The Simple Things March 2021

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
12 号



When we’re in need of a tonic, where do we turn? In normal times we can count on friends or family to be there. In these times we’ve relied on favourite books or belongings, pets, pastimes and projects to see us through. Now there’s another source of balm to ease our worries, too. It’s called spring. The merest glimpse of new shoots can lighten our hearts, while buds and blossom fill us with hope that better times are coming. As the sap rises, so does our energy – seeing us pencilling in plans, talking of trips and gathering new ideas. Most years, March can feel like the start of things but, here and now, we need to believe that more than ever.…

march almanac

A day out (at home) Join in with The National Trust’s Blossom Watch, by taking photos of blossom while on your walk, and sharing with others with the hashtag #BlossomWatch. LOCAL LORE Hampshire’s Tichborne Dole on the 25th dates to the 13th century when the dying Lady asked for the needy to be fed. Her nasty husband said he’d only provide corn from the land she could crawl around – 23 acres! Today, those from the parish are still entitled to claim flour. TREAT FOR YOUR EARS A podcast and a piece of music to celebrate the month • Taste Along with The National Trust The National Trust has some fascinating podcasts, but we love their new series of ‘Taste Alongs’ in which they suggest a few foods for you to gather together to taste as…

veg box suppers

Early spring veg box: Kale, beetroot, leeks, thyme and rhubarb Traditionally known as the ‘hungry gap’, it’s the time of year when home-grown seasonal veg is harder to come by as winter veg comes to the end of its run but many spring varieties are yet to arrive. This may mean your weekly veg box feels like it is lacking excitement, but with a few new recipes ,there’s always a way to liven up a leek! A March veg box is a mix of earthy, late winter roots and deep, iron-rich greens like kale and chard, but it’s often balanced with a window into spring, thanks to the first stalks of pink rhubarb and new season beetroot with its luscious green tops and ruby stems. I find this seasonal dovetailing makes for vibrant…

magical creatures

Pity the poor slow worm. Misunderstood, misidentified and, most of all, misnamed. Slow worm, blind worm, deaf adder: it’s been called all of these and yet is none of them. Firstly, it’s not a worm. It does spend much of its time underground – in search of real worms – but, for the slow worm, being worm-shaped is a clever evolutionary adaptation, not a primitive body design. Secondly, it can move quickly. So neither slow, nor worm, the slow worm is the UK’s sole species of legless lizard. Which means it’s not a snake. It’s true the slow worm shares some characteristics with its reptilian cousin: both have a long, slender body; both have scales (they belong to the scientific order Squamata, meaning ‘scaly’); and both have a forked tongue. However…

hope springs

Every year I have a moment, usually around this time, where I start to genuinely despair: will winter never end? It’s been dark and cold and wet for what seems like forever, and those summer clothes in the back of the wardrobe seem to be mocking us. But just as I think I’m trapped in this forever-winter state, it happens again: I’ll be walking down the street and will suddenly notice that some tiny pink flower has sprung forth on bare branches. Cherry blossoms! It gets me every time: the cherry trees launch into their assault on the senses, covering every branch – and the ground beneath – with pink and white petals. Blink and it’s there, seemingly from out of nowhere. Isn’t it wonderful? I’ve always loved cherry blossoms. They’re a…

cake in the house

GREEK WALNUT CAKE Serves 12 3 eggs150ml light olive oil or vegetable oil150ml whole milk250g caster sugar150g fresh brown breadcrumbs150g semolina200g coarse ground walnuts1 tbsp baking powder1 tbsp ground cinnamon12 grates of nutmeg¼ tsp ground clovesWalnut halves to decorate For the syrup: 200g caster sugar3 strips of orange zest, plus extra finely-grated zest to garnish2 cinnamon sticks½ tsp vanilla extract60ml brandy (preferably Greek) 1 Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/ Gas 6. Begin by making the syrup. Combine all the ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan and add 200ml cold water. Set over a medium heat, bring to a boil, then immediately turn off the heat and leave in the pan to cool. 2 To make the cake batter, put the eggs, oil, milk and sugar in a large bowl and beat together. In a separate bowl,…