November gets a bad rap. I remember this poem from my childhood:
No sun – no moon! –
No morn – no noon! –
No dawn – no dusk – no proper time of day –
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member –
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds –
(Thomas Hood, 1844, unabridged version here)
Compared to the showiness of other months, I feel November is more of a blank canvas on which we paint our lives – and the colours can be more muted at this time of year. For me, though, this November was splashy, with a city vacation and a job change!
Rom and I travelled to Toronto for a week to visit our kid Link and have a proper vacation. Despite its leadership melt-down, Toronto always has a lot to offer. We took in two concerts, two museums, the new aquarium, shopping in Kensington, 9 good restaurants and only 2 mediocre ones. We spent lots of time with Link and got to see their new apartment. Luckily, we had two days off to recover from vacation when we got back!
Yesterday I worked my last day at Inner City Library. I had been there 6.5 years and some of the staff had never worked for another manager, so it was a sad parting! But I am only across town now in another branch of the same library system, so it’s not a radical departure. My co-workers met at the end of the day to fete me with cake and then we went out for drinkies across the street, where they were hyping the end of Movember and we all got to attach fuzzy moustaches. Très amusant!
We had an exciting event at work this month. A bunch of local kids have been working in a community garden for the past couple of years, and they started selling a line of salad dressings made in the neighbourhood community kitchen with their fresh garden ingredients. Last Fall they travelled to Toronto to compete on Dragon’s Den (known as Shark Tank in the US), the business capital pitch reality TV show. The kids were sworn to secrecy when they returned, but hinted that they had received “something” from the Dragons panel. On the night their episode aired this month, CBC TV arranged a feed of the show on 3 screens at our library so that the kids could come in and watch it with their families and community supporters. 425 people showed up and it was the biggest party our library ever had. The best part is that the kids were awarded $40,000, with no strings attached, to develop their business. We were so proud! (You can view the Dragons Den segment here – although I suspect it is not for all regions).
I didn’t have time to do much for the rest of the month because of winding-down duties at work; in fact I took my laptop home and spent 4 evenings cleaning up my electronic files for the next manager. It’s a sad situation when it takes 16 hours to groom one’s files so another person can make sense of them! I vowed to start fresh in my new job and not fall into that trap again. Meanwhile I spent far longer than that cleaning up my paper filing system and getting the office in order. In my defense, I inherited a lot of the files, but still…I had 80 months to deal with them, and only accomplished it in the very last one! It reminded me of selling a house – you only make it perfect for the next owner, and not yourself.
All told, I did feel I was celebrating my successes in my old job, and I had many congratulations on the new.
My other activities in November were much more humble, fortunately. I got some dental work done (glad it’s over with), raked the yard and planted some bulbs, and went to the first two of the season’s craft shows. My nephew stayed over at our house 4 nights – he read all of the Scott Pilgrim comics and we watched the movie together (it was only mildly inappropriate!)
This month I read 3 books and I will be back tomorrow with a Reading Down the House update!
How was your November?
PS – As a special bonus, I managed to get the snow tires installed on the car this week – and it hasn’t snowed yet!