There is no denying it. It is November, or as William Hartston of the London Express says, “Having settled in over the weekend, the month of November is now firmly with us….” In preparation for the rest of the month he provided ten not exactly “fun” facts about November. I find his first rather odd, and once you have read it, I am sure that you will agree with me that it is your least favourite and possibly most puzzling fact. Now that I have built it up, I am sure it will be a letdown, so here is his first fact about November:
“The Anglo-Saxons called November “Blotmonath” after the blood of slaughtered cattle.” This seems like a very random and distasteful fact—perhaps you have to be British to understand it. His second fact while not earth-shattering is interesting. He says that, “In any given year, November starts on the same day of the week as March and ends on the same day of the week as August.” I am too lazy to check out the accuracy of this, so I will just believe he knows what he is talking about.
Number 3 on his list is something we could all live quite happily without knowing, but nevertheless it gives us some sweet insight into another culture. Apparently, “according to data from Twitter, the Spanish are more likely to tweet “Te amo” (I love you) in November than any other month.” I understand this, as in our part of the world November is the beginning of the end of any hope of warm weather, so throwing a few “I love yous” around is sure to warm the cockles of the heart. Maybe this should become a Canadian tradition too.
He quotes Louisa May Alcott of “Little Women” fame for his fourth fact. Louisa was not a fan of November I take it. She said. “November is the most disagreeable month in the whole year.” At one time I may have agreed with her, but no more. To me November is the month that I plan for Christmas without stress—once December hits—it is deadline time. Shakespeare joins Alcott in enthusiasm for the month of November, as according to Harston “There is no mention of the month of November in any of Shakespeare’s plays or sonnets.”
I have not checked out this next one with our local police force but I hope it is not true. Harston says that “More domestic burglaries take place in November than any other month.” I have no real explanation for this one. This next “fact” is a bit obscure, but one that some of you may find entertaining and even understand. I am not part of your ranks, but if you see me around town and you understand it, I would be pleased to be enlightened. It is old weather lore and predicts that: “If there’s ice in November to bear a duck, There’ll be nothing after but sludge and muck.” Sounds a bit ominous to me.
Since I do not care that two American Presidents were born in November, I will still supply the information to those of you who may. Warren Harding born in 1865 and James Polk in 1795 were born in November. I will now tell you who I care was born in November: my niece Gilly, my grandniece Sophie, and my sister-in-law Starr. Happy Birthday to all of you btw. And do not be depressed about the next fact provided to us by Harston: “According to research by Clearblue pregnancy testing, “November is the least popular month for women to want to have babies in.” Gilly and Sophie and Starr, I am sure your moms were happy you were born in November.
Last, and least in my opinion of Harston’s ten facts is this: “November is the only month when more rain usually falls on London than Paris.” Elucidating though it may be, this fact is only handy for those of us in Canada who are thinking of visiting London, or for that matter Paris.
Personally I think the month of November is much maligned. I consider it my “hunkering down” month. The month (at our house) when we finally take the window air conditioner out. The month we turn the heat on without guilt. The month we can snuggle under blankets in the corner of the couch with a good book. The month when a warm fire is welcoming (unless you are like us and do not have a fireplace—then it is just alarming). So enjoy this month of November, despite what the Bard and Louisa may think.
Do you like November?