Hello December and goodbye November! November is the cool month sandwiched between glorious October and festive December. My response to the cool temperatures in November is to go for colours, lights, music, and sunshine whenever the sun appears. Books provide a good escape, too. Let me share my highlights with you and I invite you to tell me yours.
I visited four free and colourful art exhibits with my family and friends in November:
- The Chrysanthemum flower show was flowers and art in one.
- The Day of the Dead festival showed a lot of orange flowers and several ofrendas.
- The unveiling of the Annual Christmas window display at the Bay was eye-catching. The Bay is a major department store here.
- The Cavalcade of Lights event at City Hall was dazzling.
I wrote six blog posts to capture the highlights of my fun adventures in October and November. The theme seems to be hiking on trails or walking in the gardens, partly because Autumn is the best season for these activities and partly because I enjoy walking and nature:
- October Wrap-Up
- Have you heard about the Float’em Garden?
- Hiking the Attikamek Trail
- Agawa Canyon: From Rail to Trail
- 5 Fun Activities for the Holidays
- 7 Tidbits about Chrysanthemums
Six very good books in different genres, written by authors from Canada, Mexico, the UK, and the USA kept me entertained:
- The Suspect, a crime fiction novel by Fiona Barton.
- The Bookshop on the Shore, a romance novel by Jenny Colgan.
- Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, a social drama fiction novel by Gail Honeyman.
- Full Disclosure, a crime fiction novel by Beverley McLachlin who was the former Chief Justice of Canada, the first woman to hold that position.
- Dual Citizens, a social drama fiction novel by Alix Ohlin.
- The Black Jersey, a crime fiction novel by Jorge Zepeda Patterson, translated by Achy Obejas.
I enjoyed listening to three wonderful classical concerts performed by the following talented musicians:
- Lisa Tahara, piano and Brenna Hardy-Kavanagh, violin
- Ryan Phelps, piano
- Jean-Luc Therrien, piano, Michael Perry, violin, and Mai Tategami, violin
My family and I visited the Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos) festival where we saw several colourful ofrendas on display. While most of the ofrendas were for people who passed away, the Ofrenda dedicated to the Bees, created by Jade Leyva, was environmentally focused.
The piece is designed to raise awareness and pay tribute to the untold millions of bees that have died in recent years due to herbicide and pesticide. Bees sustain food system and ensure food security. Their rapid decline is threatening the future of all species, including the human race.
My friends and I went to see the Christmas window display at the Bay downtown. The theme changes every year. This year includes traditional holiday music while smart robots make snow angels, wrap gift boxes, print Santa’s list, etc. There are five to six extra large windows where passers-by can see the actions and bright objects. It’s really fun to watch.
I completed thirteen strengthening workouts in the gym, five swimming sessions, and seven yoga classes. Each session lasts one hour. I also meditated 15 minutes daily and walked outdoors six days per week. On weekdays I usually walk 8 km (5 miles), and on Saturday 3 km (about 2 miles).
In lieu of travelling in November, I work on a few home projects to get ready for the holidays. I tidy up my home room by room, put out some winter decorations, update my calendar with a small number of social events, bake a cake, make donations, and write greeting cards. I’m pleased with my progress at the moment and will continue to tackle more home projects in December for a fresh start on January 1.
I continued my daily French and Spanish lessons on Duolingo. Some of my other new learning include fun facts about chrysanthemums, how cycling teams work while they compete at the Tour de France, and how to bake a Second World War ration cake.
Unlike the above amazing arts, books, and concerts, the three movies that I watched were not so great. The Farewell was the most interesting out of the three:
- Can You Keep a Secret?
- For Love or Money?
- The Farewell
November was a very good and productive month. I continued my health and leisure activities and got organized for the holiday season. I look forward to enjoying Christmas and New Year with my family and friends.
The holiday lights and Christmas trees are everywhere in the city centre now. The temperature is hovering at freezing point, give or take a couple of degrees Celsius. We’re expecting snow today. So it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
How was your November? What good things happened? I’d love to hear your comments.
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