Book Friday: Home Sanctuary by Josephine Collins

Storm Eunice is following hard on the heels of Storm Dudley. I’m in work, and watching the sky lowering, the rain start falling heavily and the wind begin to whip up. It’s 11.13am as I start this post, and the centre hasn’t hit Liverpool…. yet.

If I wasn’t in work, I’d appreciate the chance to hunker down and shelter. Today is a good day to light candles all day long, read or listen to something soft, snuggle under crochet blankets and appreciate your home as a sanctuary. I hope everyone I know is safe, and that Eunice passes easily by, rather than demonstrating that Nature, when she tantrums, really knows how to throw a fit.

Today’s book is a good one to read today: Home Sanctuary by Josephine Collins is about creating space that supports, soothes and calms us. It’s a hardback, 11 inches by 9, with lovely full colour semi-gloss pictures throughout. The book has a very neutral, calm, white and pink aesthetic, with lots of white-painted homes and rooms.

It’s divided into five parts: You and Your Home, Enhance Your Space, Purify Your Home, Create Harmony and Year Round Purity. The sections cover essentially what you home means to you, and ways that you can boost the atmosphere of your home to increase its calm, peaceful, soothing feeling.

The book recommends having a notebook to make notes in about your home, what you hope to get from it, ideas to improve it and semi-journal entries seeking out what it means to you now and what you want it to mean in future. There are quite a few lists of questions, especially in the first chapter, that are worth asking and answering.

I like that the book has a very wide area of interest: it doesn’t, for example, focus on just the spiritual aspect of a home, or the housekeeping skills needed, but skirts over all of them. I think it loses out, though, that all of the topics covered are very superficially covered, and there is no further reading list or resources list to send you on to a deeper reading of, for example, deeper cleaning or spiritual homemaking.

I was disappointed in the lack of content in a couple of the chapters. I expected a chapter on Year Round Purity to cover, well, the whole year, instead of which it was a few pages on spring cleaning and not a lot else. I would have preferred a few more festivals included. How, for example, do I create a home sanctuary in the height of summer? Is Autumn a good time to renew household routines and rituals (yes, of course it is) and the big question… how do I balance the peaceful life I crave with a hectic Christmas? Even if this book couldn’t or didn’t address these seasonal queries, I’d have liked to be passed on to one that would.

The chapter on Create Harmony, though, was a very thought-provoking read. As well as a short look at colour and how to use light to create calm it looks at plants, herbs and crystals. It’s very much a whistlestop tour, though and again has no arrows sending you on to a deeper read. I did like the advice on creating an altar and the pages on honouring your own history were pitched right. Creating a sacred area, full of the symbols that speak to me, is one of the things I’ve been drawn to this year.

I think this is more a looking book, than a thinking book generally. It’s one I’ll happily pick up and flick through again but I think I would need to do the further research and reading on the areas that interest me myself. For the moment, while creating sanctuary is a priority to me, I’m putting it out on my coffee table for ease of access.

I’ll leave you as always with my flipthrough of the book. It’s 12.40 as I finish this post and, yes, Storm Eunice is beginning to make herself known. Can I go home now, please?

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. February is a great time to reset routines and rituals, it simmers with unnamed life underground desperate to burst through. The calm before the Spring Storm, as it were. The book has small and easy ways to make your life flow with grace and happiness, which lead to more hygge.

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. And it’s always the little things.

Planning ahead, early, is How to Hygge Your Summer. It has ideas for taking your hygge with you out of winter and to any place you go in the summer… the beach, the park, your holidays. Hygge is an all-year feeling, so start preparing and let’s hygge the heck out of summer this year!

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.

The regular photo I’m currently using between text and my book promotions is a photo by Rinck Content Studio on Unsplash. I love the implied cosiness of the photograph: the two hot chocolate cups, the biscuits and squares of chocolate imply a good bit of chatting going on here. Plus I like the colours: red tartan and real wood. What’s not to like? And the header is my own photograph of the book, together with two further self-care treats this weekend: a Pause box from the UK charity Mind and a book that I have set the intention of reading this weekend, whatever the weather!

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