The Simple Things October 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 leaves fall they don’t simply tumble to the ground, they drift and eddy, swirl and even loop. It’s a graceful way to make an exit. There’s something humbling about this disrobing of giants despite trees being a veritable force on our planet; in great numbers they can reduce climate change, they create many habitats within their branches and provide us with useful materials, medicines and food. If there’s a best time to appreciate the humble tree, surely it’s autumn when, under their fiery façade, they signal the turning of the year. So, gather windfalls and whittle a spoon, use tree fruits in your kitchen and make something from wood. When putting pen to paper in a journal or curling up with a book, acknowledge the material that made them.…

october almanac

Nature spot A few things to spot this month: Fly agaric toadstools (Amanita muscaria); Teasels (Dipsacus); Fluffy wild clematis seed heads (Clematis virginiana); Autumn crocuses (Colchicum autumnale); Common toadflax (Linaria vulgaris) IN SEASON QUINCE Worth every moment of the peeling, deseeding and cooking, there’s a lot more you can do with quince than just turn it into quince jelly. Here are a few ideas… • Serve poached with a cheese soufflé • Make quince paste, and use that, reduced with a little wine to make a glaze for duck or pork • Add to a chicken or lamb tagine in place of apricots • Make a quince syrup by boiling chopped quince, lime, sugar, vanilla and water, then straining. Delicious in cocktails • Blend quince paste with a little vinegar and water to make quince ketchup. Much posher than…

trick and treat

Make the most of spooky season with a grown-up gathering that features no plastic bats or jelly sweets. Full fancy dress is not required, but a little fun with your Halloween outfit should be encouraged, from fancy feathers in your hair to a masquerade mask. Use plenty of pumpkins and candlelight to set the mood, then serve up a chilling cocktail to start the evening as you mean to go on. Combine tasty seasonal veg with a subtly spooky pie, then finish with a cute crème brûlée served in a small squash (save the flesh for another autumnal dish, feed it to the birds or give your compost pile some extra nutrients). This is a menu packed with treats, along with time-saving tricks to make a Halloween dinner party that won’t…

the simple things neighbourhood awards

Necessity really has been the mother of invention over these past 18 months and while many high streets have continued to struggle, the neighbourhoods where we live have often adapted and thrived. With more of us shopping locally and spending more time in our streets, parks, paths and edgelands, it has given businesses, organisations and communities an opportunity to innovate and experiment. Think delivery and take-home schemes, pop-ups, mobile businesses, and community-run projects. There’s also been a heartwarming surge in neighbourliness and kind gestures. At The Simple Things we’re all for making the most of where you live – we run a regular ‘My Neighbourhood’ series that peeks through the keyhole of readers’ homes and wanders with them around their local patch. So, it seems right and proper to launch the Neighbourhood…

magical creatures

The golden arms of the valley were shrugging off the thick shawl of leaves that had kept the river hidden all summer. A few days previously, the water had slipped over the rocks with a barely audible effervescence, but now I clambered around new storm-swelled pools. In the main channel, a brown torrent surged around fallen branches and a plunging mini waterfall had appeared overnight. From nowhere, as though it were forged from the river water itself, a huge fish burst upwards, its tail thrashing, swimming through the air. I held my breath as the salmon hung suspended for a moment, only to be reabsorbed by the raging water. One after another, fish after fish tumbled into the bubbling foam. Finally, one careered over the top, still swimming furiously as it…

windfall gains

As trees begin their slow undressing for winter, this time evokes memories of happy childhood days spent hunting for autumn’s windfalls. A fruit displaced by the wind, or a precious gift from an unexpected source, we loved to scour the countryside for nature’s prizes, from a competition-winning conker to a hoard of apples for pie-making, or an armful of sculptural pinecones. We knew these fleeting treats should be savoured, so we gathered them gleefully. It’s time for the fertilised seeds and fruit to disperse, enabling the next generation to flourish, enriching the soil as they decay. While the fading of summer may sometimes feel like an ending, look carefully and you’ll see life stirring with potential. “October is the time to pull on your boots, and head out in search of nature’s…