Despite her wealth, Essex-born Alison Moyet is a thrifty example to us all

Alison Moyet says she has no interest in possessions

Alison Moyet says she has no interest in possessions - Credit: Archant

I’ve always like Alison Moyet, both for her music and her down-to-earth, no-nonsense approach to life, writes Sheena Grant.

And since reading an interview with the Essex-born singer the other day, I like her even more.

Despite the undoubted wealth her talent has brought her Alison just isn’t interested in ‘things’. While others who have found fame and money might indulge themselves with expensive jewellery, cars, clothes and art, Alison remains resolutely uninterested in material trappings.

In fact, she says, the most expensive thing she’s bought, aside from property, is a television. She doesn’t say what kind of television, but I’d guess it was something considerably smaller than a home cinema.

“When I moved,” she added, “I downsized and threw away most of my possessions. I dumped everything. Even my gold discs. I smashed the lot. I took a hammer to them. It was brilliant. All my stage clothes – gone. And I burned all my diaries. I don’t want to own things. It just drags you down.

“I don’t do fancy. You always think, when you get a bit of money, you’ll go and buy a big house but what you never account for is that you’ll never like shopping.”

There is undoubtedly a freedom in getting rid of stuff - or better still, not buying it in the first place. The internet is full of people talking about how minimalism has brought them freedom. There’s even a debate about what minimalism means - is it having few possessions or something else, perhaps having as little as you require?

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That’s a hard concept for many of us to get our heads around in a society that encourages us to measure success by how much we have and to pursue happiness by spending. Most of us know that’s nonsense, of course, but knowing it and breaking free of it are two different things.

Some say minimalism is not about frugality but stripping away the unnecessary to free our time for what brings us joy.

I can see the sense of that, especially on the mornings I set aside for seemingly endless house work. What are ornaments, after all, other than objects that gather dust?

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