I started this blog saying I wanted to live more hyggelig, to build more Danish hygge into my life and that the first few weeks would be a chance to do research, to look for what makes good hygge.
I said I would ‘launch’ my year of living hygge on October 4th (Cinnamon Bun Day). And I’ve been reading; I have a list of articles as long as your arm, a load from the past few weeks when hygge has just exploded into everyone else’s mind, and a pile of books (ever increasing pile of books) that I have read and reread and will, doubtless, reread again.
And the more seriously I take hygge, the more I agree with the sentiment expressed by Bronte Aurell (Fika and Hygge), that “I’m not going to lecture you on how to hygge like a Scandinavian as if it’s a new thing, because you already know how to do it.” and as Meik the Wiking puts it, “….the list of concepts above” (in his book, The Little Book of Hygge) “doesn’t only provide evidence that it is possible for people other than Danes to experience hygge, but also that they already do.”
I’m convinced that the Brits do hygge. I’m sure that the togetherness and escape into a safe secure space that is vital to Hygge is inbuilt in our human natures. I’m sure that deep down our ancestral tribal instincts rise up and we know that there are people out there ready to work for us, and to protect us in the most fundamental ways possible, through food, love and fellowship.
And I’m convinced that my past life has been hygge-ful already, but that I haven’t called it that. It’s the lack of a word that has the extra oomph of hygge that is missing, not the thing itself. Like pyjamas never had a name, or a bungalow… or piccalilli. Hygge is there, if we look for it, and we can harness the hygge inside. And now we can name it.
That country pub that we love to visit, with the dog and the fire? It’s always been cosy and welcoming and a great place to be after a rain-filled walk; now we know it’s hyggelig as well.
The nights on the beach or in the garden watching the sunset and drinking cool cider, when we laughed ourselves silly and found out our deepest, darkest secrets (you were a Bay City Rollers fan? No! So was I…) that we called companionship or just a fun night… that was hygge.
And the Christmas meal that we invited our neighbour to, when we sat and chatted and talked as the snow fell outside. That was hygge too.
We’ve always had the power, we just needed to learn it for ourselves.
Now; go grab those ruby slippers and lets hygge the hell out of the rest of the year.
Resources of the day;
Blogs. I love blogs and I love finding people who are doing the same thing but in a different way. These are some of the most hyggelig blogs I know. Some of them are from the UK, others from further afield, but their sites are warm, friendly, welcoming and oh so easy to spend time with. Go, enjoy…. and see you later
Hello Hygge; by Kayleigh who lives in Brighton. She blogs on hygge and all things Scandi, and I always come away with something else to do or buy or think about. I want to be her when I grow up.
Hygge Home; A beautiful mix of lifestyle and recipes from the South East of the UK.
Let’s Dansk; written by Hana a third year graphics student from California and living, part of the time, in Denmark. Her photos are beautiful.
What would Denmark do?; An Australian blog, showing that hygge is a universal concept.
Living Hygge; How to live hygge in Cornwall and beyond. They also sell subscription hygge boxes, starting this October. I have mine on pre-order and I’m interested to see what they pack in!