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Taking time to live well

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July

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E M B R AC E

Dusk in the garden • A topsy-turvy cake • Holiday snaps The wonder of bees • Join a library of things • Slow boating Living in a tree • Rose & sour cherry kofta • Songs about dogs


FINDERS KEEPERS LIA LEENDERTZ CUTS LAVENDER AND ROSE FLOWERS AND PUTS THEIR PERFUMED PRETTINESS TO GOOD USE IN THE KITCHEN Photography: KIRSTIE YOUNG Illustration: ANNELIESE KLOS

Foraged crops are free, abundant and flavourful. All you need do is get yourself to a good spot at the right time, basket and secateurs in hand, and you have some of the best crops available. Through the foraging seasons of spring, summer and autumn, we’ll show you where to find these crops, how to pick them, and ways to turn them into delicious dishes.

T H E M O N T H O F J U LY

Normally we turn to country lanes, woodland edges and sea shores for our foraging but, in July, gardens throw up such a gorgeous perfumed and delicate crop that you don’t have to go far to find fragrant treasures. Roses and lavender are bountiful this month – tumbling over front walls and wafting out into our paths. (If the plants aren’t yours, it is of course neighbourly to knock and ask before picking a few blooms.) Rose petals impart a delicate flavour but a great deal of prettiness, while lavender has a much stronger punch and should be used with care. Both are absolutely the flavour of summer. » 14


FORAGING

Lavender is at its strongest just as the flowers turn from green to purple – properly violet blooms still have a strong flavour


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CORNISH COAST

ARMCHAIR TOURIST

NATURAL MATERIALS AND SEA SHADES FROM PALE TO STORMY HELP TO RECREATE A LITTLE OF THE ENGLISH WILD WEST IN YOUR HOME Words: CLARE GOGERTY

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HOME STYLE

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ILLUSTRATION: JOE MCINTYRE

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ravel to the end of the country, as far south-west as it is possible to go, and you will find yourself looking out across raggedy rocks and crashing waves to the horizon. This is the place to gulp lungfuls of clean air as seabirds wheel overhead. Tucked into the cliffs are curls of sandy beaches, some long and wide and popular with surfers, others more protected – the place to park yourself for a picnic and a paddle. A home that overlooks all of this is a dream shared by many. Along the shoreline you come across beach houses perched above the sea with paths that lead down to the shore. Some are 1

modest chalets with tongue-and-groove walls and wetsuits pegged out on a line in the garden. Others, in former mining settlements near Cape Cornwall, are stone cottages once inhabited by tin miners, and some are handsome granite houses built to withstand even a Cornish winter. To bring a little of the wild and romantic west into your own home, keep the colour palette pale blue and steel grey, keep furnishings natural – wood, clay, rattan, glass – and fabrics light and breezy. Find an armchair to park yourself in, then all you have to do is sit back and imagine you can hear the boom of the ocean in the distance.

Rushbury nest of tables painted in Stormy Seas, £251, wooden-furniture-store.co.uk 2 Helios brass Admiral telescope, £28.99, rothervalleyoptics.co.uk 3 Amelia armchair in Morse Duck Egg, £1,519, darlingsofchelsea.co.uk 4 Coastline Leaning Bird object, £10, argos.co.uk 5 Easel Tripod floor lamp base, £109.96 by Dar Lighting at wayfair.co.uk 6 Fish Trap pendant light, £65, oggetto.com 7 Watercolour seascape ocean breeze wall art print, £7.95 (unframed), modeprints.com 8 Painted Stripe pillowcase, from £52 for set (including double duvet cover), Content by Terence Conran at dunelm.com 9 Oil Paint Scene cushion, £12, sainsburys.co.uk 10 Island Breeze medium dresser in Little Boy Blue, £1,599, paintedfurniture.co.uk 11 Traditional Breton hat, £39, thenauticalcompany.com 12 Elodie rustic vase, £35, habitat.co.uk 13 Stribe black vase, £35, House Doctor at trouva.com

