The Simple Things July 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
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Summer always comes with sky-high expectations – as children we couldn’t wait for the long school holidays, all picnics and outdoor games. Then, as adults, we will the weather to be good, holidays to be a success and that our gardens are a pleasure to be in. This year the bar has been raised still further, as we attempt to make up for ‘lost’ time. But what’s really special about summer is not packing it full with to-dos and travelling but the chance to break with routine – and that you can do anywhere. Make a splash with a colourful outfit or support a favourite maker or shop and splash out on something for you or your home. There’s also the joy of splashing for real, whether at the coast…

july almanac

A day out Hybrid festivals We’re armed with our wellies and bunting –now we just need to decide which festival to go for. We love the look of the Rock Oyster Festival (30 July – 1 August) in Rock, Cornwall, hosted by chef Paul Ainsworth. It’s got a bit of food, family fun, plenty of music and a good dollop of wellbeing, too. Visit for more information. TIME FOR YOU Some light doodling is good for us all. Use the space here to let your mind wander and create a little work of art of your own. Take a photo and show us on Instagram if you like, too. If that’s whetted your appetite for art, you might like to turn your doodle into a larger drawing and send it to The National Brain…

sunshine sushi

Cooking is always more fun when you’re trying out new flavours or playing with techniques, and Japanese food is some of the most interesting to make – no conveyor belt required. From rolling your own sushi, to pulling together gyoza and rustling up a bowl of noodles from leftovers, this is a meal where everyone can be a part of the preparation. Japanese foods vary vastly from region to region, while noodle restaurants have different etiquette to sushi bars. However, whatever the style of cooking, the ingredients are always super fresh, seasonal and packed full of flavours. While sushi chefs can train for over a decade before they're considered experts, that doesn’t mean you can’t give rolling your own a try and enjoy some sushi in the sunshine. Edamame in pods Edamame can…

magical creatures

When I asked my six-year-old niece to draw a jellyfish, she produced a colourful picture of a see-through, upside-down, pudding bowl with a row of tentacles dangling underneath and a frilly fringe along the bottom of the bowl. Without knowing it, she’d drawn Aurelia aurita or the moon jellyfish – the archetypal species of this marine animal; the most jellyfishy of all jellyfish. Familiar to us from an early age (more from story books and cartoons than real life observation), the generic jellyfish has changed very little since appearing in our oceans more than 500 million years ago. But is there a more alien-looking life form on Earth? This strange creature is nothing like us – it has no brain, no bones, no blood, no heart; it’s 95% water. In fact,…

things to want and wish for

Maker of the Month Textile twist: capturing the essence of a bygone era Upholsterer Sarah Jane Hemsley’s range of textiles are inspired by her childhood on the Isle of Bute and mid-century patterns. The Bulloch Collection features a trio of designs using original screen printed ink drawings by local artist Lyn Bulloch. While some designs offer a never ending sea or sky, others depict the images as tableaux, but all are connected by a vibrant colour palette. The collection includes cushions, lampshades and washbags and can also be purchased by the metre for your own craft After dark Wild Nights Out: The Magic of Exploring the Outdoors After Dark by Chris Salisbury Moths, bats, badgers, voles and bioluminescence (a greeny-blue light that radiates from rotting wood in damp, dark forests) are just some of…

wheels of fortune

The workspace Earlier this year Sara Tasker ( set up her new office in a hired campervan. Here’s how she got on What made you decide to hire a camper? The winter lockdown announcement sent me into a spin of despair. I knew, from the previous lockdown experience, that it was really hard for me to get any work done with my daughter and husband at home too – I have ADHD, and desperately need a distraction-free and calming environment. After a few nights of panic and hysterically Googling one-bedroom flats, the idea dawned on me: we could park a campervan right outside and I could have a ready-made private office space. Where did you find it? I can be fussy – I knew I wouldn’t be at home in a typical magnolia-and-burgundy 70s-style caravan!…