Document 891

Correspondence from Canada: Letter 43 - 28.05.82

Author(s): 852

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


The Maggie
28th May

Dear Mum & Dad,

Greetings from a Fredericton which has finally turned hot - temp.'s in the mid-to-high 20's. It's amazing the shapes and sizes you see in lurid shorts! I'm working fairly steadily (ie I'm still on schedule, just) on the thesis, but I've had time to take in some sun, and a couple of days ago I spent most of the afternoon in the social club consuming G&T's with a Guyanese (Daizal [CENSORED: surname]), a Nigerian (Furey [CENSORED: surname]) and a Malawian (Ken [CENSORED: surname]). It was business... partly. I'm considering various alternatives to Cairo in case that falls through. I'm getting Prof. [CENSORED: surname] to search out some info. he has on Saudi Arabia, and I'm going to talk to Ken some more about the possibility of my obtaining a job in Malawi. Altho' he's doing a PhD here, Ken is still formally a faculty member of the University of Malawi (it's a country in S.W. Africa, by the way, a skelf of a place beside Mozambique) and he knows the territory and probably has contacts there. All these ideas are yer actual jobs, by the way, in English dept.s, not further occasions for study. However, in the back of my mind I've the idea of combining them with some TEFL study, and I'll make further inquiries. Daizal says I could get a job in Guyana tomorrow, and he's got contacts down there. However, the political situation is rather tense down there at the moment and I'd have to give that a lot of thought. I should hear from Cairo in the next 3 weeks or so. I'll write to the Bell School in Britain for TEFL info. too.

I've been thinking some, about what I want (and don't want) to do and about what I can do. I don't want to go immediately into a PhD programme - at this point I doubt if it will benefit me enough personally and practically for the effort and 3 years' commitment I'd have to put into it. UNB would offer me a place and money but I don't want to stay here - it's too out of the way. I really don't want to come back to the UK and join the dole queue (or the marines...?) and waste away time like David [CENSORED: surname] and others like him. The TEFL course is attractive, but it's a matter of expense. On the other hand, despite the fact that NB is out back in the woods, I'm still very much enjoying being abroad, and if I can land a job somewhere and save for a while I may gain experience teaching and some money at the same time. So I'm considering these possibilities - I hope you approve. If I do get a job abroad I'll be home as fast as possible for a visit. At the very latest you should see me by Christmas.

If circumstances force me home by September I'll probably come via Boston - my U.S. visa's been extended to May 1983. I may ship some stuff home, and then get a standby direct to Prestwick. I wish you were more accessible and that I could talk to you at length about all this. What do you really think about the possibility of my spending a considerable number of years overseas?

Yesterday was spring graduation here at the Universitas Novi Brunswicki (yes, they do bits in Latin here too). I know some graduates, so I went up to watch the procession to the Aitken Centre, where they capped 962 graduates in a long, boring 3 hour ceremony full of pompous speeches and references to the late, revered Lord Beaverbook. It was fun watching all the people (in their mortar boards too!) being piped into the hall to the tune of "Wha' Saw the Tattie Howkers?"

I got a letter from Helen [CENSORED: surname] this morning - she thoroughly enjoyed "Sunset Song". She may go to Quebec later this summer to pick up her son who's doing a French course there, so I may go with her.

The thesis goes forward. I've finished the 1st draft of CH.1 and I'm rewriting it. It's not original really but it sounds impressive... full of sound and fury... signifying nothing?

Otherwise things is very quiet around here. I've got a 2nd-hand alarm-clock-radio (did I tell you?) so I keep in touch with world affairs. Pastor Jack Glass was on national TV last night denouncing popery and the visit of "the antichrist," Pope John Paul II to Glasgow. Some young heidbangers mumbled something about "oor faithers burned at the stake during the Reformation" as if it happened last Thursday, and a girl with an accent that could cut glass denounced JPII's attitude to the Pill, divorce, and abortion. "Not all Scottish Presbyterians are violently opposed to the papal visit," the female TV announcer informed us anxiously. Let's be thankful for small mercies! There were even a few shots of the bulldozers taking the trees from Bellahouston Park. Our image abroad.

Anyway, I hope all's well healthwise & workwise. Tell Al I'm thinking of her in her time of Deep Thoughts. Regards to all,

[CENSORED: forename]

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Information about Document 891

Correspondence from Canada: Letter 43 - 28.05.82


Text audience

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

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Year of composition 1982
Word count 897

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