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TA K I N G T I M E T O L I V E W E L L

Homespun adventures

April

A cabin of one’s own Why a bit of dirt is good for you Learning to forage

WISDOM

Beginner’s guide to supper clubs • Yoga • Seabird spotting The art of bathing • Cardamom banana bread • Veg patch could-do list Lunchboxes & jumpsuits • WIN a year of beautiful books


April

Learning to forage

FRESH 08 THINGS TO WANT & WISH FOR

Stylish stuff for you and your home. Maker of the month and new books to read

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Turning a house into a home

24 GATHERING

Welcome to The Simple Things Supper Club – host your own or come to our events. Free stationery to download, thanks to Neptune.

36 STAPLE FOODS

12 THE STUFF OF LIFE

The story of sugar in infographics

16 THINGS TO PLAN & DO

Bookshop owners Nic and Juliette Bottomley of Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights want to help every customer find books they love

Find things to make life a bit nicer at The Simple Things’ independent shop online Homemade bath bombs. How to recharge your brain. Spring glamping ideas and why we love a bit of origami

19 READER SURVEY

Tell us what you think of The Simple Things for the chance to win £200 of Anthropologie vouchers

78 COMPETITION

Show us your shelfies to win a year of beautiful books from The Folio Society

38 WISDOM

43 APRIL SOUNDTRACK Sunshine & showers playlist

44 LET’S DO LUNCHBOXES

50 A JOB WELL DONE

Bethany Koby of Technology Will Save Us

51 LEARN SOMETHING NEW

LIVING

53 CAKE IN THE HOUSE

22 SIMPLE STYLE

54 MY DAY IN CUPS OF TEA

ON THE COVER 4

58 MY CITY

It’s history in the sunshine with our local’s guide to Sardinian capital, Cagliari

64 OUTING

Exploring nature’s larder with some spring foraging – wherever you live

74 THIS IS YOUR KINGDOM

A weekend away in a showman’s wagon

63 DOGS IN BLANKETS

The secret dreams of our sleeping pets. Meet Coco, the working cocker spaniel

It’s the end of same-old sarnies and afternoon slumps when you know how to pack a lunch

Making modern meditation work for you

Comfort and confidence are all part of the jumpsuit package

ESCAPE

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Spicing up banana cake

Cardamom and banana cake. Yum. Artist and bookbinder, Kate Bowles

TWITTER.COM/SIMPLETHINGSMAG

THESIMPLETHINGS.COM

BACK COVER: KATHARINE DAVIES; FRONT COVER: DARREN MUIR/STOCKSY

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CONTENTS

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24

Finding a place of your own

Inviting people to a supper club

THINK 77 A POETIC PAUSE

107 HOME STYLE

The Laughing Receptionist in the GP’s Surgery by Paul Durcan

108 BORDER PATROL

78 SHELF LIFE

112 OBSESSION

80 GALLERY

116 HOME TRUTHS

The Simple Things team share their shelfies Wondrous cabins in quiet places

87 KNOW A THING OR TWO...

The evolving story of yoga and how to give it a go

92 WELLBEING

Why a bit of dirt is good for us

TA K I N G T I M E T O L I V E W E L L

The promise of baking heaven, delivered by the food mixer Good ways to revive and reinvent your border

How we really live at home. This month: the art of bathing

MISCELLANY 123 A curious combination of the practical and

NEST 95 FLOWERS IN THE HOUSE

130 BEDTIME STORY

96 HOME TOUR

Family life in a fisherman’s cottage on the Northumberland coast

104 THINKING OUTSIDE THE PATCH

Ferns you can eat, delicious veggies you’ve never heard of – here’s your veg patch could-do list

FACEBOOK.COM/THESIMPLETHINGSMAG

April

A vicar who collects sugar packets

the playful: how to insult like Shakespeare, the best book ends and #catsonmats. Plus wild word, our caption competition and lateral thinking

Persian buttercups, or Ranunculus to you

Homespun adventures

A cabin of one’s own Why a bit of dirt is good for you Learning to forage

WISDOM

Beginner’s guide to supper clubs • Yoga • Seabird spotting The art of bathing • Cardamom banana bread • Veg patch could-do list Lunchboxes & jumpsuits • WIN a year of beautiful books

