If it wasn’t for my birthday, I don’t think I’d be very fond of the month of November. It’s very transitional, the autumn colours are disappearing and you start getting your winter coat out.
Last month I didn’t feel very motivated, and it’s largely the same this month – I think it’s human nature to go through little slumps, and mine probably do coincide with the end of the year – but there have been some nice little highlights and planning for the future.
Here’s my monthly update for November 2015!
Where I’ve Been:
Townsend, Massachusetts, USA
Highlights of the Month:
Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Night
I didn’t realise until I moved to Canada how much I love fireworks – and that Bonfire Night is a British thing (when Guy Fawkes tried to blow up Parliament). I still wanted to celebrate and acknowledge it in some way even if I couldn’t stand on Blackheath and watch a phenomenal fireworks show, so we tracked down some sparklers and lit them outside. It was a lovely way to bring a little British tradition into my life.
I’ve always loved my birthday – let’s be honest, it’s just nice when people are more affectionate towards you one day every year.
My parents have always been so generous with presents for me, but given I’m living in Canada and the fear of customs charges, this year had to be different. That was fine by me – as long as I could speak to my family and have a nice day, I was happy.
I took the day off work and took the opportunity to watch girly films and play with the kittens all day, then went for a delicious dinner at George Restaurant with my boyfriend. It was probably the best meal I’ve had so far in Toronto, with swordfish, lamb shanks and wine pairings.
This was my second American Thanksgiving (the first was quite an overwhelming experience) and yet again, it was beautiful weather.
My highlight is of course the delicious food and going for a walk with my boyfriend and some of his family members. They’re always such a friendly, welcoming bunch.
It was also noticeable for the first time how quiet it is in this fairly rural area – now that I live in downtown Toronto, I was acutely aware of the lack of traffic sounds and light pollution when going to sleep. I’ve always thought of myself as needing some constant movement and activity around me (for example, I can’t stand getting ready in the morning to no noise) but it was lovely to have the peace and quiet for a few days.
Lowlights of the Month:
Unfortunately, spending time with someone else’s family makes you miss your own that extra dose more. In addition to this, my parents were less contactable as usual given that they traipsed off on a Caribbean cruise for 20 days or so! Lucky buggers.
Spending my birthday with my family is a norm back in England, so it was definitely a bit of a kick in the stomach to be by myself for most of the day. I still felt the love from across the pond, though, and am looking forward to booking flights to visit them.
Most Popular Instagram:
My Instagram Pick:
What I’ve Been Writing:
Following in October’s steps, I haven’t published much this month – I’ve used the month to establish how I want to run things and am allowing myself to take my time on that. December should be more consistent and I hope to be able to spend more quality time on producing blog posts.
What I’ve Been Reading:
I’m now onto a new book, Amy Poehler’s Yes Please – I’ve been wanting to read this for a while, and hope it’ll give me motivation career-wise, which I’ve definitely needed lately. Having only just started it, I can’t really comment on how I’m finding it yet, but one thing’s for sure already: Amy Poehler’s funny (groundbreaking, I know).
December should have a quiet beginning and a more lively end – we’re going to LA (well, Long Beach, as I’m constantly reminded by my boyfriend) for Christmas to visit my boyfriend’s brother who lives out there now. His parents are flying from Boston too, so it should be a lovely small get together.
I’ll miss my family a lot back in England during this time, and if I felt nostalgic this month, it’ll definitely be doubled over the festive period. I love my family Christmas, with our Czech traditions (carp on Christmas Eve and opening presents afterwards) and everyone talking over each other, Christmas cocktails, my mum’s cooking and our general laziness together.
So apart from that, I’m looking forward to exploring somewhere new but know this may be the most challenging month living abroad yet.