Hot topic on one of my Twitter timelines this week was whether it is cultural appropriation for other people (ie not from Lancashire) to eat Lancashire Hotpot or whether it’s a step too far to let anybody from Yorkshire eat it. There was thoughts of some retaliation with the banning of Yorkshire puddings in any town west of Saddleworth. Be aware, there may at some future date be a pitched battle between Yorkshire puddings and black puddings on the county line. I back the black puddings. They’re longer, heavier and more likely to hurt if you get hit over the head. Although, I don’t know… My Mother in Law could make pretty heavy Yorkshire puds, and as a result always let Aunt Bessie make them for her.
Of course, the discussion was really part of a bigger debate on cultural appropriation and the right of Jamie Oliver to make a rice dish called Jerk Rice when the term jerk in Jamaica actually relates to the cooking method rather than the spice blend used and therefore it is impossible to ‘jerk’ rice. As someone who has adopted a Scandinavian word/idea thoroughly and uses it to improve my life, I’m not a completely impartial advisor. But I do wonder if the gang jumping on Jamie Oliver are motivated as much by their personal opinion of him as by a zeal to keep their culture ‘pure’.
This weekend’s word is a really old English word: it comes originally (as many of our words do) from another country. Really, it’s impossible to keep a language ‘pure’. Words are brought over by travellers, actual or virtual, get into common useage and get twisted. Much as a recipe comes over from the homeland, gets into common kitchens and then gets twisted. In this word’s case, the original language was middle Dutch, from the 16th Century, via middle German and then into middle English, where the meaning was subtly changed.
In Henry VIII’s time a ‘rover’ was a pirate, a thief who travelled aboard a ship. It shares a common root with the Cumbrian reivers who travelled around the country and robbed. Rover changed meaning gradually until now it means one who travels aimlessly. One who roves.
I chose it as the word of the weekend because sometimes roving, being a rover, is just what we need to switch off from life. Walking is one of my best relaxations, and I love just getting out and going nowhere. The only place I end up is back at home again, at the end of a rove. I find it frees me to just be, to enjoy the activity not seek for a resolution. Sometimes the journey is the destination, after all.
I am not at all free to rove this weekend. A pot of blue grotto paint from Valspar has my name on it, and a living room and dining room in need of a ceiling to skirting board renovation is calling me. I took my inspiration where I could, as always, and this picture had me enthralled.
Yes, that’s a darker shade of blue than perhaps most people would go for, but I know blue will make me feel cosy, and our living room gets so much sun during the winter that it won’t be dark. Trust me. And… if I am wrong…. a pot of paint and a few hours can put it right again. Think of me, as you read this pre-planned post. I will probably be up a ladder painting.
Hygge and happiness go so well together. If you’d like to read about the small things that have helped me to be happier, my new book is available from Amazon. Happier is all about how to use the small details in life to make you happier. You can get it at Amazon. I also think the principles of enjoying life and savouring the small details is an important part of hygge and that runs through my first few books as well. You can find details about all my books, and how to connect with me on social media on the Start Here page of my blog.
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