I feel like I cannot open an email, read a magazine article, or even listen to my beloved Women’s hour on BBC Radio 4 without hearing about the Danes and their precious hygge. Lately it has been a tool in a every marketing campaign – from socks to cashmere to candles to wine, everyone is getting hygge with it. In fact when I read about it 6 months ago, I was so mesmerized by the idea and it’s delicious cosiness that I suggested it as a campaign to my company and now we’re, regretfully, hygge daft. Hygge, pronounced hue-gah (as if you didn’t know…) is the latest import in Scandi lifestyle and has been popularised as meaning comfort, or cosiness. Don’t get me wrong I love the concept of Hygge, or the concept which I have been sold by the publishers and marketers as well as the series of banal articles I have read (I ended up on Mumsnet for shame). It’s being peddled to as an antedote to clean eating, to make us feel a little better about brexit, to help us get over the inevitable shit weather we’ll see over a British Christmas. It’s to get us to indulge a little harder than we normally would, so get ready for the belly bloat and the festive hangovers, all in the name of hygge. This Daily Mash article sums up my feelings perfectly.
My cynicism isn’t limitless though, what I do love about Hygge is the idea that you can take pleasure from the ordinary. I truly believe that the happiest people in life are not those with mountains of money or hoards of “stuff”, but those who can find little joys in their daily lives. From an unexpected smile on the street from a stranger to a long scented bath, these are the things that keep us going, giving us comfort and pleasure. The Danes can keep Hygge, I’m having Little Joys to see me through the dark Scottish winter, and a lot of them are food. Not all of them, but a lot.
My Little Joys
Laying in bed an extra twenty minutes on a Saturday morning scrolling my endless Instagram feed. Loud music. Slow cooked porridge in a pan over a low heat, half milk, half water finished with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dash of honey. A knitted hat with a great bobble. Halloumi cooked on a griddle pan, served with a crisp salad. Snowboarding on white fluffy snow, no fear of those pesky icy bits. The smell of spring. The first Daffodils. A loaf from my local bakery (Tapa Organic) – it’s beyond delicious toasted with butter slathered on top. Buttery scrambled eggs; three eggs, a dash of milk, cooked slowly and enjoyed at any time of day. The feeling of perspective, physical and emotional, that being up a true height gives you. Winter Sunsets. Enjoying a slightly squashed homemade ham roll after a challenging hill walk. Evening movies on the couch with a boy, and a blanket. A warm bed on a cold morning. New, fluffy, brightly coloured bed socks. Eating crisps (kettle chips) and dip (sour cream and chive) with friends. An Old Fashioned cocktail, a new one to me but it makes me feel like such a boss, drinking whisky out of a crystal tumbler. The atmosphere at a Rugby match, especially when we’re winning. Scotland’s light summer nights that never seem to end. Walks with my mum (anywhere, anytime). Discovering a lovingly forgotten song on spotify. Discovering a new music album you then can’t live without. Walking with headphones in, pretending your the star of your own music video. My Gran’s recipe for chicken soup; hundreds of chicken, millions of barley. A surprisingly delightful conversation with someone you thought you’d having nothing in common with. Homemade Ice cream (vanilla and cream) honestly, there is nothing like it. New gym clothes that take you from slob to squatter faster than you can say “gym”. Gin tasting. Walking through muddy puddle knowing you are invincible thanks to a great pair of wellies (green Hunters to be precise).