4 MINUTE READ
It’s impossible, between October and March, to spend an aimless hour on Google or pick up a magazine, without coming across some gorgeous Nordic-type telling you how to be more Hygge.
Ah yes, Hygge, I hear you mumble as you try to pronounce it (apparently it’s Hoo-guh – like that helps!)
Isn’t that all about candles and hot chocolate and angora blankets?
Well, sort of. Roughly translated it’s Danish for feeling cosy contentment from experiencing the simple things of life. So, basically, we’re talking, sitting in front of log fires, knitting unattractive jumpers and eating fondue (careful you don’t get cheese on your wool).
It’s as if those environmentally friendly, tall, liberal, Helena Christensen lookalikes have a monopoly on getting through winter unscathed.
Well, I’ve got news for those bacon-eating northerners….you’re not the only ones with a strategy to get through long, cold, dark winters. Scots have had their own version of Hygge since The Ice Age.
So here’s how the Scots do Hygge…
1. Hunker Down – which means do not leave your home between November and March unless absolutely necessary. And if you do, your trip should include a visit to a pub
2. Start every conversation with … It’s bloody Baltic
3. If you find yourself anywhere with a real fire – HOG IT. This involves standing in front of it, with your bottom leaning in towards the flames, thus blocking the heat from everyone else in the vicinity. Only move if you feel faint or smell burning. WARNING DO NOT attempt this if you are a Kardashian or have had any sort of botty implant
4. Hail a taxi at every possible opportunity
5. Bookmark Tesco Home Delivery and Deliveroo. In fact, get the App.
6. Forget Dieting and Don’t eat anything cold for 6 months That means all fruit is out unless it’s to be found under a crumble topping. Daily staples include porridge, soup, steak pie, potatoes, haggis, Sunday Roast, chilli, bolognese, and stews. You will put on at least 9lbs – resistance is futile. And don’t forget to make a note in your diary in October to switch from white wine to red. You know it makes sense
7 Work for the council? Take at least 10 days sick leave. If not, just crack on as best you can and try and get a few days in Teneriffe
8. Don’t leave home without an umbrella, ideally from Poundland, so you don’t mind when it blows inside out or you lose it (see No 1 ref. Pub)
9. If you are a guy aged 23 or under, ignore rain hail and snow, and on a night out, wear only a t-shirt
10. Avoid anyone with cold or ‘flu symptoms. Just walk away – IMMEDIATELY. It doesn’t matter if its a job interview or your wedding and your husband-to-be is having a coughing fit. JUST LEAVE. And at the merest hint that you’re coming down with a cold…like you coughed two days ago – make a Hot Toddy – whisky, lemon, honey and hot water. Whisky (not whiskey) cures everything.
11. Own an Ice cream shop? Take 6 months off.
12. Got a dog? Train Rover to go for a walk alone, dig a hole and bury his own poop.
13. Never Ever Ever EVER KNIT anything. Instead, pop along to Primark, snap up three onesies, with built-in socks, in various autumnal colours, and that’s the A/W wardrobe sorted.
14. Start Christmas around 26th November and stretch it through to 29th December then seamlessly slip into New Year celebrations, which, if you’re good, you’ll be able to spin out until January 10th. Show face at work for a few days before attending a few Burns Suppers then another couple of days at work in early February should be swiftly followed by a long weekend for St Valentine’s day. And then, hey presto, it’s SPRING
So there you have it – Hygge a la Scotland.
We Scots might not be particularly tall or blonde or have produced many super-models, but hell, we can get through a tough winter, without resorting to fondues and bad jumpers.
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