The Simple Things

The Simple Things August 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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12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

Sometimes it seems like life is split. There are times when we think too much about things, and times when we’re so busy doing, we barely think at all. The Simple Things is for both of these. By celebrating the things that matter most and remembering what’s really important to you, those preoccupations will find some perspective. And by taking the time to pause occasionally and appreciate life as it happens, you’ll naturally slow down and consider more before making decisions. Summer is often billed as the happiest season – holidays, the weather, spending more time outdoors – but August can be the slowest of months, with routines disrupted and an often less-than-Instagram life. It’s not all hammocks in the garden or a holiday by the sea. If we can…

9 min.
away from it all

Treat yourself to the luxury of time* – whether it’s to wander through the woods or literally watch a pot boil Fluffy blueberry pancakes Breakfast is not a rushed affair. Lay the table. Make it more than one course. The day is ahead of you, there’s no need for speed Egg whites whisked separately make these pancakes deliciously light. Makes 18–20 175g white spelt flour1½ heaped tsp baking powder5 eggs, separated200ml milkPunnet of blueberriesTO SERVESalted butterMaple syrup 1 Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Whisk in the milk and egg yolks to make a smooth batter. 2 In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold them into the rest of your batter mix. 3 Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat (or low embers). Pour in a…

2 min.
magical creatures

Since ancient times, when people first traced the shape of Cancer in the stars, the crab has represented both strength and renewal. The crab’s ability to regenerate itself, stepping out of its old shell and starting anew as it grows, even re-sprouting lost limbs, is the reason that it is linked in folklore to the rebirth of the moon. Yet, for most of us, these creatures are associated with sunshine, ice-cream, sandcastles and blue skies. To feel the tickling of a baby crab scuttling across my toes in a warm pool, or to turn over an orange periwinkle shell and glimpse the pincers of a hermit crab tucked inside, is to step back to a time of long summer holidays and lemonade lollies. The sound of the rocky shore at low…

3 min.
rhyme & reason

Many of us groan when we are asked to read poetry – we’re transported back to school, when we slogged through sonnets and odes, impenetrable epics and that strange staple of teachers, the acrostic. For many, poetry conjures up baffled incomprehension. As a ‘bibliotherapist’, I am a reader of novels and short stories primarily – I look to fiction to cure all life’s ailments. But I love to read poetry too, even though it isn’t what I instinctively pick up. Like many people, I expect poetry to be opaque, and to take work to understand. But when I do read it, I’m struck by the deep effect it has on me, its power and magic, even when by its very form, it is defined by its brevity. In poems I…

1 min.
socially- minded poets

saw these words together, but in the context of the whole poem, you begin to realise that the power of mushrooms is to be silently, discreetly ‘taking hold’ on the loam. The more you read this poem, the more you realise that mushrooms could be a metaphor for women and their quiet revolution (this poem was written in 1960). Don’t be afraid of not understanding a poem – or of interpreting it in the ‘wrong’ way. Authors never expect everyone to find the same things in their poems; each person brings their own personality to a poem, and your interpretation is just as valid as anyone else’s. You don’t have to be an expert to appreciate poetry. Try printing out a poem and sticking it on the wall of your loo. Then…

1 min.
try a haiku

Why not try writing your own poems, too? Try a short form like haiku, and write an encapsulation of your day in this enjoyably short and seemingly simple form.* With haiku, you are supposed to make a seasonal reference, and it should consist of 17 syllables (five, seven, five). Apart from that, you can try anything. An old silent pond... A frog jumps into the pond, splash! Silence again. * Each month, The Simple Things runs a haiku competition. Post your entries at facebook.com/thesimplethingsmag…