It’s the cosiest solution to those rainy days and dark mornings. Here’s why it’s time to forget hygge and embrace coorie, the Scottish lifestyle trend you need to know about.
Growing up in Scotland, I have fond memories of my wee granny frequently showing affection by patting the seat next to her, and inviting me to “coorie in”.
I’d nestle in beside her and tune in to the latest drama unfolding on Coronation Street or play along with Jim Davidson’s The Generation Game. The fire would be lit, we’d have slipped into Arran jumpers, and we’d be sipping on steaming hot tea: we were comfortable, cosy, as we perfected the art of coorie (or còsagach in Gaelic).
Since 2016, the Danish and Swedish lifestyle concepts of hygge and lagom have reigned supreme, but the pursuit of happiness has been on our doorstep for centuries. Up north, us Scots have been living a slow-paced existence, and using what’s around us to feel contented.
In short: we like to keep things simple. We like to embrace coorie.
“Your daddy coories doon, my darling,
Doon in a three foot steam,
So you can coorie doon my darling,
Coorie doon, and dream.”
- The Miner’s Lullaby, traditional song (as referenced in The Art of Coorie)
Writer Gabriella Bennett, a journalist based in Scotland, who penned The Art of Coorie: How To Live Happy The Scottish Way, defines it as “a feeling of cool, contemporary Caledonia”.
I couldn’t agree more; which is why if us Scots have anything to do with it then the art of coorie will be the lifestyle trend set to continue to spread throughout the UK come 2019 as the cold weather continues to settle in. As Bennett puts it: “Coorie may have started life in Scotland but it’s a philosophy that can be adapted to any country and employed by any nationality”.
But it’s not all about being indoors; in fact it’s rather the opposite. Embracing the outdoors is a must – from wild swimming in lochs to climbing leafy green hills – being surrounded by nature gives us peace of mind. But after hours of exploration, the end results in finding oneself in a wee cosy pub or inviting everyone around for a delicious sit-down meal or even smoking food on an open fire for all to enjoy.
Fellow journalist Anna Pursglove learned to embrace coorie after moving her family from London to the Scottish Highlands.
“Coorie is about embracing all things Scottish in order to find a sense of deep happiness,” she wrote. Being able to strive for a better quality of life by getting back to basics makes her feel “part of something much, much bigger than yourself” because the land in Scotland “is huge… it is a world of extremes”.
1) Thou shalt respect Scotland’s history … but not become a pastiche
2) Thou shalt not fear the cold
3) Thou shalt keep it Scottish (where possible)
4) Thou shalt attempt a staycation, even if thou detests the word staycation
5) Thou must set the scene with tunes
6) Embrace the midge
7) Thou must share ideas – and spread the word
After embracing coorie, Pursglove says, in comparison to her life in London, she no longer frets the small stuff. In short: she’s achieved balance.
How will I be getting cosy and coorie this autumn? In a wee log cabin, in the middle of nowhere in Dumfries – with a burning peat fire, surrounded by family and vast open spaces with nothing but trees and rising mist for miles.
This feature was originally published in December 2018