Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Cottage, Country Living, Eco-Living, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Lifestyle, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Frank Lloyd Wright was Right

I have had a love affair with the Irish Cottage for most of my life.

The image in my head of a typical cottage is one of nurture and contentment.

A place that nestles into the landscape…

This was the cottage of my great grandmother, Mary Anne Higgins-Baxter, in Omagh, on the Derry Road.

The gable end faced the road as was the custom.

I carry with me lovely, soft, memories of her beautiful home.

She died before I could get to know her, but her cottage was just filled with her incredible energy and spirit!

This cottage, where birds and bees feel just as at home as humans…there are always lots of small gaps around the roof and walls where insects, bats and birds can over-winter.

Such imperfection is perfect for life…

Surrounded by Nature, freshened by gentle breezes and beckoning one to venture in…

Frank Lloyd Wright once said that, “The good building is not one that hurts the landscape, but one which makes the landscape more beautiful than it was before the building was built.”

Frank Lloyd Wright was right!

Posted in celebrations, Christmas, Country Living, Uncategorized

Life in the Country at Christmas

Living miles from the nearest town, beyond a fair stretch of the legs, shopping becomes an event…not to be treated in a casual way at all!

There is no such thing as, ‘just popping out to the shops,’ as the journey there and back can be costly on limited resources, such as petrol for the car.

Running out of food is simply not an option, so a pantry is essential, where a good stock of food can be built up and held in reserve.

The pantry really comes into it’s own at Christmas and other festivals where visitors are expected to descend with little notice…and the tradition is to always feed the visitor!

As the pantry is a cool, dark place, storing food is easy, much better than a fridge in some cases, especially when it comes to cakes, home made bread, vegetables and the like.

The Victorians were especially adept at designing and building pantries and larders.  However, there appears to be little inclusion of this excellent feature in any modern design. I would even go so far as to say that few architects would even have heard of this small, but very essential room.

I used to live in an old Victorian house in London that came complete with a stone slabbed pantry, with fine mesh wire window, facing north for ultimate coolness!

Ideally the only light to penetrate the pantry is an artificial light or weak light from the north.

It is possible to build a small pantry in any home and I have even seen them made from wood, lined with various materials, in city apartments. 

The pantry here at Bealtaine Cottage is well stocked. Over the course of this week it will fill up with home baked goodies. Jellies and cakes will jostle with cans and jars on the shelves.

Christmas cannot be bought…well, not here at any rate!