Where have you been? It's all about hygge isn't it?

November 4th
My sister in laws mug
photo credit Sixes and Sevens

What a year the Scandinavians are having or should I say the Danes.  If you have not heard the word hygge in the last year, you must have buried your head under all those fluffed up cushions on your sofa whilst sitting in only a candle lit room or ambled past it as you took your daily walk.  What on earth am I talking about?

Well to be precise this year alone there have so far been 14 books published on the subject and not all by Danish authors may I say.  Being of Scandinavian descent myself and more accurately Norwegian, I was glad to see in the list, the Norwegian author, Signe Johansen.  I happen to love her cook books and was glad to see she was flying the Norwegian hygge flag.

We seem to have a fascination with Nordic living and the Nordic way of life from their interiors, as holiday destinations, their colour schemes, and even their film noir type TV series but our most recent fetish with Scandi life seems to be this strange word hygge.  I have grown up with it from a small child not realising that it was a different way of life in so much it had a label, to a teenager reveling in some aspects of it and not so much others, to a mother and home maker that is the essence of who I am, what I do and how I live.

Today I jump on the band wagon and share with you five ways in which hygge is incorporated in my soul and what it means to me. This is not a definitive way of incorporating hygge into  ones life but it is my way and is the very essence of how we live.  Ask my children and my husband what the word means to them and they will come up with their own variations of hygge.

Early morning before the house hold is
awake is often my time in the day for me
Time out

For me time out in a day is vital for my sanity and well being.  Some days it may only be literally 5 minutes, a time where I really try to be in the moment, not thinking or worrying about anything else except just being.  It's not easy clearing your mind but gosh how refreshing it is after. An inner peace.

Drinking a cup of tea and reading a good book or...

... a cup of coffee on the bench outside

and always a bit of time out for some yarn therapy

Fresh air 

The joy of having a sailing boat means I am often at lovely
 coastal locations where I take myself off for a stroll
No matter what the weather I make a point of being outside every day from a short walk within the village to a more full blown exercise session. There is nothing like the fresh air to awaken the senses and make one feel alive. Looking at the world around me and noticing the changes of mother nature can bring me an unbelievable sense of well being.  This has been heightened if I am honest by writing this blog too.  I stop and notice and appreciate the world around me more, who would have thought this blog would have done that for me, I certainly did not.

Mother nature

Yellow such a colour of hope

Autumnal days outside


Warmth inside ...
I have always been obsessed with light, small table lamps, side lamps, floor lamps, wall lamps, hanging lamps and of course candles.  Anything to bring light and warmth into the home is good for me.  It seems to wrap itself around and I never tire of lighting candles and just cosying up on the sofa watching the flickering light. Of course this is the same for the flickering light and heat that radiates from a fire also, be it indoors or outside on a summers evening or as we often do well into the winter months with blankets, coats and hats and sit outside with a mug of something hot and sit and chat.   This obsession goes back to my childhood when my Bestemor (grandmother) used to light literally hundreds, or so it felt, candles in the evening and we would sit and play games after the news on telly and enjoy each others company.  This wrapped me up in warmth from a young age and the feeling carries on within to this day many years after she died.  Give me a blanket to snuggle under, a candle lit room and a roaring fire and I am in my comfort zone.

Warmth outside too


There is a time to be alone and a time to gather. Both equally as important.  Bringing together family and friends of all ages and generations.  As I become older gatherings have taken on a new meaning for me, not necessary the fuss and pomp of needing excitement, but just of enjoying the company and being together.  No pressure but a sense of belonging.  Often our gatherings take place outside ...


Food is at the heart of hygge for me too. I am not talking about the every day cooking which if you are like me can be a huge chore and I often become stuck in a rut in my dishes but proper thought about or I fancy this food is what I mean here.  The food that you enjoy preparing with others, almost a gathering if you will of friends and family to create something together, especially at weekends. We all prepare and cook together at weekends,  the familiarity and togetherness and then sharing in what we have eaten brings pleasure and warmth all on its own. But it can be the little things too, like eating the first of something in the correct season and savouring that moment.  Knowing that the month of December when we bake our traditional 7 different cookies to share with family and friends in the run up to Christmas is made with love and expectation, I just cannot describe to you what it means to me.  Oh and baking cakes and sharing in comfort food, who wouldn't
want to be a part of that?

Drying fruit from the garden to eat in the
winter months brings utmost pleasure to me

The children's favourite comfort food, Toad in the Hole

Any occasion and we will make waffles, it never
fails to make us all smile, just the smell of them cooking...
Food for sharing

The Scandinavians have nothing different or new to share with the world, all the above are experienced by most to a greater or lesser extent but where I think they have the edge these Nordic folk is that they recognise the need to envelop all these aspects as good for our soul, our well being, our mental state and our health.  And so by giving it a name that can mean so many different things to different people, it encourages a nation to look after itself and each other, to take time to slow down and see the beauty around, coining a British phrase, hope I am using it correctly, take time to smell the roses.

Hygge is a very personal experience and what hygge means to one person will very 
often mean something else to someone else, which is why it is such a difficult word to 
translate, it means so many different things.  

Joining in with Amy sharing my five thoughts on hygge
do pop over and see what others are sharing today.

   What does hygge mean to you?  

And if you think this all sounds a bit smug and too perfect whose life is perfect anyway,  we only share that which we are comfortable with then read the following send up of hygge in the Daily Mash.  If swearing offends, then please do not click on the link, you have been warned...  Hygge is...