Susan Morrison: There's been a murder, so we'd better get cooried in

Anything Denmark can do, we can do better, right? Why, long before Scandi thrillers were offing Danes at a murder rate only equalled by Morse's Oxford, we were right in there with Taggart, our very own granite-faced laconic detective with a problematic ­background and an accent so thick subtitles were required for viewers south of Carlisle.

Friday, 23rd November 2018, 5:00 am
Danish hygge is all the rage  now Scots have their own version of relaxing with a warm cuppa on the couch. Picture: PA

Taggart the tartan noir telly ‘tec was so relentlessly grim that his ­department didn’t even seem to notice when he mysteriously vanished for a couple of years and then reappeared with a different head on. Possibly they regarded it as a bonus.

I bet he was a right downer at the office Christmas Party, launching an investigation into just who was responsible for his Secret Santa gift of glow-in-the-dark socks with ‘Lighten Up Misery Guts’ on them.

Yes, we can wipe the floor with our Danish cousins, who have been swaggering about the place boasting that they invented being comfy at home, and called it “hygge”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Taggart was solving murder cases before Scandi noir was even dreamed of

Do not, under any ­circumstances, attempt to ­pronounce this in a trendy artisan coffee shop. It is inevitable that a trendy bearded young hipster will lean forward and correct you. How can anything be relaxing if you can’t even pronounce it correctly?

Anyway, the Danish method of relaxing appears to involve thick woolly socks, hot chocolate and candles.

The candles must be scented, I ­imagine. Some feet should never be unshod in human company. My dear late father was capable of emptying entire church halls just by removing his shoes. So, in a nutshell, it’s curling up on a sofa with a hot drink, candlelight and socks. I’m not sure what happens after that bit. Basically, that’s it.

Move over, Demark. Scotland’s showing you how relaxing should be done. Take your hygge and sling yer fuffy socks, “coorie” just hit town.

It’s been in Vogue magazine, people, so we’ve got something to be proud of, if only we knew what it was. First of all, what’s with the coorie word? Coorie in, coorie doon, even let’s gets cooried up, but just coorie? Anyone else? Nope, thought not.

One rather suspects it’s been invented by someone. I know! So young to be so cynical, me. Why, look over here, someone’s just writen an entire book about relaxing, Scottish-style.

There’s also a bit about wild swimming in lochs and rivers, but I skipped that. In my day, wild swimming was just called swimming and could only be done during the Glasgow Fair in the Clyde wearing an M&S one-piece cossie that had clad at least three ­female family members before it reached me.

The rules are pretty Scandi for the relaxing bit, with lots of cosy ­blankets, more fluffy socks and those ­candles again. Apparently, it’s all very traditional.

Not when I was growing up it wasn’t.

Traditionally, candles were never scented. Their appearance meant a power cut. Never a relaxing moment, since dad would go off on one about whoever was in power at the time.

A living room cold enough to warrant a blanket could be considered a sign of stinginess. One distant relative was snidely referred to as ‘Wan Bar’ since no matter how bitter the weather, only one element of the two-bar ­electric fire was ever on.

On the day of his funeral, the sherry-fuelled widow hit the second switch. A decade of dust had settled on that bar. The stench of burning stoor drove the mourners into the street.

‘Hingy’ – now that’s a concept

You could coorie in under a blanket on the couch downstairs, but you had to be under 12 and hingy, another great Scottish word. No, in fact, that’s a concept. I might write that up into a book.

“Hingy”, when kids are not exactly ill, but that undefinable childhood malady of . . . look, it’s called hingy. Here’s how it works.

Babies and toddlers will girn a bit. They should be cuddled, then cooried doon with a favourite book, or a song.

Older kids get wee flushed faces. They need to be cooried in under the duvet in front of their favourite film. A nap, lots of juice and it’s normal service by breakfast.

Now that’s coorying in.

I’ll take youse all on says Treeza

I imagine there’s currently little relaxation in Number 10. They must have a wipe-clean Sorry to See You Go card.

I’m no fan of Mrs May but imagine going to work daily to see horrors like Jacob Rees-Mogg, a man who dresses like he ran through Armstrong’s second-hand clothes shop in the dark, and Boris Johnson, looking like a deflating balloon animal version of an MP, plotting treachery with their loathsome little pals.

Oh, come on, Treeza. Down a bottle of Buckie and turn up to PMQs as hammered as a North Sea rigger in an Aberdeen boozer and roar at your backbenches: “Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough!” Leadership challenge, Scottish style.