Simple Living

“We’d incorporated Asia into our bones – its colours and laughter, its smells, its rhythms, its tolerance and patience, its compassion, its lack of ageism.” ~ Jane Wilson-Howarth Colour is important to me, as you can see from both the cottage and the garden. I am led to infuse it into my daily life, as in the tie-dyed sheet that hangs as a curtain on the old doorway. Sometimes it’s all too easy to go to the shops and buy what is deemed suitable for covering a doorway…usually a door! But, as always, a cottage can be very forgiving and accommodating to whatever…

A Simple Life

Originally posted on Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland :
This is a real sofa bed. It’s a bed, with a cover and lots of cushions. I needed another sofa in my sitting room. Simple. No fuss. Looks good and is inter-changeable. Cost: zero! Most of what I have in my home cost zero. Like this fancy mirror above the mantle piece…born from broken mirrors and turned into a mirror mosaic. Cost: zero. The mantle piece cost 50 euros in a second-hand furniture shop. The simplicity of living, almost cash free, is liberating and allows one to appreciate everything that comes ones way. Like…

A Day of Sustainable Living at Bealtaine Cottage

Sewing patchwork today…finishing a bedspread…with the back-door open and the birds singing! Producing and using surplus is an integral part of living sustainably.  Upcycling our waste in a wasteful society is a way to create growth.  If there is going to be a future, then our past cannot be used as a template. We have lived in a state of excess at the cost of the future. Making soup today has allowed me to harvest and use vegetables from the garden, especially Spinach. …mmm! I love Spinach! With lots planted in the tunnel and heaps of seedlings coming on in…

Home Grown and Home Made Food

  The cost of food has risen and the overall quality has dropped. Much of the fruit and vegetables being sold in the supermarkets may look good, but the taste is somewhat lacking. Considering these issues, it is fair to say that there could not be a better time to grow your own food, as well as make, cook and bake your own food! Today I have been harvesting potatoes and clearing the beds for the next planting or simply for mulching down with cardboard and straw. The compost heap is growing by the day as the beds are cleared…

Bartering

Bartering home made wine for time spent fixing my computer is fantastic and affordable…this afternoon was spent in the company of two friends, who did great work for me, in return for some giggle tonic; what happens when you drink this potent Blackcurrant wine. Jack has just returned with me from his early evening walk. He is in desperate need of a brush as he’s moulting all over the place! He gets all soppy when I brush his coat. Sheepdogs are very loyal and just a wee bit crazy too! A cottage garden gets away from all sense of colour…

The Art of Seduction

Rain falls softly as I type. The day has given way to evening and the sun sets in the west behind the trees. There is a chill in the air; I have lit the stove. Birds swoop low over the roof of the lodge; so low, I can hear the sound of their wings. Over recent weeks there has been much clearing out of sheds, cupboards and closets, as the energy of approaching Midsummer holds sway. Through all of this, I have been mindful of need; keeping up a steady flow of goods to charity shops. Ever mindful of human…

Small Spaces and Tiny Homes

o Tiny homes are becoming popular. We are realizing the importance of space…the space we actually need to live comfortably. If I had the opportunity to build another home, it would, undoubtedly, be much, much smaller than Bealtaine Cottage. Living comfortably means a warm home, less opening and closing of doors, one big room where all comforts are to be found, much in the same way as the old cottages used to be here in Ireland. Here in this little Lodge, built onto the back of the cottage, constructed mostly from re-cycled materials, over-wintering is now embedded into my lifestyle….

Where Do We Go From Here?

Bealtaine After Samhain As we approach the end of another year, reflection begins to take form. As many of you know, I do not have a television and rarely tune into the radio, so, perhaps, I find myself with more time and silence to reflect and think. From the little I have experienced this year from the outside world, it appears that economics has been the driving force behind every problem on this tiny planet. The mass destruction of our earthly home has been driven by economics… cost of living… better termed the cost of dying, for it is like…