Embracing all things 'Hygge'
New buds on the lilac
Early birthday pressie - a new hand knitted blankie
In February I have:
- Learnt the meaning of the Danish concept of Hygge (pronounced 'hoo-guh'). It (loosely) translates as the ritual of enjoying life's simple pleasures. As Denmark can have up to 17 hours of darkness in winter with temperatures hardly exceeding zero degrees C, Hygge can help to make the most of the gloom. So..... I have worn woolly jumpers, eaten by candlelight, snuggled under cosy blankets and warmed my feet in front of the fire with a hot mug of tea. Nothing new there then.
- I have visited the Sea Life Aquarium in London this month.
Sea Life do a lot of conservation and education work. They also have breeding programmes for endangered species.
Did you know - sharks have lived in our oceans for more than 420 million years! The Sand tiger sharks at the aquarium look ferocious with their mouths full of teeth but aren't dangerous to humans. Don't think I'll test that though.
The two male sharks are called Bungle and Zippy
There were originally two female Cuban crocodiles at London Aquarium - Sugar and Spice. Cuban crocodiles are one of the most intelligent and most endangered species of crocodile in the world. Their brightly coloured skin is highly sought after to make bags. The two lady crocodiles at Sea Life had grown up together and got on really well until one day Spice got a bit territorial and ate Sugar!
(Scary) Spice, the naughty Cuban crocodile
A lesser spotted Esme on the underground
As we have just finished watching our 'Mr Selfridge' box set, we thought we would make a quick trip to the shop whist in London.
In 1931 Selfridges unveiled the Queen of Time clock on the front of the building. It was described at the time as 'London's newest meeting place'. Now, most shoppers pass beneath and barely notice it.
Queen of Time clock
'Dolly's' art deco inspired cafe is named after the Dolly Sisters, a pair of glamorous identical twins who performed in the 1920's and entranced Harry Selfridge.
Looking down on to Dolly's Tea Rooms
The original dark wood revolving doors at the entrance of Selfridges
We enjoyed (despite the icy cold weather) delicious chocolate and salted caramel sundaes with a hot chocolate at Carluccios on Waterloo station.
Esme and Maisie at Carluccios
- We have ventured back in to the garden
Could spring really be on its way?
My grandfather's primroses are up in the cold frame
Frank, on a rare outing outside
Crocuses in the greenhouse
The amarylis is showing signs of life
I look at my rather pathetic tiny cacti and dream of Spain and the sun......
Tulips on the dining room table
- We have relaxed in front of the fire
Feeling Hygge with my new blankie
- We have baked and souped
Cheese and bacon loaf in the belly
Dipped in to curried lentil soup
February has not been the best of months as we had to have one of our rescue dogs put down. We only had Sophie 3 months but she was an adorable girl and we are heartbroken.
Sophie understood the 'no pets on the furniture' rule
We are so glad that we have Eddie and he is enjoying the extra fuss!
Eddie seems to enjoy sitting in the car, even if you don't go anywhere!
Training is ongoing
Well, I've had enough Hygge, inertia, darkness, cold, eating heavy food and wearing heavy clothing this winter. What I want now is sunshine, open doors and windows, birds, bees, flowers, weeds, dirty knees and coffee outside.... Bring it on!
Evening walk around the village
"......perhaps the chiefest attraction of a garden is that occupation can always be found there. No idle people are happy, but with mind and fingers busy cares are soonest forgotten."
- Alicia Amherst 1902 (from The Virago book of Women Gardeners)