What a way to end the year

23 December 2015
My new book, The Simple Home, was delivered to me a few days ago. I spent time over recent days looking at it and remembering the relentless writing schedule I imposed on myself to get it done for 2016. All that's irrelevant now because here it is, beautifully presented and full of what I think is interesting information. It's the best way to end the year.

The Simple Home is the sister book to Down to Earth. I had a lot more I wanted to say in Down to Earth but the page count meant I could only pack in what I did. This is what I would have added to Down to Earth if I had the space to do it. The book is sectioned into twelve monthly chapters, each dealing with a different topic, at the time it can ideally be done in Australia and New Zealand. There are chapters on organising your year and your finances, the food revolution, food gardening in containers, laundry love, food preserving and storage, simple home bakes, domestic crafts, sewing and mending, the home dairy, spring cleaning, health and wellbeing and celebrating.

I hope I've written well enough to encourage you to try a few things. There are recipes for cheese, bread, soup, biscuits, cakes as well as cold and flu tonic and many of the bits and pieces we use here. There is a section on mending and a few simple craft projects. I write about food and shopping and getting back to basics in the kitchen. And in the finance section, that subject that most people love to hate, I've included action plans to help you over some of the hurdles.

This is the last book I'll write. I feel satisfied that I've said what I wanted to say and I'm grateful I had the chance to do that with the help of a publisher like Penguin. I will retire in the next couple of years and go back to a life of obscurity where instead of writing books, I'll be reading them. Hanno and I will continue to live simply, we'll do the chores we've come to love, we'll collect eggs and pick herbs, we'll garden and cook, but I won't write about it anymore. I've tried my best to write about a way of life that can change people in the most profound way. Often you don't see that at first, you just see a way of cutting back and living well. I've found simple life to be the best it can be when it's at its most basic and peeling back the layers of materialism and conformity not only reveals that but it teaches many significant life lessons as well. I hope my books reflect that.

Publication date for The Simple Home is 1 March, 2016. You can pre-order at Booktopia and at the moment, they have a discounted price.

ADDED LATER: I've sent an email to Penguin to find out if the books will be available for sale on Amazon. I'm pretty sure it will be on the US Amazon but I'm not sure about the UK one.  I'll be back later when I have an answer. One way or another, we'll find a way of getting the books out to you.  BTW, Down to Earth is being reprinted so hopefully both books will be available overseas as well as locally.