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erhaps you remember the surreal and hideous headlines from the summer of 2011 about the expedition to the Arctic Circle that turned to tragedy when a school boy was killed by a polar bear. What you may not know is that, despite being utterly devastated at losing the eldest of her three boys, Horatio Chapple’s mother Olivia somehow gathered the strength to lay the foundations of a charitable organisation within days. It was the fulfilment of her son’s plans: to offer strangers refuge and rehabilitation in the form of green space. She describes setting it up as “a small thread of positivity when our world had exploded”. As well as possessing the spirit of adventure, the 17-year old was known as a doctor in waiting among his fellow students. During a voluntary stint at Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre in Salisbury, where his father David works as a surgeon, he came up with the idea of a therapeutic garden and diligently carried out questionnaires about patients’ needs and wishes. “Before Horatio left for the trip, the topic of conversation was the garden at the centre,” Olivia says. Just a fortnight after his death, friends, family and people moved by his story had donated more than £20,000 for the realisation of their son’s vision. Olivia quit her 18-year career as a GP. “I simply knew that I would not be any good at supporting patients when I was in

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OLIVIA CHAPPLE set up a charity in the name of her son, just days after his death, providing hospital patients with therapeutic green spaces

such a profound state of grief.” From then on she devoted herself to running the charity and now admits to giving it her “every waking moment”. She soon discovered that creating a beautiful green space in a hospital environment is no walk in the park, with challenges such as infection control, let alone the logistics, but with the help of a talented team, Olivia opened the garden at Salisbury the following year (2012). “Everyone pulled together to make it happen. There was even a large mature hedge donated from the Chelsea Flower Show.” Since then she has helped create four more horticultural havens at regional spinal units where even the bed-bound have the chance to escape the ward to be in an outdoor space, and those in a wheelchair can cultivate flowers, fruit and vegetables, have art therapy and enjoy music events. She isn’t stopping there, however – the seeds have been sown for five more gardens at hospitals across the country. “I’m hugely grateful to everyone who supports the charity – it’s their generosity that is improving the lives of patients and their families facing very difficult times.” horatiosgarden.org.uk Want to nominate a little-known excellent woman? Email thesimplethings@icebergpress.co.uk.

“Setting up the garden was a small thread of positivity when our world had exploded”

WORDS: : RUTH CHANDLER

FINDING SOMETHING POSITIVE IN TRAGEDY, OLIVIA CHAPPLE CREATES GREEN SPACES FOR REST AND REHABILITATION


Know a thing or two..

Bees

WHAT’S THE BUZZ ALL ABOUT? HERE’S A HIVE OF INFORMATION Illustration: RACHEL VICTORIA HILLIS Words: LARA DUNN

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Savour the date A BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY OR REUNION – WHATEVER THE OCCASION, IT CALLS FOR FRIENDS, FIZZ AND CAKE Photography: CATHY PYLE Recipes & styling: KAY PRESTNEY

Dishes to share that are just a bit different, a couple of party-pretty centrepieces and your favourite people, brought together to mark a special day, are a recipe that always works


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ometimes it takes a significant life event to prompt friends to get together – a birthday, a house move or decades of friendship. Whatever the reason, good food makes your get-together even more memorable. We’re not talking hours spent in the kitchen, but unusual and eyecatching dishes that are straightforward to prepare. Prettily filled pastry-case nibbles, chilled soup in teacups and a rainbow Mediterranean salad all fit the bill. Even our showstopper cake is a simple sponge made spectacular with clever decoration. Just what a summer party needs. » 31


“I wanted to be that person standing on a hill. It wasn’t about owning a farm. It was about having that freedom” The Yorkshire Shepherdhess, aka Amanda Owen, had a very particular life in mind when she moved to a remote hill farm, as she tells Rachael Henry

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ext to the packhorse bridge over the beck that flows in front of Ravenseat Farm, there’s a hand-chalked sign. ‘Closed,’ it says (on the days when they’re not open for cream teas). ‘Please feel free to use the toilet, water tap and picnic tables.’ For full-bladdered coast-to-coast walkers used to encountering signs that say things more like ‘Private’, ‘Keep Out’ and ‘No Trespassing’ on their trans-Pennine rambles, it must be a refreshing (and relieving) change. If they’re familiar with Ravenseat Farm from its many television appearances, they’ll feel even more refreshed when they walk into a farmyard busy with toddlers, toys and terriers. This slightly chaotic, bohemian idyll is Amanda Owen’s real life. And she’s genuinely happy to share it. “What you see is what you get,” says Amanda, aka The Yorkshire Shepherdess, whose third book, chronicling life on a Swaledale hill farm with her husband, nine children, four horses, seven dogs, 45 cows and 1,000 sheep has just been published. “We are not fake. Visitors come here and say ‘I can’t believe it’s real.’ But don’t you think that truth is sometimes stranger than fiction?” ACC E S S A L L A R E A S It’s her straightforward telling of extraordinary stories that makes Amanda’s books so captivating. The rat that launches itself at her while she’s on the loo in the middle of the night; the picnicker eating a Scotch egg while peering into the hastily parked ambulance where she’s giving birth to her fourth child; her husband, Clive, turning down the chance to appear in

