Hugs: the virtual ones, the real ones and the ones in boxes.

I really love hugs. For me they are the ultimate display of affection. I love it when someone greets me with a hug, especially when I don't expect it! When someone hugs me they are acknowledging my need for physical intimacy, they are pulling me towards them, across the line of propriety and into their arms for a comforting squeeze. This close contact with another person is a immediate reminder to me that I am not alone, that I am cared for and that someone values me enough to think me worthy of a physical exhibition of love.

In my opinion, hugs are just as special, if better than kisses and are often more comforting than words. When someone wraps their arms around you they are making you take a moment out of your day to rest and to remind yourself that you are precious and appreciated. The physical support of an embrace often gives stability to emotions that are running all over the place, the kind that make our bodies feel all floppy, a hug can pull us back together in an instant. Whether you mean them sincerely or not hugs are brilliant. The less meaningful ones are generally from those who press just a little too lightly, whereas the ones that are intentional and thus the most satisfying a usually the ones that are slightly too long and almost violent. A good hug should be a like a massage, you want to hear a few back clicks and untie the knots and release the tension in your muscles.

Since being away from home I have noticed how much I took regular hugs for granted. It is only now, 6 months into my first year at uni, that I feel I'm getting enough hugs. When I say 'real' hugs, I mean hugs that occur with a person who is in the same place at the same time as you and these are obviously the most desired and the most satisfying. However, with the introduction of Skype there are now things such as virtual hugs. My friend Laura and I do these all the time, where we practically hurl our bodies at our webcams - it requires a lot of commitment and a degree of delicacy and whilst they are nowhere near as good as a real hug with this beautiful lady, they have become a bit of a tradition in our virtual conversations. We've even started to text and Facebook virtual hugs. The phenomena is spreading.

In the past couple of weeks, two incredible ladies (Sue Ranger and Sally Roper) from home have introduced me to another form of hug. The one in a box. Those who know me well know that I think post and parcels are just the best things ever! So when I went down to the Porter's Lodge to find large cardboard boxes addressed to me, filled to the brim with gluten-free goodies, starbucks cards, coffee, chocolate and little hand-written notes I was a complete wreck of happiness. I was so overwhelmed by their kindness and the fact that they had taken time to think of me in amidst their busy schedules. It really did feel like a pair of arms had shot out of the box and hurled me into an embrace. 'Here is a hug in a box' wrote Mrs Ranger.

So, I encourage all of you to up your hug-o-meter this week. Without sounding too much like a hippy, let's spread the love and let the people around us know we appreciate them :-)


  1. Honey, there is NOTHING wrong with sounding like a hippy! So be showered with virtual hugs from myself > {}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}{}

    But I have to say, I personally find another form of physical contact even more happy-making and affectionate. It's a simple touch, on a shoulder or a wrist... the ones which are almost a liiiitle too personal, and which only come out when you're having a real heart to heart. :)

  2. Loving the virtual hug thing great blog entry Ellie...keep spreading the love...I think we're all hippies at heart!!