Cottage Journal

Sunday 30th October 2016

14915131_10154649525286369_7844137799926048797_n-1Thanks to all who have sent good wishes and love on my birthday.

Special thanks to Kilronan Castle and staff who worked so very hard to create a most wonderful evening…I felt like royalty!


Friday 28th October 2016

dsc04458In the world of the Sidhe, time stands still…


Monday 24th October 2016

What a lovely surprise!



dsc04275The morning post brought me gifts…



dsc04272Thank you Jules Cooper, Hedgewitch, for the beautiful book…it brought delight and enchantment to Bealtaine Cottage this morning.






Sunday 23rd October 2016

dsc04267I’ve added a top and boots to the outfit, as well as a Fish Necklace.

dsc04265Working on the jacket, I have hand-sewn some old blue lace to the bottom edge…

dsc04260…and done some more work on the back…continues to be a work in progress!

dsc04250Just such a beautiful morning, though it’s clouded over since I snapped the pics!




Saturday 22nd October 2016

dsc04196It’s my birthday next week and I’m busy sewing an outfit for the great night of my 61st!

dsc04189I’m off to dinner with family and friends, so want to look the part…so…I’m sewing up a storm of Victorian Gothic/Romantic Vintage Upcycling!

dsc04195Half-way through this project, but pleased with the overall look so far!

dsc04196 You can leave a comment on the FB page if you like the look… (Difficult to comment on this long, long and growing longer by the day, page!)

Latest Video, posted this morning…


Thursday 20th October 2016


It was the birthday of a friend yesterday, so I set about in the garden making a fully biodegradable wreath for her front door, as a seasonal decoration that could be used over and over!

dsc04155I used Willow and Dogwood as a base.

dsc04154I then embellished with Virginia Creeper, Bay, Rowan berries, Ribes berries, Ivy, Cotoneaster, Grapevine, Birch and Rosehips. dsc04153There is no glue used in this, or wire, string etc.!

dsc04151It’s all twisted together!

To learn how to make this for yourself. here’s the link to the blog I wrote…


Wednesday 19th October 2016

Bealtaine Cottage foxglove“A simple life is not seeing how little we can get by with—that’s poverty—but how efficiently we can put first things first. . . . When you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever does not support these, whether it’s clutter in your cabinets or commitments on your calendar.”
~Victoria Moran


Monday 17th October 2016

Before Midnight

dsc04066Typing these words takes the skill of an acrobat as I work around Sammy-Bear!

dsc04064The Bearkin boy is simply refusing to even acknowledge me!

dsc04065Beauty is ignoring him, so he’s determined to grab attention anywhere he can!

dsc04138 Bless you all and goodnight X


dsc04049Update on the blog posted yesterday…the months of June/July/September and October are now taken.

April/May and August remain.

As expected, the opportunity to spend a week at Bealtaine Cottage, learning all about Permaculture and Sustainable Living, is being snapped up.


dsc04026Good afternoon from a damp but filled with Autumn colour, west of Ireland and Bealtaine Cottage!

dsc04028There are still a few Bees around, though many of the worker Bees are no longer with us and the Queens are sorting out their hibernation for Winter.

dsc04027Nasturtiums and Sedum continue to provide food for the stragglers.

dsc04023Most of the Swallows have also embarked on their long journey back to South Africa…sadly missed, but…next year, next year!

dsc04021The enchantment of Winter is close at hand…can you see?

dsc04020There is something most ethereal about Midwinter…a time of revelation!


Sunday 16th October 2016

Feb 2012 Permaculture @ Bealtaine Cottage 023A complete turn-around as the moon becomes full…wet and grey weather this morning! 

dsc04018“Have you noticed how nobody ever looks up? Nobody looks at chimneys, or trees against the sky, or the tops of buildings. Everybody just looks down at the pavement or their shoes. The whole world could pass them by and most people wouldn’t notice.”
Julie Andrews Edwards

dsc04024“We can become inspired to shape a higher, more ideal future, and when we do, miracles happen.”
James Redfield


Saturday 15th October 2016

dsc04008Ode To Autumn

by John Keats


Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.


Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.


Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.



Friday 14th October 2016


I am laid low at present with sciatica in my left leg  and hip…despite that, daily chores continue, but interspersed with periods of rest, which are great as I get to read more!


I was upset and sad to read about the Gorilla that broke out at London Zoo yesterday…when is humankind going to stop this cruelty called Zoos?

Imprisoning any animal is disgusting…there, I’ve said it!

dsc03918This has got to be one of the most beautiful Autumns ever here in the west of Ireland! 

dsc03916“I remember feeling that pieces of me were scattered around the world; I belonged to her, Mother Earth.”
Raquel Cepeda


“I have learned that the point of life’s walk is not where or how far I move my feet but how I am moved in my heart.”
Anasazi Foundation


To me, cruelty is the worst of human sins. Once we accept that a living creature has feelings and suffers pain, then by knowingly and deliberately inflicting suffering on that creature, we are guilty, whether it be human or animal.

Jane Goodall 

dsc04003“A Robin Redbreast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage.
A dove house fill’d with doves and pigeons
Shudders Hell thro’ all its regions.
A Dog starv’d at his Master’s Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State.
A Horse misus’d upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fiber from the Brain does tear.”

