SCOTS
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Document 1690

Interview with Mary A Ronnie, Part 2, for Scottish Readers Remember Project

Author(s): N/A

Copyright holder(s): SAPPHIRE, SCOTS Project

Audio transcription

F1190 And we had a lot of translated fiction, which we kept in, //you know, in the country of origin, places.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mm.//
F1190 They don't keep them, //mm amalgamate them now, but//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 um, Archie was very keen on European fiction.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And it was surprising how much he got. //We were w-//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 really extraordinarily lucky, I think we only had about two shipments //that actually didn't reach us,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 on-on the //ships.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Course books were scarce and the paper was terrible,
F1189 Yes, //uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //so they didn't last very long, but you// could re- - that's [?]what was[/?] the great //boon about//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 American cause it still came on beautiful paper //and wonderful bindings.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// Mmhm.
F1190 But of course there were all the copyright laws that precluded. We weren't supposed to be buying //half the stuff we bought from America//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 because it was supposed to come from //Britain.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But we would buy American editions and be blowed, //because//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 [cough] sometimes they just didn't get round to publishing them //in Britain.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 There had always //been a//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 tussle between libraries //and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 these, sort of, //dividing the world into//
F1189 //Do you think that made a,// //yes,//
F1190 //two hemispheres.//
F1189 do you think that made a dent really in the British //influence?//
F1190 //I think it probably did.// Yeah, I-I think it //probably did.//
F1189 //Mmm.//
F1190 We had a lot of - and of course, our, a lot of our librarians in the major libraries went on Carnegie Fellowships to //the United States,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and got imbued with American administrative thing. And that's what changed Dunedin //Public Library//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 round from being very trad British //under McEwan,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 though had a brilliant mm book-buying, //uhm//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 but suddenly there was this ginger that came into it. And it sort of er, Archie f-, he was g-, sort of given to throwing things in the air and then sorting them. Well he sort of f- //virtually threw the whole library in the air.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Cause I can remember when I took over the commercial and technical section, it was just terrrible.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 The place was- book s-shelves were //stuffed, and there were//
F1189 //Hm.//
F1190 technical dictionaries from nineteen hundred and one, //and this was nineteen forty-six.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And I was standing looking at this thinking... and he he had a knack of coming up when you were looking your most goofy and saying, "You're finding it terrible", and I said, "Well yes, something has to be done with this, doesn't it?" And he said "Let's do it."
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And for a month, we went round with a big trolley,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 going through every book on the shelves and putting into the basement the ones that were dead and //gone.//
F1189 //Hm.//
F1190 But all the time he was talking about the principles of how you bought //books.//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 It was //better than any library//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //An-an- yes, this librarian//
F1190 //school that existed.//
F1189 when did he come to work in-in //Dunedin then, was he there wh-...?//
F1190 //He came to work in nineteen// thirty-four, //and he stayed until nineteen sixty, when he went on to, off to organise libraries for UNESCO in Indonesia.//
F1189 //Right, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh...uh-huh, oh, uh-huh.// He was obviously an influence on //you.//
F1190 //Oh, y-,// //absolutely, he was my guru.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm,// //mmhm, [laugh], uh-huh.//
F1190 //I have no doubts about it at all, absolutely.// And I got to know him again very //well, when I was working in Auckland Public Library and//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 he was living, retired //up in Warkworth.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And Peter and I would go up and spend weekends //with him, and//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 it was just great. //H-he,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 just hadn't lost any of the ginger. //And//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 just before he died at the age of not quite //ninety,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Peter had died, and I, Jim and I, //my brother and I//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 were t-in Northland and I said //"I want to see Archie."//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 So we went to see him, and I was talking about the //amalgamations,//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 and I said that a new library had just gone //up in Waikouaiti, and that Dunedin ran it now.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And he looked at //me and said,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 "Just what we always wanted my dear."
F1189 [laugh]
F1190 And that was about //the last thing he said.//
F1189 //Hm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But he was just, he was an inspiration, but he, but of course he drove people nuts that didn't like change.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And he was always thinking about //change.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I was grizzling about the gardening section which was all classified at six thirty-five point nine and there were about //five hundred//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 books in it or more. And the previous librarian of that department had //bound all the//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 the gardening books in green.
F1189 [laugh] //Themed! [laugh]//
F1190 //Well I was looking at this again and being disgusted, and// //he came a-, er as usual, he come, came along.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 And he said "You don't like it do you?" //And I said "Well no, I don't", and he said "Let's//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 throw them all on the floor and rearrange them." //And that's//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 precisely what he did.
F1189 Now that is interesting because you don't associate a love of change with librarians, librarians have a different
F1190 Eh. //And it's not true, that is not true.//
F1189 //stereotype, don't they? Mmhm.// //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //The minute computers came in,// we were //actually putting//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 stuff into a computer on eighty column punch cards.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Now putting bibliographic //data, er,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 into eighty column punch cards was not easy, //but we did it,//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 because we thought that was the way to the future. //And then of course,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 miniaturisation came in, and you can do //anything.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But you couldn't then. //But we were into it.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 We had our //first serials//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 list published, I think in nineteen seventy, when it was still eighty column punch //cards to enter into a computer.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And yet, yeah I'm getting, [?]beginning[/?] to annoy me //because people do say they think that//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 we're, you know, stuck in the //past,//
F1189 //Yes,// uh-huh.
F1190 whereas we've seized on //computers completely.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// Just that, th-there is an image of, yeah, //sort of, librarians, as being//
F1190 //Oh yes, yes, yes.// //[inaudible]//
F1189 //staid.// //[throat] Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Staid, yes a-and have glasses and long hair.// //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]// Now, what was your favourite, if you did have one anyway, your favourite author, as a, as a young woman then, when you //first started working in//
F1190 //When I first started?//
F1189 in libraries?
F1190 I've a feeling that, you know, amongst //my favourites were people like Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmm.// //Mmhm.//
F1190 //I-I-// I don't remember, aw, and Ernest Hemingway, //I was//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 a bit fascinated by, //but, er,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 also a bit repelled. Umm but there were other //people too.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Umm travel authors, some //of them.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I remember my mother reading H. V. Morton all the //time.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Anyway, I'd started off by taking "In Search of Scotland" //to her, but she read//
F1189 //[throat]//
F1190 all of his //things,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 after that. And I probably read some of them, //but not all of them.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But there were some travel authors that I liked.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And uh, detective novels, Dorothy Sayers, //and, you know,//
F1189 //Right, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 they were, uh Margery Allingham
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 erm. And because we were seeing all these coming in new, so you just, you know, you had the pick of the //world, really.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Not working in a library makes it more //difficult, you've got to put them on reserve and,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 [giggle], actually.
F1189 I don't suppose you'd have had any need to buy books then //at that time? [laugh], throat//
F1190 //Well theoretically no, laugh.// But I g- //always//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 wanted to own them and //particularly, I've got quite a big New Zealand collection.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
F1190 //Not the f-, the fiction I've// reduced quite a bit, that's the fiction over there, //there's just -//
F1189 //Now// there are two large bookshelves and a small bookshelf in here, and, then a //another small library in the opposite corner of reference.//
F1190 //And that's all reference, that's all reference.// //That's all reference stuff, and part of that,//
F1189 //Yes, and Chamber's dictionaries// //and [giggle]//
F1190 //yes, well// //a part of that was because I//
F1189 //uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 taught reference work at the //library school in Mona-, [swallow], and some of those came from that.//
F1189 //Mmhm, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 But there are other things //there, um//
F1189 //Mmhm, uh-huh.//
F1190 cause, [glottal], Dunedin //has written itself up a lot and there's a very nice biographical//
F1189 //Uh-huh, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 thing called "Southern People". //Have you seen//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //I have, yes,//
F1190 //that?// //Yes, well I've got a copy of that there.//
F1189 //uh-huh, uh-huh, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I actually did some things for it so they //gave it to me.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But theoretically I'm
F1189 Mmhm. //Mmhm.//
F1190 //reducing// the fiction, but, then I'm reducing everything.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But it doesn't happen.
F1189 No, so-so you must've em, some of these books you may have had for a long time then, //[?]have you[/?]? Yeah, mmhm, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Oh, a lot of those I've had for a very long time, erm,// some of them would've //been Peter's,//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 but not very many, but probably the collections of //Graham Greene were Peter's.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Um, but, [?]a load[/?], a lot of them were //mine.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 There's a pro-probably almost a complete s- //collection of A-, Margery Allingham, they're there.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 There's also almost a complete section of Georgette Heyer.
F1189 [inhale] Really? //[laugh]//
F1190 //Yes.//
F1189 Now when did you start reading Georgette //Heyer? Mmhm.//
F1190 //Er, oh// almost the minute she //started coming out - I think she's//
F1189 //Mmhm, uh-huh.//
F1190 an interesting phenomenon //because she's been//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 she's been - she's still in print.
F1189 She is, //yes.//
F1190 //And// she started writing about nineteen //twenties and thirties.//
F1189 //Mmhm, hm.// //She did, mmhm.//
F1190 //I've g- I've got// a number of friends who are very //literary, but they've got some,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 a collection of //Georgette Heyer.//
F1189 //Well you know,// Georgette Heyer's been kind of reappraised, //recent-. Yes she has.//
F1190 //Is that right?// //Oh well.//
F1189 //Uh-huh,// and I-I must tell you that I read Georgette Heyer too,
F1190 Yes.
F1189 in the Carnegie Public Library in //Ayr. [laugh]//
F1190 //Right - in Ayr? Well there you are.// //Well -//
F1189 //And I think she is// for a lot of young woman, an entrée into more //serious fiction actually, mm.//
F1190 //Yes, and I don't think it's just women.// //Uh, m-//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 my brother had a complete set of Georgette Heyer //too.//
F1189 //Did he?// //Uh-huh.//
F1190 //Yes he did.// And if got bored with //things,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 he just liked her s-, her sort of er, descriptions of the //period, and of course he was//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 always interested in-in the Napoleonic //Wars and er,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 the, course "Her Spanish Bride" is really quite //you know, seriously historical novel.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 "An Infamous //Army", and I think//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 that's when he started going into //them and then he//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 got he-he found them quite //amusing.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And he, er, funnily enough he hadn't read Jane Austen until the BBC began to do the television ones, //and I got him,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 he didn't have television, but he'd come up here and watch. So he bought a complete Jane //Austen, and he read that, cover to cover.//
F1189 //Mmhm, uh-huh.// Right w-so, was this the-the BBC ones that were done in the sixties? //I think, they did//
F1190 //Yes, well no,// later than that.
F1189 "Pride and Prejudice", in the
F1190 Yes, //em, er, oh, er,//
F1189 //sixties.// //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //no, it was the films he saw.// Was there a series that must've been
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 well it was after I'd come back to Dunedin, //and I came//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 back about nineteen //ninety-six.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 So they must've been in the late nineties, and they did "Sense and Sensibility", //and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 "Pride and Prejudice"
F1189 Oh yes, //um, er, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, and "Emma".//
F1190 //er on-on the cinema.// And "Emma".
F1189 Uh-huh.
F1190 And I was away for a //holiday,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and, Jim told me at the //end of it,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 wh-while I was away
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 he had gone twelve times to see "Sense and //Sensibility". [laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 He just thought it was //all so beautiful.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 And part of it was that, eh, and of course he liked //the language.//
F1189 //Mmhm, uh-huh.//
F1190 So Jane Austen was //obviously somebody, I mean I've got a complete set of Jane Austen//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 somewhere in there.
F1189 Now did-did you read Jane Austen at //school, was that part of th-. Yeah, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Yes but we didn't,// I don't remember having to read it at school,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 which would probably have made //me dislike it.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 The other person I've realised of course was John Buchan. I'd - that was er, //that was//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 in our house. //I'd forgotten about him.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But he was very, //very much part of-of-of//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 er, of the reading.
F1189 Yes, //uh-huh.//
F1190 //And,// you know, M-Mr McCall Smith is now becoming an a-, sort of, addiction.
F1189 Now int-it's interesting you mention Alexander //McCall Smith, cause//
F1190 //Yeah, yes.//
F1189 I looked for his books in the lib-, the Dunedin //Public Library.//
F1190 //They're always out.// //They've got the lot.//
F1189 //Yes.// //Now I did wonder about that, cause I thought "Surely,//
F1190 //[laugh] Yes, yes.// Yep.
F1189 they can't, //not be here," [laugh], uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //They've got mult-, they've got multiple copies of them actually.// //But you're lucky,//
F1189 //So they're w-, they're all out.// //Mmhm, uh-huh.//
F1190 //you're lucky if you find them in, yes.//
F1189 Very popular. //Now why//
F1190 //Very popular.//
F1189 do you think that is? //Mm.//
F1190 //Don't know.// //It's the way he writes, partly.//
F1189 //[laugh] Mmhm.//
F1190 I think he does - he actually writes in a very //clear way.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But I think he //also, for//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 anybody that knows Edinburgh,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 he, you know he really has got it. //He's got it as a sort of...//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 it's-it's interesting isn't it?
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But he-he he's got a f-, huge following, and if I find one in on the shelves, it's lucky.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And usually I have to put in a, //a reserve for them.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm,// mmhm.
F1190 So he's he's an addiction //I think, that people//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 start.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 I'd like to hear him speak, because everybody says he's very good at, ah, er, interesting //speaker.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Um, Andrew Rankin came out. Andrew Rankin is another one that everybody likes, you know, his Edinburgh things, //these Rebus novels.//
F1189 //Oh the Rebus novels,// //yes, uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 //And he came, and he spoke,// and the //library//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 er, hired the co-, the one of the co-, little concert chamber //place,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and gave free admission to anybody that wanted to come and hear him speak.
F1189 Uh-huh.
F1190 And a local I think it must have been a local radio //person, interviewed him.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And it was absolutely //fascinating. I really enjoyed it.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Cause it gave you an idea of what he was up to,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 and what he's up to of course, he's always trying to reform something, you know, something he sees in Edinburgh that needs fixed.
F1189 Yes, uh-huh, //do y-//
F1190 //He -//
F1189 really? And, d- //did you//
F1190 //[?]Yes[/?].//
F1189 enjoy that then, //hearing about that? Uh-huh, aw.//
F1190 //Yes, yes.// And that, er, I'd got, //to be//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 quite honest I'd virtually stopped reading him, //because//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 the, you know, all these detective //novels seem to me to be//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 interesting for the first few, and then they've a //formula.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// //Mmhm, mm, mmhm.//
F1190 //And you th-, you can practically predict what's going to happen, and you get tired of the// people. And I'd got tired of Rebus.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But there were things about him that I thought was funny, because, apparently the Fettes, you know the p-, headquarters of the er, the police, //got a//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 new police dog //which they called//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 Rebus.
F1189 [laugh]
F1190 And he said, "I do wish they'd called him Rankin." //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]// //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Which I thought was lovely.// And the other thing that I thought was c-, was unique to //Scotland was//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 one of his books came out, and I think it was the Chief Constable of Scotland //reviewed it. Now//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 can you imagine a chief constable of anywhere else reviewing a //book on detective novels? Cause I can't.//
F1189 //A book, yes, uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 And it s-, it had a heading that said something like erm "Time you came in for your medical, Rebus." //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 Something like that, and I thought "Now that is Scottish, //that is a//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 very Scottish thing."
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 That the Chief Constable, would, would actually do //a review.//
F1189 //Mmhm. [inhale]// Oh er, where did he d-do this //review?//
