Where have you been? It's all about hygge isn't it?

November 4th
My sister in laws mug
photo credit Sixes and Sevens

What a year the Scandinavians are having or should I say the Danes.  If you have not heard the word hygge in the last year, you must have buried your head under all those fluffed up cushions on your sofa whilst sitting in only a candle lit room or ambled past it as you took your daily walk.  What on earth am I talking about?

Well to be precise this year alone there have so far been 14 books published on the subject and not all by Danish authors may I say.  Being of Scandinavian descent myself and more accurately Norwegian, I was glad to see in the list, the Norwegian author, Signe Johansen.  I happen to love her cook books and was glad to see she was flying the Norwegian hygge flag.

We seem to have a fascination with Nordic living and the Nordic way of life from their interiors, as holiday destinations, their colour schemes, and even their film noir type TV series but our most recent fetish with Scandi life seems to be this strange word hygge.  I have grown up with it from a small child not realising that it was a different way of life in so much it had a label, to a teenager reveling in some aspects of it and not so much others, to a mother and home maker that is the essence of who I am, what I do and how I live.

Today I jump on the band wagon and share with you five ways in which hygge is incorporated in my soul and what it means to me. This is not a definitive way of incorporating hygge into  ones life but it is my way and is the very essence of how we live.  Ask my children and my husband what the word means to them and they will come up with their own variations of hygge.

Early morning before the house hold is
awake is often my time in the day for me
Time out

For me time out in a day is vital for my sanity and well being.  Some days it may only be literally 5 minutes, a time where I really try to be in the moment, not thinking or worrying about anything else except just being.  It's not easy clearing your mind but gosh how refreshing it is after. An inner peace.













Drinking a cup of tea and reading a good book or...


... a cup of coffee on the bench outside

and always a bit of time out for some yarn therapy

Fresh air 

The joy of having a sailing boat means I am often at lovely
 coastal locations where I take myself off for a stroll
No matter what the weather I make a point of being outside every day from a short walk within the village to a more full blown exercise session. There is nothing like the fresh air to awaken the senses and make one feel alive. Looking at the world around me and noticing the changes of mother nature can bring me an unbelievable sense of well being.  This has been heightened if I am honest by writing this blog too.  I stop and notice and appreciate the world around me more, who would have thought this blog would have done that for me, I certainly did not.




Mother nature


Yellow such a colour of hope

Autumnal days outside



Warmth  


Warmth inside ...
I have always been obsessed with light, small table lamps, side lamps, floor lamps, wall lamps, hanging lamps and of course candles.  Anything to bring light and warmth into the home is good for me.  It seems to wrap itself around and I never tire of lighting candles and just cosying up on the sofa watching the flickering light. Of course this is the same for the flickering light and heat that radiates from a fire also, be it indoors or outside on a summers evening or as we often do well into the winter months with blankets, coats and hats and sit outside with a mug of something hot and sit and chat.   This obsession goes back to my childhood when my Bestemor (grandmother) used to light literally hundreds, or so it felt, candles in the evening and we would sit and play games after the news on telly and enjoy each others company.  This wrapped me up in warmth from a young age and the feeling carries on within to this day many years after she died.  Give me a blanket to snuggle under, a candle lit room and a roaring fire and I am in my comfort zone.


Warmth outside too





Gatherings 

There is a time to be alone and a time to gather. Both equally as important.  Bringing together family and friends of all ages and generations.  As I become older gatherings have taken on a new meaning for me, not necessary the fuss and pomp of needing excitement, but just of enjoying the company and being together.  No pressure but a sense of belonging.  Often our gatherings take place outside ...





Food  


Food is at the heart of hygge for me too. I am not talking about the every day cooking which if you are like me can be a huge chore and I often become stuck in a rut in my dishes but proper thought about or I fancy this food is what I mean here.  The food that you enjoy preparing with others, almost a gathering if you will of friends and family to create something together, especially at weekends. We all prepare and cook together at weekends,  the familiarity and togetherness and then sharing in what we have eaten brings pleasure and warmth all on its own. But it can be the little things too, like eating the first of something in the correct season and savouring that moment.  Knowing that the month of December when we bake our traditional 7 different cookies to share with family and friends in the run up to Christmas is made with love and expectation, I just cannot describe to you what it means to me.  Oh and baking cakes and sharing in comfort food, who wouldn't
want to be a part of that?

