

…Like making a new Willow Archway…

Some things can only be understood when you’re in a tree house.  With a pile of
warm chocolate chip cookies.  And a book.  ~Dr. SunWolf

…or the sun shining like crazy across the frozen snow on Chritmas Eve…

I am often accused of being childish.  I prefer to interpret that as
child-like.  I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things.  I tend to
exaggerate and  and embellish.  I still listen to instinctual urges.  I
play with leaves.  I skip down the street and run against the wind.  I never
water my garden without soaking myself.  It has been after such times of joy
that I have achieved my greatest creativity and produced my best work. ~Leo F.
Buscaglia, Bus 9 to Paradise

…or deciding to paint silver stars all over a wall in the cottage…

Creativity represents a miraculous coming together of the uninhibited energy of
the child with its apparent opposite and enemy, the sense of order imposed on
the disciplined adult intelligence.  ~

…stepping over wet rocks on a sandy beach on an early summer day…

In my soul, I am still that small child who did not care about anything else but
the beautiful colors of a rainbow.  ~Papiha Ghosh

…the delight of seeing water drops sparkle like jewels in the early morning sun…

O men, grown sick with toil and care,
Leave for awhile the crowded mart;
O
women, sinking with despair,
Weary of limb and faint of heart,
Forget your
years to-day and come
As children back to childhood’s house.
~

The Man with the Child in his Eyes…Kate Bush…with great pics of Kate as a child… http://youtu.be/Nodmp317h_A

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Crafts, Permaculture, Personal, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage ~ A Message…

“I have a message from the bottom of my heart…”   “…all manifestations of life…”      Watch and listen…. http://youtu.be/KdGep07vBtY

My Sunday has been spent inside the cottage, with the exception of walking Jack…it’s stormy and the worst is yet to come…

This is one stormy old day. All photos of today are taken inside Bealtaine Cottage as it really is too stormy to venture out!

This is the Den, where I store all the crafty bits and pieces that inspire me to create, or, at least, attempt to do so.

It’s also a quiet little room where I sometimes curl up and read…

A messy window sill in the Den…but everything is there for a reason!

Did you know that laying sufficient mulch over plants will destroy them, and is more advantageous than using herbicide, cutting, mowing, pulling, raking, or tilling? This is how Bealtaine has developed into such a beautiful and bountiful smallholding and series of gardens.

Just a lazy sunday afternoon!

Listening to Moving Hearts…The Storm…click on the link for a listen too!    http://youtu.be/ynorPAwOyEA

Making compost…this can be made from: grass clippings, leaves, hay, straw, kitchen scraps comfrey, shredded bark, whole bark nuggets, sawdust, shells, woodchips, shredded newspaper, cardboard, wool, and also animal manure, etc…, just thought I’d add that!

As I can’t work outdoors…just looking out the front window…

Posted in Animals, Celtic Mythology, Earth, Gaia, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Personal, photography, Summer, Trees, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage ~ Shetland Pony and Woodland Walks in Black and White

Went walking in the Cavan Burren today. It was very dramatic, with storm clouds and threatening rain. Only one way to capture this really and that is black and white photography.

We came across this lovely Shetland Pony on the edge of the woodland.

We could have stayed peting and talking to her all day…we thought she was in foal…

It was hard to leave her…

Posted in celebrations, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Personal, Summer, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland

Permaculture Cottage ~ Climbing Trees and drinking home-made wine…

Strange Clouds, Cold Evening and Dry Well!

Dinner guests, dry well and crazily cold…but a picnic was the best option given the circumstances…so Lough Key forest Park beckoned and off I went armed with the makings of a jolly good time…yep, you’ve guessed right…home made wine and a wide selection!

Cold, but really dry! And some magnificent trees!

Some of the party decided to try out the ZIPWIRE experience at Lough Key…and here’s Kate up a tree! A fantastic experience!

And Dominic waiting to career off down the wire!

TombRaider style descent…

So there you have it…a dry well and unflushable toilet is not the end of the world after all…we scale to higher heights…mmm, okay, I’ve had too much Strawberry vino de Bealtaine!

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Culture, Garden, Inspiration, Permaculture, Personal, photography, Thoughts, Trees, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage ~ A Ramble aound the Gardens at Bealtaine Cottage

Working in the gardens today. The evening has arrived. It’s hot and still and sweat appears effortlessly. To chill out I decided to just ramble around the gardens here at Bealtaine, mug of coffee in one hand, camera in the other.

These are some of the poppies grown from seed this year…all are different shades of pink and red and white and, I hope, perennial.

The girls are happy! I deposited heaps of fresh barley straw all around their extensive runs today. They enjoy scratching around…

I have often thought that what we need more than any religion in the world today is a spiritual order that will teach a sense of belonging to Earth and communion with Nature. I say this because working on this land over the past seven years has brought a sense of spirituality into my life that was never before experienced. This spirituality is creation centred and allows me to see the Divine in so much of Nature that it sometimes takes my breath away.

