Milestones and mistletoe – happy hygge huggy winter

As Christmas approaches, yet again I consider how fascinating these seasonal cycles are. Winter can be chilly in more ways than one for many freelance practitioners. The summer is often deliciously quiet, then September brings in lots of enquiries that fall like autumn leaves from the trees. If emails were physical things, they would be stacking up in drifts of paper against the office wall.

Just when you begin to make sense of it all the shops begin to fill up with mince pies and tinsel and everything grinds to a halt again. The flurries of activity are replaced by frosty nights and foggy days. The only thing between them being greyness and damp. Short days and long nights are perfect for hibernation and snuggling up. The Danish term hygge (pronounced “HUE-gah”) seems to have become very trendy – you can even by hygge socks from Marks & Spencers (really). I think hygge has always happened in my home, we just didn’t have a word for it before hygge came along.

For many, Christmas is a fantastic celebration of their commitment to religion, or shopping, or eating. Which is brilliant! For me, it always turns out to be a time for reflection, a time to look at the year gone by and think about the new one just around the corner. There’s a lot of plotting and planning going on, but not about cribs and stables, sherry and mince pies. It’s more like chewing on the end of pencils and supping big mugs of tea. Best to avoid the frantic shops and stay home with books, drawings, jumpers, laptop and homemade bread instead.

While some friends and family are tucking into a full-on Christmas dinner, you’ll likely find me enjoying some form of last-minute foody, fishy, cheesy treat from Waitrose, with a bottle of Sancerre. Or hopping on a plane doing the beam-me-up-Scottie thing! I’ll likely be with friends and/or family – I’m not anti-social or a hermit. It’s the commercial Christmas stuff I can’t bear – the pipe music, the overflowing trolleys as if a war has broken out, the rubbish on TV. Online shopping is my true saviour.

I’m not a bah-humbug Christmas objector, I love the kindness and generosity of gift-sharing and seeing family.

See what I mean here

2017 WILL be better than 2016, surely? The world is now divided in a big way and I won’t even bother referring to why because it’s obvious. But it is a time of major change and unrest, some good, some bad. Another milestone reached, another sprig of mistletoe to kiss under. And a few unpleasant frogs you’d rather not kiss!

I welcome the coming of 2017 and wish health and happiness to all. It’s a time to be grateful for what we have and celebrate it too.


going through the process of being beamed up: deconstruction – reconstruction



Published by carolyn black

I'm an artist and also commission contemporary art in unusual locations. As a producer, I fundraise, curate, project manage and deliver projects. I'm also a writer and film-maker.

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