William Blake


Wednesday 12th October 2016

dsc03923A very good Blessed Morning to you all!

I’m so thrilled to see so many berries on the Ribes bushes all over the gardens.

dsc03924It means that the Bees have exited hibernation at the right time this year, just as these were flowering, and, they have pollinated to create these wonderful little berries for the birds over winter!

It’s all good!


Tuesday 11th October 2016


dsc03926And down to the woods went Jack and I for a morning explore…


Such magic in the air…


Part of the old, ruined gatehouse…the Fairy House…and suffused in magic!

dsc03928…visiting the old Fairy House that was once part of an ancient gateway to Kilronan Castle.


What does he see and hear…I wonder!

dsc03932Thank much Cathy Havens from Canada…such a wonderful gift package to receive in the post…and filled with blessings of abundance! This pic is for you…Jack at the Fairy House in the woods near Lough Meelagh.


Monday Evening…at Kilronan Castle and Lough Meelagh


Jack and I set out on a long walk around one side of the lough on the shore of Kilronan Castle.

dsc03965It was daylight as we left the cottage and pitch dark by the time we returned. 



Darkness quickly descended upon us as we rounded the lough and approached the castle…

The waxing moon had begun to rise high in the night sky..

The castle is reputed to be haunted…not that one would notice at this time of the evening as guests dined on the other side of the great castle windows…


But Jack and myself chose not to linger, as the night was fast drawing in…

dsc03981We walked hurriedly through the woodland, just pausing once to look back at the castle and take this one, last picture.

Monday Afternoon 10th October 2016

May 2011 Bealtaine 039

Here’s the link to the updated seed bank at Bealtaine Cottage, where I have just posted a new selection of seeds for sale, ( including the Red Valerian seen above).

All are just 2 Euros a pack including P&P to anywhere in the world! Have a look at some of the seeds on offer below…

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Monday Morning 10th October 2016

dsc03827It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life. The rich colours of grass and earth were intensified by the mellow light of a sun almost warm enough for spring… ~P.D. James

dsc03828Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love — that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.

~George Eliot 

dsc03831No spring nor summer’s beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one Autumnal face….
~John Donne, “Elegy IX: The Autumnal” 

dsc03832Pale amber sunlight falls across
The reddening October trees….
Are we not better and at home
In dreamful Autumn, we who deem
No harvest joy is worth a dream?
A little while and night shall come,
A little while, then, let us dream…
~Ernest Dowson (1867–1900), “Autumnal” 

dsc03833The days may not be so bright and balmy—yet the quiet and melancholy that linger around them is fraught with glory. Over everything connected with autumn there lingers some golden spell—some unseen influence that penetrates the soul with its mysterious power. ~Northern Advocate


Sunday Evening 9th October 2016


Here she is…very confident about her place in her new home!


Beauty has hissed a few times at Jack…ever the gentleman…has kept his distance!

She’s getting used to Jack!

dsc03824 And knows her way around!

Sunday Morning 9th October 2016

dsc03758“Where once I prayed for forgiveness from a father God who held up huge palms and said “Thou shalt not,” now I find peace with a sister god who takes my open hands in hers and says, “You will.”
Betsy Cornwell


The new view of my bedroom…bed obscured by some clever placement of furniture, so the curtain may be left drawn open.


“In an era where women undress their outfits & give their bodies so carelessly, become the rare wild woman that undresses her mind and soul & knows the worth of what she has to offer.”
Nikki Rowe


Saturday 8th October 2016


dsc03781In case anyone missed it, I shot a video this morning and posted it up on the Bealtaine Cottage YouTube Channel…you can check it out here…

dsc03782It’s another lovely Autumn day…simply here to enjoy! 





Friday 7th October 2016

Just Before Bed…


It’s near time for bed.

dsc03812The cottage is beginning to cool down as the fire in the stove slowly dies out…here it was earlier this evening.

dsc03811It’s a great little stove as I can boil the kettle on the top and uses a fraction of the fuel used by the big stove in the kitchen.

dsc03810I often think a millionaire would not enjoy the comfort I have here in this little cottage. 

dsc03766Finally home!

It’s been a long day indeed.

I took Beauty and a cat found abandoned and bereft by my daughter to the Vet to be neutered.

Beauty had to be at the Vet for 10am and I picked her up at 5pm…operation successful!

dsc03765She got straight into her food when home.

dsc03768I made her up a clean bed and a low level litter tray, so as she would not have to exert herself climbing in and out.


Suzy the Vet used dissolvable stitches and the wound is quite neat and clean.

Her feline cousin was delivered home and feted with the same loving care.

Both patients are recovering well!

dsc03769I hope to start the integration process with Sammy-Bear and herself in the coming days when she has healed and recovered.

dsc03770Both will be cuddled up on the sofa together in the coming weeks…just in time for winter!


