Brexit, dudefood and hygge

Did you hear that the three newest words to be added to the Oxford English Dictionary are:

Brexit – unsurprisingly, and I’m sick to death of the horrible word.

dudefood – apparently food that men like, I’ve never heard the word but it makes me think of a very hot vindaloo curry, what I think of as macho man food.

and …

hygge – pronounced hue-ga. I had heard of that word before, in fact a few weeks ago there was an article in the Guardian about hygge – you can read it here. It’s the Danish art of living cosily. But obviously the word has links with the English word hug. Apparently there are lots of books due to be published on the subject of hygge and I noticed that the word has reached far-flung Aberfeldy as a shop selling woolly hats and socks and such had the word hygge on a card in their window.

I don’t think there’s an equivalent word in English or Scots although I often think of the Scottish phrase ‘coorie doon’ around this time of the year, obviously it means burrowing down, getting nice and comfy on a cold dark night. The idea is similar.

For me coorie-ing doon also includes getting ready for winter. If I had an open fireplace or a wood burning stove I’d no doubt be making sure I had a huge stockpile of wood. In fact I really fancy having a stove just so I would have a good excuse to wood gather.

As it is I make do with buying in emergency tins of soup, just in case we have an awful winter and there are no fresh veggies in the supermarkets. Well it has happened before!

Whatever the season I always have an old shortbread tin full of a selection of chocolate, but it’s particularly important in winter. I wouldn’t get through the cold snaps without chocolate to keep me going.

I have a nice collection of tartan rugs in the living room, essential for coorying into. The adult equivalent of a baby’s comfort blanket.

For me winter means knitting season, my needles are poised for action and I’ll be plundering my wool stockpile soon. I’m flicking through knitting patterns at the moment.

Any night now I’ll be swivelling the top of one of my tables around, doubling the size of the table top, making it just perfect for a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. Winter is jigsaw season and the first one I do will be of a vintage travel poster – anyone been to Eastbourne?!

I can never understand these people who keep their curtains open in the evening, even when there’s snow on the ground and a howling wind. On cold dark nights I love to get the curtains closed as soon as it begins to get dark, shut the night out, get the kettle on and listen out for the biscuits shouting – eat me!

What about you – what’s your idea of winter comfort or hygge?

9 thoughts on “Brexit, dudefood and hygge

  1. What a lovely post!

    I’ve been drawn to the notion of hygge for a little while now. As you say, there are books and articles about it everywhere and I love the sentiment it embodies. I think it’s been a big element in my life for years – well before it had a name – and this is the time of year when it really starts to come into its own.

    ‘Coorie doon’ is a wonderful phrase – and very much easier to pronounce than hygge! There are so many wonderful words and phrases in the Scottish tongue; so much more expressive than English I think.

    Like you, Katrina, I love to draw the curtains as the darkness gathers, and we are lucky enough to have a woodburning stove. It’s so cosy when that’s lit. I have various throws but my knitting project at the moment is to create a patchwork blanket – using the colours of the landscape around us and a variety of aran and perhaps guernsey stitches – as a way of getting me back into the knitting groove.

    Jigsaws are something I often think about but never seem to actually do. I do know Eastbourne though – sunshine and seafront walks but very different to Scotland!

    As for biscuits and chocolate…. yes please. Although since I’m supposed to be eating low carb, both are supposed to be saved for very rare, naughty treats!

    Here’s to dark nights and coorie-ing doon! 🙂

    • Sandra,
      I love the idea of your patchwork aran/guernsey blanket. I used to knit aran jumpers and \Fair Isle but after having kids I seemed to lose my capacity to knit really fancy things like that, always being interrupted mid row probably. Smallish rows for patchwork sound ideal.
      I know Eastbourne well too but I’ve just had another look at the jigsaw box and it’s a vintage BR poster of Scarborough – no difference. Mind you I’ve been there too and it’s very nice.

      I’m also supposed to be avoiding biscuits and chocolate but – if it gets really cold I’ll burn off the extra calories on my daily walks – that’s what I hope anyway!

  2. Definitely some knitting — I haven’t touched mine for months, since before I moved overseas. I’m itching to knit something but I have all these half-finished socks and I’ve forgotten where I left off! I want something mindless to knit while I watch TV but it would take brain power to start up again — maybe I should just unravel them and start over.

    Hygge for me also includes flannel sheets and warm food like oatmeal for breakfast; shepherd’s pie; and slow-simmering stews. Also nice long books to get lost into, and pots of tea!

    It’s been cold and blustery here in Germany and I think I’m enjoying it, so different from south Texas.

    • Karen K.

      I always used flannelette sheets in winter until we moved house a few years ago. The new house is much easier to heat and the flanellette is just too hot now – and I never thought I would ever say that! I’m having porridge for breakfast now so it must be winter, and I agree with you on the pies and stews, winter warmers.
      I have never knitted socks, the closest I’ve got is baby bootees. I do too much walking to want to wear hand knitted socks, I’d wear through them in no time!

  3. I think I have been hygge for ages. Nothing beats shutting the curtains, sofa, biscuits, tea and a good book all under a knitted blanket!

  4. I have never heard of dudefood or hygge before.

    What’s my idea of winter comfort? Snuggling up under a handmade quilt in my flannel pjs and thick socks, a big mug of hot cocoa, two warm furry cats sleeping on my legs and a pile of books beside me.

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