The tree is down and the decorations have been put away. Yet the happy times don’t have to end. Winter is so often dark and cold but maybe we should embrace our longest season. Maybe we shoul…
The tree is down and the decorations have been put away. Yet the happy times don’t have to end. Winter is so often dark and cold but maybe we should embrace our longest season. Maybe we should do as the Danish do and bring on the Hygge!! Hygge ( pronounced hoogah) is a Danish word that describes a feeling of cosiness and joy. It embodies the pleasures we take in simple things such as enjoying a mug of hot tea whilst the rain beats at the window, reading a favourite book by candlelight, getting together with friends in a cosy pub or snuggling on the sofa with a pile of blankets and cushions and a good film. It seems that people in Denmark cannot wait for Winter to arrive and their contentment with this time of year surely contributes to their nation being ‘the happiest’ in Europe. 🙂
With this in mind I have consulted ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ by Meik Wiking of The Happiness Institute in Copenhagen ( yes there is such a place! ) and written a list of ideas to help us get through the rest of January and February. No two months need the concept of Hygge more, I feel.:)
Light candles. The home always feels so much cosier by candlelight.
Feel toasty. Snuggly socks, slipper boots, cozy cushions & throws all add to that super cozy feeling.
Hot drinks. Your favourite coffee, tea or hot chocolate in a lovely new mug. Why not try an unusual tea , add a flavoured syrup to your coffee or some ginger to hot chocolate.
Bring Nature Indoors. Treat yourself to a few plants or flowers. Or when your out and about look for fir cones, greenery, berries etc and arange them inside.
Take up a creative hobby. I’m always saying I will learn to crochet! Or how about rag rugging, knitting or cross stitch.
Bring out the boardgames. Invite friends or family round for boardgame fun. Remember Scrabble, Monopoly, Connect 4, Kerplunk?
A good book. Hunt out your library card and take out some stories by your fave authors to read over Winter.
Old Movies. Oldies are the best I think. Some of my faves include Rebecca, The Ghost & Mrs Muir, To Catch A Thief and Roman Holiday. Snuggle down with some of your fave films.
Slow Cook. Make Winter warming stews and fill the home with amazing aromas. Oh and invite friends round for a hearty supper. They can always bring pudding. 😉
Discover a New Boxset. There are so many! Currently enjoying Orphan Black and just caught up with Black sails. Any recommendations?
Dig out old photos. Or print out some of your favourites and put in a photo album to enjoy flipping through on a cold Janury evening.
Create a Hyggekrog. This is cozy nook in the home where you can snuggle in a blanket with a good book and a brew.
Build a Hygge Emergency kit. For those times you just want to curl up with all favourite things. Add candles, a book you love, notebook & pen, chocolate, your fave film, some snuggly socks, pjs, a face mask, a pretty teacup and your tea of choice. Or whatever makes you happy. 🙂
Daylights at a premium in January and February so I will try and make the most of it. 🙂 Here are a few ideas.
Out & About.
Blustery Beach Walk. The UK is full of almost deserted beaches in the Winter , so why not wrap up warm and blow those cobwebs away with an invigorating walk along the coast. Look out for wintering water birds and big skies.
Hire a Beach Hut for the day. Why not rent a base for your day out at the seaside. Be sure to take essentials such as warm blankets, hot water bottles, flasks of hot chocolate and your fave board games. Heres a Beach Hut day rental site in St Annes.
Find a Cozy Cafe. There’s nothing more comforting than finding a cozy cafe to relax in when the weather is miserable outside. You can even get that Hygge feeling in one of the many Scandinavian cafes that are popping up around Britain such as Baltzersens in Harrogate and Nordic Bakery in London.
Snowdrop Walks. January & February bring out carpets of snowdrops. A sure sign that Spring is tentatively on its way. The National Trust has information on Snowdrop walks near you. 🙂
Book A Weekend Away. The great thing about booking a few days away out of season is the price! Look for somewhere with a wood burning stove or open fire for that extra Hygge feeling. I used Sally’s Cottages to find a cozy cottage for a weekend in January.