Thursday 6th October 2016

dsc03697Sammy-Bear has spent the day trying to get an eyeful of Beauty.

dsc03698It’s been very funny watching him!

dsc03699Like his idol, Keith Richards, Sammy is attracted to the younger female…ahem!

dsc03700Peeping in through the windows of the shed at Beauty really does make him a Peeping Tom!







dsc03717I have to admit to a fair bit of exhaustion over the past couple of days, for I have been pushing myself too hard I think!

dsc03718Hence no Journal yesterday…sorry about that!

dsc03700 In between some very heavy pruning at the top of the land, I have written a blog, (link below) and made a video, (link below too)!

dsc03696Here’s the little ‘un!


Tuesday 4th October 2016

A Vegan lunch hosted by Colette at Bealtaine Cottage, in aid of “Irish Cancer Society,”(Vegan Village Challenge) ended with a beautiful rendition of the words of “Last of the Giants,” from Game of Thrones, set to music and sung by Sarah Wood

dsc03681It’s certainly been a busy, but very rewarding day!

dsc03683Lunch was served to six guests in aid of “Vegan Village”

dsc03684To raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society, people from Leitrim Village are taking part in ‘Dare to Care’ on Today FM and going vegan for a week


dsc03685Some stayed behind for a sing-song!

dsc03686So I made a short video that I will be uploading soon!

dsc03687I even served some home-made Blackcurrant Liqueur!


Monday 3rd October 2016


What a busy day!

I been to the gym, worked in the garden, walked Jack, found a kitten and prepared a Vegan lunch for eight people for tomorrow!

dsc03674 Kitty is ensconced in the shed on a sheepskin rug, having eaten two pouches of cat food, a bowl of cat biscuits and drunk  about half a pint of milk…she will sleep until the morning I shouldn’t wonder!

The poor being was sitting on the side of the road looking very bereft and quite lost!

It appeared to my decades of experience in these matters, that she had been dumped from a car! dsc03665Meanwhile, the Keith Richards of the Cat World…Sammy-Bear, has been behaving badly…again! And this was before I brought the little one home!

He’s been charged and found guilty of: taking over Jack’s bed, leaving Jack very upset and too frightened to retaliate…as well as:

dsc03667sitting his fat derriere into the bowl where the Catnip was drying and refusing to move from there, dsc03668adopting a curiously Keith Richards bewildered/couldn’t-care-less look! He staggered off later, high as a kite! Catnip seeds anyone? Tested and approved by the rapscallion above…

dsc03626I had hoped to begin another Juice Fast on the 1st day of October, but got enmeshed in other things, so am on track today to start a 20 day JF…or thereabouts!

(I want to lose a bit more weight before my birthday!)

dsc03627The great thing about the last JF I did, was that in keeping to a Vegan plan afterwards, I have managed to maintain the weight loss!

And with ease!

dsc03628So, onwards and upwards.

I’ll keep a daily update going on this over at the page on Bealtaine Cottage Good Life!


Sunday 2nd October 2016


cropped-dsc03610.jpgAnd just before bed…after spending most of today on this site, trying to update it and make it as attractive and user-friendly as possible, I feel it’s as good as it’s ever going to be!

dsc03622I’m exhausted!

Why do I do it?

Well, it’s quite simple really!

dsc03623It’s my heartfelt mission to bring people closer to Mother Earth.

dsc03625To share the beauty I see with the world, helping to encourage and even convince people to see Mother Earth as a living, sentient being and ourselves as part of her.

dsc03624To bring Eden into being, we must first make peace with the Great Mother.

Sunday Evening

dsc03613It’s very chilly here this evening, so I’ve lit the stove and eaten the rest of my delicious Vegan Curry.

dsc03614So, so easy to make!

I shall post the recipe over on the Bealtaine Cottage Good Life website this week.

dsc03615The photographs I am posting here were all snapped this morning.

dsc03617I am chewing over the pros and cons of buying a new camera.

dsc03618My daughter would like to have this one and I feel ready for a more professional model, if I can get one at the right price, second-hand.

dsc03620 There’s a place in Enniskillen called CEX that buys and sells all things techy like cameras, phones, computers etc.

dsc03621I may visit later in the week!

Midday at Bealtaine Cottage


Dragon’s breath along the valley below the cottage this morning.

dsc03609It’s turning into a beautiful day!

dsc03610Today is the birthday of my eldest daughter, Cara.

dsc03611I’m feeling blessed to be mother to such a kind and compassionate woman.

dsc03612For these are the immortal threads that link us to the Divine.

Journal Problems!

dsc03652I have received several concerns about the accessibility of this Journal…namely that it can prove difficult  to access when trying to catch up with previous postings.

dsc03651The initial intention was that it would be read on a daily basis, but I realise that can be difficult for many people.

dsc03650 I have two options on how to deal with this problem.

dsc03649One would be to try to find another WordPress theme that would support this Journal.

dsc03648Two is simply to discontinue the Journal in it’s present format.

dsc03647The existing problem will only continue to grow as the Journal itself grows and that’s the dilemma!

