Sometimes I think life has got so complicated that we forget it really is just the small things that make a house a home. I’d forgotten quite how much a good piece of music can make a house a home….
John Denver hasn’t been a big feature in my musical collection. I knew Annie’s Song, of course, who didn’t? And Take Me Home Country Roads was as much a part of my childhood as other classic 70’s songs, which is to say they were always there, playing in the background and seeping into my consciousness like oil into a rusty old gap, but I didn’t own a cd or have him on my shuffle collection. I don’t know why: I think perhaps because neither of my parents were particularly fans. Dad liked Country and western women; Billie Jo Spears or Crystal Gayle. Mum liked everything, but if you pinned her down it would be Elvis, or perhaps a classical musical. She liked music, but never enough to insist on having it on all the tme.
Most of my music listening is done in the car, alone, when I can sing along at full volume. It’s always been my way of letting off steam.
Anyway, I digress.
There’s an advert in the UK at the moment for Air BnB, and the background music is John Denver’s Thank God I’m a Country Boy. So often something like that finally pushes you over the edge and you need to give in to temptation. In this case, a five pound Ultimate Collection cd from Amazon. And a Tuesday when the Husband is off watching football, the TV is at the repair man (again) and I have nothing else to do really but listen, crochet, and occasionally cry.
It’s good to meet the songs I’ve known for so long, and the ones I never knew existed. Who needs new and novel, when sometimes the thing you need most in your life is the warmth of a blanket, a hot mug of tea and a velvet voice filled with poetry, pain and passion.
I’m here if you need me.
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 One: A New Book on the Kindle and a New Tea
Day Two: Five Minutes Crochet and a New Place to Visit
Day Three: Plants, Naturally
Day Four: A New Magazine that Really Suits Me
Day Five: Autumnal Decor Ready for the Harvest
Day Six: Planning in the Golden Afternoon Light
Day Seven: When Every Day Smells Like Your Favourite Coffee Shop
Day Eight: Life Lessons From the Roadside
Day Nine: Stacking Up My Autumn Reading List and Finding I Had Already Bought Several That I Wanted
Day 10: Sudden Inspirations That Are A Mad Idea But Really Fun to Think About
Day 11: Autumning Up My Planner
Day 12: A Brief Pause in a Very Busy Day
Day 13: Watching as My Favourite Tree Shows Her True Colours
Day 14: The Moment You Realise that a Movie is a Time Machine
Day 15: Gold is Found in the Edges of Life
Day 16: Finding a New Nail Colour for Autumn and then Enjoying it All Day Long
Day 17: Book Friday The Art of Being a Tourist at Home
Day 18: The Return of an Old and well-Loved Friend
Day 19: Late Autumn Colour on the Tree I Love
Day 20: Post!!! Snail Post for Christmas is here!!!
Day 21: Anticipation of Good Things Tonight; Books, friends and coffee
Day 22: Merry Mabon to my Pagan Friends and Happy Michaelmas to my Christian Buddies
Day 23: When a Project is Completely Finished and Works Out Just As You Imagined It
Day 24: Bella Grace is a Good Name for a Magazine That’s Really A Guide to a Good Life
Day 25: Saturday. Sleeping in, some cleaning and a Strictly moment of magic
Day 26: A Day Alone, But Surrounded by People I am Never Really Lonely
Day 27: Quiz Monday. Next Question.