Monday, February 26, 2018

Where reality and Wellbeing Meet - If you're lucky!

I have published a set of angel cards. Each one is a unique painting of mine with ideas for people who already are conscious of a lot of healing principles and can make use of them in reflection.

As I look through them, I realize that the cards might need an accompanying booklet like angel cards do with a little more information!

This is what I came up with for The Blue People, who some might recognize as being on the cover of my book as well.

This card talks about 6D, as opposed to 3D

What is there in the 6th Dimension that is not found in 3D and how can it impact on our daily lives? The sixth dimension is made of pure light. This is not like the light at the end of the tunnel; something to look forward to. It can be visualized as an underlying grid of powerful energy. Some people may have already heard of a hologram; an optimum version of you and everything else that we can see that underpins the solid and imperfect creations of our tangible world. It stands to reason that if you reflect on this aspect of yourself, you will come to identify with it more than your current self-image, circumstances and any external judgments you meet.

The way you can access this dimension is through meditation or just asking, while involved in other tasks like washing up or playing a piece of music. Alternatively, I love to do it while swimming. I make each length an acknowledgment of another dimension.

As the insights start coming thick and fast and uninterrupted, you will realize this dimension holds your true nature and that your original nature is still intact and unchanged thankfully, by all that has happened to you. Your body, mind and feelings can all be healed via regular return to reflection on this dimension. Do not worry that you may lose touch with reality if you explore new perspectives. It is not a choice between living in one way or another. The dimensions are just layers to experience, all happening simultaneously.

Having lived with awareness of a multi dimensional  reality for years, I have discovered that life is only 20% physical and the other 80% invisible to the naked eye, not available to touch empirically and impossible to access by basic, polarized thought (inc. true/false, right/wrong, black/ white!) Opening your mind and waking up to who you really may be and are supposed to become, will be the most enjoyable adventure you’ll ever go on and best of all? You can do it on the quiet. No one will know where you’ve gone or even that you ventured off. You will, though, return to the present moment and company, sun-kissed and radiant with that light. I say give it a go and don't knock it 'til you've tried it!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Looking For a Way Out ?

There must be hundreds of people out there who, like me, have been thinking ‘What happened to me? I used to have a wicked sense of humour, be relaxed, loving even.’

 I used to see the good in people and I learnt, for certain, that understanding and empathy brought out the good in others, healed even. There was a time I would confidently ask, what is this physical pain a person is going through and I would get an answer, trust it and clear it. I understood the nature of reality as all connected and infinitely resolvable.

But, crashing in, with all that awareness came 'calls to action' and distraction in the form of money worries, bad treatment at council level, disastrous decisions at government level, ignorance and exploitation at industry level. Along with that came the need to DO SOMETHING in 3D to help those that are suffering.

This, I think, is the way that we have become pools of consciousness, muddied by clarified upsets. We have fallen for the idea, afresh, that something tangible has to happen, changes on the outside.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I haven’t had much success trying to persuade people to be kinder, less racist, speciesist, sexist, reactive or more harmless, gentle or humble. It might be that people don’t want to see traces of these things in themselves; seeing them as prejudices and weaknesses, respectively. Alternatively, it might be that I’m better at writing about the WHY and the HOW than the WHAT.

So, Why Be Kind?
1)  Because it is a key part of our original human nature. Remember it, it has been too long forgotten.
2)  Because everyone you meet is just a reflection of a part of you - that might have to be dealt with firmly but still with compassion, if you want to keep yourself an integrated whole.
3)   Because being kind and thoughtful of others dispels anxiety about your own life.
That is how I first discovered this way forward, through empathy and mindfulness. Lying awake in bed, stressing about the range of story lines running in my life at the time. I was, as they say, ‘beside myself with worry’ and therefore not present in any useful way to help myself.

