Bliss or Boring?

instaLagom and Hygge – Strange names, aren’t they? Have you heard of them?  Have you read about them in a newspaper and lifestyle magazine?

What do they mean and what is the difference, you may ask.


  • Literal translation of Lagom is ‘just the right amount’
  • Lagom is more about behavior generally, the culture and the way people live
  • It promotes ‘grow your own’ and encourages people to reduce food waste
  • It means becoming more aware of the environmental impact of our actions, way of living.
  • It is about sustainability. It encourages people to bring changes to their lives to achieve more balance and avoid excesses, being in harmony with nature
  • it is about living well


  • Hygge is the art of creating intimacy
  • It is about finding happiness and personal comfort
  • It is about creating an intimate ambient that brings contentment and togetherness. So, you wear natural fibre clothes (for example, the woollen jumper, socks, blanket); you light a soft candle; you take your favourite book and put on your favourite music and together with your friends you sip warm hot drinks and homemade pastry by the crackling fire
  • Hygge spring/summer version is about creating togetherness by going with your family and friends for a bike ride followed by a picnic or BBQ
  • Whereas Lagom is a way of life, Hygge is a moment in time

What do they both have in common?  No phone, no email, no social media, no TV.  BLISS or BORING?!

But I have been asking myself a few questions:

  • What is so appealing about Hygge and Lagom?
  • Why are we drawn to these cultural aspects of the Scandinavian countries?
  • Has our Western society – as a whole – now reached the peak of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?
  • Or is it simply another chase in pursuit of happiness?
  • What is your view?

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Wire to the North Pole

©2016 Klicksmart Photography, all rights reservedHow did you use to send Father Christmas your wish list?  When I was a child, we used to write letters and post them.  Apparently the postmen used to get quite a lot of junk mail around this time – did they use to throw the letters in the bin?  No idea, I guess.

So it was surprising to hear about Father Christmas’ Apps.  Well I never, I said to myself.  Of course, if your children are grown up you have probably missed this craze too.  I read up about them, looked for them on my Apps and found what it is considered the best App “A call from Santa”.  The App has a jovial looking Father Christmas as an icon and feels like Christmas.

Well, it did not stop there though, did it?

No, my curiosity got the better of me, I am afraid and – yes, you guessed it – I downloaded the App.  Not only that, I actually started sending messages to Santa Claus and rang his number to hear his voicemail.

Another feature says ‘Use it all around to encourage good behaviour’.  Well, now I know!

Feeling rather humble by the experience, I will not share the exchange of texts – they will remain between me and Santa Claus.

I guess that we never get rid of the voice of our inner child….




Something unconventional


I stumbled over an interesting article in The Times last week-end.

A school in Somerset has decided to offer an alternative type of physical education to its pupils.  Zumba, yoga and pilates classes are replacing the more traditional rugby, cricket or football.  Personally I am delighted to see yoga on a school’s agenda!

But that’s not all.  Mr Price, the headmaster has decided to offer nutrition, leadership and mindfulness classes.  Wellbeing classes, in short.

Why? And why not?  A number of reasons.

For a start, not all children like competitive sports or engage in them.

Secondly, wellbeing classes offer children an opportunity to learn social and soft skills earlier in life.

Thirdly, wellbeing classes can improve children’s concentration, focusing on academic topics and achievements.

Fourthly, wellbeing classes can be equally attended by boys as well as girls.  There is no strength or force involved, any possible physical limitations between female and male do not apply.     They help children raise an awareness of their own self-being: the strength of their heart, the power of their own mind and the connection with their soul.

Physical Education as we knew it at school is changing and what is wrong with that?  Isn’t the world around us changing too – on both sides of the Atlantic?

Any views?   Do you agree with Mr Price?



Diwali Festival, at Stanley Halls South Norwood, Nov 5

Planning a visit?


Photo post by @insidecroydon.

Source: Diwali Festival, at Stanley Halls South Norwood, Nov 5

Walt Disney: A Creative, Color Magician — debi riley

I love color and I love Walt Disney! I’ll tell you why…….

via Walt Disney: A Creative, Color Magician — debi riley

Blank canvas?

Art by the beach-1I have been thinking a lot about creativity and art recently.

Have you ever found yourself in front of a large (and I mean, large!) blank canvas, have been asked to draw, paint or do something with it, create something?  I have. First thought: where do I start from? Second thought: what am I going to express? How am I going to express it?  Third thought: why am I panicking?

So,  I was pleasantly surprised to discover art by the beach on the last day of our vacation; the classes are run by Jeanni, literally on the beach at Mawgan Porth in Cornwall, as you can see from the images.  Her ‘students’ were from different ages.  Under the expert and patient guidance of Jeanni, I saw them flicking the paint brush, getting their hands really dirty with the paint, without fear, and creating simple and fresh work on a canvas.  It was encouraging to see a younger generation engaged in the physical process of handling paint, brush, pots and canvases rather than chasing Pokemon Go!

Click here to know about Jeanni’s work

I would have loved to talk to Jeanni more and had a lots of thoughts that I wanted to discuss with her.   What is creativity?  Where do we find it?  Is it something natural in all of us, some or a few of us? Can it be developed? Is there a relationship between our hands (the ability to create), the intellect (the thought process we go through to create and make art) and our heart and our well-being?   What is relationship between creativity, productivity and interaction with the world around us?  How is our well-being impacted if we starve our creativity for too long?

Do you have any views?  Any thoughts or experiences that you would like to share?

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