Borrow a Dog. If you don’t have a four legged friend, borrow a pooch from a friend or family member and take them out for a long country walk. Fresh air is honestly one of the best cures for the Winter Blues and your new companion will be very appreciative.There’s even a website Borrowmydoggy.com that you can sign up to.
Spa days. Look out for pamper package offers at local spas and treat yourself.
Iceskating. Find your inner child and get out onto the Ice. Some outdoor rinks are open throughout January.www.cntraveller.com.
January & February Celebrations. Take note of winter celebrations such as Burn’s Night at the end of January, Chinese New Year, Shrove Tuesday or ‘Pancake Day’ , Candlemas/Imbolc and Valentine’s Day. Or make that Galentine’s Day to celebrate the girl pals in your life!
Hope this post gives you a few ideas of how to combat those Winter Blues. Oh and if it does actually snow, make sure you dig out that sledge!! 🙂
I can hardly believe that only last week, we were staying in a beautiful cottage in Scotland. A cottage in the grounds of a Castle no less. Two castles in fact ! Lochinch Castle in Dumfries and Galloway is home to the Count and Countess of Stair. The castle was built in the mid 19th Century some years after their original residence ‘ Castle Kennedy’ was burned to the ground. The ruins of Castle Kennedy can also be found on the Lochinch Estate and the Castle Kennedy Gardens are open to the public. Seventy Five acres of sculptured gardens and woodland to wander in. In November we more or less had it all to ourselves!
Our home for the week was the cosy single story Icehouse Cottage situated close to the original remains of a Victorian Icehouse. With it’s pretty furnishings, toasty wood burner and idyllic location, we couldn’t have wanted for more. Hugo was especially happy led in front of the fire after long walks around the grounds. 🙂
On our very first walk we came across three deer just wandering through the forest. 🙂 In fact every walk, thereafter, we would spot roe deer, red squirrels , woodpecker, pheasants, buzzards and other wildlife amongst the canopy of the trees. They became such common sights that it wasn’t even a surprise when we spied deer along the treeline of the woodland behind the back of the cottage. I’m sure if we had erected a trampoline, the John lewis advert would have come to life there and then!
There are two Lochs on the Lochinch estate poetically named The Black Loch and The White Loch. Both hold lots of wildlife and the White Loch is a site of Special Scientific Interest due to its winter waterfowl and rare invertebrate fauna and flora. I’m not quite sure why my dog has two tails in the above photograph….
I think my favourite part of the Castle Kennedy Gardens is The Walled Garden, which somehow reminded me of a Secret Garden. Autumnal colours were out in force and flowering shrubs still bloomed. So beautiful.
We loved our time in South west Scotland and Lochinch Cottages ( there are two more in the castle grounds) provided an ideal base to explore Dumfries & Galloway. And a Winter Break there? Well why not! Being out of the tourist season means you can (almost) imagine your lording over your own estate. 🙂
So October is at an end. And what a beautiful one it has been. Here are my wildlife photos from the last week of a rather glorious month.
22 October. On a wall Ivy – Leaved Toadflax which is a common trailing wallflower. It is also known as ‘Mother of Thousands’ and usually flowers from May to September.
23 October. I make some Foxy Leaf Art from a Sycamore Leaf. 🙂
24 October. On a walk with Hugo I notice this Fungi with it’s orange colouring. Looks like it’s been nibbled on. In an old almost dead tree I spot a Carrion Crow which makes a spooky silhouette.
25 October. Colourful purple berries and crimson leaves in the park.
26 October. I notice the changing colours of this Virginia Creeper on my way to work.
27 0ctober. Another flower that lingers in the hedgerows is Bindweed with its papery white trumpet-like blooms.
28 October. An afternoon at Lowther Castle in Cumbria saw myself and my little helper spotting lots of wildlife. 🙂 More Fungi , if anyone can id them? Imogen found lots of autumn leaves, berries and nuts, including Sweet Chestnuts . Once cooked , these are the chestnuts that can be roasted on an open fire. I love their fuzzy shells. The bird ( another silhouette I’m afraid) is actually a Buzzard with something in its beak. Apparently it is our most common Bird of Prey here in the UK. I still felt privileged to see it.