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Andrea Arnold’s film adaptation of Wuthering Heights because he’s entering a prize sheep at the Hawes sale (where he eventually sells it for £28,000). Lambing sheep; working sheepdogs; wild swimming in icy, peaty tarns. It’s all a long way from the Huddersfield semi where Amanda grew up in the 70s and 80s. Her dream of a rural life first took shape when she read her grandparent’s James Herriot books (the post-war memoirs of a Yorkshire Dales vet, later immortalised in the television series All Creatures Great and Small). But she didn’t have the grades to train as a vet: “I wasn’t a very studious kid, but I wasn’t a bad kid either,” she says. “I was one of the middling ones that floats around and nobody ever remembers.” To anyone who’s ever encountered the six-foot-two shepherdess at Ravenseat Farm, riding her quad bike or serving cream teas to walkers with a baby strapped to her back, it’s hard to understand how she could fail to make an impression. She, Clive and their evergrowing brood certainly made an impression on the makers and viewers of television shows such as Julia Bradbury’s Wainwright Walks: Coast to Coast in 2009 and The Dales in 2011. The openness and good humour with which they invited the cameras to follow them tending their Swaledale sheep on one of the highest and most remote hill farms in England struck a chord. “With us it’s all about accessibility,” says Amanda, who reckons that a big part of their appeal is that she and Clive are both “offcumdens” – incomers. Clive was born in Doncaster, south Yorkshire, the son of a joiner, later moving to Cumbria. Aged 12, he started rearing calves in a field next to his parents’ house, and after years of graft and contract farming, successfully applied for the tenancy of Ravenseat Farm, which is »


WISDOM

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HOME TOUR

All hens on deck. Patrice and a feathery housemate out on the terrace where guests of the B&B can enjoy breakfast


MAISON D'ÊTRE AN ABANDONED HOTEL IN SOUTH-EAST FRANCE IS NOW A BLISSFUL RURAL BOLTHOLE AND B&B THANKS TO ONE IMAGINATIVE COUPLE Photography: YANN DERET Production: MARIE-MAUD LEVRON

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BOOKS

SUNSHINE READING PULL UP A DECKCHAIR OR BRIGHTEN YOUR COMMUTE – HERE’S FACT, FICTION AND PODCASTS APLENTY TO SEE YOU THROUGH SUMMER Compiled by: EITHNE FARRY

PHOTOGRAPHY: PLAIN PICTURE

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ur reading habits often change during the summer – home or away. Perhaps you’re considering an audiobook for a long journey or feel it’s the right time to delve into something a bit more wellbeing focused? Or maybe you’d just like to try a different author to while away a twilight evening or lunch hour in the park? Have a browse through our Books Editor’s recommended reads for some warm-weather inspiration. »

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ILLUSTRATION: SARA MULVANNY. WORDS: CLARE GOGERTY

GROWING

CHEERFUL CROWDPLEASERS s loom b l u nds ntif thery fro u o B ea on f

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Studio Blue Cobalt Brew Cafetiere | £80 Denby has taken the plunge – with aplomb. denbypottery.com

Coastal Reed 30cm shade | £12 A hand-drawn design that’s cool, calm and covetable. argos.co.uk

Hannelin throw | £120 A tactile treat in pure linen. ariashop.co.uk

Things to want and wish for Embrace fresh finds for you, your home and garden. Chosen by LOUISE GORROD

Rope door stopper | £10 Made from jute, with a nautical feel. homebase.co.uk

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Linen Ombre maxi dress | £75 So easy to wear (and wear again), this has side splits, too. hush-uk.co.uk

Vintage Elm Stool | £155 Just right for rustic kitchens – each is a little different. oggetto.com


WISHLIST

Denim hammock | £179 There’s even a pocket on the side for your book, magazine and sunglasses. Reading nook sorted… nordichouse.co.uk


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Profile for The Simple Things

The Simple Things Magazine July 2019 issue  

The Simple Things Magazine July 2019 issue  

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