Document 869

Correspondence from Canada: Letter 21 - 04.12.81

Author(s): 852

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


The Maggie
4th Dec.

Dear Mum & Dad,

[?]ڤ ر و ل ض ـ٤[/?] Reading from right-to-left that says "This is a sheet of paper". Wow! No, I haven't started the Arabic yet - I don't have a note of the alphabet, for a start, and also I've been busy. One term paper is typed, two more to go. I might just make it. And all my Christmas cards - about 30-odd - are away... phew! So all the relatives should be getting theirs soon.

Sorry to hear that your ailment's still bothering you, Mum, and I hope it's a lot better by the time this reaches you. Do try to take it easy over the Christmas period. An example of a double negative in English is

"I haven't got no money."
NEG. - + - NEG


"I didn't see nothing."
NEG - + - NEG

Speaking of double negatives, I saw this term's 1013 class for the last time today and told them to go out there and win in the exam. I've always wanted to do something like that! Now I can concentrate on these term papers.

I had about 3 seminar presentations to give this week, as it turned out, and I think I'm getting better at them. I'm getting laughs at the right bits anyway. The 3-hour ones are rather exhausting and I leave them feeling like a limp rag, but they are fun if they go well. I heard through the grapevine that Prof. [CENSORED: surname] liked the one I gave on Monday on American poet, Elizabeth Bishop, so I'm quite pleased with the way they're going. My final presentation is a short one on the sources of the Merchant of Venice on Monday. I've got it already prepared.

I'm sure Al will be fine. If she's consistently scoring marks from 55 - 60% now it'll give her something to build on. As she gets into the way of things she should improve. The trick is to get the right technique so that you can be consistent. Method is all. She'll learn.

I liked the photo's she sent me. Where were the ones of you taken? I liked the one of Dad in his "Beechgrove Garden" bunnet. How was the retreat?

Well, the rain didn't half come down and wash away the snow and ice this week. On Wednesday evening it was like walking through 1½ inches of decomposing slush in rain and fog. More snow is forecast.

I was interested to hear the holiday prices of farms & UNB. I don't know about the farms, but I don't know if you would have really appreciated the style of accommodation of UNB. The Maggie is OK but the room's like a matchbox, and up the hill the residences are like barracks. And as I said, unless you can travel extensively around the province there isn't too much to see in the immediate area. The weather is supposed to be good, though, around 90°. It's a land of extremes.

I got a letter from Carole today and she says if I go to Germany she'll pay half the plane fare and find me a place to stay. It would be a better idea than her coming here. I don't know; I'll see how finances stand in January. I may just be able to afford it. It seems rather extravagant, that's all.

I received another letter from the British Council saying the chances of my getting a teaching job in Cairo with them without at least a 4-week TEFL certificate are "remote". I'll keep trying but it looks like I should concentrate on the AUC and look around for other alternatives meantime.

Thanks very much for the newspaper clipping on DOST. I'm glad that they're actually going to finish it, though it's a pity Jack Aitken won't live to see it through, probably. I met him at Stirling, remember. He's a nice man.

Well, take care. Give my best to all.

[CENSORED: forename]

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Information about Document 869

Correspondence from Canada: Letter 21 - 04.12.81


Text audience

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

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Year of composition 1981
Word count 686

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