F1190 //I think it was in// The Scotsman.
F1189 Really? //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //I think so.// It must've been on one of my wanderings. //This must be a ye-, few years back.//
F1189 //Mmhm, uh-huh.//
F1190 I just thought that the,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 I'd never, I just couldn't //envisage//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 anywhere else in the world //that this would happen.//
F1189 //No, no.// But I I th-, I think actually the police quite like
F1190 I think they love //it.//
F1189 //Yeah,// //th-these books, yes, they do, uh-huh,//
F1190 //Er they do, yes, yes.// //That's what I th-, that's what I think is so interesting too,//
F1189 //uh-huh, uh, mm.//
F1190 is that, he's part of this //community.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 But he was very funny, cause he said Rebus had to //retire.//
F1189 //Hm.//
F1190 Erm and he said "When you look at some of these other people that have been writing novels - Adam Dalgleish must be ninety-five." //[laugh]//
F1189 //Yes, [laugh]// //yes, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //[?]And it was th-[/?], "It's realist, real-time", this was eh, quite,// that was really, //that was very entertaining,//
F1189 //Uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 and the library, er, actually organised //that, and had this session with him.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.// //[inhale]//
F1190 //So th-// //yeah. Oh yes.//
F1189 //Oh he's far-travelled then, isn't he, our Mr Rankin.// //Mmm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Oh yes, oh yes.// Yes, and there are a lot of //people that//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 that r-read him, //I think he's high demand.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And, it's true of lots of people, there are er, now a lot of New Zealand novelists that are well-read //here.//
F1189 //Hm.//
F1190 But, New Zealanders didn't take a lot of interest in their own literature probably until the //last,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 well post-war //anyway, an-and then it developed, and there are some very good really, I mean you get//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 people like Janet Frame, who's sort of world famous.
F1189 Yes, um, I'll be honest with you, she was really the only person I had //heard of, em, mmhm.//
F1190 //Oh, I think that's true of, uh, yes.// You see I've got favourites like Barbara Anderson //whom I regard as very good, um.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Erm, I wonder if I've got any of them kicking around now, probably not. Oh, Elizabeth Knox. She's another one. //You do-, I don't think - you'll have seen her, I think, abroad.//
F1189 //Oh yes, uh-huh, mmhm, mmhm.// I've also seen, I think there was, someone was shortlisted for the Booker Prize
F1190 Yes. //I'm sure one of them won -//
F1189 //this year.// //Mmhm, a New Zealander, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //the one that ra-, that won the Booker Prize was-was Keri Hulme, "the bone people".// And "Mister Pip"
F1189 Mmhm. //Yes.//
F1190 //was shortlisted.// //That's very good, I enj-, really enjoyed//
F1189 //Uh-huh, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 "Mister Pip" - now that's a //male author.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //I'll try//
F1190 //There's ano-.//
F1189 and remember this one //though, Elizabeth Knox,//
F1190 //Yes.//
F1189 cause that looks quite //interesting, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Yes, it is,// that's a sort of almost autobiographical one //that one, but//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 she's written some good novels.
F1189 Uh-huh. //Uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 //Barbara Anderson,// who's I think very good, she's one of the best, //and she's just done her autobiography, but I haven't, I haven't read it yet.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But they're interesting, but Elizabeth Knox //is one of the, one of the people.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 That's I think I must've bought //that, you see//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 why do I buy it? I should get it out the library //shouldn't I?//
F1189 //I know,// //but if you love books,//
F1190 //[laugh]// //Yes, really can't resist them, that's right.//
F1189 //sometime you want to have them. [laugh]// //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //And a lot of the local history, I like to have that,// because it's, you know, we're always poking in it, //you know,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 somebody'll be talking around the table and you //get a question,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 you find it. I find myself over in that corner //and, [giggle],//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 digging out the //reference stuff, or getting,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 getting a b- //book from the-the shelves, in//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.// //Well that's interesting,//
F1190 //there.//
F1189 that you, that you've shifted your historical interest to here, //to y-, to//
F1190 //Yes, yes.//
F1189 to your own //locality then, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //I think I, that I do that much more. I've got,// you know I've got a bit of Scottish history.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 I think, the trouble with me about Scottish history is that we did a lot in Glasgow, //I used to//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 to break my heart over it.
F1189 Mm.
F1190 I would, I-I can remember at eight, going home to my mother and saying "I just wish one of the Stuart kings could've died in his bed." //She thought this was the funniest thing.//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 But it was my //way of saying,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 you know, w-why were they always killed //when they were so young, or at war, or,//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and I just broke my heart over Scottish history. //And I//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 c-, I cou-, I can't read about the Clearances.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 I've begun to come more to terms with that recently, because there's been such a lot of talk about the, um, amount of emigration that came out //after the Clearances.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But it's, it's a it's a sad history, //really,//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 and I find it quite upsetting, so I think in a way I was probably quite pleased to //not read it.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm, mmhm.// //[inhale]//
F1190 //Always happy to read about// literature and the philosophy //and [?]John[/?], you know, all the sort of...//
F1189 //Mmhm, [inhale]// do you think it's taught that way here, Mary, as a, as a kind of tragic history?
F1190 No. //I don't know that it's//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 taught here at all.
F1189 No?
F1190 I don't think //it's taught here at all.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Not separately //from British history.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 I would very much doubt it.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 I don't know //enough about what this curriculum looks like, but I think it's pretty unlikely that there's anything//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.// //[inhale] There's one//
F1190 //seriously...//
F1189 other aspect o->of sort of Britishness, an-and then I'll, I'll have a wee break for you, //if you like, you've been talking a long time.//
F1190 //Mmhm. [laugh]//
F1189 Ehm an-and a genre of, of reading as well, //and tha-that's//
F1190 //Yeah.//
F1189 to do with the Royalty. //Em, now how,//
F1190 //Oh, yes.//
F1189 how are they viewed, or how did you view the Royal Familiy, say when you left em, //Scotland?//
F1190 //Well,// I think t-, //Glasgow//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 was always slightly //disrepesctful. [laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 Cause I have this //memory of//
F1189 //[cough] [throat]// //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //December nineteen thirty-six, which was// not long before we left,
F1189 Mm.
F1190 and it was when th-, Edward the Eighth abdicated.
F1189 Uh-huh.
F1190 And all along Byres Road were students singing "Hark the herald angels sing, Mrs Simpson's pinched our //king!" [laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 So there was a certain amount of //disrespect//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 uh, er, about it. But I think they became... I, everybody here //became, and I think everybody became very//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 attached to, erm George the Sixth.
F1189 Hm.
F1190 A-anyway they felt that he was not had not been brought //up to be king, and here he was,//
F1189 //Hm, mmhm.//
F1190 with a speech impediment, and the shyness //and all the rest of it,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and great admiration for the, you know, the Duchess of York //becoming//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 queen, and all the rest of it. And that feeling //for royalty//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 was intense here. And when the Queen, and, Prince Philip came out in //nineteen fifty-three, which was//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm.//
F1190 the year after the coronation, the place went //mad.//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 Thousands //turned out to see them.//
F1189 //Mmhm,// //mmhm.//
F1190 //Now// they can come and go from the country and nobody even //notices.//
F1189 //Mmhm,// //mmhm.//
F1190 //It has// just altered utterly.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But at that stage, it was excitement, and here was this, //glamourous young lady, and//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 um, it was just...
F1189 Mmhm, did you go to see the Queen anywhere //when she came? Did you? Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Oh, yes, we - everybody did, I mean we all,// and there were stories about the pair of them, and wh-where they //stayed and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 just nothing else //mattered, for that,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 for that whole time they were here.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 The next time they came back must have been quite a lot later, because Princess Anne and Prince Charles came //with them.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And, you know, people turned out in-in
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 quite big numbers then, but there wasn't the same intensity of feeling as this young, glamorous //queen.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And of course, er, added to it, of course was the Ed Hillary story, that he had climbed //Everest,//
F1189 //Ah,// //uh-huh, uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 //just at the right moment you see.// So h-, and uh, he remained //of course, and he still is, probably//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm.//
F1190 the great New Zealand hero.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And they, mm, eh, we all mixed up in this, this sort of //royal coronation thing.//
F1189 //Aye, right, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 But that's gradually //all faded away.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And, I don't think New Zealand is ready for a republic.
F1189 Hm.
F1190 The Australians were more or less //ready,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and what finished that off was that they couldn't decide how to elect a president.
F1189 Mm, mmhm.
F1190 And uh, that m-may in fact be the stumbling-block for everybody, //after//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 watching the circus of American presidents.
F1189 Yes indeed, //uh-huh, yes, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Who wants to elect a president?//
F1189 Now what about the we still get them in Britain now, sort of, magazines about royalty //and quite glossy books on royalty. Erm.//
F1190 //Oh oh! They reckon that you put a// photograph of a royal person //on the front of a woman's//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 weekly and you sell it. //That's the way to do it.//
F1189 //Mmhm, really? Uh-huh.//
F1190 Yes, //always.//
F1189 //Here too?//
F1190 Oh yes, //oh yes.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 They b-, they've got books on, er, //the Royal Family in the library, and I'm sure that they go out,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 get worn out, //quite regularly.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
F1190 //Oh yes,// it's still, and there's still a fascination with the two princes, you know, even though everybody thinks, //you know,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 "What the heck?" Um, they still want to know what their ladies are doing and //whether they've//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 broken up with whatever-their-names-are, //and, er//
F1189 //Oh, they have.// //[laugh] Yes,//
F1190 //[laugh] they seem to have, don't they?// //Yes.//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 And, //eh you know, I just feel sorry for them, because//
F1189 //Uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 I think they've got, er, a hopeless life.
F1189 Mm, //mmhm.//
F1190 //And I think// that's now the way people are //much more//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 feeling about //the Royal Family.//
F1189 //Hm.//
F1190 I have a feeling in Scotland that the one person that they think is okay //was Princess Anne.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// //Yes.//
F1190 //You know,// they'd have her for queen, //she's okay.//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 She's out there working, she's not making a //fuss.//
F1189 //Uh-huh.// Well she supports the S-Scottish rugby team. //[laugh]//
F1190 //And she comes out, yes, and sings "The Flower of Scotland" in the middle of Murrayfield. [laugh]// //But I, er, yo-you get//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 this sort of feeling that she's the right //sort of person for-for Scotland too.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.// //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //It suits them, she's not,// she's not the glamourpuss. //and she clearly... th-the-the life is okay.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mm, mmhm.//
F1190 And I was interested, not so much this time, but the previous time when I was in Edinburgh, I was seeing The Scotsman every day. And it had lists of what she was doing. //And she was off in little places, she was going to small schools and - it wasn't big, flourishy stuff.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 She was doing these practicalities of being around.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And everybody felt this was //okay.//
F1189 //Mmhm,// mmhm.
F1190 I don't know what they found, I mean, they got as excited about Princess Diana's death as everywhere //else, I mean//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 George Square, Glasgow was covered with flowers.
F1189 Mmhm, mmhm. //And how was it here//
F1190 //But I -// //oh, I think, I wasn't//
F1189 //at that time?// //Oh, you weren't, right, uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 //here. It happened when I happened to be in Canada.// And that was a - that was the oddest thing. //Mm, uh,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I was out on an island in the middle of Howe Sound.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And we hadn't heard a //word, and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Murray, the, m-my cousin's son, had been with his mates, down in the b-, the, sort of I think, mm, just listening to //the radio, and//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 they had heard about, //Princess//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Diana being killed. And we were sitting having afternoon tea on the Sunday afternoon, and Murray suddenly said "Oh, did you know that Prin-, that, Lady Di is, has been killed?" //Quite casually.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And we said "What? Say that all over //again?" And he said,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 "Do you know, Princess Diana, she was killed in Paris last night." Now they had thought nothing much //about it.//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 Well I left Vancouver that day and I went off to stay with f- Oxford friends of Peter's //in Montreal,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and I don't think they stopped looking at that television
F1189 Mmhm. //Mmhm.//
F1190 //all week.// And yeah, I thought, "Well, when I get to Glasgow, it won't be like this, it won't be like this." And it - there it was.
F1189 It was, //yes, uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 //Flowers strewn everywhere.//
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 There was, it was a sort of worldwide //hysteria, wasn't it?//
F1189 //Mmhm.// It was indeed, yeah. //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Extraordinary.// The whole thing. And yet when it had started off //with those kids in Vancouver,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 they weren't feeling like that //at all.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// Now that's interesting, isn't it? Maybe it's a generational //thing, mm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Well I wondered about that, but they// //uh, er, [inaudible],//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 sh-, here she was, she'd been killed //in a car accident.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 And i-it-it was hours after, you know mm, it was afternoon, //and they'd heard it, probably the night before.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.// Mmhm.
F1190 And that was it.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Well I wasn't here of course, I //didn't see what happened here but//
F1189 //Mmhm, uh-huh.//
F1190 I don't think it would be any different.
F1189 Yes. //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //It would've been wall-to-wall Princess Diana.// //And this was//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 American, often, stations //that we were watching in Montreal.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 And it was just //non-stop.//
F1189 //Yes,// it it w-was big news in-in the States, I think. //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Yes, yes it was.// Then there was all the criticism of the flags on //Buckingham Palace, and how they//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 weren't there on the, erm, you know, all this //stuff.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //They couldn't win, could they?// It was awful. Well I think we should make lunch now, do you?
F1189 Shall I give a wee...? And we've had a wee break again, erm, and I wanted to start back in, Mary, by asking you about, er, going back to Scotland, and how you felt about that the first time you went back.
F1190 Well I found it very exciting, really, because, [throat], I think I wanted to go for a long time, and of course all my //contemporaries had long gone and done//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 their OE, and I didn't really want to just sort of go and trip around.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Well I had written to Glasgow Univ-, er to Glasgow Public //Libraries,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 said was there any chance of a job.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Well they were very cautious. //They said would I//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 come in and see them? But when I went in to see them //they gave me//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 a job, and I spent the first month, in the the Superintendant's division, //which//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 was run by a-a-a...librarian called Miss French,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 who was very good, she was just great. But after about a month of this they said how would I like to go out to Castlemilk, with this-this new branch, that they were starting, to get the books ready. //So I went out there.//
F1189 //Mmhm, now what-what year was this?//
F1190 Nineteen-sixty?
F1189 Right, so Castlemilk really was still being //built, then, was it? Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, mmhm, mmhm,//
F1190 //It was brand new, there wasn't a single public amenity in the place.//
F1189 mmhm.
F1190 There were two policemen on scooter bikes
F1189 [laugh]
F1190 who circled the //place,//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 and they would tell me wonderful stories //about//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 all the best safe-breakers //in Glasgow, lived in//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Castlemilk Road.
F1189 [laugh] Now Castlemilk Road's a big long //road, [laugh].//
F1190 //It's a big long road, yes, it's a big long road.// //And we lived down Castlemilk Road, just a bit down, because it was easy to get a bed and breakfast [?]over[/?] there.//
F1189 //Mmhm, [giggle], mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And they were the best, the houses were the m-, the most beautifully rigged-out in Glasgow, //because//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 with the money they made from //safe-breaking, they re-lined them in oak and mahogany, and all this,//
F1189 //[laugh], [laugh]//
F1190 he said - but really they were innocents //abroad,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 because every time they came to a //safe-break,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 there was a signature on it. They all had their own methods and they never changed them. //So they'd//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 go to visit them, and half the time the loot was still in the house. //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 So we got to know a lot about //sort of Glasgow life from them.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm,// mmhm.
F1190 But it was an interesting place, because we had this whole stock, //brand-new stock for a library,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and the librarian, who was a Manchester man actually, had decided that it had to have the best //furniture, that this//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 may have been a sort of slum-clearance //area,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 but he b- - so we had Parker Knoll chairs, //and mahogany bookshelves//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and, it was before the days of carpet on the floor, so we had linoleum, but, //very attractive,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 cream with red and blue stripes, and
