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Taking time to live well Mindful adventures

July

A train trip to the sea Wild sleeping Be your own travel companion

WA N D E R

Barbecue on the beach • Cornflowers • Old deckchairs made new Poignant postcards • New Orleans • Wisdom from foreign lands Tropical jams & halloumi fries • Why we love a youth hostel


FRESH Things to buy, cook, read and do this month p7 LIVING Simple style and gatherings, tea and cake p20 ESCAPE Outings, weekends away and city guides p52 THINK Things to make you stop, read and wonder p75 NEST Loving your home inside and out p99 MISCELLANY The practical and the playful p123 Looking for a particular article? Our index is on page 128


To wander is to stray from the path well trodden. But it is also about discovering the unexpected, experiencing the new and noticing the little things, wherever you may be. Remember the moment; take and print out photographs, send and save postcards, learn from songs and sayings in foreign lands. For a more mindful adventure, let wandering be your travel guide this summer and go your own way.

STYLING AND PHOTOGRAPHY: EMMA HARRIS

Lisa

EDITOR LISA SYKES #mysimplething


Dungeness wallpaper | £50 per roll Shingle, sights and scenes for your walls. minimoderns.com

Cubbitts Herbrand sunglasses | £125 Honey frames for sunshine whatever the weather. workshopliving.co.uk

THINGS TO WANT AND WISH FOR Whether you are set to wander or stay at home, these things will give you a boost, says LOUISE GORROD

Ramsö parasol | £8 The fabric blocks 95% of ultraviolet radiation to keep you safe in the shade. ikea.com

LOUISE GORROD Our Wishlist Editor blogs, bakes and photographs at Buttercup Days: buttercupdays.com. On Instagram: louise_buttercupdays

Recycled wool throw | £36 Tuck this around your knees when the night gets chilly. thebritishblanketcompany.com

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C’est la vie tote | £88 The tote equivalent of a gallic shrug. anthropologie.com


FRESH | JULY THINGS

Chambray cushions | £14 each; bowls and plates | £2.50–£10; blue tint tumblers | £2.50 each; Shore Solar faux rattan lantern | £28; Shore Solar fisherman white lantern | £16; blue tint jug | £8; Shore table runner | £8 A new range of homeware inspired by the colours of the British coast. sainsburyshome.co.uk

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LIVING | GATHERING

Sun, sea & supper WITH SALADS AND A BARBECUE READY TO GO, THERE’S NO NEED TO LEAVE THE BEACH AT THE BEST TIME OF DAY Photography, recipes and styling: AUDREY FITZJOHN

E

vening arrives at the coast bringing a hint of regret for departing daytrippers. How much better would it be to be lighting the coals, unpacking impressive salads, stretching out on the now crowd-free, sun-warmed sands and serving aperitifs as the sun dips towards the sea. All soundtracked by lapping waves and ripples of laughter, brought on by a game of beach cricket or volleyball. Join in the merriment or pull up a deckchair (see page 114) and delight in the fact there’s no need to rush home. 25


B E A C H PA R A D E A RE-COVERED DECKCHAIR AND HOMEMADE WINDBREAK ARE JUST THE THING FOR A DAY AT THE SEASIDE Compiled by: JOHANNA DERRY

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NEST | WEEKEND PROJECT

A

B

C

D

E

F

P R O U D LY HOMEMADE

Deckchair revamp RE-COVERING A DECKCHAIR FRAME BRINGS NEW LIFE TO AN OLD SEAT

you will need

PHOTOGRAPHY: PLAIN PICTURE

An old deckchair 1.5m of striped 45cm-wide fabric of your choice (ideally with vertical stripes) About 20 upholstery tacks Hammer Scissors 1 Remove the old cover and nails from the deckchair, and then clean it thoroughly and treat the wood a day or so before you want to begin. 2 Lay out the fabric carefully on a table and place your deckchair frame upside down on top of it, with the grooves used to prop up the chair facing downwards (step A, right). 3 Start working at the wider end of the chair (where all 3 verticals bars line up each side). Lift the inner and outer bars out of the way, so that you’re working with the middle of the three (step B). 4 Feed your fabric underneath the bar and make a small fold of around 2–3 cm to prevent the end of the fabric from fraying. 5 Roll the fabric with your folded

seam back over the middle bar. 6 Starting at one end, insert an upholstery pin on the underside of the bar. Hold it between two fingers and gently hammer it until it bites, then move your fingers away and hit it hard until the pin head is flush with the fabric (step C). 7 Next, put a second pin in the centre and repeat step 6, then put another one at the far end, and then fill in the gaps with more pins – you’ll find you use around nine or ten pins in total. 8 Fold the deckchair flat again and start work on the other (narrower) end. 9 Feed the rest of the fabric underneath the inner bar and trim off any excess fabric using the longest part of the

chair as a guide (step D). 10 Fold over a 2–3cm seam, then fold it over the inner bar and secure it with upholstery pins as before, pulling the fabric straight and tight as you go (step E). 11 You might need to fold in the corners on each side to adjust the width to fit before tacking it down, as deckchairs can come in different sizes (step F). »