Something told me to get stuck into a larger picture. I thought of each member of my family and what life might be like for them. I wished them well or for a miracle, whichever I felt they needed. Then I thought of homeless people, then animals in farms and labs, then people who were sick and scared, etc. After a while, I drifted off, more aware of my safety and wellbeing and therefore with a new perspective.

I realized that I was doing more than ‘thinking’ of others. There was a quality of applying myself, wishing the best with all my heart, fully acknowledging their difficulties and recognizing the equal value of their life to mine. It is not that we are all equally porns in some political game, we are all equally gifted. Just think, if each, only apparently  individual, person stopped their massive energy quota from spiraling around, in an ever-decreasing circle and so also stopped the inevitable implosion of thoughts that reinforce a sense of powerlessness and INSTEAD, sent their energy out on a daily basis, looking for miracles for people, animals and environments in trouble? What a power that wave of magic, resolution, good will and collective knowledge would carry.


How To Encourage Kind Thoughts and Intentions?

Most people like to think that their thoughts are fine, it’s everyone else’s that are incomprehensible! On closer inspection, some might be able to concede that some negativity has got in, in the shape of fear and judgment, if not fully engaging in name calling and wishing people dead, specifically!! 

I was caught in an oscillation between personally painful stories and anger at the pain inflicted on others. I suspect a lot of people would agree that only a few minutes every day are consciously spent in peaceful well wishing. Now to get our other 23 and a half hours up to standard.

I know that gratefulness is often talked about but I currently think that if you practice it (by which I mean, list things you could be grateful for every day, even if you don’t feel particularly grateful at the time) it can become the filter through which you actually SEE life. That is because you have to LOOK for things to be glad of. This is the very opposite of, say, a health and safety inspector, who has trained themselves to look for all the potential hazards and accidents waiting to happen. With gratitude, you train yourself to look for and eventually quickly see, the blessings in a situation and the real gifts of your surroundings.

The process has a progression to it which is: Gratitude, increased appreciation, change of focus from lack and resistance to  occasional, then predominant, gladness, felt in your body. The cascade of gladness becomes more easily triggered and drenches every cell in the body. Thoughts become less entrenched and imagination flows beyond what is to what could be. A vision is formed.

Today’s Example
Top 10 things I’m grateful for:
1)  A loaf of homemade bread not successful enough to sell at the café so unexpectedly available for my own breakfast.
2)  An avocado has simultaneously ripened to perfection  and I find oil, apple cider vinegar and mustard for my favourite vinaigrette and some leaves of home grown lettuce.
3)  I have a community of friends and one top favourite came at once to help me get a rug on Magic for the cold snap to come.
4)  There was time for tea, to taste-test the raw banoffi pie, to light the stove, to put the world to rights, to help get the 40kg of coal out of the car at last and for her to remind  and encourage me to write and share ideas. She thinks more and more people are starting to see things like I do.
5)  I find the stove is still on this morning and it kicks off again with a few sticks.
6)  The dogs don’t chase the cyclists.
7)  It is warm enough to sit for an hour on the doorstep with my dressing gown hood as a sun visor.

8)  I am warm, healthy and getting back on form, spiritually ahd physically. I can do the splits. I have always seen them as the physical representation of mental freedom and flexibility: ie The belief that I may be wrong and I may be right, about things as I go along, but either way, I’m going to trust myself to participate in the dance of life and to trust others as well.
9)  I’m so glad of the Plaza at Paulstown with their soya cappuccinos and free wifi. It’s far enough away from Harmony Hall not to trash the frequencies I’m chanelling here but seriously handy, being in the nearest village!
10)               Best of all, I feel I’m back and that my frame of mind and heart are positive and sustainable. I’m off to thank nature in person and any other dimensions of life I come into contact with. Which might be quite a few!

