Things passed down to us with love, which might be shabby and old, but are imbued with the sense of the people who gave them to us, are very hygge. Hygge is not about posh or pretentious things, or trying to impress others.
This wool has time travelled,
from pine-needled hillside,
to walking with a work bag,
carded, spun, as easily
as the way you firesided stories.
Gone now, but your grasp on things
remains, hexagoned in lyric cloth,
ancestral needles, salmon leaping,
working much harder than needed.
This rainbow shroud,
worked by a woman and a wife,
my mother’s mother,
now it takes on a different slant.
I dream of your bright hearth,
Rayburn, and toasting fork;
you leave this blanket,
to draw me close, whisper me home.
Chunky knit, oat-coloured Snugglebunks Woollywoof
flumped in his rocking-chair, next to the fire.
His eyes – one button, one toggle – were wobbly;
his kapok-stuffed brain was starting to worry;
his star-patterned Fair Isle jumper was fraying
and coming apart at the seams.
He thought that, probably, he should be slimmer,
or brighter, like toys with circuits and wires;
flasher, somehow, so Barbie would notice him;
faster, so he could beat Ken at Scalextric;
neon and zingy, like hair on a Troll,
or basically: somebody else.
Then the glow from the fire lit up the bright silver
frame round the portrait of his oldest friend.
He heard her voice saying, “You silly old Snugglebunks,
wanting the stars from the sky! I’ve caught some
and knitted them in to your Fair Isle jumper
so you can remember you’re loved.
Then Snugglebunks Woollywoof laughed at himself
and his blanket-stitch mouth turned back up at the sides.
His eyes – one button, one toggle – were smiling,
his velvet-lined ears were perked-up and waggling.
He thanked the stars he’d been made just for cuddling
and the flames danced a jig in the grate.
Photo credit: Alison Jones