4 WAYS TO BUY

The Purple Beret by Phaedra Patrick

87

Getting into yoga

PINTEREST.COM/SIMPLETHINGS

NEVER MISS THE SIMPLE THINGS AGAIN l Subscribe: Save 26% with an annual subscription and get a free gift. See page 52 l Order a copy from any newsagent using our form at thesimplethings.com/ blog/newsagent or page 115 l Buy direct at icebergpress.co.uk/shop for just £4.99 – postage is free! l Missed an issue? You can buy back isues and bundles at icebergpress.co.uk/shop

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Glass cloche | from £7.95 Show off plants and other collections and treasures. rastallanddaughters.com

Denim bag | £99 A perfect marriage of utility and design. minorgoods.com

THINGS TO WANT AND WISH FOR Fill your home with lovely things and share them with friends and family, says LOUISE GORROD

Posy tea towel | £8 Alison Milner’s bunches of blooms on linen. shop. thesimplethings.com

LOUISE GORROD Our Wishlist Editor, Louise, is also our Stuff of Life shopkeeper (shop. thesimplethings.com). Look out for this symbol for items in the shop. Louise also blogs, bakes and photographs at Buttercup Days: buttercupdays.com

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Resound No.1 wooden iPhone amplifier | £225 A perfect blend of analogue (wooden speaker) and digital (iPhone). camilla-lee.com

Abacus ceramic geometric vase | £30 Looks good with or without blooms. By Living by Christiane Lemieux for houseoffraser.co.uk


FRESH | APRIL THINGS

Pans | £20-£75; teapot | £37.50; chopping board | £50; storage jar | £10-£12; silver pans | £40-£50; soup plate | £9; dinner plate | £8.50; jug | £25; tumblers | £10 each; side plate | £7.50; juicer | £18; pastry board | £30; vase | £17; Farringdon sideboard | £1,000; dining table | £980; armchair | £360; dining chairs | £520 a pair; all J by Jasper Conran Easy-on-the-eye kitchen furniture paired with timeless cooking utensils. debenhams.com


Welcome your guests with a a little fizz, such as a simple prosecco cocktail, to kick things off. Serve food ‘family style’ in big dishes if you have the space – or sharing plates make for a sociable and informal dinner

T HE S IMPL E T H INGS

SUPPER CLUB

SET A DATE TO OPEN YOUR DOOR TO FRIENDS AND STR ANGERS . SHOW OFF (A LITTLE) WITH THE FOOD AND YOU ’RE SURE OF A MEMOR ABLE EVENING

Recipes: LIA LEENDERTZ Photography: KIRSTIE YOUNG Styling: JAINE BEVAN

A

cross between a dinner party and a restaurant, holding your own supper club is a thoroughly modern way to gather food-loving friends and strangers round your own kitchen table for a home-cooked meal. Lia prefers to cook mainly vegetarian food, with the odd meat-based dish, so there’s no need to offer a vegetarian alternative. So spread the word, plan a menu and rearrange the furniture – guests are coming for dinner…

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Call of the wild FORAGING IS A SATISFYING PURSUIT, SAYS RACHAEL OAKDEN, BECAUSE IT RECONNECTS US TO OUR FOOD AND TO THE SEASONS – AND SPRING IS A GOOD TIME TO EXPLORE NATURE’S PLENTIFUL LARDER Photography: KIRSTIE YOUNG

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ESCAPE | OUTING

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THINK | GALLERY

A QUIET PLACE THERE’S SOMETHING PRIMAL ABOUT BUILDING YOUR OWN CABIN . IT TAKES AMBITION AND DRIVE, BUT THE REWARDS ARE MANY: A RETREAT TO WELCOME FRIENDS AND FAMILY, TO SLOW DOWN AND TO ENJOY NATURE

WOODLAND ESCAPE Greg Farrell fell in love with the Adirondack Mountains in 1956 when he worked at a summer camp. Twenty years later, he and his wife Cathy, helped by around 50 friends, built this distinctive wooden yurt as a holiday retreat. Next came a pantry, barrel sauna and hot tub and then, in 2006, another larger yurt built by their sons Nick and Andrew. “One thing just led to another,” says Greg. “And it came out beautifully.” Keene, New York, USA

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NORDIC IDYLL While some cabins are unique, others are of a more standard design, even pre-fab, and yet still utterly of their place. This beautifully simple dwelling on the east coast of Greenland is reminiscent of many rural holiday homes in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and beyond; its ochre paint echoing the landscape and reflecting the wonderful northern light. Kulusuk, East Greenland