Drying fruit from the garden to eat in the
winter months brings utmost pleasure to me

The children's favourite comfort food, Toad in the Hole

Any occasion and we will make waffles, it never
fails to make us all smile, just the smell of them cooking...
Food for sharing


The Scandinavians have nothing different or new to share with the world, all the above are experienced by most to a greater or lesser extent but where I think they have the edge these Nordic folk is that they recognise the need to envelop all these aspects as good for our soul, our well being, our mental state and our health.  And so by giving it a name that can mean so many different things to different people, it encourages a nation to look after itself and each other, to take time to slow down and see the beauty around, coining a British phrase, hope I am using it correctly, take time to smell the roses.





Hygge is a very personal experience and what hygge means to one person will very 
often mean something else to someone else, which is why it is such a difficult word to 
translate, it means so many different things.  

Joining in with Amy sharing my five thoughts on hygge
do pop over and see what others are sharing today.


   What does hygge mean to you?  

And if you think this all sounds a bit smug and too perfect whose life is perfect anyway,  we only share that which we are comfortable with then read the following send up of hygge in the Daily Mash.  If swearing offends, then please do not click on the link, you have been warned...  Hygge is...

49 comments:

  1. What a lovely five, I really enjoyed your post today. Family gatherings are important to me to, preparing the food together and spending quality time with loved ones is the highlight of my week.

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    1. Mamamercantile, a great highlight tithe week I would say. It might not be everyone's idea of a highlight but I completely agree with you. Brings joy and warmth xxx

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  2. Wonderful post! So surprised to find here exactly the same topic with my latest post.Hygge in life! You are absolutely right and thanks for sharing these great photos.
    Happy weekend ahead!

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    1. How great we have the same post theme today. I shall pop over and join in with you too x

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  3. Such a lovely post. I came across hygge last year in Copenhagen. It certainly resonates with my lifestyle, particularly now in retirement. I agree writing a blog has made me more aware of my surroundings, making me stop and look. I know you will have a lovely weekend with all those good things around you :) B x

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    1. It's incredible how the blog has changed my life in so many different ways Barbara and all for the good x

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  4. Lovely photos! Have read about Hygge lots this year so the Daily Mash made me smile. x

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    1. Wasn't sure if I should include it Fiona so I'm pleased it made you smile

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  5. Those are all the most important things in life but it seems to take some people a lifetime to notice. Perhaps now it has a name and is fashionable more will realise what we've always known. x

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    1. I hope you're right Karen but the problem with something that becomes fashionable is that it gets overused and then people become fed up with it

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  6. It's a lovely concept. How is the word pronounced?

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    1. I'm not very good at phonetically duelling words but my best guess would be hue-ge Hope this helps History Anorak

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  7. A lovely Hygge Five! I have to confess that although being Scandinavian I did not know the word. But pretty much the same things are important to me. A lovely post with beautiful photos.

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    1. Maybe there isn't a Hygge word in Finnish Riitta, I wonder...

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  8. Great question. The best way I can tell you, it's a teeny bit different to the Danish pronounciation would be: hue-ge. Hope this helps

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  9. I fully agree with your lifestyle it's mine too, but I still don't know what hygge means, lol !

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    1. I would suggest a very basic idea as there is not single word to translate it in to English would be cosines, kinship, and simple pleasure in life. Hope this helps Gattina

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  10. I'm not quite sure what Hygge means to me....enjoying the simple things. I think I am pretty well doing that now but now I have a name for it! We had a Danish boy at my school for a time this summer and it was lovely to meet him and his parents. That is someplace I would love to visit.

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    1. Enjoying the simple things is a perfect way to embrace Hygge @ a spirit of simplicity

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  11. Hygge seems to be everywhere at the moment. I like your five things, having the family around is the most important thing to me, especially now that they've both more or less flown the nest, it's nice to have everyone back together again.

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    1. Our eldest grades permitting will be off to uni next year so I already know that being together will top my Hygge list Jo. We need to cherish the moment

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  12. I really enjoyed your post and what Hygge means to you. The word seems to have become 'fashionable' so it is lovely to share the real experience of someone who was brought up with it.

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    1. So glad you enjoyed my version Annie xx

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  13. I loved reading what Hygge means to you. I'm trying to embrace the feeling in my own life more... I just love the idea of it.

