Kara Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

4 Articles Tagged with “in England”

  1. Missing the little things in England

    Right, so, I’m going back to Canada in four days. Unlike last summer, I’m not coming back after five weeks. As I have begun to pack up my life in preparation for this move, I’ve started fantasizing about all the things I’m eager to do once I’m back in Canada. But that got me thinking about all the things I’ve become accustomed to over here in the UK. There are things I’m going to miss having as part of my daily life. Not all of them are impossible to get in Canada—I could find the TV shows, for example, through legitimate or questionable means—but they aren’t as accessible or as embedded in Canadian culture.

    I should also probably mention that this is a list of the little things rather than the big things. It should go without saying that I’m going to miss, for instance, my lovely landlady and her daughter, who have provided me with a comfortable and supportive home for the past year and a half. I’m going to miss my friends and colleagues from work. And because it should go without saying, it’s important enough that I’m saying it now. So, here’s a list of the little…

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  2. Last day teaching in England

    Picture if you will: finding it difficult to get a job in your chosen profession near home, you elect to move to an entirely different country to start your career. Now, some of you might have actually done this. So factor in having stayed in your hometown for almost your entire life, including university studies, with only occasional forays to other places. Oh, and you’re not a people person—you generally find their unspoken signals and expectations annoying and disconcerting and would much rather be reading a book, or at the very least interacting with them at arm’s length via Twitter. But no, you uncharacteristically up sticks and trek to a distant land where you are thrust into a brave new world that looks and feels a little bit like what you’re expecting but is also strange and alien in other ways. You spend two years there, two very long and difficult and fulfilling years. You have the, frankly, terrifying responsibility of moulding the minds of the next generation and are expected to engage them, educate them, and keeping them from killing each other. At times you feel variously exhausted, elated, stressed, amused, despondent, and content. For two years, this is…

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  3. 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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  4. The infinite majesty of the snow day

    For the last two weeks, I took the bus between Bury and Thetford to get to work, since the teacher who normally gives me a ride was off on paternity leave. The bus ride itself is pleasant and not that long (nor is it ever crowded), although the twenty-minute walk to and from the bus station can be inconvenient when you’re half-awake in the morning or tired at the end of the day! I would leave twenty minutes early, set a brisk pace with my long legs and some energetic music (Florence, Amanda Palmer, and Of Monsters and Men are high on my list these days), and venture forth into the darkness. Then we got snow, which was exciting but didn’t necessarily make those walks easier.

    Last Wednesday, I woke up to find the ground covered in a thin layer of snow. It wasn’t much by my Canadian standards—I brought neither my heavy winter coat nor my snow boots, and I don’t regret that decision so far. I pulled on my running shoes, tossed my dress shoes in my bag, and made my usual trek to the bus station. My bus was on time despite the snowfall, and I got…

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