About two weeks ago I noticed a book coming up on a few of my favourite American intergram feeds and, after doing one of those journeys that leads you half way round the internet, I ended up on ReadingMyTeaLeaves, Erin Boyle's wonderful blog. What a total treat - if you don't know it you should check it out. She writes beautifully, in a naturally friendly way and takes gorgeous photographs. Also I really like what she has to say about living lightly on this earth.
Anyway I digress - back to the book. I had been under the impression that it was only available in the States so I was super pleased to see in in Blackwell's when I was in Oxford last weekend. As soon as I was able I started to read (in a nearby pub as it happens) and I was hooked. There are so many decluttering/lifestyle/look at my gorgeous home books out there but few are as accessible and inspiring as this one. Or indeed as beautiful.
What Erin Boyle does is weave practical advice with stories from her life and her philosophy for living. Her tone is just right, as if you are making a new friend. But more than that she really inspires. I had done quite a bit of decluttering and simplifying last year but had stuttered to a halt. Now I am keen to start again - there is so much more that we simply do not need. My favourite chapter was the last one where Erin talks about travelling around Italy with just a backpack for company.
"I am suggesting that when I think back to times in my life when I have felt truly happy, calm and invigorated, at peace...they've been moments like these. Times when I have had a bag full of clothes to wear, a roof over my head, food in my belly, but not so much at all in terms of stuff."
I have had the same experience myself and know that what she says is very, very true; things bring a fleeting thrill but lasting happiness comes from experiences, comradeship and love. Nothing else matters.