Alison May writes a blog called Brocante Home, a site dedicated to fluffiness and fripperies and creating a Life Less Ordinary. It doesn’t sound very hyggely, does it? And, indeed the site itself could hardly be further from the clear, bare Scandi-chic interiors that hygge is usually paired with. But you know I call my blog How to Hygge the British Way for a reason, and that is because we- in Britain, Ireland and all over the Western World- don’t live neat, tidy, blond wood lives. We live in messy, chaotic and beautifully individual worlds, and that shows in our houses.
Alison writes about housekeeping, or homemaking. I don’t think she minds being called either sort of blog. She writes honestly, and truthfully about her own life and issues, and she is searingly honest in places. Reading over her blog you will hear the pain and anguish she has gone through. And yet she still smiles. She still loves what she does.
The Spring House is Alison’s latest Kindle book. It’s a slim volume, no more than 50 pages long, but for all that it has a host of beautifully hyggely spring ideas. Alison’s writing style is flowery, with lots of m’dears and rhetorical questions, because she writes her books in the same style as her blog. That’s her way. It’s the way that fresh blue gingham would write if it had a voice.
The book is divided into 11 very short chapters, little more than a couple of pages each. There are lists on preparing for Spring, ideas for Puttery treats to indulge in at Springtime, journal prompts, a reading list of fiction and non-fiction for Spring, recipes and a short introductory essay to set the scene.
I love her chapter on Making Memories. It’s idealism in the best way: I know the chances of me getting to spend the morning in the garden are slim (duh, full time work) but I can aim to find coffee granule soap at a craft fair and indulge in that even if my fingers are dirty from the keyboard rather than planting seeds. I am, however, inspired enough by her to be Spring cleaning bit by bit (have you seen my kitchen recently?) and Alison is always keen to stress that we need to curate our lives or risk letting in too much noise and mess.
She isn’t all about the work either.
“Spring is after all about indulging in all of life’s pleasures and that means a little of what you fancy will definitely do you good when your diet is otherwise as wholesome as all that Mother Nature is kind enough to bless us so abundantly with”
Hygge treats, anyone? In the evenings she encourages us to snuggle down in rose and lavender spritzed sheets, and to rest contented in a house ready to face the morning.
But it’s Alison’s list of puttery treats I love. A puttery treat is anything that we do just for the pleasure of it. Alison’s good at listing them, including indulging in primroses, making spring soup and adding lemon oil to playdough. They’re simple little things, but cute. Just right for a little hygge self care now and again.
I enjoy all of Alison’s work: I’ve been a fan of her blog for a good while now, and in my heart I think I am still a full time housekeeper. One day, perhaps, I’ll make enough money as a writer to stay at home again and have time to cook, bake and waft essential oils around. For now, I try to combine office-keeping and home-making duties by using my lavender hand cream every morning as soon as I sit at my desk, by keeping the office smelling pleasant and by becoming a home-loving woman when I walk in the door. Alison’s books help me to feel like I can do enough to have a happy home, and The Spring House is another very good source of inspiration for me. At only 78p it’s also excellent value!
I’m off now to buy some lemon curd and have it on gently toasted bread. If you want to read more of my ramblings, please find me on Facebook as How to Hygge the British Way and you can now follow me on Bloglovin as well. I’m personally also on Twitter and Instagram and as a member of The Hygge Nook on Facebook.
My book, 50 Ways to Hygge the British Way is available in Paperback and Kindle version from Amazon. The contents of the book are entirely different from the blog, so don’t worry that it’s just posts rehashed. Not yet, anyway.
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