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CAKE IN THE HOUSE

Recipe from The Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook by Salma Hage (Phaidon). Photography by Liz and Max Haarala Hamilton

A twist on a baking classic, this moist and moreish banana cake contains cardamom, which enhances the fruit’s subtle sweetness

CARDAMOM BANANA CAKE Serves 8 170g softened butter, plus extra for greasing 5 cardamom pods 4 ripe bananas, mashed 170g caster sugar 3 eggs 115g chopped walnuts 350g plain flour ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda 2 ¾ tsp baking powder ½ tsp salt icing sugar to serve (optional)

1 Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan 160/350F and grease a nonstick 25cm square cake tin. 2 Crush the cardamom pods, removing the seeds and discarding the pods. Crush the seeds to release their flavour, add them to the mashed bananas, and set aside. 3 Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric handheld mixer until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat.

4 Next, add the chopped walnuts and mashed banana and fold in. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt over the mixture and gently fold all the ingredients together. 5 Spoon the batter into the buttered cake tin and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface evenly. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then turn out and let cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar.

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CENTURIES OLD BUT CONSTANTLY CHANGING – THAT’S YOGA FOR YOU Words: JANE ALEXANDER Illustrations: YELENA BRYKSENKOVA

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NEST | HOME TOUR

CREATIVE SPACE HOW DO YOU TURN A HOUSE INTO A HOME? FILL IT WITH FAMILY, RUGS, NATURAL FINDS AND A SCRUFFY DOG. THAT’S WHAT ARTISTS HELEN AND GERRY DID IN THEIR NORTHUMBERLAND COTTAGE Words and styling: HANNAH BULLIVANT Photography: KRISTY NOBLE

The family dog, Peggy, lays claim to the best spot in the living space, which is filled with snug throws, deep armchairs and blankets. ‘The woodburning stove is the heart of our home,’ says Helen. ‘It makes it feel warm and cosy in the cold, dark winters.’


HELEN STEPHENS AND GERRY TURLEY create children’s picture books. Helen is best known for How To Hide A Lion and Fleabag, and her most recent book is Gracie Grabbit And The Tiger. Gerry’s latest book is A Bear’s Year


Bordering on beautiful: plant bulbs in pots to fill gaps with seasonal colour. Opposite: if you plant Acidanthera corms now, they will flower in the autumn


NEST | GROWING

B O R D E R PAT R O L IF YOUR GARDEN IS LOOKING A LITTLE BEDR AGGLED, DON ’T LOSE HEART. WE ASKED FOUR PEOPLE WHO KNOW GARDENING TO SUGGEST SIMPLE WAYS TO SPRUCE IT UP Words: CINEAD McTERNAN

G

ardens, whatever their size, are a work in progress. Yet, more often than not, most of us think that once we’ve created a border or planted a container, then our work is complete. However, plants can be a bit like toddlers – bold, bright and joyful, but also wild, unpredictable and susceptible to growth spurts! The good news is that now is the perfect moment to address anything that needs sorting in the border as some plants are still dormant or just waking from their winter slumber. There are a number of ways to revive borders and reinvent them – either moving plants to a different location, dividing them to reinvigorate their growth and improve their habit, or introducing a new star to take centre stage in the summer. We’ve looked at popular areas of the garden that might benefit from a bit of an overhaul and asked four gardening experts to share their advice.

BRING OUT THE BULBS

Bulbs are an easy way to inject drama into a border and extend the season with early and late varieties. You have to think ahead when it comes to planting them at the right time, but then it’s just a question of choosing the right varieties for your garden. Professional gardeners often plant bulbs in plastic pots to fill gaps in borders throughout the season. Simply dig a hole in the ground large enough for the pot and drop them in when shoots start to appear. Lift after flowering and store somewhere dry and cool over winter. Sarah Raven, gardener, writer and television presenter, says: l

Grow your own

“If you have lilies in pots from last year, it really is worth removing mini bulbils, which will form satellites around the mother bulb. Pot them up in loam-based compost to flower in a couple of years. It’s exciting and rewarding to have grown your own.” l

Introduce late-summer colour

“My favourite summer flowering bulb for planting now is Acidanthera

murielae, above, the scented cousin of gladiolus. It’s magnificent in pots and for autumn cutting, an elegant spire with a beautiful curve to every stem and soft fragrance.” For bulbs, seeds and plants plus a selection of courses, visit sarahraven.com 109


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