Posted in Childhood, Current Affairs, Dublin, Economy, government, History, Hope, Thoughts

Homelessness and Vulture Capitalism

DSC01744Why has the government of allowed Funds to cash-buy over 60% of when we have a ?

A simple question.

A simple tweet, made this morning, as I pondered what government is actually for…

DSC01723It concerns me deeply to imagine the almost two thousand  children who are awakening this morning in their homeless temporary accommodation…mostly Bed and Breakfast only hotels!

DSC01743I live in a comfortable little cottage, but grew up in circumstances not dissimilar to the homeless children of Ireland today, in that I was a child of an economically disadvantaged family. 

1624264_577952575629990_150204437_nThis is what economic inequality looked like in Ireland 53 yrs ago…that’s me on the left.

Eleven children living in a two bed-roomed terraced house.

mum-0071Yet over half a century ago, despite the cramped conditions, we had a house we called home!

My mother lived a long healthy life despite birthing eleven children…here she was in her eightieth year at Bealtaine Cottage.

DSC01742There should not be a homeless crisis here in Ireland…or anywhere for that matter!

DSC01741There were 5,811 people ‘officially homeless’ in emergency homeless accommodation in February 2016 – an increase of 48% over the previous February. This figure includes adults (3,930) and children with their families (1,881), but it does not include the ‘hidden homeless’ who are living in squats or ‘sofa surfing’ with friends or people who are living in domestic violence refuges.

~ http://www.focusireland.ie/resource-hub/about-homelessness/

DSC01739If every country in the western world can find endless money for war and bankers…need I say more?

DSC01738The Irish Government should be particularly ashamed this morning in the wake of yesterdays revelations that over sixty per cent of all houses sold last year in Ireland were to cash buyers…most of whom commanded the wealth of so-called Vulture Funds! 

vulture fund
noun

FINANCE
plural noun: vulture funds
  1. a fund which invests in companies or properties which are performing poorly and may therefore be undervalued.
    DSC01729In this so-called republic, for any child to go to bed hungry or awaken in cramped squalor is an utter disgrace.
    Shame on us all!
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Posted in awakening, change, Earthing, Garden, Nature

Like Children

DSC00479For the 99 percent of the time we’ve been on Earth, we were hunter and gatherers, our lives dependent on knowing the fine, small details of our world.  Deep inside, we still have a longing to be reconnected with the nature that shaped our imagination, our language, our song and dance, our sense of the divine. 

Janine M. Benyus

DSC00480As an integral part of the global awakening that is happening, humankind are being called back to the earth, to reconnect with Gaia.

DSC00478Not everyone is feeling this at the same time…as each one of us on our own sacred journey comes to experience in own time.

DSC00477This morning, awakening around six thirty, I ventured out into the gardens to experience the early morning mist, which, as I type at almost 11am, prevails.

DSC00475 Ireland has been experiencing some incredibly good weather in recent weeks and so it goes on.

DSC00474In other parts of the world, devastating storms have wreaked havoc!

DSC00473Yet, in all of this uncertainty and upset, the advance of those seeking to connect with Mother Earth increases.

DSC00472We are like lost children in need of the comfort of a parent.

DSC00471 And perhaps this is a good thing, for to be like children on this Sacred Earth will connect us much easier than any other way.

DSC00470So what is it about children that gives them the advantage in understanding their place in the Universe?

DSC00468Could it be that they are naturally curious?

Is it our loss that we accept so much and question so little?

DSC00465Have we allowed our lives to become subsumed in the detritus of the material world?

DSC00463I often pass gardens where all is so perfectly straight and neat that I actively squint in attempting to see Mother Nature…and often I do not see Her at all!

DSC00462 Yet I know that control of Nature brings unhappiness and discontent…the sort of feeling where frustration begins to eat at one’s very soul!

DSC00461So what are the tools we need to enable us to reconnect with Mother Earth.

DSC00460 I have the privilege to be able to observe small children when they visit Bealtaine with their parents and it is nothing less than a joy to behold!

DSC00417They hold the keys to the kingdom! 

