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The Simple Things

The Simple Things June 2020

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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?

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United Kingdom
Iceberg Press Limited
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

We made a list of the things we associate with midsummer, expecting glum faces as there are so many we can’t do this year. But, though some plans are on hold, we realised that the season’s simple pleasures remain there for us. Twilight is still beautiful, rainbows still form during a summer shower, meadows bloom, as do roses and peonies. There are strawberries to eat, barbecues to have, long light evenings to stay up late for. And fairy tales to tell. Meanwhile bees and birds go about their summer busyness. So, string your twinkly lights, make your cocktails, and, at this magical time of year, hope can thrive – and so can you.…

6 min.
heads up, eyes down

Gorse flower panna cotta Panna cotta may seem like something fancy you’d order in a restaurant, but you can whip up this classic Italian milk pudding with a wild, foraged twist at home. Serves 4 250ml double cream300g gorse flower petals250ml milk25g granulated sugar1 tbsp poppy seeds3g Vege-Gel (or similar setting agent) 1 Leave the petals to soak in the cream in the fridge overnight. The next day, add the milk, sugar and poppy seeds and bring to the boil in a saucepan. 2 Remove from the heat and add the Vege-Gel, stirring until dissolved. Strain the liquid through a sieve and leave to cool. 3 Pour into ramekins and set in the fridge for 2-3 hrs. When ready to serve, sit the ramekins in hot water for a minute before turning the puddings out onto…

1 min.
how to urban forage

• Only eat if you’re certain. Most plants in the city are safe to pick but there are a number of poisonous doppelgängers • Always wash plants thoroughly and check for bugs. • If it’s wilting, browning or blackening, it’s not going to taste good. Try and cook the same day as it's foraged for the best flavour. • Don’t trespass and be gentle with the plants. Take only what you need and leave the rest for the birds. • It’s advised that women should not eat wild food while pregnant in case of any unexpected harmful effects.…

2 min.
magical creatures

Late spring is the time for l’amour in the world of the ladybird. The male ladybird (or should that be ladbird?) goes in search of a female. Up to two hours later, the pair go their separate ways, most likely for a well-earned snack of aphids. Love is a hungry business and during their year-long adult lives, ladybirds consume around 5,000 aphids each, making them the darlings of gardeners and farmers alike. There’s something cheering about seeing those flashes of red start to appear in the springtime, tiny wings spread as they zoom around in search of food. As a child, I’d pick up and hold the still-drowsy insects, warming them in my palm until they took flight, or place them on a nearby flower, in the assumption that they ate…

5 min.
chasing rainbows

Perhaps the most magical childhood memories of nature are those that still manage to stop us in our tracks: waking up to freshly fallen snow, picking ripe blackberries, or being able to pick out the colours of a rainbow after a storm. However grey the skies, that transient show still captivates both children and adults alike, the magic of being in the right place at the right time to witness this otherworldly phenomenon. We know that humans all over the world have been similarly enchanted for centuries, recording its wonder in art and music; myths and legends. Interpretations of the rainbow are as varied as its spectrum of colours, though some are more widely known than others. In Judeo-Christian tradition, the appearance of a rainbow in Genesis is a sign of…

1 min.
try it at home

Next time you see the sun shining while it’s still raining, stand with your back to the sun for your best chance of spotting a rainbow. If you can’t wait until then, try these DIY rainbows: Using a prism: Place a piece of white paper on the ground under the sunlight. Put a prism on or above the paper, and move around until you see rainbow colors appear. Using a mirror in a glass: Fill a glass with water then put a small pocket mirror into the water at an angle. Position so that sunlight shines directly at the mirror and look for a reflection (it’s easier to spot if the room is quite dark). Using a torch: Fill a glass with water. Cut a narrow rectangle in the middle of a piece…