Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Birds, Country Living, Garden, Inspiration, Permaculture, Spring, Thoughts

Renewal

bealtaine cottage

The evening descended as I moved back and forth from the barn with baskets of wood for the stove.
I stopped to catch the evening light, aware of the taste of early Spring in the evening air.
www.bealtainecottage.comThe clear sky had given way to hues of blue as the hands of the clock moved towards six o’clock.
The day was closing as the Blackbird sang out its territorial song.
www.bealtainecottage.comThis is the first time using my new laptop.
 As I type, I listen to Laudate Dominum by Mozart…a most beautiful and evocative song, all on this little machine! 
www.bealtainecottage.com It will take me time to get used to the way it works…it’s very sensitive, but a joy to be able to sit in this warm, cosy spot and write.
Thanks to all who made this possible…thanks and blessings to you. XXX
www.bealtainecottage.comTomorrow I shall walk the gardens and photograph the changes that are appearing by the hour.
I popped some pips from an organic lemon in this pot last year and here they are earlier today!
www.bealtainecottage.com As I drove from Sligo today, I noticed new lambs in the fields near the sea…it’s much milder there and so the season starts from the coast and moves daily inwards. 
www.bealtainecottage.comThe speed at which Spring moves across the land is thrilling and the energy it carries with it is insightful, allowing us to see Mother Nature at her most magical.
For tonight, under an early Spring sky, the little lodge beckons, the wood stove warms the interior and the kettle boils atop for tea.
www.bealtainecottage.com
The coming days and weeks will be filled with preparation for the wondrous event that will renew the Earth in this small part of western Europe.
Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Buddha, Earth, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Spirituality, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Thanks, Thanks, Thanks!

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Today I felt a tiny bit sad.

Not for any reason in particular…I’m sure we all feel like this every so often.

Permaculture gardens in April at Bealtaine CottageSo there I was, having a good old wallow in being down, when something caught my eye, causing me to look up.

www.bealtainecottage.com 015It was a simple cameo…a blackbird that peered inquisitively back at me through the kitchen window.

I “heard” the look.

www.bealtainecottage.com 054The beautiful bird brought me a message from Nature, saying, quite simply, “look!”

Parsley growing at Bealtaine Cottage beside old iron kettleAnd so I did.

www.bealtainecottage.com 052I looked out the window.

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 001I stepped outside and looked.

Lower pond in flood at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensThere was an entire world around me that was saying, “Step in here and lift your heart up!”

Welcome to the Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageSince this morning I have looked and been lifted.

Sammy Cat on the roof of the porch at Bealtaine Cottage IrelandNow, here I am, sat by the keyboard, writing this blog and inviting you to share some uplifting pictures of what I have seen this year…

Buddha at BealtaineThanks to the Divine energy all around us that creates such beauty…Thanks!

fairy wood at bealtaine cottageThanks!

In the Gardens of BealtaineThanks!

Bealtaine Cottage PorchThanks!

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, celebrations, Christmas, Garden, Home Made Wine, Inspiration, Permaculture

Permaculture Midwinter Gathering

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Sprouting winter greens on the kitchen window sill, couldn’t be easier than this…the top of a swede sitting in a saucer of shallow water and left to continue growing and giving!
I shall harvest small leaves to add to stir-fries.
It actually looks quite Christmassy too!
www.bealtainecottage.com 001The seed-heads of Poppy and Honesty, now void of seeds, but perfect for winter displays.
I have harvested all the seeds and am packing them up for distribution across the world…especially for the bees, but also for their extraordinary beauty, even when dried!
www.bealtainecottage.com 003Dried Chillies, ready for packing into containers and storing in the pantry…an effortless way to store food!
www.bealtainecottage.com 012And outside, in the gardens this morning, the colours of winter deepen as the mists continue their journey from the lough.
www.bealtainecottage.com 008Nature’s baubles decorate the bare trees…
www.bealtainecottage.com 016The mild, early winter creates a feast of chocolate scented berries, for the Blackbird, on the Leycestria Formosa…early mornings can be noisy, as birds squabble over this winter feast!
www.bealtainecottage.com 004This old bread tin, bought in a Charity shop in Belfast last month, is ready to be packed with seeds, saved at Bealtaine Cottage…a perfect container for this purpose!
www.bealtainecottage.com 009Potager beds continue to hoard food in this little micro-climate area at the back of the cottage.
www.bealtainecottage.com 013Vibrant red dogwood splashes colour here and there, making winter as joyous an occasion in the gardens as any other season!
www.bealtainecottage.com 015Midwinter, on the 21st of December, is a lovely time to be with loved ones and celebrate!
This year will be easy to gather, as the 21st falls on a Saturday…
I had arranged a get-together for the Sunday, 22nd, but…The Midwinter Gathering is transferred to a closer date…all on the list have been contacted and there’s sure to be some great fun on the day!
 
Enjoy your Gathering!
 
www.bealtainecottage.com 017Blessings X
 
Posted in Angels, Bealtaine Cottage, Birds, celebrations, Christmas, Cottage, Dogs, Fairies, Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Vegan, Winter

Merry Tidings from Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland

Christmas eve moon above Bealtaine Cottage

The Christmas Eve moon rises over Bealtaine Cottage.

The air is still and warm, yet the clouds rush by in the upper sky.

moon rising over Bealtaine CottageThe Blackbird calls a final song on this eve.

