When two of my nearest and dearest haphazardly gave me the same present this year for Christmas, it felt like more of an intervention rather than a gifting coincidence. The gift was The Little Book of Hygge, The Times’ beautifully illustrated Top Ten Bestseller which, at first glance, I thought would be the missing piece to getting that perfect Shelfie. That was, until I opened it and began reading. The first chapter is called The Key to Happiness and it was at the end of the first paragraph of this first chapter that I got to thinking that my husband and my mother, i.e. two of my nearest and dearest, may have been hinting at something. Either that, or they were definitely on to something. After all, who doesn’t want to be happy?
The British obsession with Scandinavian culture is not something I am new to. The Killing? Loved it. The Bridge? Check. Borgen? Not yet, but after becoming gripped on Netflix’s House of Cards, I feel as though I may be ready to flex my political drama muscles even further. I am one of those people who do not jump on the band wagon enthusiastically but rather climb upon it laboriously and defeatedly only to find the the ride is quite enjoyable. As a child I refused to read Harry Potter because everybody was reading Harry Potter and at university I continued to use My Space in protest against its much more user-friendly successor Facebook. I do this in the vain effort to not follow the crowd and be my own person, something which Grayson Perry might call the curse of the Middle Class. It was only after giving in to that wily boy wizard and getting tagged in an unflattering profile picture that I realised on how much I was missing out.
To a certain extent, my conversion to Hygge followed a similar pattern. It was a word that I had heard banded around on TV and radio and amongst colleagues at work and, without really giving much thought to the word I appeared to know what it meant but dismissed it as a fad much like I did Brexit. Being cosy was something I had down to a fine art; the majority of my free time was spent curled up on the sofa binge-watching a box set and pyjamas were the black-tie du jour post 5pm and weekends. Who needed a book to teach you that?
As it turns out, I did. Netflix and Chilling (in the most literal sense) cosy? Maybe. But was I happy? Not so much.
It was therefore, within that foggy part of post-Christmas Day and pre-New Year’s Eve, that never-ending week where you’re not sure what day it is but you definitely know that you’ve eaten too much, that I made a decision. I decided that 2017 was going to be different. I wasn’t going to make the same resolutions which I made year on year only to never achieve them; lose weight, dry January, stop smoking, keep a diary … I wasn’t going to make a resolution at all. Instead, I was going to name 2017 as the year of H (no, not Ian Watkins of former British dance-pop group Steps, although, I do wish him a very happy New Year, should he ever read this). In 2017 I was going to be healthy. I was going to be happy. I was going to be … Hygge.
This is therefore what this blog or, blygge will be all about; one woman’s quest to adopt, implement and document a lifestyle that has proven to pave the path to happiness in the hope that this will be the designation of not just myself, but those around me.