DSC00415What a joy it is to feel the soft, springy earth under my feet once more,
to follow grassy roads that lead to ferny brooks
where I can bathe my fingers in a cataract of rippling notes,
or to clamber over a stone wall into green fields that
tumble and roll and climb in riotous gladness!  

~Helen Keller

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Posted in charity, Frugal Living, Mother earth, Permaculture

Returning Thanks

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Saint Vincent de Paul is a charity that helps people here in Ireland cope with poverty.

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It does fantastic work, helping those in need pay bills, buy clothes and food and even keeping a roof over the heads of many.

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I decided to have a good clear out of things…clothes, books, trinkets, ornaments…all boxed up and off to the SVdP Charity shop.

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I am delighted that the cottage is lighter and the Charity has a little more to give. In turn,

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I often visit the same shop and buy clothes and occasional trinkets.

Stone Circle at Bealtaine Cottage

It’s a great way of recycling, all round!

The porch at bealtaine cottage

This is my favourite form of recycling, because it underpins the fact that everything has a value.

Christmas Eve, 2012 at Bealtaine Cottage

Also, by clearing out lots of stuff I no longer need or even want, I am making room for Mother Nature, for I love to bring bouquets of greenery in from the land and spend time adorning the cottage.

The turn of the wheel

This beautiful Iroquois prayer encapsulates it all…

We return thanks to our mother, the Earth,
which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams,
which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs,
which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and stars,
which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun,
that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit,
in Whom is embodied all goodness,
and Who directs all things for the good of Her children.

~ Iroquois ~

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Posted in birthday, healing, love

Today

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The day starts in the dark…making late October mornings seem magical and filled with hope.

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Walking in the gardens to empty the ashes, open the hen house and collect kindling as the sun rises on this, my birthday.

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And later, a gift arrives from someone I used to share much of my life with…my ex-husband is now very supportive and appreciative of the work I do at Bealtaine.

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In fact, Bealtaine Cottage has become a place of healing, whether it be human rifts, environmental devastation or spiritual despair…the energy here takes it all in and rebalances the problem with copious amounts of kindness and compassion, the love of the Great Mother.

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And as the morning is illuminated by the late-rising sun, my eldest daughter arrives with a home-made cake. Nothing is better than a cake made with love and good energy…the power of the hands infused into the soul-food!

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The cake is vegan and chocolatey and demands a big pot of tea…

And I especially love that my children move with ease between my name and my title, of Mother.

Today I am Colette…my birth name.


Posted in Current Affairs, Earth, Eco-Living, Food, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Lifestyle, Self-Sufficiency, Smallholding

Move to Higher Ground

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We are facing a multitude of crises at this time.

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War, austerity, climate change, environmental disaster…the list goes on. 

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Each month seems to bring a stronger cumulative effect in how we are perceiving the world around us…many feel threatened and some even feel doomed.

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It has been quite some time now since the cost of petrol at the pump has dropped, in fact the opposite has happened, as the cost has climbed steadily, week on week.

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This tells us, in no uncertain terms, that we have reached Peak oil and there will never again be affordable car travel for the masses.

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This is difficult to take on board, as we see more and more new cars on the road, but that too should sound the warning bells, for it means that the reality of the problem is not being faced up to!

Even governments are pushing car sales with various trade-in offers every so often!

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Reaching Peak oil has serious knock-on effects for us all.

Everything we buy is predicated on oil in some way or another, some direct, most indirectly.

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Most food production is reliant upon oil and artificial fertilizers.

Our lives are based upon consumptive behaviour.

Our society has been degraded by our inherent need for more!

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Considering the implementation of serious lifestyle changes will be the only beneficial way of getting to higher ground to face the storms ahead.

Higher ground in terms of sustainable living and building community.

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If there is madness, mayhem and destruction in the world, we have to own it before we can begin to bring change.

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The best, most enduring change happens slowly, building upon small changes.

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 I urge each and every one of you to consider small changes you can implement in your lives, homes, community, workplace…just wherever one can do it, get on and do it!

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Waiting for our governments to act is really a waste of time…they are trapped in the paradigm of economic growth on a finite planet!

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Please, empower yourself and others to begin the shift to a world where we are not killing and warring for what little resources remain!

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Our earth is abundant and capable of working with us in an interactive, not extractive, way.

