January 27, 2023
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We who live in the northern regions need to get used to learning to live with short days and long dark nights; and tests our resilience. So, like our ancestors, we are looking for ways to console ourselves as we race towards the fleeting winter solstice on December 21st.

However, although – unlike our ancestors – we have gas and electricity; heating, lighting and cooking in our homes now cost more than twice as much as last year.

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And if you live in Consett, like me, you will know all about trying to protect yourself from the wind and cold.

I guess we all feel the need to be “careful” with our spending and are looking for ways to save a little here and there. But we don’t have to give up all comforts; as in many cases, simple pleasures can be just as rewarding and rewarding as more expensive pursuits, without adding weight!

Making the space we live in as comfortable and welcoming as possible is essential to our physical, mental and emotional well-being and should not cost the earth.

The Danes have been doing this for centuries and are known throughout the world as the happiest nation.

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So what is their secret?

Apparently, this little word “hygge” is pronounced like “hu-ga”.

Difficult to say and even more difficult to translate, it’s not just a word, but a concept, and the best explanation I could find was given in the Scandinavian Standard:

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“Hygge is about cozying up and surrounding yourself with things that make life better, like friendship, laughter and safety, as well as more specific things like warmth, light, seasonal food and drinks.”

Reading this prompted me to think about my favorite things and what makes me happy. However, while The Sound of Music’s Julie Andrews prefers “crunchy apple strudel” and “noodle schnitzel”, I lean more towards a wonderful cold pint of Guinness and chili garlic king prawns on toasted ciabatta! However, I wouldn’t discount all of her other choices in the song!

My childhood memories take me back to a time when our only source of warmth was the coal fire downstairs, which my dad filled up the chimney with a blazer and newspaper. The whole family enjoyed sitting around him, chatting and drinking Rowntrees cocoa with milk. I loved the warmth of the fireplace roasting my legs in Fair Isle stockings as I snuggled into my soft fluffy robe, watching the lights fade outside; intending to help the beautiful shadows of the flames dance on the wall behind us.

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I also remember visiting the Consett Baths in the winter and after our swim jumping around the locker rooms to raise my body temperature before my friends and I went to the cafe upstairs; excitedly warming his hands around a steaming mug of beef while trying to eat a pack of Betty’s cheese and onion chips at the same time.

In anticipation of the celebration of Christmas or the Winter season; most of us dress warmly outside, adding extra layers as well as gloves, scarves and hats, expecting and enjoying the cozy warmth when we’re indoors. I love watching my solar lights flicker on my garden wall at dusk, and enjoying the flickering of flickering candles and garlands in the living room while wrapped in a soft velvet blanket.

And I look forward to meeting my family and friends in Consetta who I know have amazing, handy wood burning stoves.

visitdenmark.com the site states:

“Essentially, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people.”

If you want to learn more, treat yourself to The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Secrets to a Happy Life by Mike Viking, founder of the Copenhagen Happiness Research Institute, or better yet, make a list of your favorite things and let them
bring you happiness!

I’ll start with you:

  1. Pork Dishes Yager’s Specials

 

#Dont #Worry #Happy #Lorraine #Weightman #Consett #Magazine

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