Have you ever bought yourself a book to put under the tree – just in case nobody else gave you a book for Christmas? I have – most years since I can’t remember when!
I am a book giver – fortunately all my family LOVE books. In fact I think they all secretly think like me – have one under the tree, or in the “present drawer” just in case. Well I mean, what are the Christmas holidays without a good book?
These ‘backups’ have varied depending on my mood at the time of purchase. They have ranged from a fascinating Biography to a good curl-up-in-bed-holiday-read from Maeve Binchy or Cathy Kelly. This time though (Xmas 2014) I definitely hit the jackpot!
While in my local bookshop in November, buying for the family, an inviting cover beckoned me. This book begged me to take it home – it spoke to me, You need me, I will give you something in return, it’s a no-brainer. Pretty cover, nice painting of Paris on a soft blue background. Title? “Paris Letters”, by Janice Macleod. Never heard of her before. Flipped through – looked fun, nice illustrations – read the blurb on the back, seemed on track for a good holiday read. Added it to the pile. Once home I didn’t give it another thought until Christmas Eve when I asked No.1 Son to wrap it and put it under the family Christmas tree – the “insurance policy”!
Christmas day dawned and after the one hour drive to neighbourhood drinks, more family drinks and lovely food at my brother’s house (the farm where I grew up), the great nieces and nephews were insistent that we start opening presents – fair enough, it was after all two o’clock in the afternoon. At some stage a beautifully wrapped parcel was handed to me amid the chaos of flying paper, much laughter, oohs and aahs, kisses and thank you’s.
Surprise! A book -how lovely – thank you darling, to No.1 Son! Once peace was restored – next day – I settled in for what turned out to be the trip of a lifetime. Over the next few days I immersed myself in Janice’s journey whenever I had a spare moment. Her situation was my situation – to a tee – except our age. I also spent quite a few hours reading Janice’s blog – which I’m now totally hooked on and feel like I know her personally!
For those of you who have yet to discover Janice’s “Paris Letters” it is about her voyage to a new life – how she came to a decision to save enough money and leave her busy well paid job to travel, and to realise the creative dreams she craved. The preparations and discipline required to make this move were life-changing. While not underestimating the difficulties of actually moving to a new city where you know nobody, let alone speak the language, I see this as the easy bit. It was the decisions she made and the disciplined methods she used to reach that point that were really challenging.
I have taken a couple of crucial elements of her ‘preparations’ to heart – and have begun a challenge of my own. Early days yet but, after a few weeks of following her “three pages” regime (more about this in a later post) I am starting to feel ‘different’. Cannot really put that difference into words yet, but I will keep you posted! Her book has been the catalyst for me believing that change can happen – if you want it to. Small steps – and all that…! Actually earlier tonight I started reading it again, I found it so inspiring the first time. I have raved about it to all my friends – one read it in a weekend, and another is about to borrow my copy.
I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who needs to get out of the rut you are in – if you are in one. For those of you who are happy with life (awesome), or have already made a change (well done), read it anyway, it’s a wonderful adventure to share.
Happy reading! (And don’t forget to buy yourself a book for next Christmas.)
To view Janice Macleod’s blog click here
To purchase “Paris Letters” click here