Saturday was a quiet day in my house. I had homemaking to do (house blessing, as Diane in Denmark calls it) and then a quiet day with packing ready for Sunday and taking my Daughter back to University.
Quiet days are a real gift. The chance to wake up slowly, possibly even have a lie in, enjoy a slow breakfast, slow lunch and slow evening meal. We had been due to go out, but the event was cancelled last minute, so we enjoyed a homecooked meal instead.
My sons are 23 and 21, and really are getting old enough to need their own places and spaces. I find this is most clearly shown in mealtimes sometimes, when I plan a lovely meal that their Father and I would really enjoy, and they either eat it begrudgingly or make themselves a different meal altogether. It means my menu plans occasionally get to be limited by what they will or won’t have: rice is out, as is couscous too often, chicken has to be carefully prepared or be eaten with a wrinkled nose. Stew is a complete no-no, if by stew I mean scouse, cooked long and hard so meat and potato melt into one. Except for my irrational feeling that the people in the house should all gather together to eat at least once a day, I’d give up and tell them to take care of themselves food-wise. But instead I keep patience, and console myself with the idea that it’s not forever. Nothing is ever forever.
I grabbed a few quiet minutes on Saturday to switch over to my winter planner and my winter bag. I love Vendula bags, and have about three, but this one, the Winter Cafe tote bag, is my favourite. It’s discontinued now, but that just means I get to use it with even more appreciation. And I changed planner from the paler Stone Malden Filofax to my Ochre Malden (bought heavily reduced in a sale). Changing planners in a Filofax is easy, as long as you don’t change dividers etc for each planner. Just open the rings, transfer across and go.
I took the chance of making some self care lists for Autumn as well… this one is the Autumn movies I want to watch, but I also have my Autumn Hygge list. Small things, always small things that make life better. I have the baking apples to make pie, a brilliant gold nail varnish that I must show you soon, and new wool for a new scarf. Now the weather is chilling up nicely, I can settle to some quality me time in the evenings. Decent audio book (Hamlet, my favourite Shakespeare play) and a warm mug of tea and I am sorted.
You can download and print off my Autumn Hygge wishlist as a PDF here:
It would also feel wrong to let today pass without mentioning the 20th anniversary of 9/11. It had such a major impact on the lives of so many people across the globe, both on the day itself and in the political decisions and campaigns afterwards. I hope we never see the like again. Nothing is ever so shocking as mankind’s ability to hurt others, and nothing as reassuring as their ability to love and forgive each other eventually. May we see more peace, and less war.
I’ve decided to have one header for the whole season of small things: it’s one of my favourite pictures by Alex Geerts on Unsplash. I love the whole colour scheme, which just makes me feel so autumnal. I love the socks, the book, the blanket, the tea, the leaves and pumpkin. There are so many small pleasures in the picture, it’s like my ambition for this whole series in one simple shot.
How to Hygge the British Way is my gift to the world. I don’t get paid for writing it, I’m not in it for the kudos, financial rewards, to become an influencer, work with brands or otherwise make any money from the blog. That’s why there are no ads, and any products I mention and recommend have either been gifted to me or bought by me with my everyday wages or donations from supporters. Every book I review has been bought and read by me, unless stated otherwise.
I do get a couple of pennies each time someone buys from the Amazon links on my page, as an Amazon Affiliate, but otherwise if you’d like to support me, I like to give something back in return. That’s why I write books. It always feels good if you get a book back in return for some money. You can find a full list of my books at my Author’s Page on Amazon, but especially recommended for this time of year are:
Cosy Happy Hygge: Setting up a rhythm to life and rituals to enjoy it to make for a more balanced life that handles waves and storms better. August is like a pause before real life begins again in September, so it’s a second chance to set up rituals and rhythms that boost happiness and work for you.
Happier: Probably my most personal book, it’s the story of how I used hygge and the little things in life to help boost my happiness. I still go back and reread to remind myself what I need to do to be a happy human.
On the principle that it’s never too early to start thinking ahead, really, and that Christmas is always on us before we know, how about Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas? Christmas is about the small things in life, much as hygge is, and establishing what you want from Christmas and then being able to say no to the excess is important. The book has hints and tips that hopefully will help you enjoy what is, too often, a frantic season.
Available as just an ebook, and a short, sharp read, is Enjoying a Self-Care Christmas: Easy Ways to keep the Joy of Christmas, and your Sanity, intact. It’s an easy read, with ideas and hints to keep you sane through the season. The self-care advent calendar is one I’ve followed for a few years now, and it really is a small daily dose of calm in a manic month.
And on the basis that we may well find ourselves in Lockdowns or unable to enjoy an absolutely normal Christmas under Covid regulations if numbers spike, why not read and plan alternatives? Celebrating a Contagious Christmas was written in response to the pandemic last year, and will need updating soon, but it is about celebrating whatever the situation, and does have good advice on stocking up an emergency cupboard, celebrating when travelling to relatives is impossible and putting the heart of Christmas back into the heart of the celebrations.
If you’d like to support me, but don’t want to buy a book, I have a Paypal.Me account as Hygge Jem. Every little helps, so even a few pence goes towards the books, goods and courses I use and recommend on the site. I’m grateful for every little bit that brings me closer to my dream of full-time writing, and I know I couldn’t still be writing if it weren’t for the support of many readers and friends out there. Thank you all for every little bit of support, emotional, physical and financial, you give me.
If you’ve enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share it or save it so others can enjoy reading, thinking about and living hygge as well, and read the other posts in the series, too.
My September of Small Things:
Day Three: Plants, Naturally
Day Four: A New Magazine that Really Suits Me
Day Five: Autumnal Decor Ready for the Harvest
Day Eight: Life Lessons From the Roadside
Day 11: Autumning Up My Planner