Wait… it’s September on Saturday? How did that happen? Only a couple of weeks ago I was complaining there was ages until September and open season on pumpkin spiced whatevers. I was anticipating having plenty of time to get the gold and red decorations out, the slow cooker out of hibernation and the jumpers onto the back of the door ready to slip into as soon as I get home. Guess I’d better start thinking about my Autumn cleaning.
I’m thinking of making a pumpkin spice popcorn this weekend, to enjoy while I watch a few weepies on Saturday afternoon. I miss the weekend TV of my youth sometimes. It was so regular, so planned and organised.
Saturday morning was BBC 1 until noon: and whatever their teenage/child friendly show at the time was. Swap Shop, Saturday Morning Superstore, Going Live, Live and Kicking… I watched them all well into my teens and (possibly) twenties, if I were awake. At noon, we changed over to ITV and TISWAS. 15 minutes of mad, dead fly anarchy was enough for me.
Lunchtimes were always curry, rice and chips, with the curry made with real tomatoes whose skins peeled off and curled exotically around your teeth, and Uncle Bens packet rice. Chips made properly, of course, in a chip pan.
Very often Saturday afternoon was an empty space. When I was younger it was a time to play, sometimes to do a little homework. But by the time I was a teenager, I loved the classic movies that were always on BBC2, as an antidote to Grandstand and World of Sport. We didn’t get a video until around about 1984, so my formative years were spent watching whatever was available on TV itself. The BBC loved to put on the old Hollywood classics, often black and white, and I would sit for hours with my Nan watching them as she remembered going to see them in the cinema in her day.
I can’t even begin to fathom how many of them I must have seen. I know which ones stand out in my head today, because when videos and (subsequently) dvds came in, I collected them as I saw them and still, to this day, love a good, wet Saturday afternoon with a pot of tea and a plate of biscuits, curled up on the settee and watching Orson Welles, Joan Fontaine, Laurence Olivier, Merle Oberon, Errol Flynn and many, many more in movies that are touching 80 or 90 years old now. It’s one of my small pleasures.
A lot of things in hygge are about taking pleasure in small things. About enjoying a particular mug, or the light at a certain time of day. It’s about appreciating that one decent stem ginger biscuit beats a pile of cheap and nasty any day, and about appreciating that all you have is all you need.
I know I called my last book ‘Happier’, but sometimes I think we over-rate happiness. We can’t get it by looking for it, only by appreciating it when we feel it. And I’m not a fireworks and champagne sort of girl. I don’t want to be deliriously, madly, insatiably happy all the time. I like contentment; that soft, warm, squishy feeling that life isn’t perfect, but it is enough for now. I think I have lived my life in pursuit of contentment, which is easy to do, as you don’t chase it: you sit quietly and realise it has crept up on you as you planned great actions while just doing small things.
I am aiming to make September my month of #smallthings. I saw the hashtag in use on Instagram and thought… wouldn’t it be wonderful to record a few of the small things that give me pleasure? Like the glow of a candle, or the sound of the birds in the morning. So, I’m planning to share at least one #smallthing every day. Sometimes with a photograph, perhaps with a quotation or a word. And I’m hoping that by noticing and being grateful for these small things, my contentment level will grow as well. The world is a wonderful place already, despite or because of the things within it. If I can have a heart and mind focused on happier living, then my life will be happier.
Would you like to join in? Then feel free! Post your small delights and pleasures with the hashtags #smallthings and #septembersmallthings on Instagram, Twitter or in the Hygge Nook on Facebook. For those of us who mourn the passing of summer, keeping hold of the golden rays of pleasure for a little longer will build our resilience ready for winter, while for those of us ready and eager to plunge headfirst into the pile of leaves that is autumn… well, if a little gratitude is good, a whole load more never hurt anybody! I’ll look forward to seeing them, and feeling happier reading about your pleasures.
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.
You can also subscribe to a new monthly newsletter, Cosy Happy Hygge. I’m aiming it to be a cosy letter full of things to create happiness that arrices in your inbox early each month. The first newsletter will go out this weekend, and full details are on this blogpost: Cosy Happy Hygge
Neither Cosy Happy Hygge nor my blog, How to Hygge the British Way, are monetised. That means no adverts, no PR content and no product pushing just because I’ve been asked to. I have taken the decision that I want to remain neutral and not to promote things ‘just because’. I will only ever review items that I have bought myself, or that I have accepted because I think they will help to promote hygge in a busy life.
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