With so much snow around lately there is nothing like a spot of Hygge to give yourself a warm glow inside. Hygge is the Danish state of living well, that is to say "the art of cosiness of the soul and taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things." I recently picked up a bargain copy of the bestselling book "The Little Book of Hygge" by Meik Wiking who is CEO of the cosily and wonderfully titled Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and has spent years studying the magic of Danish life. Denmark has been named one of the happiest nations in the world and it is because of their hygge approach to life and well-being that helps them survive winter.
Denmark has more that its fair share of snow and lack of daylight hours but because Danes spend most of their time indoors from November to March they make the most of it and hygge at home by for example wrapping themselves up in cosy blankets in front of the fire and lighting candles every day that bring a warm glow not only to their living rooms but classrooms and offices too. Denmark burns more candles per head than anywhere in Europe, around six kilos of candle wax per person each year. That is a hell of a lot of wax but I do agree that candles add cosiness to a room and I love to light candles once it has gone dark, outside too in the summer.
Us Brits of course by tradition moan about the cold, dark, damp weather but for lots of people the winter months can be a really down and depressing time of year. But if all this sounds a bit too twee then maybe we should just try a spot of hygge ourselves and start enjoying the winter months a bit more instead of dreading it and wishing the months away until the first daffodils burst forth. From a personal point of view I don't mind winter at all, in fact I get the the whole hygge thing because I love sitting in front of a log fire, knitting or sewing, wrapped in a blanket, sipping hot chocolate or a glass of cheeky little red.
Yesterday for me was very much a hygge day as we had a good fall of snow again so I sat on my bean bag in front of the fire and got my knitting out. I have been knitting a pair of woollen socks for quite a few months now or at least attempting to knit as I have never knitted a pair of socks before and even with all my knitting experience turning the heel was somewhat of a battle but now well onto the second sock. I have to admit though that a weekend hygge day is better than a working hygge day as it's no joke when you have to battle the inadequacies of public transport just to get to work and I can't help but think that the Danish transport system probably copes a lot better with the snow than here in the UK.
The Danes have a popular hygge saying which goes "There is no bad weather, only bad clothing" and I can't help but agree as I could really have done with these cosy woolly socks a few months ago not now that spring is almost sprung.