Books : reviews

Anna McGovern.
Pottering. A Cure for Modern Life.
Laurence King Publishing. 2020

rating : 4 : passes the time
review : 2 August 2021

The perfect antidote to the stuff of life, pottering helps you discover the pace where contentment lies.

It is the simple joy of doing nothing and something, with a profound truth at its core: the happiness we find when we learn to let go and simply be.

Brought to life in Anna McGovern’s charming prose, this very British ritual is the perfectly imperfect way to live a little more and stress a little less.

McGovern advocates for the art of pottering: “occupying oneself in a pleasant way but without definite plan or purpose”, as a way of slowing down and enjoying life a bit more.

Unfortunately, most of the examples she gives sound suspiciously like housework to me, so not pleasant, and having a clear purpose. Following the overall philosophy requires the potterer to be at least middle class, to have the time, money, and opportunity to potter in this manner. In fact, McGovern admits that she moved to working four days a week in order to potter more, to improve her quality of life. A lovely relaxing and calm approach to life for those who can afford to do that (and who think that small housework tasks are pleasant).