Just recently, while curled up on the sofa and reading by candle light, I discovered the craze for a Danish lifestyle concept called "hygge". Apparently, this relaxed and comforting way of life is taking Britain by storm this winter! Yet, many of our extended Scottish clan already do everything mentioned on the helpful 'how to' list provided by Country Living. It's said there's no literal translation but here in Scotland, I think we'd call it...couthie.
In fact, the blog below - originally posted at Funky Scottish early last year - demonstrates uncanny similarities between the Danish way and our own cosy culture, especially the coothie little rituals we adopt during our coastal winters. Take a peek and discover our own secret ingredients for A Funky Scottish Life...
They don't call this time of year the 'off' or 'low' season' for nothing. Between January and Easter, popular seaside villages become quiet and brooding. The tourist crowds have disappeared, the weather is unpredictable and some people find it all a little depressing. Others know how to make the most of this special time, especially here in Pittenweem....
There's a unique delight in stepping out of the biting cold, into the warmth of a welcoming cafe and inhaling the aroma of coffee, soups and freshly baked cakes. Funky Scottish is open throughout the winter, so make a date for morning coffee, lunch or afternoon tea! If you're unsure of our hours during this quieter season, just give us a call on 01333 312 567 to double check.
Cooking Up A Storm
Alas, none of us can spend all day, every day in cute coastal cafes! So, get into the kitchen at home too. Now is the time to really nourish yourself and your loved ones with soups for the soul, beautiful bakes and warming one-pots. Make big batches and put in the freezer...'real food' ready meals for a rainy day!
Ahead of a bustling 'high' season and The Pittenweem Arts Festival, our resident artist - Karen Edward - uses this precious, quieter time to work on commissions and brand new projects. Whether or not you consider yourself to be 'artistic'', there's no better opportunity to uncover your own unique creativity. Turn old photos into a beautiful framed collage for your wall. Learn a new, exotic language. Write a short story or just send a heart-felt letter to a long-distance loved one. xo PS. We have a lovely collection of note cards in our cafe-gallery-boutique.
Cosy Knits & Calming Candles
Bundle up in your cutest, comfiest knits and you'll be more inclined - even eager - to embrace the great outdoors. Or, curl up on the sofa, light the candles and enjoy the simple pleasures of your own little sanctuary. Take a peek inside our boutique, on the high street in Pittenweem, for inspiration.
Since Victorian times, the health benefits of tangy, coastal air have been well documented and nowadays science tells us there is indeed a healing magic in the seaside ozone! So, wherever you live, head for the beaches and paths around Pittenweem and the East Neuk...we guarantee you'll return home with an un-seasonal high!
Chips (On A Bench, At The Harbour)
If you're out and about, never miss an opportunity to 'warm the cockles' with a bag of chips, perfectly seasoned with salt and vinegar, perhaps accompanied by freshly battered fish...and enjoyed overlooking local boats tied up in their moorings. Remember, there's no better time to visit the award-winning Anstruther Fish Bar....without the massive queues!
Whether you're a visitor or year-round resident, it's easy to become caught up in the busy-ness of our own lives. So, the slower pace of the low season offers a special opportunity to get to know local people a little better. Take the time to shop locally, visit your nearest pub or cafe, say hello on the high street or offer your neighbour a helping hand. Who knows, you may forge unexpected friendships to be enjoyed for many seasons to come...
So, call it coothie - or hygge - or something completely different. Either way, it's lovely to see we're not the only ones who delight in celebrating simple pleasures.
Living by the sea, Karen Edward @ Funky Scottish is naturally drawn to coastal themes and has developing her own unmistakable flair for showcasing the unique character of the East Neuk. Her favourite subjects include the houses, animals, boats and seascapes she observes in and around the fishing villages. Karen will also happily paint bespoke ceramics reflecting your own unique character and interests. Choose a gift or crockery collection to celebrate special occasions including birthdays, anniversaries and weddings. If you'd like to order your own exclusive, hand-painted piece, please get in touch!