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 it was a v-, //it was an//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 interesting place. //Underfloor heating with water pipes,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 which meant of course when the heat went off in the late afternoon, //it kept warm.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm.//
F1190 The place was never //cold.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// Cause it can be cold up there, on top //of that hill, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Th- well, you're a long way up from, b-,// from, well, King's Park was the //nearest sh-centre.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But there was not a shop in the area. //I think there//
F1189 //No.//
F1190 something like eighty thousand people //there,//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 and no pubs, no shops, nothing, and we were the first. Well eventually, they opened the library, and, the Lord Provost, who was a woman, arrived to open the library, //and the,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 c-, a lot of the Glasgow councillors came up. And we could hear this cheering, //up the road.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And they reckoned that more people came out to see them coming out to open the //library,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 than had come for the last royal //tour.//
F1189 //Oh.//
F1190 But what really interested me was, I expected them to //be arriving in their Rolls Royces.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Not on your life. //They arrived in//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Glasgow double decker buses, //[laugh],//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 which seemed to me to be a nice Glasgow //touch.//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 Now after that, um, I handed the library over to the person who was going to //carry it on,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and I went to the Central Stirling's Library, which was in the old Royal Exchange,
F1189 Oh yes, //uh-huh, yes, uh-huh.//
F1190 //where the Museum of Modern Art is now.// That was a lovely //building,//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 but boy was it hard //work, you know, if somebody asked you a question, and you were at the front door, you ran a half a block to get it and back.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But Miss French, who'd been in //charge of the, th-, was there as a librarian -//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 deeply resented by the men, //because//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 no woman had occupied as senior a position up till //then.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But she didn't worry, //it did-, never worried her, so I//
F1189 //Mmhm, hm, mmhm.//
F1190 I had a very, er happy time,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 cause I'd never encountered a downtown branch //where all your work was concentrated//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 in the two hours of lunch //hour,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and immediately after work at //night.//
F1189 //Yes,// quite interesting aspect //of-of Glasgow libraries that, isn't it? Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Oh, yes it was - quite different from the, from the eh, b-, th-the, er// really the branch libraries.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 The thing that interested me too was that Glasgow allowed free access to their libraries, not just for the people that lived //in Glasgow,//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 but for the people that worked in //Glasgow,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 because they calculated that they contributed to the economy //of the city.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 So in fact we were serving roughly a //population of probably a million and three-quarters,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 not just the million that //were actually in Glasgow City.//
F1189 //Mm, that's right, uh-huh.//
F1190 And I always thought that was a, it was a really //generous sort of, er, proposition.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm,// mmhm.
F1190 And then for the last two weeks, they let me go into the Mitchell, which of course was, a male, completely male, privileged, //dominated place.//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 And that was, that was interesting, //cause it really//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 was great. And they were just moving over from putting into classified order, they'd always had it so that it was under accession order, so the latest accessions were near the //desk, cause they were asked for most.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And they were changing over to //having it in Dewey order, and the m-,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 the boys didn't like this very much.
F1189 Oh, change and //librarians, [laugh],//
F1190 //Ch-chan-, that's right, yes, [throat] yes.// //[throat], [?]Wasn't[/?] good enough.//
F1189 //uh-huh, uh-huh.// How long were you out in Castlemilk for, then?
F1190 [click], I must've been about three months //out there.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Um at least that, //perhaps four.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Because we we went up long before Christmas, //because I//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 remember the d-, going down in the bus at night, //after dark of course,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and all the Christmas trees //in everybody's window, er and it was lovely.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 So I think it was probably about four months //in Castlemilk.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Erm, mostly not with the public, but I was there for two, about probably two weeks //after it started,//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 and then handed it over to the //person that was taking charge of it.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmm.// Cause I was going to ask you, if you, if you noticed anything different about about people's reading tastes in //in Castlemilk, the likes of//
F1190 //[throat]//
F1189 Castlemilk, compared to //say for example in Dunedin.//
F1190 //No I don't think I did actually.// Erm there was a, a very condescending attitude //with some people about Castlemilk,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 but the first enquiry I got was from a fellow who was a retired engineer, //and he wanted//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 Marcel Proust.
F1189 Ah! //Yes.//
F1190 //So,// you know, there they //were, wanting to read seriously, and the//
F1189 //Uh-huh, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 children. It was a, in a way, it was almost a disaster, because the Loans Board //had dictated the size of the library, because of//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 th-the same thing happened here //of course, money was scarce.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And the children's //library was far too small, f-for the k-,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 for the number of... and we simply had to limit the number that could be in //at any one time.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And the kids would queue up, out there in, practically snowy //weather,//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 with their books in plastic bags, cause //they were "split-new, Miss", you see, and//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh, [laugh].//
F1190 you know, //there they were, th-,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 waiting for an hour out //there,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 in order to get in.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And the books were just, you know, just flooded //in and out.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 It could have been, it should have been at least four times the size, //that children's library.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I don't know whether anything's been enlarged since.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 It's probably not quite as children-dominated now anyway, because they would be young families,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 just moved in //there.//
F1189 //Yes,// //yes, uh-huh.//
F1190 //D-.//
F1189 I think what's happened now is that they've changed it internally, but I think it's still the s-, the same, same building. //Em, yes, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Is that right? Uh-huh.//
F1189 And it's right on the main drive. //Mmhm, [inhale]//
F1190 //That's right, yes.//
F1189 it's interesting what you say about it being the first amenity there. //That,//
F1190 //Yes.//
F1189 isn't that interesting //about Glasgow?//
F1190 //Isn't it? Yes.//
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Yes, er, it was a
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 uh, er, it, you know, the, sort of great British love of fish and chips, //[?]There was[/?],//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 there was a chap who brought a a mobile fish and chippery up, //at lunchtime, and, I think about half the staff went waltzing out to get their fish and chips.//
F1189 //[laugh] Uh-huh mmhm.//
F1190 But they were very well set-up, I, //it was the first//
F1189 //Hmm.//
F1190 time I'd seen a library //staffroom that//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 actually had a little cooker, and //facilities. I mean we,//
F1189 //Mmhm, uh-huh.//
F1190 we were used to, [inhale], [inhale], most primitive conditions down in the basement of the old Public //Library here.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And while there was a kitchen, it wouldn't, nothing could have called it modern.
F1189 Uh-huh, //uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //It had, probably been installed in nineteen hundred and eight// //when the library opened.//
F1189 //[laugh]// //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Certainly, there was certain aspects of it// that were - but th-the whole thing was er, very entertaining, //cause//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 putting new //stock in on the shelves, and//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm.//
F1190 The other thing that I //l-l-//
F1189 //And did you get any// er, say in selecting //what the stock would be?//
F1190 //No, no, n-no,// //the b-, selection was all done, it was, we were just simply//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 handling the stuff and making sure it was //catalogued an-and, in onto the shelves.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I think what fascinated me most, I think at the end, was that every day the boater - it was always the boater - the boater came round, once a day, with cartons of //books.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And we'd go out, there'd be six of us, //and we'd help the//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 mm, the driver to move the stuff into the //library.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And then they would go //away.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And when I went round at the very end to say goodbye to the head man //who ran all these,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 um, delivery, //blokes,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and I said to Mr MacArthur, you know, "It's been great meeting your blokes, and they were great," and he said, "Well I've got to tell you, that no other librarian in this city, ever carries a book from a vehicle to a //library.//
F1189 //Ah! [laugh]//
F1190 And I said, "But we did all the time," and he said "Oh, we noticed, //we noticed.//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 It just shows you what New Zealanders do." Then he looked at me and said, "But you did have a good start." //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 That was sort of my farewell //to Glasgow Libraries.//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 I loved it. //I really had a great time there.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 I was going for three months, and I stayed seven and a //half, so,//
F1189 //Yes,// //so, you went back with your mother,//
F1190 //which was actually...// //Yes,//
F1189 //is that, is that right?// //Before I,//
F1190 //yes, er.//
F1189 go on, wh-what's the OE, by the way? //You mentioned... Right, I see, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Oh, Overseas Experience, yes, that's what all th-, they all call it now.// //[laugh]//
F1189 //Oh right, and you wanted to have that, did// //you? Mmhm.//
F1190 //Well// no, I just wanted to go home. Nobody talked //about that//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 then, but er, almost all my friends went off and had a year or //two in Britain.//
F1189 //Mm.// //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm,//
F1190 //And in those days there were no limitations of course -// //y-you could//
F1189 //mmhm.//
F1190 go and you could stay as long as you //liked, because all the rules hadn't come in.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Um, they came in, probably about nineteen sixty, sixty-one, //things began to get tougher.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.// //Hm.//
F1190 //I didn't ever// have a problem, because I could have got a British //passport//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 if I'd wanted - //I haven't, I've got a New Zealand one, but,//
F1189 //Well yes, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 erm, no, I think, ah, oh, wh-what I thought was that I wanted to I felt a bit //isolated here,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 you know, I hadn't even been to Australia by that time. And I I suppose I'd been working pretty solidly with doing degrees //and stuff.//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 But also, I was aware, my mother had developed angina, [throat], while I was at library //school actually,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 in the fifties. And I could see that progressively she was doing a bit less //all the time,//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 and I thought `If we're going to go to Britain we'd better go soon.' And that's what //really made me decide [?]upon[/?]//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 nineteen sixty, erm I don't know, I guess I
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 I don't know quite why that year was suitable, //but it w-, it seemed to work anyway, and we did.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm, mmhm.//
F1190 [throat] She turned out to have a-a very good time, //because a lot//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 of her f-, old friends were still //there, she was in her mid-sixties.//
F1189 //Yes, uh-huh.// So it was a good time. //Mm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //It was good time, it was a great time for her.//
F1189 [cough], [throat]
F1190 And I got very closely //friendly with some of her friends.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And, you know, they became home from //home, when I went back to Britain after that,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 until, well, they've all, er, uh, her //generation of course have//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 died long since. But it was a great, it was a great //success,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 really. So, n-n-never been sorry that we did it, and //she enjoyed it,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and she enjoyed travelling.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 We would take buses //around and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 it was quite good, I would have a day or a half off in the middle of the week at //Castlemilk.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And we closed on //Wednesday.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 [?]I think[/?] mm Glasgow had a half day //that day, so y-, half-shut day.//
F1189 //That's right, half-shut day. [laugh]//
F1190 And y-you could go off to Edinburgh, //and it would be open, you see.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 So, you know, w-we had a quite a good time mid-week //as well as weekends.//
F1189 //[laugh]// //An-//
F1190 //[throat] And we did travel around// //quite a bit of Scotland, we saw,//
F1189 //[cough], mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
F1190 //we were right up to Inverness, and took bus trips// //across and train trips, and so on.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And we had relatives in //England, so//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 we saw them, and she had still a lot of friends in //Ayrshire,//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //you know, that were in Kilmarnock, and Darvel, and New Mills, and all// those sort of areas. So it really was //good.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But, erm, she had quite a bad heart attack just before we left Scotland. //And//
F1189 //Aw, mmhm.//
F1190 I guess well she died within a year of us coming //back.//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 And her heart had really just //worn out, which//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 is ex-, [?]in fact[/?] funnily enough it's exactly what happened with my brother.
F1189 Mm.
F1190 Well he he was a good deal older, he was twenty years //older.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Well-well perhaps not as much// as that, but twelve at least.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And [throat] there must have been a, sort of, //genetic thing//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 because, [?]well[/?] her brother //died of the same sort of thing.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// And how-how did you make the journey to, erm //back then?//
F1190 //Oh, we// went by sh-sea, of //course, er.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Erm I felt afterwards that we could have flown, but we were a bit doubtful about her health.
F1189 Mm.
F1190 But she liked sailing, she never got seasick, it was me that got //seasick.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But we had - we decided to go the other way, we'd come through Panama.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 So we, it just happened that we were in a gap when Suez was //opened - it had been closed, and it closed again.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But we went on the "Strathaird", from Sydney. So we took a ship from Wellington to Sydney, had a few days there, //about four or//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 five days there which we enjoyed a lot.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And then about five weeks to Britain.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Now that was a very good journey, because we stopped at every port round the Australian //coast, during//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 which time I was seasick all the //the way.//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 And then we headed north to //Colombo//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 M-Bombay, which was my first //glimpse of//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 India, and I fell for it, I've been back th-, I don't know how many times since. And, Aden was //still a port then,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Port S-, er, Port Said, then we were just into the Mediterranean when the ship broke //down,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 she was getting onto her last legs. So we had an extra time in Naples, extra time in //Marseilles,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 it was like being on a //cruise ship! But it wasn't!//
F1189 //Yes, [laugh], it sounds like it,// //[laugh].//
F1190 //It was, it was the// time of the Rome //Olympics,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 so everybody, practically, got off at //Naples, so we had//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 this empty ship,
F1189 Mmhm. //Oh,//
F1190 //from there on, which was// //great.//
F1189 //and// it's still quite a long time, //isn't it, even in nineteen-sixty.//
F1190 //Ah, yes, it was abou-// //eh, yes.//
F1189 //Five weeks.// //Mm.//
F1190 //It was,// it was a good five weeks, but //of course we were doing//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 a lot of ports of //call,//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 and you stopped for a least //a day in them.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And it-it was three, three days across //the Tasmand,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm mm.//
F1190 three very rough //days,//
F1189 //Mmm.//
F1190 cause it was winter, we went off in July, //which was not a good time to travel around the Australian coast//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 really, it was pretty rough.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But it was a good ship, and it was one of these P&O liners that was built
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 for the //Eastern trade, so it was//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 r-right for - we c-, headed into the monsoon //out of Bombay,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 but sh-she just //handled it, it was,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 it was a great ship.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And I think, it was scrapped probably within two or three //years.//
F1189 //Hm.//
F1190 It was the, almost the end of the big days of going by sea.
F1189 Yes, uh-huh, //uh-huh.//
F1190 //And we came back// through Canada, t- "Empress of //England" across the North Atlantic,//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, //and of course a whole day in the L-, Saint Lawrence seaway, it was//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 beautiful. And we took the buses across //Canada,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 stayed with my uncle, and got an Orient //Liner down//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 to Vancou-, t-, from Vancouver //to Oakland.//
F1189 //Mmhm, that's a// proper journey, isn't it? //But yes, [laugh], uh-huh, mm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Yes, yes, so we did this, we d-, we'd sort of done the - round by sea,// because that was the last time, //it's been air//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 ever since.
F1189 Now, you must have known you'd have lots of time for doing not very much on that, //that journey - ehm,//
F1190 //Yes, yes,// //I think I slept most of the time.//
