Kenyon College

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

January is already gone!

In the time since my last entry, it doesn't seem like very much has happened. Nothing, at least, that merits its own blog entry. Of course, there has been class, and reading, and going down to Sainsbury's to restock my groceries (I have the list down by now: eggs, bread, zucchini, mushrooms, onion, oranges, bananas, plain yoghurt, pasta, and various other things as I need them, like oatmeal, granola, peanut butter, Nutella, and my newest favorite vegetable, brussels sprouts!). It pains me not to have routine supplies for each meal, and so my trips to the grocery store tend to be predictable and unexciting due to my anxieties about missing some vital food. Just the other day I added pesto to my shopping basket! I almost collapsed from the excitement of this.

And there you have a paragraph largely concerned with food.

Another paragraph largely concerned with food:

We have discovered the joys of a falafel pitta with hot sauce from the small cafe on the way into the city center (so many prepositional phrases!). It costs only £2.75 and is quite full of delicious. The old man who serves them is probably the nicest old man in the universe. Just be sure, if you are like me and tend to get whatever you are eating all over yourself, to carry some napkins.

Did you know Monday was a palindrome? 01.02.2010. However if you live in America, your palindrome was January 2nd.

Small moments of joy: When I wake up at 7:30 am every morning, I get the pleasure of seeing the clouds turning red, pink, gold, orange and purple as the sun rises and filters up into the sky. Because the sky is so changeable, and the clouds arrange themselves differently from morning to morning, the color falls on them in accordingly various ways. It helps each day to differentiate itself from the one that came before it. It is one of the (arguably many) treats of getting up early.

Last weekend a small number of us went for a glorious walk along the Devon coast, walking a section of the coast path from Weston to Branscombe. We stopped in the tiny village of Berry Barton to eat at the Fountain Head pub. I had the macaroni & cheese, and it was perhaps the most delicious macaroni & cheese that exists in the known universe.

We visited the beach before walking back up to the cliff edge, then tromped through the mud back the way we came, for it had become quite muddy once the icy dirt melted. It was perfect weather for walking, and the cliffs and the sea showed themselves well. I look forward to taking more walks in this beautiful countryside.

In class we have been reading about the history of walking, and more generally the history of travel and tourism. The nerdy part of me very much enjoys thinking about these sorts of things while traipsing across the countryside, but I am also able to turn down the volume and simply soak in the rhythms of walking, the steady thud of my walking-stick in the mud and grass, and the shifting sky around me. This year has been so rich because of the way our studies seem to have their fingers sunk into the soil of the country itself, so that to walk is both to think about walking and to become lost in the walking, to enjoy it in the moment. It has been this way since the start, and I am sure this is one of the most valuable aspects of a study abroad program: the way you will be able to weave your learning from texts with your learning from the country itself.

Here are some photos (click for larger!).

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