Ahad, Mei 11, 2008

christine says:

hi shah

just hit the wrong button on the laptop. i'm balancing it on my chest and typing with one finger. and i have the wrong glasses on to see at the correct distance. how's things with you? we had hailstones and buckets of rain last night. you'll be back for the cold weather. 3am i was cleaning up after having friends over for dinner. had alovely time and both alex and sam came to help out and meet friends. i'm thinking of sending an abstract to the uni of melbourne for a conference in july - based around a performance piece i wrote a while ago -- antithesis. i have my paper written for conference in two week's time at newcastle. only problem is presenting in powerpoint. sam is going to help with the transfer since it's my first attempt.

how is your work coming along? have you managed to collect all the data you require? i'm interested to know the outcome of your research. it should be very enlightening about viewing patterns. has your teaching gone well? There is a picture in today's paper of the autumn leaves at mt lofty botanical gardens. mylor, too, is very beautiful. the leaves are deep red and crispy brown this year. very little yellow. a product of the water shortages over summer, i think.

hope you are well. cheers, christine
Dear Shah,

Thank you for the beautiful postcards. I am pleased to hear about your project and never doubt that your network of subjects will prove very interesting. Persist and you will find what you are looking for. Do your best with the teaching and all will be well. You will find that nothing of substance will have slipped your brain when you need it. Yesterday I spent the day in Melbourne. So sorry you were not there, but I caught a 6am flight, the Skybus to Southern Station, walked up Bourke Street and turned left into Swanston Street, had breakfast at the State Library, spent four hours in research on a text in the rare texts reading room, then reversed the travel and was back in Adelaide by 5-15pm. A wonderful day and I learnt heaps. Thank goodness for cheap flights.

I must go. My brother and sister-in-law have a week of their holiday left. I must be sociable.
Cheers, Christine

Dear Shah,

I was wondering about the crossed emails, but did not take it too seriously. You are doing well with your research, to have come so far.I like the new statement you have finally nutted out with your supervisor. My research has stalled, for various and complex reasons. At the moment I am concentrating on getting my paper for the Newcastle Conference down to twenty minutes. It "hurts" to cut my beeyooteeful composition (about 5,000 words), cut out my "darlings" and leave nothing but fish-bones (3,000 words). But I must be ruthless.

("Ruthless" that is an inadvertant play on words because my supervisor is called Ruth and we are not doing too well together at the moment.) In effect, I have talked to the Literature Department and I am thinking of transferring there, but I have until the end of May to weigh my decision. I am thinking of sending an abstract for a conference called "Antithesis." I think it's in July at Melbourne Uni. Also will be happy to see you when you come to Adelaide. We have a spare room now, if you need a bed for a few nights. Frisky finally passed away peacefully a few days ago. She hung on with good appetite much longer than expected. A good innings. When the warmer weather comes, we think we will get another puppy for Molly, another kelpie. They are such smart dogs.

Tomorrow I am going to a wedding -- the daughter of very old friends. Sonia was born just before Sam. Alex escorted her to the Year 11 and 12 formals. It is a very grand affair at Ayers House. I spent today looking for something dressy to wear. I hate shopping and I am going to hate even more teetering around in stupid court shoes. But the speeches should be fun and the bride and groom (Jason), no doubt, exquisite. Val is fine, and the boys. Mum is coming for a meal on Sunday because it is Mothers'Day. She has a cataract operation on Tuesday. I go to Newcastle from Thursday to Monday next week. I am looking forward to the workshops and everyone's papers.

Cheers for now,

Sabtu, Mei 10, 2008

christine says:

Hi Shah
Good to hear from you. Off to Malaysia already? Good luck with your plans. Of course you are welcome whenever you come to Adelaide. I've been meaning to contact you, but it is Writers'Week in Adelaide, and I am spending my days in the tents by the Torrens near the Festival Centre listening to authors talk about their work. It has been extremely interesting so far. Last night I heard Peter Carey, Paul Auster, Siri Hustvedt and Ian McEwan at the Town Hall. I did enjoy the occasion.

My work proceeds slowly. However, I know what I am doing (I think) and it is just a matter of hanging in there and doing the work. I have had an abstract accepted for a conference on "Art and the Real: Creative Nonfiction" in Newcastle in May. I must work steadily towards that (with other things) and do the best I can. My brother, his wife and my nephew came last week but have gone again, touring around the coast road and then on to Canberra to my sister. Alan, my nephew, wants to visit Sydney where he has a friend to see. They will be back anon (to use the old Shakespearean word).

Again, all the best for your research.
Cheers,Christine (Val and the rest)

PS It is very hot but maybe we will take Molly for a walk when Val gets back from squash.
Hi Shah,

Is your boss-lady still keeping your nose to the grindstone? In other words: How is your research coming along? And your teaching responsibilities? I hope all is going well. March was a wipe out with Writers'Week (great culture) and my family from Scotland being here. They went home to cold and snow and my brother emails that they all have colds. My nephew, Alan, had a good break. He is twenty-three now, in fact three weeks separate him and Sam in age. This was his first holiday in four years, since he started working at Lairhillock, a posh restaurant near Aberdeen. He is a fully qualified chef now and did some reconnaisance in Adelaide, Canberra and Sydney for work as a chef. He's gone home to apply for a two year working visa with a view to immigrating, if he likes it here. Nice lad, with a broad Scots accent, as have my brother and sister-in-law. Look what I escaped!

My mother is getting older. At the moment she is trying to decide whether to stay in Adelaide or move to be near my sister in Canberra. She is going in for a cataract operation in May -- nothing dramatic. I went to see a play last night, at the Dunstan Playhouse -- very funny. By Joanna Murray-Smith, "Female of the Species." I would swear she's been sitting in on my computer and pinched my notes on Lacan and Freud, not to mention Joni Mitchell and turned them into hilarious archetypal characters. I've also had a great time listening to old albums, from "my era" -- the late Sixties and early Seventies. Couldn't afford to buy music then, so I'm catching up now. When are you due back in Melbourne? You'll be just right for winter coming. The weather is fine and cool right now. Just come back from walking Molly on the Mylor Oval. Someone said: "that's a good looking dog you have there." And she is.

Take care. Cheers, Christine