I first came across the concept of hygge on Elizabeth’s lovely blog about a year ago. It appealed to me greatly and I’ve since noticed that it’s become quite the thing with hashtags on Instagram, features in magazines, newspapers and on the radio, and a flurry of books. I bought one (the book of hygge) when we were in the Lake District, thinking I’d have time to curl up by the woodburning stove of an evening, all cosy, and read it. I didn’t. But I did take it with me on Wednesday to read while my eldest boy was having toe surgery; it proved a welcome distraction. He was brave, I was less so.
According to the author, to hygge (which can be a noun, a verb and an adjective) is “to create a harmonious atmosphere, a feeling of warmth, a mood of contentment”. Just thinking about that makes me feel better. The book is full of lovely quotes like:
“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.” Oscar Wilde
“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” William Morris
We could all do with more hygge in our lives at the moment, don’t you think? I’m not going to stray into politics here. I’ve spent the last couple of days ranting and with a feeling of having stepped into a parallel universe. It’s hugely unsettling but it makes me even more determined to concentrate on goodness, kindness, tolerance and peace. More candles! More cosiness! More cuddles! Let’s hygge.
While I’m on the good things in life, we’ve been working our way through a mountainous bulb delivery (I went a bit click-happy in a website sale). We managed to get a load of scented daffodils planted last weekend but there are still more to get in the ground, plus about a hundred tulips. I’m working on my long-term plan to be able to pick armfuls of them to bring into the house. Vases, jugs and bowls of beautiful tulips dotted about the place come May…
The garden is definitely dropping its cloak to reveal its underlying structure. There are leaves everywhere from our neighbour’s stately copper beeches. They are gorgeous trees but they shed So Many Leaves. We’ve filled a one-tonne sack and hidden it behind the compost heap for the creatures to work their magic and create leaf mould but it’s hardly made a dent in the leaves on the ground. Bulb-planting and leaf-clearing are on the list for this weekend if the weather is fine.
We’ve had quite a few changes inside the house over the last few weeks. The one room that hadn’t been decorated since we moved here has changed to a delicious, dramatic dark grey. It’s a large room with a high ceiling and plenty of light in the morning and it looks magnificent. We’ve yet to sort out the furniture, hang pictures and buy and hang curtains. That’ll happen as and when. In the meantime I keep wandering in there and admiring the changing light on the dark walls. Perhaps the most dramatic change, however, has been to the old front door. It used to have mismatched, obscure glass panes, some of them cracked and was not a thing of beauty. Now it has clear glass and you can see through to the sea – it makes such a difference and the hall is definitely lighter. I’m looking forward to putting up a lovely wreath…
Oops, but there’s a rule in our family that we don’t mention, think about or even plan (ah, yes, well…) for the ‘C’ word until after my eldest’s birthday on 19th November. The John Lewis advert popped into my inbox yesterday morning, though, and I couldn’t resist taking a peek. Have you seen it? Go on – it’ll make you smile. It’s hygge.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by and for your comments. If you’re new here, hello and welcome.
Wishing you a hygge-licious weekend.