F1189 //did you take...? [laugh]// Well of course, you were sick, //weren't you? Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Yes, oh, th- I think I,// even when in the f-, sort of fine weather, but my mother //had a great time.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Somebody said to me, "Didn't you find it a //disadvantage,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 being at sea with your mother watching?" And I said "Oh, no, it was me that had //to get out of the way!" [exhale]//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 She had a couple of male followers for the whole journey. //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 So I used to vanish off somewhat and let her be. //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 Ha, so, it was good, //I enjoyed it.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //I feel sad for kids nowadays, they// don't have this fun of the sea //voyage.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And I think, g-going from here, to the busyness of London,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 can be a real //shock to the system,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm,// mmhm.
F1190 because it is just so full of //people.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And here we are, you know, sort of in this empty world.
F1189 Mmhm. Yes, it's a big difference, isn't //it? Aye, yes, [inhale], er, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Oh huge, it's a huge difference.// //Yes.//
F1189 //How d-, how did// you feel when you-you-you got off the boat? I mean you had memories obviously //of-of-of what it was like,//
F1190 //Yes, that's right, um//
F1189 but...
F1190 I don't, I think I was m-mmore anxious of, you know, looking after Mum and having to //do all the things.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Um, we didn't stop off in London, we went up to stay with relations who were in //Keele University, so of course we were in the country.//
F1189 //Mmm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And then for the first bit of being in Scotland we were living in Hamilton with a //friend.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 It wasn't until I went to work in //Glasgow,//
F1189 //Hm.//
F1190 and I don't know, I suppose we were suburban a lot of the time but I didn't, it-I-it wasn't as busy as it is now.
F1189 Mm. //Mmhm, mmhm, mm.//
F1190 //And there wasn't as much traffic, people didn't have the fuel, they didn't have the money, it was// lots of people that you knew just didn't have a //car.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I mean those housing schemes were built //without garages.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm,// mmhm. //That's right. Not enough roads.//
F1190 //And it was just assumed, eh, that the-// //that's right.//
F1189 //Yes. One road// in, one road out. //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Yes, yes.// So it was all quite different //from now.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Um, I find the crowds in London absolutely oppressive //now,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and to be quite honest I've found Edinburgh oppressive in the middle of the //Festival.//
F1189 //Festival,// //yes, mmhm.//
F1190 //I realised// what [?]Alona[/?] always said to me, "Don't come in //the Festival, it's too busy."//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But I wanted to go to the concerts //you see.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And, you could hardly move in //Princes Street. [laugh]//
F1189 //No, I know what you mean, and I,// I sometimes find myself thinking "You are just an old grump, //Linda Fleming",//
F1190 //Yep.//
F1189 cause I get //irritated, [laugh] at these people who are in my way, who are there//
F1190 //Oh, yes, me too, yes, well that was//
F1189 o-on holiday, //and, trying to have a nice time. [laugh]//
F1190 //That's right, and they're loafing around, and mm, [laugh].// I was so used //to having Edinburgh//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 sort of barer than that, //that I just found it//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh,// //it doesn't look right, does it? Mmhm.//
F1190 //uh, and of course I wasn't feeling// all that, well, //I couldn't move easily because of this blooming knee,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //that I had just torn the ligament, b-// and I //er.//
F1189 //That was on your last// //trip back, yes, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Yeah, that was this last trip.// And that made it really //quite...//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 cause Edinburgh's a place you want to walk //around.//
F1189 //Yes,// mmhm, //mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //And I wasn't able to do it, so it was, it wasn't as good as usual.//
F1189 Now how did, erm people behave towards you when you got back to S-, to Scotland? //Cause y-you still have//
F1190 //It was as if,//
F1189 quite a good Scottish accent, //but erm//
F1190 //It was as if// the-, we'd never been //away.//
F1189 //Really? Hm.//
F1190 Um //and yet they...//
F1189 //So you weren't treated like the// visiting colonials?
F1190 Well, they called me the Kiwi, you see, //yes, [?]I've b-[/?], in a way they did think of me as//
F1189 //Uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 being... I discovered though, //erm,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 why they were being cautious //when I wrote, and they didn't//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 you know, they d-, couldn't guarantee me a job, [click], the previous //New Zealander//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 who'd been employed by Glasgow //Public Libraries//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 had said she'd stay six months
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 and after six weeks she'd earned enough money and just went.
F1189 Hm. //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //So they weren't very enthusiastic.// I-I reversed that, //and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 instead of staying six weeks, I stayed //[?]six[/?] stayed longer.//
F1189 //Stayed longer, [laugh].// //Uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 //But that was the problem.// And I er, had an interview actually, with the city //Librarian.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And they I think it was going to take a couple of //weeks, to//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 to get it all through. //So Mum and I just went off on a trip, I said//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 we'll come back, you know, and sort that, I s-, I started work in October, //and I worked through till about May or June or something//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 like that, and then we had a bit of time in Scotland, before we set out //for Canada.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But I did enjoy it.
F1189 Mmhm. And did you take some reading matter along with you? Or did you just count on being able to buy books //when you you got there?//
F1190 //I think we didn't take// much with us, //I don't//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 remember - I think, p- we had far more luggage than we needed //when I think of it all, we had far//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 too much with us - that's the trouble with going by sea.
F1189 Mm.
F1190 Going by air concentrates the mind.
F1189 It does. //Mmhm.//
F1190 //It absolutely// concentrates the mind, but we had masses of //stuff.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 You know, maybe two or three uh big //suitcases.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And somebody else was moving them all the //time.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And you could put stuff in the //hold, and you had stuff in your cabin, and//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 no limits set. But I don't remember us taking books, but there were, there were l-libraries //on the boat,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and we did pick up, we could pick up books //when you were//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 g-getting around. //But we certain had s-, had reading stuff with us.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// I wondered if you, if you, er, y-you can recall reading anything on-on that journey back? //It's quite a momentous//
F1190 //I don't...//
F1189 journey, really.
F1190 Yeah, I th-, I don't remember erm, I think probably part of the trouble was that for the first three //weeks of it//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 I wasn't reading anyway. I wasn't doing anything except taking my mother to the dining room and retiring to the cabin.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 [click] Just didn't want to look at //anything.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But I-I think we picked up some literature when we were in Colombo. //There were bookshops there,//
F1189 //Mmm, mmhm.//
F1190 and I remember picking up paperbacks //there but I don't remember what they were,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm.//
F1190 no idea. I don't funnily enough remember a library on the "Strathaird", though there probably was.
F1189 Hm.
F1190 I do remember it on the, um, "Oronsay", //as we came down the Pacific.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 There was quite a big //library//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 we, borrowing books all the time //there.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 There, eh, probably was probably was on //the "Strathaird", it's just that//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I don't remember that bit. I do remember writing a diary. Far full a diary than I ever wrote again. Um, I always start //them and then after the first fortnight forget them.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm. [laugh]//
F1190 But [?]that's where[/?] I-I wrote //a diary, all the way//
F1189 //Mmhm, uh-huh.//
F1190 through, and I kept it up for the whole year I //was away.//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 I think it's in the Turnbull Library now, probably.
F1189 Where's that?
F1190 That's in Wellington.
F1189 Uh-huh.
F1190 When I was finishing off //working...//
F1189 //Oh, I'm very// glad you've put it somewhere, //that's-that's//
F1190 //Oh, [laugh].// //Well,//
F1189 //great.// //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //when I was about to leave M-Melbourne,// um and somebody - //the spy system in libraries//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 is always pretty good - the Turnbull must have heard, because I was in charge of the National Library and the Turnbull was in there. And they rang me up //I think and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 said "What are you doing with your papers Mary?" And I said, "Well I was about to sort of clear them out." //And they said//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 "Yes, right-o. Just put them in a carton and send them all to //us."//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 So I [throat] had a lot of stuff, because I'd been teaching at the school, //and of course you had lecture notes,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and, but I did a lot of broadcasting before I left N-New Zealand too, so I put it out all together, and I thought, "Well they can have all the diaries //too", so I//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 just threw all them in. And then, on top of the carton I put a manila folder to //keep them from raining.//
F1189 //Mmm, mmhm.//
F1190 [click] And about - I suppose I sent that //off by freight, I don't remember.//
F1189 //Hm, mmhm.//
F1190 But about a month later th-they rang me again and said, "Mary, did you realise that when you sent over this carton of books, there was one of Peter's papers in that manila folder?" And I said, "Is there?" And I said "What is it?", and they said "Oh, he's written something about Count von Luckner." And I said, "Ah yes, I remember him //writing that."//
F1189 //Hm.//
F1190 And they said, "Have you got any others?!" //And I said "Yes,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I've got a stack a mile high." Cause he wrote these stuff and //he never cared//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 whether they were published or not, //just wrote them because he enjoyed it.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 "Well we'd like them please." So I spent the next few months really //typing up,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 because they'd never have been able to read his writing - //er, hopeless, absolutely hopeless.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 There was one thing he wrote about the Dalmatian settlers in Auckland.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 I could not work out what on earth these //abbreviations//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 were - and of course them I realised that Dalmatia had been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, //and what he was talking about was the government in Austria,//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 and all these abbreviations had nothing to do with //us, or//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Dalmatia. So I did all that, and I enjoyed that, that was good, so //that stuff is all there too.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// [inhale] I'll - cause I'll bet you, er, any money it's in your journals what you read.
F1190 I wouldn't be //surprised.//
F1189 //Uh-huh.// //[laugh]//
F1190 //[laugh]// //I don't remember.//
F1189 //Now// how am I going to get my hands on them? //[laugh], Uh-huh. [laugh]//
F1190 //Oh you just ask at the Turnbull Library - you need to go to Wellington! [laugh]// //You going to Wellington? You'll have to come back.//
F1189 //I'll have to come back then! Yeah. [laugh]//
F1190 I don't know //whether there's anything there or not, it's hard to say.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// Mmhm.
F1190 [click] I couldn't //tell you.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 [laugh] //H-how funny it is, isn't it?//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Th-th-the things that it takes something to //spark the memory often, doesn't it?//
F1189 //Mmhm, yes, now what-what// do you remember about that journey? Well you said going, taking your mother to the dining room and retiring. Is there anything else you recall //about it? Mm.//
F1190 //I remember// that, um the captain //announced//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 quite early in the game that //there would be no organised games that//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 we could play on the deck whenever we liked but the weather wouldn't //be good enough.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Oh how right he was! //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 But I also remember there was a y-, eh, a woman from - //uh, w-, I made quite a lot of friends on that journey.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 A lot of very nice people got on er, em, sort of, as we went round the //Australian coast,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and there was one girl who had a small baby, who was five months old, that - I can remember the baby's name was Kim, I don't //remember//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 mother's name. But she was going home to take Kim to see //grandparents in Yorkshire.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 So Kim and I spent many afternoons asleep //together on a deckchair -//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I I was babysitting, //you see - and mother went off to play games. [laugh]//
F1189 //Aw, uh-huh, mmhm, mmhm.// Uh-huh.
F1190 But it was, it was a //good voyage.//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 Um they had very good entertainment, //musical,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 um, you know, sort of games and //parties and so on.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And there were two swimming pools, //there was one up//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 for - there was one fairly near us - two dining rooms, It was a one-class ship //on the way to Britain, and//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 a two-class ship coming //out.//
F1189 //Now,// //isn't that interesting? [laugh]//
F1190 //Isn't it? Isn't it?// //But was an [?]a-[/?] - so we had//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 the whole run of the whole //ship, and we were in the forward dining room,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 which I think was probably the //f- the f-first-class one//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and //I can remember//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 sitting in the top lounge //once when we had a storm, and [laugh]//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 somebody sitting on a couch suddenly migrated from one side of the thing to the //other.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 There's a thing - but my mother got on very well with the, with the //vice-captain, who//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 was the sort of entertainment captain. [click] And we got, very nice extra privileges down on the deck, //you didn't have to//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 go to the bar to get a nice orange juice, //or something, it was//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 duly delivered to you by these attendant stewards that s-, [laugh], he somehow managed to get.
F1189 How posh! //Uh-huh, [laugh], uh-huh.//
F1190 //It was, it was really quite posh, it was good.//
F1189 And you've said that, you liked it back in Scotland. //You would have liked to stay.//
F1190 //Aw, I loved it, aw I loved it, yes I did.// //Yes.//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 I th-, I j-, I've often wondered, I w-, I think I probably wouldn't have //stayed, because//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I had got leave from here, //without pay.//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 And that was what Mr. Dunningham //had got when he'd decided not to return, so there was a//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I just felt, "If I don't go back, //nobody else'll ever get leave again."//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm.//
F1190 And as it happened, [throat], the day after I left Dunedin, //to go on leave,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I was appointed Deputy City Librarian. And it did seem a bit //stupid,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 not to come //back.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 It took me a little while to settle back, I must //say,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 but //not really all that much, and//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 there was so much to do in the //library, and it was a new job and it was all interesting, that//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm,// mmhm.
F1190 I settled down, and probably, would never have been able to get the interesting //work//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 in Britain that I got here.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Cause the interesting jobs in Glasgow Public Libraries were still male.
F1189 [click] Yes, y-you've said that, and I-I find that quite //interesting, but not//
F1190 //Yes.//
F1189 surprising.
F1190 Yeah.
F1189 Mm, //mmhm.//
F1190 //Yes, it was -// er, em, the Mitchell was a male //preserve.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// Mmhm. //So-so,//
F1190 //It was, er,//
F1189 do you think that-that kind of gender... um, difference was less marked here? //Erm, mmhm, hm.//
F1190 //It was less marked here, but it was still there,// because people like Geoffrey Alley who was the Natio- - //the first National//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 Librarian, he was National Librarian for a long time - assumed, //absolutely assumed,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 that the training of librarians, was, had to be male there had to be a sufficient number //of males to occupy the senior positions.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// //Mmhm, mmhm, hm.//
F1190 //I mean that was what he thought, it was what he said.// It's not what's happened, //of course.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But he rather condescendingly said "Oh, girls just come to work //until they marry."//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Hm.//
F1190 //Well for a// while it had to be because if they married they were thrown //out.//
F1189 //Mmhm,// mmhm.
F1190 But, of course that ceased, after the war that //didn't, that wasn't the case.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But, I-I can remember once having an argument with Geoffrey Alley about this and saying, "Well, if you //analysed what your male staff//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 have done, do they sit still in your library //forever?//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 No of course they don't, //they move on//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 to a promotion somewhere else." So you might as well have a woman going off to be married, as a man who goes off to be something //else.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But was true then. And I //would think//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 that, well, I know when I went //to the National Library//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I was the first female who was ever in the executive class of this, of the whole government //service.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm,//
F1190 //You know, it's still a man's domain at the top.//
F1189 mmhm. Now, you got those promotions then in-in the sixties, //here.//
F1190 //I was,// I got, I was Deputy //Librarian//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 here on, in nineteen sixty, when I left,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 I became City Librarian in //nineteen sixty-eight,//
F1189 //Mmhm,// mmhm.
F1190 and I went to be National Librarian in //nineteen seventy-six.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And then Peter and I were married in nineteen eighty-one,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 and I went to Auckland then, and was the ci-, Auckland City Librarian from, for three years //there.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And that had been a male-dominated //society,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 more than here. //In//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Dunedin, the City Council people were in charge, people like the Town //Clerk.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 He made no difference at all between male and //female, erm,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 if you wanted to go into an, in to do your public //administration or business management stuff//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 you got encouraged to go.
F1189 Mm.
F1190 But it was, it was still rather //masculine-oriented in Well-, in Auckland.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, hm, mmhm.// Now why do you think that is? Can you account for tha-that //difference?//
F1190 //I can't account for it// //because th-the//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 assumption has always been that Dunedin is more conservative than all the rest of them,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 and I'm inclined to think that that's a piece of rubb- //nonsense - absolute nonsense.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 That here was this acceptance here that women were in //charge of things,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 perhaps it was the fact that //women had been//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 in charge of a major high school or //several major high schools//
