One Irish woman’s stories and reflections on a life of re-connecting with the earth. Hoping there are nuggets of nascent wisdom for others as she steps tentatively into elderhood as a Cailleach.

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Art work by Votive Illustration
Sound editing by Luke Lacey
Intro-outro music by Finn Cahn

Systems 8

In the final episode of the system thread, I explain why, for the most part, I have kept politics and specific affiliations out of exploring system alternatives. I attempt to integrate several of the previous episodes in this thread into a vision of empowered community adaptation and innovation that includes all voices and addresses hierarchical and power imbalances.

After the Collapses 8

I read the final chapters and bring the story to its conclusion. I then reflect on what I was trying to explore through the creation of this narrative when I wrote it, and what I would perhaps change today, and invite creative collaborators to get in touch if they think there's merit in working together to further develop the ideas contained within the novel.

Final interview of the series by request from some listeners, is with Mike Cahn, my partner in life and many projects. In this episode, he tells us about his "aha" moment when he began to consciously question the mainstream system and its values, while also talking about some of the things in his upbringing which prepared him for that moment and guided him where to go afterwards. We then talk about how our shared journeys led to the foundation of Carraig Dulra.

Meditation 8

Samhain is a time of letting go. The leaves fall and sap stops flowing. This meditation draws you down to rest, where things can flow underneath like the stored fertility in the soil and the unconscious dreaming of winter.

Practical 8

Gathering in ideas and materials throughout the year, this final episode on practical skills encourgages a stock-take of existing materials and projects, to see what you have in store and what you have enjoyed doing. It then suggests a few more ideas for crafts and outdoor work for winter days and nigh

Wellbeing 8

I have been using development as a frame for exploring what is optimal and what happens if there are interruptions or barriers. In this final episode, I summarise the phases of development that I've covered so far using Piaget stages and finish up with the later stages of adulthood that I am sitting between now in my own life.

Identity 8

In this final episode, I conclude my explorations of where my formative years have brought me, almost up to date with parts of my life that are still playing out today.

You can read more about the trips I reference:

Visiting people and projects in Europe while WWOOFing

Driving to Mongolia for charity and visiting projects

Ancestors 8

In this final episode of the thread about those that have lived on the islands of Ireland since humans first came here, I sum up the themes explored. The common thread is adaptation and integration with the changing landscape and ecology and human migrations.  This is something that we must continue today to face our survival challenges. After all it is because of our ancestors adapting to survive that we are here today.

Ancestors 7

In the ancestors thread, I am not looking to replicate the vast work by scholars of Ireland, who know a great deal more than me about the many peoples that came to our shores over millenia. I do lean on snippets of their knowledge, as I try to imagine the lived experience of our predecessors through the lens of the resource base and annual cycles.

In this episode, I discuss the diversity of diet for forest dwelling hunter gatherers and the change to farming culture. I touch on harvest time exchanges and storing up to prepare for winter, and the accounting or calling to account of another year's growth that evolves with agriculture.

In this interview with Steve Golemboski-Byrne of Lackan Cottage (recorded a few years ago), he shares his journey from the career and life he left to create a permaculture lifestyle and livelihood. Steve now inspires an empowers others to consider resilience, off-grid living and community connections.

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