October – It’s a Wrap!

Earlier Fall with a few ducks

Earlier Fall with a few ducks

October is my favourite month. This was a good one!

Jane Goodall (photo: TED.com)

Jane Goodall (photo: TED.com)

We had a special event early on – we travelled to our nearby smaller city overnight to see Jane Goodall speak. I thought it was the chance of a lifetime. You will know Jane Goodall from her groundbreaking work on chimpanzee research “in the field” in Tanzania. She is now an environmental crusader. Her institute focuses on helping people with sustainable living – with the side effect that they are then less likely to eat “bush meat” including chimpanzees. It’s a holistic model. Ms. Goodall was a very engaging speaker and didn’t flag at all despite being 82! Rom and I attended with my sister and her friend who volunteer with the Okala Foundation, another group that works with both people and primates, but in Cameroon.

We had some music lined up this month. For the Pop Explosion, we attended a free show with two local bands. It was in a microscopic venue with about 20 people. Cool! Also loud! On a much grander scale, we attended the symphony’s annual sci-fi show. A full orchestra played selections from Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings and other film scores. It was wonderful!

Cast of Girls (HBO series)

Cast of Girls (HBO series)

In other entertainment, I got hooked on the TV show Girls and watched all 4 seasons that are currently available on DVD. It intrigues me that most of the characters are not always likable and relatable (at least for me) but I am still obsessed. My favourite is Shoshanna 🙂 I read Lena Dunham’s book Not That Kind of Girl last year and loved it. The DVD of Season 5 is yet to be released, and Season 6 hasn’t aired yet, but will conclude the series. The soundtrack for all seasons is super – look it up on YouTube or your streaming service!

Three special days in one month – Thanksgiving, birthday and Hallowe’en. I did lots of celebrating! I didn’t dress up for Hallowe’en, though. That’s what comes of it falling on a Monday. About 35 kids came round for treats. For my birthday I asked Rom to take me to my favourite authentic Neapolitan pizzeria which also has a great wine list.

My big change for October is that I finally took the plunge and joined the gym. Or rather, fitness centre. After a summer break, I started skating twice a week as usual, and it was just making less and less sense to me to pay $31/month for skating and still work out all the other days at home, when I could pay $51/month and have access to all their equipment and programs. I’ve been a member for 2 weeks now and have been going 6 days a week. It’s not an increase in exercise time; it just gives me more variety. I am trying out a routine in which I skate once a week, swim once a week, go to a circuit training class once a week, and go to the gym the other 3 days, where I have been using a stationary bike, stair climber and rowing machine. I am working out muscles I forgot I had! Have avoided injury and am building up some tolerance. I find the class the most challenging. The instructor will demonstrate 4 exercises and we’ll do 3 circuits of the sequence, then learn another 4 – I can barely keep up with the “choreography,” but I am determined to improve. My Jillian Michaels DVDs were a good start!

Fall has caught up with us. We had 3 big rain storms and the watering ban was lifted. The leaves were whipped off the trees and it is starting to look like November!

How was your October?



  1. Fiona

    A belated Happy Birthday! A very happy month for birthday’ing – glad you could mix in many favourite things from music to eating out.

    ‘Girls’ sounds like something that would make for great ‘binge-watching!’ I hadn’t heard of it before. Sadly, have looked it up in a few places and here and still can’t find it. Something to look forward to as no doubt it will make its way here soon.

    I sometimes struggle with the ‘choreography’ of walking without tripping – can definitely relate to the challenges of classes and group exercise!

    • Thanks for the birthday wishes. I hope you do get to see Girls (in a child-free setting). It’s been described as a millennial Sex and the City with “quarter life crises.” The series is scheduled to end next year with the main characters closing in on 30. I haven’t done aerobics since I was in my 20s. I have gone to two of the classes now, and I feel less self-conscious just doing things at my own pace while I learn the moves.

  2. todadwithlove

    Happy belated Birthday! You’ve had a much better month than I’ve had — at least a lot more fun and productive. The Jane Goodall talk sounds wonderful. I used to be rather good in group exercise classes like aerobics. But after some time of not participating in them I am much less confident now.

  3. Megyn

    LOVE that you got to hear Jane speak! I used to intern for one of her (now defunct) programs, which allowed me the opportunity to introduce her before a speech. She is truly an amazing human being ❤

    • Hi Megyn – Cool! I suppose the programs keep evolving – the current crop look good. I was really impressed by her work and her life story. I like that she followed her passion, did rigorous scientific work, and got everything she wants from life.

  4. jollyhollybanolly111

    It seems like everyone and their dog have joined a gym or started some type of exercise lately – I really must be better at being active once the baby gets here!

  5. I love Jane! I too drove far to hear her speak in Belgium many years ago. Execising, yes, I’ll get right to it.
    I wish you a Happy November!

  6. Happy birthday!

    You are certainly energetic and strong. All that exercise! I need to get back on track of doing some weights.

    I didn’t decorate my house for Halloween except for a couple of paper pumpkin lanterns and put out our tall lava lamp and a plasma ball lamp (which all the kids love). After only two kids last year and it being a weekend, I thought it not worth doing much. Well I got lots of kids. Had to be stingy with hanging out lollies so I didn’t run out. I love the loveliness and excitement and joy of all the kids!

  7. Yes I am only reading this now. Your fitness is still inspiring. I too will be getting back on the exercise bandwagon. Happy belated.

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