Saturday 1st October 2016


There are days when the land seems to talk.

dsc03543Today was just such a day.

dsc03544There’s an unsettling aura around everything…even I feel out of sorts…agitated…concerned!

dsc03552The day started fine, but unrest began to seep in, like rising water…and has caused a disturbance of soul.

dsc03555It’s almost as though this morning was the prelude,  the calm before the storm…though the storm has yet to arrive.

dsc03557There is something in the air…


A Beautiful Morning…

dsc03528October has begun in true Autumnal style, with clear skies, a little morning frost and sunshine to warm the day! dsc03531I watched steam rise from the east side of the hip roof on the cottage as the sun warmed the slates and the boys played tag! dsc03532All sentient beings respond to weather, especially early morning sunshine!

dsc03533Nasturtiums are flourishing and am only recognising now the fact that they are Autumn flowers.

dsc03534 I always assumed them to be Summer blooms!

dsc03535 However, they really come into their own at this time of year, providing a late feast for the Bees! dsc03536It’s been simply years since I sowed any Nasturtium seeds!

dsc03537They start to grow from seeds dropped the previous year in the most unexpected of places.

dsc03538And, if like me, you cold compost, the nasturtiums really do spread around the garden! You’ll be pleased to know that I have been collecting lots of these seeds over recent days and have added them to the Seed Site…here’s the link…


Friday 30th September 2016

Tonight’s Black Moon!


Sunshine and rain…with a “Black Moon” promised for tonight! 

dsc03566The Black Moon that people are talking about now is defined as when two new moons—the phase of the moon where it appears invisible in Earth’s sky—happen in a single calendar month.

dsc03565This is the first time in over two years that’s happened. 

dsc03564You probably won’t see the moon because it’s at the new moon phase.

dsc03563Depending on where you live in the world, this new moon is either the second of two new moons in September 2016, or the first of two new moons in October 2016.

dsc03561The second of two new moons in a single calendar month is sometimes called a Black Moon. dsc03560There are many people, especially women around the time of a Black Moon, who declare themselves to be extra tired, or even quite listless.

dsc03559For my own part I am extra energised and eager to get to work on projects around this moon phase!  



The Celts believed that Oidhche Shamhna, Samhain, was an open portal in time.


Samhain is Irish for November.

The festival of Samhain was on November 1, and by extension, the word “Samhain” refers to the whole month of November.

dsc03526In the past, any crops still in the field on Samhain were considered taboo, and left as offerings to the Nature spirits…though our crops today are more diverse and some over-winter very well!



Thursday 29th September 2016

dsc03523“They will remain shut away behind a hedge of thorns. The journey in search of soul is difficult and even dangerous because it requires that we relinquish the certainty of what we think we know and what we have been taught for generations to believe. It means surrendering the desire to be in control and opening ourselves to a quest, a path of discovery. Many myths and fairy tales emphasise the need for surrender and trust in the strange non-rational guidance offered by animals or shamans on the quest. As the hero follows their guidance, so the hedge opens, the way unfolds. Following the guidance and wisdom of the instinct is the royal road into the realm of soul.”
Anne Baring, The Dream of the Cosmos

dsc03522“Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfilment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfilment.”
John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

dsc03520“If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.”
John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

dsc03521And, later on this afternoon in the garden… dsc03518

Moss is now growing over the stones in the circle.

Moss grows rapidly in the west of Ireland climate.


One of the beautiful and very fast-growing, Lime trees.

dsc03473“There is nothing more to say and everything to do”…this was the final message I posted on Twitter!

dsc03475Forgive me if you have been one of the 3,500 or so loyal followers of Bealtaine Cottage on Twitter, but the time arrived this morning for me to get back to Mother Earth.  

dsc03476My time can no longer be stretched out across Social Media and there are few enough people who are generous enough to “share” anything on SM. 

dsc03477I intend to keep to my work for Mother Earth…that is really getting back to the heart of the matter!

dsc03478I intend to keep sharing, photographing and giving this sacred Earth a voice.

dsc03479All the politicking, protesting, debating etc., merely consumes time…and time is not to be wasted!

For, as Maxine Hong Kingston said…d7ef191772b1618009dec8fb55602e75

And that is what I intend to keep doing!


Wednesday 28th September 2016

Suppose the Universe is trying to penetrate the thick fog of our consciousness?

~Anne Baring


Suppose that behind the 4% of it that is visible to us, there are undiscovered dimensions and multitudes of beings that inhabit them?~Anne Baring


Suppose that we do not die with the death of our body, but continue to live and grow in these dimensions… ~Anne Baring


…so that there is continuity between what happens here and what happens there. ~ Anne Baring


As with final contractions of… birth, I feel the need to push beyond the constriction of an intolerable state of ignorance ~Anne Baring


Embarking upon this journey into “The Dream of the Cosmos,” by Anne Baring, is something akin to a precious time spent with a kindred spirit…one wants it to move slowly and not come to an end!

Here is a tiny sample of the earthy commonsense in her writing…

“Earth is our home in the Cosmos. We are faced with two immense problems: the problem of our increasing numbers and the problem of diminishing resources to sustain those numbers.” ~ Anne Baring


The latest addition of applied technology at Bealtaine Cottage…and it has the capacity to extend!


Meanwhile, in the kitchen, you may just notice the new teapot on the table…


It has an infuser in the centre where one can add real tea-leaves to make real tea that is easy to clean out!


And it really does make wonderful tea!


Great for adding and mixing fresh herbs from the garden into the chamber!


