Decorating the cottage has been under way over recent days.
It began with a thorough clean and dust which inevitably led onto other things…painting and moving furniture, as well as painting furniture!
This is what happens when one starts the process…Quentin Crisp once said that it was a never-ending task once undertaken…however, it has come to a close, for the moment at least!
Even the rough carpentry I attempted ten years ago at the beginning of my tenure here, looks appropriately renewed, if not perfect.
The results are here for you to see and I am happy to have a cleaner, brighter kitchen, as well as an easier to use sitting room and all on a budget too!
The paint on the walls, a slate grey, is actually masonry paint for the outside walls of a house…bequeathed to me as leftovers from a friend of a friend…it works well and is much tougher than interior matt paint.
I have taken bags of stuff to the charity shop, as well as giving much away to friends.
All are happy and most of all me!
I have a dedicated area for the juicer as I intend to do a lot more juicing in the coming year.
I have little excess stuff and so feel much lighter, both physically and spiritually.
My little cottage has space to welcome more of Mother Nature and that I am very happy about indeed!
Any donation, no matter how small, goes a long way in sustaining and developing this site.
As long as the Earth can make a spring every year, I can. As long as the Earth can flower and produce nurturing fruit, I can, because I’m the Earth. I won’t give up until the Earth gives up. Alice Walker
I’m writing this between lighting the stove, going in and out to the barn chopping wood and getting my breakfast together.
Much of the wood I save and stack in the barn is collected from the ground beneath trees after a storm…it’s amazing how much timber for the stove can be foraged in this way.
I’m so delighted with this lovely gift from friends…
Thank you my friends Nick and Danielle for this funky new birdbox, created by Nick from driftwood!
Steps have been taken to avoid the one big bill, from the one mains service, coming into the cottage…electricity!
This is a Pay-As-You-Go-Meter, that also monitors usage and allows one more control over the utility.
I have managed to keep this week’s usage to just under ten euros!
I would recommend this as a way of taking more responsibility for one’s little bit of Earth.
It was free to install!
I’m weather-proofing all the wood around the cottage…with a selection of colours, some donated, some bought and mixed with leftovers, so Bealtaine Cottage will take on a different, more interesting hue!
Lavender is the colour of the day…with blue here and there.
One of the great things about cottage life is the simplicity of design…if it’s made from natural materials, then it doesn’t look out of place.
I love colour!
It seems a natural decorating choice for cottage living…one lovely eclectic mix of whatever it is one scavenges!
Blossom is out on the Ornamental Plum…
The sickly little Peach tree in the tunnel shows blossom for the first time ever…it has taken me four years to nurse this little gem back to life.
It was rescued from the rubbish skip at Lidl, where it had been dumped after being snapped in half.
This is a new bed I wanted to share with you…it’s another one of my experiments here at bealtaine Cottage.
The tyres are protecting the bed from the East and North , allowing the solar energy to be kept in the bed.
As the land is on a north-facing slope, any rain runs off the tyres downhill towards the north, thus leaving the bed clear from any run-off.
The tyres are well-weathered and already covered with mould.
This was a compost heap from last year.
I shall keep you updated as the growing season progresses.
And finally, a reminder of the thin soil that made up this land ten years ago…this is how close the bedrock is to the surface in many places all over the land here.
Tree-planting here has ensured a future unrealized before now…everything is possible! I cannot stress enough the importance of a Nursery Bed like the one seen here…grow, grow, grow! Then plant, plant plant!
“Husband the earth.
her from greed and violence.
humbly, plant trees, grow flowers and clothe her
Respect all her creatures.
natural laws and the universe which cradles her.
Above all, heartily worship the Source of All that is.
This world needs secret heroes!
Be brave, speak the truth, heal the sick, make peace.
Be strong, serve patiently, love generously, live simply.
Enjoy fellowship, eat and drink modestly, celebrate the festivals.
Breathe deeply, sing and make music, walk often, cycle and recycle.
Be thrifty, prefer cashflow to possession, give good measure.
