Valentine’s, Hygge and Half-Term

The simple things are also the most extraordinary, and only the wise can see them.

The detractor within me doesn’t agree with Valentine’s Day. It’s not because I’m single and going to be doing my worst drunken rendition of Bridget Jones singing All by Myself, it’s because I think it’s an over-hyped celebration that’s incredibly commercialized. Do we really need a special day to tell a person we love them?

In a sense, what Valentine’s Day is today is very tacky, and as you’ve probably guessed it by now, I just don’t do tacky or cheap – I’d much prefer to do nothing at all than split dinner bills to the penny or go on an equivocal date for the sake of it. The commercialism of Valentine’s Day also doesn’t fit into my  way of thinking which is very in line with the Danish concept of Hygge. With Hygge, it’s the people/person you’re with, it’s the coziness and warmth, it’s the relaxing night in with all those understated romantic touches…

I don’t try to go out of my way to Hygge; I think doing so is incredibly apish. I’ve said this time and time again, that such feelings should come naturally or not at all. If you need to try to be this person, perhaps you need to reevaluate who you actually are as a person…trying to change your ‘lifestyle’ to be purportedly attuned with it for the sake of being in fashion is lame, and, according to my Nordic friend, this is where many Brits fail.

Anyway, back to Valentine’s Day, I’m going to break the mold. I plan to have a cozy night in, light my candles as I normally do (no need to be a postulant lifestyle chaser, this is something I already do), cook a hearty meal (nothing new), drink some great wine (again not revolutionary) and listen to some good music (normal).

I’ve already been asked out for Valentine’s Day, which I’ve met with polite discountenance – I’m not buying into overpriced set Valentine’s menus in heaving restaurants  alongside every other couple in the city with a stranger…If anything, I’m going to call a friend, make some seriously good food and enjoy a couple of glasses of wine in the comfort of my own home…bliss!

Flowers

flow

I know someone who loves flowers maybe as much as me. I was toying with the idea of sending some gorgeous wild flowers as a surprise, but I’ve decided against it. Instead, I’m just going to buy myself a bigger and better bunch than my usual £15 bouquet.

There’s something special about flowers, and I’m not afraid to admit that I buy them for myself all the time. I do this because they bring happiness to my house, they’re pretty, and they add that necessary pop of color to the room, which I believe is pertinent during these darker damper winter months. I do love roses, but being the rebel and non-conformer I am, I’ll be buying non-Valentine’s Day flowers i.e. not roses!

I can’t wait to own my own home, which hopefully will come to fruition in the next year. One thing I’ll be doing when I do get my own home is planting out a patch of vibrant seasonal wild flowers so they’ll be a constant feature in my home. I’m pretty creative, and making my own DIY wild flower bouquet is a walk in the park; it’s also something I find incredibly therapeutic.

Love Letters

letter

Sometimes it’s not about that 8-page love letter, sometimes it’s just the words that are used…

As soon as my real friends read this, they’re going to laugh. They’re likely to say ‘Typical Vics – always the romanticist!’Unfortunately, I romanticize everything, including things and people who don’t even merit being idealized – I’m pretty sure I should’ve lived in Austen’s era; I would’ve given Emma Woodhouse a run for her money that’s for sure!

I don’t write letters or handwritten cards nearly enough. These are reserved for a limited few, but I am going to make more of a point of doing it. I don’t have anyone to write a love letter to this year, so maybe I’ll just write a letter to my future self instead – it would be an interesting experiment to see how much I grow within the next year. Who knows what next year will bring…

 Cooking

stew

They say that cooking is love made visible, and this is one quote I’d wholly agree with – there’s something special about the process of cooking; the same goes for cooking with others. To me, the most important ingredient in any home is the love that you have for those you’re cooking with or for.

It’s going to be a week of cooking some seriously good food – I’m on half term break, and I can’t wait to have people over to sample the dishes. It’ll be all about experimenting. If you pop over for some food, expect to see a lot of Asian fusion influences on the menu – Indian, Malaysian, Indonesian, and Japanese…it’s time to start getting a little bit more creative in the kitchen and sharing it with people close to me. It’s also still pretty chilly out , so there’ll definitely be some soul-warming dishes as well.

Baking

bake

The same goes for baking. I’m not a fabulous baker, but I’ve committed myself to learning the baking basics. With pending baking courses and a week off, I’m interested in exploring the world of savory and sweet baking.

I already know how to make basic breads, muffins and cakes – I want to be a bit more adventurous in the realm of baking, and my friend, who happens to be a chef in New Zealand, told me that good things come to those that bake…so it’s worth a shot, and to be fair, this has long been something I’ve wanted to try and master.

Think marble cakes, cinnamon rolls, Szarlotka, brioche buns, savory pastries, Lebkuchen…Make sure you pop over for a coffee or tea during the next week to sample my baking delights…this will be my Valentine’s gift to you.

Final Thoughts…

I feel like there’s this ever-lingering negative stigma about Valentine’s Day, especially when it comes to single people. Perhaps this is the case for the minority, but I’ve never met anyone like it. To be fair, even if I were in a relationship for Valentine’s Day, I wouldn’t buy into its commercialism and I certainly wouldn’t expect to be showered with gifts and taken out for an expensive meal. For me, I’d be most at home knowing that the guy I love loves me and he’s thinking about these little things and how we can continue to grow as a couple – I don’t need Valentine’s Day to tell the right person I love them – I’d do this every day of the year regardless of what the calendar shows.

 

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