Even though all our institutions and governments are in debt, it isn’t money that we lack in our lives today…it is that spiritual awakening we most need and it is that which will change our lives and our communities.

Over recent decades we have been exposed to great materialism, yet drug and alcohol abuse increases daily. Here in Ireland, a study out just today, has put Irish motorists at the very top of European drivers surveyed for drug and alcohol abuse. Even here, in this green island paradise, there is a deep disconnect!

Growth on all of the trees planted here has been amazing this year. As I walked through the land I stopped often to look at trees that I had simply forgotten I had planted…they now towered above my head and appeared to look down at me. I almost felt like an intruder!

Posted in Cottage, Country Living, Current Affairs, Dublin, Family, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Leitrim, Personal, photography, Politics, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Disappearing Ireland…Pictures from the Edge…

Generations of people have lived in the west of Ireland, generations have left…and those who remain are fast fading into a sparse population…

This is the story of one abandoned dwelling in the North West of Ireland. Government policy appears to militate against people living here…

Nature begins to consume the little stone barn…

This would have been a pretty little cottage once upon a time.

The roof would have been thatched, flowers planted around the door…

Warm fires would once have welcomed the visitor to this home…now only the eerie silence befalls the traveller…

How many feet once trod a path to bed along this staircase?

Ireland needs people living in the west.

Our government needs to introduce policies to ensure that, or one day many of the present day homes will look like this!

If you would like to support the work of the Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture website, Youtube (ad-free) videos and Open Gardens project, please feel free to…

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

 

Posted in Garden, Gardening, Inspiration, Organic Garden, Personal, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers

A Very Irish Garden!

A Friend Visited Today…
and remarked that this was a “very Irish garden.”
I asked her what she meant?
“It’s definitely not an English garden, or any other type of a garden!”
Hmm…

I thought about this after she had departed and came to some interesting conclusions.

Firstly, there are no formal beds, so that explains the fact it’s not an ‘English garden!’

This garden, like we Irish, is all over the place, with lots of surprises round every path…like here, almost hidden from view, the beautiful Spirea, Bridal Wreath, situated at the top of irregular steps that dare you not to fall!

The fact that wherever one goes in the garden, there are wildflowers as much as there are cultivated ones and are simply not contrived in any way!

And the plants themselves seem to possess a rugged individuality, so beloved in the Irish themselves.

It’s like they fuse back into Nature and determinedly do their own thing!

So, yes Marian, I do agree…this is a very Irish Garden!

Posted in Climate, Current Affairs, Ecology, Folklore, Gaia, History, Ireland, Leitrim, News, Permaculture, Personal, Poetry, Politics, Roscommon, Sligo, Smallholding, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Osama Bin-Laden and the Day that’s in it…The Sun Sets on Permaculture Ireland

The sun sets into the west and the day is nearly over. Rain is promised for the night ahead and tomorrow. All is quiet and calm and dry at Bealtaine. The well has stopped feeding the cottage with its sweet water.

The shadows cast by the setting sun illuminate the curtained cupboard…”I am half-sick of shadows, said the Lady of Shallot…” Listening to the incessant reporting on the death of Osama Bin Laden, I am half-sick of news…! Is this all that is news worthy? Will we ever be told the truth by the popular media? I grew up in Omagh, a town dominated by institutional sectarianism and was aware from an early age that the BBC rarely reported what I experienced…there were two different realities, the one I lived and the one on the screen!

The sun continues its descent into the west.

There is one certainty in all of this mayhem that is civilisation…that the beauty that is Gaia will be here long after we have passed…Perhaps the words of an unknown Irish Bard can best capture the moment that’s in it-      “The world has laid low, and the wind blows away like ashes Alexander, Caesar, and all who were in their trust; grass-grown is Tara, and see Troy now how it is – and the Irish themselves, perhaps they too will pass!”   Irish; author unknown; 17th-18thcentury.

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Celtic Mythology, Gaia, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Leitrim, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Personal, polytunnel gardening, Roscommon, Sligo, Smallholding, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Celtic Triad. Permaculture Musings from Bealtaine Cottage, West of Ireland.

Produce in the tunnel is growing well.

There is always some food to be harvested in here all year round.

This is important as I am a vegan and need to ensure a good supply of fresh, wholesome, organic food.

A view of the fruit and vegetable gardens taken from the field behind Bealtaine.

Kilronan Mountain lies to the north.

Apple blossom and rhubarb.

A grass path leading from the hen house over to the tunnel and compost bins, lined with Amelanchier and Lime trees.

The same path…

Friendship is wonderful. There is a triad symbol to friendship…a triangle…consisting of Trust, Respect and Understanding.

Rosemary Roberts suggests that this is a Celtic Triad and forms the basis of solid friendship…”Respect yourself and others through your words and actions.”

“Trust your instincts and the intentions of those close to you.” 

And finally, “When acceptance of another’s actions is difficult, stand in the path of understanding.”

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