My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

Time for a break. How about Scotland?

October has flown by, mostly in a good way. There have been tough days, long days, days when I’ve curled up with a good book and tried to lose myself from the chaos of the world around me. There have been days when I’ve been despondent, when I’ve cried, when I’ve just been so tired of being here, in a far away place, muddling through a difficult job. But those days happen. And then they are over, and it’s a new day, and I get to try again. Sometimes I get it right, my day goes well, and I feel really good.

Since my last post, I’ve been up to plenty of interesting adventures! The first weekend of October was Canadian Thanksgiving. We Canadian teachers at my school met up in Norwich (where most of them live) for a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner, courtesy Jon. It tasted great, especially the stuffing. Jon couldn’t acquire a turkey in time, so he roasted some whole chickens. We ate in style, on paper plates. (I got a princess-themed plate. Oh yeah.) I couldn’t stay very long, because I had to catch a train by 8 o’clock to get back to Bury in a timely manner. I wish I could have stayed longer, because it was a nice evening.

The following weekend, I went down to Ely, Cambridgeshire, where Jodie and Ian live now. I got to see their new place, and we walked down to Ely Cathedral. This was my first proper cathedral experience, and it was every bit as breathtaking as I wanted it to be. I’m not religious. For me, cathedrals have no purpose as a house of worship. Yet it’s impossible to ignore the feat of humanity they represent. The builders of cathedrals did not have computers to model their designs. They did not have large vehicles, like cranes and bulldozers, to help construct and excavate. They didn’t even have power tools! Yet they wrought sublime scenes and shapes in the stone.

My baking continues to progress. I made another batch of ginger snaps that turned out great. My double batch of muffins was also quite nice. Last weekend I tried my hand at making cinnamon buns, and those were less of a triumph. Though still perfectly tasty, the buns weren’t exactly in neat rows. I didn’t put enough flour on the cutting board. But now I know for next time!

Tomorrow is my last teaching day for a week. We’ve got the half-term break, and I’m joining several other people on a short trip to Scotland. Two of us are leaving directly from School tomorrow; we’ll arrive in Edinburgh around 11:30 pm. We’ll tour around Edinburgh and maybe Glasgow for four days, and then Wednesday I return back to Bury. Coincidentally, Wednesday happens to be the release date of Assassin’s Creed III. Hmmm.

I’ve posted several more photos for your perusal on my photostream (I was just too tired to embed the great ones in this post). Also, I know my Twitter feed on my homepage is broken. It’s Twitter’s fault for breaking their old API, and fixing it is, alas, not a simple matter. You can always see my tweets by clicking through to my profile through the Follow me on Twitter link.

I’ll post plenty of photos from Scotland and report back on my trip later next week.