It’s Friday. Thank Goodness. I know that wishing away the week makes a life go faster, and I do appreciate every minute of my life mid-week, but some weekends are just made to be anticipated. Like this one.
By the time you read this post I will be on my way to one of my favourite places in the UK: Durham, in the North East. We visit at least once a year, usually so Peter can go to the football and watch his local team, Prescot Cables, take on whichever team closest to Durham is in their league this year. So far, he’s visited the towns of Blythe, Hartlepool, Bishop Auckland, Durham itself and Spennymoor.
I…. stay in Durham.
I don’t need to go anywhere else, Durham is a perfectly sized little cathedral town with everything I need: bookshop, good cafes, small museums, and impressive Cathedral that is ideal for a half hour of quiet contemplation at the end of a busy week. We stay in the local Travelodge, and everywhere is accessible on foot. Ideal hyggetime for me, I say.
It’s funny how sometimes we can create a strong bond or connection with a place where we don’t live, isn’t it? We get a feeling of belonging, or of being able to belong if we lived there. Sometimes we feel the place has an impact on us: I love the coast on the Llyn Penninsula as well. I can feel my stress leave me, and a desire to cook lamb in the Aga enter as we cross over the road past the Eifl mountain. And sometimes we do end up living in our Holy Place, living our perfect dream life. (It’s usually not perfect: work is work whether you have the sea outside or not, and shopping doesn’t get more glamorous when you have to travel 20 miles to the nearest supermarket)
This weekend, I’m spending my virtual freetime browsing through one of my favourite blogs, Montana Happy, as part of a monthly series of websites and blogs that make me feel cosy, happy, hygge. Kelly describes the feeling of finding a connection with the place well when she says “For the first time in years, I felt the stress leave my body and I was able just to breathe. The natural beauty of the area and wide, open spaces and the quaint slow-paced small towns transformed me for a few days, and I knew I wanted to feel that way forever.” Moving to Montana wasn’t possible, so Kelly sought to recreate that feeling in how she lives her life at home.
I named my blog, “Montana Happy” so I would never forget the moment I knew that creating a comfortable life that nurtures body and soul was my new mission.
The blog is a beautiful mix of recipes, simple living advice and Kelly’s love of life. She’s a hygge fiend, so a lot of the posts are about how to feel more hyggely in every day life, since Kelly believes, as I do, that hygge is a vital component of self-care. I love her Cosy Hygge Bedtime Rituals. They’re common sense, and things you know you should do, but sometimes it’s good to be reminded that a sensible bedtime and a little self-care as you drop off will make for a better night of rest than a mad dash to fit in more chores and a hasty scroll of the phone.
Montana Happy is totally social-media savvy and can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. The website is beautifully coordinated, and full of pictures to enjoy as well as good writing that will leave you inspired for the month ahead. If you’ve never read any of her stuff before, then you’re in for a treat.
If you’d like to support me….
My new book, Cosy Happy Hygge is available as an ebook or a paperback on Amazon now. As you know, I do the whole kit and caboodle myself, from writing to proofreading to designing and I’m very proud of this one. It’s about using rhythm and ritual to make your life a gentler, kinder place. Writing it has been an important part of my mental health recovery.
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 whole content of the book without paying the extra for paper production, 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.
If you already have my books, or just want to support me as an independent writer, you can always just send me the price of a cup of coffee as a friend, to paypal.me/HyggeJem . I tend to use a lot of my spare cash on books that I review for the website, so every penny donated goes towards building my happy hygge life.
My first three 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.
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 Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.
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.
If you buy any of the books or some of the items through the links on this page, I get a couple of extra pence per copy, as an Amazon Affiliate, 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.
Truthfully, I’ll probably never make a living as a writer, but I do make a little extra income that gets ploughed back into books and magazines. One obsession feeds the other…