Correspondence from Canada: Letter 50 - 21.07.82
Copyright holder(s): Name withheld
Dear Mum, Dad, & Al,
Thanks for all your phone calls last weekend. Good to hear your voices again. I received a postcard from Aunt Rita & Uncle Jim - - could you thank them for me? It was a nice thought.
PEI is very nice indeed - - low, rolling farmlands full of PEI tatties, Ayrshire cattle, and big wooden farmhouses. Miles upon miles of beach ... of all the North Shore is one big beach-come-provincial park. Ann's family was very good to me - - took us out for a meal at a good restaurant with a lovely view of the coast. I had seafood, all-you-can-eat salad, and a butterscotch sundae. Lovely. Besides meeting people, and swimming in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, I also got quite a bit of work done, and I'm presently redrafting the final chapter of the thesis, which is on schedule.
Ann is a really lovely girl. She's 28 years old and is trying to get a divorce from her husband (they've been separated for 4 years) on the grounds of mental cruelty. He kept snakes, rats, and was working on tarantulas. She's worked as an English teacher for 4 years before coming to do her M.A. in creative writing. She's attempting PEI dialect short stories. She's also a devoted member of the Bahai faith - - a kind of New Moslem, really - - and so I've been finding out more about that. On the Island one evening we went to see one of Ann's friends - - a really wonderful 90-year-old woman called Doris who was one of the earliest members of the Bahai faith in N. America. She was a lively, fascinating lady. I hope to visit her again in August. Ann's editing Doris's memoirs. (I'll have to change pens.)
On the way back from PEI on Friday we stopped in on Helen, who gave us supper. She's doing well, and I hope to go back to Shediac to stay with her before I leave Canada.
When I leave Canada ... won't really be long now. It's sad - - I've met so many great people and I'm only now getting to know them well. But time marches on. Chapters One and Two have been approved pending (numerous) corrections, but the lot should be written and (I hope) typed fairly early in August. After that it's dependent on how long it takes to mobilise a marking committee and give me my oral. I'd love to be home by the end of August or beginning or September - - I could see Carole then, before she jets off to Cairo on Sept 7 or so. It's a very slim possibility, though, and I'm still working towards being home around mid-September. Luggage is going to be a bit of a problem unless I come home with 60 books and 3 pairs of underpants only! Maybe I'll send some on home.
Julian's in New York at the moment, having a well-earned rest. The weather here was so hot and humid that Adel, the Egyptian (who was fasting through Ramadan, a Moslem festival) was practically ill at night. I was sleeping on top of the bed with my pyjama trousers rolled up, no jacket. A few nights ago it was 80°F outside at one in the morning - no breeze. Mercifully, the weather broke yesterday and the rain came - - we can breathe again. There's nothing like an extreme climate!
When it's this hot it's hard (or harder than usual) to think, move, or work. On top of that I had the annoying experience of having my letter to Saudi Arabia returned to me - I was given the wrong U.S. mailing address. So I'm getting Kathy to retype the letter and I'll send it direct to Riyadh. However, that's almost 2 months wasted. Sometimes I feel I'm bashing my head against a brick wall time and again...
Still, nice things happen too. I'm going to meet Ken [CENSORED: surname]'s newly-arrived wife and family on Friday. Ken's the African from Malawi who hadn't seen his family for 18 months because they'd passport & visa difficulties. So he got to meet his 10-month-child for the first time a few weeks ago. The man's in a happy and beneficent mood - - he was kind enough to give me an autographed edition of his book of short stories today. I was really touched. It's great knowing all of these artistic people!
Is it really 5 years since we tried to suck the water out from under the house using a dirty bit hosepipe? I hope that you've got the problem sorted out now once and for all.
Well, that's about all for now. Twelve-twenty a.m. Rain lashing down outside. Oh - - before I forget again: on the matter of money. I said on the phone that I'd appreciate around $400, if you can spare it. This would be ample to see me through my final weeks, get my thesis typed, duplicated, bound, and pay for my flight home. I may even have some left if I get a lift to Boston. If not, I could make a swift exit from Fredericton also on that sum. Hope it won't drain your resources.
Regards to all.
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Correspondence from Canada: Letter 50 - 21.07.82. 2020. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved July 2020, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=898.
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