Hygge has become a bit of a buzz word recently. There's no English word for it, but this Danish word is best translated as cosiness or living well, and pronounced hoogah. I was curious to find out more so I bought the Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking. Even this morning's Guardian is sporting an article in G2 that claims the concept of Hygge is being 'sold by the yard' this Christmas. I have to admit I didn't read much of the article as I couldn't stand the smug attitude of Jess Cartner Morley, who seemed to be mainly interested in the commercial (particularly fashion) opportunities it presents. I was put off by her slightly facetious tone, and also because the piece seemed to say exactly the opposite of what I had understood from the book.
Hygge can't be sold or indeed bought. Apparently you can have all the candles, log fires, fluffy blankets, handknit socks, hot chocolate and marshmallows, mulled wine, home-made bread, and walks in the country that money can buy, but if you can't take pleasure in the simple things in life, make time for friends and family, or celebrate what you have instead of what you don't have, then true hyyge will elude you.
Several other European countries have their own words for Hygge - gezelligheid in Holland, Koselig in Norway, Gemütlichkeit in Germany and hominess in Canada. But whatever you call it, really it's just a word to express happiness, finding a cosy intimate nest where you can feel safe. Hygge espouses togetherness, harmony, mindfulness and gratitude, as opposed to selfishness, competition and greed.
First up is the garden, in all its autumn glory. It lifts my spirits even in the rain, which seems to intensify the dazzling colours and textures.
|Jewel colours after the rain a couple of days ago|
|This one was taken in the same place about a week before the one above|
|Coffee in the garden yesterday - gotta get it while you can!|
|Fuchsias, geraniums, and verbena bonariensis still going strong and the |
sculptural castor oil plant flowers are in big fat bud just beyond
|The acer on the right is a fabulous burgundy|
|Kitties chilling in front of the wood stove|
|Pumpkin and edible gourds|
|Conference pears from a friend's tree|
|I lovr pmomegranates for both their looks and their goodness|
|Cabbage and purple kale|
...And talking of Christmas, which I don't usually like to do in October, I noticed the shops are full of Xmas crackers, cakes, puddings etc, when we haven't even had Halloween or Bonfire Night. When I asked why, I was told that they had to do it to keep up with other stores or they would lose ground in the battle to get the lion's share of customers' cash. Am I just growing into a grumpy old woman or are there others like me who object to receiving Xmas greetings in October? Ooops, sorry to digress into something that I'm not happy about. What I was going to say is that I've been making knitted gifts, small projects from my book, Great Little Gifts to Knit.
|Beautiful old horse chestnut tree|
|Collecting conkers by the library café in Homestead Park|
|Vitis cogniettiae starting to turn on a walk at Harlow Carr about ten days ago|
|Lovely colour on the foreground maple in the parkland|
|Sunset in the park today|