Kate Humble’s new book is a lesson in moving on from a tragedy and finding our place in the world

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  • Our favourite wildlife presenter, Kate Humble, has graced television screens for over 20 years teaching us about the natural world and giving us envy by being a poster girl for the country. She has a joyful manner which we all know and love, but this year hasn’t been easy as the joyous pictures among nature may seem. Kate had a wake-up call for how we should all act in this world and her newest book – out in a couple of days – gives sage advice to all.

    In A Year of Living Simply, Kate Humble explores the route to happiness and asks whether our lives have become overly crowded. Do we need to take a step back and simplify our lives? Yes.

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    Following the death of her dad, father-in-law, and two family friends all in the short space of time, Kate went in search of an easier way of life. Coupled with worrying about the state of our planet and its fragility, Kate decided it was time to go old-school, live differently, more simple. Here are the two things she preaches can help. 

    Paring it back

    Find joy in the small things and go back to the good old days. Forget Amazon and try to fix things instead. Why not grow vegetables and flowers in your garden instead of driving to the shop to buy them wrapped in plastic. Marvel at their beauty! Kate says, “an appreciation for dahlias is a fantastically middle-aged thing that hits you, a bit like menopause.” 

    Toast and marmite

    This may sound ludicrous but it harks back again to simply finding joy in simplicities.

    Kate has got it down to an art form, “toast for breakfast, or a snack, needs to be a robust slice, not thin and floppy. So ideally it should be from a loaf that needs slicing by hand.”

    And, of course, “[marmite] needs to be spread generously, covering the toast in a glossy, dark slick. There is literally nothing better to sink your teeth into.” Kate’s enjoyment in the seemingly every day is something spiritualists often preach so it is nothing new but with the pace of life getting quicker and quicker it can be hard to remember what makes us happy.

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