The Feverfew continues to bloom on the veranda…and the seed from all the other flowers has been safely saved for another year!


The above link was published today.


Tuesday 27th September 2016

More Pics of Lough Meelaugh…


Away from the tumult of motor and mill
I want to be care-free; I want to be
I’m weary of doing things; weary of
I want to be one with the blossoms
and birds. 

Edgar A. Guest


Look!  Look!  Look deep into nature and you will understand everything.

Albert Einstein


Don’t think: Look!



Wisdom begins in wonder.



Walking by Kilronan Castle…


Jack and I went down to Kilronan Castle for a walk yesterday evening.

dsc03440It was a perfect time of the day, sunny and dry!

dsc03441We met some visitors from Atlanta, Georgia, USA, who had just arrived to stay at the castle and were walking down by the lough.

dsc03442It’s always like this when walking with Jack…we get chatting with total strangers who are pleased to see a friendly dog…and Jack loves people!

dsc03443He also is beginning to really love water too!

dsc03444Thank you Rose from California for your wonderful comment…a joy to read! 

dsc03445I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendour of fire.
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

 ~Saint Patrick 

dsc03446If there is any wisdom running through my life now, in my walking on this earth, it came from listening in the Great Silence to the stones, trees, space, the wild animals, to the pulse of all life as my heartbeat.  

~Vijali Hamilton 

dsc03447Whenever I have found myself stuck in the ways I relate to things, I return to nature. It is my principal teacher, and I try to open my whole being to what it has to say.  

~Wynn Bullock 

dsc03448Nature is man’s teacher.
She unfolds her treasure to his search,
unseals his eye, illumes his mind,
and purifies his heart;
an influence breathes from all the sights and sounds
of her existence.

Alfred Billings Street 


A Crannog on the Lough

Come forth into the light of things, let Nature be your teacher.  

~William Wordsworth

Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal~

Monday 26th September 2016



A beautiful day of walking with Jack, gardening and working on the Lughnasadh Garden, making delicious Vegan food and being social…what more could one ask for?



Autumn flowers are giving their final burst, as is the last Sunflower not to have been blown over in the recent high winds.


As I make more room in the tunnel it seems to be a good place to store cuttings that need to be dried out a bit, cut and stacked…great for kindling in the Winter and early Spring!


The new Lughnasadh Garden is thriving, despite the time of year! The mulch I use here is directly from the garden shredder and as you can see has oxidised in the air and gone much darker. This feeds and mulches!


dsc03438I received a package this morning and opened it to find this amazing book. Thank you Francis and Sharon for thinking of me and taking the trouble (and expense!) to post it to me. “The Dream of the Cosmos,”(A Quest for the Soul) promises to be a wonderful read! Written by Anne Baring and described as her magnum opus, I look forward to reading this work over the coming weeks.


I’m in love with this old log that has created a tiny garden with Mother Earth.

dsc03419 It’s so very perfect…look closely!

Now, that’s magic!

Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal~

Sunday 25th September 2016



As you can see, it’s a simply fabulous morning!

dsc03428The sun is streaming through the trees and birds are singing their hearts out…such Autumn days are to be soaked up and feasted upon in the dark days of Winter!

dsc03427Yet sunshine brightens after rain,
The darkness comes and goes again,
So solace follows bitter pain,
As seasons wax and wane.
~Elizabeth Chase Akers Allen (1832–1911)

dsc03426The seasons are what a symphony ought to be: four perfect movements in harmony with each other. ~Arthur Rubinstein

dsc03425Nature bestows her own, richest gifts
And, with lavish hands, she works in shifts…
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, “The Four Seasons” (1940s)

dsc03424The Seed Bank at Bealtaine Cottage continues to expand as collecting continues!

dsc03384Just in case you missed the latest video, where I spoke about a cause very close to my heart…Leitrim Animal Welfare Centre…this is just to say that I have had a donation of 50 euros from my brother, Cormac O’Neill!

dsc03382So, tomorrow, I will contact Christine and let her know officially of the Fundraiser I am organising through this website.

dsc03379In order to be utterly transparent, I intend posting a list of donors and their donation. This will be in the form of a page listed at the top of the website here.

dsc03378I am donating 100 euros, so that makes 150 already.

The target is 1000 euros.

I am putting up a Donor page now, with a donate button.

Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal~

Saturday 24th September 2016


A rainy morning…so I waited for the sun to eventually peep out!

My internet connect is so very slow…so will post a longer update later on, when (hopefully) it will be a little faster!

I rely on my phone hotspot…slow at the best of times!


Another bag of mixed items for the Charity shop in Ballinamore…it supports St Christopher’s Hospice in Cavan and is easy to drop into on my way to Enniskillen!

Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal

Friday 23rd September 2016



From earlier today, with Jack in Lough Key Forest Park, where some of the most beautiful trees grow to gigantic proportions!

14448870_10154563602253267_6773825989806469697_nSo blessed to have this wonderful park nearby!

14449920_10154563612323267_7114033043876708191_nThe park has a lovely cafe, where my daughter treated me to a takeaway coffee…my first coffee in four weeks and first one ever without sugar…it tasted rather good!