The cottage lies snug and warm.

Christmas Eve, 2012 at Bealtaine CottageAll is well, all is as it should be.

Dogs are walked and cats sleep in the warmest corners of the cottage.

Christmas Angel 2012The Angel dances on the tree.

Cottage Christmas in IrelandA vegetable soup simmers atop the stove.

Wood-smoke fills the air outside.

Bealtaine Cottage interiorThe stillness is magical.

Angel EveContentment reigns.

Happy Christmas.

Peace and joy to you this eve.

Posted in Autumn, Bealtaine Cottage, celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Country Living, Food, Gardens, Life, Lifestyle, Nature, Permaculture, Uncategorized

Ireland…Ridden with Debt and Blessed with Land

We are a country ridden with debt and blessed with land…and water…and a temperate climate.

Ireland is capable of producing a lot of food, not just meat and dairy, but fruit and vegetables of all kinds.

We could have a great wool industry!

We were famous for our Crystal from Waterford!

Irish people are hard-working and dedicated.

What is needed is courage, integrity and honesty in our political leaders.

We need political leaders with vision and confidence…

If only we had leadership…

I have cut back many of the Dogwoods in the upper gardens and have been busily replanting some of the better cuttings.

The entrance to the Fairy Dell is enveloped in the striking reds of Dogwoods.

These easy to grow [stick a wand in the earth] shrubs are incredibly valuable to me…the stems remain a vivid red all winter, I use them in Willow wreaths for vibrant colour and vase  arrangements in the cottage to brighten a dull day.

The birds will eat the juicy ripe berries and the bees will enjoy the delicate spring flowers on the old stems.

Another misty morning.

Cobwebs everywhere shining with tiny drops of dew.

I walked through the Fairy Dell to the sound of the Blackbird rustling about among the fallen leaves, searching for breakfast!

It wasn’t just the mountains that had disappeared, this morning, into the mist, but most of the land as well.

My garden had vanished this morning!

It’s strange because the air was so still and the bird calls seemed to echo in the mist.

I hope it’s like this at Samhain…so many preparations are under way, especially gathering in the apples and preparing them for the freezer.

Despite the warm and sunny days,  nights are cold  and lots of little creatures are seeking hibernation spots…

I have to keep the windows closed at night for fear of having to share this cottage with too many visitors!

Posted in Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Cats, Cottage, Country Living, Garden, Uncategorized, Wildlife

Sunday, Sunday…

Here she sits.

Missy loves the heat from the stove in the kitchen and as she has been poorly I am tolerant of anywhere she finds comfort! On this occasion it happens to be the shelf to the left of the stove.

It’s the early evening now at Bealtaine.

There’s a gentle rain falling outside.

The cottage is warm. The stove has been lit since early this morning.

 


It’s just gone 6pm here in the west of Ireland.

There’s a smell of wood-smoke on the evening air.

The birds continue to sing around the cottage…Blackbirds mostly! They mark out their territory, first thing in the morning and last thing at night, by going to all four corners of their own little piece of land and singing out loudly! 

Sunday, Sunday…love this day!

Posted in Abundance, Baking, Bealtaine Cottage, Cottage, Fairies, Gardening, Growing Food, Herbs, polytunnel gardening, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland

A Sunday Ramble around Bealtaine Cottage Smallholding, Ireland

My visitors have left. Home made wine and pocheen, lots of home made vegan food and cakes and talk into the wee small hours…what better way to share a weekend!

Sunday afternoon. The first in July. Bealtaine basks in the sunshine.

Willow has been trimmed. Grass cut. Pumpkins are in flower.

The pears are making good progress on the youngest of the Pear Trees planted here at Bealtaine Cottage. I continue to feed the earth around them with a liquid tea made from nettles and comfrey.

The heady scent of Meadowsweet fills the air on this calm and balmy Sunday afternoon. It grows all over the Bog garden…here is some in the woodland, Fairy dell.

On an afternoon such as this I feel almost intoxicated as I walk around the gardens, with sweets scents filling the air and bees flying to and fro along their pathways of pollen.

Turning to look back at the tunnel as I approach the Fairy Dell, I am taken with the sounds coming from the blackcurrant bushes, only to see a Blackbird swooping out from a gorgefest of fruit…

Geraniums and Oregano spill across mown grass paths. All is peace.

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Books, Culture, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Permaculture, photography, Uncategorized

Imagine Peace…John and Yoko and Ireland! Notes from a Cottage.

Spent the day in Omagh visiting my mother. She’s well and hearty and looking good!  On the way back I stopped outside Blacklion by the lough and spotted this beautiful stone sculpture. It is in the spirit of John and Yoko, which is very appropriate as they visited Ireland and even had tea in the old Mulranny Hotel near Achill Island where I once lived. Imagine was the first album I bought when I went to London and it really is timeless, perhaps even more relevant today than ever…actually, definitely more relevant today! John was a soul of immense wisdom and integrity, which is so lacking today in our leaders!

A plain and simple message…

And there’s the island when you peep through the hole…the size of the world if looking from space. There’s a series of standing stones, so the alignment is important, as in all stone circles…

Home…it’s always good to return! The blackbird was singing the last song of the day. Valerian was almost in bloom along the walls of the cottage and bluebells had opened under the kitchen window.

Home. Tea. Book. Bed…