Thursday, 28 August 2008

Cwtching Up

With this chill grey weather, more like October than August, I'm reminded of the cool crisp months ahead. With this in mind I've been fantasising about snuggling up with a mug of tea and a good book in front of a fire (sadly gas rather than wood or coal but you can't have everything!!!). On my list to buy this autumn, bearing this in mind, is a beautiful welsh wool blanket from Melin Tregwynt ( The Mill itself dates from the 17th century and has been a family run business since 1912. Their designs are fresh modern and funky and the wool beautiful and warm ... bliss!

What is a cwtch?

"Cwtch" is one of my favourite words. It is a word of my childhood which only has wonderful connotations. It is a welsh word which has a number of meanings all of which are warm and full of love. It is pronounced kutch, (rhymes with butch).

A cwtch is a small cosy place, a snug: in my nana's house, a miners cottage in the south wales valleys, the cwtch is a long kind of cupboard which fills the space under the stairs. It is her larder with shelves floor to ceiling, which was, in my young eyes, full of marvelous treasures ... mysterious tins and the best treasure of all - the button box. I would be allowed to bring the button box out and tip the contents on the carpeted floor in the lounge, the next hour or so would be spent sorting by size, by shade, by preference. The box was a myriad of treasures - pearl buttons, wooden buttons, pretty buttons from dolls clothes, large buttons from coats ... wonderful. The cwtch also contained a number of items which had belonged to my grampy, whom I never met. These items - an old camera, his binoculars and a money box with combination lock were particularly revered. I remember spending days and days trying to work out the combination for the box, I eventually managed it and was so pleased to have established a link with my long passed grampy.

"Cwtch" also has another meaning. It is another kind of small place, it is the act of creating a small space between you and another. It is like a hug ... but much much better! There are degrees of cwtching. To "cwtch-up" is to snuggle up with someone, particularly lovely on a cold welsh winters night. There is just a plain old "cwtch" much like a hug (but better), and then theres "a-big-cwtch", now "a-big-cwtch" is something special, it is a "cwtch" but with extra gusto, it's the kind of cwtch you give when you haven't seen a loved one in years, it's the kind of cwtch where you squeeze with all your might. What's wonderful about cwtches is they reach out, and they engage with feeling.

With this blog I hope to create my own kind of cwtch. A place of little space between me and you