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Taking time to live well -

Making changes

September

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Good newsletters How to find ethical fashion Hiking at night

R E S TO R E

Handmade comforts • Favourite rooms • Enjoying silence Silken pear cake & stove pot coffee • Badgers • Secret railways Sharing a car boot banquet • Preserving the harvest


b rrive e, to that a to mak , n ter a r a o le der af r o e r urge t resto so to . T he but al summer e r one i a z-f well d laisse a job f gs o n d brin actio ore an h satisf c y n a parts eer up ourite v a f can ch y e enjo t. Tak ce to ir bes e a chan h t t a e r home ate th of you ppreci a o t autumn too, efore b time, n o r s a outdoo ing se h for t n linger o m a ppers, . It’s ing pe proper t s s e v r g walk ng; ha s; lon e o t swimmi a m to e orativ es and . Rest chilli y a w a ekends good. and we lt so e f r e nev quiet

Lisa

SYKES R LISA EDITO ing th le p #mysim

STYLING AND PHOTOGRAPHY: EMMA HARRIS

nergy; an e n a s There’ s with September uy


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 p73 NEST Loving your home inside and out p97 MISCELLANY The practical and the playful p119 Looking for a particular article? Our index is on page 124


Anker Outdoor String Lights | £118; filament LED bulbs, £8 each A smart way to light the garden. rowenandwren.co.uk

Totide wall clock, large | £130 With a ceramic face and a beech pendulum. nisiliving.co.uk

THINGS TO WANT AND WISH FOR Lovely things to restore order and post-holiday spirits, chosen by LOUISE GORROD

Pumpkin pitcher | £85 A dumpy little jug that could double as a vase. scp.co.uk

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Denim kimono jacket | £99 A modern take on a classic. By Kin at johnlewis.com

Bode cushion | £25 Like it’s been dabbed with a watercolour brush. debenhams.com


FRESH | SEPTEMBER THINGS

Patton open shelving with small cabinet | £695; Musgo oversized vase | £50; Seinfield rug | £350; Feliz extending oak and metal dining table by Matthew Long | £1,200 A neat storage system to display your collections. habitat.co.uk


LIVING | GATHERING

Car boot banquet SOMEWHERE BETWEEN A CAMPFIRE COOKOUT AND A COLD PICNIC IS THIS DELICIOUS WARM FEAST YOU CAN FEED THE HUNGRY FROM YOUR HATCHBACK Photography: JONATHAN CHERRY Recipes: BEX LONG Styling: GEMMA CHERRY Haikus & earth art: MATT LONG


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erving warm food out of the boot of your car to enjoy in the great outdoors brings a number of perks. Firstly, you only have to pack everything once, so you can bring along extras – proper crockery, salt and pepper, a few tealights – as you choose. And should the weather let you down, you’re not totally exposed. Our Middle Eastern menu deserves scenery as fine as its flavours: although tasty lamb flatbreads, followed by spiced doughnuts and Turkish coffee will taste good anywhere, it’s true. »

COOK OUT Panoramic views  pan out beyond the stovetop;  Kitchen without walls  25


LIVING | GAZETTE

GOOD THINGS POSITIVE NEWS* FROM AROUND THE WORLD

EVERYTHING SOLD AT THE RETUNA CENTRE IN SWEDEN IS RECYCLED, REUSED OR MADE SUSTAINABLY By SONIA ZHURAVLYOVA

Below: the conference lounge at ReTuna shopping centre

refurbished and recycled goods. Dreamt up by local politicians who want to make the municipality a green role model, ReTuna opened in August 2015 and has expanded to house 10 shops, a café and conference centre. The centre receives close to 700 visitors each day. Some drop off unwanted items at a drive-thru recycling depot, where they are sorted and upcycled, while others simply come looking for a bargain. “We have customers who want to be a part of the renewable economy and then we have customers who come to buy TVs for a fraction of the price,” says Thomas Söderberg, who runs the re:Compute-IT shop at ReTuna. “But we need to get

more into the consciousness of people so they can make the ecological choice of buying used products as much as possible.” Since opening, ReTuna’s turnover has reached over 20m Swedish kroner (£1.7m) and more than 50 jobs have been created. “Our mission is to save the planet,” says Anna Bergström, ReTuna manager. “Or at least be part of its rescue. We know that we can’t save the world by ourselves – but our customers feel that they are a part of something good.” ReTuna’s shops also offer workshops where customers can learn to repair household items. “People imagine that a sustainable lifestyle takes extra time and effort and is symbolic of a reduced way of living,” says Bergström. “But at ReTuna, we really try to help people be sustainable – and have some fun with it too.”

THINK PROGRESS IS A MYTH? MEASURE IT HEADWAY ON POVERTY • The proportion of people living in extreme global poverty has reduced from 90% 200 years ago to 10% today. • Since yesterday, 180,000 people have escaped extreme poverty.

