Document 881

Correspondence from Canada: Letter 33 - 20.02.82

Author(s): 852

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


The Maggie
Feb 20 '82

Dear Mum & Dad,

Thanks both both your letters over the past week - Dad's explaining the latest political situation back 'ome. Britain seems so small from here. When you think that the U.K. is just a little larger than New Brunswick and yet has twice the population of Canada as a whole, its problems have a whole new perspective. In Canada there's enough talk of unemployment and cutbacks but little evidence of them - and if you want a job the answer seems to be to be prepared to go west. Certainly the graduates I meet here don't have the critical job-anxiety of fellow-students in Scotland. Still, being part of such a huge country with such a small population has its own disadvantages, and most Canadians seem to have an identity crisis about whether they're 2nd-rate Britons or 2nd-rate Americans. When you think of it, a country with Canada's natural resources should be more prominent internationally.

Well. it's been a bit warmer of late - temperatures reaching about 0°C - and so there's been something of a thaw. This makes the snow look filthy, and Feb-May is not reckoned the prettiest time of the year here. The so-called "March Break" is upon us, and most people in the Maggie have gone home for the week. The residence meal plan has been shelved for the interim, so it's back to my own cooking. Which means that some plastic macaroni's cookin' with some oven-fried chips even as I write!! Next week I'll regain my culinary feet and be a little more ambitious, I think. I'll also shop downtown for my supplies.

Well, I finally polished off my final version of my first term essay - a month in advance!! Two more to get out the way, now, before Carole arrives: I should manage that all right. I've got her a place to stay in the Maggie - Hugh is going home to New Zealand for March - April and I've arranged so that she can stay in his room for the duration. (He's got a single room!) I got another couple of letters from Berlin - Carole seems to have enjoyed herself there, going to a few concerts etc. and visiting East Berlin, which was grim.

The decline in education continues. I failed about 10 out of 12 of this term's 1013 class on their last essay. It was fairly appalling, and Prof. [CENSORED: surname]'s been bawling them out. He says if he's not careful he's going to be convicted of "professor brutality".

Did I tell you what they use for insulating? Usually it's fibreglass slabs, about 3'' thick and the buildings are double glazed. It's very warm inside the buildings - you step inside from the c-c-cold and unpeel all the layers down to your shirt-sleeves. Apart from the 1 3/4 square inches of flesh between scarf and hat where I was exposed to the cold at its worst, I don't think I've had a warmer winter.

But I don't think I've seen a more boring town when the students leave. This week is going to be long. I'll just have to knuckle under and get some work done.

Some Canadiana: Wayne Gretzky, N°99 continues to break all records in the National Hockey League. He's the greatest ice hockey player ever at the tender age of 21, and plays for Edmonton. He's known to his fans as "The Great Gretzky". Watch out for Ivan Lendl at Wimbledon! Regards to the "faimly" etc.

[CENSORED: forename]

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Information about Document 881

Correspondence from Canada: Letter 33 - 20.02.82


Text audience

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

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Year of composition 1982
Word count 617

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