I enabled the “Comments” section on this journal earlier on today…so happy to interact with you!


I took Jack out for a very long walk at Lough Key Forest park…it’s an old Anglo-Irish estate and packed with some of the most beautiful trees you will ever see!

dsc03353Jack is now suitably relaxed and happy and very, very tired…come to think of it, so am I!

“As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing.  I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche.  I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.”

~John Muir

dsc03352Rain continues to hold off and I am ready to light the stove and relax…well, it is Friday after all!

dsc03351You may have noticed that I am posting more than once a day in this Journal…


“If I were to choose the sights, the sounds, the fragrances I most would want to see and hear and smell–among all the delights of the open world–on a final day on earth, I think I would choose these: the clear, ethereal song of a white-throated sparrow singing at dawn; the smell of pine trees in the heat of the noon; the lonely calling of Canada geese; the sight of a dragon-fly glinting in the sunshine; the voice of a hermit thrush far in a darkening woods at evening; and–most spiritual and moving of sights–the white cathedral of a cumulus cloud floating serenely in the blue of the sky.”

~Edwin Way Teale


My grandmother would call this  “a grand, soft day!” and she’d be right, for despite the grey skies above Bealtaine Cottage this morning, it’s calm and gently warm.

dsc03360Good morning to you!

dsc03359I’m looking out the kitchen window towards Kilronan Mountain here…

dsc03358There’s low cloud on the top of the mountain, obscuring the wind turbines.


I made this standing shelf to fit snugly over the radiator in the sitting room and add a little more interest, as well as a place to “put things”…always useful!

dsc03356I used old scaffold boards and stained them with garden wood preserver. (I try my best to recycle/upcycle just about everything…Live as Lightly as possible with Mother Earth!

dsc03355I was updating the Seeds For Sale here on the website and have finally added Catnip and Evening Primrose. Have a peek at Sammy-Bear under the Catnip plant…

Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal

Afternoon… 22nd September 2016


Seeds are everywhere at Bealtaine Cottage…but here’s one I should and will add to the Seed Site…

Buddleia or Buddleja davidii, also called summer lilac, butterfly-bush, or orange eye, is a species of flowering plant in the family Scrophulariaceae, native to Sichuan and Hubei provinces in central China, and also Japan.

Butterflies adore it, as do all the pollinators…and we all know how very important they are to our well-being!

Look out for them on the Bealtaine Cottage Seed Site…to be posted on there very soon!


Today is the Autumn Equinox…

dsc03327Happy Autumnal Equinox

It is marked by the celestial event as the sun passes over the equator.

I will be writing a post on this special day later on…

The day continues wonderfully bright and sunny…have a blessed afternoon everyone!


Thursday 22nd September 2016

Temperatures have dropped considerably, but it’s a fabulous morning, with sunshine and blue skies!


Cobwebs are everywhere as little spiders get to work on that last bit of food supply before hibernation.

“Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”

[Letter to Miss Eliot, Oct. 1, 1841]”
~ George Eliot


This is my favourite time of year…though I probably say that at the beginning of every season!


The magic of the morning never fails to show off the beauty of Mother Earth…


“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.”

[The Autumnal]”
~John Donne


A Fig ready to pick near the veranda this morning.


Rosehips beginning to colour on the veranda…I always leave some of the Roses to continue on their journey…


Vine leaves this morning…

“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.”
~ J K Rowling

Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal~Cottage Journal

From Wednesday…21st September 2016

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And later on…


The day was wet and grey…until, just before the sunset when it all brightened up…stunningly so!


Even Kilronan Mountain basked in the late sunshine!


You can see the colour changes here just on the other side of the kitchen window…the Ash and Birch are the first to turn gold.


Just at the top of the driveway.

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
~ Albert Camus


“Fall has always been my favourite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”
~ Lauren DeStefano

Wednesday Evening…


Another book from the library in Boyle…more interesting than the previous two I read…James Lovelock has a real gift for story-telling!


This is one of a set of three from Marks and Spencer no less! It’s my bedside gardening bible!


Val, a subscriber (there has to be a better word, surely?) to Bealtaine Cottage, sent me this lovely book…it’s a little gem!


The evenings are drawing in…I notice different shadows in the kitchen where the west window catches the setting sun.


And outside the window, the changing colour of the foliage as it turns from green to autumnal earthy colours.

Wednesday 21st September 2016

When I left FaceBook I made a promise to all that I would post on here every day!

September 2011 Permaculture Cottage 006As a way of fulfilling that promise I have decided to keep a Journal.

This will cover aspects of daily life here at Bealtaine Cottage.

September 2014 043

I have kept Journals over the years, filled with doodles and sketches, poems and details…in fact covering every aspect of life.

Into these Journals I would stick leaves and dried flowers, scraps from magazines and newspapers and even weather details.

admin-ajaxSo there is no strict formula! 

I may write in this Journal several times a day…so it’s always worth a peek!

I hope you drop by and stay in touch! 

