Another Trip Around The Sun!

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IMG_9956My birthday has passed.

IMG_9961 It was a wonderful day and here I am in a new year of my life, another journey around the sun!

IMG_9951It’s been an extraordinary journey so far and, as usual, it’s been a wonderful time for casting the occasional, cursory glance over my shoulder to the past.

IMG_9960To this end, I have recalled many aspects of my relationship with my parents, especially in my younger years, realising more and more just how wonderful they both were!

IMG_9962When one is in the thick of it all it’s sometimes very hard to see the people behind the parent mask.

IMG_9959As a parent it became obvious to me how much of a mask one had to don, at times…from the tough to the understanding and sometimes with little in-between!

IMG_9963However, I recall much of my memories of my parents with enduring humour, for I now am fully cognisant of what I put them through!

IMG_9965And so my birthday was a time to celebrate with both my parents in mind, especially my Mother! IMG_9969Her permanent optimism must have been difficult to carry at times, especially when faced with loss, grief, unhappiness and the all-permeating poverty.

IMG_9970I admire her more than ever with each passing year of wisdom and reflection.

IMG_9968Love endures.

IMG_9971I am fortunate to have reached a point in my journey where it is possible for me to understand the woman who was my Mother and the man behind the mask of fatherhood…one he rarely let slip, but I was lucky enough to see the interesting and caring man behind that mask.

IMG_9974The celebrations continue into Samhain, the 31st of October.

IMG_9972Tomorrow the fire will be lit and the ancestors invited into the midst of the family and friends who will gather.

IMG_9975The following day will herald in the first day of the Celtic New Year…a great time of renewal, wishes and hopes for the journey ahead.

IMG_9973On another note, I am aware that Thursday will be the first day of November and I have several boxes of calendars here in the study, waiting to be re-homed!

IMG_9978So if you want to think about possible Yuletide gifts, then look no further!

IMG_9979I am happy to post on your behalf to anywhere in the world!

IMG_9980There is also a wonderful selection of Bealtaine Cottage books and a magical, mythical map…here are the links:

 

Bealtaine Cottage Calendar for 2019

Price includes postage and packing worldwide! The calendar hosts a page of colour photographs from Bealtaine Cottage for each month of the year. The months of the year are written in Celtic script…ie: May is Bealtaine, August is Lughnasadh and so on…many of you are already familiar with the Celtic Calendar. The pictures on each month also feature some added wisdom from Bealtaine Cottage and information on the ancient festivals of Celtic Ireland.

€17.00

 

Magical Mythical Map of Bealtaine Cottage and Gardens

Beautiful map created by the artist David Gascoigne, especially for Bealtaine Cottage. The picture shows one side of the map…it is printed on both sides, see the photos on this page. The price includes all Postage and Packing to wherever you live in the world! Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€10.00

 

Bealtaine Cottage Guide to the Deep Midwinter

A little Yuletide book filled with colour photographs, recipes, reflections, lore, poetry and mirth to guide you through the wonderful days ahead. Fifty pages of sheer delight from Bealtaine Cottage to you. The book is fully bound and can be posted direct as a gift. Price includes P&P worldwide. Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€13.00

 

In Search of The Goddess Rising

This is the second book in the Goddess Permaculture series from Colette O’Neill at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland. In this book I explore the ancient landscape, mythology, literature and life around Bealtaine Cottage… in search of the Great Goddess. The price of the book includes all postage and packing to wherever you live in the world! Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€19.00

 

“A Cottage and Three Acres,” by Colette O’Neill

Please email Colette if you would like a particular inscription in your book. From a desolate cottage set in 3 acres of monoculture sadness, to a vibrant, thriving food forest of life…the journey back to Eden over 13 years… Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€25.00

Energizing Change

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Decorating the cottage has been under way over recent days.

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It began with a thorough clean and dust which inevitably led onto other things…painting and moving furniture, as well as painting furniture!

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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!

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Even the rough carpentry I attempted ten years ago at the beginning of my tenure here, looks appropriately renewed, if not perfect.

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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!

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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.

Blessings

As Long As The Earth…

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www.bealtainecottage.com
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

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

I’m writing this between lighting the stove, going in and out to the barn chopping wood and getting my breakfast together.

DSCF0915Much 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. 

DSCF0892I’m so delighted with this lovely gift from friends…

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Thank you my friends Nick and Danielle for this funky new birdbox, created by Nick from driftwood!

DSCF0889Steps 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!

DSCF0894I’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!

