As we start to retreat into our cocoons, here are some rooms where all our bookish goodness (and greed) can come to the fore.
Now that Christmas is over, our thoughts naturally turn to partying with friends at a chalet high up in the mountains after a great day of skiing. Well, mine do anyway, if I had all the time and money in the world. Of course, my kind of partying involves a cosy fire, great views, delicious food and pleasant discussions about books, art, music and theatre.
It appears that the Danish were not even aware that their concept of ‘hygge’ (comfort) is such a big idea until the British started marketing it. And yet the English have a perfectly good word for it as well ‘cosy’. Whatever we choose to call it, the appeal of curling up with candles, fireplaces, blankets and fleeces, books, a view and perhaps a pet or two… well, it’s undeniable. We need this comfort even more in these uncertain times.
Nothing beats a cosy chalet at the foot of the ski pistes, with an open fireplace, good food, old friends and excellent books to surround you! The snow is not quite enough for skiing yet, the chalet remains to be booked (or paid for) but I do feel I have friends and books, so thank you all so much.
A smoggy, sunless day today.
So indulge me… Allow me to curl up in a well-travelled vintage room, with lots of books, armchairs, plaid blankets and plenty of cushions. An open fire and a mulled wine would be optional, but deliciously thoughtful.
A cosy bedroom would not come amiss, even if it were designed with teenagers in mind…
But, for the ultimate retreat, while there is still snow in the mountains, I would like to hide up in this Swiss eco-pod hut in Flims and do nothing but read and write.
It’s a dull, cloudy day and I know I should be going up above the clouds to see the sun and some skiing action. But it is so much more tempting to curl up with a book, especially if you happen to be in one of the places below…
Or, if you are after something a little more ambitious, here is Christian Louboutin’s holiday home and its tempting library.
And finally, the outlandish, futuristic and exciting Walker Library in Connecticut. Star Wars with books!
I don’t care where in the world I am
If my lair is cosy,
Well-stocked and well-connected.
I can hibernate year-round
Among familiar smells
Velvety warmth of comfort habits
Foods tried and tested –
Make mine a ham and cheese sandwich-
Yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever –
If the world comes to me through my screen
Why need I go seek it out?
I seek the wind to sail me,
Adventure to toss me.
Even in the face of fear and discomfort
I need to earn warmth and plenty,
When muscles are weary
And brain is saturated.
I need to try newness,
Quench those thirst-filled questions
Too numerous to waste time.
No lifetime is enough –
I’ve got world to conquer.
So one wanders off
Outside the magic circle,
The other firmly within
But absent of mind.
Not much anger but not much laughter either.
We know not which to follow,
As they tear off in opposite directions.