There’s a nip in the air… and hygge in the house.

It’s turned chillier the past few days. Even I, who am usually quite likely to walk from car to office with little more than a handbag, have got my coat out and my gloves ready. Quite a few newspapers are confidently shouting about a Bad Winter, and making people shiver with anticipation… anticipation can be both good and bad, after all.

I’m ready. I love the change in the air, and the anticipation of all the signs that mean Autumn is well and truly here and Winter Is Coming (GoT fan, can you tell?). I  have loved Autumn since we learned the song “Autumn Days” at primary school.  It lists all the things that make Autumn special and the chorus is “I mustn’t forget…. to say a great big thank you.” Gratitude makes life better.

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It’s nearly impossible to find a video or recording of the song, written by Estelle White who lived a varied life, being in the army, a nun, a teacher and a hymn writer. You can read her obituary from the Yorkshire Post by clicking the link. Songs and hymns go in and out of favour, and this one was always seen as a school hymn. I learned it aged 10, and sang it at school, never to meet it again until I was 40 and went to a new school where it was part of their regular Autumn assemblies. Like the best hymns and songs, it’s a cross over between song and poetry, poetry set to music. I love it, it taught me so much about looking and seeing, and appreciating what I have. Here, in case you don’t know it, are the lyrics.

Autumn days when the grass is jewelled, And the silk inside a chestnut shell.

Jet planes meeting in the air to be refuelled. All these thing I love so well

So I mustn’t forget… No, I mustn’t forget….To say a great big Thank You! I mustn’t forget.

Clouds that look like familiar faces And the winters moon with frosted rings.

Smell of bacon as I fasten up my laces  And the song the milkman sings

So I mustn’t forget… No, I mustn’t forget….To say a great big Thank You! I mustn’t forget.

Whipped-up spray that is rainbow-scattered And a swallow curving in the sky

Shoes so comfy though they’re worn out and they’re battered And the taste of apple pie.

So I mustn’t forget… No, I mustn’t forget….To say a great big Thank You! I mustn’t forget.

Scent of gardens when the rain’s been falling And a minnow darting down a stream

Picked-up engine that’s been stuttering and stalling And a win for my home team.

So I mustn’t forget… No, I mustn’t forget….To say a great big Thank You! I mustn’t forget.

I love the idea that a big part of hygge is appreciation of what we have and it’s easy in Autumn to appreciate everything so much more because there’s a big contrast between inside and out.

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The inside/outside seems to be important in hygge. Even when the rest of the world is mean, horrible, cold, scary… hygge is building a sanctuary for you, your family and friends. A place of physical and emotional warmth where your tribe know they won’t be picked on or argued with, threatened mentally or physically and where they will find the warmth of physical objects as a visible sign of inward love. An outward sign of an inward grace… well, there’s St Augustine’s definition of a sacrament. Hygge as sacrament? A holy pause? I’ll let you decide that.

Today’s resources;

You will need to wrap up warm when Winter is Coming. How about a really soft, comfortable scarf and something to pin it with?

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My scarf of the year, and hardly off my neck since I bought it, is this warm, glowing yellow scarf from Accessorize. Called the Lily Ribbed Scarf, it’s a snip at £17.99 and available in a wide range of Autumn into Winter colours.

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And to fasten it with, why not go full-blown Winterfell? This Hand of the King Pin from Amazon is only  £5.29 and would hold your scarf tightly around your neck well…..

 

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