Happier Here and Now : The restorative power of life's simple pleasures by Mary Jane Grant

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'A tale of loss and hope, of strength drawn from truly inhabiting the moment.' - Raynor Winn, bestselling author of The Salt Path An inspiring memoir and simple guide that anyone can use to find a new kind of happiness in the small pleasures of everyday life. Mary Jane Grant takes us on her travels through London and the French countryside as she recovers from loss to find a richer experience of life, love and connection. As she immerses herself in the sights, smells, and small pleasures of each moment, the sadness starts to recede.

From the bustling cafes of Camden and the pastel-coloured streets of Primrose Hill, to the sun-soaked vineyards of the south of France, her journey leads to new experiences that she could not have imagined in her old life. Real connections are made, she lets go of things she no longer needs, and takes pleasure in the good, generous and beautiful parts of life that she encounters every day. Beautifully and succinctly told, this is a story about what happens when you embrace life, whatever it may bring, with surprising - and joyful - results.

Anyone can use the enjoyable techniques described in this book to create a more vivid life, one small pleasure at a time. As we grapple with how to live in a post-pandemic world, this book is a perfect match to the questions of our time. While the tea steeped, I split open the muffin and slathered butter across the warm, crumbly surface.

I watched the butter melt. I took a bite. Memories of my grandmother's kitchen came back.

I cradled the smooth white cup in my hand, ran my fingers over the uneven top of the time-worn wooden table. I looked around the place and watched people. Time passed.

I realised that it was an hour since I first saw the sign telling me to smell the tea. And all this time I had experienced neither sad memories nor anxious worries. I was completely and simply here - with the tea, the place, the people, myself.

I was present. And it felt wonderful.


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