If you were to stumble upon the word ‘Coorie,’ chances are, it doesn’t mean much to you (no, it’s not a misspelling for the TV show ‘Corrie’), but in the space of a week, I’ve seen several publications declare it the Scottish 2018 variation of ‘Hygge.’ In short, it’s the latest ‘new’ (but actually, very old) thing to take over the wellness circuit; on the brink of becoming the cosiest craze of the colder months.
What exactly is Coorie?
Coorie (pronounced coor-e) is another way of pursuing contentment and daily happiness; essentially a Scottish slang word that you might hear people say when talking about having a cuddle, so its obvious links to all things cosy are apparent straight off. And as far as winter wellness trends go, it’s ideal because getting respite from the cold is what we prioritise (if 2017’s Hygge mania was anything to go by).
But even now, its meaning has evolved from cosy origins to comprising important elements of traditional Scottish living. Gabriella Bennett, who penned The Art of Coorie: How To Live Happy The Scottish Way, defines it as “a feeling of cool, contemporary Caledonia”.
It is, she told The Times, about “using what is around you to feel contented.” Her book offers helpful tips for living the Scottish way; those who are looking to dial down their busy lives and seek joy and self-reflection in a way that differs from the millennial-favoured brunches with avocado on toast will find it wholly intriguing.
“Coorie is about learning to live better using what is around you,” the author continued. “It’s about drawing comfort from Scotland’s oldest traditions and updating them for modern times.”
The Coorie way of life
As far as getting more coorie into your daily life, it’s about simplicity, going back to basics and engaging with the world around you. So, how can we practise it?
“The new coorie represents a way of life where peacefulness comes from engaging with our heritage.”
Reconnect with nature. Bennett told the Metro that she recommended using pine needles to flavour some drinks and cocktails, or learning how to smoke foods in an easy-to-use DIY manner that doesn’t involve buying a hugely expensive smoker to do it for you.
Go wild camping. Wild camping is legal in Scotland, for example. Wild camping means that you pitch your tent or park your motorhome in a place other than a designated campsite. Hikers are safe in the knowledge that, as long as they have a sensible tent and respect their surroundings, there is nothing the essentially can’t do.
Stargaze. Bennett’s book recommends star-gazing in Scotland, but did you know two parts of Ireland, in Co Kerry and Co Mayo, now have official designation as dark sky reserves? One in Ballycroy National Park and Wild Nephin Wilderness, in Co Mayo and another in Co Kerry in Kerry’s International Dark Sky Park. You’ll be on site with a guide in both cases who will use laser aids, telescopes and high-powered binoculars to guide you across the night sky.
Knit. Referred to as the ‘Holy Grail of Corrie crafting’ by Bennett. She advises to pick a pattern that is somewhat difficult and devote some time to mastering this old-fashioned, yet charming craft.