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The Simple Things

The Simple Things May 2019

The Simple Things is a beautiful, useful, quirky and fun magazine about taking time to live well. We cover mindfulness and microadventures, eating and growing, forgotten wisdom, home life and slow moments. It's for people who love their lives but want to take the pressure off and remember what’s really important. We like tea & cake, learning stuff, being outside and the satisfaction of a job well done. Do you?

United Kingdom
Iceberg Press Limited
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1 Min.
‘in what way is this a gift?’

This surprisingly all-purpose mantra can be applied to anything from broken vases (above) to delayed flights (page 42). And while there’s not always an answer to hand, it does at least nudge you towards thinking positively. When you are an independent magazine, as we are, thinking positively is important – we’ve learned to celebrate the good times quickly because pear-shaped is sometimes only hours away! Our gift to you this month is a fresh new issue, and permission to spend a few hours contemplating the simple things that really matter – sharing good food with family and friends, spending time outdoors, loving your home inside and out, and learning a thing or two. Should you need further encouragement, here’s just some of what you’ll discover if you spend a bit…

6 Min.
finders keepers

Foraged crops are free, abundant and flavourful. All you need do is get yourself to a good spot at the right time, basket and secateurs in hand, and you have some of the best crops available. Through the foraging seasons of spring, summer and autumn, we’ll show you where to find these crops, how to pick them, and ways to turn them into delicious dishes. THE MONTH OF MAY Trees hedgerows are greening up blossom and flowers are appearing in abundance, as spring comes to a head. There is pollination and fruiting on the horizon, but right now is all about the flowers, and some of the great clouds of white that billow from the hedgerow are edible, including the delicious delicacy that is elderflower. It is the very taste of early…

5 Min.
one woman & her van

I’m no stranger to solo travel. It’s something I urge everyone to do. While I love the company of others, and I would describe myself as extrovert, I have learnt in recent years the joy of solitary exploring. There is a magical thing that happens over time spent alone, particularly when travelling. The first few days are a whirlwind as you begin the journey, excited, discovering and moving. Then, as you settle into routine, you make space for your fears and worries to visit. They can sit at the table while you drink wine and eat shellfish on the Amalfi Coast, or lie on the hot stone with you while you enjoy the lick of the Adriatic Sea in Croatia. I have found there isn’t much to do other than…

2 Min.
back from the brink

The fortunes of otter**, pine marten and polecat populations in Britain have “markedly improved” since the 1960s, according to new research. Each has bounced back from near extinction, meaning the only carnivorous mammal that remains in danger of being wiped out in Britain is the wildcat. Its Scottish population is at risk from hybridisation with domestic cats. The findings came in a report released earlier this year by scientists at Exeter University, Vincent Wildlife Trust and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. They discovered that otters have almost completely recolonised Great Britain, polecats have expanded their range in southern Britain from Wales, and pine martens have expanded their range from the Scottish Highlands. Badger populations are estimated to have doubled since the 1980s, helped by a decline in persecution since their legal…

1 Min.
small change

Fridge pleaser The Community Fridge Network was founded in 2017. Its fridges provide a place for residents and businesses to donate surplus food, which is available for anybody who needs it to take for free. Environmental charity Hubbub, the organisation behind the network, has already launched 50 since 2017 and aims to support the opening of a further 50 by the end of 2020. Farming’s future? Europe could be farmed entirely using agroecological approaches such as organic and still feed a growing population – as long as diets shift to being more plant-based, says European thinktank IDDRI. Its Ten Years for Agroecology report shows that pesticides could be phased out and greenhouse gas emissions radically reduced. This approach to farming puts ‘ecological principles first, chemicals last’. Pre-loved boom According to the latest annual fashion resale…

1 Min.
good figures

11 11 EU states have already met their 2020 renewable energy targets – to source 20% or more of their power from renewable sources. The 2020 target is a stepping stone to the goal of 32% by 2030. 90m 90m toilets have been built since 2014, as a result of India’s sanitation drive. Some 93% of households now have access, and 500 million people no longer need to go to the toilet out in the open. 1 st Scientists have turned human stem cells into insulin-producing cells for the first time, raising hope for a cure for type 1 diabetes. The breakthrough comes from the University of California, San Francisco.…