All the best, Fx

Friday, February 23, 2018

New Blood

As an artist, I have taken the unorthodox step of reworking some paintings and adding more enjoyable men! All characters are purely fictitious. Any resemblance to people living or dead is purely coincidental apart from perhaps Edward from Twilight, who is admittedly living, dead and fictitious all at the same time. You can say that perhaps he's not suitable; too young and not very veggie...but if you watch the films more closely, you will notice that being 17, 117, a vampire and even dead just don't get in the way for him. He's still a principled sort of a guy with a certain gravitas - which I think I've catptured visually with the beard.   

Unexpected Meeting

Camel Preservation

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Free To A Good Home!

Did I say I love gardening? I don't think that's strictly true. That I lose track of time? No, this much scutch grass out of this bed took me exactly 3 hours.

Some jobs in the garden are quick and straightforward,, can't think of any off the top of my head.

Some have unexpected rewards like the finding of 3 previously undiscovered potatoes.

Some facilitate another mission, like preparing a space for rose I had bought myself for Valentine's Day...because I'm worth it (as L'Oreal says).

But only worth €2.50! as I found this beautiful red rose in the Chinese pound shop on High Street. I felt a bit sorry for them in there with the other tat. When I opened the box I found that the stems were waxed and elastic banded together and there was mould nearly to the top. The only sign of life was a little sprout.

After my labours, I came out to find that Becky had broken off, systematically, all the new branches of fuschia and I thought:

Do I really love animals? Well, not really. I'm going to try and rehome the lot I think, see if anyone else has time for a bit more training. Does that mean that I think, after all, that they deserve to die young so someone can eat them? No.

I feel so happy at the thought of the house smelling good and clean and tidy, the rolling lawn and wonderful edible garden coming to fruition. So this is a shout out to anyone who would like to adopt any of my animals
2 pigs
3 cats
2 dogs
1 pony
If you can offer any of them a home, THANK YOU! I would love to hear from you. I will happily sponsor them with some food and help to get them settled!

Is it part of the New World Order plan that if you want to eat un-poisoned with pesticide food you have to suffer and wile away days of hard labour on the off chance you manage to produce one or two items yourself?! Why not just make it policy, no more chemicals on any of the food/ingredients in our shops, please. And while we're at it, make it policy, no more killing animals for food and using their remains or fluids as byproducts. It's just barbaric and unhealthy and I can't be bothered to try and avoid the toxicity and cruelty that seems to be the main fare on offer, currently.

I'm thinking that the powers that be want to keep those of us who have awakened really busy, weeding and running around after rescue animals...but I've spotted it now and want a change on a larger level, where the food industry facilitates health, fairness and wellbeing for people places and animals!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

My Body Is My don't hear this much any more!


I am pleased today to be promoting a new diet for everyone who has a few pounds to lose or health that is under par.

No.1 Eat Less

 Sounds obvious but if you had to compete for food in the family, you might still be eating more than you want out of sheer bloody mindedness!

No.2 Eat more raw 

51% or more of one's daily food should be raw as it keeps the nutrients.

No.3 Drink more water 

But always filtered, not from the tap.

No.4 Savour Your Food

This involves a) tasting it then loving it or leaving it, depending! If it's good for you but doesn't taste immediately appetizing, hold your nose. Or b) summon up gratitude for each ingredient. 

Think how hard it must be to harvest nuts, let alone shell them. With argon oil, the nuts are shelled by hand by women, in Morocco. But even more famiiar things, every onion, grain and carrot has taken the efforts of people and the good will of nature. Focusing on them for a moment, really makes you appreciate your food more. 
I don’t think there is any big brand that is going to benefit from this strategy as you’re going to have to make most of the raw food yourself BUT that way you’ll find out for yourself that only a small bit is enough as they’re delicious but super rich, which kind of covers effort 1) which was to not eat so much.

Sweet but packed with everything a body needs! 
Pretty much straight way you’ll think dammit, does that mean I should cut out dairy, eggs, sugar and gluten? And then you’ll realize,… wow! ….I’ve already done it; none of those things are found in those raw recipes I'm making anyway!

