Greetings! April seemed to pass by at the speed of a bullet train. It was a month full of simple yet new experiences that stretched me. I'm sharing what was new to me below.
For readers who are first-time visitors to my blog, this is my 4th monthly wrap-up in 2019. My previous wrap-ups in 2019 are here: January, February, and March. I plan to write a wrap-up for each month so I can look back and see how well the year has turned out.
ARTS - I went to view three new exhibits and revisited the Same Dream exhibit by Omar Ba that I had seen in February to see it in more details. Each exhibit is blog-worthy, except that it would take me forever to write so I'm enclosing a sampling photo collage below. From top left and clockwise:
- Elephant in an Indian wedding (The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India exhibit).
- Zuul's real body, the remarkably well-preserved ankylosaur discovered in Montana, USA (Zuul Dinosaur exhibit). Zuul was recently identified by paleontologists as a new species.
- Assorted vases and tea pots by Leopold L. Foulem (The View From Here art exhibit).
- Close-up of one of the paintings by Omar Ba (Same Dream exhibit).
|Arts seen in April|
BLOGS - I added the Subscription gadget on the right side bar on my blog, in case any reader would like to subscribe to my posts or comments.
In April, I wrote five blog posts to wrap up March, and share my art discovery in Ljubljana, how I keep my mind healthy, my day trip to Mostar, and the three walks to take in Slovenia. My sincere thanks to all commenters. Your comments encourage me to keep improving my writing and photography skills.
A friendly reminder that the next Wellness Wednesday link-up is on May 8. Optional prompt the B.E.S.T. Care (for Breasts, Eyes, Skin, and Teeth). Please feel free to join in on the fun.
|Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina|
BOOKS - I read five thought-provoking books by authors from Canada, the USA, and the UK. The first three are mystery fiction novels that kept me wondering about what was going to happen next to the characters. The last two books are inspirational and empowering.
- The Bishop's Man by Linden MacIntyre, 399 pages (2009 Giller Prize winner). This novel is about a priest's struggles with his past and his job to clean up delicate situations involving scandals, sexual abuse allegations, and wayward priests.
- Before The Fall by Noah Hawley, 390 pages. This novel is about how a down-on-his-luck painter's life is changed after he survived a plane crash with a four year-old boy who is the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.
- Panic Room by Robert Goddard, 371 pages. This novel is about how a housekeeper's life becomes invaded after the discovery of a panic room in the house and people come looking for the house owner, a missing rogue pharma entrepreneur.
- In Pursuit of Excellence by Terry Orlick, PhD, 373 pages. Orlick, a professor and sport psychologist, shares how we can adapt the most effective strategies that high performance athletes or top performers use in pursuit of excellence and apply them in our lives.
- The Choice: Embrace the Possible, a memoir by Dr. Edith Eva Eger, 288 pages. Dr. Eger, a Holocaust survivor, tells her unforgettable story in this moving testament to the resilience of human spirit and the power of choice in our lives.
|Books read in April|
CONCERTS - I attended three classical piano concerts performed by Asher Armstrong, Lisa Tahara, and The Bedford Trio, plus one performance by the Toronto Mass Choir. The pianists' performances were superb and the vocals by 35-40 choir singers were powerful. They all have my complete admiration.
FAMILY - We took time out around Easter long weekend and travelled by train to Kingston, a city about 2.5 hours east of Toronto. The train ride was relaxing with free Wi-Fi on board. We had a lovely time in Kingston focusing on family activities.
FRIENDS - April felt like a socially active month. I had nine fun meet-ups with my friends, a record for 2019 so far. I think after the winter season, everyone is more eager to go out. I love that we have many coffee shops for friends to get together casually and catch up without breaking the bank. I wrote about my favourite coffee shops here.
HEALTH - In April, I got a perfect score for my fitness routine which includes daily meditation, walk 6x/ week, gym 3x/ week, yoga 2x/ week, swim 1x/ week, and one rest day/ week.
- 30 meditation sessions - Nothing new other than a consistent practice.
- 26 walks - My outdoor walks are so much fun in the spring as I have been spotting various birds in the gardens. They move too quick for me to take good photos. The signs of spring flowers are refreshing. We typically have pansies, daffodils, crocus, hyacinths, and tulips at this time of the year.
- 13 strength workouts in the gym - I changed a couple of exercises and increased the number of repetitions on some existing exercises.
- 9 yoga classes - My yoga class instructor always makes each class unique so we are not on auto-pilot.
- 4 swimming sessions - I kept the same duration and mixed the strokes. I love that I'm free to create a unique swimming session every time.
|A lovely spring day|
LANGUAGES - I took online French and Spanish lessons every day in April. Duolingo added new updates so there are plenty of new lessons for me to learn.
MOVIES - I watched three movies with my neighbours. Coincidentally they were all about well-known or powerful Americans.
- Stan & Ollie - a movie about the Laurel and Hardy comedy duo.
- Vice - a movie about former US vice-president Dick Cheney.
- On The Basis of Sex - a movie based on a true story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
|Movies seen in April|
TRAVEL - While my family and I were in Kingston at Easter, we enjoyed visiting Kingston's waterfront, Shoal Tower National Historic Site, Kingston City Hall, and the former Market Battery.
Shoal Tower, a circular stone defensive tower, was built by the British government from 1846 to 1847 as one of four Martello towers and the Market Battery, in order to reinforce Kingston’s existing defence system in response to the anticipated American threat during the Oregon Crisis.
The historic sites in Kingston are open to visitors starting mid-May. I hope to return in the summer to further explore Kingston Fortifications.
|Shoal Tower, Kingston, ON Canada|
Overall, April was full of ordinary activities that made up a very good month for me. I look forward to enjoying May and planning for summer travels. New adventures await!
How was April for you? What good things happened? I'd love to hear your comments.