The Happiness of not Having Things

Apple Jelly made from apples grown and harvested here at Bealtaine Cottage Smallholding

This will keep well for years if stored in a cool pantry and can be used in baking and cooking and makes a wonderful sweet and sour sauce!

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“Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language,
and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. 

Upcycled water taps at Bealtaine Cottage

consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and
has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.”

 ~Elise Boulding

And so, tied down with the complex consumerism of life, we don’t get time to see and appreciate the simple frost on leaves, or deeply inhale the clear, morning air…

Bealtaine permaculture cottage 005Everything we possess that is not necessary for life or happiness becomes a

and scarcely a day passes that we do not add to it.

~Robert Brault

Quality does not lie in quantity, but in something that is unique…and the most unigue is made by oneself, for sure.

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Maybe a person’s time would be as well spent raising food as raising money to
buy food.

~Frank A. Clark
Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

“The best things in life are nearest:  Breath in your nostrils, light in your
eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before

stained glass wheel of life at bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardens

Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it
comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in

~Robert Louis Stevenson

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As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude
will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.
~Henry David Thoreau

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I like to walk about among the beautiful things that adorn the world; but
private wealth I should decline, or any sort of personal possessions, because
they would take away my liberty.

~George Santayana

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Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be

~William Morris





Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 100 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.


  1. This post resonated so deeply with me and I sit in my 700 square foot condo in the middle of a major US city contemplating how to distance myself from the rat race! Your site is a breath of fresh air and calm serenity. I spent all last night and this morning discussing the details of my five year plan with my boyfriend. One day I hope to be copying your lifestyle at my own country cottage 🙂

    • That’s the way forward I believe…simpler lives for us all. Bealtaine Cottage is a way of seeing the world as home…even if I lived in a caravan it would be Bealtaine Cottage in the way I lived there. Blessings XXX

  2. This subject is coming up more and more. I have purged to the hilt over the past 6 years. If I don’t love it, it moves on to someone that will. I love the simple life with room for those I love and what I love. The “stuff” that is left is for creativity to bloom. My mantra- I have enough! Have a wonderful glorious day.

  3. Your home is beautiful, the gardens you’ve created are soothing and inspirational. There is something very Irish, something in the way you do this that my Nan had (in Australia), after many gardening failures I am finally learning something, and that’s confidence in creating. I love your gardening posts too, thank you for sharing them. One thing, I have to ask you how you keep them so well weeded? Well done!!

Your comments are welcome!