Welcome to How to Hygge the British Way. This is a shameless attempt to cash in on the whole Hygge empire which, as I write this in September 2016, has taken off big style. Or perhaps it’s a post-Brexit attempt to hold on to a part of Europe that if Article 50 is ever invoked will cease to exist for us because Brexit means we separate forever from the greater European landmass and can never talk to our close neighbours again…..
Or perhaps not. Perhaps it’s one cuddly lady’s dream to take a concept that she loves and admires and to translate the untranslatable into English. An attempt to define hygge and hyggelig moments in terms of what it is and how we can go about injecting it more into our everyday lives.
You see, I am a blogger already. I blog personally at Angel Jem’s City Cottage, and have done for nearly 10 years now. Please don’t rush over to it yet, save it for a rainy day. It’s a mish mash of life and love and thoughts and words that acts more like a diary than a blog. But do read it sometime. It’s funny, mostly; sad, sometimes; and always truthful as I see it.
I also blog as part of my day job as an Office Ninja at Peter Kneale Solicitor’s blog. That’s a legal blog, a kind of holding pen for information and points of view we want to put out there as a firm, but not have cluttering up the work website. I designed and created that, as well. You can see that at Peter Kneale Solicitor.
See what I’ve done there? I’ve established my credentials as a writer. Not well, but enough for me to be able to say that I can string sentences together, that mostly they’re fun to read and that I enjoy writing for people. And now I’m writing about Hygge.
You see, I read about Hygge a couple of years ago and I nodded and smiled and whispered, as I suspect many people do on meeting the idea, “I wish my life were more hyggelig.” And I went about life, and I kept meeting the word and loving it and the feelings it evokes and then…. crash bang wallop….. I realised that I love the word hygge and it is a concept that I hold dear to my heart. That I was seeking to live a hygge life. That a part of me (on the back of too many scandi-noir series and the Ikea catalogue) wanted to be Danish, for preference, or slightly Scandi at least. I even gave my new Kindle the name Hygge Henry! I should be Danish!
Now I live an ordinary life in the leafy suburbs of Liverpool. It’s a great place, but it’s not Copenhagen. Or is it……? What if I could make my life more Danish, more Scandi without leaving Merseyside. What if I could set out to let hygge seep into every corner of my house, my work, my very soul so that the untranslatable in words is translated by action???
I intend for this year to build in as much hygge and hygge-making activities as I can…. but in a British way. I want to see if the word is truly untranslatable or whether an ordinary middle aged Scouse woman can hygge with family and friends without having to move to Denmark. I can’t expect to have Onsdagsnagler on my doorstep, but I can find the next best thing. There is no Tivoli Gardens in Liverpool, but there must be someplace else that works the same as. All the elements of a danish life must have a British equivalent, so I am setting out on a year long journey to try and find them.
It’s September now; I’m using the rest of September to do my research, and then on October 4th, Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden, I will set off on my own Year of Living Danishly without the benefit of actually being Danish or living in Denmark. Wish me luck. I’m going to need it!