To Hygga or not to Hygga

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 10 June 2020

Seventy eight days ago I was celebrating my birthday on the first day of lock down.

I - with the help of the old git who hobbled around calling the shots and hammering - furnished the new shed, I also reorganised my kitchen cupboards, weeded the Stromboli roses, seeded the potatoes, bought a box of masks, ground up endless coffee beans, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, aniseed seeds. I've bought copious amounts of - plant milk, washing up liquid, sprouted bread, dungarees, olive oil, blue filter glasses, vegan cheese (packed with wonderful little freezing bags), tomato plants, geranium plugs, hampers of fruit, industrial boxes of kettle crisps and Bee Venom Cream With Hyaluronic Acid - all on line.

I've watched the BBC, ITV and Channel Four news bulletins and counted the cost of our weedy government and their dealing with the virus; watched CNN and Sky to see just how the orange wank-biscuit ( courtesy of Gina Yashere) has been fucking up America. I've argued with dear old friends about schools opening, argued with dear old friends about whether watching anything at all on the state of our Union is of any use to the parasympathetic nervous system, argued with the old git about whether the 45th moron should be slowly poisoned or meet his maker with just one perfectly aimed bullet to the brain. I've watched gut wrenching films of tiny children dying from starvation in India, refugees ailing, I've watched despicable footage of police brutality, and only last night watched, open mouthed, as the Oxford peeps turned out to topple Cecil. It has been a time of tumult and excoriating pain. A time when I count my family and friends, daily, and make sure they are all safe, a time of weight gain, pain gain and will we ever get to Spain again in the rain again....Shut up!

Now, to set the scene, our sitting room apart from books and Dvd's and Cd's and more books, is a fireplace, a television, two armchairs and a big yellow settee with an expensive red and yellow throw over it. Lock down has brought the old git and I together in a rare pairing - holding hands, not quite canoodling but pretty damn close - whilst watching Michael Jordan on Netflix, Corrie on ITV, and the Wednesday night Aunty Beeb indulgence of 'The Repair Shop' and 'The Great British Sewing Bee'.

It was whilst watching Will on 'The Repair Shop' fixing a spinning wheel from the Shetlands that we learnt a new word, pertinent because a walk down the end of our road finds a flock of sheep in our neighbours field. The dawter has named one cheeky chappie Freddo, he has a black mole in his right ear, the softest of lambs coats, a brother or sister, we cant tell which, and a doting mother with a massive woolly fleece. Freddo trots over to the fence, shoves his velvety face through a fence hole and we tickle and stroke him, feed him grass and let him breathe his soft lamby breathe on us. The wire fence, above the wooden bit, is full of wool off the back of the flock. Now, in Shetland they collect the fence wool take it back to their spinning wimmin who industriously turn it into Shetland thingies. So, whilst holding hands and nibbling on a date, the 'oosbind and I were delighted to learn that The Shetlanders call those handfuls of left over wool HENTILAGETS. Ain't it a delicious name for left over tufty bits

If you listen to the voice on the internet saying HENTILAGET, it's as soft as a pullover with a little upward inflection at the end which in one second transports you to Quarff or Ollerberry.

'Hentilaget' got me thinking that there are very many words that describe things in one utterance like,

'Rindfleischetikettierungsuberwachungsaufgabenubertragungsgesetz'

which means 'The law for the delegation of monitoring of beef labelling.' Always good to know when you're out and about in Lower Saxony or Westphalia delegating bull-shit.

P'raps later on in the year, you may find yourself in Iceland, and travelling North. Now should you be looking for the key ring to the tool work shed in the road works on the mountain road in Vaolaheioi, there is one Icelandic word which will help locate that key ring to the tool work shed in the road works on the mountain road in Vaolaheioi. Now, hear me out, Iceland is a small country full of mountain roads. You may well find that you really do need to find the key ring to the tool shed on that mountain road to Vaolaheioi, so instead of panicking all you need do is shout out,

'Vaolaheioarvegavinnuverkfaerageymsluskurslyklakippuhringurinn',

and every Icelander, including Bjork, will know that you're looking for the key ring to the tool work shed in the road works on the mountain road in Vaolaheioi, and, in an 'ogenblick', will down tools and before you can say, 'Bob's your uncle', or in the local vernacular 'Bubbi fraendi pbinn', I bet you that key ring will turn up.

Now of course many of us will be sunshine seeking when the lock is sprung and we'll have the British summer we normally get, so if you decide to visit, for example, South Africa and you're watching the telly for the latest goings on in the forthcoming election in the ol' US of A you will probably come across the 'Issuable media conference's announcements at a press release.' No I don't understand it either, but if you want to sound like you do this is why you say,

'Tweedehandsemotorverkoopsmannevakbondstakingsvergaderingsameroeperstoespraakskrywerspersverklaringuitreikingsmediakonferensieaankondiging' -

And the receptionist will not have a fucking clue either but she'll do the next best thing and bring you some biltong.

My favourite word however, applies to any of our so-called leaders. This Danish conflagration invented by Hans Christian wots-his-name translates as 'The goaty-legged-above-and-under-general-war-commanding-sergeant.' So I give you

'Gedebukkebensoverogundergeneralkrigskommandersergenten.'

And whilst you're waiting for tonight's 'Repair Shop.' maybe you could try saying it.

Anyway back on the settee, the 'oosbind and I will be holding hands - from eight o'clock until the ten o'clock news - when the whole fucking thing starts all over again.

Happy Hygga

Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes

Comments

1. At June 17, 2020 3:48 PM June wrote:

Jeni
Where do you get your dungarees?
I was going to order some on amazon but wasn’t too sure about the seller!
Lovely to read you in these strange times darling girl.
Much love
June

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