Sabtu, Disember 29, 2007

summer's words from Christine

Dear Shah,

Thank you for the short story: I will read it shortly. I have also finally downloaded the attachment you sent about supervisors. I can't do it from my laptop inside but I have done it now in the "study." There are many useful tips there. Hot here also. Fortunately, we are air conditioned because I have been cooking and cleaning today. Some of my old school chums, teachers with me from 1975 to 1983, are coming tomorrow for a small celebration. We meet three or four times a year and all have children about the same age. It is good to relax and chat with friends.

Yesterday, Val, Alex, Sam and I went to see "The Golden Compass." I was disappointed. It is nowhere near as satisfying as the books. The script is pretty awful, although the mise-en-scene is rather lush. None of the characters were well rounded, nor did they grip my heart. Some nice special effects and some terrible repetitious ones. It's a pity Miyazaki Hayao did not get a hold of the rights and animate the story. That would have been stupendous. Phillip Pullman's polyvalent trilogy could be done justice to in anime. However, we did have gourmet woodoven pizzas beforehand in O'Connell Street -- very tasty. We've eaten lots of icecream to counter the heat, not durian, though. My favourite is vanilla.

Cheers, Christine

Rabu, Disember 26, 2007

The Famous Five

Dear Shah,

I probably learnt to read on Enid Blyton. When I was at primary school in Nairobi libraries were non-existent. I remember a "collection" of books contributed by parents and friends from various sources, to keep children busy when set work was done. "Five at Smugglers' Top" was my first chapter book and I smuggled it home and finished it under the bed covers with the aid of a torch. Subsequently I discovered the kids next door (a family with five or six children), had most of the author's books. I begged and pleaded to borrow them, until I had read them all. Both my brother and I adored Enid Blyton.
I also used to devour my brother's "Biggles" books, about the ace World War pilot and his adventures. These days the 'political correctness' of such stuff is suspect, but I didn't care. Appalling maybe, but such fun reading, like the "Harry Potter" books. I read all of Enid Blyton's books to Sam when he was small. Both Sam and Alex also enjoyed Arthur Ransome's "Swallows and Amazons" series, about the adventure involved in messing about with sailing boats. Blyton created two sets of children's adventures. The Famous Five -- Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy the Dog -- and another set of children who went to more exotic places abroad than the Famous Five.
I forget their names, but the books were "The Castle of Adventure," "The Island of Adventure" and so on. Kiki the Parrot is the main non-human character, adding more than a touch of humour. You told me the names of the children have changed for the Malaysian version, and for Uncle Quentin the 'do not disturb I'm busy' mad, bad-tempered scientist. Somewhere I still have Sam's box of Blyton books. He liked collecting them.

Cheers, Christine

Jumaat, Disember 21, 2007

summer days gone too soon....

At last, my task in Adelaide is over.

I went to adelaide last week for my delayed graduation ceremony and I have had so much fun for the entire six days with Christine and Tristan. After twelve months since I left Adelaide, everything still remained the same as it was. Yeap, the smell of summer scent and windchime sounds in Adelaide hills. I've seen a lot of awareness growing inside myself about emotional sphere. That dynamic of structure of feeling will lay beneath inside me and it will not gonna be changed forever.

Isnin, Disember 10, 2007

summer greetings

Hi Shah,

The weather is great at the moment, but it will be hot by the end of the week. I'll meet you at 12 noon on Thursday in the Plaza. I'm happy to take you to Raffles House afterwards. I remember the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. Not that we ever went there -- too posh. But I think you could see it from an oval near a big swimming pool where we went to watch a tattoo -- once upon a time, a long time ago. Cole has been in touch about the get together on Tuesday, after your graduation.

See you on Thursday, Cheers,Christine

Isnin, Disember 03, 2007

Christine says:

Dear Shah,

I've just had an email from Cole saying he has some spare time 17-19 December. That is a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. Would you like to come to my place on one of those days for lunch? I think I can manage something in accordance with halal customs. Of course your friend is welcome too. Let me know what you would like to do and do not be afraid to speak out. Whatever suits you. Ask. I'm happy to pop up to uni anytime, if you would like to meet for coffee. Time and place is up to you. And if you would like to go on an excursion somewhere let me know, but there is no pressure if you are otherwise occupied. However, I have other obligations on Saturday 15 December, so that day is taken; otherwise it's up to you.
Looking forward to seeing you, Cheers,


Cole says:

Hi Shah,
Very good to hear from you. It would be great to catch up. I'm not sure about Thursday because I have interviews with students, Friday-Saturday 14-16 december I am on a film shoot, but 17-19 december I can certainly meet you! I would be very pleased to see you and talk, and hear more about your life in Melbourne. I really like Melbourne as a city, my favourite Australian city. Yes, I have been researching for my PhD. The major work will start next year and run 2008, 2009 & 2010. I have Christine's DVD, can you let her know I will bring it with me when we meet.