Project by Maria Hopwood of The Stripes Company. Maria and her team draw inspiration from vintage-deckchair-based designs to create practical ideas for the home, beach and garden, using colourful and jolly striped cotton fabrics and trimmings. Visit thestripescompany.com

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Next stop seaside

WITH THE BRITISH COASTLINE WITH THE BRITISH COASTLINE NEVER MORE THAN A DAY TRIP NEVER MORE THAN A DAY TRIP AWAY, TAKING A TRAIN TO THE SEA AWAY, TAKING A TRAIN TO THE SEA IS A JOURNEY ANYONE CAN ENJOY IS A JOURNEY ANYONE CAN ENJOY Words: TRAVIS ELBOROUGH Words: TRAVIS ELBOROUGH

For a truly nostalgic daynostalgic trip to the For a truly seaside, down daytrack trip to the a steam train special seaside, track down a steam train special

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ESCAPE | OUTING

A

s someone who grew up by the seaside but has lived in two landlocked cities over the past three decades, I need few excuses to head to the coast on a whim or having spotted a decent weather report. Like Ishmael in Moby Dick, I am occasionally gripped by an almost uncontrollable urge to ‘get to sea’. And my preferred means of reaching these longed-for shores is invariably a train. Although railway stations can be the stuff of humdrum commutes, disruptions

and disputes, I treasure the possibilities they offer as means of escape to coastal adventure. The destination boards at Manchester Piccadilly, Leeds, Chester, London’s St Pancras and Fenchurch Street proffering the options, respectively, of visits to Blackpool or Morecambe, Scarborough, Llandudno, Broadstairs and Margate, Southend and Leigh-on-Sea. Here a railway ticket can serve as a passport to a place of sights (if not actually sun), sea and vinegary fish and chips, where parking is no concern of mine. Travelling light on these occasions only »


AN IDIOMS GUIDE WE CAN LEARN MUCH BY UNDERSTANDING HOW OTHERS SEE THE WORLD. ELLA FRANCES SANDERS CAPTURES THEIR WISDOM THROUGH QUIRKY PHRASES IN LANGUAGES NOT OUR OWN

Arabic

You know the English phrase, ‘You win some, you lose some’? This is (more or less) the Arabic version but with the addition of honey and onions and therefore, potentially, far more delicious. It’s really a very reasonable outlook to take on life; the idea that sometimes, happily, things will go our way and other times will go spectacularly wrong, and that happiness probably lies somewhere between the two.

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F O R T H E LOV E O F IMPERFECTIONS THERE’S A DELICIOUS ANTICIPATION TO GETTING A ROLL OF CAMERA FILM DEVELOPED. KATIE ANTONIOU EMBRACES ANALOGUE PHOTOGRAPHY #NOFILTER #FINGEROVERTHELENS

PHOTOGRAPHY: GETTY IMAGES

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ack at my parents’ house, there’s still a drawer stuffed with Snappy Snaps envelopes, full of photos I took after inheriting an old Pentax camera in my late teens. Reassuringly heavy, it needed winding on manually with a satisfying ‘click’ that made me feel like a real photographer. The few good shots I took decorated bedroom walls, went in scrapbooks or were put in wallets, so all that remains in those dog-eared paper pouches are the flawed shots; the majority of each film that ended up being the backs of people’s heads, faces out of focus or fingers over the lens. And yet, I can’t bring myself to throw them away. There’s something poignant about documenting the imperfections of real life, about having a record more authentic than the posed and edited digital shots we see on social media today. This backlash has enabled the revival of analogue film. More people are picking up old cameras and trying their hand at photography the old-fashioned way. You don’t have to ditch your smartphone, but if you have an old camera lying around, why not try rediscovering your inner shutterbug? Companies like Lomography are run by analogue aficionados who can help you get started again. Lomography sells its own cameras and film alongside other brands of 35mm for most models, so you can bring your camera into one of their concessions and they’ll help you install the first reel of film. When you get your film developed, you can choose to receive your photos on a CD, too, so you can share shots online, the way you would with phone photos. Embracing analogue doesn’t mean becoming some sort of luddite. If you’ve forgotten how your old camera works, then taking it into a bricks and mortar photography store might be your best

