Monday, May 23, 2016

Fracking and Deep Water Drilling subtly different but both quite a long way from protecting our heritage and environment.

I don't know if everyone remembers Shell are drilling away in Mayo? Two weeks ago, Vermillion (whoever they are) announced 17 million profits from the first three months of drilling and simultaneously the peaceful demonstrators' spokesperson, Maura Harrington, was put in prison for a 300 euro fine. She is out now but don't forget that Shell will never pay tax and Ireland is not in line for any of the gas or financial winnings of that site but directly in line with all the environmental consequences. They speculate 7 billion dollars (they don't even bother to calculate it in euro!) will be made in its 20 year gas field life…oh yes and Carrowmore Lake, the local water source, is long contaminated by their fracking fluid. This is all happening again now in Antrim, with full police presence guarding their interests as well. Meanwhile down near Valentia, they are saying that the visiting-the-Skelligs season can definitely not be extended by a week or two, to accommodate more visitors because of Star Wars. So you can lay waste to our fresh water, our justice system, our environment and human rights but definitely don't let those holiday makers off for an hour with their cameras, they could do serious damage…could they? Probably not much in comparison.

How about a letter of concern to the governing bodies on Antrim's behalf. Their fracking only started on the 16th May…I would say write to the planning office but hey, the fracking in Antrim didn't go through a public participation or planning process!

I sent a letter today to and

So the only question that remains is have you all lost your minds or have you reason to believe that you have some other planet to go to when you’ve destroyed this one?
Fracking wells within 500 metres of a major water supply?

No planning application process or public participation?

Police guarding the private financial interests from the presence of concerned citizens?

Will the company pay for the millions of tonnes of fresh water it uses?

Where will the toxic wastewater be stored?

Why are these under ground tanks less likely to slip and start an earthquake than in other countries?
The very same happened down in Mayo with Shell and that lake, their main water supply is contaminated.
Always remember we all have the one life, use it up wisely. Don’t let this go ahead unchecked on your watch.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Look Thy Last On All Things Lovely Every Hour

The Vegan B&B is going well this year. One family a week ish and that is perfect for me. As I always think…it is like being paid to tidy your room! This is something I thought, as a child would be a good motivating force. Now later on, it spurs me on to mow the grass, clean floors, bathrooms and deal with potentially dreary things like washing up with enthusiasm and always a good soundtrack. I had brilliant German girls this time. One described how she had her dream job, she was the editor of a spoken book recording company, how amazing is that? I think of being in such a job 50 years ago (obviously I would have to have been born and able to have the conversation) but meeting with Richard Burton and asking him to do the voice over or narration for War of The Worlds. My favorite possibly all time voice. Richard Burton introduces the idea that the chances of anything coming from Mars were a million to one! She said she had conversations like that all the time with actors she loves and can now call in to read the parts! She was also an energy healer. Her friend was a vegan. We were all the same it turned out as it always does. We are one! They went on to Valentia but loved it here, especially this view down the valley and Rebecca and Legend, the pigs.

Everyone is loving and admiring the living willow fence, which is great as this is its best time of year. There is tiny translucent green new growth. That is a Leycestaria Formosa (Pheasant Berry) to the left and beloved Cupid to the right. Cupid by Sam Cooke

Last night, while guests streamed the Eurovision Song Contest and laughed their hearts out upstairs, I repainted the Harmony Hall sign in oils and in a deeper red and watched a Brad Pitt film called Moneyball.  It reminded me that to get a different result, you have to do something different and so I woke up this morning galvanized into action to make some changes! Firstly, I mastered the chord less drill and put the sign back up. I reckon that's a strong unique selling point and all further success may well spring from this! 

This is the velvet lawn stretching for a good bit up to the gates. It reminds me of Kilkenny Castle where I always feel like singing that Chris De Burgh song the traveler, lyrics going: 'saddle me the black, I'll meet you down the road'. Chris de Burgh's Traveler  I always fancied living in the castle and being able to ask some competent lovely animal-oriented guy if he'd get my trusty steed ready and we'd canter off into the sunset like that. The castle grounds go on for several acres, my lawn goes on for about 50 metres but still, as I haven't been riding for ages, that might be as long as I can stay on for!

I am still so pleased with the house cleaning that Revive did. The men were so easy going and sound. The house had been streaked, as so many coloured plaster ones are (K-rend is great but it does start to go downhill). In about 48 hours they had it like this and did not shy away from doing the concrete paths around, the horse box and a few other shed walls to make it a true over haul. 

I love this flower, I do not know what it is but while it is giving 100% I wanted to take a photo!