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• 100 years ago, richer countries devoted 1% of their wealth to supporting children, the poor and the aged; today, they spend around ¼ of it.

The global average IQ score is rising by about three IQ points every 10 years. Children’s brains are developing more fully due to improved nutrition and a cleaner environment.

NOW: THE CASE FOR REASON, SCIENCE, HUMANISM, AND PROGRESS BY STEVEN PINKER (VIKING).

esidents of the small Swedish town of Eskilstuna don’t have to go far to get their shopping fix – or to help save the planet. Whether they’re looking for a TV, furniture, fashion, sports equipment or houseplants, they will find them all at ReTuna, Sweden’s first shopping centre dedicated to

PHOTOGRAPHY (OPPOSITE): UELI LITCHER. INFOGRAPHICS: ADAPTED FROM ENLIGHTENMENT

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Shopping mall on a mission


IN BRIEF ... Prison parkruns The parkrun fitness phenomenon has now arrived in five prisons across the UK. The free 5km events are organised by volunteers. John McAvoy, an armed robber turned Ironman triathlete, says: “I was labelled one of the most dangerous prisoners in the country. If I can change my life through sport, why shouldn’t the other 90,000 UK prisoners be given that chance too?”

HIV progress

Young people who are taking the latest HIV drugs have a near-normal life expectancy as a result of improvements in treatments, a study suggests. Doctors writing in The Lancet medical journal report that 20-year-olds who started antiretroviral therapy in 2010 are projected to live 10 years longer than those first treated in 1996. Newer HIV drugs also have fewer side effects.

Sexual rights

For many girls and women in Africa, contraception and reproductive health services simply do not exist. Female community leaders in Kenya are working with health development charity Amref Health Africa to improve the situation. To try to stamp out female genital mutilation, for example, they are developing alternative rites of passage: rituals that retain tradition without hurting girls.

HANDLED WITH CARE: The Made51 project, launched this year by the UN Refugee Agency, aims to help refugee craftspeople continue their skills – and unique artisan traditions – by showcasing their wares to Western buyers

GOOD FIGURES Where statistics and optimism meet

620K

caged hens have been rehomed by the British Hen Welfare Trust since it was established in 2005. The Devon-based charity, supported by more than 500 volunteers, finds ‘retirement homes’ for hens otherwise destined for slaughter.

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Out of 35m flights in 2017, only two were involved in accidents with fatalities. The figure, based on research by aviation consultancy To70, means there was a fatal accident rate of just 0.000006% – a record low.

75%

of Americans believe that immigration is good for their nation, new research by Gallup shows. It is the highest share of citizens to hold this view since 2001. Only 29% say immigration should be cut, the lowest share since 1965.

*These articles have been written by our friends at Positive News, the quarterly magazine for good journalism about good things. See the world from a different angle; positive.news/subscribe.

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MY CITY*

FEZ

TARA STEVENS TAKES US ON A TOUR OF THE ANCIENT AND MAGICAL MOROCCAN CITY SHE CALLS HOME Photography: OMAR CHENNAFI

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ESCAPE | MY CITY

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*There’s no better way to get to the heart of a city than through the people who live there. Every month, we ask someone, clearly in love with their city, to take us on a personal tour and tell us what makes it so special. You may feel inspired to visit one day or to rediscover the charms of a city closer to you, but for now just sit back, relax and enjoy some vicarious travel. How long have you lived in Fez? I’ve lived here full-time for about three years, but I’ve been coming on a regular basis for almost a decade. Originally I’m from Pembrokeshire, but I’ve been an expat pretty much all my adult life. I started out in Copenhagen, then Puerto Rico, then Barcelona, where I spent nearly 20 years.

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Tell us what makes your city unique.

I think it’s fair to say there is nowhere quite like Fez! And while at times it can be downright infuriating, it feels so ancient and unchanged, it’s an incredible privilege to live here. When I came here, it felt like stepping back in time 500 years. But now, modern cities like Barcelona can feel quite alien after a few months spent here. The Fez medina is the largest pedestrianised zone in the world. It’s marvellous not to hear cars every waking second. It’s the kind of place that makes you slow right down, because there isn’t that much to do here. We don’t have hundreds of bars and restaurants and the social scene is small and low key. I’ve found it an excellent place for getting lots of work done.

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What’s it like in September?

Come September, the landscape is very dry, almost lunar-looking in some places, and that casts a very specific kind of light on the ancient city. The colour of Fez traditionally is yellow (I’m not wild about the fashion for painting some of the streets blue at the moment), and the autumn light makes it seem almost golden, which is a really special thing.

1 Fez’s beautifully ramshackle skyline, dotted with satellite dishes. 2 Hotel Dar Seffarine, in the oldest part of the Medina, is a great base for architecture fans. 3 Bright, colourful babouches – traditional slippers as far from an M&S towelling mule as you can imagine. 4 Juicy oranges in a fruit and veg market. 5 A shopkeeper displaying his wares (and doubling as a cat hammock)

What time of day do you most enjoy and why?

