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Forest of Averbode (Belgium)

Forest of Averbode (Belgium). This photograph was actually taken in July, although with pine trees that doesn’t matter does it…

Halloween and All Saints Day are over, and as I sit here eating the offspring’s Halloween candy (note to self: stop bying candy as if you have 10 children), I can’t fail to notice what an incredibly dull and generally gloomy month November is. Though I shouldn’t complain, considering it’s about 15° C warmer than it usually is. We even went out for ice cream at the abbey of Averbode yesterday. Not really something you would consider doing when winter is nearing. Averbode is our ‘go to place’ when we have friends over and we’re looking for a relaxing way to entertain them. We took the kids out for a walk in the forest and a delicious ice cream, everybody happy. Although we did get some strange looks. All Saints Day is a serious thing in Belgium, and the fact that my daughter was dressed as a ‘devil princess’ (for want of a better description) for a small Halloween party we had yesterday was clearly not to everybody’s liking…

The fact that supermarkets are already displaying Christmas decorations and chocolates (yes they really are) unfortunately adds to the gloom. Have you noticed how every year they seem to be getting Christmas stuff out a bit earlier than the year before? The first time I spotted Santa Claus this year was at least a week ago. October people, they’re forcing Christmas happiness upon us in October… The most annyoing thing about this, is that in Belgium we have “Sinterklaas” at the beginning of December, and this Christmassy atmosphere is completely spoiling Sinterklaas for me! That’s enough to get anybody depressed!

On the other hand, autumn and winter are actually the seasons when I enjoy crafting the most. Suddenly I start knitting (although I haven’t finished last year’s sweater for the offspring yet) or making all kinds of sewing plans (usually I end up sewing about 0,2% of what I intended to do). I always imagine “my historical women” doing most of their needlework in winter too. My fascination with the incredibly beautiful embroidery they were capable of is what got me into sewing in the first place. Not that I am in any way talented enough to stand in their shadows.


Madame de Pompadour: the most powerful woman in France at her embroidery table.
François-Hubert Drouais, “Madame de Pompadour à son métier à broder”, oil on canvas, 217 cm x157 cm, 18th century. National Gallery, London.

In any case, I’m compiling a to do list of all things fit to conquer this November gloom. Not that I have that much time for depressing thoughts, as I have written my second (yes I really did just write ‘2nd’) businessplan in 4 months. Which is why all things related to entrepreneurship are at the top of my list… So here it goes, my list of things to do in November:

  1. finish my company’s website. I have a domain name, I have a WordPress site, aaaaaand it is still ‘under construction’…. Time to get it online methinks…
  2. design my business cards. Yes, I know, should’ve had business cards ages ago. Anyway, I’m not such a good designer. But hey, you have to start somewhere.
  3. buy a new Phone. No comment.
  4. read every single Pin about useful WordPress plugins I ever pinned on Pinterest. I have a Pinterest board ‘Challenges’ with all kinds of tips I found about blogging, designing a website etc. Time to stop pinning and start reading (and doing, especially doing).
  5. contact a photographer. I don’t have a single photograph of myself that I deem fit enough to share with the world. There is an ongoing war between me and any camera ever to attempt catching my persona on film. Now that I think about it, I don’t need a photographer, I need Harry Potter. Magic is the only thing that can save me…
  6. Find the time to do some crafting. Whenever I feel my head overflowing with worries, I know I need to make something. There is something oddly satisfying about working with your hands.
  7. Visit more museums. This week we’re off to Brussels to the Museum on the Coudenberg for a ‘Nocturne’. The offspring will love her own version of ‘Night at the Museum’. We have to do this more often.
  8. Take long walks. I never get out enough. There is always something to do. Either it’s work around the house, or it’s getting my business up, or it’s writing, or whatever. Time to break the pattern.
  9. Read. I used to read so much. I’m a booklover at heart and the house is filled with books. Yet I still find myself choosing TV over books in the evening, simply because I usually feel too tired to do anything else. Maybe I should make a ‘to read’-list?

Does anybody else suffer November gloom? What do you do about it?