51 thoughts on “Cottage Journal

  1. Hi Colette, happy Autumnal Monday to you and all at Bealtaine Cottage. A special thank you for sharing some words by Ernest Dawson, and particularly for “…we who deem no harvest joy is worth a dream…”. A good occasion to learn something about the life and works of a sensitive man, gone to dream somewhere else at a very young age.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Colette, so happy to see Beauty adjusting so well, and Jack the sweet boy that he is taking it in his stride. I volunteer at my local shelter, and so heartwarming to know that Beauty has found her “forever” home, as we call it. I am attempting to rescue a little and very skiddish cat hanging around the property. It does amaze me how people treat animals. Earlier this summer in trying to catch and release chipmunks, I found a very tiny black kitten in the humane crate. He has since gone to his forever home. Thank you for your kindness to all. I shall look forward to the continued integation!


  3. You are tired. ~~~~ You listen to Nature, in doing your wonderful work. Your body is part of Nature. Listen to it, when it is telling you something. Please… ~~~~ People with a mission, often drive themselves too hard. It seems to be the thing to do. And it is hard, to ease up now and then. ~~~ This is you, a person with a mission, and a person of great drive and will power. Just look at what you have accomplished!!! ~~~~ But now and then, even you, should ease up a bit. Don’t you think? Hmmmm? Maybe? Possibly?
    Gentle hugs,
    Luna Crone
    Moon Spinners blog


  4. Dear Colette, Thank you for sharing your wonderful world with us. You inspire me in so many ways, always bring joy and hope to my life through your words photos, animals, and your amazing appreciation of all around you. I love the journal! Many, many blessings to you, and again thank you for you, as you continue to educate by your example and spread the message like ripples in a world wide pond.


  5. Colette,

    I use my iMac to read this, and no it is not a big deal to scroll through the posts to find the days I’ve missed. I hope you keep this open. You are such an inspiration to me, your beautiful home, your beautiful companions – the photos you take put a smile on my face every time I look at them and inspires me to do more with my own back yard! People will always find something to complain about. xx


  6. Please! Please! Please! Do not discontinue your Daily Cottage Journal! Please!!!!

    I for one, so look forward to reading it daily.

    Sorry if some can not read it daily, but…… Cone on! It’s not that hard to simply keep scrolling down, to find what one has missed! Really! Why oh why do people these days, balk at having to do anything, which takes a wee bit of time, or etc.?????

    When I read here, on my Galaxy, the photos are slow to load. Soooooooo! I read here, on my computer! Don’t people use computers, any more??? Do they all have to squint at small screens, to do all their Net reading????

    I know, I am getting testy here. I know it. I admit it. And I don’t apologize for it. I am a Crone, and I am tired of all the whining of today. Take a little time, if something is worth it. Use the correct tool (a computer) to view what you love. Etc.

    And, you have done something different….. Everything here, is much bigger. So I simply use my Command Key and Minus Key, and make it “my size.” S-i-m-p-l-e!!!!!

    Plus, when you did “something different,” and it became larger, the background is a dull brown wood looking thing. Don’t know if this shows up, for all.

    And, I have been able to comment on individual posts here, for a day or so. Now, with the “different,” I can not do so. So I go to the very bottom, and comment. Again, not hard to do!!!! Just pointing out, the difference. Because someone mentioned wanting to be able to comment on individual posts.

    Too long, but the only way a blogger can know, how their blog looks to readers, is for readers to tell them. -smile-

    Please, please, please, please, please do not discontinue this Daily Journal!!!!!!! Please!!!!! I know it can become an irritating issue, when we are trying to do something with our blog, and readers are complaining. For myself, I get very upset, and almost want to just stop doing the whole thing. (I think I hear this, in between your words, and fully understand!!!!) But please…. Please….. Just keep on Daily Journaling. We who love it, will find it.

    Gentle blessings,
    Luna Crone
    Moon Spinners blog


  7. Colette, I also am having a problem with this blog format. The newest post comes up fine but when I scroll down to look for posts I may have missed, the photos don’t open in the page. I’m only able to pull them up one at a time. It’s unfortunate because it disrupts the flow and takes away from the enjoyment as well as the message. I’m sure it will all work out in time. In the meantime, I will take what I can see.
    Blessings from Alaska


    1. It appears that there is too much on the page. As it is only a part of the website, and I have tried to amend the problem with viewing, I may have to discontinue this, which is rather frustrating for me as it was an easy format for me to post.


      1. Some interesting thoughts here from a Magical Gardens follower on FB…
        Just read your post about the problem, Colette. Now, I’m using an iPad, and am a WordPress member, and I’m not having a problem reading the posts. I just read the post, and then, since I hadn’t read yesterday’s one, just segued into that one, and on it would have gone, so I can’t see how people are having difficulties. Usually it is me, on the iPad, having difficulties! I’m wondering if it’s a browser/Wordpress interface problem? I’ve been using Apple products for so long that I forget some of the problems users of some of the Microsoft products can have. In my experience, long ago, Internet Explorer as a browser caused some problems, but I used Firefox, in those days, and all was well. Just a thought …


      2. Thanks for your perseverance on the journal! It’s beautiful. And I will try to keep up daily. Just some days are so full. And, in my defense, I am using a computer. I don’t own a smart phone. I have fairly limited service through MI-FI. And I don’t try to be difficult. (Just to let you know and not get into a pointless argument in your comment section.)
        You had a very full Monday and seem to have added another to your band at the cottage. I hope Sammie aka Keith will be cool with it and Jack will continue to keep the rhythm. Blessings.


