The sun is lower in the sky and yesterday morning, after my usual stumble to the back door to take in a bit of air and let the dog do his ablutions, I noticed that I could see my breath. We are on the cusp of Winter Mes Braves.
I live in Devon and, apart from the occasional anomaly, It’s mild. I have very little time for people who complain about the weather round here. It’s sometimes very wet. (The heavens tend to open as thousands of holiday makers are pitching tents – it’s a bit of a tradition) but basically we are blessed. I am not discounting the absolute horror of those in England who are flooded out year after year by the way. But, in the main, other places have “weather” – think and pray for Haiti for one.
However, the start of Winter can bring with it a kind of lowness. I don’t really get SAD or anything. I don’t need a lightbox but the lack of sunny days can be a bit of a drag on my senses.
I was very interested in all the hype about Hygge – which is kind of the Danish art of cosiness. A few enterprising people have brought books out about it and good luck to them. I don’t think I will be bothering Amazon though – unless I am mistaken the Danish have been practising the flaming obvious. Still – like most obvious things – it still doesn’t work unless you actually DO something so here are the things I thought might be useful.
- Cosy up at home. Soon my famous hand-made door curtain will be making an appearance. The V and A have have asked to borrow it for an exhibition on craftsmanship but I have said No! because it keeps out the draughts. We have rugs and throws and stuff all over the place so when I settle down to get depressed watching “999 What’s Your Emergency?” I am at least snuggly while it happens.
- Get twinkly. We are a bit hot on the old fairly lights anyway. We use them all year round in the evening which Aged Parent thinks is a bit common. I don’t care. I like a candle as well. I find them very cheering. They don’t cost a lot yet in the winter walking home, the most welcoming houses are those with a candle flickering I think.
- Get outside. You will need a scarf and some gloves but getting out in the fresh air as often as you can will get you all tingly in your face. Also you are meant to socialise as often as you do in the summer. I suppose the Danish do their winter socialising in a sauna? (A bit racist?) I never like socialising in a sauna – especially on the night we accidentally went to “Naked if You Feel Like It” night at the Center Parcs spa. Do not talk to me when you have all your bits out. It’s a good rule to live by.
- Read. The Telly is only good if you like Strictly or the X Factor. (No one really likes the X Factor.) But tape your best programmes. (I’m sorry – I do still say tape) and spend some more time with books. If possible under a throw with big socks on. The more I look like a vagrant on Criminal Minds – the more comfy I am.
- Skin. Look after your skin. Hand creams, facial oils, lip balms. If you are all cracky and sore you will not enjoy winter at all. Feel free to look after yourself a bit and rub things in that smell nice. Try not to be too greasy on the cushions.
- Pastries. The Danish eat lots of special pastries at this time of year. I can’t really. I can’t eat one without eating ten and they make my old-lady belly a bit squeaky. You should do so though if you feel you must. Hob Nobs are certainly an acceptable alternative.
There you go. that’s your basic Hygge. Saved you a few bob buying the book. You are welcome.