And if you're a sucker for bread and rely on it for pack lunches and every other time you leave the house, make the really easy yeast-free one. Its easy, rises, is vegan obviously, has extra key things like rye and molasses in to support your kidneys, is delicious and freezes well if you make 3 loaves at a time, which is the only way!

I know some people may be pessimistic about the cost of good (read organic, not-sprayed) food and ingredients but another part of the diet is to detox from those negative thoughts. 

47 pendulums of a bead variety I must have made on Valentia one time, for Arts Week, but I love my ceramic ones too and often resort to swinging a nearby phone charger if I can't put my hand on anything else to use. Just swing it clockwise and say to yourself, something like 'thank you for the money and motivation to make all these positive changes in my life'. Let it swing until it rests naturally.

Also remember, less is good. So get 400g of organic nuts rather than 800g of sprayed and just use them more sparingly.

N.B. If there is nothing mentioned on the label that means the produce is covered in pesticide and produced at the expense of some poor country and people in the supply chain.

Instead I, for one, am focusing on my emotional and physical health. This is where I find myself  saying ambient things, before eating, like ‘My body is my temple’ and ‘Thank you for all the remarkable people and their activities who manage to grow this stuff.’

Let this diet also get you out in the garden or planting tomato seeds in your window, opening up another avenue again to health and happiness

Misunderstandings in the Way?

I wonder if most people hear 'My body is 'A' Temple or 'YOUR' temple': Implying somewhere where someone else is being expected to worship!! No, no, no! Your body is your own temple. Even if you are not spiritual; adorn it, keep it elastic, spend time there, clean the windows and only  allow in the most dedicated friends.  Others will surely nick the trinkets or even your soul, if you don’t preserve the sanctity of the space!

In third dimensional terms, this involves looking after yourself. You only have one life in the sense that this day, this moment and this body are some of the main things you have to play with right now!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Should we be driven or relaxing right now?

Today, I have been considering how humans are the only 'driven' species. Yes, we can call it a ‘self determining’ species but I’m not so sure we are determining and deciding how we spend our days and consequently our lives. It is like we are driven by some invisible force shouting in our ears; do more, clean up, apply for that, take more exercise, cook something, do the shopping, ring everyone who might need to hear from you, apologize for that, work out how much money you’ve spent, be creative…And all the while, the cats sleep in two or three different positions around the house and garden. The pigs visit the pony then sleep in the shelter of the hedge, then forage a little by the stream. The dogs chew their sticks on the off chance I want to get involved in the game. The pony sunbathes standing up and eyes closed, pretending he doesn’t notice what everyone else is doing. 

Me? I cut 500 willow fronds from my epic hedge. I dig over two beds and plant flower and veg bulbs, on the off chance that it is not too late to put them in. I cut out endless strong brambles and rotting montbreti leaves to make way for the emerging geraniums. I clean the house, light the fire, carry in the animal feed and coal. 

I make dinner, try a raw banoffi pie, analyze why a gluten free banana cake was amazing the first day and not so nice at all the second, send messages to lots of friends and family, meditate, levitate, land and set off again, to re-wire the DVD player…total success! And think about who to invite to the Exhibition Opening on the 9th March, in the Café Kitchen in Bray. I have a glass of Guinness (thank goodness that is vegan now) and even watch the first Twilight to celebrate the newly working old technology. 

Is it possible that we as humans have lost the run of ourselves? Gone too far? Perhaps we should be practicing stillness more? Patience? Wait for things to unfold and not keep going so much. It just doesn’t feel in keeping with nature and when I look around, no one else at Harmony Hall is doing it. They’re just chilling out and living. Interacting and playful. Yes, sometimes they bicker but only for a few moments. They don’t go around with their heads wrecked by the contratemp! And there are as many cuddles and laughs and shared investigations as there is argy bargy. I take some credit for this at least because recently I cleared the power struggle that had dominated this place since time immemorial. Now, I reckon, I’ve got to learn to play well with others myself and practice less striving more arriving…or whatever that nice phrase was! 