        1. Same here…just a laptop operating on a hotspot and no smartphone…sometimes it can take 10-20 minutes just to upload a small section on the website. Thanks for staying with it…I appreciate your support…Blessings XXX


  8. Wonderful choice… Leaving both Facebook and Twitter. Imho, they are both time sinks, without much return.

    Also, the leaving of “crusades,” I applaud. Been there, done that. And only got frustration, out of it. Not my cup of tea, any more.

    Deal with that which falls within the circle of our own life, sounds wise to me. There is plenty there, to keep us busy. In fact, even at my “late date”, there is more and more, right here, to keep me busy.

    Gentle hugs and blessings,
    Luna Crone


  9. In agreement, with your leaving both Facebook and Twitter. I do not see the point, of either. But know, that they _take time_. So happy you saw your way, out of them.

    Also agree with not trying to join in, on all the “crusades”. Been there, done that. Achieved only frustration.

    Do, in our own life circle, feels like wisdom to me. And I am finding more and more, to do there! Even at this ‘late date’. -smile-

    Gentle hugs and blessings,
    Luna Crone


  10. Bealtaine cottage is a real tonic to all of us who love the wonders of nature! The lovely plants that touch our senses with their fragrance and the edible ones we eat. Our pets who we take care of that trust us to love, feed and keep them warm.
    Your world is truly magical, thank you for sharing it with us! X
    Blessings and goodwill to you x


  11. That picture of Jack with his tongue out is to cute!…… I think it shows how seriously he takes his job of being a happy dog and enjoying every moment to his fullest…..and I also think you have the most enchanting spots to stroll about and glimpse the fairies! …Thank you for taking me along Colette ❤


  12. I love you wonderful home and gardens, I love your photos and I really enjoy what you write. I wish you were close enough to visit! I live way too far away in California. Please keep on sharing your magic with words and you wonderful photos. I’m so glad I found you!


  13. I have bought the book “The Ages of Gaia” and “The Revenge of Gaia”. Your post about the former intrigued me. I love reading.

    Today I planted a dwarf banana tree in memory of an Australian man, Bill Mollison, the co-founder along with David Holgrem who died yesterday at his home in Tasmania. He wanted everyone to plant a tree when he died. I had the privelege to meet him many years ago and he changed the way I garden. Vale Bill


  14. What beautiful work you are doing! It’s always a heartwarming experience to visit your site. Your new Journal with such great pictures is wonderful! I share your love of nature and all the intelligent beings that surround us. We have lived on an 80 acre farm/homestead in Minnesota, USA for 45 years and have planted much like you do except for some acreage that needs to be rented out. We love all the animals and so enjoy seeing the videos and pictures of your Jack and Sammy Bear! It was also so nice to see some pictures of yourself as you are always “the one behind the camera!” Thanks so much for your sharing ways! Keep up your good work, Colette. You always brighten my day and so many others across the world!


  15. Good evening Colette, lovely posts today. The morning, misty views are wonderful. I like your shelves over the radiator. Very good idea. My window sills are on the outside with none on the inside 😦 Great painting of a cow on your sitting room wall too. Have a relaxing evening. Dawn xx


  16. You quoted John Muir today. You might find this article interesting. “What Muir misses in his description of native women gathering “wild” grain is the same thing nearly all of his European predecessors had missed in similar scenes: these women, probably Mono Lake Paiutes, were not passively gathering nature’s “wild” bounty. Instead, they were harvesting a carefully tended field. The extent of the patch, the “magnificently waving clumps,” the size and sweetness of the grain — none of these might have existed without centuries of human care and interaction, including intentional burning, sowing, and harvesting.” Love your new Journal. Thanks. First Do No Harm Front Yard Farmacy tended by Ms. SpoolTeacher (just so you know)


  17. I absolutely adore to here all that you are doing in your wonderful magical gardens… are an inspiration to me and I’m sure to many others who are reading your journal……..thank you so much Colette. X


  18. Ohhhhhh! I am now able to comment here!!!!!

    I didn’t used to be able to do so!

    Ohhh I am so happy!

    Now, if only I am able to make Pay Pal work for me again, and send you a donation. Oh I hope I can.

    Yes! Yes! Yes! I can comment any way. :-)))))))))) And thank you for all the peace and joy, you bring to my life.

    Luna Crone


          1. Hello Colette,

            One can edit the theme and move the comment code to the upper portion of the page. However, perhaps that may seem a bit daunting if one has not edited their theme before. Here is a direct link to the comments portion :

            However, with this link, the entire page must load first which can take a bit of time. Perhaps you might consider sharing your cottage-journal journal as a “category” link, with daily blogs rather than adding to a single post. This will also promote your post in the search engines (as they are individual posts as opposed to “edits” and use much fewer computer resources for visitors.

            Also, as mentioned in a previous comment to you, I just sent you an email entitled: Re: website with a few little, humble ideas.

            Blessings to you and all! ❤

            Liked by 1 person

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