Posted in celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Fairies, Folklore, Inspiration, Ireland, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Uncategorized

Half Light and Shadows

www.bealtainecottage.com 039The apricot glow of a fading October sky, merged with the heavy rustling of cows on the field across the lane, drawing me outdoors.

This is a magical time of enchantment, with Nature and late evening light.

www.bealtainecottage.com 027Any noise on such a still evening exudes an eerie quality of something not understood…always best to go out and uncover the mystery.

As it was, the cows and their calves had nuzzled in close to the hedgerow, to bed down for the night.

The heaviness of their bodies crushing branches, as they leaned into the conspiratorial thorn hedgerow.

www.bealtainecottage.com 056The stillness of the evening makes one want to tip-toe on the lane.

Peering back in through the window of the cottage, lit only by a candle, illuminating the kitchen, it is easy to believe in the fairy folk…

It was remarked by many in 1950s rural Ireland, that the newly installed electric light drove the fairies away…

www.bealtainecottage.com 048The light is on its descent towards Samhain and deeper still to midwinter.

This passing of the light should be a signal for us all to slow down and embrace the stillness of the year, allowing ourselves time to reflect on our sacred journey.

www.bealtainecottage.com 031The Fennel looks to all intents and purposes the magical plant it is said to be, in this half-light.

It is so majestic, scented, beautiful and useful, that I have a mind to plant it all over the gardens!

www.bealtainecottage.com 058…the warmth of the kitchen beckons me towards the light, as the apricot shadows fall back into night.

Posted in Autumn, Cottage, Country Living, Eco-Living, Food, Growing Food, Herbs, Inspiration, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency

Self-Sufficiency at the Cottage

Fennel grows very well in my garden here in Ireland.

In fact all the plants from the herb family grow well here.

I’ve been harvesting seeds from the Fennel plants this morning.

The seeds taste lovely, sweet and liquorice like.

They make great chewy sweets that help to assuage the appetite, so can help in weight loss too!

I suppose the taste could be likened tio a distinctive anise-like flavour and scent.

Medicinally this seed acts as an aid to digestion, stomach pains and flatulence…it’s traditionally good for babies with colic if a tea is made from it.


No using washing powders.

No using fabric conditioners.

No using bleach or ANY chemicals here at Bealtaine Cottage.

My washing machine broke down about two years ago and I have hand-washed clothes ever since.

It really is extraordinarily simple and easy to make a routine that encompasses washing a few items of clothes each day.

If I want white fabrics to whiten up, I leave them to bleach in the sun…and a shower of rain on them is even better!

Of course the very best and quickest way to bleach fabrics naturally is to leave them out on a frosty day…brilliant whites!

Think about it…the Victorians wore a lot of white cotton and calico, with only bars of soap to clean their clothes!

We need to stop sending all those chemicals down our drains to the oceans…there is NO AWAY!

I am storing the pumpkins wherever I can find a space in the pantry, ensuring they are kept separate on shelves, cool and dry.

There are so many  recipes that use pumpkin and am collecting them up for use this winter.

Pumpkin Curry is already a tried and tested dinner and is yummy!

Tomorrow is the beginning of October.

Fortunately there are many bright and sunny days to be had in the months that make up the Autumn.

The evenings are drawing in, fires are lit and warm jumpers unpacked from summer storage, but the days are pleasant and filled with a beauty only to be found at this time of year.

Enjoy the week ahead and take time to appreciate The Fall.

Posted in Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Cats, Inspiration, Permaculture, Samhain, Uncategorized

Cat Hotels and Halloween Weather…Notes from a Permaculture Cottage!

Cats will always find a home. The cleverest cats manage to find hotels. Cat hotels. The best food, drink and accomodation, free of charge with limitless facilities!

And so it is that Missy the ginger cat has come to stay at Bealtaine Cottage…

Missy is the daughter of a feral cat. Her mother was killed on the road, leaving Missy and her siblings orphaned and living in the hedgerow. A kindly man rescued them and Missy came to live at Bealtaine. years later she went further afield, to London and became a city cat…but has now returned to Bealtaine Cottage.

I think all cats are wild. They only act tame if there’s a saucer of milk in it for them. ~ Douglas Adams

Sitting on the window-sill this morning waiting to be let in…for a jolly hearty breakfast!

Lat take a cat, and fostre hym wel with milk
And tendre flessh, and make his couche of silk,
And lat hym seen a mous go by the wal,
Anon he weyveth milk and flessh and al,
And every deyntee that is in that hous,
Swich appetit hath he to ete a mous.

~ Geoffrey Chaucer The Manciple’s Tale

Today, someone told me to expect snow at Halloween…Samhain as the Celtic calendar states…but, I ask you, snow? What on earth could it be doing snowing at Halloween in Ireland?

Cats are smarter than dogs. You can’t get eight cats to pull a sled through snow. ~ Jeff Valdez

Posted in Abundance, Autumn, Baking, Bealtaine Cottage, Climate, Ecology, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage Daily ~ Water in the Well…

Continuing to collect windfall apples today. Making a lot of apple crumble. I use my own recipe that uses half and half wholemeal flour and oats, so it’s really heart healthy too.

 Tomatoes and Calendula…knocked over by the wind, but continuing to grow and ripen…late, but sweet!

And there remains a long list of tasks to complete before the onset of Winter…which will come early this year…October/November.

Today, at Bealtaine Cottage. Still, sometimes sunny, mostly cloudy, but always  very beautiful.

Plenty of water in the well…

Edith Piaf sings…The Autumn Leaves…

http://youtu.be/n2s2tPORlW4

…with some beautiful images…enjoy!