Âllo, you are getting cosy with…

Hahaha. Still one of my favourite Simpsons lines of all time.

Mark D Sikes living room.
Image: Mark D. Sikes via Pinterest

As I write this the wind, already strong all day, is picking up again and sporadically rattling our doors. Being at the top of a hill, we feel it. It’s lifting up the rain blowing in from the Pacific Ocean and driving it into the side of our house, the steady sound of the drops interspersed with the occasional slap of water as it does so. It’s the middle of winter and it’s just got dark, and inside this little house on top of a hill, on this Sunday night, the three of us are ensconced in what I can only describe as peak cosiness.

A small selection of overhead lights and table lamps are on, creating a warm glow throughout the part of the house in which we are all congregated – Hayden, in the kitchen cooking bangers and mash, Amelie, up at the kitchen counter designing houses, and me, curled up in the blue chair by the bookshelf in the corner. The cat is somewhere, doing his own thing, but the dog is lying on his dog bed by the sideboard. The ‘outside’ dog that is. That didn’t last, but he couldn’t be outside on a night like this anyway. Far better to be hanging with us inside.

A scented candle – my very favourite scent, which is layered all around our house in the form of various diffusers and candles – burns in the kitchen. In Nancy Meyers’ Kitchen plays gently in the background. There are a number of ‘Nancy Meyers vibes’ playlists on Spotify, all of which are great for a cosy winter evening, but in my opinion In Nancy Meyers’ Kitchen is the best of the best.

I feel like this winter will be remembered – by me, if nobody else – as the winter I perfected cosiness. My must-haves include the soft lights, the candles, the music, and the cooking – not necessarily always bangers and mash: my lasagne, or mushroom pasta, or Hayden’s roast chicken all work. Added bonuses include evenings that follow days where I’ve curled up with the New York Times (sadly on my iPad due to geographical restrictions, although the non-newsprint fingers are all good), where we have a puzzle out (here’s what we’ve just started), where Amelie has brought her Lego out to the living room to play contentedly, or we’ve settled down to play a game together (we’re loving Rummikub at the moment). Maybe some baking happened that day also. A lot goes, as long as we all get to stay warm and yes, cosy, in our lovely little house on top of the hill while the weather happens outside.

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