Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Last of November

Can you believe tomorrow we're already entering the last month of this year? Where did this year go? Wasn't it just the other day that we celebrated New Year's Eve?
And yet, when I look back at the events of the first 11 months of 2016, it does feel like a full year. In fact, so much has happened that you could make several years out of it!

Generally, November has a bad image - it is often dubbed "the saddest month" and, statistically, the one with the most suicides. I find that image unjustified; for me, November wasn't a bad month at all.

There was of course the very sad anniversary of my husband's sudden death 7 years ago, only 5 days after his 41st birthday. And of course I am not enthusiastic about the rapidly dwindling hours of daylight; getting up at dark and coming home from the office when it is dark again is not as nice as when I know there are hours of sunshine left after work.

But, all things considered, November is not worse than any other month. We had sunny days (in fact, a little more rain would have been welcome), beautiful autumn colours in the woods, orchards, vineyards and gardens everywhere, and surprisingly mild temperatures most of the time.
I had work to keep me pleasantly busy, but not too much so as not to feel stressed out. My weekends were spent either at O.K.'s place or he was here with me, and we always did nice things such as going for walks and seeing friends and family, enjoying delicious meals and each other's company.

The one good thing about the shorter daylight time is that I get to see sunrises - something that rarely happens from springtime onwards; I simply get up too late for that at 7:00 most mornings. Here are two particularly good examples, as seen from my kitchen window in November:

On November 14, some of my friends in the blogosphere were looking for the Super Moon. I knew it wasn't worth looking, as it was completely overcast in my area, and therefore I was happy when I was able to show you the Super Moon above Ripon Market Square, courtesy of George Pickles.
Now let me show you what the Super Moon looked like about 90 km east of my home town, where my uncle lives; the place where my sister and I spent a snowy weekend in January 2015. My uncle sent me this picture by email, and I have his permission to use it:

It is usually a bit colder where my aunt and uncle live than here in Ludwigsburg, and the way some of you have recently mentioned "Jack Frost" not painting flowers on the window panes anymore how he used to do in pre-central heating times made me want to use this picture, too:

My uncle took this photo of a window in his attic room, and again, I have his permission to use it.

Definitely something to look forward to in November was - at least for me and my Mum - the opening of our beautiful Christmas Market. You have seen several pictures of it in past years; here is one from the opening night, taken by my Mum:

That was my November. December has even more to look forward to, but that's another post for another day.


  1. German Christmas markets are always so wonderful! I loved the picture of the frosty window, too. It seems a long time since I saw this, and they used to be one of the things that made winter seem OK to me.

    1. If I saw this kind of frosty flowers on my window, I'd be seriously worried! I sleep with the bedroom window ajar all the time, unless it gets very, VERY cold, but generally, I need warmth.
      Yes, our Christmas markets are beautiufl, and of course the one in my hometown is the most beautiful of them all :-)

  2. That's a really super Super Moon ;) ... And that frosty image looks like something out of a fantasy novel too! I appreciate November a lot more nowadays than I used to - because, as you also point out, the worst thing about November is/was really getting up in the dark and coming home in the dark and never seeing much daylight at all during the week. But now I don't often have to get up that early, and can usually get out for a while in the daytime too...

    1. When I saw that frosty flowers photo, I knew I had to share it here with you!
      Yes, not having to be out and about early in the morning for work helps. I have the luxury of usually one day every week working from home, plus I rarely leave the house before 8:30 in the morning, when there is already daylight.

  3. I usually miss the daylight as I start work at 7am and don't finish until dark, but I try and pop out for a nice walk at lunchtime when I can to at least get a bit of sunshine!
    Today was that kind of day- a very cold -5 start and heavy frost but lovely and sunny at midday.

    I know what you mean about the time flying by and here we are almost in December. It must be a sad time for you and I'm glad you have someone to share happy times with.

    We are due yet another Supermoon around the 14th of December. The view was quite clear on this month's for us and I hope we get to see it as I believe it's another 30 years until the next? Eek. I'll be 80 then.

    Your Uncle's picture of both the Supermoon and frost covered window were beautiful, although I don't think I'd like to stay in your Uncle's attic room!
    The German Christmas markets look wonderful, I love to and look forward to reading all about them in your future blogs!