At this time of year, my favourite place to be is up on my roof terrace, or indeed any roof terrace facing west, as the sun sets over the medina (you literally see this fireball disappearing over the rooftops), cracking open a bottle of wine, or sipping on a cocktail. What’s the nature like? Fez is technically Mediterranean and the climate is similar to southern Spain. We’re tucked into a bowl on the Saïs plain, so there’s a sense of being hidden away. »

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STARTING POINTS FOR DRESSING WITH A CONSCIENCE

Illustration: CLAIRE VAN HEUKELOM Words: FRANCES AMBLER


ROOMINATIONS WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE ROOM IN THE HOUSE? THE SIMPLE THINGS TEAM MEDITATE ON THE INDOOR SPACES THAT THEY LOVE BEST – AND ASK YOU TO SHARE YOURS

Kitchen BY IONA BOWER

Too often described as ‘the heart of the home’, I’ve always thought of a kitchen as ‘the engine room’. Nowhere do I feel more capable than here, at the helm, Gardener’s Question Time chattering, kettle bubbling, and something lovely on the stove. There’s something about a buzzing kitchen, for sure. I once considered too many gadgets naff, but these days I get a warm glow from my breadmaker, coffee machine and juicer chugging happily. I recently reached peak smug when I purchased another freezer so I could whip out a pork ragu or a crumble at a moment’s notice for unexpected guests. (I may or may not drop this into conversation à la Hyacinth Bouquet: “I was just passing my second freezer, when…”) I’ve had teeny bijou kitchens before, lovely in their own way (mainly for being able to shout “No room for two” (while flapping at intruders with a tea towel). But 34

now that I have a big kitchen, I love it. Half is ‘kitchen proper’, where the burning and swearing happens (and the second freezer lives – did I mention my second freezer?). The other half is ‘dining and lounging’: a teak table, stained with memories: spilt glasses of red, children’s careless paintings and a deep scratch from that time the cat evacuated it too quickly. There’s also a sofa, because a good friend told me every ‘proper’ kitchen should have a sofa to accommodate poorly children, off school. And in one corner, I have an office; despite having a study, I’ve finally admitted I just want to hang out in my kitchen. It’s where I naturally retreated in labour to moo loudly; where I take friends-in-crisis for medicinal G&Ts; where I’ve feasted, feted and felt a bit green the following morning. Something pulls me to my kitchen and it’s not just the biscuit tin.


NEST | HOME TOUR

RUTLAND

MY NEIGHBOURHOOD CLOTHES DESIGNER NADIA IZRUNA MOVED TO THE TINY COUNTY AND FOUND A SIMPLE WAY OF LIFE THAT SUITED HER STYLE AND FAMILY Photography: CRISTIAN BARNETT Words: CLARE GOGERTY

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Nadia wears some of her own collection at Rutland Water. Opposite: the sideboard and dining furniture are all from Unto This Last


M Y P LOT

Natural born swimmers SARAH AND WILL MURCH DREAMT OF WILD SWIMMING IN THEIR GARDEN. SO THEY TURNED A DISUSED PATCH INTO A TRANQUIL POOL, NOW A HAVEN FOR WILDLIFE AS WELL AS THEIR FAMILY Photography: SARAH MURCH Words: ELLA FOOTE

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NEST | GARDENS

After years of enjoying wild swimming holidays, both as a couple and a family, Sarah and Will Murch created a natural pool in their garden, Ellicar Gardens near Doncaster. Both horticulturists, they turned their passion into a business, and are now part of Ensata, a specialist pool building company (ensata.co.uk).

The story so far Ten years ago, we were a family of seven, crammed into a three-bedroom house. We needed to move but had to stay local for Will’s business. When this plot came up, we literally went down the hill and moved in. The building was horrendous – it had been an institution for young offenders. It was all fire doors, locking systems and boxed-off rooms. The land surrounding it was a neglected field – it was pretty depressing. For two years we did very little apart from cutting it back, strimming it down and riding bikes and horses over it. It was only once we decided to put the pool in that I came up with a masterplan for the whole garden.

More than a pool Creating a natural pool isn’t as simple as digging a hole in the ground, there is a strict recipe: half the surface area is for swimming and the rest is for regeneration and plants. These areas filter and purify the water, and the plants are specifically chosen to draw out phosphates from the water. When we arrived, the garden was a wild place and I didn’t want to tame it. I’ve made it ultra-naturalistic with wild flowers growing among grasses – and that makes it unique. The pretty plants around the pool provide food for pollinators, and the lilies don’t have much function apart from being somewhere for frogs to sit and newts to lurk beneath. »

The natural pool now provides a place to swim, relax and watch wildlife, with a deck to one side providing a waterside eating spot and water plants that are a habitat for frogs and newts

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The Simple Things September 2018  

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