Yes, that is Don Juan stuck in a blanket and Softie playing mercilessly with his tail!

For the moment, I carry stuff around mentally for days sometimes - currently the conundrum of getting organic pig food. I had to go in several times to order it. I had to be thankful that they could still get it as they have stopped the organic horse nuts. Then I have to put up with it being called pig finisher - just so some brute can make the pigs into sausages. Then I have to question whether they're as much of a brute as the non-organic pig farmers as at least there are standards of welfare and of course food that are better on organic farms. Maybe I'm being unfair to someone. Pretty sure that everyone eating meat still is alot more unfair though.

I think the key is to be sure we are governed by our souls rather than driven by ego need. We will know the former as it will be accompanied by an inner peacefulness.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Paintings selection possibly suitable for hospital

This is the angels of abundance arriving - also framed in the gold and glass

Blue Family, also framed in the gold!

Framed in white with glass

Framed in white with glass

Framed in white with glass

Framed in white with glass

Framed in white with glass

Framed in white with glass

Framed in white with glass

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Are Vegans Unfairly Accusing Farmers of Teaching Their Children To Abuse Animals?

I was asked my view on whether that was unfair treatment of the farmer and wrote this response.
Let’s see if there’s any truth in it first! I’m slightly of the belief that 99% of parents are handing down a complete indifference to animals and the planet, all in the name of convenience, fear of change and embarrassment that their child might turn out to be empathetic or allergic to something and have no friends at school and not be invited anywhere for tea!

So, at the moment, I’m planning to acknowledge the feelings of the 56 billion animals slaughtered each year plus the animals and birds enduring the endless cruelty inherent in dairy and egg production. I don’t think I have the emotional energy left over to worry about the feelings of a farmer or any lazy parents or other influencers, really.

I generally feel that the next generation are going to have to get over their addiction to animal ingredients anyway and get way more observant about chemicals too, to stop polluting the place, so teaching regard for and fresh observation of other lives is a good place to start. Also, teaching children to look at their choices and make changes if they’re not that kind or they’re going to have a negative impact on something or someone. That, as well, can only be taught by example!

As a vegan campaigner myself,  I have often been called names – I was called a wanker actually yesterday at the Hare Coursing Finals! That was just for standing there on the side of the road, saying nothing, with a poster of a hare sitting in a field! Luckily, I love that word, always have done. It brings me straight back to being fifteen and everyone called everyone a bit of a wanger!

I agree it’s probably not a great plan to blame one person at a time or accuse people of perpetuating abuse but I don’t see any harm in saying it. Animals are vulnerable and always exploited – and I’m on the ‘If you see it, say it’ buzz at the moment. If you are producing dairy, you are also producing calves that never get their mother’s milk at very least and more often than not become veal or beef themselves and often get pneumonia for the first few months of their short few months’ of life as any youngster would without the colostrum and being sent off from it’s natural setting (it’s mother, the dairy cow). And don’t get me started on the artificial insemination. Let’s just say, I don’t think any of us would like it. I know that farmers are also a bit vulnerable (to the meat producers, dairy giants and vets, with their price setting and endless shots, respectively) and so are also a bit abused.

But is anyone really okay about using animals and the massive emissions from agriculture or have we all just been taught not to think about it? As George Bernard Shaw said, it is not hatred that is worst, it is indifference.

I bet you 50c though that that farmer in question was questioning himself a bit that’s why he found himself in the conversation with vegans in the first place and getting offended. That or the activists actually observed abuse happening. I bet another 50c that he really is totally passing on to his children every detail of what he thinks is okay and what is not okay. Everyone else does it too but still, why not say it?!