29 October. Poisonous red climbing berries from the Bryony plant.
30 October. A male Blackbird singing in a bush. Blackbirds appear in the nursery rhyme ‘Sing A Song Of Sixpence’.
31 October. Find a late bloomer in my back yard. Think it might be a Dahlia. 🙂
So there goes October. Hopefully the mild weather will continue on into November, and so will the beautiful colours. 🙂
Oh I was going to reblog a post about Screen Witches, but somehow WordPress won’t let me……so here is a list of spooky ( in a not to scary way 😉 ) films, featuring g g g g g ghosts. Happy hauntings!
As I had such a wicked time compiling my spellbinding screen witches post, I thought I would assemble a list of ghost movies.Bare in mind though I’m a bit of a scaredy pants when it comes to ghosties and ghouls , so most of my films contain friendly apperitions.
Blithe Spirit (1945). ~ Noel Coward’s madcap comedy is given the big screen treatment with Rex Harrison playing an author whose late wife’s ghost comes back to haunt him and his present wife. Margaret Rutherford plays the ditzy clairvoyant house guest who appears to have summoned her over from the other side.
The Corpse Bride (2005). Bittersweet fairy tale, animated in Tim Burton’s kooky style. A nervous bridegroom to be accidentally finds himself betrothed to ‘the Corpse bride’ , when practising his wedding vows in the forest. Johnny Depp stars.
Scooby – Doo (2002). Scooby, Shaggy and gang are reunited…
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For you lovers of old magical movies, I’m reblogging a few Halloween themed posts this week, on the lead up to the 31st of October. Here’s a Witchy Romance featuring James Stewart, Kim Novak….and a siamese cat called Pyewacket. 🙂
Its that time of year when the nights are drawing in and there’s nothing more comforting than curling up with a hot chocolate ( or one of those spicy pumpkin lattes that I haven’t tried yet!) and a spooky rom com. Bell, Book and Candle is a witchy tale set in modern day New York ( 1958 ) about a bored witch ( a sultry blonde Kim Novak) , her feline familiar ‘Pyewacket’ and the guy who moves into the flat upstairs.
The film starts with a festive snowy street scene. It’s Christmas Eve and lonesome witch Gillian is working in her African Art shop feeling in a bit of a rut. She spies her neighbor from the flat upstairs , Shepherd Henderson ( James Stewart) and ponders to her siamese cat Pyewacket, that he might be a rather nice Christmas present…..
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Sunday means Sunday Sevens , a collection of seven photos from my personal week. 1) I treated the bedroom to a seahorse. Every bedroom should have one don’t you think ! Even though we live nowhere near the sea, I kind of like anything nautical…and Cecil fits the bill. We spent last weekend de – cluttering the bedroom. Seven bin liners full later plus one sea blue addition and I am one happy gal. Not sure Wil is as enamoured with Cecil as I am though!
2). I actually made a pudding. Caramel Apple Bake is a recipe I found on Pinterest and it tastes like Autumn and deliciousness. 🙂
3). I collected these Autumn leaves, nuts and berries on one of our walks with Hugo. There’s so much colour outdoors at the moment. I have been photographing different wildlife every day in October and my most recent post is here.
4). And if I can shamelessly plug my posts here is ‘the best berry pavlova ever’ which I devoured at the new cafe at Holmes Mill . Definitely an indulgent treat but you will need your pennies. 😉
5).Speaking of delicious food, Wil and I enjoyed a lovely cheeseboard whilst in Skipton yesterday. Coopers Cafe Bar on Broughton Road is definitely recommended if you are in the area. It is actually also home to the studio of crafty blogger Lucy from Attic 24. I didn’t have a sneak peek though, maybe next time.
6). It’s been a while since I’ve visited Skipton ( I don’t know why? ) and a few new shops have sprung up. I loved this cute window display at The Vintage Wash House , which sells traditional cleaning products, homewares and gifts.
7). The last picture is of my two god daughters. We had a nice Autumn walk with friends, their kids and a bunch of dogs yesterday. Fun times. 🙂
Sunday Sevens was devised by Natalie at Threads and Bobbins.
Hope you have enjoyed your week.