Tag: Hygge


The Small Pleasures of Coziness

As the days get shorter, I feel the irresistible draw to everything cozy. Last year, book lists were dominated by anything about the Danish practice of hygge. Since I speak no Danish and have never lived in Denmark, I can, of course, speak with great authority on the topic because I read Helen Russell’s The Year of Living Danishly. The take away, for those of you who haven’t read the book, is that because the Danes face long, dark and cold winters, they buy more candles than any other nationality on earth and they have raised the art of coziness to a high art form. As I write this in my little attic writing room in upstate New York, I am staring at trees that have mostly shed their leaves. It’s raining hard enough for me to hear the constant drumbeat of raindrops on the roof. The leaves on the ground are soggy. Drops of water cling to the window panes. In short, this is perfect weather to snuggle in soft, warm clothes and drink something warm. I’m already thinking of baking cookies this afternoon.  I have never lived any place without seasons. I was born in Scotland, then moved to northern Utah. My family moved to France, just across the […]

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Postcard from Three Pines

I’ve been in Three Pines, where Louise Penny sets her Chief Inspector Gamache mystery series, for about six weeks now. I’ve suffered through several long winters, endured a few hot summers, and relished as many perfect springs and autumns in that short time. On January 20th (the date is no coincidence), I fled to this village in Canada just above the Vermont border, a place safe and filled with hygge. The Oxford Dictionary defines hygge as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.”            Oddly, it hasn’t matter that in each of the twelve books I’ve read during my sojourn, a murder has occurred because Louise Penny has created Armand Gamache, whom I grew to trust and revere. I knew each time I opened a new book that  Chief Inspector Gamache would ultimately expose the murderer, along with a few lessons about the human condition. The murders were much less disturbing than never-ending alerts on my telephone or the incessant chatter on television about what the daily disaster was back on the home front.            I fell into Three Pines like it was the puffy feather duvet my grandmother had washed so many times […]

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