I’m just delighted that someone bothered to write the article. Doesn’t anybody realize how silly it is to be annoyed with ‘vegans’? Be annoyed with the ruthless people, the ones making money at some one else’s expense, the ones trashing the environment, the ones scaling up their animal agriculture operations and providing none of the 5 freedoms an animal should get as basic. When a ‘vegan’ says something just take it as probably a wake up call that there is another conversation or investigation we need to have and another change we might need to make. After all, all a ‘vegan’ is just someone who has bothered to look in to various practices and has decided to no longer support them, buy them, eat them for a variety of valid reasons – all of which they will elaborate on, if anyone asks (like our interview where we got to outline the 30 or so reasons hare coursing should be banned!) Vegans are also good role models for children as we show that if you don’t think something is right, you don’t have to do it.  Most in society are madly addicted as far as I can see. People are slaves to technology and meat and convenient processes and substances and money. If someone who manages to abstain from something (like a vegan for example!!) says something, the likelihood is that they have considered it in some detail.

The thing about addiction is that it favours impulse over deliberation. I’m all for deliberation!! Otherwise, isn’t it just a race to the bottom, with everyone teaching animal abuse and ecocide as perfectly fine to overlook.


New Exhibition Opening Tomorrow at The Kitchen Cafe in Bray

Flying ahead with a new catering challenge and new exhibition, both at the Kitchen Café in Bray!

My great friend Omar Sherlock has invited me to come on up and tomorrow, for starters, I will bring veggie sausages and soya milk…two staples for any self respecting café offering the best breakfast in town! They probably already have them but  maybe not enough for my healthy appetite.

In the future, there may be a pop up vegan Sunday Lunch club or raw organic vegan meals on wheels or maybe a week’s supplies to distribute to those people transitioning to a plant based diet but for tomorrow…Valentine’s Day, it will be just the first expedition and the hanging of the paintings.

For a woman who has become a little cynical, it will not be obvious from the romantic collection I have put together to display at the café. I think there is room for four but I will bring a few different ones and see what goes best and where.

Home For The Summer

Looks Like Our Ships Are coming In



Seven Elephants

Autumn Walk

The Deer of County Clare

Reflections On The Dead Sea

A New Element For The Lioness

Dance it out!


Monday, February 12, 2018

If you see it, say it!

Just your average day at Harmony Hall is intense.
There’s snow on the ground and the sky looks ominous but out I must go to feed the animals and set off, I must (while I’m using some sort of Yoda grammar!) to the protest at the Hare Coursing Finals, to be there at noon.

I woke up with the ultimate realization of a self-employed person. I have to find a way to make some money from what I do. On my way to the kettle, a post-it note fell out of nowhere, apropo of nothing (as Cheryl Crowe would say). It had a little Venn diagram on it.
First circle: Things you can do
Second circle: Things that people will pay for
Third circle: Things you love doing

The little section where the three overlap is the activity you should focus on, I imagine.

While I was on a roll, I got my pendulum out and asked 1) how many and 2) what changes do I need to make, to make a livelihood; make it rich; immerse myself in abundance; cover my costs; exist, get my message of the divine spark in each one of us out there; bring my food and art and the healing of consciousness and sacred geometry to the world... You can see that sometimes I feel more ambitious, sometimes less!!

Here I combine my painting and use of sacred geometry in a depiction of Plato's water symbol

There were 11 changes to make! 5 of them were in the gold bedroom! No wonder it was blue for so long!

3 were left by a lodger with many darknesses around him (including poltergeist and an entity). One was an ambivalent wwoofer girl and one was a friend of years, who’d stayed many times, until a final bust up.

Just have a think, yourselves. Have you had any visitors that might have inadvertently left obstacles in your future path?

 If you want to learn how to clear obstacles read my book or another energy clearing guide.