    1. You have an early start, Karen - I usually just get up at 7:00! Going out for a lunchtime walk is a great idea; we all need daylight to combat winter depression. I have read that even on a dull grey day we can pick up more "lux" (light units) within 15 minutes outdoors than all day underneath artificial lights.

      I didn't know there is another Super Moon so soon, I thought the next one was in 36 years or so - I'll be around 80 then, too!

      My Uncle's attic room is not always cold enough for frosty flowers, I think he said something in his email about having installed a new antenna and accidentally left the window open.

  4. Some lovely photos, Meike, but I still hate November!

    1. I'm sorry you do, Frances, but at least now it is over and we're in December!

  5. Love the sunrise photos and the moon & frost photos of your uncle's!
    You have no idea of how much I look forward to hearing of the Christmas Market!! And your photo makes me want to be there at the very opening! What is on your plate? I can't make it out!
    Oh, and I see that Frances doesn't like November above. Remember my colorful November in Georgia, it is one of our prettiest months!

    1. This year, I have not taken many pictures of the Christmas Market; it looks pretty much the same every year, and I've posted photos of it in the past years. But there will be some, I promise :-)
      What I am eating on that last picture is "Holzofen-Dinnede". It is a slab of yeasty dough, a bit like bread, pulled (not rolled) out thinly and spread with a mix of sour cream and herbs, topped with potatoes and bacon - very hot, straight from the oven, good to warm your hands and your tummy!

  6. Such a wonderful post of the changing seasons as the months pass quickly by. I grew up in England without central heating and my bedroom window was often a beautiful frosty piece of early morning art - and of course the frost was on the INSIDE believe it or not! We survived though - under a mountain of heavy wool blankets!!!!
    Lovely sunrise photos - much like mine from the recent beach trip. I think I enjoy sunrise more than sunset at this time of year.
    Off to our version of a Christmas Market this evening at the Vintage Village holiday open house.
    Will try to get some photos to share - in between, the live music presentations, meeting Santa Claus, eating and drinking, and chatting with family and friends. Always a fun evening and thankfully it will be dry and quite mild.
    Happy December and do enjoy Christmas with your family. Thanks for your always generous comments. No that's not my painting (I wish!), it's actually just reproduced on a postcard which I re-photographed! I'm looking forward to seeing cousins and friends, maybe my brother who will visit from his home France, eating traditional English foods, and just having a little time to shop perhaps - Marks & Spencer calls my name as soon as I touch down on British soil, haha!

    Happy Holidays to you and your family.
    Hugs - Mary

    1. Dear Mary, Thank you for your nice comment - more like a letter, really, and much appreciated!
      The Vintage Village holiday open house sounds very nice, and I am looking forward to seeing your photos.
      How nice that you get to see your friends and relatives; I guess with you living so far away from your country of origin, you don't get to see them very often.
      Happy Holidays to you and yours, too!

  7. Lovely photographs! I sometimes have frost on my bathroom window if the storm window is not pulled down...Very beautiful, but probably wasteful of energy. For a few years we had a Christmas Market from Chemnitz here in Akron, but I think it did not make enough money to justify the expense of taking it all across the Atlantic...My German son in law is a baker and he is now selling Stollen along with his pretzels and other delights. There is an indoor farmer's market every Saturday before Christmas, and they sell some Christmas things there too....After the holidays it is only twice a month until the summer market begins again.

    1. I just imagine Ingmar baking and selling Stollen, Brezeln and all sorts of other delicious German baked goods!
      Settiing up a Christmas market from Chemnitz all the way across the ocean sounds like a lot of trouble; I am not surprised it did not really generate enough money to make it worth while.
      Maybe you'll show us some pictures of the indoor farmer's market where Ingmar sells?

  8. "Holzofen-Dinnede" sounds delicious even though it is not the most photogenic food item I have ever seen. I took a photo of the super moon which is almost identical to your uncle's shot but the positioning of the shadowy "seas" right of centre is subtly different - given our different locations.

    1. Actually, I've made a spelling error - I wrote it the same as I pronounce it in my Swabian dialect. It should be Dinnete, not Dinnede.
      Yes, it is not the most photogenic food of all times, but soooo delicious and really warming. The people who work in the little hut behind the wood-burning stove are always sleeveless - it must be VERY warm in there!
      Seems like a lot of people saw the Super Moon except for me... I wonder whether we'll get a chance this month, as Karen (Twoyys4me) said in her comment above.