Touch Base

Another Wednesday morning, another fortuitous free hour. The perfect excuse to whip up another blog post. To think I’ve been at this game for almost a year now…! It’s probably the best I’ve ever been at diary-keeping. Trust me on that, there’s at least five or six one-third-completed journals lying about my room back home to back me up on that count. It’s been an awful lot of fun and I expect I’ll keep this going well into my fourth year at Durham and beyond, since this Spanish year is just the first of what promises to be a very rewarding early career!

Since we’ve come such a long way from waiting on tenterhooks for the slightest of information from the British Council last year, I thought I’d blow the dust off the covers, so to speak, and give you all an insight into the writer behind the pretence, the misadventures and the endless musing. It’s something of an experiment to see how much I’ve changed on this year abroad, so I find myself wishing I’d done something similar the start – those reading with the year abroad ahead, take note! Feel free to copy the questions to your own page if you’re so inclined, that’s what I did. Shamelessly.


Name: Benjamin Barnabas

Age: 21 (though most guesses average around 18)

Gender: Male.

A Selfie


There are better selfies out there, but none more suitable


Food: Croquetas. I quite literally go for nothing else when I’m eating out.

Drink: Water. I also go for Fanta when I’m out and about, because I’m fed up of tripping over all of those C’s in Coca Cola.

Book: Either King Solomon’s Mines or The Far Pavilions.

Song: Vicious question. I have different songs for different moods, but the title is probably a struggle between three: The Corrs’ Forgiven Not Forgotten, The Circle of Life and Back in Stride by Maze and Frankie Beverley.

Movie: The Lion King. Probably one of the first movies I ever saw and still my favourite.

Band: The Corrs. Nostalgia once again; Forgiven Not Forgotten was my first ever cassette.

Solo Artist: James Brown. Though Michael Jackson and Beyoncé take a close second and third.

Place: El Rocio. Especially in the shade of the stone pines on the Raya Real.

Subject: literature, nature, languages, art, music and history. The latter was never my strongest subject, but probably one of my greater loves at school.

Sport: Pull the other one. Gym chat and team sports send me to sleep.

(…Alright, alright, I like to swim when I can. But on my own terms. Not of this lengths and widths and personal best nonsense.)

Male actor: I want to say Derek Jacobi? Seeing him play Malvolio in Twelfth Night was pretty special.

Female actor: Penelope Cruz. Because…  Penelope Cruz.


Schooling: I went to one of Kent’s several grammar schools after a few years in a private that didn’t really suit me very well. I’m not sure how I feel about the fairness of the grammar school system, having very nearly failed to get in myself, but I would say it was the very best place for a kid like me and I’m extremely grateful for everything it did for me.

Best Friend: Biff holds that title; we’ve known each other since the start of secondary school some ten years ago now. I’m a blabbermouth on this blog but in real life I don’t really do small talk. A conversation with Biff picks up right where it left off the last time and that’s the very best I could ask.

Political ideology: I confess I’ve a romantic streak of anarchism within me, but I’m probably just one more wayward middle-class liberal at the end of the day.

Religion: Still a mystery. It’s out there somewhere and until I find it, I refuse to deny it.

Tattoos: None.

Piercings: Ditto.

Languages: English, Spanish, French, Arabic and snatches of Persian, Luo and isiZulu.

Reason behind your blog’s name: The number of B’s is aesthetically pleasing.

Why you blog: To lecture myself, for one. To keep my friends and family informed of my wanderings, for another. It’s also great writing practice. But probably the most important reason is to make some kind of sense of all of the thoughts buzzing about my head on a daily basis.

Do we share anything in common?  Even if I didn’t tag you, please feel free to fill out the questions – and do please link to your answers in the comments!

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