“There’s nothing quite like the joy of discovering pictures you barely even remember taking”

bet, but there are also numerous tutorials on YouTube that should jog your memory. There’s a huge online community of analogue photographers offering tips from how to buy film in bulk on eBay, the cheapest places to get it developed (Asda comes highly recommended). The website filmsnotdead.com offers endless gems, from how to take your film through airport security without it being damaged, to experimenting with expired film. They also run a market stall on London’s Brick Lane the first and last weekend of every month, where they stock old cameras, film and plenty of good advice.

F L A S H B A N G WA L LO P, W H AT A P I C T U R E As far as tips go, the best way to kickstart your new hobby is to take your camera everywhere with you – you’re never going to get a great shot if you save it for special occasions. Treat it like your smartphone and have it to hand all the time. On holiday, rather than worry about getting sand in your phone or running out of battery, take a real camera and relax; Lomography sells one made of plastic that can be taken apart and washed. It can be hard to wean yourself off the high expectations of digital photography. But there’s nothing quite like the anticipation as you wait for your film to be developed (try Snappy Snaps and even some branches of supermarkets such as Tesco), followed by the satisfaction of seeing shots you carefully planned turn out well, along with the joy of discovering pictures you barely even remember taking. Yes, there are disappointments, too, but I don’t think I’ve ever got a film back and not found at least one wonderful shot. You learn to value your photographs differently from the digital shots you take on your phone. Experimenting with effects such as overexposure is a real gamble; not like Instagram filters that you can add or remove. That sense of taking a risk gives you a rush you just won’t find re-taking a selfie a dozen times. If you’re after perfection, analogue photography’s probably not for you. But if you’d like to see things in a different light and indulge in some delayed gratification, you may just find it delivers.

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NEST | HOME TOUR

K I N G S B R I D G E , D E VO N

MY NEIGHBOURHOOD ILLUSTRATOR AND AUTHOR JANE FOSTER SHOWS US ROUND HER ESTUARY TOWN, STARTING WITH HER OWN SUNNY, 1960S HOME Photography: BRENT DARBY Words: CLARE GOGERTY

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Opposite: the front door is painted in Jane’s favourite colour – yellow; Jane sits by Kingsbridge estuary. Above: white walls and floors act as a gallery-style backdrop to display Jane’s collections


M Y P LOT

A wildflower meadow LITTLE EPITOMISES SUMMER LIKE A TAPESTRY OF FLOWERS, BUZZING WITH BEES. PAM LEWIS HAS CREATED SEVERAL ON HER PLOT IN DORSET, INCLUDING ONE ON A CHALKY MOUND Photography: ROO LEWIS Words: MATT COLLINS


NEST | GARDENS

The story so far When Pam Lewis created her garden, Sticky Wicket in Dorset, with her late husband Peter in 1986, her intention was to make a wildlife haven that also looked wonderful. This they achieved magnificently, and went on to open the five-acre garden to the public for 20 years, inspiring generations of gardeners to rediscover and cultivate native wildflowers and grasses. Not long after Peter’s death, Pam had a riding accident, and subsequently closed the garden in 2008. Since then she has focused on meadow-making projects, encouraged natural woodland regeneration and grown organic food on her smallholding. She is the author of two influential books, Making Wildflower Meadows and Sticky Wicket: Gardening in Truth with Nature.

A meadow on a mound Tucked into a corner of Sticky Wicket, by a hedge, is a flower-festooned, 1.8m mound of chalk. “Chalk is the soil type that so many plants favour,” Pam says. “Some of the best nectar plants grow in chalky conditions.” Pam doesn’t have naturally very chalky soil, so she obtained it from a nearby disused quarry, from which it arrived with a supply of its own dormant seeds. “That’s what makes this special,” Pam says. “It brought along elements of its own provenance, which are local to this area.” Little creations like the chalk mound present an enormous benefit to wildlife. “For anyone wanting to have a small wildflower patch in their garden without a struggle, chalk isn’t the only option,” says Pam. “You can use any limestone substrate or gravel or brick, as long as it’s starved of nutrients.” When crushed

Pam (above left) edits her meadows, removing false oat-grass, which often impedes flowers from proliferating

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The Simple Things July 2017  
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