F1189 //Hm.//
F1190 by that time. And, I don't know. //But,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 or it may simply have been the individuals who happened to be //around.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And often //that's what it is, it's not a//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 [?]general[/?] thing at all.
F1189 Hm.
F1190 I just I-I-n-din Wellington, I was - all of my...
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 chief people were male.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But they didn't make any bones about it, it was the other staff who obviously //were surprised if you were//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 coming into a cabinet meeting and you were a female. Because I used to take my C-CEO over, and I sa- - in those days your CEO //wasn't the boss, the chap//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 at the top, he was in charge of th-usually your office staff. And I can remember the first time I went to a Cabinet committee meeting and the Cabinet secretary came up and said to Jim "Oh, oh you are the new se-, er, eh National Librarian." And Jim was very embarrassed and said, "No no, this is [laugh] the new National Librarian." And a complete look of utter shock. //So I just//
F1189 //Hm.//
F1190 said "You'll get used to it."
F1189 [laugh]
F1190 And after that //e- it wasn't so bad. But//
F1189 //Hm, mmhm.// Hm.
F1190 I don't think there was a single woman in that //Cabinet.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// Mmhm.
F1190 I'm sure there wasn't. //It was entirely male. You wouldn't find that now.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Well that was the mid- //seventies.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I had a very good minister, //he was great,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 couldn't have asked for better. But I think he was the one that said, "You realise that you're the first woman that's managed to get on to the //Executive Class in the public//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 service?" Well that was a l- - you know that was pretty slow,
F1189 Mm.
F1190 given the fact that there were women lawyers in departments and //things like that, and it'd never really been recognised.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm mmhm.//
F1190 This, i-it was still functioning as if it were clerical. And all their //pay-scales, and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 their gradings, and everything else, reflected a great clerical //mass.//
F1189 //Hm.// //Mmhm.//
F1190 //And it didn't// make allowance for the fact that there were a whole lot of //specialists in the public service by that time.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm,// mmhm.
F1190 I think that's obvious now, w-, er, a-all the pay arrangements //are different anyway, half of//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 them are on contract, and
F1189 Yes, //uh-huh, uh-huh, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //it's not, it's not a salary anymore, you negotiate your price.//
F1189 So you, really, I mean, and you had time in Australia too, during that time. //Uh-huh.//
F1190 //I - well I,// I went to Australia after //Auckland,//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 um, and I was there really in the ninet- - //oh no, oh we went over there in nineteen eighty-seven,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and I worked, I suppose for five //years, until I was sixty-five,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and then had another couple of years //after that//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 before I decided to come back. //And that time - Peter died, during that time -//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and, um my sister-in-law //had died here, so I decided it made sense to come back to Dunedin, so I did.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.// So you've been in a few places then, and that mu-, that must have kind of affected what you you liked to read. //You started off your,//
F1190 //[throat]//
F1189 your reading career, //if you like, with a very British sensibility.//
F1190 //Well that's - but that's// //it's perfectly, uh, well,//
F1189 //How has that changed, Mary?//
F1190 I-I think //one of the things//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I got conscious of when I went to //Australia//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 was just how little I //knew about Australian literature,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 because it just didn't, I mean //you had obvious//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 people that came across, but //there weren't very many of them.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And I got, er sort of interested //in that.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 So tha-that made a huge //difference.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But one of the things I did no-, er notice was the difference in libraries //over there.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I lived in Mount Waverley,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 which had a population of roughly the same as Dunedin at that time which was a hundred and ten //thousand,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and it had nothing, that even faintly looked like a central library. //Nothing.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 It had a series of little libraries that were //branch libraries.//
F1189 //Mmhm. Now which// state is that in? //Victoria.//
F1190 //Victoria.//
F1189 Yeah, mm, oh, it's, course, yes. //Near Melbourne.//
F1190 //And there was just n- -// //no, there was just nothing that was an in-depth library - if I hadn't had the university library//
F1189 //Uh-huh, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I would've had nothing //to read, because you couldn't//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 follow any subject through, th-. //Lots of interesting, popular stuff, the latest sort of popular stuff.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But I'd been used to //this concept of - the British sort of concept of the central library.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And it d- really didn't exist - and I decided it was because of the state //libraries.//
F1189 //Mm,// //mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //They were the great public libraries.// But, you know it was twenty minutes - uh, well it was twenty kilometres to the state library from where //I lived,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and for lots of people it would much //more.//
F1189 //More.//
F1190 And you couldn't borrow from //the state library, it was a reference//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 library, so there was no sense of-of, being able to follow a topic //through.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 If you didn't have access to, I mean, Monash University Library was very good indeed, and it was not a problem. But for the general //public,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 there would be nothing like //the expectation that they would have of us here.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.// Mmhm, yes.
F1190 See you noticed //all these sort of differences.//
F1189 //So this - mm, mmhm.//
F1190 I've tried to think where I used to get my books when I was in the National Library. I certainly didn't borrow National Library books because we didn't //lend them.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I must've gone to the public library and bo-, em, //and looked there.//
F1189 //Mmhm, hm.// //Wha-//
F1190 //[inaudible].//
F1189 what were you reading then, tell me, in the seventies? //Can you remember? Mmhm.//
F1190 //In the seventies, I don't know what I// can remember particularly. But I certainly read a lot, because //uh, I,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I had made up my mind that I wasn't doing this business of taking a satchel of papers home at night, //that if I couldn't manage my work during the day there was something//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 wrong with me, so that in fact I was reading, um and it's really hard to remember, you know, wh-what I would be reading at that stage. But I think, probably, I was reading quite a bit of New Zealand stuff,
F1189 Hm.
F1190 because for about two or three years I was on the Wattie Awards judgemen-, //erm judging//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 things. And of course that meant you were reading, er you know, great wads of stuff. But even before that, I think I'd got much more into reading. There were far more New Zealand novelists coming //up, of course.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Um, Janet Frame was at the, sort of, height of her powers, but there were other people, and I got to know people like Vincent O'Sullivan, who was at //was at//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Victoria, and he was a f-friend of Peter's. Erm and of course Peter was bringing books home and he had a different range of interests, er we would've, he would've, course, he was crazy about er, Evelyn Waugh, and //Grahame Greene, and so on.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 So I-I-I read probably //more of those.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But I do think the biggest change there was, I began to read a lot more New Zealand literature, //because there was//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 much more of it coming //out.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But it - not so much local history, because this was the place where local history //seemed to flourish.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 It's flourishing elsewhere more now, //but Otago's//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 always been a great //writer-up//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 of itself.
F1189 And wha-what were those awards that you //mentioned? Mmhm.//
F1190 //Ah, it's er, it was -// still exists. //There's a//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 book award every year.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Erm now Wattie's no longer f-f- //fund it.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Forgotten what it's called now.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But they, in those //days,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 you were handed a mass of New Zealand //literature which the//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 publishers //had put in,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 put in as-as possible candidates, and you had to make judgements on I think, a third was book //production,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 a third was subject matter, a third was style - that sort of, //that sort of//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 division. And fiction, and poetry and natural history //and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 history were all mixed up together. It was, th-, you know, not an easy sort of //job to do, but you were//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 r-reading a whole mass of //stuff,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 all across the board. And I must've done that once at Wellington, and then certainly in //Auckland.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And it was that stage that Janet Frame had written her first of her autobiographies, "To The Is-Land".
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And i-it was quite interesting, I didn't know the other two members of the committee up there, and one was Warwick Roger,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 who edited a magazine //called Metro,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and he's still about doing that, and the other, not going to remember his name, but he was a publisher.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And it was quite clear when they came into my office that they had made up their mind //who was going to//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 win this, and it was equally clear that they didn't think I'd understand. And they said "We think we've made up our minds, Mary", and I said "Well so have I - should we write them down on a piece of //paper?"//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And it was all the same. //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]// //And who was it?//
F1190 //And it was Janet Frame's,//
F1189 Yeah, //right, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //and, there was no doubt about it, I mean,// //she just...//
F1189 //Is she, is sh-,// er, what do you feel about her writing then?
F1190 I, er, mixed - //I think some of//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 her novels are marvellous, //absolutely marvellous,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and others are almost impenetrable.
F1189 Yes, they're not acce-, not very accessible, are they, //I'm told? Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Not, not at all, and// for a long time she was a very withdrawn person. //She came to live in Dunedin in the end,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 she came from this area, //she was born//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 in Oamaru. But she she melted a bit after that, and then, Michael //King, who//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 who-whose work I've read all //through for,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 long time, Michael did her au-, her //biography,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and he s- he was always a very //uh reasonable person, and he made it//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 clear to erm, to her that he would not be making judgements about things that she //didn't want revealed.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm.//
F1190 If she didn't want them //revealed, he would respect that.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And he did. He really did, and I think that he did a huge amount to bring her out
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 of her shell. She died of cancer, and then Michael after the success of //the book, his publishers//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 gave him a weekend with his wife in a posh resort,
F1189 Hm.
F1190 and while driving to it, he drove into a tree,
F1189 Mm.
F1190 and the whole thing exploded, and that was the end of him. Always just seems so //unfair.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 H-he was a great bloke, um and he's written some interesting histories. The other thing of course I was probably also reading New Zealand history because that was what Peter was into, you see, he taught he-, history at Auckland //University.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 So Keith Sinclair and Bill Oliver and all these //historians were part of the...drifting//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 of the drifting //around of the people that I met.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm,// mmhm.
F1190 Alistair Campbell, who's a poet.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 I'd known him vaguely when he was here, but //I got to know him better.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 So there was a whole new range of //people, that came//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 came in.
F1189 Was tha-that reading of New Zealand fiction then at the expense of of, o-other authors that you-you'd been //fond of earlier? Mmhm.//
F1190 //Not, not consciously,// I think you just sort of move from //one to the other.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And sometimes, y-y-you just read a bit //more.//
F1189 //Mmhm,// mmhm, mmhm.
F1190 I don't remember consciously not reading things that //I'd been used to, you know, if eh,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 say Margery Allingham b-, //published a new one, she was probably, was//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 finished by that time - but you know that //kind of thing,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 that, and somebody like Eric Newby, I think I discovered while I was up there. Er, //so,//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 you know, I've got everything //practically, that he's written,//
F1189 //Mmhm, [laugh],// //[inhale] Now, do you,//
F1190 //in there, because I think he's so funny.//
F1189 do you bring back, books back from //Scotland, when you're, when [laugh] you come back?//
F1190 //Huh. Ah, yes, [laugh], yes I do.// //Yes, yes - a "Penguin History of Scotland" came out, [laugh] aw, [laugh].//
F1189 //Do you, do you get into trouble at the-the airport for havin-, [laugh],// //[laugh], uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Quite often I post things back, I really do.// But I can still remember - it must have been the early //seventies, I must've//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 read "A Short Book on the Hindu Kush" //by Eric Newby,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and I thought it was one of the //funniest//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and, at, that year I decided to come back via Tashkent, //Samarkand and Bokara, and that was one of the other, funniest stories.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I was I was City Librarian by then, and I must've been going to an IFLA meeting, and - anyway The Russian Embassy gave us a present //of Russian novels,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and they sent two of their //Russian [?]emirate[/?],//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 [?]library[/?] people down, to the library,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 to present them - so I gave them afternoon //tea,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and chatted away with the //cultural//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 ambassador, and the other man sat.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Absolutely wouldn't len-, didn't say anything, so I thought, "Och, got to get him out of this." //So I said "What//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 do you do in the Embassy?" And the //minute I//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 asked him, I thought, "It isn't the sort of thing you should ask a Russian." //And he said, he said,//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 "I am the travel man."
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 So I said "Great, cause I want to go to S-, Bokara and Samarkand."
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 "Right", he said, reached into his inside //pocket, and//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 produced an air timetable, //that told me, just that,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 nothing else. I felt as though my, [laugh] office had been //bugged.//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 So I eventually went that way, //and, sort of//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 came back. Well, as I flew out of Tashkent to go to Delhi - we were going Tashkent to Kabul, //er, oh...//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Afghanistan was //still okay -//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 down to Delhi. And there were a bunch of, of German //students//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 all round me in the plane. And one of them said to me "Do you know what those mountains are?", and I said "They're the Hindu Kush!" //Nearly in tears, cause here I was on top of the Hindu,//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 well they were just about as excited. //So we swapped seats, all the way across, the, the whole lot of us managed to see the Hindu Kush,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, hmm, mmhm,// //mmhm. [laugh]//
F1190 //because I felt this was just extra special. [laugh]//
F1189 So-so travel writing then, //obviously, is something you//
F1190 //That's right.// Yes, //yes, yeah, and I read a lot about India.//
F1189 //eh really engaged in - uh-huh, uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 I'd gone to er, I'd g-glimpsed //India with Mum in Bombay, and we'd both liked it hugely.//
F1189 //Mmhm mmhm mmhm.//
F1190 And then, I went back in seventy-one, when I was heading for Britain, //and had a week//
F1189 //Mmhm,// mmhm.
F1190 in Delhi, and then a week up in //Kathmandu.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And that year I went to the International Federation of Library Associations meeting in //Liverpool.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And I met up with Jaggi Matar, //who later//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 became the director of public //libraries in Delhi.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 So every time I've been to India //of course//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I've seen Jaggi, so I've been to India a lot, //because ah,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 he and Vimal, his //wife were//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 very, became very dear //friends.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 So I did see Jaggi, as I came back f-, //this//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 year, and Vimal died two weeks before I got there.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 So it was really quite sad. And Jaggi is looking very fragile and has had, just had his ninety-first //birthday.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But that was part of my attachment to India.
F1189 Mmhm. //Oh, um.//
F1190 //And Jaggi// finally enchanted me by saying that he thought that we must've met in a previous incarnation. //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 But I did read a lot of stuff, and I'd always, you know, when I look back I had always read a lot about India.
F1189 Mmhm, and what about all the-the-the post-colonial, erm //literature tha-that's come out//
F1190 //Y-, er, yes.//
F1189 in the last //twenty years or so, what do you, what do you think about that?//
F1190 //Oh, y-y-, oh yes, there's a lot of stuff.// Uh, um and some of it absolutely //fascinating.//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 You know, "A Suitable Boy", //for instance - and I was absolutely fascinated//
F1189 //Yes, uh-huh mmhm.//
F1190 because I was invited to Jaggi's //granddaughter's wedding.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I couldn't go, but in the course of Jaggi's letter to me, and he said, that, it was an //arranged marriage,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 cause she'd asked for this, and "we..." What did he say? We took some time to find a suitable boy."
F1189 [laugh]
F1190 And he used this //phrase, exactly.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh,// uh-huh, //yes.//
