All is Calm, All is Bright: Enthusiasm

To be enthusiastic is to show “intense and eager enjoyment, interest, or approval.” In the original Greek, it mean to be inspired or possessed by a God and was used as an insult to describe excessive religious zeal. I’m glad it got taken over and adapted. Enthusiasm, and the quality of being enthusiastic, is something I very much enjoy.

To be tepid or half-hearted about something you choose to spend your free time on shows, to me, an aptitude for suffering that I find incomprehensible. Why would anyone do something they didn’t totally enjoy? With the possible exception of work (where one does what one must to make the money, and a career you love is a bonus) and things we do from duty, we are free to choose what we do in our spare time.

Enthusiasm doesn’t need excellence or skill, just a willingness to turn up and do your best. It’s about wanting to discover, to experience, to do what you can. In my private life it’s being channeled at the moment into singing in a church choir. We only meet at Christmas, for a few weeks beforehand, to practise a couple of Christmas Carols or hymns, some in parts, some just a cool tune. The organist at our church is a lovely guy. He invites anyone to join, even if they’re not good singers, and he really means it.

A Choir is made up of many voices quote 1

Singing being what it is, the choir members are usually reasonable singers, but not absolutely musicians.With patience and humour, Mike the organist shapes them into a pretty good choir. He quietens the tuneless loud voice with tact, and encourages the shy, quiet singer who, did she but know it, has a voice to make the angels smile. A choir relies on balance and togetherness, and he helps us aim for that. We can do harmonies, and we do dynamics with help. We’ll never win any prizes, except if they do one for enthusiasm.

Because that’s where the choir overflows. Perhaps because we only meet up once a year (twice, at most) we can put our heart and soul into the singing. We can practise as we drive along (Mike always does CDs with the parts on ready to learn) and turn up for the 8pm singing in Church all smiling, all eager, and all flushed with success when we do, eventually, get the buzzy feeling that this…. this is beautiful.

“Sing, then. Sing, indeed, with shoulders back, and head up so that song might go to the roof and beyond to the sky. Mass on mass of tone, with a hard edge, and rich with quality, every single note a carpet of colour woven from basso profundo, and basso, and baritone, and alto, and tenor, and soprano, and also mezzo, and contralto, singing and singing, until life and all things living are become a song.

O, Voice of Man, organ of most lovely might.”
― Richard Llewellyn, How Green Was My Valley

All is Calm All is Bright 24 words of Christmas Square

I have a massive favour to ask….

I don’t monetise my blog. I don’t run adverts, take sponsorship for writing posts or use affiliate links. I want everything I do on this blog and in my hygge life outside to be truthful. If I promote a book it’s because I’ve read it and like it, if I  point out an item it’s because it’s impressed me on its own merits and not because the publicist has talked me into it. It does mean I don’t run giveaways and I’m not chasing followers, but the drawback is that I need to find a way to support myself.

That’s why I write books. My thoughts are that if I ask you to buy a book not only does it support me, and let me keep writing as an independent writer, but you get something back for your bucks. I’ve written several books, some on hygge, some on Christmas. If you like what you read here, or in the Hygge Nook, and you’d like to support a struggling writer, would you please consider buying a book? Ebooks give you the best value, since for 2 or 3 pounds you get the content of the book, but I’d be a pretty poor writer if I didn’t appreciate the beauty of a real book in the hand. If you buy just one book, it all adds up in the end to support me, and I’d be so grateful.

I have three Christmas books,

Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas was released in September 2017 and is available again in paperback and ebook version. It looks at keeping the Christmas season warm and cosy, with ideas for activities and routines to keep Christmas happy.

A (Hygge) Christmas Carol is my look at Dickens’ immortal classic and the many lessons we still learn from it today. It contains the full text of the book as well as hyggely thoughts on the story.

Enjoying a Self Care Christmas is only available in ebook version. It’s about keeping Christmas simple enough and healthy enough to keep you sane in the process.

My other books are hygge related, 50 Ways to Hygge the British Way  was my first book, and is available in Paperback and Kindle version. It’s a simple look at ways to feel more hyggely in life and at home even though we’re not Danish and don’t have it in our DNA.

How to Hygge Your Summer, in Paperback and Kindle form, has lots of good ideas for the summer months. I strongly believe that hygge is so much more than throws and warm drinks.

Happier is my fourth book. It’s about how I boost my own happiness levels. It’s full of hints, tips and ideas for you to use and adapt to suit your own situation. It is available in ebook and paperback version from and

If you buy any of the books through the links on this page, I get a couple of extra pence per copy, in Amazon vouchers which go towards buying more books to review for the blog. I’d really love it if you’d support me monetarily, but I quite understand that cash is tight for many people, and I just love having your support via reading and commenting as well.

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