DSCF0890Lavender is the colour of the day…with blue here and there.

DSCF0900One 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.  

DSCF0898I love colour!

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DSCF0895It seems a natural decorating choice for cottage living…one lovely eclectic mix of whatever it is one scavenges!

DSCF0905Blossom is out on the Ornamental Plum…

DSCF0911The 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.

DSCF0904This 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.

DSCF0916And 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.

DSCF0917Tree-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!

Old church pew at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

“Husband the earth.

Protect
her from greed and violence.

Build
humbly, plant trees, grow flowers and clothe her
with dignity.

Respect all her creatures.

November 2012 005

Honour her
natural laws and the universe which cradles her.
Above all, heartily worship the Source of All that is.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

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.

Missy Cat asleep at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

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.

Porch and sitting room at Bealtaine Cottage

Put on the whole armour of light!

Unearth the beauty in
everything.

Inhale the Spirit of Goodness.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Kindle kindness,
especially toward yourself, embracing the sweet
silence of your own soul.

Fear nothing.

Accept
what you are and — while you have
breath — give thanks.”
~John Rogers

Visiting Bealtaine Cottage…

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June 2011 Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture 002Visitors to Bealtaine Cottage have been welcomed in their thousands over the past ten years.

Bealtaine Cottage May 2012 023Many have become good friends.

Bealtaine Cottage May I have enjoyed sharing Bealtaine Cottage with foot visitors from all over the world, as well as over half a million through the website.

Bealtaine Cottage May 2012 021 Increasing amounts of my time have been spent happily showing visitors around the three acres of gardens.

May 2011 Bealtaine Cottage 011However, as the website has grown in popularity, I get more and more requests from people who want to visit the cottage and gardens.

May 2011 Bealtaine 010A decision simply had to be made, to draw a line under visits, instead, opening the gardens as many times as I can manage, during the year, for Open Days!

May 2011 Bealtaine 006The first of these Open days is planned for the 5th of April.

May 2011 PermaGoddess 002 I am happy to open my home and gardens on these days to all visitors.

June 2011 permaculture cottage 007There will be an admission charge for charity and more details can be found on this link. 

https://bealtainecottage.com/open-day-at-bealtaine-cottage-permaculture-gardens/

May 2011 permaculture 040Any questions regarding visiting the gardens can be posted in the comments section of the blog.

May 2011 Bealtaine Cottage 039 I can no longer respond to emails, as subscribers to the blog increase.

may at Bealtaine cottage permaculture wine makingI trust you understand the increasing demand on time I face and the need for me to simply get on with work, serving Mother Earth as best I can!

May in the Fairy Wood at  Bealtaine Cottage Blessings as always for your love and support for this little place in the West of Ireland.

June 2011 Bealtaine Permaculture 014I am truly blessed!

xxx Colette

Bealtaine Cottage has built up a Permaculture Seed Bank.

If you want to see a list of available seeds, this link will take you there… https://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-from-bealtaine-cottage/

Seeds from Bealtaine Cottage in Ireland are posted all over the world!

************************

 
              Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 110 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.
                                                    There are almost 700 blogs in the archives on this site.

I write, photograph and film, in a small way, to give a voice to Mother Earth.

Counting Down the Days

1

www.bealtainecottage.com 010Often 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!

DSCF0670The stillness of the evening pervades the cottage…no television or other distraction to detract from the clock on the wall ticking the time away.

www.bealtainecottage.com 002There’s a fine stretch in the day, with the light finally fading around a quarter to seven.

DSCF0671The untidy kitchen bears testament to a little shopping, yet to be sorted and packed away.

www.bealtainecottage.com 007Friends 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.

DSCF0674A 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!

DSCF0675Dried chillies wait patiently for their resting place in the pantry, in a jar, yet to be found!

DSCF0673A book, donated by a friend, promises bedtime reading, maybe even into the wee hours of the morning…I’m enchanted by the cover!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture March primrosesCounting down the days until the Spring Equinox…

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture March 2011 020Happy Saint David’s Day to all of Welsh connection XXX

Living the Good Life

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Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture landscape

Some friends of mine called the other day.

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!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture landscapeWhilst 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.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture gardenBack 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.”

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture kitchenI 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!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture kitchenI 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.

Simplicity.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture gardenFor 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.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture designDid 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!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Cat...MissyLiving 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…

                                                                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-v7Vy9lHv6I

Permaculture Cottage ~ Passionate Gardeners and Outdoor Living

0

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!