F1190 //So I-I,// they - when I was over there //last year,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 they showed me all the, the films. I was really quite glad I hadn't gone, I couldn't have kept up that sartorial elegance //at all.//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 All these women in beautiful //clothes, but the men in beautiful clothes too.//
F1189 //Yes, uh-huh, mmhm, mmhm.// Now I saw in the local paper here actually, there was a, //a a Hindu wedding in Dunedin, first one ever.//
F1190 //Eh, an Indian, yes, yes, first one.// //That's right. Well this is the sort of wedding that Sonal had,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 but it was in Bombay,
F1189 Uh-huh.
F1190 because that's where h-, the //groom's family came from.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And this was all, eh, //arranged, uh, I//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 imagine that they're all the same level of //business deals, and so on,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 because, Sonal's father //is//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 in construction.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And I don't think he's got //bricks in his hand.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.// //Ah, right, uh-huh, and//
F1190 //[laugh]//
F1189 now, tha-that article I was talking about was in the Otago //Daily Times, which I//
F1190 //Daily Times, yes.//
F1189 see you //got a copy of.//
F1190 //That was,// yes.
F1189 Uh-huh, so that's your daily //newspaper then? [throat], oh.//
F1190 //That's my daily newspaper, yes, yeah.// It's the only one //now.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 There used to be //two, there was//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 an evening paper, the Evening Star, and the //Otago Daily//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Times. But like so many //evening papers, it's just gone.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 [cough] And it //publishes//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 a freebie, about once a //week, with local, a lot of local stuff in it.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.// Now, the Otago Daily Times, just to get a bit of perspective, you know, without being too colonial, colonialist, about it, it's a kind of, er Glasgow Herald, really. //Mm.//
F1190 //Yes it is,// //and it's got more so.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 They had a-an editor
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 who was extremely good
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 and brought a lot of //international stuff into it.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Well we get, erm, a supplement, eh, //on Mondays, with international news on -//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 he instituted that, but the general standard of the paper was much more... you got more news from //around New Zealand.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 The chap who ap-, they appointed //as editor//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 had been the editor of all their - they they run a whole lot of //little newspapers round the province, this company -//
F1189 //Hm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and, that's what he's brought.
F1189 Mmhm, //mmhm.//
F1190 //So it's// now turned into a very localised //paper.//
F1189 //Yes.// I-I noti-, it is //quite//
F1190 //Yes.//
F1189 local. //Mm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Very local, and I think a lot of people are, eh,// there's a lot of people in, in //Dunedin buy//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 the Press //which is available//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 from almost //all over the town,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 which was a Christchurch //paper.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And I noticed down in in //Queenstown//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 think the New Zealand Herald was //there - that's the Auckland one.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Er //So-.//
F1189 //There's// quite an array of newspapers though here. //Uh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Oh, yes, but,// most of them are - //th-this is the only one, the Otago Daily Times//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 is the only one that's not internationally owned.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 It is a family firm, and its owner lives next //door - in that posh house in there [laugh] through the hedge. [laugh]//
F1189 //Right, uh-huh, oh right. [laugh]// //We are//
F1190 //I-//
F1189 in a select //neighbourhood, then, [?]aren't you?[/?], [laugh], uh-huh.//
F1190 //Aw, yeah, there's no doubt I would s-, and he's one of Dunedin's few millionaires.// //Except that the owner of this house is clearly a millionaire.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh, mmhm,// mmhm.
F1190 But, you know, he's not //local, I don't know what he is.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But he's i-, //he's interesting too, he's a book collector.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And he collects books from the seventeenth //century, England.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And I g-, once said to him something about the light //you know,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 you had to p-, I got to have good light to be able to see things, and he said "That's not what books are for Mary - they're for sitting in the dark, feeling them." //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 That's not my way of books! [laugh] //But that's his, so he does,//
F1189 //[laugh] Uh-huh.//
F1190 he does printing though, //there's a printing press//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 down in the summer house down there, so.
F1189 Good, //uh-huh, uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 //It's all very fascinating, hm.//
F1189 So, em what about a Sunday paper then? What do you do for that?
F1190 I don't do //anything, but lots of people do. There's//
F1189 //Mmhm, hmm.//
F1190 the Sunday, there are two Sunday papers, //and I think they both come out of Auckland.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But there's one that's much better than the //other, the one's a bit of a gossip rag.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Um don't ask me //which is which, because I don't//
F1189 //Er, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 know, I don't get them.
F1189 Right.
F1190 Partly because //I want to read other things.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But I'm - the trouble is that I-I'm addicted to things like Sudoku, and //crosswords and things.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And I sometimes think I read the Otago Daily Times for the puzzles page
F1189 Mmhm. //[click] Right,//
F1190 //rather than anything else.// //[laugh]//
F1189 //uh-huh, well that's fair enough,// //isn't it?//
F1190 //Well, why not?//
F1189 And you're still using the library. //Hm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Oh yes, all the time, oh yes, yes.//
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Pile of books //over there that come from the library.//
F1189 //Now is there a// is there a a a library more local to you here, or //do you have to go into the Central one?//
F1190 //The mobile library comes in// down, just below the //bus stops, but in fact I go into town,//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 because it, it's what, ten minutes //in the bus.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Erm I don't think that they will ever build a library out here, but what's badly //needed is a//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 library over in South Dunedin, which is //just, sort of, straight through there. Very thick population, quite p-poor population,//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh, [throat], mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 old, //older,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 which needs one, and the-they've been trying to get money //for this//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 and rather hoping that the stadium would go fly a kite, but the stadium has //not f-f-//
F1189 //This is th-the// new stadium that's proposed for, //for Dunedin, a sports stadium.//
F1190 //Well yes, they've been dickering around,// //they've spent thirty-five million doing preparations for it.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And as somebody said, that could've built the South //Dunedin Library.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //It's very controversial,//
F1190 //[inaudible].// //Very. Very.//
F1189 //isn't it? Mmhm.//
F1190 And they're clearly,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 it's sort of provisional even //now,//
F1189 //Hmm.//
F1190 but they're not willing to give it up.
F1189 Mmhm. //Yes, mmhm.//
F1190 //[click] I've always// felt they're wasting their time, //fighting it.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// It doesn't seem to be very [laugh] popular anyway. //Now,//
F1190 //No, no it's not.//
F1189 you said earlier on, you still do feel Scottish. //[throat]//
F1190 //Yes,// yes, //[?]I do[/?].//
F1189 //Do you feel// New Zealand as well, //or a, or a New Zealander?//
F1190 //Yes I do, yes, yes I do,// //yes I do.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
F1190 //Erm// the only time I'm utterly certain that I'm Scottish //is when//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 the b-, the All Blacks are playing Scotland.
F1189 [laugh] //[laugh]//
F1190 //I know who's going to win, but I keep hoping that they won't! [laugh]//
F1189 Now that's the real acid test, //isn't it?//
F1190 //Isn't it?// //Absolutely acid test.//
F1189 //[laugh]// //Uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 //And you know that the chances of// Scotland beating the All Blacks is just about zero.
F1189 Not high, no.
F1190 But I don't care. //[laugh]//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm. [laugh]//
F1190 I wo-, eh, I wouldn't mind if they, if they //beat the All Blacks.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// Do you still read Scottish newspapers, Mary, ever //at all? Mm.//
F1190 //No, I don't.// //Um,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I read them when I'm at home, //when I'm in Scotland.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// Mmhm.
F1190 But
F1189 Do they still carry them in the library here?
F1190 Do you know, I don't even know the answer to //that?//
F1189 //Oh.// //Mmhm.//
F1190 //Um// they used to. //In fact they carried several, but//
F1189 //Mmm, mmhm.//
F1190 er, it's quite possible that they //do, I j-, I just don't know the answer.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 For a long time after //we came,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 my mother read them, and I suppose I //did too.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But it wears off.
F1189 Hm.
F1190 You stop, you stop doing it.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And you-you read books about Scotland, and you //read articles, and, the Scots Magazine.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Erm er, particularly it, because it's a good little magazine. //There was another//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 there was another Scottish magazine that, Scottish Field.
F1189 Yes, uh-huh. //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Lots of people here get Scottish Field.// And, yo-yo- //you were more likely to read that than the newspapers after a while.//
F1189 //Mmhm uh-huh, mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
F1190 //I know we// stopped, I think Mum stopped even, after perhaps four or five //years. She did read them all through the war,//
F1189 //Mmm mmhm.//
F1190 because of course she was //sort of concerned about people, and what was happening.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.// Cause what do you think about th-the sort of Scottish organisations, then? Th-the-th-the //the Burns//
F1190 //Here?//
F1189 clubs, and the Caledonian //Societies and, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Well we never joined.// We never //joined, but -//
F1189 //Do you think// they're a good thing or, or
F1190 Well they're fading //away.//
F1189 //not?// Mm. //Mmhm.//
F1190 //The Gae-, even the Gaelic// Society, which really dealt seriously //with the language and the music,//
F1189 //Mm mmhm.//
F1190 um, that's gone. The Burns Club, I would think that the average age is probably //seventy-five.//
F1189 //Hm.//
F1190 Even Scottish country dancing, which we did do //because we wanted the dancing and the music,//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 has diminished, though the club I went to //last night//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 there were thirty people //there.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And thoroughly enjoying //themselves, I mean they really//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 do, they enjoy it. And, we've suddenly got the Professor of Music from the University of //Otago has joined.//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 And //you know he -//
F1189 //My goodness!// //[laugh] Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //yes! And his wife comes, so,// you know, that's er, and that started, because
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 the Hocken library //had its centennial, and they wanted a ball at Larnach Castle.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And they said, "What do you think of that, Mary?" //And I said//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 "I'm not coming unless there's some Scottish country //dancing."//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 Now one of the girls at, //Megan, at the Hocken staff,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 her mother teaches //Scottish country dancing.//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 So Janet went down and //taught them an//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 Eightsome Reel, and a Gay Gordons //and a bit of that.//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 So we did it up at Larnach //Castle, there was no space, [laugh],//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 but we did it. And we enjoyed ourselves. And we've probably got about six or eight people that have come, //since then,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 because they enjoyed it too. //And Janet's a very good teacher, so, eh - she's New Zealander, but//
F1189 //Cause it's fun. Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 she's great.
F1189 Now that's interesting, a New Zealander,
F1190 Yes.
F1189 teaching //the Scots, how//
F1190 //My dear,//
F1189 to do the Scottish //country dancing. Uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 //a lot of the people that come to the summer schools come here// from Japan. //And the biggest growing place for Scottish//
F1189 //Yes, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 country dancing these days is Japan. And they're taught by //Japanese - and they were in St Andrews.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I think the class I was in in St Andrews, //which I must say I had to go out of after a day,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I doubt if there were more than a third of //them Scots.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm,// mmhm.
F1190 There were French, //Japanese, and the pianist was Japanese.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// Extraordinary. //It's an//
F1190 //Isn't it?//
F1189 export industry //then,//
F1190 //It's an// export //industry.//
F1189 //rather than// a domestic one, //I might say, because,//
F1190 //I think so.// Ah, well exactly.
F1189 probably not as popular
F1190 No. It, the same //thing's happening in Scotland as here.//
F1189 //in Scotland. Mmhm.// Mmhm. //Yes, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //It's the ceilidh dancing in Scotland that's t-, that's -//
F1189 That's right, //uh-huh.//
F1190 //I think the// RSCDS are probably too full of rules. //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]// Right, you've been very, very good, erm, you've spoken for a long //time,//
F1190 //[throat]//
F1189 and I know that's tiring. Um, so could I just ask you some very, em
F1190 Yes, yes. [throat]
F1189 tightly-knit questions about particular authors, //that have a//
F1190 //Uh-huh.//
F1189 Scottish spin on them?
F1190 Right.
F1189 Em, and then I'll ask you one final question and we'll, call it a day. Now, have you ever read any of the following. The poetry of Robert Burns?
F1190 I could recite some //to you if you like. [laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]// //Go ahead! [laugh]//
F1190 //[laugh]// //"When chapman billies leave the street, and//
F1189 //[laugh], [exhale]// //"...and drouthy neebors, neebors meet"//
F1190 //drouthy neebors, neebors meet."// //[inhale], [laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 "...we sit bousing at the nappy, an' getting fou and unco happy." Yes, lots of //lots of Burns.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.// //And are you still//
F1190 //Yes.//
F1189 reading that? //Hm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Yes, yes.// In fact I go back every now //and then.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And, er, you know after //Liam had done his, recitation//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm.//
F1190 I went back and re-read it //because I enjoyed it so much.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.// //This i-, this was at the opening of a-a Burns exhibition, uh-huh.//
F1190 //But I do th-, yes, it was, er, yes.// I do think that, l-
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 I do think it improves with reading out loud.
F1189 Yes, oh yes, you have to hear it //really, uh-huh, [inhale], em. Mmhm.//
F1190 //You have to hear it, because on print it doesn't look so good.//
F1189 Do you think that is especially so if you're if you're far away? Do you think the distance makes any difference? No?
F1190 No, I don't think so, I think //that's true about all poetry.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm,// //mmhm.//
F1190 //I can// remember, you know we've got a //very good Whitman collection in that library.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And I couldn't think //why//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 anybody read it, and then we had an American who //came to the department,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and he did a session on Whitman, //and suddenly//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 you heard it.
F1189 Yes, uh-huh. //Uh-huh.//
F1190 //And it was a different thing.//
F1189 Now a question I never asked you, I'll just sneak it in here, was whether or not you ever listen to the World Service? //The BBC.//
F1190 //No.// //No.//
F1189 //No?// Mmhm.
F1190 No, it's, //i-it's-it,//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 i-if you want to listen to the BBC here, it's two in the morning.
F1189 Is it? [laugh]
F1190 [smack] Never enthusiastic //enough.//
F1189 //Yes,// //that, that uh-huh.//
F1190 //A lot of people do though.//
F1189 Uh-huh, tha-that time difference //is em, mmhm.//
F1190 //Yes, yes.//
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 So, //you know,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 some of the best programmes that appear on //television started about//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 one or twelve.
F1189 Mmhm, //mmhm.//
F1190 //And I'm// I'm not an enthusiastic television watcher //anyway.//
F1189 //No, uh-huh.// //So you don't watch//
F1190 //But I di-//
F1189 Coronation Street, //then?//
F1190 //No I'm afraid I// //don't. I cannot take Coronation Street, and//
F1189 //[laugh]// //Uh-huh, uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 //when I was in Australia I couldn't watch EastEnders either.// //But Peter did. Don't think he watched Coronation Street but he//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 certainly watched EastEnders.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Probably watched more //television then because he was a//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 television addict. //[inaudible].//
F1189 //Well I used to// watch Neighbours. //Mm, er when my children were small.//
F1190 //Oh, I've never watched Neighbours. [laugh]// //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]// //Erm, uh-huh, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Yes, well that's something I've never watched either, but I'm not good at watching.// Oh we've got a //ship coming, slowing up the harbour.//
F1189 //Yeah, me neither, I'm not a big, er...//
F1190 Mm.
F1189 Anyway, the next one is Walter Scott, and I'll be interested to //to know what you think about him.//
F1190 //Oh, yes, I've read, I've// I think I've probably read //most of them.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I loved, when I was, when I was a //kid, I loved "Ivanhoe", and//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I think //th-the sort of adventure ones, you know the historical ones.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Um, mm but I'd-I'd read a lot of them, //"Redgauntlet",//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 hm, just, anything that came //around, and I've//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 got, most of them //there.//
F1189 //Mmhm. [inhale]// Did you like them?
F1190 Yes I did. //But I always skip//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 the introduction.
F1189 Uh-huh, uh-huh.
F1190 I became //expert at skipping.//
F1189 //He's a bit long-winded.// //Mmm.//
F1190 //Very long-winded.// And even Mr //McEwan,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 you know, who was the first librarian, he //kept, you know, he always made sure you had the best editions of all the b-//
F1189 //Hm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 uh but he said, "Eve-, er, Walter Scott rather sits on the shelf." //[laugh]//
F1189 //Mmhm. [laugh]// //[laugh] [inhale] Mmhm, mmhm, hm.//
F1190 //But you see, b-, erm, the stuff I've been cataloguing up at Queenstown.// Complete set of the Waverley //novels, and//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 worn,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 not sitting //fresh, untouched.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// //Oh, they've been read then, yes, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Every single one of them. They've been read, and read, and read.// //"Peveril of the Peak",//
F1189 //Uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 all of those ones, not //even the the most obvious ones.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// Mmhm.
F1190 So it's interesting, //they were,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 certainly they did have their vogue.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But I l-, I enjoyed them but I //did learn//
F1189 //Uh-huh.//
F1190 to skim
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 the sort of wordiness of //lots of them.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// Now, er, when would they have been read a-at that library you're cataloguing in, //in Queenstown?//
