I absolutely love language. I love the nuances of it.
Yes, I love grammar and vocabulary - but as a means that one may express oneself and not be misunderstood. That to me, is the importance of grammar - understanding and avoiding misunderstanding - especially in writing.
And yes, I can be a bit of a traditionalist in spelling - why? Because I love how you can see a culture's history: of people, social history, important stuff, in the development of the language. Seemingly bizarre spellings can shed light on our history and I love this.
And yes, I'm a words geek. And one of the things I love about words is hearing of and learning those words in other languages that we have no word for.
All the French ones that we use daily without thinking. One of my very favourites - 'sanuk' in Thai (finding the fun and joy in life). There's also a beautiful word 'kefi' - a Greek word meaning kind of joy and making the absolute best out of life (and it's the name of one of my dearest and oldest friends too).
I recently heard there's a word in Japanese to express the feeling of disappointment after a bad haircut! MUST try and find this one again.
But my favourite new one is this. And I don't even have words for how much I love it.
Pronounced sort of I think 'hoo-GAH'. This word is basically my dream word.
Please jump in and correct me if you know more ... but my (limited) understanding is that it was first a Norwegian word for 'well-being'.
And then it became a word to express a mood. And became very Danish too! In fact, it became part of the fabric of Danish culture and has even been credited with why Denmark is one of the world's happiest places to live (despite the dark long nights and gloom).
It means way more than (literally) 'cosiness'.
It means enjoying life's simple pleasures
Enjoying the good things in life. Cosiness and family and get-togethers and candlelight and all sorts of good things.
It's kind of like my favourite things all rolled into one lovely word. Un-rushed, cosy, snug, togetherness, happiness. It's a feeling, a mood. I love this.
And this is my favourite time of year for consciously injecting a bit of hygge into my life.
Cashmere sweaters and soft throws (in greys and neutrals)
Favourite candles (this time of year mine's the exquisite Feu de Bois from Diptique)
Long walks at the weekend through the leaves - perfect when it's chilly but bright
Dark evenings snuggled on the sofa with a book or film (and your fave person - and pets)
Hot chocolate made from squares from the bars of drinking chocolate they sell at the Spanish supermarket (or make your own)
Dogs and cats cuddling up and sleeping in the bed (yeah, I know, not for everyone!)
Having friends and family over for food and drinks
Bonfires in the garden
Log fires and wood burners (and roast chestnuts)
Sunday lunches in cosy pubs with fires and booths
Putting the huge thick down-filled mattress topper on the bed and suddenly having a fairy-tale feather bed
Spending an evening listening to 'Under Milk Wood' with Richard Burton and a glass of whisky (and the lights turned off)
Oh and a perfect Swedish mulled wine recipe I found last year.
(I'll post it soon and put a link here).
In the meantime, I'm home from a busy day and there's fireworks outside, there's soft clothes and cashmere slouchy socks and a glass of red wine.