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The future belongs to the children whose faces we will never see…keep them in mind in all we do!

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Posted in Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Childhood, Country Living, Edible Gardens, Fairies, hens, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Smallholding, Spring

Sustainable Food Revolution

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Living in a time when the cost of food is rising day on day, it might be time to re-think the lawn! This is what Bill Mollison, one of the founders of the Permaculture movement has to say on the subject:

Bill Mollison

“. . . every society that grows extensive lawns could produce all its food on the same area, using the same resources, and . . . world famine could be totally relieved if we devoted the same resources of lawn culture to food culture in poor areas. These facts are before us. Thus, we can look at lawns, like double garages and large guard dogs, [and Humvees and SUVs] as a badge of willful waste, conspicuous consumption, and lack of care for the earth or its people.Most lawns are purely cosmetic in function. Thus, affluent societies have, all unnoticed, developed an agriculture which produces a polluted waste product, in the presence of famine and erosion elsewhere, and the threat of water shortages at home.

The lawn has become the curse of modern town landscapes as sugar cane is the curse of the lowland coastal tropics, and cattle the curse of the semi-arid and arid rangelands…

www.bealtainecottage.comOver the past few days I have been busy converting this little shed into a new hen house and run…food to swap and share…fresh eggs! it is going to be a simple enough barter, swapping a sack of logs for nine eggs. Most logs are traded at 3.50 a sack, so that’s a fair swap!

www.bealtainecottage.comThat makes a good swap as eggs are getting more expensive by the day and the logs will be delivered to my door! I just have to ensure that the hen house and run are secure against Mr ans Mrs Fox and family!

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As Spring moves across the land, a drying wind is working its magic on the earth. The greening is under-way.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe view from the sitting room window is being filled in like a ‘Painting By Numbers,’ canvas. Ash trees are the last to get their leaves and so stand proud in all their silver glory against temperamental Spring skies.

www.bealtainecottage.comThis is the beautiful Field Maple to the front of the cottage.

www.bealtainecottage.comContinuing my lifelong passion for trees…this is a wall tile I made from clay…complete with tree, a fairy tree.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe lone Fairy Thorn one often sees growing in the middle of fields here in Ireland served as my inspiration. They are often windswept and leaning away from the west.

www.bealtainecottage.comThis sits upon the dresser in the kitchen…a time when preserves were sold in stoneware jars. All containers were re-cycled, in that they were re-used…even milk bottles! Lemonade bottles had a money deposit attached to them and children would collect them up to return to the shop, as a way of earning pocket money!

www.bealtainecottage.comEven cream came in little stoneware jars like this, as it kept cool in the pantry in the days before every home had a fridge!

“A sacred way of life connects us to the people and places around us. That means that a sacred economy must be in large part a local economy, in which we have multidimensional, personal relationships with the land and people who meet our needs, and whose needs are met in turn.”
― Juliana Birnbaum FoxSustainable Revolution: Permaculture in Ecovillages, Urban Farms, and Communities Worldwide

Posted in Books, Cats, Current Affairs, Earth, Garden, Inspiration, Permaculture, Trees

There is an Eden…

bealtaine cottage posterThere is an Eden…we stand upon it.

Our potential to change the environment we inhabit is boundless.

permaculture gardens at Bealtaine CottageIf we started today and worked hard for all the changes we want to see, the possible transformation is beyond our wildest dreams.

bealtaine cottage pathsWhether we have land or not, what we are capable of implementing, in terms of creating Eden, is only limited by two things…our imagination and our ability to use our energy. entrance to bealtaine“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
Arundhati Roy

missy in the kitchen by the stoveThis is my favourite slice of text written by Arundhati.

I have mentioned it before, but, personally, never tire of contemplating her wise words…

“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.

Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
Arundhati Roy, War Talk

fracking posterWe create Heaven, or allow others to create Hell, whether that be through destruction of our environment, as they are doing with fracking, for example, or allowing governments to collude with corporate monsters without challenge…they are, after all, our elected trustees.

planting the futureWe expect them to hold in trust our land, our welfare, and even our children!

We must demand accountability at every level!

Missy...loveOur time on Planet Earth is too short to not care…don’t you think?