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    1. Wonderful that you are trying to embrace it Gina. Small simple pleasures and really enjoying the moment is key. Not rushing but savouring I would suggest. Hope this helps

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  14. I first heard the term on a 'Coast' programme a few years ago but have noticed it around much more recently. Your five thoughts on Hygge are wonderful and all things I enjoy too, like warmth and light and walking in the fresh air. I've loved reading your five today, thank you:)

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    1. I think Rosie much of Hygge is a basic need in people but in this busy life we lead we can often ignore the small simple pleasures partaking in them but not savouring them. I'm a tad fed up of reading about Hygge everywhere but if it can help one or two to slow their down and enjoy then I'm all for it

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  15. Hygge is a word I've seen here in Canada for the past few years. Some of the articles in newspapers are "how to" and others are very tongue-in-cheek. I like the idea of giving a name to this sense of well-being that I think all humans crave. It's a lesson in creating one's own comfort rather than waiting for it to be given by someone else.

    These days, I'm lighting candles in the evening, sitting in front of the fire, reading, and feeling very cozy. The five things you've mentioned are all things I value, too. Time with loved ones is wonderful.

    Have a good weekend.

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    1. I completely agree with you Lorrie we need to be active in our own happiness and not wait for it to be handed in a plate. I'm with you all the way

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  16. A Lovely post.I am sat here waiting for my daughter ,son in law and two granddaughters to arrive for the weekend.They only live 45 minutes away but Sarah wanted to come and stay.So a family weekend for OH and me.Next weekend we are off to Cambridge to see our son and family.Two family weekends.Great.Have a great one.

    P.S.How do you pronounce Hygge?

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    1. How wonderful Barbara hope you are enjoying your weekend. Superb they wanted to come and stay. Hope you are feeling better too. Best way I can try and help you pronounce it would be to try it like this: hue-ge and the Danes more likely to pronounce it hue-gah

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  17. A lovely heartwarming post, Selma. It is a concept that we should all embrace, although sometimes it is easier said than done. It is especially important at this time of year as the days darken and ones mood can easily dip. X

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    1. You are so right Jules and maybe this is why the Scandinavians embrace it so wholeheartedly as it's darker for far too many hours up there in the north. I was please to see your minx of a cat returned after putting you through the mill of her missing.

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  18. Now you have us all thinking about what Hygge means to us, whether we're Nordic or not. And frankly, I don't even know what I am. My aunt told me Scots-Irish and Dutch, but she made up stories sometimes. Today I am Nordic - at least in my thoughts about what's important in my life.

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    1. Patsy so glad that today you are Nordic. Welcome. Hope you've enjoyed thinking what Hygge means to you

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  19. I loved your Five on Friday! What a wonderful post. I think sometimes we are all in so much of a hurry we just don't take time to appreciate the beauty of life and the beauty around us. Thanks for reminding me!

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    1. You are so right Sharon. Glad to have been of help x

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  20. A great five this week. You've given me some insight, but will be going over to read more about it. I guess I truly have been under a rock...never heard the word before.

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    1. Glad to have lifted the rock for you Sugar

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  21. I love this post, it has struck so many chords with me. It's good to read a Nordic girl's take on hygge rather than a British interpretation. I didn't realise that it's subjective. Thank you. x

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    1. Very much subjective Mrs Tiggywinkle. Glad it resonates

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  22. I'm not familiar with hygge at all so I'll have to do some googling. I like the five things you include in what it means to you. Hope your weekend is going well.

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    1. Wonder what you will think of my five Ellen once you've researched Hygge

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  23. That's a lovely five. I'll have to look into hygge because I haven't heard of it. I have now so thank you for that. I'll start my hygge education with the send up of course.

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    1. Perhaps this latest Nordic dad has not reached Australia yet Tracy. Although I say fad, within Norway and Denmark it's been a forever word

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  24. Oh, I think these are wonderful things to nurture in life! I wish I knew how to pronounce this new word, but I am sure I would say it wrong. I think it means comfort, home and family to me. A lovely post! xx Karen

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  25. I heard about Hygge a couple of years ago and realised that I was living to this without even realising it. I love that I live my life to such a wonderful 'label'. Have a wonderful Sunday x

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  26. I like your fab five. Fashions aside, I suppose we all strive for the same happy, healthy and mindful life in this crazy world.
    Amalia
    xo

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I will always read all comments and will try to reply but it may take me a couple of days, do please pop back and lets get a conversation going...