Happy New Year!

Once again I’m here as the year ends with the thought that I’ve not blogged much this year.

 

2017 on the face of it should be ending with a comment about it having been a better year – certainly there have been far fewer deaths and no real personal crises. Or at least not the major wheelchair related ones there were in 2016. But, mostly thanks to depression it has been a tough year.

 

I said to my GP a while ago that I thought being back on antidepressants was helping but that circumstances weren’t. More than half of this year was spent with one major situation needing to be resolved but my disability made that impossible. In the end I walked away. And currently I’m battling systemic ableism in a way that is making my depression worse. But that’s another story. I will say that this year being disabled has caused problems in a way it hasn’t for many years.  And sadly I know I’m not alone in that with society and public services being the way they are.

 

That’s not to say this year has been all bad. I finally went to Bletchley Park after many years of wanting to and loved it. The Harry Potter exhibit at the British Library was incredible. Yesterday  we had a fine dining meal at Newbury Racecourse for Dad’s birthday.  Dad and I also went racing at Ascot in October. We went to a lot of shows, most were good, some were amazing and one or two were terrible. I saw all my extended family this year, spent time with friends and drank some yummy cocktails.

 

Happy New Year to everyone reading this!

Hygge and Kisses by Clara Christiansen

I received a free copy of Hygge and Kisses by Clara Christiansen from Netgalley to review. Reading other reviews, it seems a lot of people only received a sampler.  I was lucky enough to get the whole book.

 

Bo, 26, has always been careful, cautious. However, she’s just been made redundant and her life plan is beginning to unravel. Before she starts immediately applying for other jobs in a panic, her friend Kirsten persuades her to take a holiday, to visit Kirsten’s mother’s house in Aalborg, North Jutland, a part of Denmark Bo is ashamed to admit she has never heard of.

 

‘What’s the weather going to be like?’ she asks Kirsten hopefully, scrolling her cursor over the budget airlines webpage. ‘Terrible,’ Kirsten replies, ‘London is positively Mediterranean by comparison, and of course it’s November so it’ll be dark seventeen hours a day. But no one goes to Denmark to get a tan. You need a change of scene and to blow away the cobwebs, and trust me, Skagen will do that. Besides, the summerhouse is cosy whatever the weather, and you never know who else will be around.’

 

A few clicks later and there is no going back.  Ug .   Bo’s life plan is about to be entirely rewritten.

 

I started reading Hygge and Kisses on the train and knew within just a few pages that I was going to enjoy it.  It just had a lovely feeling and grabbed my interest straight away.  When it was time to get off the train I was torn between wanting to keep reading and excitement about my plans for the day.  I ended up reading the whole book in three sittings.

 

The section in Denmark left me remembering my own trip there as a child and thinking about going back.  Unlike Bo we went in the summer so my experience is very different to hers.  I am undecided if I’d like to go in winter like she does.  (Nobody ask where in Denmark we went as I was 8 at the time and can’t remember).

 

Goodreads says this is about 400 pages long.  I am surprised by that because I genuinely thought it  was shorter (the kindle edition I have has no page numbers).  But that might just be because I read it so quickly. Certainly I would have liked it to be longer because some plot elements were brushed over and just got mentioned in passing where I would have preferred to see them properly.  And although I thought the ending was good it was abrupt and I was left regretting the fact there was no “six months later”epilogue as I wanted to know what happened next for the characters.  I’ve been thinking about that a lot since I finished the book and I have a theory but as it would spoil the book I won’t share.

 

I would recommend Hygge and Kisses for anyone wanting a relaxing read with a feel good vibe.  In the spirit of Hygge, it should probably be read on a winter evening while curled under a blanket.