Document 878

Correspondence from Canada: Letter 30 - 02.02.82

Author(s): 852

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Harriet Irving Library
Tues. 2nd Feb. '82.

10.15 am

Dear Mum & Dad,

Again I'm sorry to have taken so long to write, but last week's been hectic. On Friday I was invited to Prof. [CENSORED: surname] house, as I mentioned last letter, to a "party" which consisted of Prof. C. and his wife, Prof. [CENSORED: surname] and his companion, and a girl from the Eng. Dept who's doing a year's study here from Edinburgh. So Prof. [CENSORED: surname] put on a record of the massed fiddlers and we all talked about the best restaurants in Auld Reekie... It was a pleasant enough evening - Mrs. [CENSORED: surname] prepared a lovely buffet - and Prof. [CENSORED: surname] lent me a Scottish novel - "Magnus Merriman" by Eric Linklater, about the contesting of a fictional Scottish seat by the SNP in 1931. It's very funny.

On Saturday a large group from the Maggie went off to Mactaquac Park, about 30km out of Fredericton, to ski etc. I borrowed a pair of skis from a girl in the Maggie and followed Hugh & Lorraine out on the 5km trail thro' the forest. It was a gorgeous day: just below freezing (a temperature that feels decidedly tropical after enduring 50° below) and snow filtering softly thro' the trees. The Lodge at Mactaquac is a big wooden building surrounded by trees, snow, and "skidoos" (snowmobiles) - I felt I'd stepped into the Beatles' "Ticket to Ride" scene in the movie. "Help!" Mind you, help is what I needed - even cross-country ski-ing isn't easy! I slithered along and spent a lot of time tangled in snowdrifts. The one time I felt really confident and was zooming down a small slope, Hugh decided to "wipe out" i.e. collapse in front of me. I realised I couldn't stop.

"Oh God! Oh no!" I shouted and threw myself in a snowbank. But it was novel and exciting, although by the time I'd finished the 5km, I felt as if I'd skied across Norway, and I'd a sore thumb from when I'd landed on it during a tumble.

After about an hour's rest we went "beaver-bogganing" i.e. tobogganing on inner tubes (of tyres) down a large slope that in summer serves as the Mactaquac golf course driving range. That was really good fun - at least going down. By that time my legs were not too happy about the slog back up!

Around 7pm we had a meal at the Lodge and a party afterwards, arriving back at the Maggie at about 1.a.m. It was a really good day.

Sunday I spent catching up. I'd my thesis proposal to rewrite and get typed for Monday, and a seminar presentation to finish preparing. Still, I took some time off in the evening to go down to the gymn and play some volleyball during "Maggie Gym time". That was fun - it was one of the few games at school I ever enjoyed. So, what with all that unaccustomed exercise, I may even be getting muscles! My body ached yesterday...

I can't remember if I told you last week (or if her letter had arrived when I wrote) but Carole's coming here on April 2nd - 22nd. My classes finish around the 6th and so that'll give us quite a bit of time together to see some of the province. She's in Berlin now, on a trip sponsored by the DAAD institute, and is going to visit East Germany; and in February she's also going on a skiing trip to Switzerland with the local church. She's certainly getting around! She did enjoy a good Christmas at home.

Don't worry about my going to Cairo. You can rest assured that I'll be trying my hardest to get something concrete before I go, and I'll be talking to Carole when she's here about what I'll be doing if I don't come up with something. I probably in that case will go for a short time and look for work, that is if the authorities permit it, because I do want very badly to go. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the AUC come up with something, and if they don't, I've some more places to write to.

I'm also keeping a sharp eye on the Middle East situation, which seems to be a lot calmer since Sadat's assassination. I've also been talking to Egyptians here about the news they get from home. Apparently Muburak is a good premier, who's keeping relations good with the Israelis while patching things up with the Arabs. Meanwhile the Saudi Arabians' Fahd Peace Plan is being quietly resurrected, so things in general are looking more hopeful than they've been for a while. And I think living for a period of time in a Middle East country would be a fascinating experience.

The weather's been a bit milder. We had about 5 hours of freezing rain - little clear hailstones, really - yesterday, and the roads & sidewalks were very slippy. Today is gorgeous - blue skies, sunny, and not too cold. I heard it was about -15°C this morning, but that's hard to believe. You get so used to the cold. It's the dryness I don't like - you wake up with a pale glow of static electricity, your skin dries, and your lips crack. All the moisture that should be in the air is at your feet! But I'm still enjoying it - it's different.

I got a letter from Aunt Maggie last week, too - thank her for me. I hope everyone's well & happy, and that spring isn't too far away for you. Here it's Groundhog Day - apparently if the groundhog comes out of its hole today and sees its shadow, there will be 6 more weeks of winter. Who needs weather satellites when there's a Canadian around?? Take care, don't work too hard,

[CENSORED: forename]

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Information about Document 878

Correspondence from Canada: Letter 30 - 02.02.82


Text audience

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

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Year of composition 1982
Word count 1008

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