hello december…

And just like that, we’re into the coldest and darkest part of the year. It only seems days ago that we were sweltering in the garden, throwing windows wide open, dispensing with even summer duvets and sleeping with fans whirring away next to us. Winter in Istria can be pretty magical. Don’t get me wrong – we do have days where the low lying grey clouds seem as if they’ll never go away. Days where rain just falls and falls. But it’s never like that for long. We have crisp, sunny days with blue sky – days when the sun still has a flicker of warmth in it, when you can sit outside a restaurant, although well wrapped up. We have days which are atmospherically foggy, which are also gorgeous.

Hibernation over the winter is a lovely option, but just not practical for us. We still need to go out and about, live our lives and just generally *do * things. However, it’s certainly a very different time of year as the house transforms from a summer home, filled with light and heat from the sun and the buzzing outside of the cicadas and tweeting of the birds, to a winter house. A house where the windows are closed, timers go on so that lamps are lit from late afternoon, the sofas are strewn with throws, and it even smells different as more heady scented candles are burned and diffusers diffuse their winter aromas. The wood burners are lit – one earlier than the other to get the house warmed up evenly, and we find we reach for the hot chocolate much more frequently.

I think I’ve always harboured a desire to live in a Scandi- hygge home, and with this one, we’re more able to create it than in our three bed terrace back in West Didsbury. It feels more authentic here, as we’re quite rural, surrounded by small forests and a wintery landscape when we look out of the windows. So, come December, my Scandinavian home emerges, and we wrap ourselves up in cinnamon and orange and faux fur and hot chocolate and candlelight. Although, and this must be emphasised – not all the time! Most days, we’re working away on laptops, designing, talking to clients, resolving website issues, paying bills, shopping, cleaning – you know, the normal stuff that we all do. Which is why, when we have a bit of down time, we light those candles, and embrace the winter.

Published on 29th November 2023