So then there were 4 environmental changes to make.
1) Get a water turbine. Do not go for a grid tie system. Make sure it moves forward the exciting and necessary plan of being self-sufficient and off-grid. I have asked some experts, who produce micro hydro for 3rd world countries and other remote areas, which way to go. Should I aim to just power the pump for the stove and back boiler? Or should I aim to power the storage heaters with their ingenious heat retaining blocks inside? If they were each on a timer, the turbine would only need the wattage to kick start one at a time. I will report back what I learn.

2) Investigate whether Ireland can support herself in wood. It is the only truly renewable energy. Turf has to stop as that takes 10,000 years to form. Plus it is like the Amazon jungle – considered the lungs of the planet. The peat bogs are a real carbon holder.  It’s extraction means emissions beyond our wildest nightmares. And I must look at Bord na Mona’s idea of putting up wind turbines on the bogs. In principle, good but if they are planning to use the tall ones – rejected as old technology by other countries, in favour of large flat satellite dish-esque turbines – then I believe they have to dig down to a great depth to secure the turbines. That would do even further unrecoverable damage.

3) Change my approach to animal rights. So far it has been a scatter bomb system interspersing letters and suggested improvements to government, articles to papers, protesting, developing a referendum for animals (to ‘ask the people’ how they want animals treated in various industries), rescuing, starting a pet farm so guests can hang out with pigs in person, practicing my animal communication, asking for guidance from animal spirit guides and learning what I can from their individual powerful energies (today I studied the hare, the elephant and the lion – as they had shown up in my paintings recently). 

Finally, I offered energy healing for animals at a reduced rate to that of people. Interestingly, I found the vet environment exacerbates a trauma. It is obvious really but the last 3 times, I was in there, they were having to put someone down. What do you think the energy would be like and how you would feel in the GP surgery, if often when you went, the last patient came out on a stretcher with a sheet over their face or as Ice T sings. ‘He went out for a drive and came back in a body bag’

So this last few years I have been trying to hold my nerve. Instead of jumping in the car with the animal in distress, I just get still and quiet inside and put my arm around them. Then I ask if there is anything I can acknowledge right now. For people and animals, all pain is unacknowledged suffering. It might be emotional, mental, spiritual etc but if you never stop and take time for yourself or whoever is complaining in front of you, it will eventually manifest as an accident or injury or developing physical condition. 

Anyway, back to the change I need to make: I should treat Harmony Hall as the microcosm of the whole. Deal with the power struggles, insist on the respect, cultivate the attention and affection each creature needs and most importantly don’t see myself as inferior or superior to anyone else. For too long, I have allowed the following dynamic to ensue: ‘Never neglect your work for another’s, however great his need’. The change is that I must no longer respond to crises. Every person and animal ultimately only has responsibility for him or herself. Let everything be.

4) Fourth environmental change: Document the journey to off-grid, sustainable living in Ireland; all organic, local, plant based, in touch with nature, empathetic, inclusive, healthy, entertaining, creative and awe-inspiring. Sometimes it gets messy and or mundane but not often and not so far!

Stream with turbine pipes in place

So that was nine changes. The first though to actually come to me was a financial management change.

Spend a time every day in the office or amongst my receipts and see what I’ve spent, what it may cost to complete each mission and how it adds up with any income being generated. The key to this is starting now, while it’s only February. I started jotting down notes for 2017 and doing the accounts recently was a walk in the park, for the first time ever. 

Tidy upbeat place to do admin is essential!

I have put a few quid into new bedding, curtains and rugs for the guest rooms. I have invested in organic farm manure, a multitude of edible flowers, fruit trees, vegetable seeds and mushroom starter kits as well as organic pest, cat, weed etc solutions to streamline food growing here.  Readier Than Ever for Veggie Visitors Post

Practice makes perfect.

That was an insight from a friend a few weeks ago. She said ‘You play the piano! Use that disciplined application and resulting mastery in every area of your life’. Don’t worry, I said to myself later, I can still do things just for fun and without expectation. The balance is to take oneself just seriously enough to put some work in to things, take risks and be receptive. This reminds me of when I took the unprecedented step of becoming a life model!

