Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Guest Post - If I Could Spend Christmas Anywhere In The World by Julia Williams - Blog Tour

The place I think I’d love to be is Norway. When I was a child, the idea of a Land of the Midnight Sun seemed impossibly exotic and exciting, and my imagination was further stirred by my dad’s stories of sailing down fjords during the War.

Lucky for me then, that my sister conveniently married a Norwegian, and I finally made my first visit to a country I’ve dreamed about this year. It was everything I expected it to be and more. There was snow. LOTS of snow. The mountains and lakes were stunning, particularly when the sun came out and showed them off in all their glory. Although even in the midst of a snowstorm, I loved the slightly spooky mysteriousness of fog spreading across ice covered lakes.

Best of all, and something, I wasn’t expecting is how very very cosy it is being in a superbly insulated Norwegian home, complete with log burners, while you look out as the snow tumbles down. I imagine this is what all the fuss about Danish hygge is all about. The Norwegians call it hyggelig (which sounds even more fun than hygge) and according to my sister is achieved with warm socks and candles. Which is about the size of it. The Norwegian winter lifestyle from what I have seen of it made me feel rested, welcomed and warmed. Granted you could get a bit stir crazy if you couldn’t get out for a few days, but I think I’d trade that off for the opportunity to take time out, relax, eat, drink in great company.

We were there after Christmas, when at home the New Year had already set into to its grey dull routine, and getting away then was a real tonic. Thanks to the combination of snow and pine forests, it felt we were in the land of perpetual Christmas. So the idea of actually going there for the festive season strikes me as a complete no-brainer. 

To be able to get up on Christmas Day to go for a tramp in the snow - proper clear crisp snow - which never feels cold and damp as it does in England, would be absolutely magical. And then to come back into that warmth and welcome, to a traditional Norwegian Christmas meal of pinnejkott (salted and smoked lamb chops), lingonberry jam, mashed swede, potatoes and peas, washed down with a shot of aquavit sounds like heaven. Particularly if we can have cloudberries and cream for pudding (Cloudberries are amazing. I thoroughly recommend them).

Spending Christmas in Norway would be very different and would involve a plane journey, a train journey through snowy fields, and a rather exciting road trip along winding icy roads, with the added hazard of an elk walking into your path. But I know it would be totally worth it to spend the day relaxing, warming by the log burner, watching the sun go down over the mountains, from the cosiness of indoors, sharing drinks and good conversation.  If I can only persuade my husband to put up with the cold, I’m hopping on the next plane to Oslo!

Well Julia, you have certainly made me look at Norway in a new way, I love the sound of it all but like your husband, I'm not sure I can cope with the cold. Thank you so much for sharing that with us.

 My review of It's A Wonderful Life is available on Rachel's Random Reads now, so please take a look if you want to know my thoughts on Julia William's 10th book, or you can purchase is now on Amazon

Please also follow along with the rest of the blog tour

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