Document 864

Correspondence from Canada: Letter 16 - 30.10.81

Author(s): 852

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


The Maggie
Fri. 30th October.

Dear Maw & Paw,

Well, your boy's working for his money: I've spent most of this week marking essays. Some of the mistakes are fairly appalling, like "suddle" or "suddle" for "subtle", and "pedicel" for "pedestal." I've spent all day today slogging through one batch and a bit, so I should get some of my own work done this weekend.

I have been taking some time off to enjoy myself though - I'm trying not to take this year too seriously. I went to an excellent dramatic reading of the letters & poems of D H Lawrence and his wife, Frieda von Richthofen, last night, and I'm going round to see an English PhD student, Julian, no less, tonight with Alex, the Australian. And tomorrow night there's a Halloween party in the Maggie and next week I'm supposed to be going with a group from the Maggie to see a Canadian punk group, Doug and the Slugs (!) who are playing up the hill.

The weather's brightened up again after several days of torrential rain, but it's getting colder. I wore my gloves for the first time last night - nice & cosy, but I'm told I'll need mitts by February.

Well, three weeks after my birthday and my presents haven't arrived yet: they'll probably come next week, I hope.

I'm getting fed up with academic life again - it seems so pointless at times. I've just been marking freshman essays on a particular professor they wish to describe, and all the descriptions, nearly, have a middle-aged balding male in shabby clothes, with a monotonous voice and a bored expression as their subject. Is that how I want to end up? I don't know.

I would like to take next year off academic studies and work for a change, to see how that is. Maybe I could get a job in the Bank of Egypt? What kind of currency have they got?

I can't remember if I told you I was overpaid again on Monday. They gave me $183-00, and then asked for $119-00 back on Tuesday. So I'm scrimping and scraping this month. I should get more next month once my raise comes through and mixes things up again. But that's my 2-months' debt paid off.


Hallowe'en: 1.40am.
Back from Julian's - a very pleasant evening. He's from "Soonderland", and despite his funny Quaker Public School accent and Famous Five name, he's fairly left-wing-to-moderate (=SDP) and argumentative. We got into arguments with Alex who's a self-confessed elitist, and a sympathiser with Thatcherism. It was a fun evening. Unfortunately, Alex told me as we walked back that's he's decided to leave UNB and go home to Australia. He's doing history here and is not enjoying the courses and feels he's wasting his time. Furthermore, he is 23 and is half-way through a law degree in Canberra. If he finishes his M.A. here, his law degree will, owing to new legislation introduced in Australia, count as a 2nd degree, and he'll not qualify for a student grant. Since law is his primary interest, he's decided to drop out here. He's quite a character, and I'll miss him. He looks like a Glasgow wino!

It's really frosty out. The sky is crystal clear and the stars are beautiful. Old Orion's up there, clearer than I've seen him for ages, free from the Glasgow smog. I still think the night sky is the most beautiful sight in the world, or out of it.

But I'd better collapse into bed. Take care. I hope you're beginning to enjoy your new freedom. Regards to all,
[CENSORED: forename]

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Information about Document 864

Correspondence from Canada: Letter 16 - 30.10.81


Text audience

Adults (18+)
Audience size 3-5
Writer knew intended audience

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Year of composition 1981
Word count 646

Text medium

Other airmail

Text publication details

Part of a longer series of texts
Name of series Correspondence from Canada

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 852
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1950
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation University Lecturer
Place of birth Ayr
Region of birth S Ayr
Birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Bridge of Weir
Region of residence Renfrew
Residence CSD dialect area Renfr
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Insurance Broker
Father's place of birth Auchinleck
Father's region of birth S Ayr
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Dental Receptionist
Mother's place of birth Ayr
Mother's region of birth S Ayr
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes In most everyday situations
Portuguese Yes No No Yes When trying to communicate with my in-laws
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes In domestic/activist circles; reading literature