Updated: May 21, 2020
Friday 17th April 2020
Turns out I was born in the wrong country. Twice. Let me explain...
I was born in Singapore, and I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the country, don't get me wrong, but my nationality is British. So I was born in the 'wrong' country in that sense. And the second point is that I'm pretty sure I should have been born in Denmark. I am in love with all things Hyggerly, and thus Danish. And the more I read about it, the more I think I'm a Danish Pastie (a Dane disguised as a pasty- skinned Brit).
I first came to this conclusion about three chapters into 'The Little Book of Hygge', by Mike Weiking (for a review, see 'Han the Homemaker', YouTube.) As he described all the facets of Hygge, I realised this was the cosiness and lifestyle I'd been striving for all my life: the lighting, the cushions, the simple homemade food, the board games, the social nights in, the candles, the casual... all very much what I love.
It's strange to read about something you think is your unique lifestyle preference, to discover it is actually a Thing. Cosiness isn't really a thing in England. I mean, we have a stab at it during the Christmas period with our twinkly lights and faux fur blankets and slipper boots. But then we abandon it for the January sales in garish lighting and a bit more Consumerism gone mad.
But not so in Denmark. Hygge permeates everthing they do and talk about. It even has its own vocabulary: 'that would be hyggerly', the 'hygge-factor', et cetera. People seek out restaurants that promise an experience with the most Hygge, they strive to create a Hyggerly atmosphere in their homes for dinner parties and they create it in the summer months (or days) as well.
And now I watch 'Diane in Denmark' (a fellow Brit from Scotland, who presumably feels quite Danish too) on YouTube and I hear more about the Danish ways and the Hygge and it confirms my love for it. Diane talks about their love of cycling and recycling, nature and the simple things. And, on a more serious note, the way they have responded to the Coronavirus, in such an admirable and sensible fashion.
I've never even been to Denmark, but could it be my spiritual home?
I certainly won't be going for a while now, so I'll have to settle for my English cups of tea and my weighted blanket. A little corner of England with Hygge in it.
Isaac's most-favoured phrase: 'Stop right there, Poacher.'