These are two of the plants given to us for the Meditation garden. I wanted the picture here showing they liked their spot because Rebecca is determined to trample everything and who knows how much longer they will stand, the plants that is - Rebecca herself is a little tubby but she looks like she will stand on those stubby legs for many years to come. I notice the new flowerbed looks stony but I have taken out every tiny pebble I swear. It must be a trick of the camera! 

Call him a pansy but dammit, the flower is always there and coming back and hanging in there and I love the colours

Replenished sign, originally painted and designed by Sophia Westwick, who is celebrating the arrival of a little baby this week. I bet he's a beauty too.

A variegated something settling in nicely to the Meditation garden. 

Cave just down from the Meditation Garden. Official opening 12th June Sunday, afternoon, everyone welcome. Slightly hoping that my great Shaman friend might come and get all things ancient acknowledged and involved, down there.

The tulips come as such a surprise even though I planted fifty million of them months ago! Some Surprise, on The Cake Sale album

Is it possible that there is a pony anywhere with a more beautiful eye? It is no coincidence as I painted him maybe 2 years before he turned up on our road! I think the likeness between Magic and the pony on the right below is uncanny. Literally the same eye liner.

I hope totally that enough synchronicity like this happens to make living well work out. I say this as I keep applying for jobs and grants and I fear that the B&B, retreats and tutoring may not see me through. I pray that I will not have to compromise and go and work for Merck in Carlow! Merck in Ireland (80 million were on their prescription painkiller Vioxx which caused heart attacks and death. So don't forget they care about no one and nothing and work with the FDA to hide the risks of certain death from their products!! But apart from that they are a great addition to the local job scene! Merck not just bad but terrible practice!  

Anyway, I put all these photos up to let people know what a nourishing place to be, Harmony Hall is these days, even if your job is challenging. Come on down and get away from it all! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Meditation at Harmony Hall this weather

I suppose the big question is, could the meditation garden be any more beautiful or enjoyable? 

I found these before and after pictures of the bank

Below is a shot of the cleared corner where a small car and much baling twine had been - still is in parts, but the gear stick has been liberated and the steering wheel may have to remain as a feature! At least one can look straight into that magic cave and the stream meanders as it looked like it wanted to

I particularly wanted to get a picture up of my first attempt at a wicker panel … just in case I must dismantle it and start afresh tomorrow, as it might be deemed a bit of a bodge, even with the decorative ivy trim! The thing is even though I read up on it and gave it some thought and a full week's soaking, only one willow whip actually bent around the frame without breaking. So I just pinned the ends and called it a success. My buddhist thoughts book mentioned how ivy strangles the trees so I got all that out too…but used a strand of its ever green foliage to create a decorative trim!

So all that stone, stone work, hardcore, clearing and mortaring didn't just appear out of nowhere. Magic helped by holding a meditative space: 

Mark played a harmonious soundtrack:

And the hardcore stonework and vision:

I have been central in moving stones around to a better vantage point; all the ones with the best faces near at hand. Currently its about taking stones and roots out of the beds and planting anything that might flower or is flowering right there!

And keeping things going/growing in other parts of the garden…in the new raised beds. Some might spot these as the repurposed geodome!

And keeping things going/growing in the house too. Yes, that's a money plant and tulips and daffodils from the garden and a menagerie of animal spirit guides. That is my idea of a balanced life style, welcoming in good luck, happiness and growth via any dimensional avenues that they might arrive - sacred geometry, the infinite organizing power of nature, the good will and all that energy of the animals towards Harmony Hall as a vegan best effort at harmless living sort of a household. Also the wisdom of the Desiderata where it says enjoy your achievements as well as your goals. Picking flowers from your own garden and enjoying them a second time round indoors, are achievements in my book. Present moment flowerings of consciousness to be enjoyed regardless of their fleeting nature…or not guaranteed success (as in the thriving money plant having not yet translated directly into an easy income stream for yours truly!)

Having said that, 2016 is a time to fortify and anchor your soul and then express that joy - Not let the bastards get you down basically!

To this end, on went the ELO vinyl, out came the wine and then off we all went to the Rhythm and Roots festival in Kilkenny. 

I kept coming home but kept going out again. It feels like a new freedom and energy to go out on the town. 

These were Richmond Fontaine: absolutely brilliant gig.

Usually I would be busy making myself useful here, putting pen to paper for some pressing cause. Now I've momentarily remembered that its the conscious, compassionate and peaceful participation that will win the day not just the struggle to stand one's ground and get empowered enough to defend others as well. I'm staying with the good feelings today and I will report back if I get any better results than my countless letters to editors, politicians, planning departments and anyone else on a mad exploitation mission, who I often can't resist writing to. I like to at least have said 'We've noticed what you're up to and you do not have agreement to go ahead!'