The days are short now, and mostly dark. When talking to people in the southern hemisphere a repeating theme seems to be ‘oh it must be so depressing now in Norway’.
But, it’s not really.
There is something very special about this time of year.
The Norwegians even have a word for it – å koser.
The closest English translation means to be cosy and warm. But it encompasses much more than that.
It’s sitting by the fire drinking hot chocolate and playing boardgames while it’s quietly snowing outside. It’s enjoying an evening glass of port, and watching some Sherlock Holmes after the baby has gone to sleep. It’s meeting friends for a late afternoon tea and muffins. It’s going out for a walk in the wind, rain, and ice, dressed in layers of warm wind and waterproof clothing, with a baby soundly asleep underneath it all in a lambskin cocoon. It’s coming home from work on a Friday night, to sit down for a cold drink and some pre-dinner snacks (Fredagskos as the weegies call it). It’s decorating your front door with a fir and holly wreath, and your windows with starry Christmas lights.
Å koser seg.
Downtown Bergen now has a different look. Koserish. Something warm and inviting. Christmas decorations begin to light up the streets at 3pm. Going into cafe to koser yourself with a hot drink has never been more inviting.
Å koser seg.
Whenever I go out now , particularly when I have a sleeping junior snuggly strapped to my chest, I am frequently stopped by old Norwegians who hve an irristable urge to poke him and say something along the lines of ‘awww så søtt. Han koser seg’.
During every other time of year, the locals are usually busily working away on their do-up projects, hiking, or fishing. This time of year (with the exception of skiing, which in itself has much kosering potential), all that stops. Everything slows down. It’s a time to just sit back and relax in cosy, warm home, and enter a quasi-hibernation state, just enjoying each other’s company.
It’s 9.30am now, and mostly light. The rain has eased, and the last of the snow melted. It’s time to wrap up the barn and head out på tur, kosering ourselves in our warm, snug attire.