F1190 //I would think,// anytime between eighteen-seventy, and when it disbanded.
F1189 Mmm.
F1190 And probably nobody much was up in that area, certainly after the //nineteen-twenties.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Right, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //I don't know when the eh, Upper [?]Shotover[/?] Library faded, I can't// even find out for sure //where it was.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But, it would be later than the first of the gold rushes, which were eighteen-sixty, so I think they were //importing that//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 stuff late sixties, //through the seventies, into the eighties.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And it stuck around in most libraries until the twenties and thirties, when they began to get, well either they disbanded, //at least that one was, just shut up in a place and it's sitting in banana//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 boxes now. Erm but that would be the period, //probably, but//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 some of them look as though they've never been opened. //But the//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 not one of the Walter //Scotts.//
F1189 //Scotts.// //Certainly, uh-huh, [throat], mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //And there was some Stevenson, there were Robert Louis Stevenson titles that I'd never// heard of, and I've got a lot of //Stevenson.//
F1189 //Mmhm, [click]// well my next one is Robert //Louis Stevenson, and specifically//
F1190 //Aw, I loved him.//
F1189 "A Child's Garden of //Verses" - but you al-,//
F1190 //Wh-what?//
F1189 er, I already know tha-that, //that's a great love of yours, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Uh-huh, yes, I was a-addicted to that, but then I// I-I-I //you know, his "Island Nights Entertainment", and...//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I went to Samoa to //go in search of Robert Louis//
F1189 //Mmhm, click// //Oh? W-wow.//
F1190 //Stevenson, cause it's, [?]well[/?], if,//
F1189 easier for you to do that //mind you! [laugh]//
F1190 //Well that's true, em// Judith and I //had found this deal that,//
F1189 //Uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 um //Air New Zealand was running, and we could//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 go up to Samoa //and have//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 a week in Aggie Grey's Hotel, which is the great traditional //traders' hotel,//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 for a thousand dollars.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 There and back //and five days.//
F1189 //Right, mmhm.//
F1190 We had a great week. //Ah.//
F1189 //And did you// do much, sort of Stevenson //heritage stuff when you were there?//
F1190 //Well we went right up to the place.// //The thing that upset//
F1189 //Uh-huh. [throat]//
F1190 me when we were up there, they took us around and they keep, //kept calling him//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Robert.
F1189 Ah.
F1190 So I said, "Look, sorry, but he was never called Robert! I think you should stop calling him Robert." //"Well that's his Christian name." And I said,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 "He was not, //ever//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 called Robert."
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But they weren't //listening.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Aw. They ought to have.//
F1190 //But we did go right through the place.// //Yes, they ought to have, yes.//
F1189 //[laugh] Mmhm, yeah.// //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //But he was, he was a fascinating man,// he got involved with local //politics, and all sorts of things.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// Mmhm.
F1190 Yes I've read a lot //about him, and I like, er,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I think his stuff is lovely.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Not just //the, er,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 the popular //ones, but his prose is//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 beautiful.
F1189 An-and would you Stevenson was as popular amongst New Zealanders //as well, do y- - no?//
F1190 //No, no.// Though the stuff //was there, you see, there was//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Stevenson stuff up there. Um I'll just let you glimpse my
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 collection of stuff through there. Erm but he's not as obvious - well of course that stuff that I was seeing //must have been very early, because he wasn't//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 really writing as early //as the eighteen sixties, seventies.//
F1189 //Hm, hmmhm.//
F1190 Um s-so the, you know, the, it was a it was a bi- a bit early for //him.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// Mmhm.
F1190 But he was certainly somebody that I I got interested in after the period of reading things like "Treasure Island" //and the exciting ones.//
F1189 //Mmhm, right, [inhale]// so you brought that with you, //really, uh-huh, from Scotland, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //Yes, yes, yes and I've bought a lot since.// You know, often from second-hand //bookshops, just//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 picked up the Stevenson stuff.
F1189 Mm, [inhale]
F1190 Well, you really find him more enjoyable to read //than Scott, of course, because he's not so//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, yes.// //[laugh]//
F1190 //he's a smoother. [laugh]//
F1189 An-and those books you've picked up in second-hand shops, has that been here? //In - yes, right, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Yes, yes, yes, yes.//
F1189 Ah.
F1190 Yes, that's //mostly here.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 Cause er, the stuff I pick up when I'm away, I tend to pass on to somebody //else, it's often new stuff, you know, I might//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 be going through one of the bookshops, //and pick up something and read it, and//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 drop it in on my next stop, //and pick up [?]what's[/?] there,//
F1189 //Mmhm.// Mmhm.
F1190 which is what we we do a lot //of.//
F1189 //So you're// sending books on a //journey. [throat] Hm.//
F1190 //Yes, yes, yes, travelling round.// Yes.
F1189 Er, the next one is-is-is Lewis Grassic Gibbon, that's coming in into the twentieth //century.//
F1190 //Oh that's right.// I've, I //I remember//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 reading them when I was //working at the library.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I haven't for a long time. And funnily enough, the University of the Third Age, which is a great //in-institution here,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 they did a series which unfortunately //I didn't,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 I couldn't get //into, they were//
F1189 //Er...//
F1190 always [?]overbooking[/?] - but on his area,
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 and that whole period, and somebody said //to me, er, "Have you ever heard of Lewis Grassic Gibbon?"//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And I said, "Well we used to have a very good //collection in the library."//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And I read them then.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 And they had never heard of him.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But he's definitely been //taught here.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 And er, //this was to this age group.//
F1189 //Right, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 There must have been somebody in the English //department that specialised, but//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 they said it was absolutely marvellous. //Everybody loved it.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And that would be about four, five years //ago.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //So he's been introduced to here,// and I think a lot of people went into the library //and borrowed the books afterwards.//
F1189 //Mmhm, right.// Uh-huh. And so-so when did you come in, yourself, come in //contact?//
F1190 //Oh I would// think probably in the fifties, //sixties?//
F1189 //Right,// //[?]I thought so[/?], mmhm, mmhm mmhm.//
F1190 //Quite early, a long time ago.// Perhaps even when I was doing English at the //University,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 which would have been in the late forties.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 But it was certainly quite a //long time ago.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, yes.//
F1190 Yes.
F1189 Neil Munro.
F1190 Oh yes! //Read most of what I could see of Neil Munro.//
F1189 //[laugh]// //[laugh]//
F1190 //He did come out of the// //library.//
F1189 //You're reading// that upside- //down, aren't you? [laugh]//
F1190 //Yes, I can read it upside-down, yes, yes.//
F1189 Well we'll skip John Buchan cause you-you, //you've told me you read a bit about him.//
F1190 //Yes, I've told you about John Buchan, yes.//
F1189 But, erm, an-and the next one, going into sort of really popular stuff is A. J. Cronin.
F1190 I didn't //like him, but that was one of the things my//
F1189 //[throat], Mmhm.//
F1190 mother read.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 She read //all the Cronin stuff, but I wasn't keen on him.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Oh I'm not sure why, //but//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 he just, //he just wasn't my//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 my cup of tea.
F1189 Uh-huh. Em, I-I read them, er, //because they were there in the,//
F1190 //Did you?// //Well they were there.//
F1189 //the library shelf.// //S-, erm.//
F1190 //Yes, yes.//
F1189 Er, and I did quite enjoy them //actually,//
F1190 //Oh, uh,// //yes, he is [inaudible].//
F1189 //but, I mean, a lot of them// were about English towns, and what //not, and so maybe//
F1190 //Yes.//
F1189 not. Maybe you //didn't connect with them, mmhm.//
F1190 //They, well, I can remember, I used to bring them// home for Mum, but I //just - I don't think I ever read them myself.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.// //Mmhm.//
F1190 //But she,// she enjoyed them.
F1189 Even though he is a-a Scottish //author, you know? Em.//
F1190 //Yes, yes.//
F1189 Er, Neil Gunn.
F1190 Yeah, I r-, I //read, er, some of him, but that's a long time ago now too.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Probably thirty //years since I read Neil Gunn.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.// Mmhm, but did you read that here, //Mary? You did, right, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Yes, aw yes, it would be here, yes.//
F1189 Muriel Spark?
F1190 Aw love it, yes. //W-, every s-, every single thing she's -//
F1189 //I'm so pleased you said that cause she's my favourite.// //[laugh]//
F1190 //I think that a lot of them are up there.//
F1189 Uh-huh.
F1190 Everything she's //ever read.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //I re-, always had to get a hold of Muriel, I think// she's great.
F1189 Uh-huh.
F1190 Yes. //She's one,//
F1189 //Oh good.//
F1190 she's one of //my favourites of them all.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.// Uh-huh. //I'm always//
F1190 //Mm.//
F1189 a wee bit dispirited when I ask people, eh about Muriel Spark, and they say "Oh I c- I can't be bothered with her." //[laugh]//
F1190 //Oh, no, I think she's just terrific, yes, yes.//
F1189 Erm, Shena Mackay.
F1190 Don't know.
F1189 Don't know that one. //Mmhm.//
F1190 //No.//
F1189 Well there's a n- a name for you to conjure with //with, a//
F1190 //No.//
F1189 similar, o-one is Kate Atkinson. //[?]Have you s-[/?]. Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //I've encountered Kate Atkinson, yes, in fact I think// I might have one of her books //home at the moment, yes.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 But they are, they j- - and they're new. //They're,//
F1189 //They//
F1190 they're n-writing now.
F1189 Uh-huh. //Yes,//
F1190 //Yes.//
F1189 she's writing now, //uh-huh.//
F1190 //Right.//
F1189 Em, er, and, the very popular authors, some of them you've mentioned, like Ian Rankin, //[throat]//
F1190 //Yes.//
F1189 ah, there's another, er, Scottish, her books are not based in Scotland, well not usually, em, called V-Val McDermid, //who writes detective//
F1190 //No.//
F1189 and thrillers. //No.//
F1190 //N-no.//
F1189 Quite gory ones, //actually.//
F1190 //[laugh]// //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]// //[laugh] Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //But they all are these days.// //You know, they dissect//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 everybody. //[laugh]//
F1189 //Uh-huh, and how do you feel// about that, th-the sort of, eh ghastly gruesomeness //of a lot of//
F1190 //I think it's// put me off.
F1189 modern thriller //writing?//
F1190 //There are// various people //that I used//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 to read and I suddenly found that I didn't want to. //Patricia Cornwall was a sort of//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 example. //And I suddenly thought, "I don't really want to read about all that any more."//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mm.//
F1190 Erm the sort of //violence,//
F1189 //Mm.//
F1190 bits, what did I retreat into? I read something. Aha, he's he's an, actually he's an Englishman who writes and l-, //wrote in France, and//
F1189 //Mm, mmhm.//
F1190 he obviously lived in //France, what's his//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 what's his name? And they dug some of //them up from the//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 basement in the library and put them out. And I read one, and I thought "Isn't that a rest?"
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Because it wasn't full of violence. //I mean,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 the murders were there, but they were //off stage, as it were.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And you didn't have this sense of-of er meaningless //violence,//
F1189 //Mmm.//
F1190 that I think is, can be so awful //in some modern ones.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// Mmhm. //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //And that d-does put me off.//
F1189 Em Margaret Thomson Davis? //These are em, mmhm.//
F1190 //No, I don't know Margaret Thomson Davis.// //No.//
F1189 //Eh, these are// kind of, em historical, //er, novels, th-th-th her s-,//
F1190 //Yeah. Oh, right.//
F1189 usually set in Glasgow, I think. Em, they're very popular. //Em//
F1190 //Yeah,// who - the person I //had//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 read was oh, no, what's her name? //She writes about//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 Clydebank. //"Finding Peggy".//
F1189 //[inhale]// Oh, Meg Henderson. //Yes, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Meg Henderson.//
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 I've got everything she, //she's written.//
F1189 //Uh-huh.// You like //those? Yes, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Yes I do, yes.//
F1189 I-I've only read "Finding Peggy", //I haven-, I haven't read any of the others.//
F1190 //Yes, well there was//
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 one about the bombing of //Clydebank.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 That wasn't "Finding Peggy", was it? Maybe it was. But the d-, the, th-the damage //and the disappearance of people, that we'd never heard about. It was just incredible.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And there's, was it "The Last Voyage"? There was one about a a a fishing trawler.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 That's //wonderful, that was great.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 I've handed my //copy to everybody I can//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.// //And they're//
F1190 //find.//
F1189 really quite Scottish, er, those //books, uh-huh, uh-huh, yes.//
F1190 //Yes, oh yes, yes.// //Yes I think she's great.//
F1189 //Uh-huh.// Oh, well, there you go. George MacDonald Fraser, uh, //the last//
F1190 //Oh! [snort]// //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]// //[laugh]//
F1190 //"The General Danced At Dawn".//
F1189 Yes. //[laugh]//
F1190 //Oh I thought that was one of the funniest books.// //And the people that gave me that, was//
F1189 //Uh-huh, mmhm.//
F1190 after a Scottish //Country Dance//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 School here in Dunedin, which I'd //organised,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 and a whole mass of //Australians came.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 Well they came to visit me - I'd lived in the //city at the//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 time, and they brought me George MacDonald //Fraser as a present. [snort]//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh,// //uh-huh.//
F1190 //And I// don't think I've ever laughed as much //at any single novel. [laugh]//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh, yeah.// I mean, I-I th- do quite like the Flashman books. //I know they're, they're//
F1190 //Mm.//
F1189 sort of, boy's own //stories, but [?]in fact[/?], uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //Yes, but they're still very funny, aren't they?// //Yes, yes,//
F1189 //They are funny, mmhm.// //He-he//
F1190 //yes.//
F1189 died last year, //George MacDonald Fraser.//
F1190 //Oh did he?// //Oh you know, I think I noticed that, that he had died. I think he got a notice in the papers here.//
F1189 //Bit sad, uh-huh, uh-huh, yes, mmhm.// //Did he? Ah, that's interesting, mm.//
F1190 //Yeah, yes, y- - I think it must have been here that I read it.// //Yes, I'm sure it was after I came back.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, uh-huh.// Mmhm. Now, you've mentioned most of the publications that I've got listed here. Erm, but some of the sort of more popular ones, if you know what I //mean, are things like the//
F1190 //Eh right.//
F1189 The Sunday Post.
F1190 No.
F1189 Now, [throat] I wondered if The Sunday Post made it over to Dunedin.
F1190 Don't remember //ever seeing it.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //No? Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //It would certainly never have been in the library.// //And eh, not that//
F1189 //[inhale]// //No, I mean, it's a//
F1190 //I've noticed.//
F1189 very popular paper, //it's er, erm//
F1190 //Er, no,// I don't think so, I don't remember //ever seeing it here.//
F1189 //Mmhm,// i-it carries the comic strips, you know, //the - "Oor Wullie",//
F1190 //Right.// //Aw, "Oor Wullie".//
F1189 //and "The Broons".// //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //You can buy "Oor Wullie" in the Scottish shop in Dunedin.// //Mm, have you?//
F1189 //Yes I've seen it!// //[laugh]//
F1190 //[laugh]// //I thought you might.//
F1189 //Uh-huh.// //Uh-huh.//
F1190 //Actually,// that shop is really, it's got some //very good records, I've just//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 picked up Jean Redpath, //Robert//
F1189 //Mmhm.// //I noticed//
F1190 //Burns stuff.//
F1189 that it had a lot of music //in it, mmhm.//
F1190 //Yes.// //Well,//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 th-there's, I've got, managed //to get two out,//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 two out of the three, and she had gone to get //the other one for me.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// Uh-huh.
F1190 I've not really bought records for //quite a while, cause I've got too many.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm.//
F1190 But I suddenly saw these Jean Redpath, and they're //lovely.//
F1189 //Mmhm.// Mmhm.
F1190 And they're really very nice, those people in there, //they're very willing to do anything for you.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mm, mmhm.//
F1190 And, um I think they do very well out of //the cruise ships too, yes, yes.//
F1189 //Uh-huh, they probably do, uh-huh.// Now, the-the famous Irish tenor has not come back to me yet. //Uh.//
F1190 //George, em -// John McCormack.
F1189 There you go. [laugh] //Just seeing you, [?]right[/?], [laugh] - now//
F1190 //Jus-just came up with it.//
F1189 I've made you happy now, //[laugh]//
F1190 //Yes, there you are, it's John McCormack.// //Yes that was one of m-my father's, uh,//
F1189 //[?]So[/?], eh// //uh-huh, uh-huh, mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //but Peter loved him, he thought he, Peter had a very true ear.// And he reckoned he //was one of the//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 great tenors.
F1189 Mmhm. //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 //So that - well I've,// it's a, it's not all that long ago, it's not just my childhood, //George McCormack - in fact, I've probably got some,//
F1189 //[laugh]// //Uh-huh, uh-huh.//
F1190 //got sto-stuff in there.// //Yeah.//
F1189 //Uh-huh.// Right, one last question. This is a hard one though.
F1190 Oh is it?
F1189 Could you, and given all your experience, sum up for me what books have meant to you?
F1190 Oh, I would think that they would just've been absolutely fundamental.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 I just can't imagine, I just can't imagine life //without them.//
F1189 //Mmhm,// mmhm.
F1190 Fundamental's the word I would think. And after we came to New Zealand, I suspect that they were, er, very //fundamental indeed, that if I//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 hadn't had them I might have been, v-v- really very miserable.
F1189 Mmm.
F1190 And I think we probably were all like that, the three of us, //my mother//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 too. But, er, Jim and I just had our noses in books all the //time.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But I, well I was probably a bit more passionate even than Jim, he sort of grew away //from it a bit.//
F1189 //Mmhm.//
F1190 But he still read widely. But I just c-, I just cannot imagine, I can remember being in Russia, having taken a book with me, and of course you had to be very //wary about what//
F1189 //Hmm.//
F1190 you took into Russia at the time, and I finished it, and I suddenly discovered that there I was with nothing to read. That was terrible, even in a place where there were all sorts of things to see. //I wanted something to read.//
F1189 //Mmhm, mmhm.//
F1190 And all that there was [laugh] was this terrible Russia propaganda in English! //[laugh]//
F1189 //[laugh]//
F1190 Wasn't good enough.
F1189 Mmhm.
F1190 Would you like to come and see my - if you're //finished with this.//
F1189 //I would.// I think we'll-we'll- //we'll call it a day there, cause//
F1190 //eh, right.//
F1189 you've been marvellous. Can I thank you very, //very much indeed. It-it's been an absolute//
F1190 //Aw, it's been a pleasure, Linda.// //I really enjoyed it.//
F1189 //pleasure for me.//

