Document 887

Correspondence from Canada: Letter 39 - 23.04.82

Author(s): 852

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


The Maggie
23rd April.

Dear Mum & Dad,

Ah well, Carole's gone and coursework's finished. Mark leaves tomorrow and folk are drifting away. I'm feeling lonely again and rather tired, but both will wear off in time.

It was a fast three weeks. Carole enjoyed it, despite her finding it a bit of a wilderness. It's the sheer size of Canada that is intimidating, I think, until you get used to it. For example, we were round at Ann [CENSORED: surname]' with Julian, (two fellow students), and he pointed out that here people don't calculate journeys in miles but in hours. Because everybody gets into a car and travels at 55 miles per hour to their destination - and there are hardly ever traffic problems. Imagine the largest country in the world with ⅓ of the population of the U.K. - that's Canada!

We only managed to get away the one weekend to Shediac, and Helen [CENSORED: surname] and her family were really good to us, showing us round their farm, lending us skis, and so on.

Our joint future is still fairly shaky. I probably won't go to Cairo if I don't make it into AUC. Carole doesn't want me to follow her around for its own sake, to the possible detriment of my career (what career?). Furthermore she's keen to return to Tübingen for a semester after Cairo to finish off her M.Litt., although this is only a possibility. So it looks like we may have to carry on this long distance romance indefinitely until we bump into each other accidentally in a market-place in Malawi or something. I'm keeping my fingers firmly crossed for the AUC though. I very much hope it comes through.

Whatever I do next year I still want to get out of Eng.Lit., at least for a while, and try something else. I had an exam this morning and it reconfirmed my feelings. It was awful - in Section I we were asked the difference between a metaphor and a simile, and to define iambic pentameter and assonance. All this I knew at Belmont, and several of us in the class think the Professor was simply trying to insult our intelligence. I feel like speaking to him about the worthlessness of his exercise. If I don't get into the AUC I might like to take a course in TEFL in Britain - there's a school in Edinburgh. Unfortunately it costs money. I've been receiving vacancy lists from the British Council and there's some really good and interesting jobs, if you're qualified. I'm getting more interested in it as I go along.

World politics are depressing, too. War at home, war between Israel and the Lebanon? Meanwhile Canada gets its Constitution, despite Quebec's grumblings and renewed threats of breaking away independently from Canada. (Did I tell you that at the movies in Moncton we stood for the Canadian national anthem?) Thatcher is an idiot and if she survives the Falkland Islands then the British electorate are fools.

Best wishes to all from the peaceful side of the Atlantic,

[CENSORED: forename]

P.S. The [CENSORED: surname] wrote and send their greetings. Your letter was "a joy to receive." And I enclose a clipping Helen [CENSORED: surname] gave me from the "Globe & Mail" (= our local "Glasgow Herald")

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Information about Document 887

Correspondence from Canada: Letter 39 - 23.04.82


Text audience

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

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Year of composition 1982
Word count 559

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