Portrait by Leslie Fennell

I had worn many, many, many layers all my life. Even on the beach.  And my intuition alerted me: How outrageous to go through life in a state of semi-apology for one's body. For most people, it masquerades as modesty but underneath there is a lot of poor self-image around. If you think badly of yourself on any level, it’s a bit of a disaster. Especially if you have reached the conclusion, like I had, that ‘the story you tell about your life becomes the foundation of your life’. So, I started right then to make it a great story!

11) The last change I had to make was also money related: Don’t oscillate between being totally abstemious including rehydrating dried goods from the back of the cupboard, when things get tight, to trying to borrow €8,000 to buy a log cabin that would offer some independent accommodation for retreat guests! Just take one step at a time. Stay in balance.

So, it has been a great day. The protest was great because Off The Ball (Radio Sports Programme) came and interviewed us. What a breakthrough to have the conversations we needed to have. 

This  included the fact that they can’t find enough hares anymore. They are a protected species, the Irish Hare. For example we are not allowed to rescue one and keep it. But the coursers have been made exempt. 

The grey hounds are also mistreated, dumped, surrendered to pounds to be put down or sent abroad to race again. 
Welfare legislation says that no animal should be terrorized. No one could argue that a hare is terrorized; being trapped, held in a cage for weeks and then set upon by two grey hounds on a track. It is banned in England, Wales, Scotland and everywhere else already and yet we allow it. 

We said that the Irish coursing club's power is in that every greyhound owner who wants to race a dog has to belong to the coursing club whether they agree with coursing or not. 

We mentioned the government subsidy to them using tax payers money, despite public opinion. We talked about the vote in government on it last year where party members were told to vote in line or not vote at all so that meant all TDs against against coursing did not vote unless they were Independents. 

We answered the claim that it is natural for hares to run from predators saying that in the wild this contrived situation would never happen and certainly not pre-empted by a traumatic captivity and doping and trafficking from one coursing competitions to another. 

We said that there was nothing sporting about coursing, asking if it was purely the gambling that attracted people and the money that meant everyone still supported it. 

They asked whether the muzzles improved things. We said no, the hare does not know that the dogs are muzzled and furthermore, the dogs can do the same serious damage of tossing them around and breaking their backs, with the hard plastic muzzles on. Obviously, the hare doesn’t know whether the animals pursuing them are muzzled or not. 
We also said how sad it was to see families in there. If we can gloss over the suffering and stress of hares in coursing, it is a lesson to the young in reducing empathy and their humanity later on. Like Gandhi saying that the state of a nation can be seen from the way they treat their animals, we pointed out that Ireland is a disaster for animals in every industry. It seems like if it makes any money for the revenue then anything goes, however little regard for welfare – such as the puppy farmers. 

If people are alright with what happens to animals, it becomes more and more likely that they will be okay with witnessing bad treatment of others. 

The demonstration was organized by the group, Ban Blood Sports. There had been 60 people there yesterday which was a great turnout. Sadly, on the other side of it, one campaigner had gone on their website and seen that so many people wanted to come that they were laying on more coaches! Also, it was said that lots of people had traveled from the UK to it.

Please don’t think that just because it’s popular it is justified. Don’t shut your eyes and hearts to the plight of fellow lives. To quote one of the Go Vegan World advert ‘Their lives are as important to them as yours is to you”. 

Also why aren’t more people protesting? We decided today that it is not fear as such, it is more a sort of embarrassment. That is not good though is it? We’ve got to defend each other. 

In a timely way, as I drove down there in the blizzard, someone on the radio said that, in Ireland, you are never more than 5km away from people who are living in some sort of slavery; passports taken, not being paid, working without rights or reasonable hours. Do not let anyone or anything be exploited on our watch. And as they say on the trains, about inexplicable left luggage or dodgy behavior “If you see it, say it”