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Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

3 Articles Tagged with “history”

  1. Visit to Kentwell Hall

    Kentwell Hall as viewed from the distance, with trees to the right and people walking up the path that leads to it.

    It has been ages since I blogged. There’s plenty I could talk about: TV shows that I have enjoyed lately, the Ontario provincial election and voting by special ballot, my impending return home … and I may indeed get around to blogging about these. For now, though, let’s talk about Kentwell Hall.

    Last Sunday, I accompanied my landlady and her daughter to Kentwell Hall Through the Ages. Ordinarily this stately manor house has re-enactments from a single time period (often Tudor). For this weekend only, however, they put on re-enactments from across a six-hundred-year swathe of history. From medieval fletchers and farmers to World War II soldiers and 1970s campers, we got to see little slices of history come alive as we walked around the impressive grounds of this estate. For those of you familiar with Old Fort William, it’s much the same idea.

    Upon entering the estate, it’s impossible not to be struck with a sense of the grandeur and magnificence of the house, which is still somewhat off in the distance. Kentwell, and more often just its exterior, has been in numerous television and movie productions, and it’s easy to see why. It is the stereotypical English…

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  2. Scotland Trip: Sunday

    I was up bright and early on Sunday morning. I “enjoyed” the breakfast in the hostel bar while waiting for the other members of our intrepid expedition to filter through, “enjoy” their breakfasts, and begin to draft our plan of attack. We eventually settled on starting our day by touring Edinburgh Castle.

    Me, in front of Edinburgh Castle

    To say that Edinburgh Castle dominates the Edinburgh skyline is a gross understatement. The castle looms over the old town, a comforting landmark and constant reminder of the sense of history that pervades the city. It is everything one wants from a stereotypical fortification. Perched precariously atop the Castle Rock, it looks almost as if it grew from the cliff. It’s possible to walk around the outside of the castle and view the sheer cliff face along one side—our guide during the previous day’s walking tour had told us it was easy to climb if one knew the right path, but I had no desire to test that theory! Fortunately, the approach from the Royal Mile is less daunting and more paved.

    Upon entering the castle (and paying the requisite admission fee), the first thing that struck me was the view. Seeing the castle from another part…

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  3. Never forget

    Today in Canada, as well as in many other countries around the world, we celebrate the end of World War I and remember those soldiers who gave their lives serving their countries. In Canada, we wear a poppy to show our respect for those who have fallen; the Royal Canadian Legion makes them available in return for small donations. It is of course associated with the Remembrance Day poem "In Flanders Fields" by Canadian soldier John McCrae, who served in World War I.

    World War I was known then as "the war to end all wars." Yeah ... uh, that didn't really work very well, did it? In fact, sometimes it feels like we have even more strife than ever. We learn about the two World Wars in school, study their causes and their aftermaths, but do we really learn from these wars? Do we take to heart their morals and stay firm in our resolve to never again lead the world over that terrible precipice? Sometimes, I have my doubts.

    I'm not very into nationalism. I'm proud of my country and proud to be Canadian, sure. But I have no intention of serving in our armed forces,…

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