▨ Jamie McHale

November 2020

Cycling, running and reading

I managed to see a couple of friends in real-life in November! I’m very much looking forward to next summer when I’ll be able to spend time in the company of others without worrying (as much?) about venues and distancing.

Photo of a friend in Edinburgh
Photo of friends getting Mulled Wine

In my downtime I’ve had fun getting out on my new Kona Sutra, cycling south of Edinburgh.

Gladhouse Reservoir, with reflections of trees

My favourite rides so far have been out to Gladhouse Reservoir, and Heriot and Soutra. I have mostly followed the National Cycle Network paths to get out to the countryside. It can be frustrating at times navigating the bigger and busier roads that don’t have decent provision for bikes. I took some highlight videos of my favourite trips to give you a flavour of what they are like:

I have continued to post on my Instagram alt profile to showcase some of my photography. I think it’s a useful tool to help focus my mind on which of my photos are good enough to publish, and to motivate me to learn and take better ones in the future.

I’ve continued with the Italki Chinese lessons. I’m doing one or two 30 minute sessions a week in order to practice conversation with a native speaker. I’m not yet any good, but I’ve had some success at stringing together new sentences.

I read Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture by Sudhir Hazareesingh. It’s on the longlist for the Baillie Gifford Prize. I didn’t know much about the Haitian Revolution, and could have done with a little more context when starting the book. Louverture is an interesting man, and this book is fairly detailed. It helped me understand both the place that Haiti occupied, but also the relationship between France and its colonies, and the United Kingdom.

I also read Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff. This book helped me understand a little more detail about the context of the Roman Civil War, Casear, Anthony, and Octavian.