Another Trip Around The Sun!

My birthday has passed. It was a wonderful day and here I am in a new year of my life, another journey around the sun! It’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. To 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! When one is in the thick of it all it’s sometimes very hard to see the people behind the…

Energizing Change

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…

As Long As The Earth…

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…

Visiting Bealtaine Cottage…

Visitors to Bealtaine Cottage have been welcomed in their thousands over the past ten years. Many have become good friends. I have enjoyed sharing Bealtaine Cottage with foot visitors from all over the world, as well as over half a million through the website. Increasing amounts of my time have been spent happily showing visitors around the three acres of gardens. However, as the website has grown in popularity, I get more and more requests from people who want to visit the cottage and gardens. A decision simply had to be made, to draw a line under visits, instead, opening…

Counting Down the Days

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…

Living the Good Life

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! 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…

Permaculture Cottage ~ Passionate Gardeners and Outdoor Living

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…