Rington’s Through The Years – a jigsaw puzzle

I was very lucky this Christmas in that I received a new jigsaw puzzle from a friend from the north-east of England where the company Rington’s is something of an institution, they market tea, coffee, biscuits, delicious teacakes and all sorts of tea/coffee related goods. The puzzle design consists of a collage of their wares over the many years they’ve been selling them, including commemorative caddies and teapots. Lots of them feature royalty so the Queen is here from 1953 youngster to just about the present day I think.

Rington's Jigsaw  puzzle

This is a difficult puzzle! I was so bored during our very quiet no guests Christmas Day that I was glad to break open the seal and begin it, there was absolutely nothing worth watching on TV on the many channels that we have, mind you we don’t have Netflix, that might have helped but I don’t really want it – I think. Progress so far has been fairly slow but it’s not driving me around the bend – yet.

Rington's Jigsaw puzzle

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?