Not at all Hygge.
So I've been reading quite a bit, recently, on hygge. You probably know (apparently, it's quite passe now) that hygge is the Danish way of living and enjoying the simple and making the ordinary 'extraordinary'. And it involves lighting and cosiness and togetherness and all kinds of loveliness. Well, last week was the very antithesis of all hyggerly things.
It started with the rain and my Dad's departure back to Spain. That wasn't meant to rhyme. I'd been rather dreading his leaving, since I've enjoyed his company, felt less lonely in the house in the day, and also had help with the childcare. I didn't have to do the dreaded school run alone, with the two bairns in tow. Well, I was right to dread it. I was probably wrong not to dread it more, in fact.
I don't know what it was, but there seemed to be a pact between the school and the weather that every school pick-up and drop-off would be peculiarly timed with a downpour. The blue sky would emerge later on in the day - or at least the rain would stay off - and then it would return circa 3.15pm for pick-up. This did not feel hyggerly. But as I walked back from Gracie's school, I remembered the old summons to practise Gratitude in order to be happy, and so I gave mental thanks for the fact that our car was around the corner and we didn't have to do the whole walk home in a rain-soaked nightmare.
Well, I thanked too soon. We rounded the corner to the car, I clicked the key and... nothing. Not a single door opened. They metaphorically slammed in my face. As discussed with my husband the night before, the battery in the car key seemed to be dying. And this was the moment it chose to draw its last breath. Thank you, Universe.
So I stood on the pavement, a million miles from all things hygge, and cursed my decision to bring just the single buggy (for why should I need the double?), as I wondered what on earth I was going to do. Luckily, my husband had given me a mini tutorial the night before on how to manually open the car when the key battery goes. Good. That meant I could open the door.
First job achieved. I managed to open the door and put Grace inside, to the cries of 'I'm hungry, I'm hungry!!'. But wait. What was that noise? The car alarm, as it blared out, protesting that it didn't know what was going on. It wasn't the only one, I thought. And hang on. I couldn't get the engine on either. Our car operates with a button that recognises the car key and the battery was gone. Meanwhile, Isaac is in his single buggy on the pavement, with my handbag hanging off it, getting wet. How was I going to get in?!
And then some relief, as the car recognised the car key and the engine came on. Success! But now, how to get Isaac in? I couldn't possibly risk turning the engine off to open the back door. I was going to have to bundle him in through the front and do some sort of ninja move, to get him into his car seat in the back, something of a feat at the best of times. I didn't even have any chocolate to bribe him.
So sat him on my knee and started the torturous process. He started beeping the horn, giving the impression to all the other school mums that I was furious with them for their driving manoeuvres. It was a busy time of day and there were a lot of school mums about. Great, I thought. How to be unpopular in five seconds.
Then I had a brainwave. I could put the window down at the back and manually open the door, and get Isaac in. Hoorah! As the rain came down, onto me, and the car seat through the open window, onto my handbag and buggy, I thought how truly miserable British weather can be. The Danes say there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. Well, I had the latter and I've decided I don't agree with the former. All I could think about was getting a cup of tea once I was home.
Finally, I managed to shove the buggy in near Gracie's feet (couldn't open the boot, of course), get Isaac into his seat, rescue my sodden handbag, turn down the radio - which Isaac had notched up to maximum - and get the car moving.
All in all, not at all hygge. Not even a little bit.