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APA Style:

Interview with Mary A Ronnie, Part 2, for Scottish Readers Remember Project. 2020. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved May 2020, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=1690.

MLA Style:

"Interview with Mary A Ronnie, Part 2, for Scottish Readers Remember Project." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2020. Web. May 2020. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=1690.

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Interview with Mary A Ronnie, Part 2, for Scottish Readers Remember Project," accessed May 2020, http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=1690.

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2020. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk.

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Information about Document 1690

Interview with Mary A Ronnie, Part 2, for Scottish Readers Remember Project

Audio

Audio audience

For gender Mixed
Audience size N/A

Audio awareness & spontaneity

Speaker awareness N/A
Degree of spontaneity N/A

Audio footage information

Year of recording 2009
Recording person id 1189
Size (min) 97
Size (mb) 471

Audio setting

Recording venue Interviewee's home
Geographic location of speech Dunedin

Audio relationship between recorder/interviewer and speakers

Speakers knew each other N/A

Audio transcription information

Transcriber id 1221
Year of transcription 2010
Year material recorded 2009
Word count 21283

Audio type

Interview

Participant

Participant details

Participant id 1189
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1950
Educational attainment University
Age left school 16
Occupation Research Assistant
Place of birth Ayr
Region of birth S Ayr
Birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Glasgow
Region of residence Glasgow
Residence CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Journeyman joiner
Father's place of birth Ayr
Father's region of birth S Ayr
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Domestic
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

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Participant id 1190

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