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warm things from cold countries

January 12, 2010

With a bit of a thaw over the past 24 hours, the great outdoors is slushy and unappealing. This morning the builder’s truck got stuck in the wet icy snow in front of the castle: it took a blanket under the back wheels and yours truly in the driving seat to get it unstuck! This afternoon I took younger son, at his insistence and against my inclination, to watch a bit of shooting. Standing in deep snow in the sleety rain, watching a hen pheasant with a broken wing trying unsuccessfully to escape along an icy ditch, was not my idea of fun. So I thought I would share some warmer thoughts with you.

Most of the things which warm me up in the winter originate, I’ve realised just now, in countries with proper winters. No coincidence, I am sure. The Aga and the wood-burning stove have kept us warm even without central heating, and both come from Sweden. I am also greatly cheered by this Sami (Lapp) patterned tablecloth from (Swedish) and the white candles from the candlelit centre of the universe, Denmark. The Danes have a wonderful word, ‘hygge’, which refers to this sort of cosiness and good cheer, ideally shared with good friends…

…or at the very least with a mug of something warming, like hot Ribena in this mug with its own little knitted jacket (!!) which I found in a winter sports shop the other day, along with some lebkuchen from Germany. Yum.

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