Emma Mitchell (Silver Pebble) appeared on BBC’s Countryfile last night (4.2.18) talking about dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder through getting outside and creating, especially by creating an Instagram community of creators all together. If it’s available in your area, you can see her interview on the programme at about 45 minutes in.
I am still inspired by her Making Winter book, and desperate to play with some silver clay. I think the programme possibly needs a ‘sequences have been shortened’ warning, since the two minutes taken to make a beautiful pendant possibly isn’t realistic, but I cannot WAIT to get my silver clay and have a darned good mess. If you haven’t seen my review of her book, it’s here: Making Winter by Emma Mitchell. I ordered the silver clay with a gift voucher from Amazon… all the pennies from people buying through the links on my blog finally added up to something! so thank you for that.
Hibernation has been a joy this year. I think I haven’t enjoyed winter so much for ages. Giving myself permission to feel low has perversely helped me to feel less low. I have bolstered my immune system with good food, got out with friends and family a couple of times and taken time to just be and enjoy life.
I passed through Aldi yesterday and their Valentine’s range was out. I couldn’t see any benefit from chocolates and champagne, but I did pick up this little heart-covered radio and a basket of blue hyacinths.
With a cup of tea and my cream blanket to work on, it made for a very cosy and comfy Sunday evening (I was in my hygge nook while I watched Emma: Paradise, indeed).
The weather forecast in my part of the world is annoyingly good. No icy blasts or banks of snow to battle through in Liverpool, it seems. The sunlight today is distilled through white rather than grey clouds, and the wind is gentle. I have nothing planned after work this week, so I’m aiming to get the house tidy again. I find I’m thinking about spring already, looking at paint and working out what colour I want to paint the hall and the ensuite bathroom. My blue fascination continues, and I’m wondering if navy is too dark for an ensuite. Navy wall (only one needs painting) with red and mink towels, with wicker accessories. My Pinterest needs a new board.
In Making Winter, Emma uses a dialect word ‘Croodle’. I’ve been thinking about words like that, words that have one or more aspects of hygge in them. I wonder if we in the UK don’t sell ourselves short sometimes in our fascination for all things exotic, if we aren’t too ready as a nation to jump onto the next foreign word and concept that passes by and forget that we have or have had similar words or concepts in our own languages for years. I read an article saying that Sisu would be the next nordic word, and that it was Finnish for Strength in the Face of Adversity. Pardon? We Brits used to be famous for that. It was called Blitz Spirit or Stiff Upper Lip. It’s the Keep Calm and Carry On philosophy that we had everywhere as a poster a few years ago.
Life is enriched by learning about and absorbing the best of other cultures. It’s part of human nature, that we need to widen our horizons, to look outside of our own little spheres, to learn about other people and their hopes, dreams and feelings so that we recognize our basic humanity beneath the shell. The Blitz spirit was created from the Scottish characteristic of resilience in the face of such bad weather, the Irish ability to enjoy company in the darkest moments, the Welsh appreciation of community and the English attitude of pragmatism and practicality in an emergency. You need that interplay of attitudes for it to work. Pragmatism without pleasure is drudgery. Community without resilience is weakness.
I’ll be reading about Sisu, and lagom and hygge. I love learning about other cultures and learning from them as well. But I’ll be tempering my appreciation with an appreciation for my own culture, too. My hygge isn’t Danish, because I am not Danish. It’s British: pragmatic, practical and with a hefty dose of croodling in the winter.
I have drawn up my Could Do List for February. Inspired by The Simple Things, I love having a short list of things I may… or may not… be inspired to do. I’m away in London at the end of February, so I think my fairy making may be done then. And I am reminded that I should have added International Hygge Day to the list as well….
You can read my list of hyggely activities to plan on my International Hygge Day post last year. I have tuition to do until 6pm that night, but after that I will be hyggering as hard as I can, probably with a romantic movie, tea and candles. Are you in? I’ll be writing a full post about it later this week.
For more hygge-filled ideas, try my books. They have more ideas that are good for hibernating with, and are all available from Amazon. 50 Ways to Hygge the British Way is available in Paperback and Kindle version and so is How to Hygge Your Summer, again in Paperback and Kindle form, from Amazon. Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas was released in September 2017 and is available again in paperback and ebook version.
And if you have my books but feel sorry for a penniless writer (I do have an attic to sit in, but the hygge nook in my house is warmer) then you can always donate the cost of a coffee via paypal.me/HyggeJem . Every penny counts, as the blog isn’t monetised and I only review things that I trust and believe are truly useful in building a happier life. Usually I buy them myself, although if a product, book or service that I would actually buy for myself offers a review copy or sample, I won’t say no. I will tell you when that happens, though, so you know what’s been given and what I’ve bought. Hope that helps!