 

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Posted in Current Affairs, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Politics, Spirituality, Trees

A Walk in the Permaculture Gardens Makes All Better!

After listening to the radio this morning, which I should not have done, I had to seek solace and sanity in the gardens.

I will not go into what it was that upset me, but like most of you who read this blog, you can put a fair guess that it had something to do with the establishment…government, church…that measure of hierarchy!

So, off I went into the gardens to shake it off!

Most of us know right from wrong.

Why is this so very difficult for governments and churches?

Here is today’s video…just a walk through the gardens…click on the link and enjoy…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4UZMObLSIc&list=UUHkXJ9wsrdPEpzb-KMgmt-A&index=1&feature=plpp_video

Posted in Current Affairs, Eco-Living, Ecology, Gaia, Inspiration, Permaculture, Sustainable Living

Healing our Environment and Saving our Earth.

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The weather has been mild and very damp, ideal for mushroom growing. Polytunnel this morning at Bealtaine Cottage with Che Mousy Bear strolling through!There are lots of these growing in the tunnel.

Though it’s not actually mushrooms I want to talk about today.

You see there are things on my mind that are troubling me…

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Biting the Hand that feeds YOU!

For if we are to live in the world as we know it, then we have to make changes…

veranda at Bealtaine CottageMother Nature gives, and we take. Most of the time we give nothing back…nothing!

Jan 12 Bealtaine Cottage 004For the past hundred or so years we have demanded and taken more and more!

Bealtaine Cottage midsummer morningThe killing fields of World War One left mountainous mounds of dead
and gave us our agriculture of today,
…chemicals!

We are what we eat.

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Chemicals

From that day to this we have almost drowned Gaia in chemicals!

wild honeysuckle on the table at bealtaine cottageChemicals to force food from the ground.

Chemicals to kill Gaia’s workforce; bees, insects and bacteria.

Bee on Nasturtium flower at Bealtaine Cottage

Chemicals poured in relentless fashion into her rivers and oceans to make our clothes whiter, cleaner and our homes chemical waste grounds.

Cats in the shade at bealtaine cottageWhere babies are reared in exclusion zones that make them weak and sometimes ill…for the good bacteria that aids children in developing strong immune systems, is no longer allowed!

Rain on Nasturtium in the Permaculture GardensWhen we become ill, we then require stronger and more aggressive pharmaceuticals.

The Fairy Wood at Bealtaine CottageAnd so we are trapped within a complex ecocidal system of living that is doomed!

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A Better Way

Yes, there is a better way!

I am exploring aspects of it in whatever small way possible.

But, overall, the solution is simple…

Summer shed at Bealtaine CottageMostly, the solutions require little more than common sense, some small effort and a willingness to keep an open mind and ask questions!

Astrantia by the Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage this morningFor therein lies solutions…millions of them! Each one suitable for our immediate environment.

Veranda at Bealtaine CottageSolutions that empower us and make us integrated, part of the healing, not part of the illness!

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The words of Albert Einstein resonate more today than ever before…

“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe … We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self.

We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.”
– Albert Einstein

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Beltane, Gardening, Growing Food, Herbs, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Permaculture in Ireland, Summer, Trees, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage ~ The Thursday Photo-Diary

A Celtic emblem on my back door. The paint on the door is well scratched and there is a definite patina of life therein. Dogs and children, all attempting to enter the cottage with little patience and no time to wait! I know I have to paint it soon, because the weather demands it, but then this testament to life and laughter and fun and games will be erased…

Moving the tyres in the vegetable garden is a milestone reached this week…converting all to log, deep beds and narrow paths…easier to mulch and now that the soil has improved, I can do this. It has taken 7 years of work and patience, but it has finally paid off!

Apples continue to swell and grow and are, each one, quite perfect. These trees have never had any sprays or chemicals of any kind at all, yet continue to give perfect harvest every single year. Nature knows best!

The beautiful flowers of the remarkable Comfrey plant. This generous herb is not just a pretty face!

Look how well this tiny spider manages to camouflage itself on the Cotoneaster bush…Nature is so very clever!

Flowers have opened on the Fuschia…almost an adopted native plant here in the west of Ireland…