I’m looking for an elderberry plant. The edible kind. Preferably Adams or Johns but I’d settle for anything edible at this point. My local nurseries have so far been lacking so I’m taking my search further afar.
According to The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking (currently reading), the elderberry is used a lot in Denmark. In summer the flowers are harvested for tea and, if enough flowers have been left over to produce fruit, the berries are used to make mulled wine.
Yes friends, I am back on the Danish-living wagon and this time I am Hygge-ing the crap out of it.
Hygge is one of a thousand Scandinavian trends that Americans and Brits have adopted, and probably butchered beyond recognition, since 2016. Some say the “trend is over”. Madeleine Luckel wrote an article for Vogue titled Forget Hygge: 2017 Will Be All About Lagom. As though, somehow Vogue was powerful enough to deem a centuries old concept “like, so 2016”. (Hey Vogue – is Yves Saint Laurent’s Lambskin Balloon Top over yet?
Anyway, screw Vogue – I’m still feeling the Hygge.
Hygge, for the uninitiated, is a Swedish term that doesn’t translate exactly into English but generally refers to togetherness and coziness and warmth and being in the moment with the people you love. It usually involves lighting candles, sitting by the fire, drinking tea, hot chocolate, mulled wine and comfort food. No phones, no TV, no negativity. And it’s pronounced “hue-guh”.
2016 and 2017 so far have been challenging. Family life, school life and the constant onslaught of news and current affairs have left me anxious with stirrings of depression. Hence my search for elderberry plants and some serious Hygge. This video goes some way to explain my feelings.
Our sweet Finn has always been sensitive. He’s happy – don’t get me wrong. He’s full of life and laughter and endless energy, but at certain times he gets stressed out. It’s usually around making decisions, transitioning from one activity to another abruptly or when me or Rob is stressed. The fact that we are both sensitive and I have been dealing with anxiety since just after Finn was born, makes it difficult not to feel guilty about it. Welcome to motherhood.
When the The Little Book of Hygge came in the mail I spent an hour reading it and had a small epiphany. If I Hygge my home and this family, there will be no other option than to be more relaxed. That’s the theory.
While I was reading the book, Finn was lying next to me, refusing to nap but happy to chat while I read. I talked to him about Hygge and then while mum looked after Bennett and Jules I took him to a local nursery in search of elderberry plants. While we drove, I talked more about how we would bring Hygge into our home and at one point he said, “stop saying Hoo-gah mum! I get it!”
We returned with a strawberry plant and a little rock in the shape of an owl. No elderberry. But that’s okay because the whole exercise was totally hyggeligt.
I bought more candles. They arrived today. I’m going to fill the jars with my own candles when these have been used.