Let your work be your prayer.
Put on the whole armour of light!
Unearth the beauty in everything.
Inhale the Spirit of Goodness.
Kindle kindness, especially toward yourself, embracing the sweet silence of your own soul.
Accept what you are and — while you have breath — give thanks.” ~John Rogers
Often times as I sit down to write this blog, it is evening and the day has come to settle here, in the cottage… the lamp illuminating the darkness, Jack sprawled out in front of the stove, with both cats in residence upon the sofas…I squeeze in somewhere!
The stillness of the evening pervades the cottage…no television or other distraction to detract from the clock on the wall ticking the time away.
There’s a fine stretch in the day, with the light finally fading around a quarter to seven.
The untidy kitchen bears testament to a little shopping, yet to be sorted and packed away.
Friends have been and gone, polytunnel doors shut tight against the wind and logs stacked by the stove ready to be consumed by the iron maiden.
A pack of wooden, clothes pegs, sits atop the kitchen table, to be unwrapped…Lord save me from plastic pegs that grow brittle in the weather and snap when least expected!
Dried chillies wait patiently for their resting place in the pantry, in a jar, yet to be found!
A book, donated by a friend, promises bedtime reading, maybe even into the wee hours of the morning…I’m enchanted by the cover!
Counting down the days until the Spring Equinox…
Happy Saint David’s Day to all of Welsh connection XXX
They were off to Sligo to do their Christmas shopping.
The list of what they had to buy was long and detailed…three children and lots of family living close by!
Whilst here, they collected Holly, Ivy, lots of other greenery, as well as a small Christmas tree, which they left down by the gate to collect later on.
Back inside the cottage, warming ourselves by the stove in the kitchen and drinking mugs of hot tea, they remarked on the similarity between my lifestyle and that of the television series, “The Good Life.”
I won’t expand too much on the series as you can always look it up on YouTube and have a laugh at my expense…
So, what exactly can be called a “good life?”
And here, we’re talking in terms of lifestyle choices, rather than anything too holy!
I could draw up a list of all the things that make my life feel good, but, instead, I shall condense it all into one little word.
For the past few months I have been endeavouring to make my life as simple as possible, by giving away as much as I do not want…clothes, books, household items…and painting furniture to bring it all together.
The result is very satisfying…less stuff to move around, fall over, gather dust and fret about and, more simple elegance.
Did you know that Coco Chanel built an empire on that very theme, Simple Elegance.
Her little black dress, well cut suit and No.5 perfume are still as popular as ever they were!
Living the “Good Life,” is not all about muck and wellies, no…it’s about lots of simple elegance too!
Ask Missy, she knows where to sit to look her best!
Part one of The Good Life, Christmas special 1977…
Passionate and gardening are two words that seem to fit seemlessly together.
There were three visitors to Bealtaine this morning and as walking around became enthused to talk of their own gardens! One had brought a photo album to show me…and it was well worth a look, as there were shots taken from just about every angle of her small garden in Dublin. it reminded me of a garden I once tended in London. It was an old garden, created when the house was first built around 1795, so the porportions were conducive to the size of the house…a Georgian Artisan Cottage.
We all had tea on the veranda, deciding that the outdoors was where it was at!
When I lived in London it became a Saturday ritual to go to the local park and the Teahouse therein for an early morning coffee…just to be outdoors! Summer and Winter alike, the same glorious ritual applied and more often than not it was shared with friends and family.
It is always the little cafe or teashop I go in search of…the big franchise, multi-national , always the same, just does NOT do it for me…!
Trying to control nature is not an aspect of personality of the passionate gardener…well, not that I have found! Valerian has found its own way up by the side of the tool-shed and there it will continue! Putting down a mulch or a sheet to stop growth of weeds is as much control as I have it in me to exercise…apologetically I may add…
Mulching around a garden sculpture, (home-made), using freshly shredded waste…
And mulch will keep the no-dig beds looking neat and work-free!
Some of the new beds this morning…mulched paths in between work really well and cost zero to make!